The idea to visit San Antonio came about when we knew we had to do a trial run with Delilah’s new daycare/sitter/boarder (I don’t know what name to use). She had been over to her house for walks and visits, but hadn’t spent the night yet, and we wanted to test out one night before we head to two weddings in the next month. Andrew had already been to San Antonio and really enjoyed it and I suggested we drop off Delilah, and head down for the night.
San Antonio is about 80 miles from Austin. We hit a little traffic on the way there so it ended up taking us almost two hours. Upon driving into the city you feel like you’re back in time. The old stone and brick buildings are reminiscent of the 18 and 1900’s, while the new buildings and layout feel like the 70’s or 80’s. We stayed at the Hotel Contessa, which was right on the river walk.
Our first stop was The Esquire Tavern. The bar opened in 1933 to celebrate the end of prohibition. Besides a couple years in the early 2000’s, it’s been open ever since. It is also said to have the largest wooden bar top in Texas at over 100 feet! We had a margarita, deviled eggs, and the most delicious potato tacos. The shells were fried fresh, stuffed with potatoes and topped with this spicy cabbage slaw. Out of this world good.
The buildings in this city are absolutely beautiful. I can never resist a good corner building. I’m not sure of the correct term for theses buildings, but I love them.
Our hotel was right on the River Walk. The River Walk is a network of walkways along the banks of the San Antonio river, one story below the street. It is lined with restaurants, bars, shops and art. It can lead you to the five Spanish Missions, museums and so many places you may want to visit. You can even take a water taxi.
It was interesting to me to see almost all of the River Walk be rail free. I feel like we would never be able to get away with that in Los Angeles. There would have been some guard rail or ropes or something discouraging and protecting people from jumping or falling in. Here is was wide open, with tons of people filing through and kids running along side.
Andrew took me by the Alamo and I was so excited to have gotten a photo without tons of people around.
This was the bar we ended the night in. What we thought was a very divey bar, stayed divey but turned into a gay bar. Not a young gay bar, but an older man and woman gay bar. The bartender was a women who had to be in her 70’s, wearing an adorable dress and a cowboy hat. We played a couple rounds of pool with another man who was probably in his 60’s. I ordered drinks next to a very large man with a ton of tattoos all over his body and face. The bar was a pleasant surprise and we had a great time. That was until we left and the curb down the street decided to have it’s way with my ankle.
But before all that we went to watch the sunset at The Paramour Bar. That photo of Tom Selleck (which I promptly texted to my mother) was in the women’s bathroom. We had one cocktail, chatted with an older couple from the area and watched the sunset.
For dinner we headed to the Pearl District. The old brewery building was founded in 1883 and was original called The City Brewery. They changed the name to Pearl Brewing in 1952. Pabst took it over in 1981 and shut it down in 2001. Then the whole area started to turn into a little neighborhood with 324 apartments, fifteen restaurants and cafes, thirteen retailers and eighteen resident businesses and a Farmers Market. Hotel Emma is definitely a must stop for next time which is part of and next to the old brewery. We just walked through it and it is absolutely stunning. Another reason to go back.
This was where Andrew took me for dinner. He was taken here last time he was in town and had this amazing charcuterie board and knew of my love for boards and thought it was the perfect place. At Cured we went with the beet salad, a squash blossom “tamale” a 9 piece charcuterie board with jams, pickles and mustard. It was so, so, so amazing.
My favorite picture of the whole trip. When in Texas you must take pictures of cowboys.
And like I said earlier, after leaving the bar, distracted of course by conversation and looking around (not keeping my “wits” about me as my Father would say), I stepped off a curb that was much lower than anticipated. My left ankle curled underneath me and I knew it was a bad one. Andrew helped me hop into a Lyft and carried me into the hotel where the staff sent up some ice to our room. I fell asleep and woke to find it very swollen. I found an urgent care back in Austin that took out of state insurance and got an X-ray. Thankfully it wasn’t broken and I was on crutches for two days and am now relieved to say feeling almost back to normal. I’ll spare you the pictures of the colorful bruise that is there now and taking forever to go away.