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!