Sunday, March 21, 2010

back from amazing San Antonio!

Sam never likes to smile for the camera unless you catch him unaware. Or, apparently, when he jumps up and into Savie's photo, as you can see in the first shot! This is him by the Alamo in San Antonio!

I had an absolutely wonderful time on my recent trip to the Hill Country, mostly in San Antonio - both in researching my article, and in the exciting things the kids and I got to do in and around the city. Where do I even begin to explain the short but awesome trip? Since it's almost 2am, and I've got a mere 9 days until my deadline, a brand new writing class that just started today, and loads of other things to do, how about... I cut and paste some of my tweets from the past few days updated with a few details and links (Tweets, to those unfamilar, is the name for what you call the 140-character sentences within a Twitter update). You can follow me on Twitter - I'm @bohemianone or

In a nutshell, we first went to the Dahlstrom Ranch in Buda, Texas, which plays a part in my article I'm researching. Saw some cool aquifer recharge features such as sinkholes, caves, plus karst, chert, and devil's toenails. Then we headed to the Grand Hyatt on the Riverwalk in San Antonio. After checking in at the highrise, we walked around the riverwalk a bit, eating dinner at the Italian restaurant Paesano's.

The next day, we went to Government Canyon State Natural Area and interviewed the biologist/superintendent there for my article, and got the chance of a lifetime to go up in a helicopter with conservation real estate agent Mike Luigs, who helps preserve land and ranches. We were a bit scared- all of us - and I think I'd have passed on the once-in-a-lifetime offer to fly in the copter were it not for Sam saying he wanted to do it (despite his initial fear). I'm so proud of him, and Savannah, and me for that matter!

After the hour-long 'copter ride over Government Canyon, Bullis Air Force base, San Antonio and out to Bracken Cave, we landed, then headed back to the hotel. Back in the city, we did a few things on the riverwalk (Ripley's Believe it or Not! Museum), then out to eat with my friend Laurie. The next day we spent all day exploring San Antonio thanks to the San Antonio Convention & Visitor's Bureau for providing us with a "passport" to the attractions and hosting our accomodation. Last, we stayed that third night at the breathtaking Westin La Cantera Resort, which provided us with an amazing meal at Francesca's at Sunset, a fine dining restaurant that specializes in locally grown sustainable food! Here's the tweets on the details of our cool explorations in the city.

March 16th:

  • About to drive to the Dahlstrom Ranch in the Hill Country, site of a unique public-private partnership to save land for aquifers 751am
  • I saw a patch of bluebonnets! very pretty! 1039am
  • Going to walk around the San Antonio Riverwalk 551pm
  • My son is naming his child Hubba Bubba 714pm
  • realized tonight my son is just inch or two shorter than Savi tonight (&hence me too) how did this happen?! 1016pm

March 17th - St. Patty's Day:
  • Just took my kids up in a helicopter over gov canyon near San Antonio for a hour! awesome! 234pm
  • Sam wants to know if he can go around pinching people not wearing green! Umm sure! just kidding 504pm
  • Checking out the Ripleys wax museum- my 1st wax museum. interesting. 531pm
  • Looking at a giant cow hairball at the Ripleys Believe it or Not Museum! 554pm
  • I'm now waiting by the Alamo for my friend Laurie who we're going 2 dinner with! im starving! lots of green clad peeps walking by. 746pm

March 18th:

  • Heading to brekky at the Contessa Hotel! 845am
  • I'm enjoying a vacation from my computer! havent downloaded email in 3 days! I guess the blackberry doesnt count right? 958am
  • We are about to go to the Tower of the Americas 4d theater (Skies over Texas). this tower was at the 1968 world fair. 1027am
  • About to go up a very very very tall elevator thingie-Tower of the Americas! 1057am
  • Now it's time for a river boat cruise tour down the riverwalk or technically down the river. what river is this anyway? 1225pm
  • Boudros (a local fave): Now its time for dessert! what the heck. a double decker brownie w/toffee ice cream & creme anglais. plus a tortilla fan w/berries & cream 204pm
  • Now headed down the earth at Natural Bridge Caverns. havent been in caves since Carlsbad at age 14! 417pm
  • We are back out from middle earth! 608pm
  • About to eat in Francesca's at the Westin La Cantera 753pm
  • All I can say is... I am soooo full! It was absolutely delicious! The resort restaurant (Francesca's) specializes in locally grown food. 1025pm

March 19th:
  • I'm loving the Westin resort at La Cantera & wishing i had more time here. we may just have to come back! heading to b-fast at Brannon's here 953am
  • driving home! 1216pm

Oh but there's so much more... I had a wonderful time visiting with my dear friend Laurie, whose laugh lights up a room and I just love to be around her! She and I hiked up Guadalupe peak with much laughter (remember "Wendee Holtcamp EXPOSED!"), and traveled to Granbury Texas together, both for articles in Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine- the first trip was for Top of Texas and the last trip for a 3 Days in the Field - Birds Over Broadway. At any rate, Laurie picked us up from downtown, and we ate at the Blue Star Brewing Company restaurant which was inexpensive and very good. Then the next day she and her hubby and grandson went to the Natural Bridge Caverns with us.

It's not almost 3am, so I will sign off... more updates on general life, and my February, March and April monthly resolutions! Have you made any monthly resolutions? How are you doing on your New Yera's ones? I found focusing one month at a time makes it more doable. I'll give an update next blog.

And I'll leave you with some classic Sam & Savannah photos. This is my attempt to get a normal nice photo of the two of them. Despite my begging and pleading and insisting, I could not get a single shot where they both smiled! They are always making goofy faces!

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