Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Four days of fun in San Antonio

March 16,17,18. We took three days to do all we wanted to do while in San Antonio. Saturday we started out at the Natural Bridge Caverns. We drove north east of town, which they call the Front Porch of Hill Country. It got very hilly, therefore a good place for a cavern, unlike any other side of town, which would be flatter. The weather was beautiful, sunny and in the 80s, and the lines were long. We stood in line for an hour to get in. Spring Break is still in full swing, and everyone in Texas is on vacation. The caverns were warm and humid, unlike what we expected. Caverns in other parts of the country are cold and clammy, in my experience. They were beautiful, as our pictures try to demonstrate, but they were loud and we were herded through like cattle because of the large crowds. Still, it was worth it. When we came out, we discovered that they had a zip line, and an adventure canopy, which is a three or four story structure that you could climb all over with a harness on. The footing was on ropes and pieces of wood, like four by fours, mostly. Little kids were doing it, but if you had a fear of heights, it wasn't going to happen for you. We decided not to do it because of time. Pam said she would have loved to do it, but I didn't want to work that hard. We did do the zip line. It was our first time to do one. It was 350 ft out and 350 ft back, pretty tame actually, but now we are ready to do a badass one out in the Rockies some day! We had to stand in another line for over an hour to do that also, and I'm pretty sure we were the oldest geezers to do it, , at least from what I could see.

Natural Bridge

Looking down the steps in the cavern

Views from our trip to the cavern

Mike posing with a sign........
and the sign says....bat guano!!  That's bat poop!!!!

Adventure course
We had just enough time to take some back roads from the caverns to a town called Bulverde, to the Tejas Rodeo. It was out in the middle of nowhere, just a small town rodeo, not a tourist thing. Pam and I felt out of place because we didn't have our cowboy hats and boots on, nor our blue jeans and belts with huge belt buckles. They had some great Texan food, however, and we had a good meal before going into the show. After the rodeo a band was playing country music. Everyone came out to do the Texas Two Step. That's slow-slow-quick-quick-slow, with lots of crazy spins and some flips. Lots of the younger kids were really good at it. Needless to say, I wasn't in a dancing mood. Have I ever been? Nope.
The rodeo started out with a drill team of ten horses with lots of Texas and USA flags. The best and most fun event may have been the muttonbusters, four to six year olds who's parents let them put on a helmet and ride a sheep bareback until the sheep threw them off. Some hit the ground and bounced, some hit the ground and stuck, but they loved it. They also called all the kids in attendance under 12, into the center of the ring (maybe a hundred of them), and put four calves with ribbons on their tails in there with them. The object was to pull the ribbons off the tail, and win a Happy Meal. These cows were on the run, and every kid was chasing them. It was chaos, with one calf getting gang tackled, and one little girl getting backed into a corner by a pissed off cow. A good time was had by all. I can't imagine people up our way doing this kind of stuff, but my three kids probably would have loved it. Right, Jamie, Andi, and Buddy? We want to get Carter down here ASAP! That's our eighteen month old grandson. He might like to ride a sheep! The cowboy events were also entertaining, and according to a local I talked to, the quality of the show was just as good as the big rodeos.

Statue next to the dance floor

This is for all my school teacher friends!  This flyer was posted at the rodeo!

Sunday we started out slow, lounging at the pool in the 85 degree sun, before heading into town to the riverwalk one more time. We enjoyed the smaller crowd, since spring break was winding down, but it was St. Patrick's Day, so there was some action. The San Antonio River was also dyed green, so it looked better than the mud-brown of the other day. We ate at a great Italian place, and had a strawberry margarita to celebrate St. Pats. Then we decided to walk across town about a half mile, away from the tourist stuff, to Market Square. They were having a festival, and that's where all the locals (read tex-mex) were. They place was rocking, like Mexican mardi Gras. Four bands were playing at once in different corners of the square. They were playing Tejano music, and as we found out, Conjunto music. San Antonio is the Conjunto music capital of the world. Everyone knew the words to the songs, and they were lining up to get autographs after the shows. Conjunto, is similar to Tejano I guess, with an accordion, base guitar, six string guitar, and drums, with Spanish words, and lots of synchronized steps and spinning by the band as they played. We ran into Jaime and Los Chamacos again( we saw them after the Spurs-Mavericks NBA game the other night), and it turns out that they are legendary, the best of the best Conjunto bands. There was one other band, with a lead singer dressed all in white, with a white headband, and a bright red saxophone, that was jammin, and he really stood out. The restaurants and bars that were open, were decorated like Mardi Gras with sparkly stuff hanging from the ceilings, and guitarists and mariachi band serenading the patrons. We were the only Anglo Saxons on the plaza, I believe.

On Monday, we decided to do Sea World of San Antonio, since we were camped right by it. We can practically see it from our camp sight. The high of 93 almost set a record, and it was a good day to do water rides. We also saw Shamu, and the sea lion and sea otter show, and the penguins, and the flamingos, and the Steel Eel roller coaster, and the Beluga whale show, and, did I mention the water rides? Since spring break basically ended yesterday, the crowd was very small, with no lines. We got to do everything, without the hassles of an overcrowded park.
Tuesday, we worked really hard on our suntans. All day. Temperature was 85 with lots of sun.

Beluga whale show

Baby shamu!

Flamingoes at Sea World San Antonio

Mike at the dolphin tank

Red bird at Sea World

Look closely...the duck has a BLUE beak!
And finally, here is a short video taken at the end of the Shamu show.  I hope it works!!

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