San Antonio Touring plus a Terrific SURPRISE Evening!
WOW what a fun day we experienced in San Antonio.
A local guide toured us around. We visited many attractions including the Japanese Gardens, the Alamo, Missions and historic residential areas. It was a beautiful day, temperatures were in the 70’s. We noticed many spring flowers starting to blossom.
We learned that years ago when Bill Clinton was campaigning in San Antonio he snuck away from the Secret Service so he could enjoy some Mango Ice Cream at the historic Menger Hotel. The press heard about this after the fact, and before long that ice cream was almost as famous as Bill Clinton! I walked into the beautiful Menger and saw Bills picture.
We explored the colourful Mexican part of town which was packed with locals and tourists. My passengers raved about our luncheon that was held in a famous family run Mexican restaurant. This was the first time many of them had tried Mexican food – they were a little apprehensive at first but after a few bites were surprised how delicious it was.
Dinner was held at another family run restaurant that has been in operation since 1963. The Red Barn is such a busy place you need to register for a table at a hostess stand located outside before you can enter. This isn’t a fancy steakhouse but a local down home one where everything is home made including the rolls, salad dressings and desserts.
We were treated like VIP’s at the San Antonio Rodeo. This is a yearly 3 week event that is run by 35 full time employees and a whopping 6000 volunteers! Due to our VIP status our coach driver was allowed to drop my passengers at the main entrance vs the coach drop off that was a long distance walk from the stadium. A friendly hostess from Houston welcomed my passengers and escorted us to the International Welcome Centre where a contingent of Texas hosts warmly greeted us and toured us around. The Texas Fair Queen even welcomed us – she is very hard working – we saw her many times during the rodeo riding her horse in the arena along with the rodeo prize winners. We were presented with souvenirs and taken to a behind-the-scenes private entrance – they didn’t even put us through mandatory security before entering the stadium. We rode a frieght elevator with a number of excited rural kids who were selected to be part of this 2 hour exciting extravaganza. This is a touring rodeo but San Antonio constantly wins the “best indoor rodeo” awards. The Calgary Stampede is on the same rodeo circuit – the show we saw was basically the same as you would see in Calgary except there was no Chuckwagon Races here. Big Name Entertainment follows the rodeo – Brad Paisley and Alabama are two of the famous entertainers that were on stage a few nights ago. We didn’t stick around for tonight’s entertainment – it was a full touring day so we were ready to retire for the evening.
This evening was a terrific “Travel With Bradley” Surprise Event that was enjoyed by all.
Texas has done an amazing job re-purposing their historic city buildings. Our hotel was at one time a bank and then an office tower. Look at this picture from years ago that was on display in the hotel lobby. It shows a worker hanging from the side of the now hotel! He certainly was a brave man.