On Super Bowl Sunday, we arrived in San Antonio, Texas. Someone was in a big hurry to get set up and get those marinated ribs on the smoker before the pre-game. Beer was cooling, and we were relaxing just in time. As a bonus, the mild weather meant John was able to watch some pre-game on the outside TV (a form of tailgating, I suppose). I busied myself with my many new pamphlets and started to get excited that our son and his girlfriend were coming for a visit this month.
On our own we enjoyed a Texican restaurant, where were given free dessert simply because we didn’t know what sopapillas were (the Texican version of New Orleans’ beignets, with a bit of honey drizzled on top. So simple but delicious!). We then got an in-depth historical lesson as we toured San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, and the one actual mission nearby, the San Jose Mission (we’d heard of the Alamo, of course, but didn’t know how many of these missions there were, nor the depth of the history). It was educational and explained the multitude of Catholic churches we’d been seeing lately.
We had planned with our son and his girlfriend to go to the San Antonio Rodeo while they were visiting and we’d bought the tickets online and were very excited. The day we met them, I did tear up a bit at the airport, as we hadn’t seen them since October, and soon we were off to their requested spot, the Olive Garden (Fun Fact: The last time John and I had lunch at Olive Garden in Pickering, ON, Christian was born that evening, almost 2 weeks early).
After a nice dinner and an evening of chatting and games and catching up, the next day was Rodeo day! We got there early, as the indoor show started at 1 pm, and started with the petting zoo, and collected some free samples. Then at the show we learned about and watched competitions in calf roping, hog tying, mutton bustin’, bucking broncos, barrel riding and more! It was such a spectacle, and so professionally organized, and we even saw a Canadian on the leader-board! Next we wandered the fairground, had some snacks, and then took in the flea market.
By then, it was time to head to the Riverwalk, which is another very interesting part of the town. The river meanders through a downtown San Antonio, just metres away from outdoor tables of cafes, craft shops, a hotel and convention centre (another very old and interesting story). There was a celebration for Chinese New Year and colourful paper lanterns with LED votive candles were for sale. Folks decorated them, some with a message of good wishes for the future, some with memories of loved ones, and at 6:30 pm everyone set them afloat. It was a beautiful scene. Afterwards, it was so crowded and busy that the wait time for tables at about 3 restaurants was 90 minutes. So much for a fancy meal out – instead, we picked up a pizza and had more quality visiting time in the RV. That was a near-record day for steps logged into phones and Fitbits!
On this touristy weekend, Sunday continued with a visit to the San Antonio Zoo. It was interesting to see animals we don’t have at our local home-zoo, and also to see the animals arranged very close to the visitors. One more restaurant dinner at a place the kids had never tried (why is that still so fun?), and an early night, as they were heading home Monday morning. We were so glad to have them visit us, and had a really fun time with Christian and Caitlyn! Note: After the writing of this post, these two lovebirds were engaged in April – Congratulations!
Next up, Galveston, Texas and a visit from our daughter and her fiancé (THAT engagement happened in December!!)