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This summer we decided that since things were not going well at work, we would just do a quick trip around Texas instead of a big beach vacation. Oh, that thing called hindsight! We should have gone to the beach! Friends, never put off life because you’re hoping to better your situation in your career first. You’ll miss out! Anyway, we did have a fun little trip showing our kids around their home state! We spent two nights in San Antonio and two in Austin.
On the way down, we made the two obligatory stops at Buckee’s and at the Czech Stop in West. If you aren’t from Texas, the Czech Stop is an incredible bakery that is a staple, it’s where kolaches were invented, and it a must stop between Dallas and Austin for any road trip! I wound up dropping about $40 on pastries because they are so freakin’ good!
San Antonio was perfect timing. Landry had just completed a Texas History unit in school so the story of the Alamo was still fresh in his mind. We stayed right on the Riverwalk, and yall, San Antonio was HOT! Like hell in a steam room hot! You would walk around the River Walk and feel like Olaf melting by the fire after about a block. We checked into our hotel, The Drury Inn & Suites, and were pleasantly surprised by how nice our room was for the price!!! We had a king suite with a living room area that had a pull-out couch for the boys, and a separate bedroom for us! I like to have a little bit of privacy in our hotel (see the Austin antics for why)! The ceiling had a bit of a vault to it, so felt bigger, and the nightly rate included breakfast in the morning & a wind-down happy hour with snacks in the afternoon!
The kids had been cooped up in the car for 4 hours so we needed to burn steam. We also needed to get out of Matt’s hair for a minute since all the “are we there yet”s and the potty stops had him on his last nerve that day. I let Matt lay down for a little bit and I took the boys up to the rooftop pool. The kids thought the rooftop pool was the coolest thing ever! I mean, how many times do you get to swim on the roof? It was a little too small for everyone who clearly had the same idea as I did, but none of the kids seemed to mind. I do always like the people watching at hotel pools! It’s such a nice feeling when you see someone else’s children try to drown one another and throat punch each other in the water!!! Stay strong Mama, we have all been there! And if someone says they haven’t, they’re liars!
Some of our closest friends were staying at the hotel. They had been to Sea World for the day, so we met up with them that night for dinner. We decided to try out a restaurant that my mom and her best friends swear is the best Tex-Mex in San Antonio called Rosario’s. They are our family’s experts on all things Tex-Mex and Margaritas! Before we left, my mom had sent us their list of must do’s and she said “It’s just a short walk from the River Walk” so we set out down the road with our two boys and Jeff & Miranda’s 4-year-old little girl. Yall, this was no short walk! It was 45 minutes in 150 deg heat, through the hood, past adult shops, and across several busy roads! WTF Mimi?!?! When we arrived we were all dripping in sweat and the kids were cranky. Mimi (aka my mom) had also said to “ask about the specials because there is always something good,” and Matt, being our guy who likes to try the specials, asked the waiter. The waiter must have been having an off night or thought “great a table with 3 rowdy kids” because his reply to us was “everything here is special,” and he walked away. We all love to razz Mimi, so Matt texted her “thanks a lot, now I look like the idiot of the restaurant.”
What we didn’t know was that Mimi was into some red wine and in fix-it mode! After a few glasses of red, she will solve all the world’s problems and then some! A few minutes later the manager comes over and asks if any of us know a Sally Casey, and proceeds to tell us that my mommy had just called, put our drinks on her credit card, and instructed him to tell us what the specials were. We were dead! We laughed hysterically! What 36-year old has her mommy call the restaurant??? (Have I mentioned I have the best mom on the planet?) And it really was the best TexMex food and mango margarita I had ever had! We both got the shrimp tacos & they were really good with just enough spicy!
My mom had asked if I would bring her back some of their salsa so when I asked for 4 jars, the waiter did not disappoint! He came back to the table with 4 pints full of their incredible, smoky salsa! The walk back to the hotel wasn’t nearly as bad as it was there. Maybe it was because it had cooled off, or maybe because we were all happily buzzed, but either way, we made it back to the hotel in one piece without spilling all the salsa all over myself.
The next morning we went downstairs for breakfast, then set off down the River Walk to the Alamo. If you’re not from Texas, you’ll soon find out that we are very proud of our state’s history! A trip to the Alamo is almost a right of passage for Texas children. It really is very cool to look at and to walk through the steps of heroes like Davey Crockett! I minored in history, and just love to spend hours wandering through museums and historical sites. Did I mention it was hot though? And that we had 3 kids? Five minutes in, Luke had to go to the bathroom so Matt headed off to find it with him (there’s only one btw and it’s in a way back corner). Our friends were trying to keep their daughter entertained, and Landry, who equally HATES being hot or cold, was already asking to go back to the hotel!
After a few minutes, Landry and I started to wander, because that’s what happens when two people with ADHD are left alone to their own devices. It took about another 30 minutes for a now sweaty, and kinda grumpy husband to find us. We went through the gift shop where of course both boys had to get a plastic Bowie knife (because we don’t already have enough weapons at home) and then went around the side where they have really cool displays of old muskets, tents, and canons set up. There are several people in full costume so you can see what our Texas heroes would have looked like.
A little further down the way, we found what would become the most interesting part of the Alamo to the kids. The Alamo cat! Yep, seriously. One very fat, very well loved, and super chill tabby cat. Her name is Miss Isabella Francisca Veramendi de Valero (Bella for short), and she’s quite the celebrity! She’s a custodial cat (keeps the rats away), and super friendly! They call her a “mighty huntress!” I’m pretty sure my cats couldn’t keep up with her greatness.
We left Bella, and took our hot, sweaty selves down to the sauna, otherwise known as the River Walk. The River Walk sits below street level, seems to trap the heat and humidity right there on the walkway. The guys stopped for a beer and immediately sweat them out! We thought it would be fun to do the riverboat tour, so I pulled up my guide on my phone and tried to find a spot to buy tickets and get on the darn thing. Now, we should have learned the night before not to trust me with directions, but we didn’t so we proceeded to go up and down the same area of the River Walk until all the kids’ legs turned to jello, and Landry felt sure he was going to die! At that point, I went into a store and asked for directions.
Finally, we were on the hour and a half long boat ride! And once again. the kids cared not about the history (breaking my nerdy heart) but found the highlight to be all the mama & baby ducks swimming around. They were pretty stinkin’ cute. We grabbed a quick lunch at a restaurant in the sauna (Riverwalk) and went back to the hotel. Jeff & Miranda said their good-byes to finish their vacation at another Texas hotspot, and we went up to our room to cool off a little bit. On the way back we saw an Irish pub that looked good, so we decided to check that out for dinner. Waxy O’Connor’s did not disappoint! I’m so sad I forgot to take pictures there because it was a really great setting, and the food was AWESOME! If you do happen to go there, try the Dublin Chicken. It is a TON OF FOOD but it was one of the best things I have eaten in ages!
The boys had been asking about a carriage ride around town, so I promised we could do one after dinner. Yall…don’t…do…it… What a rip off! It was about $50 to sit in a carriage, smell horse turd, and be taken in a square around some random part of downtown San Antonio, not even the Alamo area. Here I was thinking, this will be so cool, we will see the Alamo all lit up at night, and all that stuff… NOPE! We literally saw a random park and smelled horse poop for half an hour. See how excited Matt was about it?
We hit the sack early so we could be ready to continue our trip the next morning by heading to Austin. Click HERE to read Part 2.
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