Wednesday, August 8, 2012

South Texas Tour: San Antonio

Monday night I arrive in San Antonio and seek out my hotel.  I am starting to be suspicious about my GPS again.  The area I am in seems a little deserted for a Riverwalk hotel to be nearby.  I am staying at Hotel Indigo and though it is on the famed San Antonio Riverwalk, it isn't in the main section. 

For those of you who think it is weird that I post a picture of part of my face with the room number, here is something for a change of pace.

The room is really new looking with wood floors and a large mural behind the bed.  There is also a small table/desk, a chair and ottoman.

And two strange features:  This two-legged table (not the table/desk I mentioned) attached to the wall that was only large enough on top to hold my cell phone.  That might have been convenient for charging it overnight but as you can see, no plug.

The second is the counter in the bathroom, it is really low.  At 5'10", I am tall for a woman but this is crazy, the sink is just barely above my knee.  In fact, I took that picture while on my knees.

The parking here is not optimal.  When I return well after dark, I have to walk quite a way in a deserted area to get to the hotel.  There is a definite possibility of a Criminal Minds moment.

The last time I was on the Riverwalk, it was for my company's annual conference and some of us went lunch before heading to the airport.  The smell was so bad it was really difficult to eat.  The Riverwalk offers boat rides, restaurants and shops but I have done all of this before, more than once.  I have even been to Coyote Ugly where I didn't remove my bra or dance on the bar.  I did buy a ball cap for my son who was about 13 or 14.  He still occasionally wears it (he will be 21 soon).

Tonight, in the 100 degree heat, I am not up for the crowd or the potential smells of the Riverwalk.  Instead I go to a San Antonio landmark I have never visited.

Tower of the Americas, a 750-ft tower in HemisFair park built in 1968 for the World's Fair.

The observation deck at the top offers a 360 degree view of the city.  I can also learn about Texas history and the 6 flags.  Before I get on the elevator, there is a photographer with a green screen, just like the one I avoided in Georgetown at Inner Space Caverns.  This guy doesn't even offer to take my picture.  I am tempted to ask him to on principal.  I decide not to bother after he asks me if the tattoo on my wrist is the symbol of the rebel alliance from Star Wars.  

Let me think?  Um, no.

I ride up alone in the elevator with a bored teenage attendant.  Once inside I realize that having lived in Texas my whole life, I don't really need the history lesson.  The 6 Flags I care about has roller coasters and funnel cakes.

These numbered pictures help me identify structures in the distance.

The views are very nice but it is really windy out here.  There are also several families with unruly children screaming and running around so I decide to go on to dinner.

There is a Landry's chain restaurant here, Chart House.  I go down and when I approach the hostess she doesn't look up at me.  "Do you have a reservation?"  No.  This makes her look up long enough to roll her eyes and pop her gum.  "The wait is an hour and a half," she says to the podium.  I am one person on a Tuesday night.  No way I am waiting that long.  I have eaten at a Chart House before.  The food is fine but not special.

It cost me $8 to park and $10 to go up.  Ultimately, I can't say it was money well spent.

I am feeling tired and just want to eat so the GPS and I collaborate once again and I ask it to take me to Joe's Crab Shack.  This is normally against my travel rule of trying to eat places I can't eat at home.  There is a Joe's in the town I live in, my daughter even worked there in high school.  But it is getting pretty late and this place is close, familiar and seafood so let's go.

The GPS takes me to an alley.  The traffic down here is terrible and at one point as I go through an intersection, I can see down to the Alamo.  There are a LOT of people on the street down there.  If you are wondering why I didn't go there, that's easy.  I find The Alamo is disappointing.  There is no other way to put it.  It is downtown.  It is smaller than you expect.

I get out my cell phone and look up Joe's.  I find an address that is 5 miles away and decide that is the way to go, get out of downtown.  This may be really un-Texan of me to say but I have never liked San Antonio, today does nothing to improve my opinion.

After a long day, a long drive and a disappointing outing, I need crab.  There isn't much in my world that can't be fixed with a big bucket of crab legs and some melted butter.

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