Saturday, November 29, 2008

Starting Over

Melinda, Jenna, and I went to the farm for the Thanksgiving holidays. Alan, Kat, Madison and the grand-dogs joined us. It was an odd sort of Thanksgiving, really. Instead of the usual turkey and dressing we did Mexican. Not Tex-Mex, but Mex-Mex. Melinda and Kat put together a delicious dinner of Chiles en Nogada and Calabasita, with salsa, guacamole, chips, and tortillas. Kat made a Key Lime pie and a few hours after dinner we put that together with some Costa Rican coffee and enjoyed dessert. We spent a leisurely day. I played with Madison, walked in the field, and watched the latest and dumbest Indiana Jones movie ever.

On Friday we picnicked at the Pecan Park in Floresville and then drove to San Antonio for a quick tour of the Spanish missions. Melinda needed photos for a class project, plus she and I are headed back there in a couple of weeks with a senior adult group from our church. After visiting five missions, we needed a place for dinner. Something unusual. I recalled an episode of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives in which Guy ate at a place in San Antonio where they served really good pies. Pies were high on our (Kat & me) list. A bit of Googling on Alan’s iPhone and we found the name of the spot – De Wese’s Tip-Top Café. Turns out it was only about seven miles away and so we headed over.

It was stepping back in time. We dined on comfort food: chicken & dumplings, gigantic onion rings, roast pork & gravy, grilled tilapia, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, carrots, and baby lima beans. Then we narrowed our pie choices down to two: icebox banana and lemon meringue. The six of us split a piece of each. We saved the chocolate icebox pie for our next visit. It was the second time I’d tried out one of Guy’s spots in the San Antonio area.

Next it was on to the Riverwalk. Kat had connections so we had a riverside table reserved at the Hard Rock Café to watch the lighting of the river and the Christmas boat parade. I have to admit the boat parade left a bit to be desired. A lot, actually. But it was a festive event. Thousands of people lined both sides of the San Antonio River, filling the restaurants and bars.

This morning we returned to Houston and the rush of Exmas. Today is the final day of the Christian calendar. Tomorrow is the first Sunday of Advent, marking the beginning of another cycle of holy days, festivals, and remembering the stories of God and his world. The first Sunday of Advent begins with the theme of hope. I like that. That's a really good place to start.

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