Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Trip to San Antonio

It was sunny and hot at the Alamo!

At the Riverwalk

As of last Saturday night, we're back in Amarillo.

On Tuesday morning last week, Benjamin, Abigail and I got in the Camry and traveled to San Antonio. Michele was already there, finishing up a two-day teacher's conference.

My kids are good travelers. We made good time on the road. But everyone was tired when we finally made it there and met up with Michele around 6:00 that evening. We all took a dip in the motel pool and had a 22-inch pizza delivered to the room.

Next morning, we decided that our choice for Wednesday was Sea World. We got passes and parking tickets online and took off. A couple things about Sea World.

First, like a lot of other first-class "adventure parks," this one is pricey. If you decide you want to go, buy your tickets and parking pass online and find every coupon and promotional break you can.

Second, we really liked the variety of Sea World. It has all kinds of shows and exhibits. But it also has a water park and lots of rides you'd expect to find at a regular amusement park. We were there for the entire ten hours and didn't come close to doing and seeing everything we wanted to.

Favorite sea-life attraction: Dolphin Cove, where you can get really close to dolphins, and maybe even pet one. The "Shamu Rocks Texas" show gets an honorable mention.

Favorite ride: the Steel Eel. It was fun getting to sit next to Abigail on her first serious roller coaster. But she nearly squeezed my arm off.

I guess it was the combination of water and sun and staying up a little too late on Tuesday night watching some of that marathon All-Star Game. It was nearly 10:00 when we woke up Thursday morning. I can't remember the last time I slept that late. The worst part was, we completely missed the complimentary breakfast! I could hear Gomer Pyle saying, "For shame, for shame, for shame!"

Anyway, Thursday was our "Alamo and River Walk Day." After a very late brunch, we ventured downtown. There's so much to do and see down by the river. In the afternoon, we stayed cool walking around in the Riverwalk Mall. Then, we decided to see the IMAX film about the Battle of the Alamo.

From there, we walked two blocks over to the Alamo itself and spent a good bit of time looking around inside and out. I understand Texas pride and the street names in Amarillo a little better now, although I still don't get all of the fanatical stuff. Texans are awfully proud of Texas, if you didn't know. That evening, we took in the Riverwalk and had supper at one of the many restaurants there.

Friday, the four of us traveled north from San Antonio to my folks' house in Altus, Oklahoma. Along highway 281 in Texas, I'd have to say that Marble Falls gets the nod for nicest looking town. I noticed that we'd eventually make it to Mineral Wells, Texas. I instantly recognized that name from my wonder years.

Back then, every summer my parents would take me and my sisters to Possum Kingdom Lake (called "PK" by folks in the region) near Mineral Wells. For a week or more, we'd sleep late in the morning, ski and swim during the day, and fish well into the night. Those were some of the best times I ever had.

I decided to take my wife and kids to see some of those places. It brought back so many memories, and I found myself wanting to renew the tradition there. Maybe next year, I'll be writing about our trip to P.K. We'll see.

1 comment:

Dee Andrews said...

Sounds like y'all had a wonderful trip, Frank. San Antonio is SUCH a neat place and the Alamo is one of, if not THE, top historical place in Texas to go.

Being a proud (but I don't think "fanatical" quite) Texan, I am very happy that my parents chose that I be born on March 2 - Texas Independence Day!! Much later, of course, but that's a pretty memorable occasion.

I grew up studying Texas history, of course, and that was really neat. Our history teacher was a recent grad of Texas Tech (working on his masters), so he taught our high school class like a college class. That was neat because he told us all of the stuff that wasn't in the standard history books. We got the REAL stories.

I don't know that I'd chose Possum Kingdom and Mineral Wells over San Antonio, though! Maybe from a kid's perspective, which you have the advantage of having.

Glad you're home safe.

Cheers & Blessings to you all today!