welcome to amsterdam

Ways you know you’ve been in Texas too long: when the forecast reads 80 degrees for today and you think ooh, that’ll be nice and cool then.

We have also come to the conclusion that we just can’t do mornings in San Antonio. Given our love of Barton Springs, yesterday our plan for the day was to go to this park that has a swimmable lake in it. It was very cloudy and overcast and humid, but we actually started on our journey to this lake, through a distinctly sketchy neighborhood, before deciding that it was just too gross and not worth it and so we turned back. There is a cafe behind our classy Rodeway Inn called Lulu’s that has been on Man vs Food and won all kinds of awards for best breakfast and so on so we decided to go there. When we got there, we discovered that they stopped serving breakfast at 11. It was 11:30. They do serve 3lb cinnamon rolls there (the reason they were on Man vs Food) but as neither of us really felt like eating the pastry equivalent of a small baby we decided to forgo that and ended up eating sandwiches for breakfast. They were good but not mindblowing (in fairness it is difficult to make grilled chicken and lettuce all that exciting).

We went back via the hotel room to change out of our bikinis and then headed back into downtown, at which point, obviously, the sun came back with a vengeance. We went to this other mexican market place which was definitely more authentic than La Villita but just as weird, every shop had exactly the same stuff in it. We almost bought some lovely traditional Spanish attire to wear about at home but refrained. We also went to this bakery/restaurant called Mi Tierra which is open 24/7 and has literally never closed since it opened in like the 1940s and we both bought traditional Mexican pastries, mine involved guava, which were SO good and also really cheap so that was a success.

We also went into another museum, this one featuring an exhibit something to do with the revolution/Mexican culture in general. The lady on the desk was a very anxious sort of person and confiscated Sophie’s water (I kept mine stealthily hidden) and also wanted to take her bag as she was apparently worried that Sophie might swing it wildly around and destroy all the exhibits. This gave me the impression that all the statues and stuff would be arranged in very narrow corridors where it would be easy for one to accidentally knock it over with a Barnes and Noble bag for life but no, when we got into the museum itself (I am surprised we weren’t frisked first) we found that everything was very spread out in traditional art gallery style so I think this woman just needs to chill out for a second.

We found that we don’t really know anything about Mexico but we duly wandered about the museum for a while – to be honest we were only there for the a/c. Then we headed back to Hemisfair Park where it was too hot to even sit in the sun so we sat in the shade for a few hours and occasionally stood close enough to the fountain that we got sprayed by it.

Eventually we decided to go get food. We were planning on going to this BBQ restaurant that is relatively near our hotel but after trekking to it we discovered that it shuts at 4:30. I’m not sure this is a successful business model for a restaurant, but whatever. Luckily we had seen another BBQ restaurant on the River Walk which we were sure wouldn’t be as good but whatever, we went there. It was nice to sit by the river and stuff, and our waiter was very friendly and gave us free bread even though the menu distinctly says you have to pay for it. Also at one point another waiter came over, told us he thought we were very beautiful, said “welcome to Amsterdam” (I think he was a bit confused) and gave us a little rose – clearly picked from a bush – each. As we had spent all day sitting/walking around in the ridiculous heat we were fairly sure we were not looking particularly beautiful and figured he probably gave roses to everybody, but we did keep a close eye on him and all the other females in the restaurant and none of them got roses so whatever, I guess he just likes the bedraggled, shiny sweaty look.

After dinner we declined dessert in favour of “Mr Ice Cream” who boasted 37 flavours of ice cream. I didn’t get anything cause I was full but Sophie got banana pudding flavoured ice cream which she said was the best ice cream she’d ever had in her life. I sampled a bit and it was indeed very very good. We sat outside the ice cream place for a while and eventually returned to the hotel room for a Toddlers & Tiaras marathon. I realise that it is a bit lame that we have spent every evening watching TV but honestly it is just nice to be able to do so and so…sorry not sorry!

Today the plan is to ACTUALLY go to the lake. It is very cloudy outside right now but the weather forecast tells us it will brighten up around noon so hopefully we will be able to head out in a while. It also tells us there is going to be a massive thunderstorm at like 6 which may hinder our dinner plans somewhat but whatever, we’ll deal with that when we come to it. If it doesn’t brighten up I’m not really sure what we will do…we have exhausted the city’s supply of bizarre Mexican markets and free museums so we may have to find other ways to entertain ourselves!

TOMORROW WE HEAD FOR ORLANDO!!!

B

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