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Monday, August 20, 2012

A Texas Weekend Adventure.

For the past 8 years, our little family has gone to the Gulf of Mexico to vacation.  Going to the beach and exploring a different landscape as well as creatures never gets old.  But this year I decided that we needed to do something different and we needed to explore the other parts of our state as well as learn some Texas History.
We started out Friday by heading to San Marcos, one of my favorite towns in Texas.
We took a tour of the San Marcos Springs & River on an Aquarena glass bottom boat. It's the next best view to snorkeling.  Glass bottom kayaks are available too, if you prefer.

Next, we went into town and had another adventure in "The Paper Bear", a store chalked full of fun stuff.
If you feel the need to do more shopping, San Marcos Premium Outlets has it ALL.  Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware and every brand of clothing and accessory you can imagine.
We then headed down Interstate 35 towards San Antonio when the traffic started to get congested.  It was about 5:30 p.m. on Friday and that was normal, so instead of sitting in a slow moving parking lot, we hopped off and got a bit to eat at one of our favorite restaurants, "Chuy's".
Once we got back on the road, the traffic had gotten much better.  We then checked into our hotel, dumped our stuff, grabbed our cameras and took of to explore the San Antonio River Walk.
It was the perfect time of day, about 7:00 p.m. and we were taken by the heavenly smells of amazing food, the sounds of Peruvian Musicians playing live and the sights of shops, hotels and restaurants 2 to 3 stories high, nestled along the banks of the San Antonio River.  We bought some tickets and boarded a riverboat tour.  So many fun and interesting facts we learned about this historical town.  It also felt like everyone knew one another, people smiling and waving at each other, like we were all apart of a club, the tourist club.

 San Antonio, TX - River Walk
The night fell during our tour and the lights came on the boats and the bridges and the shops.  Around Christmas time all of the trees are wrapped with lights as well as lights hanging down from the branches, I bet it is a sight to see.  I can see now why so many people come to San Antonio for a romantic get-a-way.
On Saturday, we did more exploring of the River Walk area, ate some really good food and toured the Alamo of course.
Image via, me.
Look at that sky!!!  That is not photoshoped at all.
This war memorial is a sacred place, if it were not for the battle at the Alamo between the Texian  Army and Santa Anna's Mexican army, there would be no Texas as we know it.  Click HERE for the history.  What is so intriguing to me and my family is that after Santa Anna defeated the Texians at the Alamo, he went after Sam Houston and   the rest of the Texians who were not at the Alamo.  Sam Houston went East and led Santa Anna deep into Texas, this is called the Texas Independence Trail and it goes right through Burton, the town where we live.   The deeper Sam Houston went, the more Santa Anna's huge army splintered until it was worn thin and exhausted.  It was near the banks of the Brazos River in Independence where Sam Houston decided to turn around and fight like hell, saying to his army, "Remember the ALAMO!!!".  This was the fuel used to defeat Santa Anna in only 18 minutes.  Once Sam Houston had Santa Anna in his custody, his army wanted to hang him up in a tree, Sam Houston said no, instead he wanted Texas.  Santa Anna signed over Texas in exchange for his life and the rest is History.  Cool, I know.
That evening we went on a tour of downtown on Segways, very cool and fun, I recommend it to everyone.
Image via me. 
My guys REALLY liked it.  The tour we went on gave us time to have fun and ride around in this open area.
The Segways know what you want to do by detecting your bodies balance.  If you lean a bit forward, it goes forward, if you pull the handle bar a bit right, it turns to the right.  After a few minutes of being on it, it feels like the machine can read your mind and it comes very natural to ride it.  Very fun, sure beats walking, especially if your are tired from the day. 
As the night was closing in, we waited for our Ghost Tour to start.  The sky was looking a bit scary, since there was a storm brewing nearby.  We were given real ghost hunter equipment and took off though the town.  Our guide told us all sorts of scary stories of deaths throughout the town, but my favorite story was not about death, instead, the movie "Ghost Busters".  Built in 1927 for 3 million dollars, the Smith-Young building, now known as the Tower Life building has a 30 story, eight sided Neo-Gothic tower complete with gargoyles to ward off evil spirits.  The building was completed in the year 1929, the year the stock market crashed.  It sat vacant for years and finally sold for $21,000, that is CRAZY!!!  These gargoyles were the ones used in the filming of the movie "Ghost busters", since the building they used in the film did not have gargoyles.  They did there movie magic and super imposed them onto the building or something.  Anyway, when I looked up at that building to see the gargoyles and then to see the sky swirling around dark gray clouds, it was like being in the actual movie.  
Tower Life
Then the sky opened up and it poured.  We ran from one end of the downtown to the other through the rain and finally got to the hotel completely soaked, what a night.
Sunday, we slept in and had a late breakfast.  Then we checked out of our hotel, forgot our laptop's power cord in the room, and took off to Wimberly, Texas.
                                                                    Image via Me.
Image via Me.
One of Texas's most charming little towns, filled with art shops, cafes and Bed & Breakfasts.
We ate at the Wimberly Cafe, it was very good and they let us change into our swimsuits since we were going to go for a dip at Jacob's Well
Jacob's Well -- Wimberly, Tx
Image found on Pinterest.
"Jacob's Well is one of the most significant natural geologic treasures in the Texas Hill Country. It is one of the longest underwater caves in Texas and an artesian spring. Jacob’s Well surges up thousands of gallons of water per minute and acts as headwaters to the beautiful Cypress Creek that flows through Wimberley, sustaining Blue Hole and the Blanco River, recharging the Edwards Aquifer, and finally replenishing estuaries in the Gulf of Mexico." Quoted from HERE
These are not my guys, this is a picture I found on the net.  The water is cold and crystal clear.  This is a very magical place.  My son jumped off the lowest rock and dove down in the well with his goggles, they say it is 20 to 30 feet deep, there is a gate in place to close off the cave.  He had a blast.  I liked the fact that I didn't smell like chlorine or stinky/fishy salt water afterwards.  
Our adventure came to a close and two hours later we arrived home to our 3 love starved cats.  
What a great Texas Weekend Adventure. Heidi

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