I say all of that from one side of my mouth and sing his praises from the other side. This was the first time that he was packed BEFORE going to bed the night before we were to leave. But that's not even the best part. We were scheduled to leave our house and be in my parent's driveway at 5 a.m. He got up, made coffee, got ready, helped get the kids up and ready, helped get everything in the car and we pulled into my parents driveway at 4:50...that's right folks...EARLY! This is nothing short of miraculous. I was so stinkin' proud of him. This ended up being a vacation that broke many molds. Rich did an excellent job driving us around in a big, unfamiliar city. In the past he preferred to "drive" from the passenger seat. I worked hard at not trying to have every minute of every day scheduled and on an itinerary. I feel like I was pretty successful. We really threw ourselves into this vacation and we all had a great time. It helped us to realize the importance of family vacations. The memories that we made are priceless. I can't wait to fill up our family memory album with many more! Of course, if all of the other places we visit are as great as San Antonio, we won't have any problems making great memories.
San Antonio is a beautiful city. We so enjoyed the architecture, the culture, the FOOD...the list goes on. It was great for our family to nestle down into Richard's family heritage. San Antonio's population is made up largely of Mexican-Americans. Their culture certainly drives so many aspects of the city and the tourism trade. I loved every minute of it. We, of course, visited the Alamo. I kept up with the kids while Tori and Rich took a good tour of the buildings and displays. The parts I saw were pretty neat. We spent half of a day at the Market Square which reminded me of a market in Guadalajara. I had so much fun going through the booths. I ended up buying more there than I did at the outlet malls in San Marcos. I got a really cute top that I can't wait to wear! I also bought a few decorations for Richard's 40th birthday fiesta. I also went crazy in the famous, Mia Terria Mexican bakery. Oh My Word...I loved the pastries. I have found that the Mexican pastries as not as sweet as other pastries, so you can better enjoy the flavors of the ingredients and you don't have to drink a gallon of water afterwards.
We did a lot considering what little time we were in San Antonio. We visited the Riverwalk area which I dream of one day spending an evening or two down there with my man. So romantic...bcbc...We took a boat tour which I was convinced was going to be "the bomb" and the kids would rave about it. Uh, no. It was hot. We were smooshed onto a boat with about 40 other people and the kids didn't care one bit about it. Oh well, one little "fail" doesn't ruin the entire trip. We took the kids to see Toy Story 3 at the IMAX. That was great. The screen was 7 stories tall. Did you just hear what I said? 7 stories tall...it ended up being a great little movie and yes, I cried. Before we left the Riverwalk we also took part in a new dinosaur display. It was pretty good I guess.
Sea World...where do I begin? It turned out to be a breezy day and temperatures were only in the mid 90s. (Can't believe I just said that using the word "only" but I guess we had prepared ourselves for very hot and humid weather that it was a pleasant surprise to not be dealing with that. I believe it was the favor of the Lord because I had prayed for good/mild weather.) It wasn't too terribly crowded so lines were extremely short. The shows were great and I have to say that the best one was the new Azul show. The look on my son's face at Sea World was worth a million bucks. And what makes it even better is that Tori seemed to really enjoy it too. She's always been an animal lover, so she had great fun...even when we tricked her into getting onto one of the water rides. Mid day it got pretty hot, so while the rest of the group took shelter in one of the cafes, I took Reid and Ember to the water park. That was so relaxing and so worth the hassle of trying to put on a bathing suit in a skinny bathroom stall...in 98 degree weather...with a 5-year-old. The day ended well with Reid carrying out his 4-foot stuffed Shamu, slung over his shoulder. He had the biggest grin on his face. Just like a man that just reeled in a 20-pound bass. (SIDE NOTE: It is hard to get a 4-foot stuffed Orca whale home in a Honda Accord.)
Our "down" time was spent at the hotel pool or a local restaurant. We stayed in a great Staybridge Hotel that was nice and clean. They served a great complimentary breakfast buffet, laundry room and very nice courtyard/pool area. We were so pleased with our stay. And we were in a location where there was plenty of good restaurants around. I have to brag again on Pappassito's Cantina. That was the best Tex-Mex food I have ever put in my mouth! It got the stamp of approval from my dad and husband too...so it's official...they are the best. We also had some great bbq at The County Line BBQ. They had the biggest ribs I've ever seen and their homemade bread is Amazing. They also serve homemade cobbler and homemade ice cream. Wow! We had a couple of "fails" in some of the other eateries, but for the most part we were extremely pleased.
San Marcos was a big fat disappointment for me. But let me be fair here...for the first several hours we had men and children with us. Big fat mistake. That put a huge damper on things. We ended up (just me, Tori and my mother)having a couple of hours alone at the mall and those hours were productive. I don't know why we thought it would be a good idea to take the men and children. We were asking for it...weren't we!?
This pretty much sums up our trip. It was great. I can't wait to go back in September for business where I will be staying in a hotel on the Riverwalk. Too bad Rich isn't going. I don't know when our family will get to return to San Antonio, but until then...we'll hold that city close to our hearts.