April 28, 2001: Mom Moves to The Bentley
April 7-8, 2001: In the Wichita Mountains
Return to the Index for 2001


April 13-15, 2001
A Visit to San Antonio


This is going to be a year of visits to San Antonio. The reason is the work that Ron and Prudence are doing to turn the house they bought into a functioning bed and breakfast business. We might not be able to help much, but it is nice to be there and see the transformation.


Getting to the Ruckman's House

You've probably seen a map of the route from Dallas to San Antonio before. It is pretty simple, for once you get on the Tollway south from my house, and merge onto I-35 South, it is a straight shot for about 280 miles all the way to downtown San Antonio. See the map below, left.

Once in downtown San Antonio, all you have to do is follow I-35 South until you come to the exit for San Pedro Avenue. Once off the expressway, you just take San Pedro Avenue north.

Finally, you just take San Pedro Avenue by San Pedro Park on your left, and, one block past the park, you turn left onto French Place. Prudence and Ron have bought the house at the end of the first block on your right.

Our visit this weekend has multiple purposes. First, they have asked us to come down to see how things are going. Although no rooms are even close to finished, we'll again be throwing our sleeping bags down in one of the incomplete ones.

Second, Ron and Prudence, having been dealing with construction since late last year, and are ready to take another weekend to go off and do something not connected with the house.

Third, we like to take every opportunity we can to see our friend, Guy Blair, who is the priest at San Francesco di Paola in downtown San Antonio. You may recall that I introduced him to Ron and Prudence some months ago, and Fred and I are quite pleased that the three of them have become fast friends.


The Transformation Continues

We got to the Ruckman's house Friday night- and this time there was a bed for us in the English Room.

Ron and Prudence

On Saturday, the first thing we did was look all around the house to see what's been accomplished. Outside, the biggest change is on the west side of the house where the new deck is well on its way to completion. You may recall seeing just a piece of the framing last time we were here, but now it is mostly completed. The overhang roof isn't done, but in another week it should be pretty much finished. It is going to be a great place to sit and relax.

Inside, quite a lot has been accomplished. Right inside the front door, the stairs have been reinforced and refinished, and aside from painting and a runner with brass tie-downs, it is pretty much done. All of the other rooms have had significant work done to them, most particularly the Sun Room. That view looks east from the area just inside its doorway- through the dressing area to the sitting area. You can see that a new spiral stairway has been installed; this will lead up to the rooftop deck, which is not yet done. There is just a sliding cap up there now, and a pretty bare flat area, but you can get up to have a look around. I think the Sun Room will prove to be a favorite.

The renovation of the Luxembourg Room, which will be the smallest of the rooms, is also well underway. The framing for the cabinetry has been put in, and the tilework in the bathroom is completed. This room has windows that look north. You can see this work in progress here.

At the top of the second flight of stairs is the former attic of the house, and it has been transformed into a suite. There had to be modifications to the roof line to raise it in one spot, and the construction people had to work around some load-bearing columns and the chimney. The suite will be L-shaped with the sides running north-south and east-west. In the corner of the "L" is the new bathroom; on one side there is the dressing area and main bedroom area and on the other is an area that will have a daybed and sitting/reading area. Click on the links below for views of these areas in progress:

Dressing Area and Bedroom
Daybed Area (and looking downstairs)

There were a few more pictures that we took in and around Ruckman Haus that I want to include here. One is the main entry, which is reached via walkways from both French Place and Breeden Street. The work on the West Deck is complete, and there is a new gate at the back of the deck- just by the back door off the kitchen. Inside, I took a picture from the top of the stairs looking down into the entry hall.


Around San Antonio

Whenever we come down, Ron and Prudence like to get away from the house (since construction on the weekend only occupies Saturday morning).

On Sunday, we went up to the town of Gruene, which is about twenty-five miles north of San Antonio on the way to Austin. Gruene is a charming little tourist town that dates back to the mid-nineteenth century. It is the home of Gruene Hall, which was built in 1878 by Henry D. Gruene and which bills itself as "the oldest continually run dance hall in Texas."

We were up there by lunchtime, and found a little restaurant for a bite to eat. We drove down to the river to have a look at the many tubers that were going downriver and then wandered around the town for a while. You can click on the thumbnails at left to have a look at the pictures we took around Gruene this afternoon.

Late Sunday afternoon, after we'd returned to the house, Fred and I had to head on back to Dallas, since tomorrow is a workday for both of us. We were pleased to see how much progress Ron and Prudence are making on the house, and we hope it continues.

You can use the links below to continue to another photo album page.

April 28, 2001: Mom Moves to The Bentley
April 7-8, 2001: In the Wichita Mountains
Return to the Index for 2001