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Omens...and stuff

Special note: I’m posting this today instead of on Thursday because tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I’m hoping we’ll all be too busy eating turkey or Tofurky (and/sleeping it off) to read. Anyway, here ’tis. And happy bird-day in advance.

So I was writing about our recent trip to San Antonio. Be ready, because this time there’s going to be lots of omens. And foreshadowing. And omens. And stuff.

About the photo: this is us at the Tobin Center a few days later. We are just waiting for the concert to start here. You can tell that because we’ve not got wads of tissue or purple plugs in our ears. Hint. Hint.

Anyway, we left the morning of Wednesday, June 8, and headed down the highway. I took the first shift and we went via Rou30, which is faster (it has a speed limit of, yikes! 85 mph). Then we cut over on 45 to I-35 once we were past Austin. We could have stayed on 130 all the way to San Antonio, but there’s not much on 130 after you get past a certain point. There aren’t many places to, you know, get coffee or go to the bathroom. And you can forego the former. But, the latter...particularly at my current stage in life, is complicated. I mean, let’s just say it’s darn hard to drive with your legs crossed.

We arrived just after 1 pm. We weren’t quite sure what to do with ourselves. It was too early to go to the hotel. We couldn’t check in until mid-afternoon. Martha suggested that we head for the Blue Star area -- which, you’ll recall, I talked about last time. ( You’ll also remember it was at the heart of my vast Condo & Jogging & Coffee fantasy. Sigh. Best laid plans of mice and men. And of me. Though hopefully without quite so much Sturm, Drang, and Steinbeck.)

I thought it was a great idea, so after getting lost a couple of times (predictably), we found our way to the Blue Star and parked near the River. It was really hot. And really humid. Got that? Hot. And Humid. And hot. Oh, and keep an eye out for omens. Lots of omens.

Anyway, we headed off to the Halcyon for lunch.

As I said before, it is a great restaurant and cafe, really. It does, I think, tend to attract a younger crowd, but we’ve occasionally seen people our age at the tables. And even when we don’t, there isn’t quite the same feeling of out-of-placeness that we’ve sometimes experienced cafes and coffee shops in Austin. People seem a bit more accepting. (BTW, here’s the menu for the “Halcyon Southtown,” Like I say, well worth a visit.)

We didn’t know quite what to have for lunch. We wanted something light, because we thought we would be eating a large meal that evening (we had plans. More about that later). And the Halcyon’s lunch menu seemed a bit heavy. So, we both decided we’d have one of the cafe’s egg sandwiches. What could go wrong? we thought. Egg sandwiches are great, we added. (About those omens...)

Anyway, the meals came and we had them with coffee and ice water. They were very good...but, then, we vaguely realized that they were as heavy as any of the other items on the menu. In other words, we might as well have had a double cheese burger with deep fried wooziels down at Doc Whompers Fast Foodery. But, we figured, well, what the heck? A couple of heavy meals won’t hurt us. And besides, we’re on vacation, dang it! We’ve earned a little decadence.

We finished up and then we took a short walk around the Blue Star area. There were some interesting shops to be explored. After that...well, we thought, how about some ice cream? I mean, it was awfully hot. Over a 100 degrees F. easily. Ah, that’s about 38 degrees Celsius. Which is ...really hot.

So we slipped into this cool little ice cream shop they have in the Blue Star--the South Alamode Panini & Gelato Company ( They’ve got really good ice cream. Really rich. Lots of real cream, I suspect. Great stuff. I mean terrific.

Then we headed out...into the heat...the really HOT heat...and the humidity. I mean, the San Antonio River runs right through San Antonio. So lots, and Lots, and LOTS of humidity. Oh, and did I mention that Central Texas was having a heat wave at that moment? I believe the term is “unseasonably warm.” So, think open air pressure-cooker. With omens...

Anyway, by this time, it was late in the afternoon. We took a quick drive around and saw some more of the area...which, you’ll recall, is known as “Southtown” locally. In particular, we wanted to check in on the kids’ old house, the one they’d lovingly restored and then sold just prior to their move to Austin. We were pleased to see that the new owners had been taking excellent care of the place.

Then, it was time to head for the hotel. We drove off, followed the instructions from our helpful pal, Siri on Apple Maps, and before too long we’d checked in and were in our room. Next...we thought...we would rest a bit and after that take a stroll along the River Walk and then...

And then...

We turned a lovely shade of pale green and took turns dashing to the bathroom.


Now, I want to make it clear. We didn’t have food poisoning or anything like that. Nothing we ate was bad. The food was just fine. But...

We forgot about the heat. And the humidity. Plus, we are not so young as we once were. And too much rich food on a steamy day...

Well, let’s just say they didn’t mix.

Or rather, they did mix...sort of the way that oxygen and jet fuel mix. With a bang. And producing a surprising degree of propulsion. I’ll leave that all to your imagination...fecund, as I know it to be.

Anyway, we spent the rest of the day and part of the evening crashed in front of the air conditioner in the hotel room. By eight or so, we were pretty much recovered and even managed to get out for a stroll along the River Walk.

But, it was a rather unexpected way to end our first day in San Antonio

However, we consoled ourselves, we still had two more days in the city. Those would more than make up for this unfortunate beginning. You betcha.

Say, I’m curious. Did I mention omens? And foreshadowing? Can’t seem to remember.

More to come.


Copyright©2022 Michael Jay Tucker


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