Monday, March 22, 2010

San Something-O, Part 1

Part of the reason I've been busy lately is from traveling and then playing catch-up, then traveling.  Now I'm blogging, in denial of bedtime or the mountain of catch-up stuff to do.

My dad turned 75 this month, a very young-at-heart, active, healthy 75.  To mark the occasion my mom and I brainstormed about what to do to celebrate.  I suggested a surprise party with lots of people, but Mom said that's the kind of thing you save until he can't do anything else.  He still does step aerobics, so I saw her point.  For his 70th we went to Bermuda and were met with rain and gale force winds, so I voted to go somewhere warm.  Dad isn't a beach kind of guy, so I thought maybe Texas or Arizona. 

San Antonio has long been on Steve's & my list of places we wanted to visit, so we booked it.  We kept it a secret until the week of his birthday, and he was so excited.  As an airline pilot he used to have layovers there and loved the downtown Riverwalk, but he retired 15 years ago and hadn't been back since. 

The Riverwalk is indeed beautiful and fun.  It's right downtown, a level below the nearby streets so you don't hear all the traffic noise, and lovely with all the trees and bridges.  It's lined mostly by hotels and restaurants, and we took one of the boat tours to see the whole thing in under an hour.  If I'm this excited about all the bridges over the river in San Antonio,  imagine what I'd be like in Venice.

When I'm on vacation I love to eat at cool places, so I trolled the internet and polled friends who have been there.  Rita's for Mexican food, Boudro's for prickly pear margaritas and a phenomenal filet mignon, Citrus for fine dining (more later).  Other highlights included the hotel's rooftop pool and free food/drinks at happy hour, people-watching in the warm sunshine, Blue Bell ice cream, seeing flowers growing in the ground (it's still winter here), the huge live oak at the Alamo, and the mill at beautiful San Jose Mission. On Dad's actual birthday we went for lunch nearby at Mi Tierra and had the waitresses sing to him.  And then he and mom (bless their hearts) stayed in that evening and watched Olivia while Steve and I dined out at Citrus.  I already thought I was in heaven before our server brought out my appetizer: "broken arrow antelope, blackberry-goat cheese crostini, sauce poivrade."  Oh. My. Gosh.  I could have stopped at the crostini and been happy, but the antelope was surprisingly good as was my "duck breast and leg, braised endive, pureed sweet potato, pink-green peppercorn sauce." 

So glad we didn't just have a surprise party with cake and punch here in town.  We'll save that for Dad's 100th.  Here are more pictures...

The Alamo

Riverwalk first thing in the morning

Boat tour


Coffee break

Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla changed my life

Toddling (14 months)

Mission San Jose


2 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Oh my gosh...that food sounds amazing!

Jessica said...

wow! what a trip... I literally just drooled on my keyboard. I think I just lived vicariously through all of you!
I'm so glad to hear you all had an awesome time! Happy Birthday to your Dad...
Incidentally, did you find the basement of the Alamo? Pee Wee never did seem to have any luck locating it...