We arrived in San Antonio the evening of Sunday, February 21st to a home cooked meal and a luxury suite equipped with a giant bathtub (which I took advantage of every night).
Day one in San Antonio was pretty laid back. Our main event of the day was performing at a children’s center in an apartment complex full of refugees from around the world. It was so wonderful to see such a diverse group of children growing up and playing together like brothers and sisters of one family. They really enjoyed the music and didn’t hesitate to sing along. Once their attention started to drift off we brought them back with a couple interactive games, followed by a fun drum lesson by Gustaff.
Day two Gustaff and I met up with our friend Larry for lunch. He treated us to some Texas BBQ. I had the BBQ Babyback Ribs, and took my time eating them, they were mind blowing. Afterwards we had a bit of time before our concert at the Baha’i Center so we checked out the historic Alamo and then the Mission Concepcion. They were both very pretty and I know there was a lot of history in them, but I just really enjoyed wandering through them and being outside more than anything. We did, however, get a quick fifteen minutes to check out San Antonio’s River Walk! This was my favorite site of the day. Through the heart of downtown below the streets runs the San Antonio River, and alongside it are these walkways with cafes and shops for people to relax and forget about the day. Every so often a boat would pass through taking people on a tour of the river and its surroundings. Sadly Gustaff and I had to get going because our parking meter was out of time, but I could have stayed there all day. Our next stop was the Baha’i Center where we locked our only set of keys in the van and had to call AAA to come and open it for us. They arrived 10 minutes before our show! The evening went really well with a nice sized crowd of around 30, including a fellow vagabond who is traveling by foot across America at the moment. He and I had plenty to talk about. Afterwards a group of us went for Mexican food at a 24 hour restaurant where we stuffed ourselves with fajitas.
Day three Larry invited Gustaff and I for a jam session at his home and a hike in the small canyon behind his neighborhood. He has a lot of musical experience and gave me tons of great tips to help fine tune my style and lyrics. It really inspired me to have someone look with an encouraging and critical eye at my work and give me such useful pointers to progress forward in my music. We got to go for a short hike and when we returned he pulled out his ripstik (a type of skateboard with a pivoting center piece) and a couple other unique looking scooters with three wheels that gave you the impression of skiing. He showed Gustaff and I up on all the toys, proving age was just a number (he’s in his 60’s). From there we went to the home we were performing a devotional concert at that night. We showed up a few minutes late due to insane amounts of traffic, but thankfully it didn’t cause any problem with the friends as they were just arriving too. We had a lot of fun getting to sing a few covers as well as originals, and shared a quote on equality between men and women from Abdu’l-Baha. Conversation and food filled the rest of the time. It was such a nice way to end another busy day.
Our fourth and final day there we met up with our Baha’i sister Julia who treated Gustaff and I to lunch, and then took us to the San Antonio Rodeo! Unfortunately the rodeo wasn’t going on until 7pm but we got to wander the grounds and check out the events that were going on during the day. It definitely felt like the true Texas stereotype was fulfilled. Our friend Martha joined us as well and she had a couple cowboy hats for Gustaff and I to wear… I think Gustaff pulled off the look better than I did. We had to cut it short in order to have time for dinner before our youth gathering/jam session that night at a local coffee shop called Mildfire Coffee Roasters. The crowd filled the small shop and many of them were familiar faces so they were comfortable singing along and playing drums or guitar with us for a more laid back and interactive evening. An old friend from my hometown who is now living in San Antonio showed up too which really topped off my night. We grew up playing soccer together, so when he invited me and Gustaff to play that evening in his co-ed league with him and his girlfriends team I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. So just as we thought our night was over we found ourselves strapping on some soccer boots at one of the colleges in town. It wasn’t a complete disaster thankfully, but we were definitely feeling it afterwards. The bodies just aren’t quite game ready anymore.
We rushed back to the home we were staying in once the game was over, attempting to get as much sleep as possible, since we were anticipating a lot of driving for the next couple days. We were definitely going to need it!