Tuesday, March 27, 2018

San Antonio



 San Antonio was the perfect place to be for a springtime girls' trip in March.  We spent 80 per cent of our time outside enjoying the River Walk and nearby historical places all in walking distance from our beautiful hotel room at the Drury Inn and Suites River Walk.   The weather was wonderful!





We began our visit of the River Walk with a Go Rio Riverboat tour.  While enjoying the boat ride our tour guide/driver gave us helpful information about the city's history and places to visit. We were now ready to explore on our own.




We did get a little lost at times but we were able to find plenty of places to shop and great restaurants to enjoy a meal while sitting by the water watching people and tour boats and some very friendly ducks.














We visited the Alamo and the Spanish Governor's Palace and reviewed some of Texas' history by viewing the displays and listening to tour guides tell us what happened in these very old buildings.





 
 
A very unique way to learn more about the history of San Antonio was by watching the 24 minute video art light show projected on the facade of the San Fernando Cathedral.  The video flowed from one scene to another accompanied by music that fit into the story.  It was a  one-of-a-kind experience not to be missed!

 




There is a lot of shopping to be enjoyed in San Antonio.  Besides gift shops scattered throughout the River Walk, there are unique art shops and galleries in the La Villita Arts Village.


 
But the jackpot of all shopping is the three block outdoor shopping plaza in Market Square.  It could easily be an all day shopping experience!


 


A fun place to eat in the Market Square was the Mi Tierra Cafe.  The food was great (especially the bakery section!) and each dining area in the huge cafe was a sight to see.







We ended our visit to San Antonio with a nighttime boat ride to see the sights one more time all lit up.








Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Bluegrass Underground






My husband and I enjoyed an August afternoon of music in a really cool place.  Cool because we were in a cave so the temperature was cool.  And cool because we were at a concert in a cave 333 feet underground!  Cumberland Caverns near McMinnville, Tennessee have concerts about twice a month called Bluegrass Underground.  It was a very unique experience and sound.
  



We entered the cave through an opening in the rocks and walked about a quarter of a mile at a steady slope to a large opening called the Volcano Room. 







This picture is kind of dark but after all we were in a cave.  The chandelier was perfect lighting!




Chairs were provided in front of the stage or you could sit on benches or the rocks around the sides of the cave.
  



After lunch in the cave cafe, we enjoyed two bands that entertained us with bluegrass and country music and a little humor between songs.  It was the perfect music for a concert in a cave.


Johnny Campbell and the Bluegrass Drifters

Tennessee Mafia Jug Band

While walking to and from the Volcano Room we enjoyed some lighted rock formations.
 
  
 It was an unique experience not to be forgotten.

Friday, June 16, 2017

St Louis/Gateway Arch






The 630 foot tall Gateway Arch, the tallest man-made monument in the United States, can be seen from all over St Louis.









But I didn't comprehend just how tall it is until standing beneath it.  That is me in the picture below.






It is impossible to make all of the Arch fit into a photo unless you are on the other side of the Mississippi River or several blocks away in St Louis.  So it was fun finding different ways to take pictures from different angles-even laying down on a bench looking up.



 


With clouds passing by it really felt like the Arch was swaying when looking up to the top.  Later we found out it actually can move up to 18 inches depending on the wind. 




 

 We took the trip up one side of the arch in a small pod that slowly clinged and clanged its way to the top.  There we were able to see the view from the top from both sides of the arch.






Mississippi River view from the top of the Gateway Arch


St. Louis city view from the Gateway Arch with Bush Stadium, home of the St Louis Cardinals, in red on the left.






After returning to the base of the Arch we completed our trip with viewing the documentary "Monument to the Dream"  about the construction of the Gateway Arch.

Very interesting entrance to the theater

The Gateway Arch was a wonderful way to celebrate the accomplishments of those who participated in the western expansion of the United States.








Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Branson, MO


Lots to do in Branson!  
Shopping, the shows, boat rides, and zip lining were all fun.  We really enjoyed the Branson Landing area with the Hilton Promenade as a great choice for a hotel.  It was right in the middle of the Landing's shops and restaurants with a terrific view of the lake and the beautiful fountains that featured a musical show of water and fire every hour.



 
Our most favorite activity was our visit to the Top of the Rock Heritage Preserve just a few miles outside of Branson.



We explored the Lost Canyon Cave and Nature Trail in an electric cart that we could stop at any time to take pictures of the cave, cavern, waterfalls, covered bridges, and nature trail.  It was a wonderful experience!  As soon as we completed the trail we both seriously considered doing it again.









 Top of the Rock also had a Natural History Museum, a beautiful Chapel for weddings, a lodge, a golf course, and restaurants with amazing views of the Ozarks.




It is definitely a unique place to visit.