A BIG Happy Birthday to my son Ben who was 10 this week :) 10 years has flown by.
What a lucky Mum I am to have 3 lovely sons. You make my world wonderful. Love you love you love you xoxoxo
Hi y’all! A little bit of Texan speak there…
I’m slowly coming back down to earth after the conference in Texas. I’ve been so busy with a new exercise routine plus the ongoing campaign back in New Zealand to get treatment funded for Pompe patients. The Prime Minister refuses to speak with anyone about it and the first day of this round of the campaign saw our supporters asked to leave Parliament by security guards. I’m just at a total loss as to why rare disease sufferers are not considered worth saving. Everywhere we turn we hit a brick wall. Maybe it is because our numbers are so small that we cannot make a big enough noise to be heard? Anyway, I’m not giving up the fight! Ever!
So, blog time…I still have lots on Texas.
The San Antonio Riverwalk; what a beautiful place to visit. Our hotel was across the road and around the corner. You can either take stairs down to the riverwalk or an elevator if you are wheeling your way around. There are so many shops, cafes and restaurants. Lots of tourists but not too crowded. The people are all friendly and cheerful, enjoying their time out and about. We were told it is a very popular city to have conferences, and hence there are a ton of hotels there!
The San Antonio River Walk (also known as Paseo del Río) (sounds like a great name for one of my miniature horses! "Half Pints Paseo del Rio" I like it, i'm using it!) is a network of walkways along the banks of the San Antonio River, one story beneath downtown San Antonio, Texas. Lined by bars, shops and restaurants, the River Walk is an important part of the city's urban fabric and a tourist attraction in its own right.
Today, the River Walk is an enormously successful special-case pedestrian street, one level down from the automobile street. The River Walk winds and loops under bridges as two parallel sidewalks lined with restaurants and shops, connecting the major tourist draws from the Alamo to Rivercenter mall, to the Arneson River Theatre, to Marriage Island, to La Villita, to HemisFair Park, to the Tower Life Building, to the San Antonio Museum of Art, and the Pearl Brewery.
The area was noted for being extremely dangerous (at one point, it was declared off-limits to military personnel). Support for commercial development of the river bend grew, and crucial funding came in 1939 which resulted in the initial construction of a network of some 17,000 feet (5,200 m) of walkways, about 20 bridges, and extensive plantings including some of the bald cypress (others are several hundred years old) whose branches stretch up to 10 stories and are visible from street level.
Thank you Wikipedia!
One afternoon we walked to the Tower of the Americas. This is a 750-foot observation tower/restaurant. The tower was designed by San Antonio architect O'Neil Ford and was built as the theme structure of the 1968 World's Fair, HemisFair '68.
The tower was the tallest observation tower in the United States from 1968 until 1996, when the Las Vegas Stratosphere Tower was completed.
It is located in the middle of HemisFair Park and has an observation deck that is accessible by elevator for a fee - about $10. In addition, there is also a lounge and revolving restaurant at the top of the tower that provides panoramic views of the city. It's pretty cold when you go out onto the outer deck of the tower! The wind is pretty strong up there. But you get an awesome view of every angle of San Antonio.
Construction of the tower began on August 9, 1966 and was completed in approximately 18 months, just in time for the opening ceremonies for the fair held on April 6, 1968. The tophouse of the building was constructed at ground level and hoisted to the top of the poured concrete shaft. As the tophouse was being hoisted into place, on October 30, 1967 some of the cables used to hoist the tophouse snapped leaving the tophouse resting on and precariously tilted on the Tower’s shaft. Eventually, oil field pipes were used in lieu of cables to complete the job.
Thank you Mr Google for some of the above information!
A couple of interesting bits just for fun:
Interesting bit #1.
One for the blokes. We saw a stretch Hummer on the street near our hotel. And in the back, a SPA POOL! You wouldn't want to go around corners fast while it's full I guess.
I just did a Google search for Hummers with hot tubs, and came up with this website. It appears the one we saw is the only one in Texas. Texas is a huge state! Check this site out if you want to have a drool! The photo at the top has the limos parked in front of The Alamo.
Interesting bit #2.
On our walk back from the Tower to the Riverwalk, Brad and I took a wrong turn and ended up slightly out of our way. We turned to go back to where we were supposed to be and some strange man started staring at Brad and kind of bowing his head to him. I was aware that the man was holding something in his hand but I was more intrigued by the head bobbing thing so I took no notice of what he was holding. Once we past the strange individual I asked Brad if people often bowed to him in the street. He said he was trying to sell us cocaine, didn't you see what was in the bag he was holding? Um NO! No I didn’t! Colour me naïve! This was only a block away from our hotel. You really don’t need to go far out of your way to encounter some really seedy areas! Scary stuff. I think it was more good luck than good management that we didn’t get mugged!
The best news this week is...Mike went HOME Tuesday!! Yaaaay! Love and best wishes to you Mike, you rock!!
Here's a pic of Mike with his family on the day of his arrival home. Couldn't wipe the smile off his face with sandpaper! Great stuff :)