Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Texas 2013 Day 8: San Antonio

Texas 2013 Day 8: San Antonio

Day 8 in Texas started with a bang. Not literally like the fireworks last night, but more culinary in the form of epic breakfast tacos. We were off to San Antonio for the day and started off at Frank's favourite place, Taco House. I got an egg and potato, carne guisada (naturally!), Potato Mexicanos, and Chilaquiles. It was all fantastic and super tasty, but had some kinda hefty heartburn after such a heavy breakfast! Was super tasty and fun to try though.

Frank losing his crap over breakfast tacos
Frank enjoying every bite
Jess and Christy at breakfast time
From there it was off to Frank's Grandpa's house to have a little visit. It was super nice to hang out with him and lovely to chat with his wife too, to see their place, and to hear some stories. So fun!! After our visit, we headed off to Market Square in downtown San Antonio for a wander and to look at some crafts. It was really cool, the shops were great and I saw some pretty cool belts. There were also some gun holsters and shotgun holders, pretty crazy stuff! Lots of Mexican artwork too, and some Mexican vanilla extract which is apparently the best you can get. I got a cool little ceramic bird made by Mexican artists, which was awesome.

San Antonio Market Square
A variety of fruit on a stick
Haha awesome pic of me and Michal and an awesome mango-on-a-stick
Gun holders and whips?
Cool ceramic work
Honorary Texan :)
Haha, so Texas-y
Rifle holders, don't often see this at home!
Cool hanging ceramic peppers
"We don't dial 9-11" haha
Artisan Mexican Candy
Cool store

Then it was off to Mi Tierra's for desserts. We got a vanilla cream filled churro which was the best, especially when dipped into Mexican hot chocolate. I also got a Mexican fudge which rocked, a coconut thing which was too sweet and a guava pastry which was pretty good. It was all pretty good but VERY sweet. We needed some water after all the sugar!

Time for some sweets!
Beautiful flower with sunset-like gradient colours
Guava Campechana
Crazy pralines
Guava and coconut sweets
Amazing caramelized fudge-like item
Then we headed out of the market area, aiming to head down the San Antonio River Walk. We saw some more shops including one that looked like it might have a good belt for me... and we walked in to an amazing experience. The place was called El Vaquerito and I was just totally blown away by how amazing it was. What an AMAZING place. Definitely come here for leather goods, belts, buckles, boots, whatever Western Wear you might need. This place is amazing and the store proprietor, David, is truly an awesome guy.

David was just so wonderful. He blessed us for being there and said "Thank you for blessing me today and for being here", he had his kids with him there too and you could see how genuine of a guy he is as well as how good of a salesman he is as well. He showed me a few things but nothing over-the-top and nothing way out of my price range or anything like that. He showed us a few things and then left us so we could shop but was there to answer questions if we need him. He knew the exact kind of store atmosphere someone needs to feel completely comfortable in. It is the kind of place where I walked in and immediately knew I was going to purchase my belt there -- it didn't matter if the price was going to be a bit more or less or whatever (it turned out it was a good deal as well, so that was a bonus!) but I said to myself, "This guy is definitely getting my business." He was knowledgeable, and a very kind salesperson, but also very hands-off so you could shop in peace. A real pro.

I found a cool belt buckle with a gun on it with a chamber that rotated, a little silly but kinda cool and very Texas-y. It was a little much for me to wear back at home in San Francisco so I ended up getting one with a cool steer on it. It was awesome and I loved the belt as well as the buckle. I also got an extra silvery buckle that can be changed out with the steer one. Very cool!

I was gonna throw out my old existing belt and just wear the new one out of the store... but David stopped us from throwing it out and said, "I can take it for you if you like, I'll pass it along to someone who needs it. The more you give, the more you get. That's what I believe." WOW!!!!!!! What a nice guy!! Just incredible. So in the spirit of David's good nature and genuineness, I felt I owed him a solid online review :) I'm gonna post this on Yelp too. You should all go shop there if you are in San Antonio, he is awesome and you should support him.

River Walk
From there, we headed to the river walk. We walked along there and it was a little different than what I expected, it was mostly restaurants and not too many shops. We got some water at some point which was a bazillion dollars but was worth every penny... it was HOT. We then headed to a place for a Margarita called Cafe Ole which was a funny name but an epically terrible spot with terrible service. As good as David was at the belt store was as bad as the service was at Cafe Ole. Oh well. It was at least a cool spot to take a break and drink some more water to avoid melting.

Michal and Me at The Alamo
From there it was off to The Alamo. I enjoyed learning about the history of the place as well as the hilariously Texan and really incredible/crazy story of the "Come and Take It" flag that I'd seen around in Texas a few times. I also saw an early Texas flag and learned about the fortification of The Alamo as well as where the phrase "Remember The Alamo" came from. Very interesting stuff.

We were then getting pretty tired of the heat so we headed to the indoor A/C gloriousness of the mall. I had a free Starbucks reward that was perfectly spent on a HUGE "Trenta" (30oz) iced tea!! Worth it :) Frank picked us up and then we drove to an amazing place called La Fogata for dinner.

It was truly epic. They had a mango magarita which was super tasty and had mango flavouring swirled through it. The guacamole was amazing and was made for us at the table. Michal and I shared the fajitas which were perfectly spiced and had excellent flavour. Dessert was Sopapillas, with honey on them... sortof like clouds of perfection. It was incredible!

Cute one of Michal and a flowery drink
Sopaipillas, spanish for "HOLYCRAPAMAZING"
Ohhhhh man what a great dinner, and a busy day of eating too much! But what a way to finish the day... it was so good.

I was so exhausted from all of the sunshine that day that I slept all the way back to the lake house. I was still pretty tired on arrival at the lake house, so a bit more of a nap before getting up to hang out a bit more and play some Spaceteam on our iPads before going to bed. What an action-packed day!

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