Tag Archives: San Antonio

God bless Texas

I’ve been in Texas for a while now. My time in San Antonio began in the fall of 2005 when I started my freshman year at Trinity. While I knew I loved Trinity’s campus, it took a while for San Antonio to grow on me. Coming from Tucson, San Antonio was huge. How many highways are in the city? Why are almost all of them under construction? How many people live here? How many restaurants say they have the best margaritas? Why is Texas the only state that can have its state flag at the same level as the American flag? How can there be enough material for “Texas state history” to be a required class? Initially, just about everything Texas-related was weird to me, and it made me love Arizona more and more.

Loved my freshman girls Bible study

Loved my freshman girls Bible study

Trinity grads

Trinity grads

After college graduation in 2009, I chose to stay here in San Antonio. I had come to love this city, had a job offer, and a sweet guy to keep me here. But it wasn’t until Chip and I got married in 2011 that San Antonio started to feel like home. I think it helped that I finally felt more “permanent.” We bought our home a few weeks before we got married which means this is the most time I’ve gone without moving in San Antonio. We found a wonderful church that we’ve been members of for a couple of years now. We continue to develop sweet friendships. We have our favorite go-to restaurants, even ones that Wrigley can join us at. There are different events and activities every season that we look forward to (is it weird we’re happy it’s spring so we can get started on yard work?). Y’all, I love this city.

I recently saw a Buzzfeed link on Facebook on why you should live in Texas at some point in your life. Check out this link to see the full list, but here are a few of my personal favorites in no particular order: Bluebonnets and wild flowers on the side of the road. Fiesta. Southern hospitality. Tex-mex restaurants everywhere. Breakfast tacos. Two-stepping. Eating outside in the spring. Shopping in Fredericksburg. Being a tourist on the Riverwalk.

God bless Texas.

Friday Fralo’s Family Night

Who doesn’t love a little bit of alliteration?

Last Friday, Wrigley was treated like a king. It was National Take Your Dog to Work day, so after spending the morning with me at Bromley, we came home for the afternoon (hooray summer Fridays!) to finish some last emails and get some laundry done after our trip to Nantucket. Since we hadn’t seen the pup in almost a week, Chip and I thought it would be fun to take him out to dinner with us. One of our favorite spots to take Wrigs is Fralo’s. We love this place as it is, but there’s something extra special during the times we take Wrigley with us. Sure he begs for our pizza crusts like it’s his job, but we love it.

Here are a few pictures from our family night at Fralo’s last Friday. Still getting a feel for our new camera, so Wrigley got to be the model for the evening. He’s a looker, right?

Knowing Friday is just a few hours away, TGIF everyone.

Patiently waiting for some pizza

Patiently waiting for some pizza

Can't have pizza at Fralo's without some wine

Can’t have pizza at Fralo’s without some wine

Cheers, y'all

Cheers, y’all

Friday night music

Friday night music

Love this pup

Love this pup

Some of the best pizza in town

Some of the best pizza in town

Hope everyone has had a good week!

Brunch at the Boiler House

As I mentioned in one of my last posts, Haley and I had an awesome brunch at the Boiler House last Saturday. We had been wanting to go to brunch for a while now so we made the decision that Saturday would be the day. Our only criteria was that they would serve (cheap) mimosas. What can I say, we’re two classy gals. After doing some research online and talking to some food guru friends, we decided to go to the Boiler House in the Pearl Brewery. It also helped that Chip had won a $50 gift card there and kindly offered it to us (what a sweet husband).

Kicking brunch off right

Kicking brunch off right

I don’t mean to brag or anything, but Haley and I dominated that brunch. We took full advantage of our gift card and ordered three different plates to split. The menu at the Boiler House is pretty awesome and we actually had a little difficulty narrowing down our choices to just three (where’s a sampler plate when you need it?). In the end we chose the Bacon Benedict, the Mac & Egg, and the Chocolate-Espresso Pancakes. As you can see, we were pros and made sure we ordered different kinds of food from hearty to sweet. Here’s what the spread looked like:

We take brunch seriously

We take brunch seriously

Chocolate espresso pancakes, anyone?

Chocolate espresso pancakes, anyone?

The next time I go to the Boiler House and eat just one plate like a normal person, it will definitely be the Bacon Benedict. I’m getting hungry now just thinking about it. The Mac & Egg was really good, too, but I would prefer it with just one poached egg instead of two (it got a little too runny about halfway through). The pancakes were tasty and also came with some jalapeno sausage, but it wasn’t as sweet as we were expecting; not sure what that says about us.

So thankful for a great morning with Haley

So thankful for a great morning with Haley

We came in right at $49.80 (#winning) and spent the rest of the morning/early afternoon in a significant food coma and completely worthless to society. We walked around the Pearl for a bit and then made our way back to Haley’s house to wait for Mark and Rachel to get back later in the afternoon. I don’t think I moved from Haley’s couch while we watched You’ve Got Mail, but that’s what Saturday’s are for, right?

Confession: this was my first time seeing You've Got Mail

Confession: this was my first time seeing You’ve Got Mail

We eventually snapped out of our food coma just in time for our dinner at Bohanans that evening. Haley, not sure about you, but I’m totally ready for another brunch!

A weekend with friends

Last weekend was a sweet reminder of the great gift of friendships. One of my closest friends from Trinity, Rachel, and her husband Mark were in town for a friend’s wedding. I last saw Rachel when I went to visit her in Chicago last summer, so it had definitely been a while since we last hung out. It was a quick visit, but a great one nonetheless.

Mark and Rachel flew in late Friday night, so Chip and I hung out at Matt and Haley’s house until it was time to pick them up for the airport. We had a low key night hanging out and catching up, talking until significantly past my bedtime. There really isn’t anything better than great conversation with sweet friends over wine (except for maybe if sugar suddenly became a “good” calorie… a girl can dream).

Saturday was the wedding so while Mark and Rachel were in the Austin area for that very special event, Haley and I had the most delicious brunch at the Boiler House. It was so good that it’s getting its own post, so stay tuned for that. Once Mark and Rachel got back in town and Haley and I had finally digested all the food we ate, we tried going back to the Pearl Brewery to show them how much that area has grown. Unfortunately, we weren’t very successful since Saturday was the night of the Fiesta Flambeau Parade and streets along the parade route were closed off as early as 3:00 in the afternoon. After trying several different routes to get the Pearl, we had to chalk it up as a loss and went back to casa de Beham to hang out some more before dinner.

We spent Saturday evening having a swanky and tasty dinner at Luke. We were also joined by more good Trinity friends John and Niki. After dinner, we walked over to Bohanans for drinks and to listen to Brent Watkins’ (the music director at Redeemer) awesome jazz band. If you’re looking for a nice bar to have unique drinks, I cannot recommend Bohanans enough. The service was awesome and the ambiance can’t be beat. Our server Alex was the best and recommended great drinks for our group (you won’t regret ordering the Brooklynite!). While we were having drinks, some torrential rain started that kept us at Bohanans a little longer. Pretty sure the weather forecast said we had a 30% chance of rain. Guess that’s the same as a borderline hurricane. So of course, we eventually sent Chip and Matt to go get our cars from Luke where we had parked. Don’t worry, we were kind and sent them with umbrellas.

The Brooklynite

The Brooklynite

With wonderful friends at Bohanans

With wonderful friends at Bohanans

Sunday was the last day in San Antonio for the Pomeroys. While they lived in San Antonio, they were very active members of Redeemer and helped Matt with the youth group. It was so great getting to do the youth Christian Education hour together after the service. Once we left church, we made our way over to The Cove for lunch. I was so glad that another awesome Trinity friend Jessica came to lunch with her fiance (congrats again, guys!). Enjoying a texas burger outside with more great time with friends was the perfect way to wrap up the weekend. I’m so glad Mark and Rachel were able to visit for the weekend and can’t wait to see them again!

Fun and Chaos in the Nance Household

This last weekend was… interesting… it was the strangest mix of fun moments and times of chaos! Alright, “chaos” might be a bit of a stretch, but wait to hear about all of the events first before you judge…

Fun: Friday afternoon, two of my co-workers Priscilla and Annaliz came over for some girl time. Since we’re now in December and I’m obsessed with Christmas, this meant baking and decorating holiday cookies, watching Elf and having a champagne drink called The Poinsettia. Priscilla stayed for dinner for some homemade pizza and then an evening at Trinity for the annual Christmas Concert. All in all, a great day!

Cookbooks for the afternoon

Cookbooks for the afternoon

Christmas sugar cookies

Christmas sugar cookies

Ready to decorate some sugar cookies

Ready to decorate some sugar cookies

Trinity Christmas Concert

Trinity Christmas Concert

Priscilla and I enjoying the concert

Priscilla and I enjoying the concert

The best seats we've ever had for the Christmas concert

The best seats we’ve ever had for the Christmas concert

One of my favorite parts to the concert - the audience sing alongs

One of my favorite parts to the concert – the audience sing alongs

Fun: Chip and I started Saturday off with some time at the gym. It wasn’t completely fun the whole time (I was pretty worn out by the end!), but we enjoy going to the gym together whenever we can to encourage each other. For our breakfast afterwards, I thought it would be fun to make some homemade blueberry pancakes together for the first time (my cookbook Healthy in a Hurry had a really good recipe I had been wanting to try out). Chip decided to add to our breakfast with some eggs and bacon. Our own brunch feast!

Chaos: We have a smoke detector right outside our kitchen. Yes, it goes off occasionally. No, we’ve never actually had a fire or seriously burnt anything, but it will go off every now and then. We’ve learned that if one of us fans it quickly with a kitchen towel, it will stop its screeching within a few seconds. Now one thing to know about Chip is that he has (strangely) sensitive ears, resulting in an apparently rather unbearable situation for him whenever the smoke detector goes off. So when it went off not once, not twice, but multiple times in a span of 5 minutes Saturday morning, he lost his cool. I love my husband dearly, but I couldn’t help but laugh at how funny I thought he was being over the smoke detectors (he thought his behavior was mostly justified). All I can say is, Chip deserves an Oscar nomination for how dramatic he was being and Wrigley would receive the supporting role nomination. Our smoke detectors were going off and Chip was saying things like “Those detectors clearly don’t work, there’s no smoke, I’ll save our lives when I see smoke,” “Breakfast is ruined, I don’t even want to eat now” and one of my favorites “This isn’t a kitchen, it’s a room of destruction.” Now while Chip was waiting for his Academy Award, the high-pitched noise was also too much for Wrigley too bear, although that’s a bit more understandable since I’m sure that sound was piercing his giant bat-like ears. Wrigley has developed a habit of doing things he knows are bad whenever he’s unhappy and being scared is a great example of a time he’s unhappy. So when I went to open the backdoor to see if that would help our smoke detector calm down, Wrigley ran out with one of our shoes, shaking it around in frustration in the backyard and running around like a fool. Thanks, Wrigs. To make matters worse, the smoke detectors across the house by our bedroom also started to go off, so we had to tag time fanning the different detectors to shut them up. We then turned on every fan in the house and shut off all of the stovetop burners as well as the toaster oven that was cooking the bacon and waited for whatever small smoke signals to clear off. I then slowly and carefully finished cooking breakfast which Chip sat in the living room with Wrigley, complaining over the finicky smoke detectors. Thankfully both Chip and Wrigley were much happier without the loud beeping and some blueberry pancakes and bacon in their stomachs.

Fun: Saturday was the Tamale Festival at the Pearl Brewery. We had never been before, but had heard great things about all of the food. We also thought it would be fun to take Wrigley along with us for the afternoon (such a spoiled pup getting some pancakes, bacon and tamales in one day!). It didn’t take us long to try out several different kinds of tamales as well as a tres leches cupcake and a bean and cheese cup. We were feeling pretty full and needed a break in the eating before returning to more of the booths. I saw a patch of grass and thought it would be fun for us to just hang out there with Wrigley for a little bit and that’s when chaos struck again…

Chaos: Immediately after sitting down next to Wrigley, he starts sniffing around and being the little alpha-male that he is, he lifts his leg to mark his territory on the grass… a bit too close to me! I won’t go into any further details here, but needless to say, I wanted to go home afterward.

Mariachis at the tamale festival

Mariachis at the tamale festival

One word: yum

One word: yum

Lots of people at the tamale festival

Lots of people at the tamale festival

Wrigley really liked the tamales

Wrigley really liked the tamales

Fun: We spent the rest of Saturday afternoon running some errands (including buying a super cute dress for the Redeemer Christmas party on Sunday!) and came home to finish up our homemade pizza for dinner. While having dinner, we spent who knows how much time watching episodes of Duck Dynasty. We really can’t get enough of this show! My personal favorite Robertson is Jase, although Si does keep things entertaining.

Chaos: While getting ready for church Sunday morning, I just about had a panic attack… I found my first gray hair. I am not exaggerating when I say I came storming into the kitchen where Chip was making breakfast and asked him if he saw a gray hair. After pulling it from my head, he tried hiding it from me but I eventually got the proof. I shouldn’t be too surprised, my dad’s side of the family gets gray hair pretty early, but I didn’t think it would be this early! If you ask me, 25 is too young for that. I then spent the rest of the morning utilizing one of my other Lopez genes – being completely dramatic (I started planning my early retirement… this is clearly the end! :)).

Fun: Sunday evening was the Redeemer Christmas party! We joined some of the other Young Professionals at the church for some appetizers and wine before making our way for the dinner and dancing at the Westin Riverwalk. We had been to the Redeemer Christmas party twice before, but as guests of the Pomeroys and Behams, so this was our first time as official members of the church… woo! We had a great time and can’t wait to go again next year!

Ready for the Christmas party!

Ready for the Christmas party!

At the Westin Riverwalk

At the Westin Riverwalk

Place setting for dinner

Place setting for dinner

And that was the end of our weekend… Fun: 5. Chaos: 3. Fun wins.

Thank you, ACS

It’s no secret that Chip and I love dogs. We have Wrigley and have been fostering Duke since February. I’m pretty sure I blog more about dogs than anything else. So it’s probably no surprise that when we noticed a friendly stray on our street, we didn’t hesitate to start feeding him. Chip teased me as I plotted how to take care of this dog (if we didn’t already have Wrigley and Duke, I’m sure we would have found a way to take him in!). He was extremely thin but would approach people when called and encouraged. So my plan was to keep feeding him until he put on some weight (make him more easily adoptable) so I could take him to a shelter where he would hopefully find a home. One of our other neighbors had also been feeding him and giving him water, so I felt like this plan would work.

That is until a couple of days ago when I spoke to our neighbor about this dog and she let me know that she was planning to take him to the vet to have him put down. I was shocked. Yes, this dog was terribly underweight; it was pretty clear he had lost a lot of weight fast since his skin was saggy in different places. Yes, it looked like he had mange, but that’s treatable with the right medicine. His teeth looked in such great condition that I figured he had to be young, he was just down on his luck. I wasn’t going to let this guy go without a fight. So after talking to our neighbor a bit, I asked her for some time to try calling the shelters to see if we could take him somewhere.

Unfortunately, I had trouble getting a hold of any place since the next day was 4th of July and businesses were closed. So yesterday, I came home early to work the rest of the day from home (thanks, Ashley!) and saw the stray wandering around again. I fed him a couple of bowls of dog food, which he scarfed down. After he ate, he laid beside me where I was sitting and rolled over for a belly rub. I couldn’t believe it. I pet him for a little bit and when I stopped, he nudged my hand up, wanting to be pet some more. He had clearly been with people before, yet here he was left to fend for himself. I talked to him a little bit (yes, I’m one of those people that talks to dogs and believes they understand in some way) and let him know that we would try to find him a home and get him to a shelter in the next day or two. I gave him some water and went back inside to get some work done.

After a couple of hours, I noticed our neighbor trying to get the dog into her car. I went over to her house to see if she needed some help since it didn’t seem like he could jump into her SUV when she told me she was taking him to the vet to get put down. He had developed a limp, so she thought he might have been hit by a car and felt terrible seeing him in pain. After talking to her for a bit, we agreed that I would take him in my car to the Humane Society to see if they would take him first. If not, I would see what the vet right by our house would do and hope that they would know of a foster. With that, I got Duke’s old slip on leash he came with, and got it easily on this sweet stray. It did take a bit of effort to get him in my car. He walked up to it fine, but when he realized we were trying to get him inside he panicked a bit. He started to back up and pull away and started to howl. We stopped and gave him some treats to encourage him to try again. We got closer this time but he wouldn’t get in the car. I wasn’t sure if we would be successful and realized that the only thing we might be able to do is walk him down the street to the vet and hope for the best. I didn’t want to give up just yet, so we tried one last time with our neighbor on one side of the car gently pulling the leash to guide him in and me lifting his back paws up to get him into the car. We finally got him in and he quickly settled himself down on the towel we had laid out for him.

With that, I drove over first to the Humane Society. Since he’s so gentle and trusting, I wanted to see if he was by chance microchipped and we could at least call his owner (in which case I would definitely have a few choice words to share!), but unsurprisingly he wasn’t chipped. The Humane Society was already at capacity and since this dog has mange, they didn’t have a space where they could quarantine him. So we had to try another shelter. They gave me a list of other places to call, so we got back into my car (he smelled his towel and walked right in this time) and sat there in the air conditioning while I called other places. At this point, my mom was involved and helping (had to call for reinforcements! :)). Despite between a couple of states away, it meant so much to me that she was searching the internet for other places and sending me their numbers.

I’ve always known that San Antonio has a terrible pet overpopulation and that thousands of cats and dogs get put down each year. In case you don’t understand how much of a problem, chew on this stat: in 2010, 18,000 pets were put down. Yes. 18,000. I love San Antonio, but this city has a serious attitude and responsibility problem. Pets are not disposable, yet so many people abandon their pet if things “aren’t working out” or if they move and won’t find the responsible thing to do with their animals, like find a friend to take them in or even take them to a shelter (case in point, the people that owned our home before us left behind their cats. Lucky for them our neighbors had pity on them and have been taking care of them for years). Our city also needs to become more responsible and enforce spaying and neutering more strictly so we can have less abandoned puppies and kittens left to themselves. Now that I am done ranting, I will continue with this story…

I called just about every shelter and rescue group in San Antonio, Boerne and Fredericksburg with no luck. They were all over capacity or couldn’t take dogs with mange or had a two week wait period or would require him to pass a health test. I sat there in my car while this stray napped in the backseat and realized that I may not be able to save him. I realized that maybe all I could do for him was be his friend and hold him while a vet put him down since that would be something I wouldn’t let him face alone. With that, I lost it and started crying in my car, frustrated that no one could help this dog. Luckily at that point, Chip called me back. I had been trying to call ACS since we got back in my car but hadn’t had any luck and instead had been on hold for a while. But Chip somehow had someone answer right away and they said they would take this stray in. Finally someone agreed to help him!

We made our way over to ACS and the dog followed me in timidly into the receiving building. I signed us in and we sat in the little waiting area. When I sat down and this sweet dog followed suit, putting his head in my lap. I started to pet him and he eventually relaxed and laid down. Once they called me into the back room, we put the dog into a large crate while I spoke to one of the staff members. She checked the dog’s teeth and confirmed that this dog couldn’t be over a year and a half in age. She was just as shocked as we were that someone had left him behind and that he had been living on the streets. She took a bunch of notes on him and his sweet temperament to include in his little information card. She also felt that he looks like he has some German Shepherd in him, so she sent a note shortly after to the German Shepherd Rescue organization. With that, I got ready to leave. I pet this pup one last time and left.

He only has until Sunday morning for someone to adopt him before he gets put down. So we may not have completely saved his life, but we gave him a chance. I’m hopeful that someone will come by this weekend and fall in love with his floppy ears and long, wagging tail and foster or adopt him. He’s a gem, and deserves to be given a second chance. So SA friends, if you’re interested in helping him in some way, please go visit ACS (his reference number is A220578). And thanks to ACS for taking him in and trying to help him find a new life.

Standing outside our neighbor’s house

Enjoying some dog food

Walking towards me after getting some food

In my car on the way to ACS

Six Flags Fiesta Texas

After a busy start to June, Chip and I got to spend part of last weekend with some of his family that we hadn’t seen since Christmas. Saturday morning, Chip’s mom drove in with her husband Don, their granddaughter Julianne and Chip’s brother Dale. They still live in Corpus Christi (where Chip is originally from), which is about a two hour drive from San Antonio. Sue and Don hadn’t seen our house since we bought it last spring, so we were happy to show them the place we call home. They got in town early in the morning and we got the day started by having breakfast at the new location for Magnolia Pancake Haus, which is closer to our home and also on the way to Six Flags Fiesta Texas which is where we were going to spend most of the day.

Day at Six Flags Fiesta Texas

We got to Fiesta Texas shortly after they opened and were surprised at how crowded it already was. It seemed like the rest of San Antonio had the same idea we did! We spent most of the morning and early afternoon going on different rides with Dale, who definitely enjoys a good rollercoaster, while Sue and Don took Julianne to the water park and on the different kid rides. All of the lines were pretty long, but the waiting was worth it! We got to go on the new ride, SkyScreamer, and also rode the Superman (definitely one of our favorites!), Road Runner Express and the Twister. By early afternoon, the heat was getting to be a bit too much, so Chip, Dale and I left the park to go get food for dinner while Sue, Don and Julianne spent some more time in the kid-section of the park.

We had already bought most of the food needed to grill fajitas for dinner, we just needed to go pick up the meat. For those in San Antonio looking for good, tasty fajita meat, look no further than Bolner’s Meat Market. Hands down some of the best fajitas we’ve ever had. Their meat is pre-seasoned and super easy to grill. Needless to say dinner was delicious and went perfectly with another one of our homemade gelatos and homemade chocolate chip cookies that Sue and Julianne made! The day was busy, but we had a great time with Chip’s family. We’re grateful they made the drive over to see us!