Monday, July 13, 2009

Weekend in San Antonio

We just had one of the best weekends we've ever had.

Friday afternoon we loaded up the car and headed for San Antonio. We stopped in Seguin for dinner (at Mr. Gatti's) and saw the world's largest pecan while we were there. I've never really explored Seguin - the last time I was there was when I was 16 on a DeMolay trip. I was actually surprised to see that it's a really cool little town! It's got exactly what I like about Brenham - cool architecture, old buildings, and real live businesses still on the square. Of course, the place we found on the iPhone that sounded great - a place called the creekside grill - is only open for lunch - hence the Mr. Gatti's. We're going to have to explore Seguin some more another time...

Saturday morning we woke up and Noble immediately started being Noble. He started by ransacking the room and then pulled every last Kleenex out of the box in the bathroom. We headed downtown and made our first stop the Alamo. Kayci has been asking for several months to visit the Alamo, and she's really excited about history, so she really enjoyed reading all the plaques and markers.

Then we headed down to the Riverwalk for an early lunch. We ate at Casa Rio, which is one of our favorite restaurants on the river. We sat right next to the water, which was great because the boats, ducks and birds kept Noble entertained while we ate. He had a great time breaking chips apart and throwing them down on the ground so he could watch the birds eat.

We took a ride on the river, which we always enjoy. Noble was uninterested in the history of the riverwalk, and instead amused himself by dumping out a box of raisins. He also seemed to think it was really unfair that we wouldn't let him get in the water.

It was over 100 degrees when we left downtown to go see some of the old Spanish missions. Noble fell asleep almost as soon as we got in the car, so Kristi graciously offered to sit in the air conditioning with Noble while Kayci and I explored the missions. We had a lot of fun looking around the missions.

I don't think Kayci quite appreciated it, but I was in awe that we were in buildings that had been there for 300 years. She kept asking "so that's older then Grandma, right?" "Just barely," I'd tell her. Grandma's age seemed to be the benchmark for the entire weekend.

At one of the missions, there was a wedding going on, and I thought it looked like a scene out of the Godfather (if the Godfather had been a Hispanic family, rather than Italian).

We then proceeded to our friends Melissa and Keith's house for their son, Cole's, birthday party. The kids had a great time playing on the inflatable water slide they had set up. By the end of the party, we had two exhausted kids and a Mommy and Daddy who were ready to drop.

Sunday morning, our plan was to check out of the hotel and head to Wonder World in San Marcos. We decided to go out for breakfast to a place one of Kristi's friends told her about (thanks, Jana!) The restaurant was near one of the missions that we had missed the day before, so the plan was to have breakfast, hit the mission and head out of town. But once we got to breakfast, we just didn't want to get on the road yet. We were having a great time in San Antonio and there were still so many things that we wanted to do (there was an ongoing debate the day before about whether we should go to a mirror maze or Ripley's Believe it or Not).

First, though, let me tell you about our breakfast... Kristi's friend had told her about a restaurant called the Guenther House, which was in the mansion of the founder of the Pioneer flour company. Sounds cool, right? We had no idea until we got down there how awesome it would be. The house sits with the San Antonio river on one side and the Pioneer flour mill on the other in a part of town called the King William district.

The King William district seemed fairly large, but was about the equivalent of River Oaks in Houston, only older and cooler. There were mansions up and down the sides of both streets dating from the 1800s. It was like literally driving down Park Place and Boardwalk. Imagine Daddy Warbucks' home in Annie - that will give you an idea of the style and scale of some of these homes. Anyway, we had a great breakfast outside in the garden of the house and decided to stay in San Antonio for the day and make a separate trip to San Marcos another time. The menu featured items that are made from mixes you can find in almost any store, such as the gravy mix in the biscuits in gravy, as well as the biscuits themselves, made from a Pioneer flour biscuit mix. Sounds nasty, right? It wasn't. The biscuit Kristi had (she let me have a taste) was the best I've ever tasted. It was light and fluffy and melted in my mouth. And if you ever visit the Guenther House, be sure to order a cinnamon roll. ;) We definitely have a new family tradition in the Guenther House. They have good food (and awesome coffee!), and very reasonable prices. We highly recommend it!

After breakfast, we went to the mission that we had missed the day before. Noble fell asleep, even though it was only a few minutes away. So Kristi had (got?) to stay in the car with him again while Kayci and I went exploring. This mission was the best preserved of all the missions, and there was a mass just finishing while we were there. Kayci had a great time going around with Kristi's old iPhone taking pictures. We'll post some of those on her blog because some of them are very interesting, and it's always a treat to see what she decides to take a photo of.

After the mission, we headed back downtown. I wanted to walk around La Viallita and my dad had called to tell me that he was coming to town for the day to bring my cousin Bassim, fom overseas, to see San Antonio. So we met up with them briefly at the Alamo gift shop, where Kayci decided to buy a bonnet with the money she had brought on the trip. We bought Noble a coon-skin cap. :)

After lunch, we decided to let Kayci settle the decision from the day before whether to go to the mirror maze or to Ripley's. She chose the mirror maze. I was initially disappointed because it sounded dumb to me, but we had given her the decision, so we stuck by it. It turned out that the mirror maze was actually pretty cool, and we ended up spending over an hour going through it several times. It also didn't hurt that it was nice an cool in the maze. The maze was in a dark room with only rope lights on the floors lighting the way. There were mirrors on all sides, and it was often tough to tell if what was right in front of you was a mirror or not. Kristi took Noble through in his stroller, and he was really quiet the whole time. Poor little guy - I'm sure he didn't quite know what to make of it. "Why were there sixteen Kaycis all around him? Why were we walking around in the dark? Did I get some bad fruit snacks?"

When we were walking earlier in the day at La Villiata, we had a great conversation with a man walking a beautiful Afghan Hound named Boomer. He told us that there was a dog show going on across the street and that we should come by. So after the mirror maze, we did just that. It was nice and cool inside and there were hundreds of dogs everywhere. noble had a great time looking at all the"dog dogs" walking around. We had a great time looking at all the different kinds of dogs. Best of all, it was free!

After the dog show, we got in the car and headed for home. Three hours and quick stop at Buckee's later, and we ended up our great weekend.

1 comment:

Holly said...

Thanks for sharing your family trip with us, and thanks for telling us about the Guenther House; I'm going to San Antonio next weekend, and it's definitely a stop on the trip!