San Antonio Travel Guide

Jeremy and I just returned home from a great long weekend getaway in San Antonio, Texas.  We had a great time as this was the first time either of us had been there, and it was a nice way to celebrate our college graduation before Jer heads off to his adult job.  As the Type A person I am, I had every detail of the trip planned down to the last minute.  I wanted to make sure we hit all the best places to eat and see while we were there.  Below you will find my recommendations and opinions of some of the great things we got to experience while we were in San Antonio!

Dining:

Breakfast Options:

Pancake Joe’s

1011 Donaldson Avenue, San Antonio, TX

We visited Pancake Joe’s the first morning of our trip, and when we pulled up I was honestly unamused.  I contemplated going to find somewhere else to eat just because I didn’t think the food could be good, but we went in anyway.  It was located in the middle of a strip mall, but the parking lot was full to capacity, so it had to be good.  Of course, there was a wait, we ended up having to wait 20 minutes for a table. It wasn’t too bad, but if you are going on a Saturday, I would plan on being early, so you don’t have to wait too long.  Y’all if you are ever in San Antonio, make a point to go to Pancake Joe’s, they offer various specialty waffles and pancakes that you can’t try anywhere else, and they are delicious.  I ordered the Cinnamon Roll Waffle, and Jer ordered the Banana Nut Pancakes and a made to order Omelet.  We both thoroughly enjoyed our meals.  For the amount and quality of food we got, it was reasonably priced.  We both agreed it was a 10/10, so if you have a chance try it out!

Colonial Room

204 Alamo Plaza, Menger Hotel, San Antonio, TX

The Colonial Room Restaurant was located in the Menger Hotel.  We had a little bit of difficulty trying to find it, but it was a cute and quaint restaurant.  For my Disney buffs, it reminds me of an older version of the Grand Floridian Café.  The restaurant is known for their buffet, so that is what Jer went with, and he really enjoyed it.  They had a made to order omelet station as well as a made to order waffle station.  I wasn’t too hungry, so I ordered the Blueberry pancakes.  Overall, I was not impressed.  The blueberries lacked flavor, so I was disappointed overall.  The restaurant was nice, but I would have rather gone to Pancake Joe’s again.

Dinner Options Ranked:

#1: Charthouse at Towers of the Americas 

739 E César E. Chávez Blvd, San Antonio, TX 

Hands down my favorite place we ate it. I had been to a Charthouse before, but Jeremy had not.  The food was great, but it was an incredible experience overall.  The restaurant was located at the top of the 750-foot tower, and it did a slow 360-degree spin, so you could see every angle on San Antonio while you were enjoying dinner.  It is a bit more on the pricier side, but it is perfect for a nicer date night on your trip.  With your dinner receipt, you also get access to the observation deck at the top of the tower!

#2: Ristorante Paesanos

111 W. Crockett Street, Suite 101, San Antonio, TX

This was located along the River Walk.  We had an amazing Italian dinner here and coming from Jeremy that means it was extremely good!  We had the option to eat outside which was nice because we could enjoy the view, but they also had a bunch of heaters surrounding the tables to keep you warm during the winter months.

#3: Casa Rio

430 E Commerce St, San Antonio, TX

So Casa Rio is actually known as the original Mexican restaurant along the River Walk. We stopped in for lunch on our last day, and we were told that the outdoor patio area along the actual river was not open for lunch, so we had to eat inside.  The food was good.  There were countless Mexican options available along the river, so I really don’t think you could wrong picking any of them.  We just leaned towards Casa Rio because we enjoyed the menu the most!

Top 5 Things to do!

San Antonio Zoo

This was on the top of our things to do list.  I love visiting zoos and I have heard pretty good things about the San Antonio one!  Being from New Orleans and having the Audubon Zoo in our backyard, I came in with high expectations.  The San Antonio Zoo did not disappoint. They had all your standard zoo animals, but they also had a bunch of special offerings. For example, we got to see a sloth; he was sleeping, but I was still in awe.  There was also a special exhibit of bats, and they freaked me the heck out.  The best thing we did was the giraffe feeding we participated in.  It was $7 to get three lettuce leaves.  We got two tickets, and we were able to get up close and personal to take pictures and feed the giraffes.  Definitely, recommend this experience!

Six Flags Fiesta Texas

Being a Disney annual pass holder, I was not expecting to be amazed by Six Flags.  They had some pretty decent rides, but the overall atmosphere wasn’t that of a typical theme park.  The rides were pretty aggressive, honestly.  I would definitely recommend the park for thrill seekers!  We spent about half a day there.  The lines were not long at all even on the MLK holiday, and we were able to get everything we wanted done!

 

Alamo – Walking Tour

Of course, we had to visit The Alamo, what San Antonio is known for.  I had booked us an hour walking tour ahead of time.  It was $15 per person.  Honestly, I did not have that much knowledge about what took place at this historical site.  The tour was pretty informative and gave a complete story of all the events that had happened there.  The majority of our tour was spent in the plaza right outside of the Alamo.  We actually only spent about 10 – 15 minutes inside the Alamo.  I would definitely recommend the tour if you are like me and do not know much about the history and culture behind this landmark.  Otherwise, it is free to enter the Alamo, so you are able to explore on your own without a tour guide.

 

Natural Bridge Caverns Tour

One of the most unique things we were able to do with our time was visit the Natural Bridge Caverns.  We booked the discovery tour which took you on an hour-long tour of the caverns.  The caverns are actually the largest caverns in Texas and some of the largest in the United States  It was amazing to see all of the natural wonders under the surface.  It was one of my favorite things we did on our trip.  If you plan on taking the tour, you should try to plan in advance because the Natural Bridge Caverns are a little far away from San Antonio.  It took us about 45 minutes to an hour to get there, but it was totally worth it!

 

Go Rio River Cruises

Our last day adventure was taking a narrated Go Rio River Cruise along the River Walk.  We pre-booked our tickets through their main site, so we just had to show up at the main admission’s booth to board a boat.  The cruise was nice.  It would have been nicer if it had warmed up a little.  It was the coldest day on our trip, and the wind was wild especially along the river.  It was a 35-minute tour that took you all throughout the River Walk, and the tour guide explained different historical features as well as quirky facts about the River Walk.  It was nice, but if you skip it you will not be missing much!

Hotel:

SpringHill Suites San Antonio Downtown/ Riverwalk Area

524 South Saint Mary’s Street, San Antonio, TX

Honestly, we picked our hotel because it had the cheapest rates for our stay, but it ended up working out pretty well.  We were not located directly on the River Walk, but we were close enough that we could walk if we wanted to.  The one downfall of the hotel was the parking was horrible.  They had one tiny lot available for all guest, and if there were no spaces available you could park in the paid lot behind the hotel.  This wasn’t a problem per se, but I would have preferred to park in the hotel’s lot.  I can’t imagine what their parking lot looks like when it’s not crowded because it wasn’t very busy while we were there.  Also, we enjoyed the fact that they offered a free breakfast every morning, but it ended at 9, and I was never ready by then. But overall, it was a nice hotel if you are looking for a cheaper but walkable option towards the River Walk!

Overall, we had a great time with some yummy food and great adventures!  Let me know your favorite weekend travel destination in the comments!

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Thank You

Welp, it’s finally happened and when I say finally I mean it.  I may only be graduating a semester late, but I have enough credits to hold at least two degrees, but that’s not important here.  This post is dedicated to everyone who has gotten me to this point, but I wanted to thank the two most important people in my life: Mom and Dad.  This day and achievement are as much about me as they are about you.

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Mom:  Where do I begin?  You’re my best friend and for that, I am forever grateful.  Thank you for the late-night phone calls panicking over exams and homework and everything under the sun.  Thank you for all the times you’ve stayed with me and taken care of me after I had surgery.  Thank you for supporting me even when I went to another SEC school.  Thank you for always reminding me of my worth.  But most importantly, thank you for setting such an amazing example for me growing up.  Day in and day out, I watched you in your office working every day and most nights.  You were the most important example of hard work, and I got to witness it first hand.  Your work ethic and passion for success have led me to not settle for anything less than my very best.  Also, thanks for always being willing to take a Disney trip at the drop of the hat.  I am so thankful for all the memories we have created over these last 4 & 1/2 years, and I can’t wait for more.  I think moving away from college has brought us ever closer than we ever thought possible, so thank you for supporting me and encouraging me through every step of life but especially this one.

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Daddy:  Thank you for instilling me with the value of never settling for anything less than perfect.  I think my eagerness for perfection comes from the ways you pushed me to work my hardest throughout my childhood.  I don’t tell you enough, but I truly can’t thank you enough.  Thank you for believing in me but reminding me that success doesn’t come without hard work.  I can’t tell you how much I look up to you and all you have accomplished.  I will be just as happy to accomplish half of the things you did.  Thank you for spending your “relaxing” retirement moving me in and out of apartments every 6 months.  Thanks for letting me borrow Mom all the times she took care of me, or we went to Disney World.   Thank you for providing me with all of the opportunities in my childhood that you did not have.  Thank you for all you have done and will continue to do in supporting my dreams.

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This post is short, and I apologize for that, but it’s hard to articulate my emotions into words.  My parents are two of the hardest working and driven people I have ever met.  They are my role models and have supported me with endless love throughout the good times as well as the bad times.  I don’t know what I did to deserve them, but I thank my lucky stars every day that these crazy two are mine.  Thank you, Mommy and Daddy, I would not be who I am today without your constant guidance and love.

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Halloween Movie Marathon

The witching hour is upon us… well it will be tomorrow!

It’s kind of crazy to think that it’s already October.  I feel like I was just making New Year Resolutions yesterday, but onward with the holiday season.  To celebrate Halloween for the duration of October, I have decided that I’m going to watch one Halloween themed movie per weekend until October 31st!  I thought this would be a fun way to celebrate the holiday, relax on the weekend, and watch some throwbacks!

So here is my starting lineup!

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Week 1: Kicking things off on the right foot, I opted for a double feature of one of the best Halloween movies in Disney Channel History – Halloweentown.  YAS!  This is a move that I religiously waited all year for as a child for it to come on.  I thrived when Disney kept adding new additions because I loved it so much.  I think this movie should be a year-round thing I’m just saying.  Also, can we take a minute to appreciate that Kimberly J. Brown, the actress who plays Marnie, is currently dating, Daniel Kountz, who played Kalabar’s son in Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge.  OKAY GOALS?!  Also, long live the queen, Debbie Reynolds – any movie to enjoy her quirky and adorableness is a win.

Week 2: A Disney Channel Original Movie that I have not heard in years, Twitches.  Honestly, when I saw it at Target I probably squealed.  This was such a good movie, and I don’t think it got enough love as it should have.  I mean it exposed two of my childhood dreams: 1.) to find a long-lost twin sister and 2.) to be a witch.

Week 3:  Welcome Foolish Mortals!  While the Haunted Mansion attraction may give us the creeps year round, it becomes more relevant this time of year.  I have loved this movie from a young age when it first came out.  Eddie Murphy is hilarious, and I enjoy the background story it gives to the ride.

Week 4: Of course, to finish off this marathon I am ending it with the truest Halloween Classic – Hocus Pocus.  I watch this movie every year around this time, and it never seems to get old.  I love how Disney has brought it back to life with in-park entertainment at the Halloween parties.  It is a true Halloween classic!

And what is any good movie marathon without some snacks?!

I will not deny that I can’t resist a nice glass of wine, especially after a long week.  I’m especially partial to rosé, but any drink would look perfect in this Hallo WINE glass from Michaels!  And what is any glass of wine without a sweet treat to pair it with?  My trifecta Halloween favorites: candy corn, Trolli sour gummies, and of course Resse’s Pumpkins.  I swear that the pumpkins taste so much better than regular peanut butter cups but maybe that’s just me.

Of course, I have my honorable mention movie as a backup!

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Truth be told, I have never actually watched Tower of Terror, but I have been on the ride before.  I am excited to give this a watch for the first time this holiday season!

I hope this movie marathon helps put you in a spooky mood to get ready to celebrate Fall and Halloween!

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Taylor Swift: Reputation Stadium Tour

Are you ready for it?

*Sorry not sorry for all the pictures in this one!*

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Letting my inner cat lady out supporting Meredith and Olivia Swift earrings!

To say I have been counting down the days until finally seeing Taylor Swift on her Reputation Stadium Tour is an understatement.  Especially since I bought the tickets last December, it has been quite the waiting game.  I have been trying to avoid watching Instagram stories and posts from people who have attended the concert previously, and I was somewhat successful.  I wanted to go to the concert not knowing what to expect and be able to fully enjoy the experience for the first time!

Overall: 11/10 – if you have never seen Taylor Swift in concert it should be put on your bucket list immediately!  The girl knows how to put on a great show!

I was super excited when her opening acts were announced.  I shamelessly sing Havana by Camilla Cabello whenever it comes on!  She’s a newer artist, but I really enjoy the music shes put out, and she’s a great dancer, so I knew she would be entertaining! Truth be told, I had no idea who Charlie XCX was before she was announced.  Come to find out shes actually featured on a lot of mainstream hits.  For example, she sings in Fancy with Iggy Azalea!  There’s your fun fact for today!  Both of these girls were great opening acts!  They were super entertaining, and they set the stage perfectly for Taylor.  I really enjoyed them and appreciated that they set out to put on their own individual shows rather than just singing a few songs before the main act.

 

They were great, but I was anxiously impatient for Taylor to come on!  Let’s just say girl knows how to make an entrance.  I fully supported all of the glitter bodysuits she wore throughout the night.  They were the perfect combination of girly but dark to match the overall theme of the album.  She told the crowd that she had broken the record for the highest female attendance in the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans!  OK TAYLOR GO HEAD GIRL!  My dad joked that it was impressive because the New Orleans Saints can’t even sell out their own dome, but she can.

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I have to say I am not a fan of snakes or creepy critters in general, but she knows how to brand her reputation and do it so flawlessly.  I was obsessed with the subtle and not so subtle touches of snakes she incorporated in her performance.  Everything was so well thought out and had a purpose for being there.  She shared with the audience that typically when writing an album she would create all of the songs and choose a title that represented an overall theme.  For reputation, it was different, she knew her title before writing all of the songs, and she knew what each song was going to revolve around.  As a dedicated Swiftie, I know how her name has been drug through the mud for every little thing, but she never failed to say true to herself or her fans, which is what I honestly love about her the most.  She is a celebrity, but I feel like we could be best friends.  She’s quirky, real, and honest which are hard qualities to find in people nowadays.

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My two favorite performances of the night were End Game because 1. that is my favorite song from the album and 2. Ed Sheeran (enough said).  Her surprise song for our stop was Speak Now which is an all-time favorite of mine.  Before she sang it, she let fans know that she had never actually interrupted a wedding before, but this is what she had imagined it would be like.  But probably her best song of the night was Shake it Off!  I honestly don’t think anyone in the dome was sitting down for that one.  It is such an anthem of fun and letting loose that even some of the security staff couldn’t help but dance along.  Also, she wore this amazingly pink ombre sparkle dress that was UHMAZING for it!

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Honestly, last night will probably go down as one of my favorite nights ever!  Also, a final shout out to my mama, my best friend, who has been to every Taylor Swift concert with me and fully supports my obsession.  I honestly could not think of anyone else I would have wanted to spend last night with!

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