Frida at San Antonio Botanical Garden

I got a two for one experience with the Frida Kahlo exhibit at the San Antonio Botanical Garden. Frida was passionate about the natural world, flora and fauna were integral to Her home, garden, and artwork. Since childhood, Kahlo collected plant specimens, both native and imported species, filling her garden and iconic blue home, the Casa Azul. Kahlo’s works are filled with colorful and compelling depictions of flowers, foliage, fruits, demonstrating both close observation of the natural world and engagement with the plants she encountered in her daily life. As an owner of many beloved pets, animals played both a significant role in her life as they did in a number of her works, helping her to effectively tell her stories through symbolism and emotion.

Natural Bridge Caverns

I have toured many caves across the US. This was one of the best I have seen. It is a wet cave with lots of the usual structures, and some not so usual. It was also my most challenging hike at 70 degrees with 99% humidity I climbed 193 stairs in only a third of a mile. I was a bit winded by the time the tour was over. It was definitely worth it

San Antonio Riverwalk

San Antonio Riverwalk

One of my favorite urban walks in the US is the San Antonio Riverwalk. It is magical strolling the lush riverside paths lined with towering Cypress trees, restaurants, hotels, shops, museums, and recreation spots.

A little history: Robert H. H. Hugman was a young architect with a vision. His concept of winding pathways and bridges flanking the river was his beautiful solution to harnessing the river running through downtown. It also managed heavy seasonal rains, saving both lives and dollars. It wasn’t until much later that the full vision of the Father of the River Walk realized its’ full potential.

The Alamo

The Alamo

The Alamo was founded in the 18th century as a Roman Catholic mission and fortress compound, and today is part of the San Antonio Missions World Heritage Site in San Antonio, TX. It was the site of the Battle of the Alamo in 1836, and is now a museum in the Alamo Plaza Historic District.

The Battle of the Alamo (February 23 – March 6, 1836) was a pivotal event in the Texas Revolution. Following a 13-day siege, Mexican troops under President General Antonio López de Santa Anna reclaimed the Alamo Mission near San Antonio de Béxar (modern-day San Antonio) killing most of the Texians and Tejanos inside. Santa Anna’s cruelty during the battle inspired many Texians and Tejanos to join the Texian Army. Buoyed by a desire for revenge, the Texians defeated the Mexican Army at the Battle of San Jacinto, on April 21, 1836, ending the rebellion in favor of the newly-formed Republic of Texas.

San Antonio Wall Murals

San Antonio might not be known as the art capital of the country, or even Texas, but I think it deserves some credit. With a vibrant culture that is a unique blend of South American people, past, and future, they have a vibe that’s all their own. While I am not a huge fan of visiting art museums, there’s nothing like discovering a brightly-colored mural in the midst of pavement and cityscapes on a gloomy day. Here are a few of my favorites, seen from atop a double decker tour bus.

Zilker Botanical Garden

My sister and I enjoyed a peaceful, shaded walk on a hot sunny day in A JEWEL IN THE HEART OF AUSTIN: Zilker Botanical Garden. The themed gardens include the Taniguchi Japanese Garden, Hartman Prehistoric Garden, and Rose Garden, all are interconnected with pathways for all ages and abilities. With heritage live oaks, streams, and Koi-filled ponds.

McKinney Falls State Park

I enjoyed hiking the trails, admiring the scenery, and I caught my first sight of a flock or Snowy Egrets in a few years.

McKinney Falls State Park in Austin, Texas, is located at the confluence of Onion Creek and Williamson Creek. The park opened on April 15, 1976 and is named after Thomas F. McKinney, a businessman, race horse breeder and rancher, who owned and lived on the land in the mid-to-late 19th century. The park is part of the El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail.

Sunken Gardens

The Sunken Gardens in Lincoln NE were by far the most lush and vibrant display I have seen in my travels. It is the only garden in Nebraska listed in the National Geographic Guide to Public Gardens 300 Best Gardens to Visit in the United States and Canada.

Built in 1930, the Sunken Gardens was a Depression-era project, built on a former abandoned neighborhood dumpsite. The 1.5 acres were originally donated by the Seacrests, the Faulkners and the Freys — long time Lincoln families.

Hamann Rose Garden

I love the look of pure joy on these statues in the Hamann Rose Garden in Lincoln , NE. They really outshine the rose garden that was a little past it’s prime. I do worry a little about the turtles and the frogs, but remind myself that these are inanimate objects.

Scheels

Scheels – What could it be?

I was coming out of Trader Joes when I noticed across the parking lot this large store, Scheels. I had no idea what kind of store it was so I decided to check it out. I love the anticipation of not knowing what to expect. I was definitely surprised. It was part Sporting Goods store, part Arcade, part Hall of Presidents, part aquarium, and sadly part taxidermy showcase. (In some areas there were so many mounted heads I couldn’t look. ) I walked around amazed all this was inside a fairly plain facade.