San Antonio ranks as one of the handful of places we'd ever leave Sarasota for. Cathy was stationed there while in the Army in late '80s and has always raved about the place. Now I know why. It's a fantastic city!
We pull into our RV spot after a 4 hour trip from Galveston a little after 5pm. The RV park was nice and the spots were level but cramped. Most of them were taken up by oil field workers we found out. We unloaded, got setup and headed a couple of exits north for dinner at 54th St. Grill (a local chain) for Mexican and craft beers. Dinner was the extent of our evening and we headed back home afterwards and hit the sack.
The start of school Wednesday came with the realization that the internet at the RV park was either down or a steaming pile of crap. They were in the process of switching providers and it was virtually unusable during our entire stay. Everyone used the MIFIs and we went well over plan that month. After school and work we piled into the Jeep and sped downtown to the River Walk where we would spend the majority of our time during our stay in San Antonio. We stopped for a quick snack at Durty Nelly's Irish Pub and then hopped on the hour-ish long riverboat tour. It was a good way to see the River Walk, learn some history and scout out where we wanted to go. Once again Lexi fell asleep. Still batting 1000 for sleeping on tours.
The boat operator really talked up the Chart House restaurant on the top of the Tower of Americas so we finally found our way through the construction and ended up at the base of the tower. The Chart House sits atop the 750' tower and slowly rotates (a complete turn every 75 minutes) to provide a view of the entire city. It was an awesome view and the girls really got a kick out of it once they realized that they were spinning very slowly. We rode the 4D "Tour of Texas" interactive ride on the ground floor before taking the elevator to the top for dinner.
The food was really good and our waitress was this super cute little "brown" girl that everyone fell in love with. The girls about crushed her chest cavity with good-bye hugs. We then headed back to our car (which we have nearly lost as we couldn't remember where we'd parked) and then poured everyone into bed fat and happy.
Thursday was a "stay at home" day as school and work took up the entire day and Cathy needed to go shopping in the late afternoon. She tends to "shop" a little longer without the girls and me around. I suspect she's hitting the bars or taking naps in the Jeep. Whatever she does, she makes the most of her "alone time" somehow. We took the girls to the hot tub after work, had dinner at the RV and then it was "beauty time". Lexi spent a good hour or so doing Cathy's hair and making her look lovely. In all actuality, Cathy needs no help looking beautiful (thanks #awesome genetics!) but she humors Lexi.
Friday was the start to our big weekend in San Antonio. After a full day of school and work we piled back into the Jeep and once again drove the 15 minutes into San Antonio. We bought tickets to take the "water taxi" further down the river to see the newer parts of the river which included a trip through the locks. Kira and Lexi entertained us with some hula dancing while we waited for the taxi to arrive.
It took awhile to explain why a lock was needed for the river but provided a great learning experience. After the taxi we walked about the River Walk for awhile and finally decided to have dinner at Mad Dog's British Pub. Kira had fish & chips, I had scotch eggs and a beer while Cathy ordered a bloody Mary and a salad. Lexi even had a salad while Hail had her usual plain hamburger and fries.
The Christmas decorations on the River Walk were starting to get us in the holiday mood so we stopped at Lowe's on the way home and bought our 3' Christmas tree for our table. We had a blast decorating it a couple of nights later.
Saturday was our big sight-seeing day so we headed back to the River Walk shortly before lunch and purchased trolly tickets to see the city. While waiting we visited a local jewelry store and the owner gave all of the girls jewelry that changed colors in the sun. It was an exciting day for them already. The trolly tour was nice but not that exciting. There are some pretty interesting missions outside of town but most of the cool stuff is near the River Walk. Again, Lexi fell asleep on the tour.
We hopped off at one of the stops towards the end and had lunch at this trendy, hipster spot. One side of the building was an organic tea and coffee shop while the other was pizza and craft beers. We chose the second of course. The food was a little eclectic for the girls (no pepperoni pizza, plain hamburgers nor chicken fingers) but it was awesome!! We washed it down with good beer and bloody marys and called it "brunch".
Afterwards we caught the trolley back to the River Walk to tour the the Alamo. We wandered around for a couple of hours learning the history of Texas and the Alamo (extremely interesting!) and then headed back down to the River Walk to take in more of the sights. We had promised the girls dessert since their brunch wasn't kid friendly and that made up for the awesome time the adults had!! Kira ordered the biggest piece of chocolate cake that's I'd ever seen and I bet her $10 she couldn't eat all of it. It took her quite awhile but ate every single bite just to prove she could and get that damn $10, which I gladly forked over given the number of calories she ingested. The we headed back home, puttered around the house for awhile and finally put the girls to bed before hopping into the hot tub to relax for awhile.
On Sunday we decided to journey into "the wild"! We drove an hour or so to Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, a huge ranch with a petting barnyard, plus driving & walking encounters with giraffes, zebras & more. In a nutshell, you drive through the ranch and animals come up to your car and eat from your hands out of the windows. What a blast!! There are a ton of great pictures and videos below but the best are of the zebra and ostrich that tried to eat Cathy's face. So much fun!!!!
Afterwards we drove back to San Antonio and stopped at one of our favorite spots, the Brick House Tavern + Tap, which violated our "never eat at the same place twice". However, since the first time was in Galveston we decided it was a loophole we could live with. Then back home for a quiet night before putting the girls to bed and taking a long walk around the RV park.
Monday was our last day in San Antonio and was spent it doing school and homework. For some reason we had an itch to look at new RVs so when the day was done we headed over to the ExploreUSA RV Supercenter and realized that we needed to buy a 5th wheel RV. However, since we were leaving the next day we decided this wasn't the time. We headed down to the River Walk for one last dinner and to say good-bye to the city we'd fell in love with before heading home and to bed.
The next morning we packed up and got ready to take me and Hali to the airport. Hali needed to head back to Sarasota for some treatments and I needed to renew my driver's license which I could only do in person. We waited awhile before actually taking off for the airport as we were waiting on Cathy's cowboy boot to arrive in the mail. They were supposed to be delivered days before but tracking number said they were still enroute. We eventually decided to take off and head to the airport and then have Cathy return to wait for her boots. Fortunately the UPS truck arrived at exactly the same time that we were pulling out of the RV park so I jumped out and fetched her boots.
We stopped across the street to the super-huge car wash to spray down the RV before Cathy dropped us off at the airport and headed to Corpus Christi with the two little girls. She'd have to pull into the new campground at night all by herself. I knew she could handle it.
Dates: December 9th - December 16th
RV Park: Braunig Lake RV Resort, San Antonio, TX