Thursday, December 31, 2015

San Antonio 2015

A family getaway after Christmas is becoming a bit of a tradition for my little crew, filling that lull between Christmas and New Year's quite nicely.  Ole San Antone had quite a bit to offer for the whole family, so off we went.  And here is our review. 

 1.  The San Antonio Riverwalk

The downtown riverwalk is a beautiful site at this time of year with all the millions of Christmas lights reflecting off of the water, but beware of the mass of humanity walking its banks and filling it restaurants to overflowing at this time of year. Mass of humanity.  Hotel Contessa, our home base for four nights, is perched right on its banks so that first night when we rolled in hungry, we set out not knowing what we were getting ourselves into.  But we survived the crowds and ended up at Barriba Cantina where the Tex-Mex was pretty good and the live music was fabulous.  And boy was I proud of the kids for enduring that mess.  All our people can walk and keep up and it's an exciting place to be when your youngest is 5 years old and pretty self sufficient.  All you parents of little ones, take heart! You will get there, too, and it will be glorious!

2. The Alamo

We highly recommend watching the movie before you go to get some good historical context.  We sure were glad we did.  The Alamo is an interesting downtown relic albeit a little underwhelming and small compared to what it once was.  Still, we're glad we went.

After the Alamo, we took a boat tour of the Riverwalk.  We made some funny memories here, but we recommend you skip it.

3.  Floore's Country Store

I LOVED this place.  Off the beaten path in Helotes, Texas, we hit it just right on family night and the burgers were good and the line dancing made my heart so happy.  Fun place not to be missed.

4.  Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch 

The kids, especially Anna Grace, loved this.  And we have a hilarious video that I will treasure always.  

 5.  Pearl Brewery District

We ventured to this hipster paradise for lunch and ate at La Gloria- kid friendly and good guacamole.  Two thumbs up!

Hotel Contessa really was perfect and the rooftop pool was a plus for burning off energy.

Girls night/boys night was fun, too.  The boys caught a Spurs game (the "go spurs" won by 100 points according to Asher) while AG and I caught a movie.  Beautiful!  

6.  Natural Bridge Caverns

I was a big fan of this, but Zeke liked it the most I think.  Well worth the cost.

 7.  The Gristmill in Gruene

It was nice to take a little Texas Hill Country drive to Gruene- not too far away from San Antonio and it's just the best.

these three made LOTS of videos! 

 9.  The Esquire Tavern

Date night was supposed to be at Bella on the River, but you needed a reservation that we didn't make, so we ended up at the Esquire- somewhere straight out of a Wes Anderson film.  Great atmosphere and good food- it opened in 1933 and it certainly retains a lot of the feel of that era.

10.  the Old Time Photo

Across from the Alamo.  Need I say more?  MY FAVORITE!!!! 

To keep it real, I've got to tell you that it wasn't perfect and we almost had to turn around (probably should have) on day three heading to the wildlife ranch because of bad behavior, but we certainly made a lot of memories together and I consider it one of the best gifts God gave us in 2015.

"Remember the Alamo!"  will mean a lot to us Chaneys for years to come.