San Antonio| The Saga | San Fernando Cathedral 

It’s Downtown Tuesday in San Antonio today and I’m sharing one of my favorite downtown sights with y’all. On pretty much any weekend night and Tuesdays, in the Main Plaza of the San Fernando Cathedral, you’ll stumble upon a crowd gathered to view a video art installation on the Cathedral. There’s always amazing things to do in this city. San Antonio The Saga is a beautiful must for residents and tourists, and it’s free!

  

  

Created by artist Xavier de Richemont, you will see his interpretation of the history of San Antonio and Texas. This show has been projecting on the Cathedral front since 2014. It shows every Tuesday, and weekend nights. Runs almost half an hour long, with start times of: 9 PM, 9:30 PM, and 10 PM. Again, this is one of my San Antonio favorites, and anytime I’m downtown around the show times, I’m there. So if you’re downtown on one of these days go check it out! 

XOXO,

Sydney Charming 

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Taste Texas: Castroville: Haby’s Alsatian Bakery

A deliciously delightful Texas must stop, Alsatian bakery on the drive home. I’ve mention plenty of times before that I am from the city of San Antonio, but my Mom’s family’s hometown is D’Hanis, Texas. Located slightly southwest of San Antonio, a beautiful Texas country side drive down Highway 90. 

 Some thing else I may not have mention, I went to elementary school outside of the city, in the first charming small town going down 90, Castroville. St. Louis Catholic School, now we’re talkin’ real small town, schooling. When I attended, there was only about 100 kids in the entire school. So one class of about 15 to maybe 20 students for each grade level. Yep, I had the same classmates every year. Well, one of my favorite Texas bakeries, was just down the street and around the corner from my school. (Actually, everything in this town is basically down the street and around the corner.) 

    

Last week my Mom and I were driving through town and stopped by. We ended up sparking a petty good conversation with the friendly staff and customers. “The meat market down the street, Dzuiks, how do you pronounce the name?” Everyone pronounced it differently. “The ‘D’ is silent.” “No, the ‘Z’ is silent.” “I’ve always pronounced it with a ‘J’ sound.” I guess next time I’m passing through I’ll have to stop by for some deer jerky and ask the staff. 

 Haby’s Alsatian Bakery! Castroville is a French-Alsatian settled town. Founded by Henri Castro, in 1844. A lot of the original settlers from Alsace, influence is still visible today. Haby’s has an assortment of fresh baked pastries. So delicious, light, fluffy, and sweet. They also bake cakes for every occasion. Oh, the oatmeal raisin cookiesare my favorite! 

 

A Family Tradition: Quinceañera

I remember turning 14 and my mom asking me if I wanted to have a quinceanera. (These extravagant birthday parties take about a whole year in advance of planning.) “No thank you,” I replied. I was a really shy kid. A crowd of people watching me attempt a dance. Nope.

 One of my cousin’s recently had her Quinceanera in our family’s hometown of D’Hanis, Texas. Emily has grown into a beautiful lovely young lady. I remember there was quite a big scare when she was born. Her mother is my second cousin. (It’s weird cause she looks much like my mom but she’s family so that makes sense.) Anyway, my cousin Donna went into labor at just a mere 25 weeks of pregnancy. I remember Emily was so tiny. There was neonatal experts taking care of her.

 She made it through and now she’s 15 years old! I’m not really close with her but a birthday celebration is a huge milestone and it was amazing to see who she has become.

 She was surrounded by her parents, and school friends. She still seems kind of quiet and shy, just like I was.   Quinceaneras usually have a Mass at church, then a dinner followed by a waltz and then a dance for everyone to join in. While the finally set ups for the dinner were taking place we were entertained by some mariachis and a little dancing. I had to leave before the dance to get back up to Austin but again. I love getting celebrate and see how lovely of a little lady Emily has grown into. 

Taste Texas: San Antonio: Casa Rio

It’s the Riverwalk. It’s family. It’s delicious Tex-Mex food. It’s tradition. What else do you think of when you hear someone mention San Antonio’s Casa Rio? 

My mouth waters, my stomach hungrily grumbles, I feel all warm and fuzzy and I think of the countless memories eating there with my family.  I’ve mostly eaten on the patio, so I picture those iconic vibrantly colored table umbrellas along the river walk. Centrally located, it’s so easy to find. Commerce, “you know right by that big red sculptor, but go down stairs along the Riverwalk.”  If you’re from San Antonio you probably given directions like this.  My grandma and I usually order the Regular plate: “A Favorite Since 1946 – Cheese enchilada, tamale, chili con carne, mexican rice, and refried beans.” Did you read that? Do you see the picture? It’s so much food! Oh glorious Tex-Mex food!

The restaurant was established in 1946. Making this one of the oldest restaurant and businesses on the Riverwalk. They host private events and with their historic space and catering. They even have river barge dinners. Next time your on the Riverwalk of San Antonio, stop by enjoy the atmosphere with some delicious San Antonio Tex-Mex and maybe a margarita while the mariachis serenade you.  

Visit Casa Rio

Hello 2015 Inspire: The Best Is Yet To Come

Last night I said goodbye to the year 2014. I have to say it was a pretty good year. Saw snow for the first time, learned how to snow board, attended Music Fest 2014 in a never endings blizzard. Quickly learned I don’t like cold snowy weather.

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Started a new job, with one of the top tech companies. Finally moved into my studio and started living on my own … with no roommates. At first, all the changes were exciting and happening so fast. It was exhilarating becoming independent. You know, having my own place, doing whatever I wanted, not worrying about having pants or bras on, going to concerts and on hikes weekly, and paying my own BILLZ.

Austin is a great weird city, but after a few months of living here, I realized I was over the allure of the weirdness. Homesickness kicked in for tradition, rich culture, family and friends. Even though I mostly work Monday through Friday 9am to 6pm, I’m busy the entire time. I planned my grandma’s 80th birthday celebration from Austin.

In mid September I finally went home for a weekend to celebrate a few birthdays. I was really surprised how encouraging my friends and family were. They reminded me of all the hardships I went through, and that it was great that I was able to get away to make a better living for myself. Hearing those encouraging words from friends, and family helped me push through my homesickness. Occasionally, the homesick blues come and go.

One special person, really turned around my thoughts towards relationships, this year. If you’ve read some of my previous post, you’d know I run for the hills away from them. This person has been one of my best friends, can match my wit, but also encourages me to do my best in whatever I do. He’s by far the hardest working person I know and his success shows it. I admire him and I am also inspired. You know that phrase “don’t get to busy making a living, that you forget to make a life.” Although those last couple of months, of 2014, were probably his toughest for work, some how he managed to say hi to close friends and family every now and then.

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So going into 2015, I review some of my stats for this blog and I noticed some of the most viewed articles are about my faith. This year one thing I am focusing this blog on is to inspire. My Faith is what makes me who I am. Every article I write or picture board I post will be to inspire others. Not everything will be about faith, some about Texas, music, arts, culinary, and fashion. I encourage everyone to explore and find what ignites their passions and inspires them.

Every I take K-Love’s 30 day Challenge: To listen to nothing but Christian music for 30 days. It’s a great time of reflection and revelations for me. Some of my previous articles reveal a little about some of the hardships I have endured, over the years, and every year this challenge reminds me that walking by faith with God in my heart, I will overcome.

My job allows others inspiration to come true and sometimes make a good huge impact on the world or just for a one person. That inspires me to do my best in my work. Since I’m contracted one of my goals is to get directly hired. If that does workout, my alternate plan is to find a job back home in San Antonio. My family is everything to me and I never realized how close i was with them.

As you can probably see started writing this a few days ago and picked it up again today. Either way, hello 2015 my year to inspire.

Small Business Saturday: San Antonio’s Historic Pearl Brewery Shops and Montage

Black Thursday/ Friday chaos has finally ended. While most people are now eagerly awaiting Cyber Monday, yesterday was the annual Shop Small Business Saturday. I am so happy I got to spend the day in my hometown, well, city of San Antonio, Texas.

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The first half of my day was spent with my baby sister and the RowdyRoady Grillers, cheering on the UTSA Roadrunners Football team. They defeated North Texas, 27-34! Go Runners, Birds Up, and Congrats! Also congrats to the Rowdy Road Grillers landing a spot in the tailgate of the year competition. Even though they didn’t win this year, their grilling so delicious and juicy, it won on just their food for me. Also, shoutout to the UTSA Marching Band, loud and clear. Oh sweet music to this former band nerd’s ears. Woodwinds, Brasses, Percussionist, and Color Guard y’all were all fabulous.

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After the winning game, my sister and I decided to take a stroll on the grass or turf. The audience was invited down for a Fan Walk, once the players were cleared off the field. Then we headed back to the Rowdy Road Grillers for some more of that fantastic grilling before taken off.

Once our tummies were stuffed and happy again, we headed out to The Historic Pearl Brewery. Our goal? Ice cream. Where? Lick. There was a little bit of a long line but it only took about 5-7 minutes until we were at the front of the line.

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Lick Honest Ice Creams started in Austin, Texas. It’s actually just about two blocks down the street from my place. Since I’m usually busy working I rarely get to go. When I’m home, in San Antonio, I love strolling around the Historic Pearl area. Their ingredients are from local farms, and dairies around the Austin area, making their ingredients fresh and so yummy. I indulged in the “Texas Sheet Cake,” and “Pecans and Cream.” My sister, who rarely explores food outside of her comfort zone of hot wings, and pizza, tried “Roasted Beets and Fresh Mint,” and “Sweet Persimmions and Sage.”

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We wondered around, and while passing One Lucky Duck, I was tempted to run in and grab a “Berry Blue Shake”. It has blue-green Algae which is considered a super food because it’s packed with proteins, essential vitamins, amino acids, and antioxidants. Probably a great after Thanksgiving meals purge shake. Since I already filled up on ice cream, I decided to pass. I’ll be back!

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The last shop I went into was Adelante Boutique. It’s definitely charming, and chic. I walked in and thought “can this place just be my closet?” I would pin everything in there to my pinterest. Picked out this cozy cute gray and cream colored sweater with 3/4 sleeves. I tried it on and big mistake, cause it fit perfectly! So soft, cute and cozy chic, but out of my budget for now. Again, I’ll be back!

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Since we were in the area, I decided to stop by Montage Vintage. I found out about them through Instagram. They are a vintage up-cycle clothing boutique. Walking through I couldn’t just skim through and pick out one thing here or there. Pretty much every piece they have is unique and oh so glorious. I just had to look at every thing! Chandeliers, rustic frames and mirrors, made my hipster senses tingle with delight. I really wanted to pick up one of their “Francis Felt Fedoras in camel, I had seen on their Instagram account, but they were currently sold out. The theme of the evening, I’ll be back! I ended up picking up one of their “basic beanies” in gray and “knit beanies” in a maroon color.

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What a great day back home! I definitely encourage everyone to take the time shop small business when ever they can. These are gems you’ll treasure forever. Topping off my evening, a majestic sunset.

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