Earlier this year in March (happened this year so still relevant), I went to San Antonio Texas to speak at a conference for work. Yes, a speaker! I've done a few scientific poster presentations here and there but never an oral presentation on a non-scientific topic in front of an audience. When given the opportunity to give a talk about my department within the first year of my new job, I was like HELL YES! I was craving a challenge and this was it.
So this is not a typical travel post because it was not a vacation. In fact, I have been to a few places last year and this year and have yet to write about it (Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Shanghai, Tokyo, San Francisco...). I went to San Antonio for work and barely had time to do any sightseeing. The only free time I gained happened to be when my flight back to NYC was cancelled due to a snowstorm so I had an extra day in San Antonio to enjoy.
It is a small town. So, it was really easy to see it all in a day. The best part perhaps? I was sans toddler. By myself. In a hotel room with a TV (we don't have a TV at home), a king size bed, room service, state-of-art gym and a rooftop pool. I did it all except the gym (duh!). Sure, my family was back at home shivering from the winter storm while I was enjoying a lovely evening swim or two. Guilt came and went. I know how to enjoy myself and take advantage of opportune situations like this :)
Lots of pictures coming up...
|View from the Grand Hyatt|
|First night I got to the hotel. I brought in a cocktail from the bar and passed out.|
A quick run to the Alamo during lunch break thinking I wouldn't have any other time to see this landmark.
|A quick free tour inside. no pics allowed i think or just nothing interested to take....|
|This tree was so big , I couldn't take it all in a frame. See panorama view at the top.|
|One of the largest convention centers in the nation. This was just one of the many wings in the building.|
A little celebration dinner with colleagues on our second night in San Antonio. I suggested we go to Rebelle which was one of the recommended restaurants from Thrillist.
|White cheddar and bacon spread with caramelized grapes and rye bread|
|char broiled oysters|
|my filet mignon|
|taking some hotel lobby pictures before leaving|
I looked up Best Tex Mex and I found Rosario's which was close to the hotel. I end up taking Lyft there because I was hungry but took a nice stroll back after dinner. Look at how heavy this meal was...
Because of flight cancellation back to New York, we got to stay an extra day and attended the last day of the conference. After that, we were free to roam so we tried to see as many things as we could.
We took a Lyft to make a quick stop at one of the espadas. I had no idea what espadas were but there were many in and around the city. A photograph of Mission Espada sat in my room so I decided that this would be the one I wanted to see in real life. I Googled "church with three bells" and came upon Mission Espada.
|smaller than i envisioned|
|inside mission espada|
We made it back into the city for lunch and decided to visit the historical San Antonio market square. We picked a popular place called Mi Tierra Cafe and Bakery. The food was meh..
We decided to take a stroll back to the riverwalk and stumbled upon some Spanish Governor's Palace. My colleague who used to be an archeologist was super into it. She paid for my entrance fee and we toured.
We ultimately wanted to do the river boat tour. It was a perfect sunny day to do so.The tour was quick and fun. We learned about native plants, famous landmarks and a lot of historical facts.
On my last night, I tried to enjoy everything to the max. Here is the rooftop pool I got to enjoy twice. After my very short swim (it was getting nippy), I ordered room service and passed out.
Nothing to see here. Just a boring caesar salad (but from Ruth Chris' Steakhouse) under the lid to help push down that Texan clog down my pipe :p