El Mercado

With special thanks to Slice of Life for giving writers inspiration, space, and voice

Slice of Life Day 10 of 31: Journeys (my theme for March)

After a bowl of chili for lunch at the Buckhorn Saloon in downtown San Antonio, I ventured over to the Market Square (El Mercado) to continue my hunt for a Texas Bluebonnet bracelet to remember my trip.  Shops were lined up clear down the brick-laden path, but they all seemed to have the exact same items:  blanket shawls, boots, vests, cowhide leather items, and touristy souvenirs like shot glasses and magnets – not exactly what I was in the market for.

El Mercado

Finally, I saw the sign I’d been hoping to see:  Silver Jewelry.  I hastened my pace to escape the brisk wind and opened the door to go in, but a police officer stopped me.  They were recording something that looked like a commercial or news clip inside, and I could see through the large glass windows a woman with a microphone in front of a big camera, interviewing a man with a giant lizard on his left arm as he stroked the scaly creature from head to tail with his right hand as if it were a napping lab puppy. 

In my heart, I heard the good Lord saying, “Not here, not today.”  I listened – something I’ve been doing a lot more lately since adopting listen as my one not-so-little word for 2022. The bracelet is still out there, safe and sound, somewhere, until I find it and know this is the one.  

Coffee from Mi Tierra

There was a perfect cup of coffee for me, though.  I’d heard Mi Tierra was “the best place in San Antonio” to eat authentic Mexican food.  Though I’m not a top fan of Mexican cuisine and I had no desire to wait in line for a table, I did brave the long bakery line for a few sweet treats and a cup of coffee to go.  I held the cup of coffee in both hands, letting its warmth radiate through me as I made my way back down the wind tunnel alleyway to wait on the bus.  In warmer temperatures, I might have visited the Botanical Gardens or the San Antonio Zoo, but these cold and windy conditions prevented any enjoyment of being outdoors.  I went back to the room to write for the rest of the day.

Sometimes a discovery comes later, even after the trip is over, as it did when I found a whale’s tail bracelet in Savannah, Georgia to help me remember my trip to Gloucester, Massachusetts. I am holding out hope for a bracelet with a Texas bluebonnet on it, but what I love most is the quest – – having an idea and watching it take twists and turns, requiring my patience, sharpening my observations, heightening my awareness, and then often ending up with something completely different from my initial vision. I usually discover something better. A quest for a bracelet is mostly just an inexpensive, fun travel scavenger hunt that doesn’t require a win, yet it reminds me of all those prayers I’ve ever prayed that took asking and asking and asking and being patient and being patient and being patient and then God revealed a better plan – a gentle redirection that what I’m in the market for is not always what He has for me.

Today, I give thanks that I can enjoy the sights and feel the warmth that can only be appreciated along with the bite of frigid temperatures.

The bakery case at Mi Tierra Restaurant in El Mercado
Brownie with nuts from Mi Tierra
Mi Tierra’s festive atmosphere

Job 37:9
“Out of the south comes the storm,
And out of the north the cold.

9 Replies to “El Mercado”

  1. I, too, adore a quest…so intrigued to see where this one for the bracelet leads, I also love coffee and letting the warmth radiate from the cup…your details are so vivid that I feel I am living this journey with you. And this revelation, in light of prayers: “what I’m in the market for is not always what He has for me” – a profound truth, Kim, magnificently put.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. San Antonio was my escape while attending UT Austin. I would head to the mall or the Riverwalk by myself, get lost and find my way again. Your post brought back good memories, and a desire to return; I haven’t headed south in awhile!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Texas Bluebonnets in Texas Hill Country will be blooming by the end of the month, and I wanted so badly to see those real and in person, but I was there before blooming season. Oh, what a beautiful escape – I would love to return, rent a Jeep, take my camera and tripod, and just take pictures of all the flowers blowing in the warm wind at sunset. You, my friend, are blessed!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What was going on in that shop, with the guy with the lizard!? Your description was tantalizing. How I would like to know more! You’ve also got me thinking about delicious treats – how beautiful those goodies look. This line is heavenly; how I would like to write this right now: “I went back to the room to write for the rest of the day.” Lucky you! Enjoy your journey!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sometimes we wear ourselves out trying to fill each day w/ activities while traveling. I’m trying not to do that, to be more intentional w/ my choices. All the food looks amazing, and next time I’m in Texas, I’m hunting for a bluebonnet bracelet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m still learning. That travel clock is still like gold to me, each moment like a drop of premium fuel these days. I need to take a trip with you so I can learn your ways. I grab for too much going and doing when I’m traveling- like a Black Friday shopper. I need to savor and not binge.


  5. Kim,
    It was another relaxing trip today to San Antonio. I love the photos and video. I hope someday I will be at Mi Tierra for my favorite cuisine! I would definitely want to have the whole meal. Nice post.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow! What a trip! Thanks for bringing me there. (I’m craving something sweet after looking at those baked goods.) I went to San Antonio for NCTE in 2008. I was only given a day off from school so I had to fly out on Friday morning and return on Sunday afternoon. That didn’t give me much time to see the city like you did. I need to go back!

    Liked by 1 person

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