Saturday, February 22, 2014

Say Hello, San Antonio!

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I arrived in San Antonio, just about lunch time.

Is there a better time than that?  The Riverwalk was not too far away – and there was Tex Mex on my mind, San Antonio style!

San Antonio is a great town for walking ----and there is interesting art to be found as well as great architecture in the buildings around the down town area.

Isn't this intriguing? It’s called the Torch of Friendship.  A gift to San Antonio by Mexican leaders to represent both friendship and roots many share in Texas and Mexico.  It's made of 50 tons of red steel, stands 65 ft tall and was shipped here in six pieces. 

We passed it on the way to the Riverwalk, making a beeline for our restaurant as tummies were rumbling.

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Casa Rio!

From what I understand about Casa Rio ((It’s amazing what you can learn by reading the back side of a menu!)) they have been in business, serving fabulous food to the locals and visitors since 1946!  It’s been continually run by family members since that time, and is a destination not to be missed.

Not only for the great food they serve, but for fun things you will find on the walls of the establishment ---These vintage ponchos really caught my eye and I had to ask our server about them.

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This one hung directly over our table.

I asked our server if the blouses were hand embroidered or if she knew anything about them.  She called them Ponchos –and didn’t know their origin, only that they were indeed old, and hand crafted in Mexico.

**Update**  This message just in from a reader, Josie:
Dear Bonnie,

The "ponchos" you refer to in your post are Huipils or Huipiles. They are found mostly in in the southern parts of Mexico. Each village had their own designs. I remember traveling through Oaxaxa and watching women do the weaving on backstrap looms.

My favorites are the ones with embroidery. If you visit Guatamala you will see many variations of the huipil. They are worn mostly by women but men also used to wear them.
Sadly, everyone dresses in western clothing now and the huipils only come out and are worn on some special occasions. The weaving and embroidery are a dying art.

I'm sure Google or Wikipedia might have more information.Thank you for your wonderful blog.

Enjoy your stay in San Antonio.
Josie CarraherAustin, Texas
Thank you for enlightening us, Josie!

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Close up of colorful yarn stitching!

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Isn’t this beautiful?

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Check out the gorgeous embroidery along the neck line!

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There were all different patterns and necklines, and most of these seemed to be made from squares or rectangles of fabric and worn loosely.

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Loved this one!  You’ve got to see the close up!

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The hand embroidered birds and flora where fantastic!

Who made these decorative articles of clothing?  What were they worn for?  Can you imagine someone stitching these by hand? They look machine embroidered, don’t they?  But they aren’t!

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Beautiful colors, and look at that detail!

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Hand stitched flowers, so real looking!

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This one looks like window curtains! LOL!

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Close up of the colors and the weave ---ART!

And yes, by this time I am sure I was annoying every one who was quietly sitting there trying to enjoy their lunches as I interrupted them, asking if they minded if I took photos of the ponchos on the wall – but if you don’t ask…you miss out!

I'm happy to find needlework wherever I can find it.

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Lunch was followed by a nice walk in the gorgeous afternoon along the river.

There are more photos to come.  Stay tuned!

It’s a beautiful weekend to be in the San Antonio area.  Today I’m headed up to New Braunfels to meet with the New Braunfels Area Quilters –there is a Star Struck workshop waiting to happen!

Have a great Saturday, Everyone!

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KaHolly said...

Well, my goodness, welcome to New Braunfels. I'm not a member of the guild and there's nothing about your visit on their website. Wish I'd paid better attn. and knew you were going to be here. Hope you enjoy your visit!

Celeste said...

Just moved from San Antonio to Miami and we miss it so. No quilters in Miami!
Enjoy your time there.

hjkranberry said...

Since I have family in San Antonio and visit there on a regular basis, I love the city and river walk. I have not been to Casa Rio, but will now definitely make it a point to get there on my next visit. I am a fan of
yours and will definitely make it a point to look for your next venture to Florida and hope to attend.

hjkranberry said...

Celeste, I have met some beautiful quilters in Florida and I'm sure there must be some in the Miami area. Hopefully as you get to know more people you will find them.

Diana in RR,TX said...

Love eating there but we normally eat outside. Will have to make a point of going inside to see displays on the wall. You had a beautiful day. I know we did just up the road!

Tracey Honig said...

Welcome to San Antonio!! You are quite the world traveler... I hope you enjoy your weekend here. Yes, the weather was perfectly ordered for this weekend too... {wink, wink!} looking forward to hearing about your class today, I really wanted to go...�� but, maybe next time. Casa Del Rio & the Riverwalk is one of our favorite hangouts too! Glad you enjoy it too!! Looking forward to hearing about your finds in New Braunfels too!! Enjoy the day!! ��
Tracey from Gillett, Tx

Sherrill said...

I LOVE the area--one of my favorite restaurants is in Gruene & it's the Gristmill. LOVE eating on the patios that overhang the river and watch tubers floating by. You feel like you're in the trees. SO pretty!!

Maria Call said...

Bonnie! I love love love Casa Rio, had wonderful meals there while visiting friends in San Antonio. So happy you are enjoying your work and your visit. And I have an absolutely wonderful photo to share with you, when I can get it uploaded. Guaranteed to make you burst out laughing very loudly. Muahh!


Barb H said...

Thanks, Bonnie, for sharing pix of the blouses or ponchos. The embroidery is exquisite! So glad this artwork is being preserved and displayed in the restaurant.

Claudia said...

This is my favorite hotel in San Antonio! My husband and I would go every year, the first weekend after the school year. Always requested the same room on the second floor with a balcony. Loved to walk around San Antonio, but loved to sit on the balcony and watch the people go by too! Have a great time. Almost finished with my Love Shack wall hanging.

Mary said...

Never been to Texas, so you are taking me places I'd not be able to see. Thanks!! Did you have an Evening workshop this time? Star Struck sounds perfect for Texas. Has the Quilt Show Episode been taped yet?

mascanlon said...

Oh thanks for the lovely photos. Will be in San Antonio on the river walk in 2 weeks. I put Cafe Rio on the list and I will be sure and go inside and check these out.

Anonymous said...

I hope you got to go to Las Colchas quilt shop, it's near downtown. It's a wonderful shop in an old house. I visited San Antonio last June and loved the city.
Nancy A.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bonnie - so glad to see the pictures of San Antonio - I lived there for many years, and miss it still! Have kids and grandkids there tho, so visit often. Wondered if you had plans to visit the Greater San Antonio Quilt Guild, but never saw any mention of it (I was one of the founders of GSAQG in 1980) Miss it too! Enjoy the weather before you have to return to winter with the rest of us! Love from Carol in Arkansas.

Pickles Quilting said...

I went to San Antonio last July, and oh my goodness....you must go to the Tower of the Americas. Breathtaking view! And my absolute FAVORITE thing to visit was Seaworld! So fun! I hope that you had a good time! -Brittany