Friday, February 24, 2012

Adventures in Texas, y'all - San Antonio

Back to winter in Toronto and part of my adventure was getting to San Antonio on the way flight leaving Toronto was delayed by almost an hour and when I asked at the Air Canada desk they assured me my connecting flight was delayed as I later found out from the United Airlines 5 minutes. So of course I missed it, d'oh. I also asked the clerk at the Air Canada gate where to catch my connection and she told me - at no point telling me the flight had already left.

After a great deal of tension and thankfully being helped out by the United staff and put on standby with a number of others I breathed a tremendous sigh of relief at getting on the 9 p.m. flight to San Antonio - the lady in front of me was also visibly relieved - she had been delayed by customs from Mexico. The United staff expressed surprise that Air Canada hadn't booked me onto the next connecting flight in Toronto - just as a safeguard. So, in this case I was NOT impressed by Air Canada and very impressed by the helpfulness of the United staff. For a while there I had visions of sleeping in the Houston airport as the next flight was 7:30 a.m. the next day - which the United staff also booked me on as a backup plan. So, kudos United and Continental staff. Lesson learned : be the squeaky wheel and insist on getting more information and being booked on the next available flight.  I sure do miss Canadian airlines...sigh.

This is the lovely JW Mariott Hill Country Resort and Spa - the staff were phenomenal - friendly and so accommodating - I wanted to go out for a walk one misty morning and the concierge provided a map and directions and also gave us a map and a coupon on another day when we wanted to visit the Natural Bridge Caverns. I think a certain airline could take lessons. The place is enormous and has a top ranked golf course on its' premises. I enjoyed the spa - I had a wonderfully relaxing Lavender Organic massage courtesy of Monica and boy did I need it after the stress of the day before. The spa facilities also contain a steam room, sauna, whirlpool, aromatherapy room - lots of chairs and chaise longue, herbal teas, water, toiletries etc. etc. I had a nice spinach salad in their cafe as well. I also had a couple of very nice breakfasts in the Cibolo Moon - especially enjoyed their homemade jams and jellies and local honey. The raspberry mojito jam was particularly fun. As a couple of days were a little overcast curling up by the fireplace in the Crooked Branch was also enjoyable while looking out onto the grounds.

 We took the boat tour on RiverWalk as well as walking around and exploring a bit...that's Marilyn in the first photo...

On Sunday we went out the Natural Bridge Caverns...very cool. It's quite humid down there and there are a lot of advisories/precautions as it is quite steep and wet...

We checked the RiverWalk of course and met up with our old friend Marilyn Ferster - a Texas native herself now (she married Greg - a Texan who came up to Edmonton to visit the Folk Festival)...Marilyn was actively involved in the Yardbird Suite - president of the board and it was wonderful to see her. Her daughter Carrie is now getting ready to go to college in time flies.

We also enjoyed a nice meal at San Antonio's vegan restaurant "Vegeria"...a "Flower Power" salad and some enchiladas...



Dinner at Green Vegetarian in downtown San Antonio was delicious - Mushroom Stroganoff and a Black Bean and Quinoa Quesadilla - plus a cupcake and cowboy cookie - with Hibiscus iced tea for me..or just plain tea as they say here. If you want something else it's "Hot Tea"...:)

Next installment - Austin.
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