Tuesday, October 16, 2007

San Antonio, TX

DH and I took the kids and left for San Antonio, TX this weekend. It was a lot of fun. We left on Thursday morning and had a leisurely drive. We stopped at some outlets on the way, as well as IKEA. We had a lot of fun shopping and we got some extremely good deals as well. The kids loved IKEA since they got to play in the playland while we shopped. We also stopped at the State Capital in Austin. Our hotel (Holiday Inn Market Square) was downtown and even though it was old, it was recently remodeled and our room was gorgeous! The pool was huge and in a courtyard in the middle of the hotel. It was warm enough to swim, although cool when you first got in. We went swimming and then headed down to the riverwalk. The bell hop/concierge guy took us in the hotel van. He took us by surprise at the offer and we left without the camera or a stroller. It was still beautiful there at night. We came back on the trolley...which the kids thought was neat.

The next morning (Fri) we headed out to the San Antonio Botanic Gardens. They were very pretty. They also had a Dora exhibit, which, although my kids protest that they are too old for Dora (and they really are)...they had a great time. Next, we went to the Caverns. It was really cool to be deep in the earth in the caves. K freaked out a little, worried that they were going to fall down on top of us. I had only been in big caves like that once before, when I was about K's age and I remember it well. I hope that K and C do too. It was worth the big price ticket.
After the Caverns, we tried to get back to downtown in time to go to a museum that DH really wanted to see, but we got stuck in traffic and didn't get there in time. We did get to go into a big Catholic Cathedral downtown...I believe they said it is the oldest in North America. It was really pretty and reminded DH of going to mass with his grandfather in Guatemala.

We went back to the hotel to swim and then out for Pizza Hut for dinner. Yummy. Then we went and played in a park downtown at 10ish at night. Stuff we'd only do on vacation! :)
The next morning (Sat) we got up and checked out of our hotel. We had planned on spending all day Saturday at Sea World, but we still had a lot that we wanted to see. We also didn't like that we would only be able to spend one day and that we couldn't do the water park part. So, after MUCH debate, we opted to come back in May for Sea World and continue our San Antonio adventure in different ways this time.

First, we ate breakfast at a yummy Mexican place. Then we went to El Mercado and Market Square. We had the kids' portrait sketched by a caricature artist. It looks pretty cool. Then, we went in down-downtown. There was an art festival going on and the kids got to draw on the street with chalk. That was pretty cool. We then went to the Children's Museum. At first we were so not impressed. But, even though it was older and falling apart in some places, the kids LOVED it and really there was a lot to do and see...more than we originally thought. It was worth going to.
Next we headed back to the riverwalk. We walked for a bit, watched the boats, and ate overpriced ice cream. Then off to the Alamo. We had planned on skipping it this trip, but due to our last minute ditch of Sea World, we went. Thank goodness. They have an annual festival there and had a ton of actors in period costumes. We got to interact with them and it was really cool.
From there we went to our new hotel (Drury Inn). We had heard great things about this hotel and so we opted to spend our last night there, even though it was a little more expensive. They have a "snack" buffet at night that included hot dogs, baked potatoes, nachos, popcorn, all sort of drinks, etc. It was enough for a light meal. They also had an indoor pool, which was disappointingly cold. I didn't even want to get in. DH and the kids did, though, although C got out fast. I thought it was colder than the outdoor pool. There were also a lot of people (one maybe drunk) in the hot tub, which is my favorite part, so I didn't go over there.
The next morning they had a HUGE breakfast buffet. This was one of the reasons we chose this hotel for Saturday night...so we wouldn't have to spend money on Sunday. It had eggs, sausage, biscuits, waffles, yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, toast, bagels, grits, juice, doughnuts, muffins, etc. It was yummy, yummy, yummy.

We left and went to some of the old missions. They were really cool. They were well preserved and it was neat to see what they must have been like so long ago. Then...the drive home.

We had such a great time together as a family. In fact, Little Dan was so sad to see DH and kids go back to school and work on Monday. He walked around the house saying "Pa-pa, Pa-pa, Pa-pa." I love making memories together and I love the break from "real life." I was also glad to see that our animals were all still living when we got back! :)


JRV said...

Ahhh, that makes me want to leave my rainy NW weather and go somewhere with the family. Im glad you all had a great time together!!

txmommy said...

looks like such a fun trip!

nikko said...

What a great trip! You guys packed a lot into one weekend. How fun to see all your pictures. :o)

dieMutti said...

Sounds fantastic! I am impressed at how much you got done! On our trips it seems like it takes the first three or four hours of the day to get everyone going :) The Bubbs is SOOO excited to come and see you all next week (and, of course, so am I!) She loved these pics and the smileStation ones - she's ready to hop on the plane right now! :)

Heather said...

How fun!! Those caverns looked awesome!

Andrea said...

What a cool vacation. I'm hungry now after all the yummy food you talked about.

Joyismygoal said...

How wonderful that was an awesome well deserved trip

The Awesome 7 B's said...

Ahh, I see. Sounds like fun, fun, fun!! But you closed the clinic???? I didn't think that was possible?

Suzanne said...

Wow, you guys packed so many fun activities into a short amount of time!

How fun to get caricatures of your kids. I was happy to see a photo with you in the end. You're probably like me, and usually the one taking the pictures! LOL!

It looks like everyone had a fun time! :)

Just Another Day In Paradise said...

Looks like such a fun trip!
I love botanical gardens and they look beautiful. I'm jealous of Ikea. It's been a year since I've been there and I want to go so bad.
Thanks for the comment on my blog!

utmommy said...

Sounds like so much fun!!

I love making those wonderful memories!

Jess said...

Wow! That sounds like the best vacation ever! Seriously, you didn't miss much at Sea World. Also, they have a limit on how many people can be in the water park at one time. There is a HUGE line that you wait in for hours while a few people at a time trickle out and they let a few more in.

I love the Alamo and the river walk. I would so love to just copy your whole trip with my family! We could even count it all as a great big homeschool field trip, lol.


I have a good life said...

Jess: It would be a great homeschool field trip...all that history! We did go to Sea World a couple of years back and had a blast...thank-goodness there weren't lines for the water park when we went! :) We might go again in May before school gets out...that probably helps with the lines.

zeebee said...

What a fun trip! San Antonio sounds pretty cool! I'm glad we finally got to know the mystery destination:)