13 June 2013

Road trip

In my younger days (looong time ago), I loved to take road trips.  Gas up the car, toss in the gear, load up some munchies/drinks in the ice chest. crank up the tunes and head out.  
  • 3 hours to the beach?  No sweat.  
  • 5 hours to Dallas for a weekend football game?  Let's go! 
  • 10 hours to ski in Red River, NM?  Let me get my gear.
  • 14 hours from Fort Knox, KY to College Station, TX to see my fiance?  No problemo.    
  • 20+ hours to Orlando to visit Mickey's house?  Sign me up.  
  • 3 hours to San Antonio to meet up with a famous blogger/chef/runner?  Piece 'o cake.    
When ShadowRun300 let slip she might be headed my way, I was all sorts of excited.  Another chance to meet one of my favorite bloggers in person!  I've already had the privilege to break bread with Terri and Rock Chef and was hoping that I could meet ShadowRun while she was in my neck of the woods.  The problem was, I had already committed to the wedding on Saturday with my bride.  As much as I would have liked to bail on the wedding, that would not have been a good career move.  On top of those plans, we wanted to have dinner with my folks one last time Sunday night before they hit the road again for their rally up north.  Given my work schedule and the wedding on Saturday and dinner Sunday, I figured there was no way I could make it over to San Antonio for the weekend.  Was really bummed out until about Wednesday when it finally dawned on me that I was looking at this all wrong:  Why not a day trip?  I mean, if I can pull off a 5 hour drive to north Texas, buy a trailer, and then return on the same day like I did last year, a short hop to San Antonio is a walk in the park.  I had a window of opportunity to meet with her for lunch and to catch up before heading back to Houston for dinner.   

So, after the nuptials, I got up early Sunday morning, walked the dogs, loaded up Elvis and headed west.  First long road trip in Elvis and it was smooth sailing.  Hit San Antonio around 1000 and parked downtown right next to their hotel.  I texted ShadowRun I was in town and they came down to meet me.  Started to store my gear when I spied ShadowRun and her entire crew heading my way.  It was easy to recognize that smile.  She mentioned something about recognizing Elvis.  I find it awesome to meet the real person behind the keyboard along with her wonderful family.  I got to meet her husband, Amp and Mario.  I'm always curious/anxious how the rest of the family feels about meeting one of my blog buddies (Great.  Mom's dragging us out to meet some wacko she met on the Internet).  After the initial introductions, we decided to hike over to check out the Alamo.  I've been to SA a few times, so I was more than happy to give them my two cents on the various sites to see, places to visit, things to do.  I have my opinions on many of the places, but since this was their first time in SA, I'll let ShadowRun provide the play-by-play.  

Since I was the one on a tight schedule, we did a quick tour of the Alamo, exploring the mission grounds, checking out some of the exhibits.  After wandering with the mission with the mob, we headed west to El Mercado for lunch.  We hiked along the River Walk part of the way, enjoying the the sights.  The River Walk is a neat place but many spots along the river are narrow and can get crowded.  Lots of great restaurants, bars, and interesting people/animals to see.  A good place for people watching.      

Remember the Alamo!
Duck Dynasty San Antonio style?

River taxi

Stylish head ware
We eventually moseyed over to El Mercado (The Market).  It is a local market with shops/stores/booths with all sorts of Mexican wares.  Sombreros, ukuleles, shirts, purses, paintings, religious emblems.

For some real authentic Mexican food, I recommended a local institution:  Mi Tierra.  A San Antonio tradition that has been in business since 1941.  Open 24 hours, great bakery, usually packed at lunch and dinner, Christmas lights up all year long.  I was worried that the wait would be obscene during lunch, but we were able to score a table within 45 minutes.  

I got a chance to break bread, or chips, with ShadowRun and her family.  It was great to share stories and fill in the gaps on everything we've seen and done.  Comparing notes on family, dogs, kids, traveling, and, of course, other bloggers.  We've talked so much through our blogs and shared many stories, this was like catching up with an old friend I haven't seen in years.  My only regret was I couldn't stay any longer and had to leave early to head back to Houston.  Still, it was uber cool to spend time with ShadowRun300, even if only for a short while.  Well worth the drive and I would do it again without hesitation.  

I consider myself one lucky SOB.  I have had the distinct pleasure of meeting three of my favorite blog celebrities.  One more off my bucket list.  Thanks ShadowRun!  And sorry about the Austin traffic.  I am definitely going to have to work on getting a supplier set up in the St Louis area.        


terri said...

I'm so glad you managed to squeeze in some time to meet up with the ShadowRun family. It sounds like you all had a lot of fun! Great pictures. One of these days we need to organize a blogger-meet and just all get together at once!

ShadowRun300 said...

It really did seem like we were old friends, didn't it. That's what made it so cool to meet with you in person.
I think my family trusted my instincts when I let them know you were making the trip out. How can you not love a guy who has TWO Golden Retrievers and an old Mustang? They were happy to meet another one of my friends. :)
And I'm happy to hear you really didn't mind making the trip out. I felt quite guilty, but secretly I was glad you did.
Now get to work on a St. Louis trip. The Arch awaits! And if need be, I can put you up in this great little hotel I know of.

Rock Chef said...

Looks like a great day - ShadowRun and family, The Alamo AND Mexican food!

Loved your comment about meeting wackos on the internet, but I have had only good experiences so far! Hm, unless that makes ME the wacko...

Abby said...

I too chuckled at the wackos on the internet! We've gotta find "our kind" somewhere!
This looks like such a fun time together, having read both versions. I'm with Terri. We need to have a big blog friend mash up!

meleah rebeccah said...

Oh man!!