In traveling the U.S., one thing I’ve realized is that most cities are more similar to each other than they are different. Every city has something unique about it, but a lot of places have the same overall look and feel, the same mix of people and the same types of bars and restaurants comprising their downtown area. So when I find somewhere that feels and looks unlike anywhere I’ve yet to see, I find it very striking. And that’s how I felt about San Antonio.
The uniqueness of the city was apparent even in our first few moments in town. We first stopped at The Alamo to take cool pictures with the NUTmobile for our Instagram (@plantersnutmobile – a shameless plug) and I learned a lot about the history of Texas. I’d always wondered why Texans seem to have such a heightened sense of state pride in comparison to the rest of the country, and learning the history of their fight for independence shed some light on the answer for me.
After taking some pictures and exploring the Alamo, we headed over to our luxury hotel, which my amazing partner Tanaja was able to score. In reality, it was more of a resort than a hotel and it included a full gym, a cafe and bar, a rooftop pool and even a toucan and tortoise that lived in the lobby. While that was all awesome, the best part was that the hotel was right on the river walk and we could easily walk along the river and access all of downtown San Antonio in only about ten minutes.
We did just that our very first night as we took to the river walk in search of dinner, and wound up at a cute Tex-Mex place looking right over the river. That night set the tone for what was to be a week filled with the joys of Tex-Mex – complimentary chips and salsa, strong margaritas in various flavors and all of the classic Mexican dishes – my favorite of the week was shrimp quesadillas.
We also discovered Paramour – not the alternative band, but the mecca for hip bar lovers (which the CenTrill team definitely is) that we found on the rooftop of a law office of all places. I refer to it as our ‘mecca’ because the place checked every box on the list of things a good bar should have: great decorations/aesthetic, a wide variety of delicious drinks and a bumping music selection. As if that were not enough, Paramour also doubles as a coffee shop by day, so I was back less than 12 hours after our night out for an iced coffee. I’ve never felt I could live at a bar before, but I would definitely move into Paramour no questions asked.
Of all the amazing things about visiting San Antonio, I saved the very best for last: my mom came to visit! When my mom found out I was going to be in the Central region, she told me she’d love to come see me in San Antonio, and sure enough, when it got added to my schedule she didn’t hesitate to book plane tickets for a long weekend visit. My mom and I were both in awe of the river walk and we were content to walk up and down it over and over again, each time noticing something new. We also took advantage of the brand new river boats made in honor of San Antonio’s 300th anniversary, and took a boat tour where we learned all about the history of the city. The boats also served as water taxis, which we used to get around. My favorite stop was the Pearl Brewery, which is no longer functioning but is now grounds to a beautiful shopping and eating area.
As a lot of you probably know, in order to take the Peanutter job I had to sacrifice a trip to Europe that was planned (and paid for) with my mom. It was supposed to be both of our first times going to Europe, and the fact that she had to go without me made both of us really sad. As I was walking down the river walk with my mom and she was telling me about how it reminded her of Venice and the Seine River in Paris, I was thinking about just how much I love spending time with my mom. Both of us are similar in that we are content with just walking around, taking in the sights and enjoying the atmosphere with a coffee or alcoholic beverage in hand. I truly enjoy my mom’s company, and even though I had to choose this year-long road trip over our Eurotrip, she’s one of my favorite people to travel with and I can’t wait for the future trips we’ll take together.
Crazy (and probably annoying) as it sounds, after being on the move for so long, traveling can start to lose its spark. You find yourself feeling less motivated to get out and see a place and more and more okay with allowing yourself to chill at the hotel and watch hours of Netflix. I think it happens to everyone, and though I’ve tried hard to fight it, it definitely happens to me sometimes. San Antonio, with it’s unique riverwalk and the good company that I had there, revived my excitement to travel and got me refreshed and ready to finish up the year strong.
BUT the year is NUT done yet. More to come soon!