Sunday, June 20, 2010

San Antonio

We left Houston on Thursday morning and made a pit stop at some outlet stores. My daughter had never been to an outlet mall & really wanted to do some shopping at one. She was in her element & had a ball – it was so cute to see. We then made our way to San Antonio.

Our arrival in San Antonio wasn’t as smooth as we would have preferred. We had made a last minute change in motels before we went on our trip and it turned out to be a bad move. We only made the switch because of wanting/needing parking for our vehicle with the pack-a-sport on top. We don’t fit in a lot of parkades. But the motel didn’t have the parking it had promised us plus it was old, smoky & just an uncomfortable fit for our family. So during 5 o’clock traffic downtown we were trying to find somewhere to stay. We were stressed for awhile but finally landed upon a good solution thanks to someone canceling. We did, however, have to park in an open paid lot a few blocks away from the motel.

After finally getting into our room, crashing and calming down for a few – we headed out onto the “River Walk.” What a neat place. Beautiful with a great atmosphere. I really, really liked it.
Friday morning we headed to the Alamo. It was weird to be at this small mission/fort that I’d heard so much about. It’s surrounded by busy traffic and downtown buildings… a piece of history. I enjoyed our visit there seeing and hearing about it.

For lunch, we took off to Big Lou’s pizza. It has HUGE pizza and we were all very full after lunch. My husband wanted to take us to this outdoor market that he’d been to on a business trip years ago. He said that they had a lot of Mexican things for cheap. We were told the one he might have been thinking of was only open on weekends so we opted for another market that ended up being a very scary flea market. HA HA

We returned to our motel and walked down to the Mexican market nearby. It was a long HOT walk. Fun to browse but I was surprised how expensive everything was. I did land a Mexican blanket for $6.99 but that was all I bought. We trekked back in the relentless sunshine and I was about ready to drop. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the warm weather, but being out in the hot, humid conditions without much of a break really wears me down, I guess. I had to stop in the shade along the riverwalk for awhile and recollect. While I took a break, my girls enjoyed some ice cream and then we preceded to head to dinner. (I know – they had their dessert first and they DID eat a good dinner still!) We went to Rita’s Mexican food and although I would have loved to have sat outside on the banks of the water, we opted for the a/c inside.

Saturday we went to 6 Flags Fiesta in San Antonio. Some guy gave us a coupon in line that helped us save an extra $40 in admissions. I asked my husband, “Did you tell him thank you and give him a hug?” - which everyone found quite amusing. Of course a thank you was given…no hug.

We got the flash passes which are like Disneyland’s fast passes except you have like 4 different levels of a flash pass which can be confusing. We got the platinum. The main thing I liked about it was that you could ride a ride twice in a row if you liked it. I didn’t however, like having to tell someone waiting to get on the ride after us that we were riding it again. It was so awkward when they had been waiting in line longer. But it turned out to be a fairly worthwhile investment which saved us a lot of wait time in the hot, hot sun.

Even with some sunscreen (some put on a little late) we all got sunburned. We all enjoyed the rollercoasters except the “Rattler.” It was an old wooden coaster which I thought I loved. Wrong. Either that or I’m getting old. This roller coaster rattled us (thus the name) and shook us so much I heard my neck make a small cracking noise and I hit my ear on my husband’s shoulder. It really jolted us around. We ended up in the back; which I think only made it worse. I seriously could not wait to get off that ride and knew that I would have a stiff/sore neck later on You could really injure yourself on that ride. Even my girls talked about getting jostled.

My husband did have some adventure in the parking lot of 6 Flags. He went to get a t-shirt on after he got soaked on a ride and also to cover his sunburned shoulders. While he was out there, he heard a loud noise like someone dumping a lot of ice on the pavement or when glass falls apart. He looked over and met this guy’s eyes through some car windows; realizing the guy was up to something as he kept his eyes on my husband for a good 10 steps or so. He kept walking until he could safely look back and saw that the guy was gone and then he backtracked and saw that a car window had been broken. So he went to security and told them. They didn’t ask what kind of car, where the car was or anything. We talked about it and how, hopefully, he’d scared the guy off and they didn’t take anything. About an hour later we were going on a roller coaster near the front of the park & we could see out over the fence. My husband was pointing out the car to us & we could clearly see a broken window. Then we see security drive by slowly, stop & get out inspecting the car. So we knew they finally found the car –about an hour later.

Imagine my surprise when we left the park around 8:30 that night to see security and a group of about 7 or so peoplestanding in a circle. They were near the car that had gotten broken into so we slowed down. I, at first, thought it was the people who got broken into and that maybe they were upset, wondering what security was going to do about it. But after we’d slowly passed – I found out that my husband thought he recognized one of the men as the one he’d seen and heard previously. He said he hear d him talking about a camera not being able to see anything or prove they’d done anything. They also recognized my husband and were really, really watching us and him as we walked past and down to our car. It was uncomfortable. The police arrived as we left and I’m not sure what will happen to those men. I am happy that hopefully my husband prevented someone’s car from getting robbed (which was only 3 lanes from the front, by the way) and that somehow security had tracked them down and caught them. Maybe, even if they aren’t held or are let go, they will think twice before trying that again.

So it was getting late by this point. We’d had a long day. We were all hot, sunburned, and tired. My husband and I were feeling the effects of getting jostled on all of the roller coasters and we hadn’t eaten dinner. We landed at a Mc Donald’s not too far away and quickly ate as we were all in wet clothes from the raft ride we’d taken right before leaving. I heard a bunch of sirens as we were getting there and when we went to leave traffic was backed up on the freeway. We went underneath and saw we could hook up and over on the on-ramp to by-pass some of the mess. As we got on and passed the accident point, I saw a motorcycle on its side. I was only hoping that it wasn’t the guy I saw back out of McDonald’s without a helmet as we arrived.

So that was our exciting stay in San Antonio. Full of action! I did have fun at 6 Flags but I had a few complaints. The main one being the bag/locker situation. You can’t take your bags or drinks on some of the rides as your feet dangle and you have no floor. They do provide lockers but you have to rent them for a $1 and then you are told you are supposed to get your stuff right after the ride. If you leave it in a locker for more than 120 minutes, they will discard it. So you pay for admission. You pay for flash passes and then they want you to pay for lockers or you can’t go on some of the rides and not only that – you can’t keep your stuff in just one locker or they will toss it. So yah – that’s my main complaint and I wish someone would have told us about that. Thank heavens my one daughter had a fanny pack that we consolidated a few things into.

So today is Father’s Day. And guess what? We’re back on the road. I offered to drive for my husband but he’s still driving. He’s driven this whole trip so far. What a guy. We are on the last week of our adventure. It’s the point where your suitcases start to get messy and you get a little worn down but are still having fun.

We continue to covet your prayers. As you can see – they have truly helped and God has been watching out for us.

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