Last week we loaded up the car and took the family on a San Antonio vacation. This was our second annual Clinton cousins vacation. Last year we spent a week in Tennessee with Dear Husband’s cousin and her family. We had so much fun that we decided to make it a regular thing.
I’ve never been to San Antonio so I had no idea what to expect. We did most of the usual tourist things…Sea World, the Alamo, riverwalk and Natural Bridge Caverns. Some observations about these attractions:
Sea World wasn’t as big as I thought it would be but still fun. The whale and dolphin shows were breathtaking. I was on the verge of bursting into tears during the entire killer whale show. Seriously; wobbly lips, eyes brimming with tears, gulping back sobs. I was completely irrational. They were so beautiful, graceful, magnificent and terrifying all at once. Keeping something so beautiful and intelligent in captivity was heartbreaking. I felt selfish enjoying their tricks, like their entire existence was just for my viewing pleasure. The rational side of me knows that they are cared for extremely well and that the research they provide benefits their wild counterparts but my heart broke at the irony of something so grand and wild living in such a small space. The beluga whale show, Azul, was incredible. I felt like we saw a Cirque du Soleil show with dolphins and whales. Seeing the trainers glide through the water with the whales was something out of a fairy tale.
The Alamo, like everyone says, is much smaller than you expect. However, the grounds were beautiful and there is a separate building with a short movie and lots of information. The kids glazed past most of the displays and extensive reading but I enjoyed learning about the history of Texas’ independence from Mexico. The kids enjoyed the $4 snow cones being sold outside.
Natural Bridge Caverns is a state park just outside of San Antonio. This was one of my favorite activities on the trip. Not only does it have guided tours through the cave but it also has top side activities. Some of us did the ropes course and zip line while some of us went sluicing for gem stones. There is also a maze but it felt like one thousand degrees in the sun and getting lost in a maze under the blistering heat didn’t sound very appealing.
We also had lots of great food starting with Liberty Bar and Grill. This was our first stop because my grandmother’s chocolate cake is on the dessert menu. One afternoon we had burgers at Chris Madrid’s. It lives up the hype but be sure to visit during an off time or you could be waiting in a very long line. My favorite Mexican restaurant was Rosario’s. We were told to stay away from the Mexican restaurants on the riverwalk as they are touristy and crowded. Rosario’s isn’t far from down town, was family friendly and the food was excellent.
I’ll let the photos tell the rest of the story.