Every year around this time, my husband has a work conference to attend. Since his expenses are covered, we tend to tag along and make a family trip out of it as well to save some money! This year, the conference was in San Antonio. We stayed for a full week, and we had so much fun…
Our first full day there happened to be a beautiful 80 degree Texas day. We went to the Riverwalk, enjoyed the weather and good food, and even decided to go on one of their boat tours. We lucked out and got one early enough that it wasn’t packed yet, as we saw they were later in the day. Caroline enjoyed the boat tour, but most of all on this day, she enjoyed the pool.
It didn’t matter that it was NOT a heated pool. The water was freezing, but she was right in it having fun. It was so cold, it took your breath away, but luckily the sun warmed us up as soon as we were out of the water. It was too cold to do much in the pool, but she had fun splashing around, and we all jumped in at one point!
Pretty much as soon as we’d arrived in San Antonio, Caroline noticed the Tower of the Americas and was asking to go up. The next few days were busy. Joe had classes at the convention center, and then the trade show to attend. We’d typically meet him for lunch and have the back half of the day with him. The weather was cold and rainy. We fit in a visit to the Alamo, but then didn’t find time to fit in the Tower until the very last day of our trip!
Our hotel was walking distance to the convention center, and to the Riverwalk, but it was a decent walk when you have a toddler in tow. Caroline did OK at walking, but she really wanted to be carried- so much! We haven’t used the stroller with Caroline basically since she could walk, so we definitely didn’t bring it on the trip with us. We managed, but our arms got a workout!
When we did finally get to the Tower on the last day, Caroline enjoyed it. She wasn’t quite sure about the 4D ride, though. Halfway through she decided it was not for her and she needed to “get out of here”.
Next to the Tower, there is a park equipped with swings, climbing fun, and even a sand pit with water. Caroline’s favorite activity there was a little red seat that spinned, and playing in the sand. When we first went over to the sand pit, she was the only one there. She played with shovels and buckets and was having a great time.
3 older boys came over and turned the water on. Caroline was thrilled! She did a great job trying to play with them, and learned quickly that if she set something down, it was fair game for someone else to use. She started getting quick to take things when others set them down as well LOL!
At some point she just got soaked. She was standing in puddles of water and splashing and just having a blast. We only had one pair of shoes for her on this trip, since we weren’t anticipating them getting soaked. Caroline got to go to Payless and buy a beautiful pair of purple shoes as a result. Lucky girl!
Thursday was the opening day of the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo. I used to have a blast going to the rodeo when I lived in Texas. A concert ticket gets you into the carnival grounds, and in to see the entire rodeo. While I knew this wasn’t the best idea logically (going to a rodeo that started at 7 which is Caroline’s usual bedtime), I knew I wanted to take her.
We showed up a little before 5 to do the carnival and petting zoo. I also hadn’t realized that we had to pay for carnival rides separately. After we’d purchased wrist bands for the 3 of us, we then realized that we couldn’t ride any of the rides with Caroline. We pretty much only needed the band for her!
She was such a big girl, and rode the rides that she could, all by herself! I wasn’t sure if she’d do it, but she hopped right on and had so much fun. She would have done that all night if we’d let her!
Caroline had her first funnel cake, enjoyed some nachos, and jumbo corn dogs.
Next came the rodeo at 7. She was enjoying it for a little less than an hour, and then got restless. She was picking out her favorite horses and having fun. We walked around a bit, and then came back and found an empty back row so she could stretch her legs and walk around more.
After the rodeo, Caroline got to see her first concert- Gary Allan. Not the greatest concert LOL! He has a couple of good songs, but even those are just ok. I was so happy to see Caroline’s reaction to being at a concert though. She wore ear muffs and seemed to enjoy herself. We left early to beat the crowds.
The rides were still open for a bit when we went outside. We stayed until 10:30pm riding and riding all we could. She loved it.
The next day, we took a road trip to Texas A&M. This is where I went to college, and I hadn’t been back since I graduated 12 years ago. A lot had changed! Tons of new buildings, and even more construction going on. The apartments that I used to live had have been torn down and completely redone. It was so crazy to see! On campus, we saw the newly renovated Kyle field, and walked around the MSC. Caroline loved the fountain. We went to the Century tree, and to the Bonfire Memorial. One of my good friends from college came down for the day as well. I got to meet her 2 daughters, and Caroline really enjoyed playing with them. It was such a great day.
If we go back to San Antonio for a conference another year, we definitely plan to make visiting A&M a tradition. It was such a cold day, so it wasn’t the greatest to just be walking around campus. I’d love to go back and walk around more, though.
One of the most exciting parts of going back to Texas, was the food. Had we been going to Austin, I’d have had a HUGE list of places that I wanted to eat. Some of those favorites were in San Antonio, and then I had a few favorites in College Station on my list as well. We did as much as we could: Freebirds, Rudy’s BBQ, Amy’s Ice Cream, Which Wich, Blue Baker, and Caffe Capri. We even had lunch at a Schlotsky’s, and grabbed a banana split at Ghirardelli on the Riverwalk.
Caroline did pretty well on this trip. She did a phenomenal job traveling. Hands down, she was well behaved and just did a great job on the driving parts and the plane rides. She was overtired, though. Some days we skipped naps, and some days we stayed up late, so she had her moments of not listening. Not my favorite thing to do, because a tired toddler is no fun, but we made some wonderful memories and it was well worth it.
One of my favorite moments, was having a cartoon morning in bed as a family. It is a RARE occurrence that we have Daddy at home in the morning. Very rare. We don’t get weekends at home like most do. So, to have Joe with us when we woke up was amazing. We stayed in our jammies, all climbed in bed together and watched cartoons. It was wonderful. I wish we could do this more often- tickles and all 🙂
I love these trips. This is going to be our family vacation time even when our kids are in school. We’ll be the parents pulling our kids out for a family vacation, because this is when we have the time to do it (not over the summer or spring break). It was such a lovely vacation. We are definitely looking forward to a warm weather vacation, though – because this was not it! It was colder in TX than it was at home in MD. Next year we get to go to San Diego. Beaches here we come!