Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Home again, Home again jiggity jig

Aaaaah, I'm back in my own home, I have retrieved my children and my dog and I plan to retrieve my husband from the airport tomorrow.  Tomorrow is also picture day for Emily and the outfit I was going to have her wear is dirty, and SOMEHOW it turns out I have to go sign Emily up for KINDERGARTEN on Thursday!?!?!(!!!)  Real life has resumed.

I will do a quick summary of my last few days in San Antonio, then get back to business as usual  here.


We had breakfast in the room:
Oats cooked with water from the coffee maker, 1 Tbsp peanut butter and 1 Tbsp juice-sweetened strawberry jelly
 plus I got my obligatory skinny mocha.

After that Will had sessions all day so I set out to find amusement for myself.  I started with a jog that ended up being 2.44 miles!  After I completed my jog I walked a bit to cool down (and to snap pictures of areas along my jog that had looked especially pretty in the morning light).

I don't know what this tree is...

...but its flowers smell like heaven

This was probably the tallest tree I saw the whole time I was there...most were pretty low and scrubby

The resort (or as much of it as I could fit into a picture)

A rustic fence to keep wandering non-golfers from bothering the golfers

After I jogged and showered I hopped in my car and drove north for awhile.  My destination was Gruene (pronounced Green) which was a cute little historic town that I explored for a bit.

This is where they filmed the dance scene in the movie Michael

I ate lunch at the Gruene River Grill

A huge, delicious greek salad with chicken
My view during lunch

Once the clock struck noon and alcohol could be legally served, I made my way to The Grapevine.

 This was a cute little tasting room/store that specialized in Texas wines.  Unfortunately the same issue seems to plague most of the state's wineries...I tasted some yummy ones but VERY few were made from locally-grown grapes.

Your first 3 samples (and even more if you buy something) are free!  What a neat place.  I sampled my way down the list and then left with a glass of white merlot just for the sheer pleasure of wandering the streets drinking alcohol (which is illegal where I live).

I saw these beauties in an antique store
 I was very encouraged to see the clothes for sale in the San Antonio area.  A while back the only pair of jeans I could find that fit well had a couple sparkles on the butt and I wasn't sure if it was appropriate for a 30 year old mother of 2 to sport a sparkly posterior.  Now I realize that I haven't been wearing ENOUGH sparkles on my ass.

Now THAT'S more like it

(FREE!) Prickly pear margarita in a clothing store
 Once I had walked off my buzz I said goodbye to Gruene and went to check out nearby New Braunfels.  It wasn't as touristy which is normally a good thing but it was a Sunday so most things were closed plus the sky had clouded over so everything just seemed kind of dreary.  I visited the Faust Brewery but they don't bottle so I couldn't take anything back for Will to try.  I had a chocolate stout on his behalf.

On the way back to the resort I stopped at a strip mall and got a manicure and pedicure.  It was not the best I have ever had (and I think I was supposed to get a paraffin dip but it had already taken an hour and a half so I didn't bother to speak up) but it was much cheaper than getting it done at the Marriott spa!

The timing for today was absolutely perfect.  I arrived back at the resort, got a smoothie at the 3/4 Starbucks (which they assured me had protein powder but no added sugar) and walked down the hall to meet Will just as he exited the conference rooms for the day.  

The most economical way to obtain a banana from Starbucks
 We chatted and changed and boarded a van to go to dinner with a vendor.  We ate at Aldaco's

Although everyone else was afraid of it (and the waiter said he'd rather use it as a dip than drink it), I ordered the Avocado Margarita, and then ordered another because it was so fantastically good.

I NEVER order margaritas because I can't stand it when they're made with sour mix.  That's not much of a problem in San Antonio though; everyone down there prides themselves on their margaritas so they use fresh lime juice.  I also NEVER order creamy drinks, but since the creaminess in this guy came from avocado instead of, well, cream, I went for it.  It was probably fattening but it was made with real food and it tasted just like lime sherbet.  Amazing.

I also had a bit of ceviche...

...and traded half of my fish tacos for half of Will's skirt steak, chicken, guac and beans. 

Finding "REAL" Mexican food in the US is such a point of pride/contention among some people...moreso it seems than most other types of food.  I've never really taken a stance because I honestly hadn't given much thought to the difference between "REAL" Mexican food and whatever other kind of Mexican food is out there that people don't consider real.  This is a bit strange, since I have eaten what is inarguably "REAL" Mexican food because it was served to me in Mexico (and I don't mean in Cancun or Playa del Carmen).  After discussing it with Will on this trip though I think I have now pinned down some important differences and feel comfortable recommending a Mexican place to someone, even someone who claims to only like REAL Mexican food.

"REAL" Mexican food:
-Uses mostly corn tortillas
-Is very fresh (especially the salsas)
-Uses only a tiny sprinkling of cheese (queso fresco)
-Is usually pretty clean and healthy

"FAKE" Mexican food:
-Uses mostly flour tortillas
-The sauces include HFCS and usually come from a can
-Is smothered in cheese (cheddar)
-Is not at all healthy

There are obviously other differences as well, but those are the three biggest to me.

And in case you were wondering, this place seemed pretty authentic :-)

After dinner we went down to the bar at our resort and ordered some of their tasty drinks.  I had a blackberry mojito (which was pretty clean because I ordered it without sugar) and this pretty little drink called a canyon sunset.  I can't remember what was in it though....wonder why.

Then what happened?  You guessed it...I fell right asleep.  I had no trouble falling asleep on this trip, although staying asleep all night was more challenging.


Monday was a travel day and I didn't take many pictures so here's the quick rundown.

Breakfast in the room:

Same oatmeal as the day before

Part of Will's omelette
 followed by a workout and a shower, then I said goodbye to my husband and headed to the airport.  I hit Whole foods first though!  It was born down here so I just HAD to visit.  It was massive, but I honestly didn't find anything especially different or interesting (except for the WINE AND BEER they can sell there. C'mon Maryland, stop being so lame).  I DID get a Pomegranate-Tea KeVita that I haven't seen at stores around me but I didn't enjoy it so I am not sad that I can't find them at home.

My obligatory Whole Foods Salad
I was majorly disappointed in the salad bar!  Whereas the ones near us have a plethora of tasty grain and tofu salads that I enjoy sampling, this one had PLAIN everything.  Plain blocks of tofu.  Plain lentils.  Plain barley and chicken and eggs.  I did find ONE wheatberry salad that had some flavor and fun stuff in it.  The greens mix had raw kale in it though, which I found cool, especially since there was no cooked kale or broccoli on the salad bar either.  I KNOW!

I also acquired the following snacks for the plane:
-9 pitted(!) Castlevania olives (I forget what they're really called, but it sounds like Castlevania)
-1 multigrain roll
-an individually wrapped 3/4 oz hunk of cheddar cheese
-6 dried turkish apricots from the bulk food section
-for dessert, 9 carob-covered espresso beans, also from the bulk food section

I tucked my food under my arm and headed to the airport.  I was thrilled when they let my salad through security so I didn't have to make a fuss and go eat it in the corner before getting back in line.  I munched on it while I waited to board but all that plainness (and raw kale) got less and less appetizing as my departure time approached.  I decided to just finish it on the plane, which was a bad idea in retrospect because I ended up dripping beet juice all over myself as I boarded.  Ew.

The flight was nice and smooth and relaxing, despite being surrounded by no less than 3 babies in the 2-3 month old range.  I'm telling you...ever since I became a mother OTHER people's crying babies don't bother me.  They actually make me feel giddy to tell you the truth because it's a relief to know that I am not the one responsible for calming them down!  I do feel for their parents though.

I landed JUUUUST too late to be able to see the girls before bedtime so I hit Common Market on the way home to stock my fridge (and get a pack of brown rice salmon rolls to complete my snack dinner) before heading out to my mom's house.  I spent the night there and was awakened the next morning at 6AM by Emily complaining that the crazy fiber optic night light my mom got her was stuck on yellow, which is NOT her favorite color.  

I didn't mind :-)

My food consumed today will have to wait to be posted...I'm am plumb tuckered out and beyond excited to go sleep in my own bed for the first time in a week.  So goodnight, and let's hope that since I didn't drink any alcohol yesterday or today I will sleep less fitfully tonight (but still fall asleep quickly)!

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