August 13, 2011

And then I went to Texas.

When I won a trip for two to San Antonio, Texas I thought no way is this for real. This is one of those jokes the internet makes up to keep our lives interesting, right? No one actually wins these things. And then I thought, and b-t-dubbs who wants to go to Texas anyway? Based on people I know from Texas (one of my least favorite presidents of my lifetime) I was seriously questioning things.

Then I heard from Jason from (where I won the contest), decided it was legit, and started planning my pre-birthday weekend trip to San Antonio with my friend Liz. Liz still lives and works in the Twin Cities, so I knew I would see her at home for the summer but with her crazy work schedule of wedding planning and my time trying to see everyone and do everything, I didn't think we would get a lot of one-on-one time together. I was right, so I am SO GLAD we went on this trip together.

After a three hour direct flight from Minneapolis, we made our way to the Emily Morgan Historic Hotel right in downtown San Antonio. A restored hotel, the place was gorgeous, beautifully decorated in brown, creme and gold tones, and right across the street from the Alamo. We found our dinner and drinks that night at Rita's on the River where we had delicious margaritas and shared the chicken fajitas.

San Antonio Riverwalk at night

One of many staircases leading from the Riverwalk up to the street level.
The next morning we decided to fuel up with a delicious breakfast before lots of sightseeing. Included in our trip was a gift certificate to Liberty Bar. They are open all day long but we decided to check out their Sunday brunch specials. With $50 to spend we made our breakfast well worth it with french toast on bread handmade at the restaurant, eggs, coffee, fresh fruit and mimosas! Mmmmmm. After brunch we hopped on one of many streetcars used for public transportation in San Antonio and headed to the Alamo! Liz and I both admitted to really having no idea what the significance of the Alamo was, therefore our tour and subsequent visit to the IMAX presentation on the Alamo were very informative. Turns out the Battle of the Alamo really did have an impact on the course of US history.

Liberty Bar in the King William neighborhood of San Antonio

Mimosas with fresh-squeezed OJ

Remember the Alamo!! (But what for?!?!)

Done with our tour and happy to know exactly what the Alamo is. :)

The next day brought us to Sea World San Antonio after a bit of an adventure on the San Antonio public bus system. Happy to have arrived we actually ended up spending the whole day here and I am so so so glad!! I am not usually an animal person, but the shows and exhibits at Sea World were awesome! I loved being able to see such unique animals up close and personal. Also, the Sea World waterpark was a welcome addition to our afternoon after wandering all around the park in the morning.

Welcome to Sea World!

One World, One Ocean presentation with a little guy named Shamu.

Water Show! Plus San Antonio heat :)

...I might not love animals, but dolphins are AH-DOR-ABLE.

Finishing the day off at El Mercado plaza with lots of Latin themed gifts, food and drinks.

Our last day in San Antonio we took advantage of another gorgeous day of weather and a bike rental certificate from Blue Star Bikes/Brewery. Biking about 4 miles through downtown we arrived at La Gloria restaurant for one last Tex-Mex meal before heading back to Minnesota. We enjoyed peach-strawberry margaritas, fresh salsa and guacamole and lots of water before a sweaty bike ride back!

La Gloria is right on the river north of downtown.

Biking next to the Riverwalk.

Ciao San Antonio, you were (somewhat surprisingly) fabulous!

As our mini-trip came to an end we really did have a great time in San Antonio. Texas isn't looking quite so bad anymore...especially when enjoyed with a friend and for free. :) Thanks Two Backpackers for an awesome trip/contest!

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