Tom Negrino is one of those lucky guys who has good friends. His buddies, Marc and Stormy, know of a good bunch of eating and wine places and they took Tom with them when they hit them. He gives us the wrap-up here:
Josh Leo is going to take you to the Grand Haven Salmon Festival:
The best advice came from one of the participants when asked how he chooses:
“I look for the long lines.”
Apparently, the fish and wine people with the longest lines have the best food. That makes sense.
I love Josh’s evaluation:
“Meat on a stick. I don’t think there’s anything better in this world.”
Josh invites us all to come next year:
“Come down next year for yourself and enjoy all the awesome salmon and wine craziness that’s going on here in Grand Haven. Yeah, it’s a great time! Good food, good people, good wine: thumbs up all the way around!”
I just love Josh’s reviews of the events in Grand Haven, Michigan. It shows me that no matter where you live, there is something exciting going on to enjoy.
I love to watch these drives across country that are sped up like this. Back in 1988, I was trapped in the back of my grandparents’ car on many a road trip that looked very similar to this video, except much, much slower. I bet if you’re familar with the area, the video is even more interesting to watch.
With a setting that looks like a postcard, the Casa Rio sits on the Riverwalk attracting tourists with the scent of their food and their singing. I live in a town with excellent Mexican food, so I expected touristy faire at Casa Rio and to be honest, that’s what I got. The food was good, but nothing was even near the spiciness that I’m used to. I enjoyed the enchiladas and queso sauce on my chips, but nothing brought tears to my eyes.
What I enjoyed most was the singing.
We were surprised at the reasonable prices of the food, so we sprang the ten bucks for a song. We figured we would have paid twice what we were paying in any other touristy place, so we were happy to splurge. The group singing played typical songs that are requested all the time like La Bamba and Tijuana Taxi, but they did it in such a congenial manner that I had a blissful moment when they were playing. Friendly AND professional, all at once, I felt so grateful that I had paid for a song. It was worth it for that moment of Zen.
430 E Commerce St
San Antonio, TX Google Map
Phone: (210) 225-6718
Fax: (210) 225-2216
During our trip to San Antonio, Mike and I took a break and went to Michaels Arts and Crafts. We went there to look at arts supplies and just relax. We have Michaels in Salt Lake City, so we thought it would be a familiar reminder of home. Instead, it was a very different store. There were two full aisles of ribbons in bright, primary colors. It was so interesting, I took photos. Michaels announced to the residents of Texas that they were your Homecoming Headquarters, but I had never seen anything like this for Homecoming. What was all this stuff?
While I looked at all the ribbons, flowers and megaphones, I became more and more confused. I asked one guy who worked at service desk what it was all about, but he was unable to explain it to me. I returned to the ribbons. A kindly woman said to me, “Ah, it’s Homecoming Time. They’ve got to get their mums ready.” I pounced on her like a housecat left alone too often. With some coaxing, Joan Anderson was willing to explain it all to me.
Texas sure does love their high school football. Using the artificial mums, ribbons and other decorations, you can create a Homecoming Mum. They are for girls and they wear them to the Homecoming game. It’s not for the dance, just the game (you get real flowers for the dance). This is only for football. Basketball doesn’t get this kind of attention.
I don’t know if this is still the case, but Joan says that the boys’ mothers would make the mums so the boys could give them to the girls they like best. A girl could have many different mums from many boys. The girl with the most mums is the most popular.
“Look there. There’s one over here that has three mums on it. This girl would have to be very special, wouldn’t she?”
Part of me wants to get a whole pile of mums from every boy in town. I want to be the girl with the most mums. I want to be very special. This Texan practice feels very guttural to me. I can feel it in my bones and gut. We had nothing like this in Salt Lake City, Utah. Who knew I would find something so unique and foreign a mere 1800 miles away.
Sometimes I can film exactly how I see things. I don’t need to edit the footage or anything. The film looks exactly how I remember it. It makes me feel exactly how I did the day I shot the film. That’s what happened this day in September when I filmed the bells at the San Jose Mission.
The bells seemed to tell me that we had to hurry and leave, but I hadn’t even gotten near the church when they rang. I wanted to capture all of it, but my traveling companions were hot and bored. They waited in the car while I hurriedly took photos. I just wanted to relax and listen to the bells.
The GPS system had been mispronouncing street names and tourist attractions throughout the entire trip, but it pronounced Mission Concepcion perfectly. Mission Concepcion had the most visitors we had encountered. At Mission San Juan, we had been alone except for two giggling teenage girls who left quickly. Here, however, I felt self-conscious. There were people sitting in the pews. I felt like an Ugly American snapping photos, but it was too beautiful to let it go undocumented.
They warned us that the mission was constructed for people who are much shorter than the average modern-day man, but Mike still bumped his head on the stone. I checked the stone for blood and his head for a bump. He rubbed the sore spot and shook his head, embarrassed by the accident. My fussing made it worse.
It was quiet outside in the grotto. We enjoyed being alone for a moment and took pictures of the statuary. Overheated, we retreated to the haven of air conditioning in the car and drank our water before we drove away.
The day we visited the San Juan Mission, we had spent three days consistently overestimating ourselves and ending up dehydrated. The San Juan Mission was no different except we had water waiting for us in the car. We would dash outside, take a few pictures and then retreat back to the car when it was too much for us. I’m sure if we spent a couple of weeks in San Antonio, we would have become acclimated to the heat, but we didn’t have that kind of time.
Fortunately, we didn’t let the heat stop us. San Juan has the most preserved of the mission churches. The inside of the church was beautiful and quiet. The only noises we could hear came from the ceiling fans above our heads. I was surprised at the offerings at the statue of Guadalupe. There were photos, dolls, action figures, jewelry and flowers. I have never seen anything like that in Utah. That’s why traveling is so invigorating. We get to see things we would have never seen at home.
There are four missions in the San Antonio area. Mike and I were able to visit three of them. San Jose Mission was the first we saw. I was surprised at how much detail survived over the years. It was only a couple days later that we learned that San Jose wasn’t even the best preserved.
The heat was in the lower 100s and the humidity was much higher than my desert skin is used to. After our trip to this mission, I was dehydrated and desperately needed water. When you go to the missions, make sure you pack water and crank up the air conditioning.