Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The stars at night, are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas

I love posting frequent updates about my travels on facebook. I love posting updates on locations, pictures of food, pictures of Qiana. I feel it brings people along, lets them live a little through you. The only downside is, I am not one who likes to repeat herself, so writing a blog post about my travels seems redundant and therefore tedious. But I want to have a record of the things I do, so I must blog about it. frustrating. 

Janice and Larry Woodruff have been a part of my life as far back as I can remember, and when my mother passed they, along with every child of theirs made it to her funeral. That's how close we are. In the years since my mother's death, Janice has kept very close tabs on us kids. Reading out blogs, checkin in on facebook, and emailing us updates, questions, and comments. Janice, has even made Qiana an honorary grandchild and has taken it upon herself to send Qiana an angel ornament every year in honor of my mother.  That's how awesome the Woodruff's are.  Janice has been wanting us to come visit for awhile, and of course wanted to meet Qiana, so when I decided that I needed to get in a vacation before I moved and had no vacation time, I knew that San Antonio was the place to go. I had never been to Texas, and the thought of seeing Janice and Larry and getting some heat after this awful winter, was too much to pass up.  

Day #1

Qiana did amazing on the flights. She only slept on one leg of the flight (the first one home in the early am), and instead entertained herself looking out the window, watching movies, eating snacks, singing quietly with mommy, or looking around her. I even got compliments from people seating either around or beside us about Qiana's behavior,...which is always nice, nobody wants to have the kid that makes everybody want to cut their ears off. 

We left Spokane on the early flight and reached Austin in the evening. It was a gorgeous 80 degrees...it felt so nice. There was a band setting up to play a set right in the airport...I thought "yep, we are in Texas".
On the way to San Antonio we stopped for dinner in Groene, TX, famous for the oldest dance hall in Texas (and was actually in the movie "Michael")

Unfortunately, there was a private party going on so we were unable to go inside, but we ate dinner at this delicious restaurant that was next door.
Gristmill Restaurant.
The building was gorgeous, the view was breathtaking, and the food was delicious. I still have dreams about those creamy mashed potatoes. 
This was the view from our table outside. Apparently in the summer this river is full of rafts and drunk people. A real social hub. 

Day #2

We headed downtown to the San Antonio Children's Museum to let Q have some fun. I loved the Seattle Children's Museum, and this one was so fun too. It was the perfect place to let Q run around, and produced an endless amount of smiles and of course pictures. 

After the Museum we drove around downtown a little bit, seeing some of the sites, and getting familiar with the city. We then stopped and walked around the market place. Q slept in her stroller the whole time we walked around shops, where I picked up this cute little dress for her

Then Janice and I shared a delicious appetizer platter and some flan at Mi Tierra, this delicious mexican restaurant in the Market that has been there forever. The place is crazy decorated!! and they had this huge mural along the walls painted with famous Texas Mexicans...so funny. 

Day #3

We got up early and ended over to Sea World. I knew this was going to be a hit with my animal loving Qiana. The weather was so nice, and we had so much fun. We watched all the animal shows, a Muppet 4D movie, and hung out at this cool Bay of Play area for small children complete with amusement rides and sesame street dance party. 

True Story: Q was the only kid dancing...hahah, yep , that's my girl.

Everytime we came around to Janice, Q would do this pageant wave, I swear people of Texas thought I was training her for "Toddlers and Tiaras". 

Oh it was a very good day, and Q fell fast asleep during the stroll back to the car, and even slept when we got home, so mommy got a nap in too. 

Most evenings we just hung out at Janice and Larry's. Watching TV, strolling the neighborhood, or playing in their cute play area.  It was pure enjoyment.

Day #4

We headed back down to downtown San Antonio. First, we stopped at the Kiddie Park. One of the oldest amusement parks and perfect for little kids. 

again, with the wave!

She got to go on the ferris wheel by herself, and didn't freak out...I was impressed. 

Then we headed over to see the Alamo and the RiverWalk. 
The Alamo: It;s so weird to see such an historical building in the heart of this city, surrounded by normal buildings and citylife. It's a lot smaller than I thought, but was fascinating to walk through. We opted to miss out on the long movie, and chose the 15 minute version of the Alamo events instead....janice slept through it. :) Not quite sure what those guys were thinking, but good for them for taking a stand...but they lost...hardcore. 

The RiverWalk: This is such a nice area, and would be a great place to hang out in the evenings or weekend and people watch. There are tons of restaurants and stores all along the River. We took a little boat tour of San Antonio on the River. The weather was beautiful, and Q loved being on the boat, and although we were supposed to stay seated, Q enjoyed walkin up to the front and watching the ducks in the water. 

We rode past this little place that was feature in the movie "Miss Congeniality"...recognize it?

We headed over to Dick's Last Resort for some dinner. They advertise this restaurant as "service with sarcasm"-where the waitresses make fun of you and what not. Our waitress was actually very pleasant to us (kind of a bummer), but I was okay with not having to wear a ridiculous hat that had a phrase mocking me written on it. 

I chose to try some catfish and fried pickles because it seemed so southern to me, and both turned out delicious! 

Q, although she did munch on some fried just enjoyed playing with her balloon flower and coloring. 

Day #5

This was our relaxing day. Q and I drove around a little bit, ran to the store to pick up travel snacks for the way home, and pick up lunch just me and Q. 

it was a good thing we didn't have much planned for this day, cause Q needed a day of rest. She would have bouts of crying fits, and got in trouble a lot this day. Poor girl, was just reaching her limit. But with a lot of naps, I think she recovered. 
Then when we got home, we took a long walk around the neighborhood. Q is obsessed with collecting rocks, sticks, leaves, etc...so she enjoyed being outside and running around. Oh my little outdoorsy girl. 
Plus we got to see this little guy crawl up the side of the house...welcome to Texas.

She enjoyed laying on the ground and watching this little bug walk around the cement...free entertainment.

That night, after Q went to sleep, Janice and I headed out to this Honky Tonk Bar in Helotes. It's a pretty old dance hall, where Willie Nelson kind of got his start. It was just like I imagined a bar in Texas being like. A local band singing country hits on the stage, couple two stepping on the dance floor, and boots/hats/spurs hanging from the ceiling. I picked up a little bread pudding, sat down and watched the locals have a good time.  It was family night, and there were all ages there dancing and having a great time. so fun. 

Oh what a night. Plus this random dude kept asking Janice to dance, and she was nice enough to say yes. I have video if any of her kids want proof. hahahha

Day #6

Our last day. Sad. 
We decided to hit up the San Antonio Zoo. It wasn't as large as the Seattle one, and had more fish and birds than anything, but Q was entertained and that means it was a success. 
She was a super fan of the monkeys...but who isn't. 

true story: this little goat was a vicious vicious animal,,,who would attack me while I tried to feed him. He knocked Q down to the ground too. I hate goats.

Q loved him. 

There was this cute little train that drove around the Park that contained the Zoo, a golf course, the japanese tea gardens, and a museum, which was a nice little ride, even if it was a bit chilly that day. 

On the way home, we stopped at Rudy's BBQ for some dinner. OH MY GOODNESS It was so delicious. I went with the potato salad, chopped brisket, ribs, and peach cobbler.  My stomach was in heaven!!!

Oh what a fabulous trip!!!
Thanks to Janice and Larry for putting up with us, and letting us come stay.

The night before we left, Janice gave Qiana this little Princess Tiana doll. She had found out how much Q loves babies, when she attached herself to this little doll Janice had and insisted we bring her in the car everywhere we went. Janice wanted Q to have her own little princess.

this was the scene the day we got back from the trip, and she hasn't let it go far from her sight since....I like she likes it. 

Whew, longest post ever?


duke of earl said...

Wow, fun trip, great pictures, your daughter is amazing.

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

I'm so glad you decided to repeat yourself since I'm not on facebook.

I love San Antonio. Haven't been there in years. You make me want to go back.

Hey...you did something off your bucket list -- the honky tonk bar.

Sounds like a great trip . . . and Janice sounds like a great friend.

Kacey Nielsen said...

Worth it! Fantastic post and fantastic trip. Never been to Texas... but I now will forever just get hungry thinking about it. it all sounded delicious. Minus maybe the fried pickles.

Larry and Janice said...

Angie - I love this post - I'm keeping this for my scrapbook/journal (the one I never make myself!). It was so awesome of you and Q to come see us! We LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!!

Colleen said...

Sometimes non-family family are the best family of all! Looks like an amazing trip...and I can't ever get over how gorgeous Q is!

Kelsey and Jon Edwards said...

My freshman year of college I had 5Texan roommates. 5. They wore Texas sweatshirts, earrings, necklaces, and probably pants somehow. Their Texas pride was enough to make me anti Texas ever since.
So imagine my surprise when I'm reading your post and all I want to do now is go to Texas. The food alone has made me forget my previous opinions.