Mar 18, 2013

First Official Hess House Vacation: Austin Meets San Antonio

Well we're back from our crazy week-long road trip of Texas (and Louisiana  and I'm ready to share all the details! The trip was a crazy mix of planning vs. fly by the seat of our pants. For instance, we booked our first hotel the night before we left and our next hotel the day of... Luckily the obsessive planner in me took a vacation (most of the time) and we had a blast.

It helped that our road trip started off with a little impromptu surprise stop. On the road to Austin while passing through the very small town of Jewett. We spotted a roadside garage sale AKA trade days sale. Kyle and I jumped at the chance to rummage through some deals. The stop wasn't in the plans but I wasn't about to pass up a good time.

Didn't score any loot... but it was lunch time and we couldn't pass up hand-dipped fair-style corn dogs! I'd been wanting one for weeks (why? I have no idea). Isn't my husband cute with corn dogs?

We ate lunch next to the cutest kids at the corndog stand and we hopped back in the car headed to Austin. Our plan had been to spend the first night in Austin, but once we heard the South by Southwest concert-ish thing was in town and hotels were $300+ per night for a LaQuinta we knew we'd be headed else where to sleep. But that didn't stop us from stopping by.

I was dying to see the state capitol. I'd never been to Austin! #notfromtexas  So we paid the parking meter for a good 45 minutes and made our way to the pretty red building.

Kyle just happened to be in my camera view when I was getting the settings right... :)

And then I made Kyle take this picture of me. My first portrait with the capitol building in Texas. It was a big moment. He was probably embarrassed for me, but like we said many times last week, I didn't care because "we were on vacation!"

With about 20 minutes left on the parking meter we headed to 6th Street. It was just a few blocks away, and so we pushed through the South by Southwest traffic of people (passing Paul Rudd on the way) and made it to 6th Street. Only to find out it wasn't "a bunch of cute shops" but just a bunch of bars. Kyle said, "well yeah, I was wondering why you wanted to see it..." I just heard people always talking about 6th Street #sketchyfriends

We snapped a few pics of 6th Street and headed to South Congress which after a bit of googling and a few recommendations from friends, turned out to be where all the "cute little shops" and food trucks were. We stopped in this cute little store and wish I would have found something for the house. But nothing that struck my fancy... a little pricey too.

After realizing that we would probably never survive in Austin (although we applaud those of you who are cool enough to live there), we pointed our little car in the direction on San Antonio. Checked into our hotel, quick and amazing trip to Red Robin (waitress gave us free floats on the way out!) and we got ourselves a good night's sleep.

DAY TWO began and we couldn't believe it was only day two. We slept in, had a little cereal for lunch and then headed out to the Riverwalk. Got some restaurant recs and stopped in at Iron Cactus for the best mango-topped fish tacos I've ever had... really. Perfect girl dish.

Spent some time taking pics of the Riverwalk, walking, and making Kyle take my picture so we really looked like tourists... but I couldn't help it if I was having a good great hair day...

We took the river right along to the Alamo since it was one of the items on my to-do list for our trip. A little planning never hurt anyone...

There were plenty of people around and lots of men and women in costume. Kind of like a midnight Harry Potter premiere...

But then they made an announcement and the Battle of the Alamo reenactment started! How lucky were we? Apparently it was the celebration of the anniversary of the battle of the Alamo. I mean really, like the roadside sale, we couldn't have planned that... (well, maybe).

They had guns and smoke and everything! Can you spot Davy Crockett in his coonskin hat??

After the battle we were headed for an arcade. We stopped by a big fancy arcade only to find that coins and tokens and tickets had been replaced by 'kid credit cards' and the old classic games had been replaced by new fancy games that were $1.50 to play. But then Kyle found this gem...

Yep, it's a castle. It's a little place called Malibu Castle. They had go-karts, two miniature golf courses, bumber boats, and the best arcade games for only a quarter! Like I played Dance Dance Revolution for only a quarter! Can you tell Kyle was excited. 

He went online before we went and signed up for their coupons. Won us a free spin of the prize wheel (see below, lol) and great deals on everything. It was probably where the locals go... but it was our kind of fun!

We stayed at the Castle until they literally turned the power off and we got a good night's sleep just in time for Day Three: Six Flags!!

Growing up, my family went to Six Flags every year in Houston. It was a short drive from home and once school let out the Kingsleys were there waiting at the gates. We had a system, first the Serpent, later Thunder River, XLR8 after lunch... many memories there. Then they closed down the park when I was in high school and it's all gone. Luckily there are other Six Flags parks! Me and the fam went two summers ago to the one in Dallas, and Kyle and I hit up the San Antonio Six Flags on Day Three.

We rode rides like they were going out of style. I'm partial to the rides that make me feel like a kid again AKA the log ride, the ferris wheel, and rides with cartoons. So we waited in line for about 30 minutes longer than I'm sure Kyle wanted to for the Scooby Doo ride, but they put us in a Mystery Machine and gave us "fright lights" and/or guns to shoot ghosts and get point on the ride. Kyle was 'trying' to take a picture of the final score with his phone but it was 'blurry'... do I have to say who had more points and WON (oh okay, I'll say it... it was ME!)

After a few crazier rides we trotted off to lunch. I wasn't looking forward to lunch at all; usually at a theme park you end up paying way to much for something way too fried and feeling way too sick on the next roller coaster. And while Kyle got a yummy bacon burger for a reasonable price...

... I got the BEST meal I think I've ever purchased at a fast food joint... for sure at a theme park. Woman at the counter let me order off the kids menu, get this: I got 2 chicken strips, both of my favorite dipping sauces, apple sauce, watermelon Jello, fruit snacks and a refillable kids drink, AND a little green lunch box to keep! All for like $8. Really, AT A THEME PARK! I'm pretty sure I talked about it all day... Who's kidding, I'm still stalking about it!

After we packed our tummies full we hit a few calm rides and then a few big coasters. We loved them, but I think we felt our age after the last one. Kyle says he's getting old and so the ride made him more dizzy... I say the rides are getting faster and loopier than when I was younger and that's why... because I'm not old yet. #husbandwhosthirty

We stopped by the Rockville High musical production and I was impressed for a show at a theme park. I LOVED the building that housed the show... it looked like a real school, like the neat kind in movies

Capped off the Six Flags adventure with a ride on the Ferris wheel looking at the entire park. 

Picture with Bugs and a ride on the train and our Six Flags adventure was complete. Isn't Bugs cute?! He even played along with my hand gesture and I didn't even have to beg him to do it...

After a day of theme park we went to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner. I only mention that because  we played trivia there and we WON! Like we got every single question right! It was amazing to me, we were ranked like #120 in the United States for that round. Mostly because my husband is an incredible guesser if he doesn't know the answer...

And then I ended Day Three with my last tuberculosis pill (full story here) and it felt really good. I told Kyle I should have gotten a special drink (like yummy chocolate milk) to drink my last pill with. Or celebrated by taking a fun picture or something. But no one takes a great picture after being at Six Flags all day... and so I washed it down with hotel sink water and some skim milk. Somehow it was fitting... just glad it's over.

That's just three days of our week-long trip. We kept saying "can you believe it's only Day Three?!" thinking about everything we packed in. I was pretty impressed... what about you?

Hope those of you who followed along on Instagram enjoyed the ride; hope you all didn't unfollow us after being bombarded with vacation pictures, lol. But there's plenty more vacation stories to share on Wednesday.  Reliving our vacation!

Happy Monday. Hope your weekend was like a vacation, I mean really, you can pack so much into just two or three days right?!

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