Blanco River State Park – Blanco, TX

Day 89 Continued…

Sunday, January 5, 2020 – After a quick 45 minute drive, we arrived at the new park. When we pulled in, we realized that we were directly across from Paul, Angela & Gavin. In fact, I heard Gavin exclaim “Lucas is here”! I got to tell you, that melted my heart. Lucas misses his friends back home so much. To have a friend, if only for a couple days, is such a nice gift. 

While we were setting up, Paul took Lucas & Gavin down to the river with the slingshots. Set up and tear down can be so trying for an impatient 5 year old. So to be able to set up with Lucas entertained was really nice. 

When they returned, Gavin invited Lucas over and introduced him to Mario Cart. LOL Lucas is hooked. We picked up where we left off with Paul & Angela. They gave us a tour of their home and provided several tidbits to make life easier. We can learn so much from others. Paul started a fire which we ended up sitting around and talking until about 10:00.  The boys did come out for a few minutes in the evening to get marshmallows and then went back to playing. We had a really enjoyable evening. It’s so nice to connect with others especially those similar in age. 

Day 90…

Monday, January 6, 2019 – The boys played for awhile this morning in our rig while Paul & Angela packed up. We chatted a bit more with them before we bid them farewell. 

After lunch, we went to the river to fish. Lucas is pretty serious about his fishing. If only his parents had a lick of knowledge about it! But he enjoys casting his line.

Day 91…

Tuesday, January 7 2020 – We were told by several people that we needed to go to Fredericksburg. It’s a small town, originally settled by Germans with some authentic German flair and about 45 minutes away. We had a nice drive through the country to get there and it was worth the drive. We strolled around town for an hour our so, stopping at The Java Ranch for a latte & apple turnover. 

From there we drove to Johnson City, the home of the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park. We toured the museum, watched a 20 minute video and Lucas completed the Junior Ranger program to received Badge #8! 

We walked around town a bit and decided to eat lunch at Hill Country Cupboard. I ordered the Chicken Fried Steak with Okra & Seasoned Rice. It was their specialty, after all. 

I dropped the mens off at the campground and went to the post office to pick up a package from our former neighbors, Donna & Les. These folks were so kind to us over the years living next door and wanted to send a gift to Lucas. He was so excited to open another package! In the package was a owl puppet with a singing Christmas card as well as stationary titled “Notes from Camp” & stamps. Such a thoughtful gift. Thank you!!

There was a laundromat just up the road from the campground so I decided to get that out of the way for the week. I can usually go 10 days but tomorrow is booked and we’re moving Thursday. 

Day 92…

Wednesday, January 8, 2019 – Matthew preferred a day at home versus a day in the city, so Lucas and I had breakfast and headed out to explore the San Antonio Missions. It was about a 90 minute drive to the National Park Visitors Center which is at Mission San Jose. Upon arrival, we picked up the booklet for the Junior Ranger program and immediately watched their 20 minute highlight video. I think I’ve mentioned before, I don’t really remember history class so I’m definitely getting a refresher these days. 

While the vibrant painting that used to be on the exterior of the buildings has come off, some of these churches are still active today and are used for weekly services. 

We decided to buy an all day bus pass to visit the other 4 missions as well as The Alamo downtown. It was only $2.75 for me and $1.35 for Lucas to the ride the entire system. That was definitely cheaper than paying for parking downtown and why not ride a bus. We found the bus stop and waited about 15 minutes. Lucas was so excited for this adventure. Oh, and the bus system has a route that only stops at the missions, so convenient for the tourists. Side note – there is a path along the San Antonio River that connects all the missions. The entire length is about 10 miles. I would have loved to do it via bicycle but it would have been too much for Lucas. 

***I somehow lost about 100 photos from our day – maybe due to late night transferring and accidentally deleting them! Sigh! Thankfully, I had sent a friend a picture of each mission via text and could download those.***

We rode south to Mission San Juan first…

Then to Mission Espada…

Then we headed back north, past San Juan & San Jose to Mission Concepcion. Unfortunately, they are doing repair to the ceiling so we were not able to go inside the main church area. 

By this point we were pretty hungry, so we continued to downtown and The Alamo. We then walked to Whataburger to give it a try. San Antonio is it’s headquarters after all – I guess we should see what the fuss is about. It was pretty tasty. For my VA friends, I’d say the burgers are similar to Fosters. 

While waiting for our return bus, we picked up a few postcards and a Texas shaped magnet for Lucas. He has been asking for a magnet for a week or so. I guess since we’ve been in the state this long, a magnet is probably a good idea. We also popped in to Kilwins for a small ice cream. 

Our bus arrived and we were on our way south again. The ride back to San Jose took about 15 minutes. We went into the Visitor Center and Lucas did his pledge to receive Junior Ranger Badge #9. Sadly, my phone was dead so I couldn’t take a photo. 

On the way home, we made a pit stop at Trader Joe’s. My grocery shopping the last few weeks has been at Walmart. I miss Lidl in Virginia and this area doesn’t even have Aldi. So a Trader Joe’s is a nice change of pace. Besides, it used to be the only place I shopped when we lived in Alexandria. 

Once home, we purchased some wood for a fire. After a rather slow start, I was able to cook Beef Sausages (from a local butcher), chicken thighs, asparagus, zucchini with yellow peppers and sweet potatoes! I figure I may as well cook for several meals – I’m lucky if it lasts for 2.  

Lucas was exhausted and went to bed early. I enjoyed a bit of time by the fire before turning in for the night. Tomorrow is moving day. We are heading west about 2 hours to South Llano River State Park in Junction, TX.

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