Friday, August 31, 2012

Gone to Texas, Ya'll

The latest excuse to feed my travel addiction was visiting San Antonio, Texas to see JC's youngest brother graduate from Basic Military Training at Lackland Airforce Base.  As soon as our feet hit the ground in SAT JC and I were ready to explore and take in as much of the city as our short, two-day trip would allow.

View of San Antonio.
After being in the car for 15 hours, our first stop, naturally, was at Pat O'Brien's.  Pat O'Brien's is a well-known restaurant and bar located in different cities throughout the U.S.  Karma must have been paying us back after forcing us to endure a grueling, traffic and contruction congested drive by making it half price drink night at Pat O'Brien's.  After getting a sampler of all of the "specialty" drinks, I settled on a favorite and then dove into a seafood appetizer platter with JC which featured fried everything; alligator bites, fish and shrimp.  A live band played 90s music (my favorite), while we enjoyed family, food and drinks and relaxed in the patio area at Pat O'Brien's.

The whole group at Pat O'Brien's beer garden.
The next day was non-stop new experiences in SAT.  After Basic Military Training, we hit the Riverwalk which is a tourist stop in itself.  Our hotel was located on the Riverwalk, so we had a wide variety of shopping, food and drink places at our doorstep. 

A boat tour through the Riverwallk gave us a glimpse of all of the establishments and some of the history of the area.  Despite a vary scary, and large cockroach taunting riders on the boat, and a collision with another boat, the ride was very enjoyable.

Of course, you can't go to SAT without visiting the Alamo.  It doesn't take long to go through the historic landmark, but it is worth the visit, plus it's free -- so there's really no excuse not to go.

Outside the Alamo at night.
I would be hard pressed to remember a destination vacation where I did not go to some kind of sporting event, and this trip was no different.  We hit up the San Antonio Missions Minor League Baseball game.  The stadium was small, and the service for food and drinks was SLOW, but the entertainment was outstanding.  Henry the Taco, Cactus Man and the Missions Mascot all danced around the field for our pleasure.  And, my favorite on-field activity, was an adult tricycle race. 

San Antonio Missions game.

After the game, and learning more about what was out on the Riverwalk on our boat tour earlier in the day, JC, my brother-in-law and I decided to commence Fultz Family Mini-Barcrawl 2012.  First stop was a little pub called "The Worm" where we enjoyed the patio on the River and margaritas.  Tequila and tequila-based drinks were the specialty there.  Then we moved on to "Waxy O'Connor's Irish Pub".  Walking up to this pub we knew we were in for a good time, the music from the live band was blaring out the doors and most of the seats were full.  We were able to find a table in a corner and drink a few beers.  Then it was on to our final bar for the night, "Swig", a martini bar.  The guys weren't too stoked about stopping here, but I was persistent in my persuasive, too-much-alcohol, talk.  This bar had a live jazz band and good, potent martini's.  On our walk home for the night through the Riverwalk, we stumbled upon a 24 hour Mexican restaurant, The Original Mexican Restaurant.  Despite the not-so-catchy name, we stopped in for some late-night grub, which was by far the best food all weekend.  The salsa was amazing!  And the waitress kept telling JC he looked like Tony Hawk (which he kind of does :)

At Waxy O'Connor's Irish Pub.

Our last day in SAT, JC and I came up with some things to do for our group.  We had lunch at the Towers of America restaurant.  It's a pretty pricey place to dine, but the view is outstanding.  The food wasn't bad either.  If you are able to stay for an entire hour for lunch, the Tower rotates all the way around so you get a full view of all of SAT.

Lunch at Charter House, the restaurant in Tower's of America.

Then it was on to a one-hour trolley ride through SAT.  The ride took us by a few Cathedrals, around a big Merchant/shopping area, through the King William Historic district (which I would have loved to explore more if we had time) and by other landmarks like the Alamo Dome.  I thoroughly enjoyed the trolley ride because we saw a great deal of SAT, while the Airman in the group enjoyed the ride because he was able to take a nap!  Driving through some of the neighborhoods in SAT I couldn't help but think the city resembled many of the city's we've visited in Mexico.  The similarities were really hard to miss.

Our final dinner as a group was at Dick's Last Resort on the Riverwalk.  The Airman wanted Ribs and Wings and some entertainment, so that's where we ended up.  A very large Beerita made the dinner much more enjoyable, despite the fact that my dinner of Ribs was below par.  If you've never been to Dick's Last Resort, be prepared for an education on all things "adult" and to be taunted and treated poorly by the waitstaff -- it's the trademark of the restaurant.  Our group loved that part of the dining experience and also doned the white hats they made for everyone with mean sayings.  Mine was a little too adult-geared too post -- but the Airman's said "I joined the military because my butt looks good in these pants."

Sharing my Beerita.

For a very short, two-day trip, we experienced a great deal of what SAT has to offer and enjoyed all there was to see.

And I did not forget about the most important part and reason for our trip to SAT, my brother-in-laws graduation from Basic Military Training.  I'll post more about that soon!

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