September 26, 2008

Mastersingers party Sept. 21

Last weekend was busy; Sunday was the San Antonio Mastersingers' annual kick-off party. The Mastersingers is the choir that I have joined for the year. It's huge -- over 150 members! But it's really good. I guess when you live in the 8th largest city in the country, you can be very picky with your singers. I feel very privileged to have made it. This season has five concerts, and I have sung the music in four of them before, believe it or not. The one I haven't sung before is the concert version of an opera that we are singing with Andrea Bocelli -- yes, that Andrea Bocelli. That's Thanksgiving week. You can bet I'll post about that when the time comes!

But this weekend we were at the director's house in Helotes, a "suburb" of San Antonio that's more rural. Good barbecue, fun conversation, and four trampolines that the kids all loved. Dave and I spent most of the afternoon taking turns holding Katie's hands on the trampoline:

September 24, 2008

Dave Brubeck! - 9/20/08

Yes, that Dave Brubeck, the jazz great, was in San Antonio as the headliner for JazzS'Alive, a weekend jazz festival downtown. We didn't make it to the rest of the festival, but all three of us went to hear Dave Brubeck and his band. They were far away, as you can see from the blurry photo (best I could do at night with everyone around us moving), but we could hear them and they were great. And of course the evening ended with "Take Five." Something for our scrapbooks!

September 22, 2008

We found a brewpub!

We picked Dave up at the airport on Friday and headed straight to a brewpub! Actually, it was our second trip to The Dodging Duck, in the town of Boerne (pronounced "Bernie") just outside of San Antonio. It's about 30 minutes from our apartment. It's very different from the Selins'Grove Brewpub, still our favorite place to go, but we're a little too far to go there at the moment... But Dave likes the beer, and the food is good.

Our first time there we sat next to a couple with a little girl with blonde curly hair. Turns out we have a lot in common with them, so we met them on Friday. The rest of the pub thought the two girls were really cute together, and of course they were. Maisie's birthday is the same as Katie's best friend Laura Tranquillo, so the two blondes are only three weeks apartment (although Maisie is really big for her age). Here they are, with Maisie's mom RuthAnn:

They spent all their non-eating time playing -- mostly chasing each other around the table, and playing ring-around-the-rosie. I hope you can see this movie!

Botanical Gardens Sept. 17

While Dave was at his antennas conference near Champaign, IL, Katie and I spent a beautiful day at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens. Their current exhibit is Terrific Treehouses, which was great fun -- all VERY different, and all very hands-on. Here's Katie playing in two of them:

I played with my camera, too, and had fun taking plant photos. The climate is so different here that even the conservatory exhibits different plants than you'd see at Longwood Gardens near Philly or the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh. If you want to see more plant photos, e-mail me; there were too many to put up! Here are two of my favorites:

September 20, 2008

Sad time for the Kelley family

Dave's father, H. Frederick (Fred) Kelley, had a very sudden massive heart attack on Tuesday, September 2, 2008, and died that night. He was only 73, and had been married to Martie for 48 years. It was a big shock to all of us. The three of us flew back to Virginia on Wednesday to be with Mom K; Dave's brother Doug got there the next day; and the Kelley extended family flew in all weekend. That's the only silver lining with funeral events -- it becomes a family reunion. Katie met lots of relatives she'd never met before (and Sara did, too, actually), and she was the primary tonic for her Nana. She seemed to understand that Granddad was gone, and was a real trooper all weekend.

The visitation and funeral were really lovely, surrounded by family and friends who came to celebrate Fred and his life. He would have been amazed - three priests and a deacon presided over the funeral mass! (You can see the obituary here.)

Here are some photos from the happier moments of the week:

Katie and her cousin (Dave's cousin, actually), Kimsey Kelley - she lives in Indianapolis

The Kelley clan: back row, L to R - Sara, Dave, Katie, Uncle Mark, Uncle Frank, Doug, Uncle Brian; middle - Aunt Shelley; front: Kimsey, Martie/Mom K/Nana, Aunt Rose Marie

We'll miss Fred/Dad/Dad K/Granddad. With love, Dave, What's-her-name, and Cutie Pie

Labor Day Weekend 2008

We went downtown twice on Labor Day weekend -- first to the Witte Museum (San Antonio's history and science museum) to see a VERY cool exhibit about Leonardo's inventions. They built many of his inventions that had never been built before -- precursors of some very modern technology. I don't know where it's touring, but here it is at the Witte: Vinci 1.html.

On Labor Day we went up the Tower of the Americas to look out over the city. Here's Dave pushing Katie's stroller in the parking lot. I didn't take any pictures from the tower; I have some from when we came in 2001, and the glass wasn't clean enough to get clear shots!

But you can see how windy it was at the top. It made Katie a little nervous. If anyone comes to visit, we'll make sure to take you up!

September 18, 2008

San Antonio playgrounds

Katie and I spent a few weeks trying out different parks and playgrounds within a 10-mile radius. So far, no swings, which is what she wants!

But we found a nature trail, complete with cacti and a stray cat who followed us the whole morning.

And we found a few with nice equipment, although not too many kids (too hot so far, I think).

We'll keep exploring! I saw one downtown the other day that looked promising...

September 17, 2008

San Antonio Children's Museum - 8/21/08

After that weekend, I decided to go into downtown San Antonio with Katie once a week if I can, to see as much as we can. Part of the reason for that is that we have to take our recycling into a central point near downtown (about 15 miles away). San Antonio has a fabulous curbside recycling program - unless you live in a "multi-family building" like ours. Oh, well.

But we also want to explore as much as we can while we're here!

Our first foray was to the San Antonio Children's Museum. Katie loved the streetcar and the grocery. Mostly she just wanted to see what there was to see. We joined the museum so that we can go back regularly. September is Performing Arts Month, so we plan to go at least once then.

First weekend in San Antonio

We arrived on Wednesday 8/13/08 (although our belongings took another week) and decided to go downtown to the Riverwalk right away.

So here we are on Saturday the 16th -- Dave and Katie admiring the ducks on the riverbank, and Sara and Katie on the steps of Casa Rio, the oldest restaurant on the Riverwalk. Yummy Mexican food!

Casa Rio is the place with the colorful umbrellas...

My first post

We've really leapt into the 21st century on this sabbatical -- first cell phones, now a blog! But this seemed the best way to share our adventures and our photos from our nine months in San Antonio, Texas.

From now on I'll blog when things happen (and when I take photos), but these first few post will be catching up on our first month here. Also, most of the photos will be of Katie (surprise, surprise), so you'll have to bear with me if you really would rather see scenery. I'll take those, too.

This is our apartment (we're on the second/third floors - that's our balcony on the second floor). Dave did a good job choosing when he was here in June. We're around the corner from Sea World, if you want to look us up on a map. (No, we haven't been yet -- too expensive to take a 2-year-old to. We'll go in the spring at least once, I'm sure.)