After the Canfield Fair, I boarded a plane WAY TOO EARLY on Saturday morning to head to San Antonio. Believe it or not, this was my first-ever visit. There aren’t that many US cities left for me to explore, but there are a few.
You may be wondering, “how does one go from the Canfield Fair in northeast Ohio to San Antonio? Better yet, WHY would someone do this?” The only reason I can think of is to attend the wedding of a dear friend that was scheduled after making plans to visit Ohio. And of course, I can’t fly all the way to a new city for a wedding and not check it out. While I only had about 24 hours, I squeezed as much out of San Antonio as possible.
For those of you who think I’m the Energizer Bunny, I must confess that my first order of business upon arrival at my hotel was to take a nap! My days in Ohio were really full, and a 4:00am wake up is something I can’t handle. But, after a few minutes of shut-eye, I was ready to go!
Since I LOVE barbecue, my first stop was Smoke Shack BBQ. I always chuckle when I’m in Texas, because there’s never any doubt about where you are. Texans are proud of their state!
I’m usually one who slathers her barbecue with sauce, but this had something delicious on it already, and I didn’t feel the need to use any additional sauce. Amazing!
Next, I visited Historic Market Square, where I literally felt transported to Mexico. Bright colors are everywhere, live music is playing, people are speaking Spanish, and there are lots of shops and food vendors to explore. I walked around looking at the pottery and decorations. (I actually bought a small pottery item, which shattered a couple of days later when my carryon bag fell off of my suitcase. So sad!)
Since I didn’t have much time, I had to move to on to the next site – the Alamo! I’ve heard from many people that it’s very small and underwhelming, but what I didn’t expect was that it is smack in the middle of the city! Only a small plaza sets it away from the road, and there are high rise buildings all around it! I walked through the buildings and the grounds listening to an audio guide of the history.
Before heading back to my car, I took a walk along the River Walk. The river winds around through the city, which is really cool. There are restaurants and bars located along the way.
I went to The Luxury for a snack, because a colleague told me they had a whole bunch of porch swings. I should’ve ordered their fries, which is supposed to be their specialty, but instead I ordered a salad. It wasn’t that good, but the setting is cool. There are yard games and a variety of tables and swings throughout the property. It probably didn’t help that the couple next to me was having an incredibly stupid conversation, which I couldn’t help but listen to being alone. At one point, I finally put in my headphones in an attempt to drown them out.
My final stop of the evening was the Pearl District. This neighborhood was built after the Pearl Brewery closed in 2001. Cars are not allowed to drive through many of the streets, and there are tons of restaurants, shops, and residential buildings. If I lived in San Antonio, I think I would live here. There were so many people out enjoying the evening. I came for the ice cream at Lick, but meandered through many of the streets taking in the scene. Such a fun way to end the day!
On Sunday morning, I did something I rarely do…I rented a bike! One of the suggestions a colleague gave me was to rent a bike from Blue Star Bike Shop and bike south on Mission Trail to visit the old missions. It was 20 miles roundtrip to visit all four of them, but given that I had to get back to the hotel and get ready for a wedding, I could only make time to bike 7.5 miles and visit two of them. It was crazy hot, and as usual, I was ill-prepared for the conditions. This time, I had the right footwear, but no food or water. Ha! Thankfully, I didn’t die, and I actually loved this activity.
[Mission #1: Mission Concepcion – dedicated in 1755]
[Mission #2: Mission San Jose – Church was just letting out when I arrived]
[I just loved the detail on these missions]
[No food or water, but I have a basket for my purse!]
I went back to the hotel to get ready for the wedding before heading to McNay Art Museum, which I absolutely loved! I happened to be there on a day with free admission, which was a fun surprise! The museum is in a beautiful hacienda-style building. The grounds had some lovely sculptures, and inside, there were a number of paintings that I loved from a lot of the greats like, Chagall, Cezanne, Monet, Picasso, and Diego Rivera (husband of Frida Kahlo who I learned about last year when I visited Mexico City).
And just before the wedding, I had to have some Whataburger!
The wedding was lovely! I was so happy to watch my friend’s dream come true.
Congratulations, friend! And thanks for getting married in a new-to-me city! I had fun exploring!