June 29-July 14, 2011: A Trip to Florida (with Tyger)
April 5-19, 2011: A Trip to Florida
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Page Index

Guy's Birthday Party
Dinner at Zinc
At Ruckman Haus
Dinner at Paloma Blanca

May 7-10, 2011
Guy's Birthday in San Antonio


 

Guy Blair is nearing the end of his sabbatical in San Antonio; he will be leaving for Chamberlain, SD, sometime in early July. For his last birthday in San Antonio for a while, Prudence and Ron and a bunch of people from Guy's old church have gotten together to plan a surprise birthday party for him. Prudence asked us to come down as well, so we are going to do that. To throw Guy off the scent, we have been telling him that while we would like to join him in San Antonio around his birthday, we have already made plans to be out-of-town, and we sent him a birthday gift. Ron didn't want us to arrive until the afternoon of the party, so we headed down to San Antonio Saturday to arrive about three.


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.

 

Guy's Birthday Party at Ruckman Haus

As I said, we got to Ruckman Haus about three, Prudence put us up in the Luxembourg Room and we set about helping Ron and Prudence get everything ready for the party.


Fred got the East Garden in shape and I ran errands, finishing up with the task of getting the vinyl banner put up on the railing by the garage apartment. Karl helped me do that. Meanwhile, Prudence and Nancy were getting the food set out, and I helped them with the ice and drinks. By the time the first church folks arrived, we were all ready. Some of them brought more covered dishes, and by seven o'clock, everything was just about ready and most of the celebrants had arrived, when one of the church families brought Guy over.

From what I could tell, he was very surprised, and had no idea that anything big was being planned. And when Fred and I walked up behind him and tapped him on the shoulder, I think he was genuinely astonished that we were there, too.

Both Fred and I took lots of pictures during the party. I'll admit that other than Ron and Prudence, Nancy and Karl, Guy, and Carolyn Jensen (a friend of Ron and Prudence's that we have met a number of times), neither Fred nor I knew many of the folks there. So we'll just include a representative sample. I'll label them as I can, and you can click on as many of the thumbnails below as you wish to view the full size pictures. First of all, here are the best of Fred's candid shots taken throughout the evening:


Rather than duplicate Fred's candids, I tried to get as many people as possible to pose in groupings so that Guy might have a record later of most of the celebrants. Click on the thumbnails below to see these pictures:


At Guy's Birthday Party
I am wandering around on the East Garden Patio filming some of the guests at Guy's birthday party.


Singing "Happy Birthday" to Guy
I caught the last part of "Happy Birthday" and Guy cutting the cakes for dessert.

 

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Dinner at Zinc Bistro and Bar


The Zinc Bistro and Bar is one of Ron & Prudence's favorite places to eat. Prudence likes the food, and Ron likes the idea that if you get a table in the open courtyard, you can smoke cigars. So on the day after Guy's birthday party, that is where the seven of us (Ron and Prudence, Nancy and Carl, Fred and I, and Guy) went.

Zinc is convenient because there is a parking garage right across the street (although it's a little steep to park for the evening). It's on the ground floor of what appears to be a nondescript office building of about six stories. You walk through the long bar and then you find the inside dining room (actually behind the bar to your right through an archway). You can continue straight ahead to enter the outside courtyard. The courtyard, as you can see in the aerial view, is an L-shaped open area in the interior of a block of buildings, but Zinc uses most of it. There are trees for shade and it can actually be remarkably breezy and cool, even in summer.

We had a pleasant meal (this was the third or fourth time Ron and Prudence have chosen this place for a dinner out when we have been along), and Guy opened the birthday cards we had gotten for him. I took a few pictures this evening, and you can have a look at them if you click on the thumbnails below:

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At Ruckman Haus

On Monday morning, Ron Ruckman served us (and their B&B guests, a new breakfast dish- French Toast with Fruit. French Toast isn't new for him, but this morning it was made not with Texas Toast but with sliced artisan bread that he gets from a little bakery nearby. It certainly gave the French Toast a different taste and texture. The taste was very good- very different from plain bread (which is what Texas Toast really is). It just seemed more substantial. The texture was different also, as the artisan bread is denser and thus not as easy to cut and consume. The solution Ron discovered was to cut the bread somewhat thinner than regular Texas Toast- and it was a winner.

I suspect that Prudence will want to add this dish to the Cuisine page on her web site, and well she should.

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Dinner at Paloma Blanca


Dinner at Zinc
While we were waiting for the tableside guacamole to arrive, I made a movie both to introduce all the people here at dinner tonight, but also to show you what the courtyard seating area was like.

On Sunday night, two of Ron and Prudence's frequent guests joined us for dinner at Paloma Blanca, a Southwestern restaurant over on Broadway a few miles from Ruckman Haus. Karl and Nancy had gone back up to DFW, so it was just seven of us again.


I don't remember much about the guests, but I do remember that the dinner conversation was very animated. Fred was sitting beside me at one end of our table, so when I took pictures of the other folks, he doesn't appear. You can have a look at the two pictures I took at dinner if you click on the thumbnail images below:

Dinner was very good (we should come back here again sometime), and the next morning Fred and I headed back up to Dallas. It was another very nice visit with Ron and Prudence, and again we thank them very much for their hospitality.

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June 29-July 14, 2011: A Trip to Florida (with Tyger)
April 5-19, 2011: A Trip to Florida
Return to Index for 2011