Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Mini-cation in San Antonio

Last month, I went back to my original full time position on nights from the temporary position I had been holding on days as I finished up my last bit of college.  
The transition from starting work at 6 am to starting work at 9 pm is always tough, but luckily my boss on days let me use my last week to complete all my part-time hours at the beginning of the week and use the end of the week for a small vacation with Tyler.
We weren't really sure where we wanted to go - it needed to be somewhat close since we were only going to be gone for a couple days.  Although we really wanted to go to New Orleans, we decided to pick a slightly closer location in San Antonio.  
After driving through construction from the Dallas/Fort Worth though the entire stretch to San Antonio (literally, there was construction pretty much the WHOLE way) we arrived at our Bed and Breakfast near downtown. 

A big reason we picked San Antonio was because neither of us had been to Sea World.
As a kid, I LOVED ocean animals.  I was the biggest Flipper and Free Willy fan you could find.  My grandpa made me wooden dolphin cutouts that I played with in the bathtub.  

My most grand moment in my younger years was getting to pet and feed dolphins at the Oklahoma City Zoo back when they still kept the aquatic animals.  

Another grand moment was on family vacation in Galveston when my dad caught a baby shark that washed up to the beach.  We would have pictures to prove it, but mom hadn't bought the film for our camera yet, so we had to throw it back.  Mom has regretted the decision to not have camera film since that day.

Sea Lion Cubs

I always love the Sea Lions because they're so interactive!

I think this is the first time I've ever encountered Puffins.  No one ever told me they were so cute!

 Its hard to see, but the Puffin is diving and popping back up out of the water.  It was so cute!

Seeing the penguins dive and waddle was also super cool to see.

 A baby penguin in an incubator.  Its sooooo fuzzy!

We got to watch them do some training exercises with some of their younger dolphins!

Sea World was very fun, but also sad.  I don't think we will ever go to Sea World again, nor do we plan to take our kids there when we have kids.  

While we did have a good time, I feel there are other places that you get to have a more real connection with animals.  We didn't really like the musicals and shows that much - they were neat, but we would rather connect with animals on the animal's natural level rather than things they were trained to do to impress humans.  And because the shows seem to take top priority at Sea World, the amount that people can have those connections with the animals is much more limited than it is even at a regular type of zoo.

Not only is the connection you get to have with the animals not realistic, but any animal in captivity (at any zoo, not just sea world) is really just sad.  But I appreciate zoos that do seem to try to give their animals plenty of room to roam, and the tanks at sea world indeed do seem too small for the animals.

After Sea World, we came back to the B&B to clean up.  As close to the coast as we were, it was much hotter and more humid than Oklahoma and we were quite sweaty as a result.

We ended up having to change rooms because we had accidentally booked the weekend after our intended stay, and luckily the owner of the Bed and Breakfast was super willing to work with us to let us stay there both nights.  I didn't mind having to move rooms, it was almost like getting a sample platter because we got to try out more rooms!

The Bed and Breakfast we stayed at was Ocasey's Bed and Breakfast.
It was a very charming home that was built in 1904.  The rooms were decorated very cute with a mixture of vintage and antiques with modern patterns and linens.  

It was also my first time to stay in a Bed and Breakfast, so the experience of getting breakfast every morning that was homemade was pretty awesome.  I love breakfast.

What else is there to do in San Antonio?  We decided to eat dinner on the Riverwalk that night.

This experience was interesting to me, because when we got there I did not know that Oklahoma City's Bricktown Canal was inspired by San Antonio's Riverwalk - and the similarities are striking.  While each city definitely has their own style, I was just shocked at how much of the idea OKC copied from San Antonio.  I do have to say, dear Oklahoma, that nobody likes a copy cat.  And as much as I like Oklahoma, Bricktown, and the Canal - I do need to admit that this is pretty copycat-ish.

One thing I'll give San Antonio is that their riverwalk is MUCH larger, more grand, and has more restaurants than ours.  

It did make me nervous sometimes walking along the edge of the sidewalk near the river - how in the world do drunk people not fall in the river all the time if I was completely sober and nervous about it?!  (Those sidewalks are much more crowded in the evenings!)

The next morning after getting breakfast and chatting with a family we met at the B&B, we drove over to visit the Alamo.

Since it was a free historic site, it was quite crowded, but really interesting to see it in person!

Loved this old tree!

The Alamo.

Afterward, we used the rest of our time looking through the shops in a small arts district, got some ice cream, and lunch.  By then we needed to be headed home, so we had to say goodbye to all the fun!

We stoped for dinner in Witchita Falls, Texas at an old, smoky, small town cafe.  It reminded me of a place I used to eat when visiting my grandparents that was actually a truck stop, but many of the locals ate there regularly.  We read some sketchy reviews, and the reviews about the place being old and dirty were true...but the food was pretty good, so I guess sometimes you just gotta get over health standards when you're hungry.  The wait staff were very nice as well.  I guess Texas must still allow indoor smoking - which was weird because Oklahoma has outlawed that for more than 10 years.

We decided to stretch our legs on a little walk before getting back in the car, and we saw this creepy sight down the street from the restaurant.  Poor Teddy.

Once we passed the Oklahoma/Texas state line, of course the skies instantly became beautiful, and Oklahoma welcomed us home once again!

Have you traveled anywhere new this summer?

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  1. When we visited Angel's family in May we took a day trip to San Antonio and wandered the Riverwalk and visited the Alamo. I'm glad you guys got to have a mini-vacation!! I love staying in B&Bs--way more fun than the average hotel!

    1. Yes, I loved the charm the B&B had! The riverwalk really was beautiful, wish we would have had more time to explore the rest of the city, but it was definitely a fun trip!

  2. Oh I love that yall went to san antonio, we used to go all the time as a kid. I've always described bricktown and a mini, cleaner and newer san antonio riverwalk lol man so many memories there!
    the bed and breakfast looks cute!

    1. Haha, that's funny - I didn't notice the San Antonio walk being particularly dirty, maybe they've cleaned it up? The B&B was really cute, I loved the old house. What things did you guys do there as kids?

  3. Loved seeing the pictures of San Antonio! My husband and I honeymooned there and loved staying on the Riverwalk! Thanks for sharing!

    1. I bet staying on the riverwalk would be beautiful! Glad it reminded you of your honeymoon! :)

  4. What a fun getaway!!! I've never been to San Antonio but it definitely looks like a fun place to visit!!! :-)

  5. I love seeing all the pictures from your San Antonio getaway! The riverwalk looks so beautiful, and I love the artwork on the wall in the first photo.

    1. Yes, I liked the decorations there for the most part as well - very charming!

  6. Those weekend getaways are the best kind of weekends! I love aquariums and sea world's like those - that baby penguin was soooo cute! It's so cuddly! And I have to say that puffins just make me happy - no idea why but I find them fascinating!

    1. Yes, I loved the baby penguin...although he seemed lonely having to cuddle up in the corner like that. I'd never really encountered puffins before, but they were really cool! They seem like really hyper birds!

  7. I haven't gone to SA asa "grown up" can't wait until we have the opportunity, seems like a blast!

    1. Definitely, you should go sometime! The riverwalk was really fun, I would have loved to be able to spend more time there and find some of the hole-in-the-wall type places.

  8. Looks like a great vacation! I love San Antonio.


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