Before heading to San Antonio, we needed to finish Carlsbad Caverns. We arrived bright and early to head into the darkness seven stories below ground.
We explored one mile of the cave, called The Big Room.
That left 30 miles of cave we didn’t explore.
It was a cool and moist 56 degrees below ground, something we would remember fondly as we headed into the heart of Texas hill country, San Antonio. As we made our way southeast, we spent a long time on a highway in the heart of oil-boom country. All we saw were oil trucks, pipelines, and crews and crews of men, trucks, and equipment working on them. It was oddly fascinating. Then we hopped on I-10 and the fascination came to a halt. Let me just say that there is very little for a very long way and then all of a sudden you’re in San Antonio, which is huge.
Last night, exhausted from our long day, we grabbed a bite at The Big Bib, a BBQ joint. (If you don’t eat BBQ while you’re in Texas, they don’t let you leave, I think.) The Big Bib is one of those Mom and Pop-type places that makes you smile when you walk in, probably because it smells so good and you know you’re going to get good food, which we did. In fact, the food was pretty spectacular.
See that sweet potato casserole? Nom, nom, nom. Delicious! PS. All this food isn’t for me. I shared it with both my kids. Just felt I needed to put that out there before people start mailing me anonymous memberships to Overeaters Anonymous.
The next morning we went to the Riverwalk. We parked at the far end of the walk. (At The Pearl, an outdoor marketplace. It was also free to park.) We then hailed a river taxi, the best way to see everything. (You pay $15 and can hop on or off anywhere all day.)
And my husband got to add some new birds (a yellow crowned night heron) to his bird list.
(We also saw some neo-tropic cormorants and black bellied whistling ducks.)
If you’ve never been to San Antonio, let me explain that the Riverwalk is fifteen miles of scenic downtown, comprised of shops, restaurants, and this place.
Despite the fact that the Alamo battle took place in 1836, you still get a sort of sad, reverential feeling when you step inside. Or maybe it’s because you’re waiting in nearly hundred degree weather in a line that looks like this.
It’s worth the trip, if only to see this flag which riled my fighting spirit.
You want this cookie?? You’d better come and try to take it!! But I digress…
The river walk is beautiful, even if you never leave the boat. (Considering the high temperatures and crowds of people, you might be better off never leaving the boat. Bring water. And don’t go on the weekend that 85,000 Seventh Day Adventists are there for their annual conference like we did. Oops. At least we had the pork products all to ourselves.)
We left the river walk and headed back toward our hotel for supper. We stopped off at a ginormous shopping mall called La Cantera and ate at a place called Whiskey Cake.
Normally I don’t condone eating at chain restaurants on vacation, preferring instead to eat locally. But this is a regional chain that cooks from scratch using locally sourced ingredients. I would give it a mixed review.
My BBQ pork Bahn Mi was meh. But their eponymous whisky cake was fabulous.
After such a long, hot day, nothing sounded better than a dip in the pool. Nothing except fresh, warm cookies hand delivered to my door, that is. Thankfully Tiff’s Treats offers such a service.
They come packaged like an engagement ring. Coincidence? I think not.
Our biggest surprise about San Antonio was the size. It’s huge, and tonight we learned that Houston–tomorrow’s destination–is four times bigger. Fingers crossed that means four times the cookie bakeries.