Tag Archives: san antonio

let’s pretend to be hungover

Today was a hungover day. Except we weren’t hungover.

We woke up with great ambitions, we were gonna go to the lake and chill there until the forecast thunderstorm at 6 where we were going to retreat and get ready for food. However, we woke up to grey grey skies and so we instead decided to pretend to be hungover. It just felt like one of those days. Let’s just say it was the hangover of all our travels. That works right?

Our first hangover activity was breakfast as we were both rather hungry and breakfast always makes you feel better. We decided Denny’s would be a perfect venue so after getting ready really slowly we decided to make the trek which was SO worth it. Despite smelling slightly like vom in there (or was that just me smelling that Bella?) the food was perfect.  We both had banana and pancake combos with eggs, bacon and hash browns. It started to cure our hangover very quickly.

Next stop was our favourite landmark here in San Antonio – Rivercenter Mall. After re-visiting some of the shops we undertook hangover activity number two. We went to the movies and saw What to Expect When You’re Expecting which was actually really good and funny. It made us both kind of want to have babies  so watch out boys (speak for yourself – it made me never want a child – B).  Anyway, we enjoyed the movie a lot and it was only $4 each which made it possibly the cheapest movie I have ever seen.

After this, we continued back round the shops. I finally invested in some Victoria’s Secret yoga pants after finally realising how comfortable they were and Bella and I both got some yoga shorts too. As you can tell we will be doing a lot of yoga next year! Chili’s was our next stop where we once again exploited our position as a married couple and ordered the two dine for $20 meal. This was on the bucket list so we felt compelled to go and our server was very nice and wished us well on our travels. Obviously, afterwards we went to get froyo. We ate our froyo out by the river, and spent some time reminiscing about our year (again) and creating black and white video montages in our heads…all to the ambient sound of panpipes that was drifting through the mall. I think it is good that we are going back to civilisation tomorrow – if you can really call Disney World/the Orlando area at large civilization??

On the way home we met a nice man who told us that we “must be from a state where they grow very pretty girls” to which we thanked him and let him cross the road in front of us so we could escape. However, he carried on trying to talk to us and told us he was called Jose and that he used to live with his grandparents. He then kept apologising and blurted out he was homeless and wanted a burger…we sadly couldn’t provide him with one and hastily crossed the road. Poor Jose.

I think we are both quite happy to leave San Antonio. It is a cool city, but a bit weird and I think we had run out of things to do. I am not quite sure how we missed that we had four days here to begin with. However, we have had a nice time and have been able to go shopping which is always fun and therapeutic to our weary traveller souls. But now, we are just excited because  WE ARE GOING TO DISNEY TOMORROW ARRRRRRGH!!

WE ARE COMING MICKEY!!

S xx

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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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i never thought tomatoes were a good idea

Today has been a very chilled out, cultural kind of day.

This morning, the plan was to go to a farmer’s market. This farmer’s market had been enthusiastically advertised on posters and stuff all around the plaza yesterday, but when we got there it was literally three tables consisting mainly of plants, some vegetables, and a lady with some cakes. As Sophie said, it was more jumble sale than farmer’s market. We decided to look elsewhere for breakfast, so we headed to La Villita, this Spanish-y ‘arts market’ just off the River Walk.

This was possibly one of the weirdest places I have ever been in my life. It was mostly weird because it was so quiet – a total ghost town. We made our way to the La Villita cafe, where we indulged in a muffin (Sophie) and the most luxurious, elaborate yoghurt parfait I’ve ever seen in my life for me; it came in a real glass goblet thing and everything! For those keeping track of our funds this was an unexpected expense but let’s blame it on the lack of farmer’s market, shall we?

We spent a little time exploring the actual market/village place but to be honest, a lot of the shops/galleries were just a bit weird and I wasn’t sure I trusted the legitimacy of their stuff – they were all staffed by like, pale ginger men who didn’t seem very Mexican. Some of the stuff was cool though. Sophie liked the day of the dead stuff especially.

When we left we were a bit disenchanted to be honest and we were also a bit confused as to what exactly San Antonio was – there was a lot of tourist stuff but we didn’t understand where the actual people went. We decided to head for the Alamo, and on the way, we passed the Rivercenter Mall, which we had seen signs for yesterday. We decided to go in, which was a good decision, because this mall was freaking huge. As neither of us have really seen real shops since San Diego, we indulged in some good old shopping and spent at least an hour and a half wandering around the many, many Texas/America-themed souvenir stores, including my favourite, ‘Flag World’. I stocked up on a wide range of tacky gifts for my brother & sister so look forward to that, kids!

After we were shopped out we continued on our way and stumbled across what we had been looking for all along, really – an entire row of tacky tourist shops and attractions. For some reason, t-shirt stores are apparently big in San Antonio. They’re all just like the ones they work in in Jersey Shore, where you get like a decal on the front of whatever t-shirt you want and so we have both made tentative plans to go back and get one before we leave. Don’t worry, we’ll keep y’all updated.

Finally, we reached the destination we had set off for several hours earlier: the Alamo. We followed signs to ‘The Shrine’, but as we don’t really know what the Alamo is all about I feel the significance of the Shrine was somewhat lost on us. Instead we wandered around the grounds and took pictures amongst the cacti and palm trees. Very tropical.

All this activity had worn us out so we decided to retire to Hemisfair park. We bought shaved ice and ate it right by the cart, which was playing some hilarious old-school tunes, and then we came over all cultural and went into an art gallery that celebrated Mexican culture. I think this may be the first art gallery I’ve been in in my life actually, and it’s also another thing off the bucket list so that’s good. We spent the rest of the afternoon lying on a Mexican blanket that Sophie bought this morning – have we mentioned that it is HOT here?!

We were slowly being eaten alive and we were also starving, so at around 5:30 we decided to head back to find some food. For some reason we both really wanted Hooters, so that is where we went. In Williamsburg Tuesday is unlimited wings which is what we wanted but apparently that is not the case here (although we were sceptical and did think the waitress was lying to us, but we’ve just googled and no, she wasn’t), so we had to order separate, ten wing plates. Imagine – only ten wings each. We also ordered a side salad since we like to get our vitamins in. There was some sort of big basketball game going on which started almost as we were finishing so everyone was all decked out in all their Spurs gear and stuff which was cool.

We wandered around the River Walk a little more after dinner. It really is the weirdest place – it’s like Disney World on crack, and what’s possibly the weirdest is that the whole river is like basically under the rest of the city so that if you’re on the streets you rarely even see it. So strange. All the Mexican and Italian restaurants have like little troupes of men playing instruments and singing which is HILARIOUS. Anyway we realised we’d done well on the budget today and had like $5 left on it, so to celebrate, we decided to spent $8 on Haagen Dazs. Economists we are not. In our defense we only ordered a kiddie cup each so it’s really Haagen Dazs’ fault for being so ridiculously overpriced.

We could have wandered around the River Walk a bit more but really all it is restaurants so we decided to head back to the hotel where, happily, we discovered that there is an ongoing Teen Mom marathon AND there was an episode of Dance Moms on that I hadn’t seen before. So basically, the perfect evening.

B

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welcome to san antone

We have made it to our final destination San Antonio after about two and a half weeks and a couple and thousand miles. We are a laptop, and ipod and a pair of shoes down (all me) and a number of bikini bottoms down (Bella), but we are here, in one piece. It seems so weird that we are already so close to Disney world, but then Williamsburg seems like it was so long ago already…

But enough reflecting. We need to save that for the end of this thing. Instead, here is a brief run down of what we did today.

  • Got up and headed straight for South Congress (again) cos we really liked it and wanted to go in all the shops.
  • Spent about two hours exploring all the really cool shops. There were some awesome antiquey shops full of vintage american flags, neon lights and the odd bit of taxidermy. Literally just loads of cool shops with really nice clothes and really cool stuff. We also found (another) old fashioned candy store and both had some candy to set us up for the rest of the day. We also found a really cool little book shop but were shocked to overhear one guy asking his girlfriend who Jane Austen was (and this was after he asked her what sort of store they were in …)
  • After shopping we needed food/cool (because its about 35 degrees here) and so we headed to Guero’s Tacos which was so good. After a bit a of wait we hand a veritable Mexican feast and I ate chips on chips but it was really good. No wonder it was so busy
  • We then had the same conversation about how we had both fallen in love with Austin about five times
  • It was finally time to leave so we got on the bus back to our apartment, said our goodbyes and met Ana the apartment lady who helped us with our bags and took they keys
  • We had an interesting taxi journey to the Greyhound with a driver who has a keen interest in forgery. He was fascinated by all the promotional signs on the side of the road for various political candidates and suggested that we made our own signs along with him and but them amongst the real candidates and then took a picture. What a joker.
  • Greyhound. Actually very short and very uneventful.
  • Brief panic when we get off because our bags had disappeared. Luckily they re-appeared pretty quickly.
  • After another jolly taxi man we arrived at the Rodeway Inn Downtown (who said we weren’t classy?)   where we were greeted with TWO DOUBLE BEDS. Yay. Its actually not too bad!
  • Hungry as always, we ventured downtown, got our first glimpses of the river walk and eventually weaved our way around the river to get some food. We were planning on a cheap meal but ended up at a restaurant called Bella on the River. We had to go there. If there was a Sophie restaurant I would have forced us to go there soo…
  • It was very nice and we noticed it was the first proper restaurant we had been to in ages. We shared a pizza like a married couple and listened to a nice man playing jazz piano. It was all very civilised. (It was so nice! We’ve eaten at so many restaurants but we haven’t been to an actual NICE one for a while…despite the fact we set off with the intention to find somewhere cheap and easy I was very glad we ‘accidentally’ went upmarket! AND obviously it was named after me so it was fate -B)

And there we have it. Now we are in bed, watching MTV and loving life in our own personal beds. Just a shame the shower doesn’t really work properly.

S xx

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