Monday, June 18, 2012

San Antonio or Why We Don't Travel

We don't travel a lot.  The last time we took a trip that didn't involve visiting my family in Alabama was our trip to Gatlinburg to get married 2 years ago.  Chris's work schedule makes it difficult to take vacations despite having a ton of time off and I'm still recovering from taking time off last year to have a baby.  So we fit in trips when we have the time off without having to take it.  With my company implementing 4 10 hour days for the summer, we decided to take advantage of my 3 day weekends and get out of town for a few days.  Next time I think that is a great idea, someone smack me.

Not that we didn't enjoy our time away but I wouldn't say it was the fun relaxing weekend we had been hoping for.  We decided to go to San Antonio for the weekend since it's an easy hour and a half drive from here.  I booked the room in April since I was able to get a great deal on a place right in the heart of downtown.  We were set to go.  The closer it came time for the trip, the more I began to doubt whether or not we needed to spend the money on the weekend away.  I guess I should have listened to my gut instinct.

We stopped on the way down to San Antonio in Gruene to visit a couple of shops I wanted to see there and to have lunch at The Gristmill.  Our first stop in Gruene should have been an indication of how difficult the trip was going to be.  A big sign on the door of The Grapevine Wine Shop informed us that there were no strollers allowed. So we parked J's stroller in the grass as we were instructed to do and headed in for our wine tasting with baby in tow.  I understood why we had to leave the stroller outside since the shop was small and there is a lot of breakable stuff inside.  It was still frustrating.  One look at the Greune General Store told me it was a "no-go" with the steep steps and narrow aisles.  We left Gruene disappointed that we didn't get to see everything we wanted to because it was just too difficult to try to maneuver J around the shops.  Fortunately our lunch was wonderful and our stop at Buc-ee's made the whole area worth it.

I can honestly say I didn't think a few things through when I started planning this trip for us.  First and foremost, it's hot in San Antonio in June. Yes, I know I live in Texas and it's hot here in Austin too but San Antonio has humidity.  While I grew up with humidity, I haven't lived with it for nearly 7 years so I forget about it. (No, sorry...it is NOT humid in Austin.) So I wasn't prepared for the dripping sweat the second you walk out the door kind of heat we experienced this weekend.  That prevented us from taking part in some of the activities we had planned because I knew I was hot which meant Jackson was miserable strapped into a padded stroller that only soaks in the heat.  Therefore, no trip to the zoo, the one activity I thought my infant (toddler?) might actually enjoy.

Secondly, San Antonio is not very stroller or handicap friendly.  After taking the Riverboat cruise (at 5 PM with a squirmy baby), we decided to head down the Riverwalk to one of the Mexican restaurants we had on our list to check out.  The problem was to get there we had to cross to the other side of the river.  No big deal, right? Wrong.  Many of the footbridges have stairs and accessing places from street level means walking down a narrow flight of stairs as well.  There are elevators but they are few and far between and can be difficult to locate them or don't work. So we decided to use the Ergo after that if we need to get somewhere on the Riverwalk. It wasn't the best solution but it was at least do-able.

Lastly, I severely underestimated how much the total trip would cost us. San Antonio really caters to tourists so the food and activities are priced to suit a tourist town.  I knew how much our hotel would cost  and I estimated food based on what we would normally pay here.  That is where I figured wrong.  Plus the heat eliminated the cost effective activities I had in mind so we had to replace those with activities that cost quite a bit more than what we originally planned.  In the end, I think I would have been happy just hanging out by the pool reading a book.  We probably would have all been less frustrated and more relaxed if we had done that instead of trying to see the sights of San Antonio with a baby in tow.

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