Friday, February 17, 2017

FMM - Fun in San Antonio!

Since Jeff was already in San Antonio (he was teaching a class there for the week), I hitched a ride with Karen and Jimmymeow, which was very entertaining.  It takes about three hours to drive there, down highways and some country roads.  Along with a stop at Buc-ee's along the way, we got to see a house - well, half of one, anyway - being moved down the road:
Honestly, it didn't look like there was anything special about this house to warrant the expense of cutting it in half, removing it from the foundation, and trucking it who knows where...but maybe there was sentimental attachment to it, I don't know...

We arrived in San Antonio with enough time to stop at the Pearl Brewery, which is a really cool shopping/restaurant/living area that is being developed in an older, industrial part of town.  We all agreed that if we were single, it would be cool to live in one of the apartments there and hang out in the square below.  We did a little shopping and had lunch at a bakery - Karen and I had creamy tomato soup with cheddar toast, while Jimmy had a BLT that looked amazing but had a little too much garlic aioli on it:
Yummy!  They had some beautiful desserts in the bakery case, but we restrained ourselves.
My traveling amigos for the day!

Once everyone had arrived in San Antonio and checked into the hotel, we walked to Alamo Street Eat food truck park, which was about a ten minute walk away.  Everyone was able to order whatever they wanted for their pre-race meal, which worked out nicely except for us - our dumb pizza took forever to be cooked.  After we finished, we walked over to a restaurant that sold gelato and everyone had a treat.  The ladies sat inside while Jeff, Jimmy and Brian sat outside and waved to all of the people riding by in lighted, horse-drawn carriages.  Inside, we rated the carriages - there was one princess-looking carriage where the horse was even wearing a little crown!  Fun times.

The next morning was the race, and afterward, we drove to the Guenther House, for our traditional post-race breakfast extravaganza.  This go-round, knowing how long the wait would be (totally worth it, btw), we planned ahead and bought one of their ginormous cinnamon rolls to share from their bakery.  They offer complimentary coffee and water while you wait, so we were set.  This cinnamon roll was amazing.  So good - doughy and soft and I'm just going to say it, better than the cinnamon roll at Blue Baker.  Probably a good thing we can only get this in San Antonio, though:
I didn't get a picture of it before everyone started unraveling it, but it filled the container!

We lazed around waiting for our table to be ready - the sun came out and I ended up getting a little bit of a sunburn before we moved into the shade!  It was nice, though - we all chatted and got to catch up with each other, including Cristy, who we don't get to see very often as she lives near Austin.  When we were called for our table, we were pleased to see that they'd given us our own's like our reputation preceded us (or maybe we just smelled bad from the race, haha):
Julia's daughter Jessica took this picture - we had one shot, as right when we decided to take the picture, the waiters arrived with our food!

Speaking of food:
Their biscuits are ridiculously good.  Guenther House is home to the Pioneer Flour Mills, so yeah - they do biscuits right.  I had one with homemade peach jam and the other with sausage gravy.  You will notice that most of the peach jam biscuit is gone because I was hungry and dove right into eating before thinking of taking a picture.

After we ate our fill, we went back to the hotel for showers and siestas.  It is really nice to do a race on Saturday instead of Sunday, because we had time to relax afterward and still enjoy the area. 

That evening, we walked back to the food trucks for dinner - I didn't think I was very hungry, but once my food arrived, I was ravenous!  Of course it was after 7:00 pm, so that might have had something to do with it as well.  I ordered a new-to-me item - a grilled cheese sandwich filled with BBQ pork and mac and cheese, served with spicy jalapeno pickles on the side.  It was AMAZING.  Again, probably good that I can only get this food once a year in San Antonio (I do not need to know if I can find a sandwich like that locally because seriously, I do not need to eat a sandwich like that, yummy as it was, more than once a year).  Then we walked over to a boozy ice cream shop, where you could get homemade ice cream that was infused with booze (or had a shot poured over it), or not.  Jessica had a flavor that was full of edible glitter, which was very colorful, as you can imagine!  I had cookie dough - no booze for me.  Jeff had The Dude, which was a White Russian in the form of ice cream.  Mine was really rich and I only ate half of my ice cream - I almost ordered the kid's size, and I should have, but my brain told me I needed more.  I did not, as it turned out. 

We poked around in a shop nearby, and then half of our group walked to the Riverwalk, while Jeff and I, along with Julia and Jessica, headed back to the hotel.  Jeff's feet were not having much more in the way of walking at that point.

The next morning, we woke up and walked over to El Mercado, or Market Square, for breakfast at Mi Tierra restaurant.  This restaurant is a San Antonio institution and is celebrating 75 years.  Some of the waitstaff have been working there for 40 years, which is pretty amazing.  The restaurant looks like Christmas year-round:
 ...and yes, there are Christmas trees behind Jeff!

We ate breakfast - Jeff ordered pancakes, which are called hot cakes on their menu, but he insisted on saying "panqueques" to our waitress - LOL.  I had a breakfast taco and also I bought a shirt, because I loved it so much:
I do, I do indeed!

We finished earlier than expected, and had a bit of time to kill before the shops opened, so we walked across the street to a park, where I thought for a moment that birds were actually part of this statue:
Nope.  Especially not the one on his head.  This is Ben Milam, from Kentucky.  He played a big role in the Texas revolution and you'll see his name everywhere (there's even a Milam elementary school in our town).

The Market Square shops opened at 10:00 am, so we went poking around.  I was looking for a couple of things and came away happy:
I bought a bowl for my coffee table, and a bigger planter for Marvia, my succulent.  Bottom shot shows one of the smaller shops - I took the picture, with the name of the shop showing, so I could remember that I wanted to go back there when I was considering planters...there are so many shops carrying similar items that it's hard to remember what you saw, and where it was.

The outdoor vendors sold food and we all had to get some fresh fruit:
They cut up the fruit right as you ordered it!

Jeff bought me an early Valentine's Day present - a pair of micro flower earrings:
Tiny sunflowers, grown in a greenhouse in Spring, TX.
Here's a closeup that I took with my Macro lens from a kit that Mini sent me - there's something about taking a picture of a micro flower with a macro lens from Mini Cooper that warms my alliteration-loving heart.

By then, it was time to hit the road for the drive home.  We had such a good time in San Antonio - I don't know why we don't go there more often.  It's a great town for a weekend getaway...and fitting a fun race in is just icing on the cake (or gravy on the biscuit, HA!).


  1. I went to San Antonio several years ago for a conference. I loved it and need to go back.

    Those earrings are awesome!!

  2. Oh my gosh, you should be looking on Groupon to see if you can find hotel deals to just go spend a couple days there - so much to do and so much good food!

    "a grilled cheese sandwich filled with BBQ pork and mac and cheese, served with spicy jalapeno pickles on the side" WANT (and I just had breakfast). Seriously, I think I'm going to give the description of this to our favorite bar and see if they can match it!

  3. I really need to get back to San Antonio! My brother lived there for about 10 years, I used to love visiting him there! It's been ages since I've been downtown, or in any kind of young, trendy area (similar to me rarely going to downtown Chicago when I lived there, we rarely traveled far from his part of town). The Pearl brewery area sounds really neat!

    We stopped at the Buc-ees between Houston and SA a few years ago. I still have all kinds of beaver paraphernalia (in a box somewhere).

    Love those earrings! They're so pretty and look very "you" :)

  4. We love San Antonio, but it's been years since we visited! Looks like a fun and tasty trip! :)

  5. Oops. I read on my kindle and forgot to come back and comment. I LOVE this post. I was hoping on Wednesday that we'd get to hear more about your San Antonio visit. So many fun things, and not just the food :) Although, you know I'm loving the food descriptions. I LOVE the pottery you got. Now there's even more reason for me and Helen to come with you to San Antonio :)

  6. You got to visit some great places during your time there!
    Perhaps the people were restoring that half a house???

  7. That definitely was a fun weekend, you are so lucky with your wonderful group of friends. Great company to spend a lovely weekend with.


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