Kicking off the year with biannual list of your favorite posts

The topics of posts you have been reading most over the last six months are wide-ranging. Concerns about the Alamo and Alamo Plaza tend to be remain your high priority, and the primary battle between Jerry Patterson and George P. Bush for Land Commissioner will keep these issues on the front page. I love it that you continue to help me promote Helen Madarasz as a ghost actively haunting Brackenridge Park.

The interest in our favorite restaurant in Budapest might arise not as much from regular followers as from Fricska’s loyal fans on facebook. San Antonio’s current Tricentennial Celebration seemed to send more people in search of “The San Antonio Song” written in 1907 by Williams and Alstyne. Thanks for your interest in my quest for a mini-Kate, and it makes me happy some of you heading to Guanajuato were aided by our restaurant suggestions.

So here’s your top 12, with the numbers in parentheses representing the rankings from six months ago:

  1. Dear Mayor and City Council: Please don’t surrender Alamo Plaza, 2017 (1)
  2. The Madarasz Murder Mystery: Might Helen Haunt Brackenridge Park?, 2012 (2)
  3. Postcard from Budapest, Hungary: Currently suffering from case of miss-you-Fricska blues, 2017

    Fricska Gastropub in Budapest

  4. Please put this song on Tony’s pony and make it ride away, 2010 (11)

    Chorus of “The San Antonio Song” written by the Tin Pan Alley pioneer team of Harry Williams and Egbert Van Alstyne in 1907: “San An-to ni An-to-ni-o. She hopped up on a pony and ran away with Tony.”

  5. Brackenridge Park: ‘Is it still a postcard place?,’ 2017 (4)
  6. What’s up top counts, 2017 (3)
  7. Thanks to the Mister on his day for persistence in obtaining my Mother’s Day present, 2017 (8)

    3-D representations of Kate

  8. Postcard from Guanajuato, Mexico: Wishing these dining spots were not 600 miles away, 2016 (6)
  9. Postcards from San Antonio a Century Ago, 2016 (5)

    San Antonio’s love affair with fresh corn tortillas is nothing new.

  10. How would you feel about the Alamo with a crewcut?, 2011 (7)
  11. Postcard from Campeche, Mexico: Sittin’ on Campeche Bay, 2017 (12)
  12. Postcard from Bergamo, Italy: Bidding Italy ciao, for now, 2017

    Bergamo, Italy

And the best part of number 12 on your list is that our bidding ciao to Italy “for now” appears accurate. Will be taking you there through pictures later in 2018. For now, though, delivery of postcards from the fall trip to Mexico City was delayed by the holidays. They will be dribbled out over the next month.

Thanks for dropping by periodically. Always welcome your feedback.

Thanks to the Mister on his day for persistence in obtaining my Mother’s Day present

I spied them in a shop window the first day we were in Valencia. Immediately, I wanted one. A mini-Kate. We really don’t have a current photo of an adult Kate hanging anywhere in the house, so why not go 3-D? Mother’s Day seemed as good an excuse as any for this unusual souvenir.

Kate and the Mister pointed out to me that some of the samples displayed in the window did not appear of high artistic quality, but I was determined a mini-Kate was needed. The only way to have convinced me otherwise would have been to tell me 3-D portraits were available in kiosks all over Austin. She texted her friends, and not a one had ever seen the product. Surely, I would be the first person on the block to have a mini-nina.

So Kate agreed, and we made an appointment. She stood frozen patiently on a rotating platform as the photographer clicked away.

The completed sculpture, the Russian proprietor referred to it in Spanish as a puppet, was scheduled to arrive before we left Valencia. I must confess, as both the Mister and Kate feared, I did envision carting mini-Kate around and posing her at landmarks around the city to text her the photos after her departure.

But mini-Kate failed to materialize in the shop until after we moved on to Budapest, so the photographer agreed to ship her to catch up with us there.

Mini-Kate did not fly first class to Budapest. The only protection provided her in the shipping envelope was a skimpy layer of bubble wrap. Her legs were shattered.

Suddenly the fun doll-like figure assumed an ominous aura. We could not tell Kate she was broken. I barely felt comfortable emailing her to make sure she was in one piece in Austin. Her legs didn’t hurt did they?

So the Mister began a series of emails in Spanish with the proprietor in Valencia. Did we sign for it before inspecting inside? The Mister pointed out we did sign for it, but we certainly could not read the fine print of the terms of acceptance in doing so as they were in Hungarian. And, did I still want one?

I did hesitate over the quality. If this statuette had been displayed in the window, unbroken, I would not have thought it remotely resembled Kate. Yes, I did want a fresh one, but could this one perhaps have red hair as clearly seen in the photos and maybe not appear as though someone had just slugged her in the face? I think the polite Mister translator communicated this more genteelly.

The new Kate arrived only two days before we left Budapest, but the project seemed cursed. This version is a little more becoming, but she still has no red hair and is more mini than the first, the size we ordered. More emails required of the resident Mister translator to adjust the pricing because of the discrepancy between the two sizes

There really was no time to take the new mini-Kate for a photo-op on the Danube, but I feared such an outing. Suppose she fell off the bridge? Plus, the Kates are fragile, not tough like Barbie dolls.

I could not bear to just throw the broken midi-Kate away, abandoning her in Budapest. That certainly would be unmotherly. The Mister was pressed into performing surgery.

So there are two residing in San Antonio. A mini-Kate and a patched midi-Kate. Kind of like Kate had a sister instead of being an only child. For now, the pair of Kates are standing tall among the cookbooks – a pretty safe spot given my increasingly lazy cooking habits.

I’m not planning on taking the delicate children on any trips, but we’d rather have the real maxi-Kate join us anyway.

Thanks for working so hard on this, Mister, and to Kate for being such a good sport.