Monday, August 24, 2009

My Birthday in San Antonio

I turned 24 on Saturday (yay!), and, to celebrate, Micah and I spent the weekend in San Antonio. We both went when we were kids, but neither of us remember the experience very well. And since I'd spent the past three weeks sitting around doing NOTHING, I wanted to do all the typical touristy stuff while we were there. Here's a rundown of our vacation... and a few pics. :)

After a teary farewell to Lilly at the doggie hotel, we left Houston around 12:30 and got to San Antonio around 4:00 or so. We checked into our hotel, the Crowne Royal Plaza just north of the Riverwalk, unloaded our stuff, and headed down to the Riverwalk to explore. I loved the Riverwalk, although I'm sure it's MUCH more enjoyable when it isn't 100 degrees outside. I just love water. Period. So we paid for a boatride tour of the Riverwalk, which I think was WELL worth the money. I loved hearing all the historical quirks of the city.

(Random picture of one of the MANY bridges we passed under)

Then we had some Mexican food at the Iron Cactus, which was recommended by the concierge at the hotel. It was pretty good, but I've definitely had better food for cheaper. I'd give it a B+.
After that, I'm ashamed to admit, we came back to the hotel and watched the Cowboys game. Let me rephrase, actually. Micah watched the Cowboys game. I finished reading the last Harry Potter book for the MILLIONTH time. Then we went down to the hotel restaurant and shared some chocolate cake for a late-night (does 9:00 count as late night?) treat.

WHEW! Saturday was BUSY! We started out with some Italian food for lunch (which was YUMMY!) and headed to the mall on the Riverwalk, where I made an embarassing purchase. I, Ryan Hargrave, am the owner of a pair of Crocs. You probably can't appreciate the enormity of this revelation. Let's just say that I DETEST Crocs. I absolutely and completely abhor them. But I needed SOMETHING to wear to Schlitterbahn the next day, and I draw the line at watershoes. I just can't do it. So Crocs were the only reasonable alternative. Here's me, a little freaked out that I had just spent $30 on the most detestable shoes on the planet.Anyway, I digress. We bought the awful shoes and went to the IMAX theater to see "Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure" in 3D. Can I just say how AWESOME the IMAX theater is?!? Especially with these cool 3D glasses, which make you feel like sharks are swimming at your face. I definitely jumped back in my seat a few dozen times throughout the movie.

Naturally, we also made a trip to see the Alamo. That was DEFINITELY worth our time. It felt very humbling to be there, and I teared up more than a few times. I'm sure you all know what the Alamo looks like, so I won't post pictures.

After the Alamo, we headed to the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, which purported to offer an "African Safari in Texas." Honestly, we weren't disappointed. There were giraffes, zebras, elk, deer, rhinos, ostriches, antelope, and several other kinds of animals I can't remember. The animals roamed free throughout the ranch, so they'd come up to your car and look right in your window. I fed an elk out of my hand (which I wasn't TECHNICALLY supposed to do, but oh well), and we took a ridiculous amount of pictures. Here's one of some really adorable zebras. :)

The tour ended with a petting zoo, which really just had a few baby goats. This guy wanted NOTHING to do with the food in my hand. He went after the whole bag, and I was apparently a little freaked out. :)

After the wildlife ranch, we went back to the hotel and got ready for dinner. It's kind of a tradition for Micah to take me to Benihana for my birthday. He took me there for my birthday on one of our very first dates, and we try to go back when we can. So we went to Benihana on Saturday night. It was SOOOOOO good. Plus we told them it was my birthday, and they brought out some REALLY yummy orange sorbet and did the whole birthday song routine. Always fun. :) Like the night before, we headed to bed early. Although that was definitely a smart move considering our plans for Sunday.

On Sunday morning, we got up and headed to Schlitterbahn, a waterpark in New Braunfels (about 30 miles northeast of San Antonio). I hadn't been to a waterpark in YEARS, and I was SOOOOO excited. It definitely did NOT disappoint. Most of the rides were SOOO fun, and the lines weren't bad at all. I got flipped out of my inner tube about a billion times, and I'm pretty sure a substantial number of people saw me lose my swimsuit bottoms. Almost lost the Crocs a few times (although, clearly, I wouldn't have been terribly disppointed about the loss). We didn't get any pictures, though, because I didn't feel like carrying around my waterproof camera.
Although I generally don't feel older after birthdays, I was definitely feeling my age this morning when I woke up to some VERY sore arms and legs. All that flailing about must have taken its toll on my aging body. :)
Sunday night we headed to another Mexican restaurant on the riverwalk. The chips and salsa were GREAT, but the cheese enchiladas we ordered were AWFUL. The tortillas were stale, the chili sauce was definitely off, and it was barely lukewarm. Oh well. It gave us an excuse to grab some dessert afterward: Haagen Daaz ice cream!
After dessert, we headed back to the hotel and hit the sack. That sun wiped us OUT.

And then we headed home this morning. I had a GREAT time in San Antonio, but it was nice to be back. I definitely missed my comfy bed and my adorable puppy. Judging by the reception we got at the doggie hotel, she missed me too, but she definitely missed Micah most. Look at her giving ALL my love away.

So there's a (long) summary of my little mini-vacation. I had a BLAST, and it was just what I needed to get motivated to start school tomorrow. :)

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