Travel to: San Antonio

Let me start off by saying that southern hospitality is truly a real thing. My family & I found that out first hand on our trip to San Antonio. After staying there for a week, we weren’t sure that we wanted to go back home. It was as beautiful as the people were sweet. We flew down on a Friday night and got to start our adventures early the next morning. This started with a large delicious heaping of biscuits and gravey at the hotel buffet and went on over to The Alamo.

The Alamo is one of the most significant symbols of Texas and is a gorgeous sight. Now, photos are not allowed to be taken inside the building as a sign if respect to those who passed there. With lots of artifacts and history, it is a very interesting landmark with a lot of history to it.

Then we went on to do a goofy, but fun, adventure that my daddy signed us up for after that. Two words; Segway tour. Now, non of us have ever actually rode one before and he thought it would be an exciting new opprotunity. It actually turned out to be really fun! We got to ride around to some of the most beautiful locations in the city and down the river. Whatever you do, don’t let them fool you, those machines can actually go really fast! At one point of the tour you get to take a break at a park and can play around on the Segways. We were warned not too go too fast in the gravel, because the rocks are loose. Well, my father and I being retired Motocross racers, the first thing we decided to do was race. On our second lap around a corner, I learned my lesson. All I remember was all of a sudden looking up in the sky with the Segway wheels facing towards it. Luckily, I didn’t damage it and all I got was a few scrapes, but oh how I smacked that ground hard! A guy walking down the street actually ran over to make sure I was okay. I was so embarrassed. I had completely flipped my Segway. So, let this be a lesson, don’t race them in the gravel if you decide to do the tour! Otherwise, you may be teased forever!

That evening we went to the little Mexican Market Square and got dinner at a restaurant that served the best Mexican food I have ever had in my life. It was 100% authentic and absolutely delicious! There was even a mariachi band playing. After our amazing dinner we shopped around. There were all sorts of little stores with things from Mexico and Texas stuff. Street vendors were spread out everywhere, and that’s where I got most of my goodies. One lady was handmaking bracelets and another had hammered silver rings from Mexico. A very popular bakery is also located there and I got Mexican chocolate and pasteries. While they were yummy, just keep in mind that Mexican treats are not very sweet!

On our second day we explored all of the missions. Fun fact; The Alamo is actually an old mission, and was on the map showing all of them. We drove all around the outskirts of San Antonio finding all of these beautiful missions and admiring their beauty and history. The largest one was Mission San Jose, which was located in a compound area. It had archways and lots of detailed architecture, as well as a golden stage.

My favorite one would have to Mission San Juan, because I fell in love with its’ simplicity. The outside was a gorgeous stucco white with one little tower top. It consisted of a few rows of pews and a small stage to pray. It had a cozy and romantic feeling to it.

The oldest one was Mission Espada, and it did not have much left to it. The front of the Mission is al that remains, but it was amazing. They will hopefully be restoring it soon!

Then there was Mission Concepcion, which was very interesting. It had lots of passage ways and rooms and almost a castle like appearance to it. The other odd thing was that it was by a school! All of the others were off at national monuments in parks. So who knows how much longer this beauty will be around.

That evening we went to the town square and watched a stunning light show on the San Fernando Cathedral. It was a quick and fun free thing to see. We then went over by the Manger Hotel for a ghost tour of San Antonio. The tour wasn’t as excited as we had hoped, but we did get to learn some pretty cool stuff! If you decide to do the tour, skip my next few paragraphs, so that I don’t ruin it for you. However, do keep in mind that you can actually visit these places all yourself and learn some cool history from me and google.

• The Sister’s Grimm Ghost Tour •

The first stop was The Manger Hotel, where they told us that Mr. Manger himself is known for joining others late at night at the bar. They have had strange circumstances of drinks being thrown at walls and furniture being moved. You also used to be able to rent his room for a few nights, but guests would complain of things being thrown around, going missing and loud unbelievable noises, so I believe it is now off limits.

The Cathedral was another stop. It was known that a nun had hung herself there, and that bodies were actually buried in the walls. What’s worse, is it turns out that where I took a photo by the Cathedral, people are known to have seen the nun hanging behind them, because that’s where she hung her self. I took the photo earlier that morning!

Of course then there are locations like The Alamo with ghosts of soldiers and random unexplained circumstances around the city of San Antonio, but the best one has to be the Holiday Inn Hotel.

The Holiday Inn Hotel actually used to be the city prison/jailhouse. When you look at it you can still see the metal bats on the windows and inside is still the jail house mural and sayings above the check in desk. It turns out that they actually executed people at this one, and would drop them from the second floor down to the first in a noose and hang them. They would they stack the bodies and bury them all together out in the back. No wonder this place has a high haunting rate. Of course it is cleaned up and looks like a normal hotel, but be careful when swimming in the pool. It is actually where the bodies were buried and they dug a bunch up andjust moved them around. A lot of people avoid the pool due to hauntings.

• End of haunting tour •

Early the next morning we headed to House to have a small breakfast and explore the house. It was an old Victorian Style home that was renovated to look original. Right down the street was the King William Historic District, which is known for its’ gorgeous mansions. You can actually tour a few, so we were able to see one. It was all original and decorated superbly. Unfortunately that was the only one open the day we went, but we did get to walk around and see all the pretty homes.

The rest of the day we spent down on the river walk. If you visit Texas, you have to see this. It is a beautiful man made river in the center of the city with tons of shops and restaurants located around it. We had dinner at Dick’s that evening. While their catfish was the best I have ever had, I’m not a fan of the experience. I know that they’re supposed to be rude on purpose, but I found it to be more annoying than funny.

In the morning we packed up and headed out to the Natural Bridge Caverns. I am claustrophobic, so it was a bit nerve racking, but I did it! It’s amazing how the underground forms such pretty shapes and structures. Keep in mind that it is really hot down there and very muggy. We learned tons about stalagmites and other formations, and got great pictures.

Since we got to Texas, the patrons had been nothing but nice, friendly and polite to us. That day however, we truly learned what southern hospitality was. We stopped at a Whataburger, (My brother and I are obsessed with King of the Hill) and the manager overheard us say that we were visiting from another state. He then cane over to our table after bringing us food and started telling us all the best things to go see in San Antonio and where some of the best local’s secrets were. It was the coolest thing ever, such a nice guy!

Later we stopped by the the Buckhorn Saloon. It was an amazing place that consisted of handmade brews & root beer with tons of taxidermy everywhere! The saloon has been around for a really long time, and when locals couldn’t pay their tabs, the owner lady would accept rare or special taxidermy instead. There is everything from a giraffe to a lion to bears to a 72 point buck. It’s very interesting! The saloon is also a museum, so we got to walk around and see some oddities, trophy hunts/fishes and even history about the amazing Texas Rangers! It was a really cool place to go!

In the evening, after dinner, we decided to try an escape room. The place was called Thirteenth Door. They’re known for having an amazing haunted house with a slide to the basement with an actual ghost. But, since it was off season, we did an escape room. The theme was zombie escape. We were trapped in a room with a bunch of others and had to solve puzzles to try to escape. A zombie was chained to a bathroom stall in the middle of the room. After awhile his chain would get longer and longer. You had to get away from him or else he could keep you locked in his stall with him. It was such an adrenaline rush and fun with screeches and excitement! We were one clue away from winning, when he finally got all the way off his chain and Time was up! Even though we lost, it was a blast!!

On our last day of adventure, we drove out to New Braunfels to go tubing. At first we went to the little town and walked around. It wasn’t anything too exciting, but it was cute. Now, I didn’t find it to be hot at all in Texas and almost skipped tubing. I am so beyond glad that I didn’t! You get these gnarly big black tubs and float down a water canal going through the city. It was apart of their storm water/irrigation system. So odd, but so fun! Tons of people actually were off on alcoves swimming and playing on the water, so it wasn’t weird! There were chutes to move the water to lower levels, and we actually shot down themlike a slide! Eventually it dropped us into an actual river and we got to see some beautiful green trees and plants all around us.

We might not have gotten a chance to see everything in San Antonio, but what we did get to see was awesome and I will for sure be back again in the future!

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