The rest of our mini-vacation was much fun and full of discoveries. My first discovery Sunday morning was that my stylin’ new sandals were great for kicking around Duncan, but they were no bueno for traipsing all over San Antonio. Since I did not have my fashion expert with me (Jesse) to tell me what a dork I was, I put on my tennis shoes with my capris and was comfy, but not cool. Our first stop of the morning was Mi Terrias for the best coffee and Mexican breakfast ever. I love that place. It was festive and fun, and I was like a kid in a candy store. Actually they have a bakery that is most wonderful, but we stuffed ourselves on traditional Mexican food like barbacoa and chorizo and eggs with papas, etc.After breakfast, we moved on to the Mercado or what is called Market Square. Although we bought lots of typical tourist stuff, like a guayabera shirt for Toby, a festive dress for Jesse, a colorful purse for me, vanilla for Sara, we also bought some items like colorful Mexican dishes and a sink for my new house. I’ll mention now that before we left SA, we also went to a tile store to look at Mexican tile for our house. Boy, do I love all the bright colors. We eventually made it back to the hotel with all our purchases – looking much like tourist. This is another restaurant in the Market Square, La Margarita. We did not eat there, but it is such a great building.
Our second discovery turned out to be a totally different area of SA for me. I took Toby down to the King William Historic District to show him the beautiful homes. We walked the neighborhood and took some photos. In this same area, Toby said there was suppose to be an artist community with galleries and such called the Blue Star Arts Center. We found the right place, but the galleries were closed on Sunday. The only places open were a bicycle shop and a microbrewery, which seems to cater to bicyclists. Toby was in hog heaven. We sat out on the deck and tried the different beers and watched the cyclists on the River trail. My beer was a pale ale, while Toby drank some sort of IPA. It was probably one of the best parts of the whole trip.
We moved on down to the La Villita, which was another big disappointment – most of the shops were closed on Sunday. Since we had such a big breakfast and had skipped lunch, we decided on a fancy steakhouse for supper. It was very plush and nice and a great steak, but a bit pricey. I could have bought a whole calf for what one steak cost. Still, it was a great experience. We ate the whole thang, ‘cause that is what you do when you pay an exorbitant amount of money for your meal. Then we walked it off on the River before heading back to the hotel. I’ll mention here that we stayed in the Holiday Inn Express Market Square, which was supposed to be a four star hotel. It was very nice, and it had a shuttle to the Riverwalk and Mercado (although the mercado was within two blocks). It made it very handy, but I had to laugh at something my friend Farah says – Priceline and Hotwire are great, but then you have two-star people staying in a five-star hotel.
Monday we ate breakfast and bought some bakery items at Mi Tierras before driving on to Houston. There was not much to discover between Houston and SA. While in Houston, we did some rather normal shopping and had a rather normal meal. Toby went to his meeting on Tuesday morning, and we headed home after lunch.
Our last big discovery was in the little town of West, Texas, on I-35 north of Waco. Toby had been there before and highly recommended we stop. If you are ever driving on I-35, be sure and stop at the Czech Stop. Apparently the area was settled by Czechs and you can get some great sausage, breads, cheeses, and bakery items at this fairly famous roadside store. We had sausage in homemade bread and a maple twist. We also bought some jalapeno beer bread, which was just pretty good.
Although I knew this, it still feels like a new discovery - Texas is a big state with lots of interesting cultural sites. It sure feels good to be home.