Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring Break in San Antonio

We decided to head to San Antonio for a few days during Spring Break. It's about a 5 hour drive from where we live so it wasn't too bad. I had my Nook Tablet and the kids had their DVD player, so we were okay. Be prepared for LOTS of pictures!!!!

We drive through the state capital, Austin, on our way to San Antonio. We always love to see the Capitol building.
We stopped for lunch in New Braunfels, actually it was considered to be the town of Gruene. Several friends recommended the restaurant Gristmill. It's a restaurant overlooking the Guadalupe River and was full of people. It wasn't too pricey and the portions were generous. We were very full when we left.

After arriving into town, we checked into our hotel, Drury Inn & Suites, which was right on the Riverwalk.

We were fortunate to stay on the 7th floor and had our own private balcony. This is the view of the Riverwalk just below us.

The kids enjoyed their ice cream as we strolled along the Riverwalk.

My parents, brother, and younger sister and her kids were also in San Antonio for a few days. We met up with them and had dinner at Lone Star Cafe to celebrate my nephew's birthday.

We asked the waiters to sing to him and he did not know what to do! So cute!

A caricaturist was strolling around drawing caricatures for $10. My sister said she wanted one for the birthday boy so Craig paid for it. My nephew LOVES Spiderman and that's what was drawn for him.


The next day, we all headed to Sea World. The kids were soooo excited. We've been several times before, but they were still looking forward to it.

Last time we visited the park, we did the Dining With Shamu experience. We loved it so much that we wanted to do it again. They serve a huge buffet lunch with desserts galore. All the tables are seated around a private pool where Shamu swims and trains.

The trainers will come out and show different techniques with Shamu (there's actually 5 'Shamus' at this location) and answer any questions we have. It's a great experience!

Right after lunch, we walked to the stadium and watched one of the Shamu shows. Such fun!

These animals were everywhere and the kids (and Craig) loved getting their picture taken with them.

We really enjoyed the seal, otter, and walrus show.

Next, we saw the dolphins.

Sea World also has rides. Kaitlyn and Preston decided to try some of the rides for the first time. We all rode the kiddie roller coaster, Shamu Express. I sat with Kaitlyn and Craig sat with Preston. Kaitlyn screamed the whole ride which made me laugh so hard. Preston gets off the ride with his eyes full of tears. He did not like it at all! Kaitlyn wanted to go on this ride that swung back and forth and rotated. Preston refused.

However, they both wanted to go on the mini ferris wheel. They wanted me to go with them. Now, I'm scared of heights. It doesn't matter what the distance is to the ground, I just don't like it. But I put on my big girl panties and went with the kids.

We were able to cool off in the penguin exhibit. It was pretty warm that day and I got a slight sunburn. We enjoyed going into a building with A/C, even for just a little bit.

Craig and my sister wanted to ride one of the big roller coasters. I don't like roller coasters either, so I watched from afar.

Finally, we saw the Rock N Roll Shamu show that included this awesome guitar player.

We had originally planned to spend the day at Six Flags Fiesta Texas but nixed that idea when Preston didn't like the roller coaster. We decided to do some sight seeing instead. The weather was partly cloudy and in the 70's, so it was perfect.

We stopped at the Buckhorn Saloon where we ran into (or rather ran away from) this giant statue.

I can't believe I saw this. Remember the movie Big?

Can you guess why it's called the Buckhorn Saloon?

Kaitlyn really wanted to go see the Alamo. Do you remember it? This is a giant memorial outside of the Alamo.

Remember now?

We even ran into some soldiers.

We saw an IMAX movie about the Alamo then headed to our favorite restaurant on the Riverwalk, Casa Rio.

There's always a wait to be seated and the kids patiently watched the river.

Our table was right where the river forms a 'T'. Great view!

Growing up in El Paso, we always took mariachis for granted. Our kids had never experienced it before. It was pretty cool to be serenaded.

Next, we headed to Market Square and went into the Mercado. There was a folklorico performance going on. We saw big dancers...

...and little dancers.

We stopped in Mi Tierra and got some pan dulce (sweet bread). I LOVE this bread. I used to eat it a lot when I was a kid.

Finally, we ended the day with a Riverboat Cruise. It's nice to see the Riverwalk all lit up.

The Rivercenter Mall

Then, we headed home on Thursday. It was so nice to get away and relax for just a few days. The weather was perfect, we loved the atmosphere, and of course, we were in good company.


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