What to do in San Antonio TX

I lived in San Antonio Texas for 9 years and I have never written a blog about it. Now this is my chance to talk about the amazing city. San Antonio is the 7th largest city in the United States and it’s known for its culture, Tex-Mex food and tourist attractions. One of the best times to visit is from October to March when it’s not hot. I feel like San Antonio has many attractions. Some popular ones would be The Alamo and the Riverwalk.

Food:

San Antonio has a variety of restaurants but Tex-Mex is what its known for. You can definitely get your delicious Tex-Mex fix in San Antonio. The following restaurants are some of my favorites.

Breakfast/Brunch

Sangria on the Burg:

The menu consists of a combination of Tex-Mex,  bbq, and Mexican Spices. They have mimosa and sangria flights. They also change their food menu often, so you can get a different food item, each time you visit.

 

 

 

Lunch

La Panaderia

This restaurant, is a family owned bakery that serves sweet bread and great sandwiches. It revolves around Latin American bread and culture. I think it’s a great place to have lunch with friends. All the sandwiches are amazing and it comes with Fideo (soup). They have two locations in San Antonio, one on broadway street and downtown.

Dinner

Data Point

Data Point is a good place for Tex-Mex food even late. Like after the bars late.  Datapoint originally started as a food truck but now they have a brick and mortar store. It’s not only good for dinner but breakfast or lunch. They have amazing breakfast tacos. However, my favorite is their cheese enchilada plate.

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Data Point

 

Attractions:

Tower of America’s

Here you can get a great view of San Antonio, grab a drink or an appetizer and enjoy the view. They also offer tours, if you’re interested. The Tower of America’s is located in Hemisfair Park near downtown.

Pearl Brewery

The Pearl Brewery  is located north of downtown San Antonio, It was an operating brewery from 1883 to 2001. Now it’s a retail space that has dining options, green spaces, and a riverside amphitheater. Come here walk around, take pictures, or grab a drink. One of my favorites is La Gloria to grab a margarita or get a coffee at Local Coffee Shop.

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Southtown

This neighborhood is known for its historic homes and artsy district. One of the best times to visit is for First Friday of the month, they have an art scene at The Blue Star Arts Complex. Southtown is also known for its nightlife, coffee shops, galleries, studios, and restaurants. They also have amazing views of the residential part of the Riverwalk.

Mission Trails

The trails are located along the San Antonio River. It’s a great place to bike or walk along the trials and explore old neighborhoods. They have four Spanish Colonial missions: Concepcion, San Jose, San Juan, and Espada.  I have actually only visited one of the Colonial missions, Concepcion. I hope to visit the others soon.

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Riverwalk

A touristy area but worth a visit. The Riverwalk is beautiful, along the river there is restaurants, the Riverwalk mall, and candy shops. I love to go to the Riverwalk just to walk around, and enjoy the river. One of my favorite times to go is during Christmas when they have all their Christmas decorations

 

San Antonio is one of my favorite cities and I love to visit often. This blog talks about some of my favorite things to do there. I know I didn’t mention the Alamo because I wanted to talk about other things you can see. The Alamo is great to visit and its near the Riverwalk. If you haven’t visited San Antonio, I would plan a trip to try that Tex-Mex food and see/experience the amazing attractions.

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Trips for 2018

I feel if I write down future trips, the likely of me going on them is higher. So, 2018 is a new year to go on new trips and create new memories. Here is my list:

Palm Springs CA: a close friend of mine wants to spend his birthday in Palm Springs and I’m up for it. It looks gorgeous and it’s always great to spend time with close friends.

Chicago: my friend will be getting married this summer and I’m hoping to go celebrate her wedding and explore Chicago.

Pack up & Go Trip: when I heard about this travel company, I got interested right away. They set everything up for you and plan a surprise trip on your likes. All you have to do is fill out a profile of trips you recently been on (so they won’t send you there) and of course, your likes. I really want to set up a trip with them and find out where they send me.

Marfa TX: is located in West Texas and its known for its artsy hub. Marfa holds exhibits, concerts, and “Marfa lights”, where phenomenal things can sometimes be seen. It is a bit of a drive for me but I have heard great things and I’m willing to make the drive. I’m hoping to go for my 31st Birthday.

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Marfa TX!

Italy: im really trying to plan this for December. I have been wanting to go to Italy for a while and this can finally be my chance. I want to spend a week there and do all things touristy and locally. Of course, gelato and Italian pizza is a must.

These are trips I’m trying to plan for this year. I haven’t set anything up but I do have southwest credit and I’m saving for Italy. I also, don’t want to miss my friend’s wedding. Hopefully, I can get the days off work and budget enough for these amazing trips.

 

Hamilton Pool

One of my favorite memories of 2017 was visiting Hamilton Pool. Hamilton Pool Preserve is a natural pool located in Central Texas. The pool is located in a city called Dripping Springs and is about 23 miles from Austin. I had been wanting to visit this natural pool for a while and it’s not a far drive for me. Hamilton Pool is even on my Texas Bucket List on a past blog that I wrote. I kept seeing beautiful pictures of the pool, read about it in articles, and heard about it from friends. So this past summer, I went. A friend of mine made a reservation and we met up in Dripping Springs and drove to Hamilton Pool. We brought snacks, drinks, towels, and of course our bathing suites. Swimming status at Hamilton is determined by the bacteria levels and recent rainfall. Unfortunately, during the time we visited we could not swim. Which in a way was a good thing because it made the area way less populated. There was a couple of other families there but it was not crowded. We were able to lay down our towels, eat our snacks and drinks, take pictures, and catch up.

When we first got to Hamilton Pool, there is an employee that asks for your reservation. In the summer reservations fill up. Even weeks in advance, so you have to book early. After, we parked we had to hike about 5 minutes to get to the pool. The pool was beautiful better than any picture I had seen.  The pool is surround by large slabs of limestone with a water fall that makes the pool stand out. You can climb by the slabs and go under the waterfall to get a better view.

Even though it was a hot day and a swim would have been the icing on the cake. I still had a great time. I enjoyed my time with my friends, I got to see beautiful views, and it was not crowded. The drive and parking were easy and we had plenty of space to have a picnic. I couldn’t ask for a better day. I do hope to go to Hamilton pool, maybe a day where it’s not to hot but still perfect for a swim. Hamilton Pool is now checked off my Texas Bucket List!

 

Christmas in Austin

The thing I love about Christmas is the lights and decorations. I can’t stop looking at them, I feel like there is nothing else like it. So, usually the places I visit during the holidays have a lot lights and decorations. Of course, I like holiday drinks and food too. It might not snow in Austin, well it did a couple of days ago but thats a rare occurrence. However, they do have a lot free events with lights and decorations and other Christmas things too. Like peppermint hot chocolate or some fancy holiday cocktail. There is even ice skating and Christmas music. Austin is a city after all. Here is a list of holiday decorations that I like to visit in Austin:

Mozarts

Mozart’s is a coffee shop that has a beautiful view of Lake Austin. During Christmas they host a light show. It’s a free a event and it starts around mid November and ends January 1st.  They do have multiple booths to get hot chocolate and coffee. Its a great place to walk around and look at beautiful LED lights. The light show seems to be different every year and has to offer for everyone. This year they had a guitar light decorations.

Donn’s Depot

Donn’s Depot is an older bar that goes all out during Christmas. They even decorate the bathroom for Christmas. I like going to have a quick drink and enjoy their free popcorn and awe in the Christmas decorations.

Trail of lights

The trail of lights is held in Zilker Park and its a free event. It starts in the beginning of December and ends December 23rd. The put up lights and decorations and you walk around the park. They also have various food trucks and things for kids where they can write a letter to Santa. It can get pretty crowded, so just keep that in mind. But it’s just another good place to go to in Austin.

The list above are just some places I like to go to see lights and decorations in Austin. It’s not a lot on your budget and there fun to go to. Austin does have many things to do during the holidays like ice skating at Whole Foods headquarters or attending Circuit of Americas’s. However, the above list are my favorites. Also, Austin has an all year Christmas bar called Lala’s, for your Christmas blues.

Dallas and Thanksgiving

Dallas was my destination for Thanksgiving. My siblings live there and my niece and nephew. It was Thanksgiving and family is a must. I drove on Thursday morning from Austin, its a nice drive because of no traffic. All I had eaten was pretzels because I was saving room for a lovely Thanksgiving meal. The meal was a amazing and I was glad I saved room for it. After, we relaxed and ate pie, of course. I feel like our Thanksgiving tradition is going to the movies in the evening. Because that’s we have been doing for the past couple of years. We saw the movie Coco and loved it. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a must see. The next three days were filled with new memories.

On Friday we went to Carrollton Texas. It was a cute little town that decorated for Christmas. Carrollton was filled with antique shops, a coffee shop, restaurants, and a candy store. I really wanted go to the coffee shop and have a peppermint Mocha but that didnt happen. Instead, we looked and bought candy at the candy shop. Then we had delicious fried chicken at Babe’s. When you go to Babe’s all you have to do is order the meat and they bring you the sides (mashed potatoes, green beans, and corn). It was all delicious and a good place to take family. For the night we saw the movie Wonder at the theater Look.

 

Bishop Arts is a neighborhood in Dallas, I had been wanting to visit it for awhile. Its a neighborhood known for its trendy eatiers, shops, and bars. Its a good brunch place area and a good place to get a drink. They also host family-friendly events, wine walks, and street fairs. At Bishop Arts, My sister and I went to a pizza place called Enos and got a drink at Whitehall Exchange after. We drank our wine and catched up. I really had a good time at Bishop Arts, I liked the neighborhood and I feel like it has a lot to offer. They have art galleries, a record shop, and a cider place that I want to visit. Also, im hoping to attend their mimosa walk.

My last day in Dallas, my family and I went to brunch at a place called Yolk. I was excited to try it out because the menu located amazing and my brother had told me about it. I ended up ordering a simple breakfast that had eggs, potatoes, and pancakes. With an orange juice and coffee. My breakfast was amazing and I definitely want to go back. My family also loved their breakfast and the service. Yolk also has other locations in Chicago, Ft. Worth, and Indianapolis. After brunch, we went to Carlo’s Bakery and had cupcakes. I ordered an Oreo cupcake and its one of the popular choices because it’s delicious. Then it was time for me to go home to Austin. I said my goodbyes and drove back. I always have a good time visiting my brother and sister in Dallas. Especially, for holidays. Dallas is like another second home to me.

Pack up & Go

It doesn’t matter to me if I plan my whole trip or if someone else does. The point is I’m traveling and happy about it. So when I heard about this United States travel agency called Pack up and go, I got interested. This company sets up a 3 weekend get away for you: they chose the place, hotel, and recommends areas to visit. Basically, you wont know where in the United States you are visiting until the day of the flight.

In the future, I am considering setting up a trip with Pack Up & Go. I can’t wait to find out the place, they will choose for me based on my likes.  The way it work is they have you do a survey, on where they ask if its a single person trip or multi traveler, how much you want to spend, where you have been recently (to avoid going to a place you have visited), and what your likes are for a trip. Then they set everything up. No stress on setting anything up and you get surprised with a trip visit. I wanted to share about this Travel Agency, in case its something y’all would be interested in. I know some people like to plan their own trips but if you want to be surprised this is an option.

If you want more information here is their website: packupgo.com

 

Things to do in Seattle

I had been wanting to visit Seattle for awhile now. I wanted to experience the coffee culture and see the beautiful scenery. I thought why not go to Seattle for my 30th birthday and that is what I did. Well, I did a pre-birthday vacation.

Last week was the first time I visited Seattle for my pre-birthday celebration. I did drive past Seattle once but that’s all it was a drive. This time I did experience Seattle and it was amazing.  I wanted to share with everyone about things to do there. First let me talk about the weather in October, it was in the 40’s and 50’s Fahrenheit and it was cloudy with some rain. However, I did experience some sunny days.  It was a fun experience and here is some fun stuff to see and do in Seattle.

Seattle Views:

  1. Smith Tower- This is a skyscraper building in pioneer square (downtown) that was build in 1914. It’s the oldest skyscraper in the city and and has an amazing view of Seattle. It’s about $14.00 dollars to get to the top and enjoy the view and the bar.
  2. Space Needle Observation Deck- I had to come here because its the Space Needle. The tickets here were a bit more expensive about $20-$25. It is another beautiful view of Seattle. However, keep in mind this place will be more crowded because it is a tourist area. 22291267_10103734487758645_961902412647289867_o
  3. Columbia Center- This is another skyscraper in Seattle with a good view. A couple of Seattle locals told me it’s the best view of Seattle. Unfortunately, I did not get to go but if locals recommend it, that is a good sign. I know the tickets here are cheaper than the Space Needle. Also, they have food and drinks at the top.
  4. Kerry Park- This a free area that has another great view of Seattle. I went at night and there was a lot people there taking pictures. Its interesting because this park is in the middle of a neighborhood but I liked it. I took the pictures I needed and just enjoyed the view.

Coffee Culture:

  1. Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room- I considered this a brewery for coffee. Here you can really experience coffee by seeing your coffee being roasted or by scooping up coffee beans in the coffee scoop bar. This Starbucks has a variety of flavors to add to your coffee. I ordered a cold brew coffee with ginger and it was delicious. The servers are very helpful here and definitely know their coffee.
  2. First Starbucks- yes another Starbucks but come on its Starbucks. This location is in Pike’s Place Market. It opened in 1971 where they sold coffee beans. The coffee shop is actually small but its cool to be in the first Starbucks with the original logo. Keep in mind that this is very very touristy.
  3. Pruf-Cafe & Bar: A little cute coffee shop, I found walking around Seattle. They have a nice upstairs area to sit down and enjoy your coffee. My vanilla latte was delicious and the service was great.

Museum:

  1. Museum of Pop Culture: I loved this museum! It has a music section of famous musicians, a sci-fi section, a horror section, and a fantasy section. They even have a Jim Henson section. Each section had costumes of famous artists and information on them. The ticket is about $30 and it is right next to the Space Needle. 22449770_10155137837240819_9121584457061343928_n

Market:

  1. Pikes Place Market: The market is a must see. You can buy groceries, eat at the restaurants, shop for almost anything or you can look at the gum-wall. Either way I really recommend coming here, even if it’s touristy.

Food:

  1. Biscuit & Bean: Perfect place for breakfast or bunch. They have a variety of biscuits and amazing coffee. I had a biscuit with herbed goat cheese, tomato jam, and cucumber.
  2. Ikina Sushi: The sushi was so good here and they have an amazing happy hour. Also, the servers and service made the place even more memorable.
  3. Beecher’s: Located in Pike’s Place. This restaurant makes their own cheese. My boyfriend and I tried their Mac & Cheese and it was amazing.

I loved Seattle. They have beautiful views, good food and coffee, and a great market. Next time I visit, I want to see Mt. Rainer up close and experience more of the nature of the city.  Seattle is a must see and I hope you enjoyed my recommendations.