Saturday, January 3, 2009

Family Vacation to San Antonio, Texas

Well, many want to hear about our trip to San Antonio so here it is.  I wish I had taken more pictures because we had such a nice time and it was filled with new experiences for the kids and us, for that matter!  We had never been to San Antonio's river-walk before. Apparently, San Antonio was built around a river.  After the river flooded the city many times, they finally figured out how to build it so that wouldn't happen anymore.  Now it has become a tourist attraction with the city's hotels, restaurants, and gift shops lining the river's edge.  At Christmas it looks extra spectacular because the city hangs lights from the trees overhead that reflect in the water!  It is truly a sight to behold!

We had acquired hotel points to be able to stay at the Homewood Suites right on the river for two nights.  If you ever get a chance to visit San Antonio I would suggest staying right on the river.  Not only is it beautiful but also convenient to everything you would want to see. Our car was parked in a parking garage and we never needed it until it was time to leave for home.  We walked everywhere.  Talk about a work out!   The weather was in the 70's except for the last day when it dropped to the 40's.  It's a 5 hour drive South of Dallas but it took us 6 hours because of stops.

This is our hotel in the background.  We were on the 8th floor.  You can see the dining room with all the windows over looking the river below.  We had breakfast both mornings here (included in our stay) and the kids had fun waving at the cruising boats that would float by.  I'll tell you about that later.

The first night when we arrived, we checked in our room and then after a rest, we headed down to the river walk for dinner.  We got side tracked in the lobby of our hotel looking at all the Christmas decorations and lights everywhere!  This is the dining room that I showed you in the picture above but this is the inside. The flash on our camera hides the lights reflecting from outside so we took the next picture without the flash.  

Can you get the idea of what we were looking at through those windows?  It was a sea of lights!  Can you hear the oooh's and aaaah's!

We made our way down to the river-walk with all the other million people and found our way to a Mexican restaurant that the hotel had recommended to us.  We had to wait 1/2 hour to be seated but that was ok since we had such a fabulous view.  There were boats going by on the river with tour guides explaining the history of the city of San Antonio.  As we sat there we realized that the restaurant that we were about to eat at used to be the first movie theatre in San Antonio built in 1926.  

Here is part of it.  We had a pretty good meal here but the best part was the Mariachis!  Micah didn't like them much but we sure did!  For a small tip they would sing your personal request at your table.  We requested "Guadalajara" since we used to live there and Rich has always loved this song.

These were three really friendly guys but Micah thought the music was too loud so he spit his pacifier at them right in the middle of their song!  Then he proceeded to scream at them till they stopped their singing.  It was pretty funny and we all had a good laugh about it. Rich had warned them that Micah wouldn't like their music but they refused to listen.

3 happy kids waiting for their ice cream dessert.

The next morning we went back down to the river walk to get our tickets for a boat cruise which we wanted to make sure we got to do that night.  It was a beautiful day and many people were having their breakfast outside at the river's edge enjoying the ducks.

We have been using a sling to cart Micah around in and as you can see, he enjoys it.  He spent most of his time in his sling and napped when he could.  We brought the stroller but didn't use it much for him.  It was more of a cart for all our water bottles, coats and purses.

What a snuggle bug!  Micah was such a trooper on this vacation.  He went gladly wherever we took him but we tried not to wear him out too much.

I love this picture of Reece watching the boats and ducks in the river. He took it all in and wasn't too happy when it was all over.  He kept telling me he wanted to move to San Antonio.

Another shot of the river. . . 

Peek-a-boo.  This looks like a tired little boy.  Rich was reading the history of the Alamo before entering.  We had a difficult time finding this place and were glad to finally be there. 

I wish I had taken a better picture of this place.  We had checked out books from the library before coming to educate ourselves about the battle that took place here in 1836 between Texas and Mexico.  About 200 men died defending the Alamo.  There was a miniature scene set up on display of what it all might have looked like.  The kids really liked it here.

I don't have pictures of the rest of our day but we visited a Mexican Market and heard some really good live music while we ate fresh fajitas and gorditas.  We walked through a market full of Mexican souvenirs straight from Mexico.  It really took us back, Rich and I, of when we lived in Mexico City.  Then on our way back to the hotel we stumbled upon the Spanish Governor's Palace which was built in 1722!  I think this was the best place that we toured because of the style and beauty of the Spanish homes back then.  The kitchen, bedrooms, dining rooms were all furnished with furniture and artifacts from that time period.  We were not allowed to take pictures inside but I sure wish we could have.

After having dinner in our hotel room, we headed down to the river walk to do our boat cruise.  It takes about 40 min. to cruise the river if you can handle standing in line for that long as well.  Luckily the line moved quickly and we got there early enough to not have to wait any longer.

These last two pictures are not that great but I had to add them so that you could get a feel for what we got to see.  This is a mall called the River Center and it has two movie theaters and 5 ice cream parlors!  We never went inside since we don't like malls much but we thought the Christmas tree on an island in the middle of the river was pretty grand.

We had such a nice time on this trip!  One of the best things was hanging out in the hotel, staying up too late playing Phase 10, munching on the snacks we brought.  Julia and Olivia had the giggles and pretty soon we all had them too!

The next morning we had another wonderful breakfast at the hotel and then hit some shops and let all the kids pick a souvenir (thanks to the Christmas money that some of you sent)!  They were thrilled to take something home with them from our memorable weekend together.

We are so grateful that we are a family and pray that our future holds many more special experiences as this one.

1 comment:

Chrys and Mike said...

Looks like you had so much fun! So glad y'all got to do that!