September 5, 2008: Steve Friedman's Birthday
August 9, 2008: The Mathis/Nabors/Tarradell Birthday Bash
Return to Index for 2008


August 24-27, 2008
A Trip to Ruckman Haus:
Prudence's Birthday


 

It is late August, and Prudence's birthday is coming up, so Fred and I have decided to drive down to San Antonio and help her celebrate it.

 

Getting to Ruckman Haus


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.

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 their bed and breakfast at the end of the first block on your right.
 

We Photograph Ruckman Haus


Although our main purpose in coming down this week was to help Prudence celebrate her birthday, she had another goal in mind as well.

As you may know, some years ago, when Ruckman Haus first opened, I did their web site. It wasn't very professional. We took all the pictures ourselves, and a lot of the house wasn't finished as nicely as it is now. There were no gardens back then, so they didn't appear at all. My coding for the site was simplistic; all I did was use basic HTML. Even so, the site got a lot of nice comments, and Prudence was quite satisfied with it.

But in the years since, not only have the rooms changed insofar as their decor is concerned, but there are new gardens, a new deck on the back of the house, and a new garage apartment for Ron and Prudence. In the last few months, as these projects have been completed, Fred and I have taken more pictures, and you may have seen some of these on earlier pages devoted to trips down here. But recently, Prudence has also had some professional pictures taken. And so now, at long last, she is ready to completely renovate the web site.

So one of the tasks we set for our four days down here was for Prudence and I to sit down together and lay out how we would like the new site to look. We surveyed a number of other bed and breakfast sites, and we looked at interesting page treatments from elsewhere on the Internet. We sorted through all Prudence's professional pictures, and picked the best of the ones that Fred and I have taken. We analyzed each picture and, if there were imperfections, or things that needed to be taken out or added in, we made note of them. And we wrote some new copy for the new additions to the house and gardens.

For the past two or three years, the site that I created has been hosted by a company in San Antonio that specializes in lodging sites, and Ron Huether, the owner, has made additions and changes as needed. But now, we will be doing an entirely new site. I will be laying it out and getting a working prototype up and running. Prudence will review everything, and make sure that the layout, the pictures and the narrative are to her liking. I have learned some more tricks to make the site easier to use and to make it look more professional and, as I write this in late September, the site is actually up in test mode on the Internet, and Prudence is making her final changes.

Once the site is done, I will ship all the materials over to Ron Huether, and he will standardize them into a more maintainable format, and also activate the hooks to Prudence's reservations system site. Sometime in October, when you surf to http://www.ruckmanhaus.com, you will find the new, renovated site.

I certainly won't bore you here with all the pictures that we took, but you may be interested in how the house looks now, and so I have put thumbnails for the six house pictures that Fred and I took below. They are really just different views of the front of the house, but you may want to click on a few of the thumbnails and look at some of them:

One of the new additions is the East Garden. It has been a work in progress for some time, and Prudence has worked diligently to make it a beautiful addition to the house. There is a new wrought iron front gate that you can see from the street, and through it you can see the garden stretching back towards the water feature. There have been some pictures of the garden on previous album pages, and soon you will be able to see more of them on the new web site.

 

Prudence's Birthday

Staying with Ron and Prudence during the time we were there was Isaiah, Ron's nephew, and we got a chance to do a bunch of stuff with he and them. For her birthday, Ron took the five of us to their favorite restaurant- The Palms- in downtown San Antonio. We had a wonderful meal and the restaurant supplied a cake for Prudence. Here is a picture of the five of us at dinner.

Our visit with Ron and Prudence was exceptionally nice, and we were sorry to have to drive back to Dallas on Thursday. But I have a lot of work to do on the new web site, and I had best get to it.



September 5, 2008: Steve Friedman's Birthday
August 9, 2008: The Mathis/Nabors/Tarradell Birthday Bash
Return to Index for 2008