We visited San Antonio back in November, the day after Gil’s birthday (so it was a bit of a celebration along side of exploration) and it was lovely. Our hotel was by the famous Riverwalk, we had superb dinners and enjoyed breakfast each morning in the hotel restaurant. All in all it was a wonderful extended weekend away. The kind parents of small children really need, but rarely get, especially those without family nearby to help out.
Which is why we were incredibly lucky to have our kids stay with some amazing friends for 4 whole nights — by far the longest we have ever been away from them and they did great! In fact they didn’t seem all the jazzed that we returned. My guess is that Miss Shaira was just too good, which I not-so-secretly adore.
We started our venture by flying into Austin, Texas so that we could check out the suburbs around there. First, we drove south to check out Buda, Kyle and San Marcos. After hitting up any Chamber of Commerce or visitor center we could find we started exploring the towns or neighborhoods to get a feel of the area. It was quick, but insightful after all the months we spent researching and looking at houses online.
Then we made our way to San Antonio, and checked into our hotel. After getting settled in we ventured to the Riverwalk and I was amazed at how different it felt from what I was anticipating. What I keep say to people is that I don’t mean for this to come off as rude, but it wasn’t so Texas in your face, if you know what I mean. It felt laid back, Euro-ish at the Riverwalk, and historical.
I was pleasantly surprised and happy.
However, it was a wee bit cold in the mid-40’s. I needed a light winter coat, scarf, hat and gloves to feel comfortable walking around. We were prepared, so it didn’t bother me at all. What I didn’t like was how dry it felt. Contrary to popular opinion I was hoping for a bit more humidity than we get in San Diego.
On Saturday we reserved the whole day to look at open houses to see if we could find some neighborhoods that we liked. At first we weren’t seeing anything that we liked or any neighborhoods that we could envision ourselves living in, then we came upon the house we still call “the estate house” and everything changed. After that we checked out the area that is very popular and pricey; we found it felt very comfortable, but was obviously out of our price range. Then, at the last minute, Gil found a 100 year old house that looked promising. Boy did it deliver on what we were looking for, but not so much with the neighborhood. So, we decided to drive around the area to see if there were other hidden jewel houses in a neighborhood close by that we would want to live in. After a bit of driving around decided to call it a day and find a snack.
We found a super cute coffee house and began the discussion of all things Texas. All the while the coffee house was setting up a dinner for that evening of farm to table delights, which made me feel very at home. It’s just the kind of place you would find in our current neighborhood of North Park.
This was the second time that felt momentous, for me, during our relocation journey. Plus, we both agreed the best house we toured that day was “the estate house.” For me, it felt like that last house and the estate house saved San Antonio for us. In fact, I still think about that estate house and can picture us living there.
Later that night, we went to dinner downtown with Gil’s high school friend and his fiancée. It was so nice to be with people that had a connection to Gil. We learned a lot about San Antonio from them and toured the Riverwalk even more after dinner seeing the fun nightlife.
The next day, we hit the road back to Austin to see the northern suburbs. These ended up being much better than the southern ones for us, with Cedar Park being in the lead.
It was a whirlwind of a trip that ended with a fabulous dinner we shared with Gil’s cousins. They are always a great time and people that I wish we could be with more often. Plus, they gave us the low down on all things Austin!
We came home feeling good and ready to discuss all we learned about the Austin suburbs and San Antonio, Texas.
Up next, visiting St. Petersburg…