Who knew you had to travel to San Antonio, TX to get your picture taken in front of an air brushed painting of Spock? I had no idea going in that the opportunity would present itself.
So we have just returned home from our over nighter. It was totally worth the trip.... in weird and unexpected ways. San Antonio is one of those places you just have to go see if you are at all curious about it. There is enough to do and see to fill up three or four days if you have a car to get around in. We stayed right on the River Walk in the Omni La Mansion Hotel.
The hotel was in a good spot and we walked around downtown all day yesterday. The River Walk is pretty far out. It's kind of like a Texan version of Venice.
It was only disappointing in that there is nothing much besides restaurants along the walk. I expected more boutiques and/or specialty shops. We did eat lunch on the walk and had fresh guacamole prepared table side by our waiter. It was really good. After lunch we made our way the short distance through town to The Alamo. Yes... remember The Alamo? Well, it is a busy, busy place to visit. And it is really hard to get a sense of what it must have been like during the war when there are a couple of hundred cheesy (us included) tourists crawling over the place snapping pictures and buying souvenirs. Also... it is surrounded very closely by huge hotels, a mall and parking lots etc. So... while it is interesting to see the main mission building it is kind of a benign experience. It was for me anyway. Maybe I am just not a big enough history buff. We did do the requisite retarded tourist thing though and took pictures of one another standing in front of the mission. SMILE! Thousands of people died here!
Because standing around next to the place for two minutes and having your photo taken means you have a significant history with the place. I was at The Alamo. Actually... Billy got up way earlier than I this morning and he went out for coffee and a walk around town from the hotel. When he returned I asked him where he had been and he said... " I went to The Alamo and no one was there." Ahhhh... a profound experience to be sure.
Last night we had a fabulous dinner at the restaurant in our hotel. The place is called Las Canarias and they do a great job. I do believe it is one of the most favored restaurants in San Antonio. We ate ourselves silly. We started off with something literally called "The Cheese Experience" which was a platter of 5 select fancy cheeses (some locally made) with dried fruits, grapes, strawberries, walnuts and fancy crackers. Giant margaritas were ordered to accompany the cheese experience. For dinner Billy had blue crab and swordfish tempura with an Asian tatsoi salad and Asian inspired mashed potatoes. I know it is nearly impossible to imagine Asian mashed potatoes but you will have to trust me when I say they tasted like sweet and sour mashed. I had a polenta dish that was beautiful to look at... I had no idea for the most part what I was eating but it tasted divine. There were some mushrooms, asparagus and broccolini in there along with lots of other stuff. We shared a dessert. Carrot cake. Carrot cake with pineapple, ginger and blueberry compote. It kicked ass. And I am a real picky snob about carrot cake too. Since I was half drunk and was getting along really well with our waiter I was crying to him a bit about missing out on some kind of chocolate fix with dessert so he brought us out comp house made chocolate truffles to have with our coffee. Perfecto.
Today we had lunch in south town at Rosarios. If you are ever in San Antonio make certain you eat here. It was terrific. Acoustically the place is horrible... you can't hear yourself think. But the food makes it worth the visit. We both had Enchiladas Mexicanas made with a gaujillos and pasillas chile sauce and stuffed with queso fresco. It was serious comfort food.
After lunch we headed to The San Antonio Museum of Art where we had our brains blown out by a traveling exhibit of works by Walton Ford. (Please click through on that link to get an idea of his work.) I cannot say enough how seeing these works in person is a mind blowing experience. First off most of them are huge... some up to ten feet wide and five high. People.... these are watercolors. That is one Hell of a huge water color. They are amazing. I was actually in tears at one point over one particular piece that I wish I could find an image of on the net so you could see it. If any one of you has ever been moved to tears over a painting or other work of art you can appreciate what an intense moment that is. If you have not ever cried like an idiot in front of a painting in a museum then I highly suggest it as a viable pass time. Go directly to to a large museum that houses masterful works of art and wander through until the right thing reaches out and smacks you upside the head. If nothing smacks you upside the head then you might actually be the living dead. A zombie perhaps.
After doing our tofu turkey day shopping at Whole Foods we headed back up to Austin to retrieve Rudy from the boarding place. You want to talk about a stinky dog. Well, that is what we got back. A super stinko dirt ball. I brought him straight home and stuck his weenie ass in the shower. Being that he was pretty much maxed out tired from his two days of doggie day camp he was less than thrilled.
But after some drying time and some sweet talkin' he finally perked up and was glad to be home... and so are we.
I am looking for a cheese experience recovery time. So much eating out has got me feeling like THIS.