Notes on San Antonio

We went to San Antonio last week, and instead of writing some nice little travelogue of our adventures, I’m just going to share my impressions in note format.  And then I’ll post some pictures (try, a TON of pictures).  Ok?  Ok.

  • San Antonio is not very far, but far enough that you still have to stop to feed five kids.  And visit the mother of all truck stops, Buc-ee’s.  (statistic:  in the 171 miles between our house and Buc-ee’s there are 21 billboards advertising the place.  yikes.)
  • We just HAD to stay right by Sea World, but our awesome children were so understanding.  Nowhere in our itinerary did we schedule time in to visit the park.  Our kids still love us anyway.  (aren’t they great?)
  • Nice, new hotel does not = big rooms with comfy beds.  It also doesn’t mean the outdoor pool is heated.  The hotel was NOT the favorite part of our trip.  But…the kids (including Eli) all slept great.  Again, they are angels.
  • The San Antonio Missions National Historic Park is amazing.  Just amazing.  Free, packed with history, nice guides, amazing atmosphere.  We LOVED it! (wow, that was 3 “amazing”s.  that must mean we highly recommend it.)
  • The San Antonio LDS temple is lovely.  It sits on a small hill and has a nice view.
  • Brackenridge Park near downtown San Antonio is very cool.  We spent a lot of time in the Japanese Tea Garden and were in awe of the park and the structures.
  • The Alamo?  And The Riverwalk?  Bleh.  The Alamo is in the middle of downtown and lacks all the quiet charm of the other (much more interesting!) Spanish missions in San Antonio.  I told my husband that it looked more like a Hollywood movie set than anything historic.  And The Riverwalk was JAMMED with people.  I felt like we were on a treadmill and could not get off – you have to keep moving, or you get mowed over by the people walking behind you, or else you cause everything to grind to a halt.  Too many people, too many smells, not enough to draw me back there again.  Not with the kids, anyway.  Still, I’m glad we “saw” it.
  • Texas Hill Country.  We took a long drive out into the “country,” since San Antonio is right on the border of the hill country.  It WAS nice to see changes in the slope of the horizon.  None of us were overly amazed, but it was still ok.
  • Overall, the best part was getting back to our roots of being a “get up and go” kind of family.  2008 was totally lacking in “on the road” adventure, and I hope this trip gets us off to a better start this year!

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  • Mom

    Where’s my little guy in this picture??? It’s always much more fun to go on YOUR family road trips than others…I’ll always remember our trip to the lighthouse in Crescent City! What fun that was!! I made the right choice! 🙂 xoxoxoxoxo

  • LCM

    We really like San Antonio, but we do go there primarily for the roller coasters. The Alamo was kind of disappointing, but the temple was so beautiful. I can’t believe they found a hill to put it on in Texas. Who knew?
    They are also building a Buc-ee’s near us, off of 290. I wonder how many billboards we will be forced to look at?!

  • Lissa

    Oooh, your pictures of the Spanish mission look WAY cooler than the Alamo–like something out of Man of La Mancha. And I agree, the Alamo and Riverwalk are WAAAAY overrated. And I’ll bet that Japanese Tea Garden is gorgeous in the spring. If we have to live in Texas, why does it have to be Houston? Bleh.

  • So, I’ve always wanted to go to San Antonio. Those pictures now make me want to go more – I especially liked the one of your little boy in the oven 🙂

  • Jamie

    Last time we went to Riverwalk was pre-kids, and yeah, it was busy. The first time hubs and I went alone (pre-kids also), it was not as crowded and lit from end to end with Christmas lights. Very pretty. We thought about taking the kids a few weeks before Christmas this year, when we happened to be in the area, then quickly said, “Heck no.”

    I haven’t gone exploring much of San Antonio (unless you count a very quick drive-by tour of the Alamo), but your little mini-tour was nice to read. You’ve got some great pictures to show for your trip. 🙂 The weather here annoys me, but MAN, you’ve got to love that deep blue Texas sky.