Friday, March 4, 2016

Overnight Trip to Kingsbury

When we learned that our dear Alaskan friend, Bea, was visiting her daughter, Terri, and son-in-law, Gene, down in Kingsbury, we decided to go see all three of them. Kingsbury is a small town not far from San Antonio. Terri and Gene recently retired there. For all of their married life, until now, they lived in Portland, Texas, a suburb of Corpus Christi, on the Gulf coast.

When they retired, they were ready for a change and began looking for some acreage around San Antonio. They fell in love with the 17-acre ranch land and house that they found in Kingsbury. We thoroughly enjoyed the time we spent there, in such a beautiful setting and with such good friends.

Thursday morning we stopped at Shipley's Donuts for a quick bite to eat before heading south.

There was a pretty stiff wind, from out of the North. But that was okay, since it provided a bit of a tail wind on the way down.

The wind was blowing!
We made good time traveling, not only because of the tail wind, but also because the majority of our traveling was done on Texas State Highway 130, which has speed limits of 80 and 85 m.p.h.!

We got to Gene and Terri's before lunch time, and we enjoyed a whole afternoon of visiting. Bea is in her late 80s, but hasn't changed that much -- she still loves to tell a good story, and loves to be with people. Although I've known Terri since we were both children, I had never met her husband, Gene, before, so it was a joy to get to know him, as well.

We were glad they offered to give us a tour of their beautiful 17-acre ranch. They've slipped into ranch life comfortably and completely. If I hadn't known better I'd have thought they had both lived on a Texas ranch all their lives! They have some chickens and a couple of guinea hens, and a cute miniature donkey, named Daisy. They have an arrangement with their neighbors letting the neighbors' cows graze on their property. And neighbors on the other side have three gorgeous horses that like to come to the fence for carrots that Terri brings with her when she's out. They also have a pond on the property, which they keep stocked with fish. It's too early for the bluebonnets, but there were some pretty red wildflowers starting to bloom.

Daisy is what is called a Jerusalem Donkey, so named because of the darker colored cross that extends across the shoulders and down the length of the back, which forms a cross shape. I found an article on-line about these donkeys and the  Christian lore associated with them.

Their house is a log house, and has a huge great room in the center, with tin ceiling tiles, and bedrooms on either end. It was a great place to spend the afternoon.

The real highlight of our visit, though, was being with Bea again. Every time we see her, it's a blessing. She and her late husband, Nello, were very special people in my life growing up, and in Dan's and my life when we lived in Juneau later on.

Bea and Terri

That evening we all went out to a Mexican restaurant for dinner, and Terri suggested we check out the little historic town of Gruene (pronounced like the color, "green"). So Friday morning we made the half-hour jaunt to Gruene. It is really a charming little place (actually a part of New Braunfels). We told ourselves we need to come back and spend a night or two there sometime. There are bed and breakfasts and inns and unique little shops and restaurants around every corner.

The Gruene River

We drove on home this afternoon, happy to have gotten out of town for a little bit, and happy to have reunited with special friends.

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