This Society of Biblical Literature convention is the 43rd one for Jim. I have accompanied him for the last several years. It is always fun to stay in a nice hotel and explore a new city. It is possibly our last SBL convention. Jim had some facial pain (possible RA flare-up?) and we almost cancelled. He no longer has to sit through hours of possible Notre Dame appointment interviews; he rarely presents; and he is trying to resign from some of the boards he is on. Can he give up a 43 year habit? We shall see!
We are in the Hilton Palacio del Rio. It was constructed in 1968 in a record 202 days in a modular fashion. It looks like it from the outside--a big, boxy hotel. However, it has the trendiest, most efficient elevators we have ever encountered. You program it outside the elevator bank and are told which one to access. There is virtually no wait but you do have to resist the impulse to push some button when you get in.
Saturday morning Google Map led me on a very lonely walk through an industrial part of town to the San Antonio Museum of Art. I very much enjoyed the Latin American emphasis and then chose a more picturesque walk back along the Riverwalk.
We spent Saturday afternoon watching Notre Dame's football team lose a 17 point lead to Virginia Tech.
Sunday morning I heard Justin Strong, a graduate student in our church group, give his paper on Lazarus and the Dogs. I was the woman in the back row grinning with pride. On the way back, I stopped in at mass in St. Joseph's Church, built in the mid-19th century by German-American settlers.
In the afternoon, Jim and I enjoyed a stroll through Hemisfair Park following a branch of the Riverwalk. The Notre Dame reception in the evening is always a good chance to meet former students but the crowded, hot and noisy conditions are exhausting.
We have eaten well here! Schilo's Deli with its ample pours of wine and great bread pudding, Guadalajara Grill with a beauitful margarita, and Rosario's with pollo con mole--plus the bountiful free breakfast buffets because we are loyal to the Hilton brand--we need to get those 10,000 steps a day and we have done that plus more.
The weather has been beautiful--sunny and warm enough during the day with cooler nights. We've had meals with the Reas, the Schreibers, Kindy DeLong and Dan Machiela.
Later this afternoon, Jim will attend a memorial service for Peter Flint, a former student, who passed away this month at age 65.
And then, tomorrow it's a long trip home.