Wednesday, May 20, 2009

San Antonio

Sharon, Gaylene, Tracy and me in San Antonio

I just got back from a weekend in San Antonio with three of my sisters. It was my first time in Texas (unless you count layovers in airports) and I was a little nervous. I had a bad experience with a Texan stranger who seemed to have a problem with Californians when I was in college. The people seemed to be very nice, but I made sure to wear my NorCal shirt so as not to hide my true colors. I got over my initial reservations with the possibility of California hating and got down to the business of being on vacation with lots to see and do. First up was the Alamo. That was the main thing I wanted to do and it ended up being my favorite. I had read a book about the history of the Alamo before the trip so I would know why it was a significant place when I visited. I loved it!

The Alamo

Isn't it cool? We had great weather while visiting the Alamo, but just as we left it started to rain. So, we headed indoors to the mall so we could grab some lunch hoping the storm would blow quickly through. It didn't and, after a couple of hours in the mall (where Sharon must have cleaned out half the Gymboree store), we gave up and decided to brave the rain. We next headed to the Mexican market for a little shopping. I didn't really buy anything except a baby gift because I had had my fill of Mexican markets on our honeymoon in Mexico. But, it was fun and we ended up eating a great dinner there at a Mexican restaurant (that was the third stop at a Mexican restaurant so far and it was definitely not the last). On a sad note, we witnessed the death of two little ducklings while walking to the market. A mom and her 7 ducklings were swimming near the dam of the river. The mom stopped at the edge and the ducklings were just swimming right along the edge and all of a sudden, they all went over! We ran over to see the other side of the dam and only 5 little ducklings came back up. So sad!

Tracy, Gaylene and Sharon at the Mexican market

The next day was Sunday, so we rented a car for the day and decided to do all of the things that we would need a car for. We first went to church, but after that it was off for more great adventures. We went to another Mexican restaurant for lunch. This one was famous for its puffy tacos and, since Sharon was obsessed with having puffy tacos, we had to go. It was very tasty, especially the homemade flour tortillas. Mmmmm! After puffy tacos, it was off to the botanical garden. Botanical gardens are not my favorites, but there were some interesting things to see and it was an excellent opportunity to practice my fledgling photography skills. Actually, I don't really have any skills yet. I guess it was just an excellent opportunity to practice using our big kid camera. Anyway, I did love seeing the little pineapple plants and, of course, there was some goofing off.

Look at the baby pineapple! It's so cute!

Sharon, nearly invisible. Can you see her? I know, it's difficult.

That night, we switched from the habitual Mexican food and opted for some tasty BBQ. Rudy's BBQ had been recommended to us by several people and it did not disappoint. Mmmmm. I had to bring home some Rudy's rub for our next grilling adventure. After getting back to the downtown area, we went on a wild goose chase for a gas station. We searched high and low but were unable to locate a gas station until we finally stopped to ask where we could find one. Who knew that in downtown San Antonio gas stations would be so few and far between. During our search for a gas station, we stopped at Mission Concepcion, one of five missions in the Missions National Park (the Alamo is also one of the five missions). We had planned to rent bikes the next day and bike the mission trail to see all of the missions. However, we changed our plans and decided to get up a little early and drive to see all of the missions before we had to return the car. So, that's what we did and I thought the missions were pretty cool (for evidence of my strong like for historic missions, see this post). It ended up being a smart move to see the missions with our car because, as we drove away from the first mission, we were attacked by a small pack of dingos (read: two stray dogs). If we had been on bikes, there's no telling what could've happened to us.

Mission Espada

The four of us at Mission Espada

Mission San Jose

After the missions, we returned the car and then walked around this neighborhood which had all these old, historic houses. That was pretty cool. Then it was back to the hotel for a little swim in the rooftop pool. Very relaxing and I only got a little bit sunburned. After that we headed out to enjoy the riverwalk and to do some shopping. Sharon saw a pair of cowboy boots that she decided she needed. We loved the look of the cowboy boots with shorts when she was trying them on, so of course we had to get some pictures.

Sharon, in love with her cowboy boots. Lookin' good!

The Riverwalk

A doorway

We finished our shopping and walked along the riverwalk, soaking up our last evening of vacation. Then we found a restaurant for dinner and it was, you guessed it, Mexican! The trip back home was hell for me, but I'll leave that for another post. San Antonio was great! We had lots to do and lots to eat, but really we just had fun hanging out with each other. Hooray for vacation and hooray for sisters!


Kim said...

Sounds like a fun trip. However, I did notice a subtle theme throughout your post. But I won't be the tacky one to mention it. . .

LJ and DC said...

mmmmm I also heart missions and the Texan missions appear 10 times cooler than ours!

Dalene said...

What a fun, fun trip - and sans kids - how relaxing! I have never been to that part of Texas but I hear it is yummy and you sound like that is so. Yeah for you!

Dalene said...

Kim, what's the subtle theme? If it is the one of which I am thinking, there is nothing subtle about it. :-)

Cara said...

My mom is in love with her cowboy boots! :)

Anonymous said...

When Arthur and I were about to get married, I made him promise me that someday he'd take me to San Antonio...I don't know why, but I'm obsessed with visiting there. Great pics!!

Sharon said...

Let me just say, Maddie looks awesome in her new outfit. Gymboree was worth the stop. I'm glad you didn't get any pictures of my glamourous wipeouts. It was tons of fun! Good blog.

Ashlee said...

I wish I had sisters!

The Ontko Family said...

Mmmmm Rudy's! Two of my brothers live outside of Austin so we have come to love, appreciate, and crave TX BBQ. The Alamo was really cool, I was surprised, I thought it would be bigger for some reason. ... mmm cream corn, oh sorry!

Matt, Ella, and Jane said...

I totally could have lived without the duckling story. I am so sad and depressed I don't know if I can go on.