Tuesday, June 21, 2011

San Antonio Birthday Weekend Bash

(Warning: this is a very picture intensive post. Sorry if it takes a while for them to load.)

Chuck and I had a voucher for a romantic weekend for two at Noble Inns Oge House in the King William District of San Antonio. No kids allowed in this house which is filled with antiques and is nestled among large trees right on the Riverwalk. Absolutely gorgeous. We arrive Friday afternoon.
The Oge House.

Home! I could live here quite happily.
 The foyer was breathtakingly beautiful.
 We're shown to our room. Wow! This is so much better than the Holiday Inn.
Love the soft featherbed and antiques.

 The chifferobe contained the flat screen TV and DVD player. They had DVDs available to borrow in a sitting room off the foyer.

The sink was in the room and set in an old chest of drawers. Love this.

Time to relax with a glass of lemonade after a long drive. The windows are original and you can see the wavy glass in them. Not energy efficient but very pretty.
 It was so lovely we just wanted to lie in bed and absorb it all. Plus we may have been a little tired. Sometimes the fancier places can make me feel ill at ease. I'm afriad of touching anything and certainly can't relax. This place was completely different. I felt at home. I think Chuck and I both felt instantly at ease and just relaxed. The shadows from the trees danced on the walls and the birds chirped right outside the window. It was perfect.
 The voucher was for a "romance package" which included champagne, chocolates, 6 votive candles and two etched champagne glass. Also a massage and a ride in a Rolls plus breakfast!
The votives are electric but they flicker like real candles. We still haven't opened that champagne. It's in the fridge. :)
 After we relaxed a bit we got ready and walked to Mi Tierra. What would a trip be to San Antonio without a visit there? Let me tell ya, it was hot. 107* hot. We were sweating pretty good once we got to the restaurant.
 Hmmmm....what should I order?

 With our fajitas and several beverages finished, it was time to head back to our room. Along the way we passed this:
 Cool! O. Hennry's house! Right there near Mi Tierra in the middle of San Antonio. I had no idea.
 Did you know that walking in extreme heat after drinking margaritas and eating fajitas is a terrible idea? I was starting to feel a bit poorly. Then I saw this around the corner. Ahhhhh. Home.
 We then met Ashley and her husband Rob a couple of blocks away at a hangout called The Friendly Spot. I could kick myself for not taking any pictures. :( It was so hot and muggy we just sat in chairs sweating. It was great to see them again but after a while the heat kind of gets to you (this is an outdoor hangout) so we said our goodnights and went back to the inn.

Even though it was dreadfully hot I couldn't resist going back out into the lit garden after taking my shower. It was just so pretty.

Poor Chuck. He should really learn how to relax. ;-)
 Saturday morning we go to breakfast at 8:30am. I had already spoken with the innkeepers on the phone and asked for a low carb breakfast.

The table was set so pretty.
 The dining room was elegant.

We start off with coffee and strawberries with cream.
 Then the main dish is set before me. The innkeeper says, "I know you're diabetic so I gave you sugar free syrup." LOL  Not exactly low carb but it was good.
 Then back to our room for Chuck's birthday massage. Happy birthday, Chuck! A guy named Wayne shows up at our door with his table and gear. Again, I could kick myself for forgetting to take pictures!! Chuck enjoyed his hour long massage immensely.  He was completely relaxed when Wayne finished so we just spent the rest of the morning doing abosulutely nothing. Chuck watched some TV and I read A Jane Austen Education.

Sometimes I have trouble actually relaxing on vacation. I feel like we need to be on the move the whole time or we might just miss something. But being Chuck's birthday I followed his lead and he wanted to "chill". It felt good and it didn't take long for me to enjoy this aspect of the vacation. "The art of doing nothing. Ah, dolce far niente! "~Eat, Pray, Love.

That afternoon I released any tensions that I might have been storing and just enjoyed the room and the experience of being in such a beautiful place without worrying about what I might miss.

Soon it was time for lunch and we headed to a cool looking Latin restuarant called Azuca. Very eclectic.

 The whole place was decorated with a local artist's blown glass creations but the light fixtures really stood out. Loved them!
 We started off with mojitos and a crab cake.

Best crab cake I've had. It had a nice amount of spice to it too!
 I ordered the roasted cilantro chicken with garlic veggie shreds and it was out of this world good. I wish I had their recipe.
 Since it was Chuck's birthday we ordered the tres leches cake. Mmmmm. I posted a picture of it on Facebook from my phone and autocorrect changed it to trespass leeches cake. LOL
 Back to the room for more relaxing, napping, reading and doing nothing. Perfect way to spend a hot afternoon.

Then it was time to get ready for our Rollls Royce ride downtown.  A 1960 Silver Cloud. Ooooooooh!

Yes, I could get used to this VERY quickly.

 I've never ridden a car where people actually stop on the streets to take pictures. It was a sweet ride. We were dropped off in front of our destination: Texas de Brazil.
 We were dropped off around 7ish but I didn't have reservations until 8:15pm. I checked in with the hostess and asked her to let us know if a table came available sooner. We took a seat at the bar and before we even got our drinks the hostess came to get us.  Apparently they saw the car we arrived in and thought we were something special and seated us at their nicest table. The waiter even mentioned our car. LOL

This place is amazing! The atmosphere is hard to describe. Grand doesn't do it justice.  It has a large salad bar that also includes things like shrimp and salmon. Then waiters continually bring you meat: chicken, pork, filet mignon, steaks, lamp, ribs. It never ends. You have to pace yourself.


 There is a wall of wines (their wine cellar) and a woman hangs from remote control wires and does acrobatics while getting wines down. She's behind a glass wall and, along with the music and decor, gives a surreal experience.  I took a video of her doing her spins. It was mesmerizing.
 We ordered a bottle of 2005 Silver Oak Nappa Valley Cabernet. Wonderful.

An afterdinner Grand Marnier Flight: 50 yeard old, 100 year old, and 150 year old. Tasty!
Birthday dessert time! Lime creme brulee.
 It was a very satisfying meal and definitely a splurge both with calories and $$. Totally worth it.

We get up to leave and head to the front and our waiter meets us there. He says he wants to see us get in our car. LOL Chuck tells him that it's not ours and you can see the disappointment on his face (the waiter's, not Chuck's). We explain that the owner of the inn dropped us off. :)

We stroll leisurely towards Mi Tierra because we keep trying to get churros to bring home to the kids but they didn't have them Friday night.

The Market Square isn't nearly as crowded and it's a little cooler if you call 97* cool.  I love seeing all of the shops.

Aw, no churros today either. :(
 Chuck and I stroll hand in hand around the city slowly making our way back to the room. It's our last night in San Antonio and we just aren't ready for it to end. It's been a perfect day. 
San Fernando Cathedral.
 The Riverwalk's "mood" changes from place to place. Some places are bustling with restaurants and activity while others are more serene and the lights cast pretty shadows.

Home again.
Chuck and I had started receiving texts from Rachel before we got "home". I believe they started while we were still at the restaurant. She and Charlie were staying with my parents and they have one horse left. We've always had several horses when I was a kid. They're fun but very high maintenance.

It seems that their horse, Olivia, who is in her mid 20s, is having stomach problems. Colic. If a horse rolls aroud from the stomach pains they can twist a gut which is often fatal though they can sometimes do surgery. Horses can not vomit so things can get bad for them when they get a stomach ache.

Before they realized Olivia was having trouble she had already rolled and twisted a gut. A vet was called out around 12:30am and by 3:30am they had to put her to sleep. It was incredibly hard on everyone.

Sunday morning Chuck and I get up, have our breakfast and head home. We get home, unpack, take the truck to the shop to drop it off for a new tire and shocks, then head to Beaumont to get the kids. A lot of driving but they needed to come home. My mom had the dead horse and emotions to deal with and the kids had never seen anything like that before. Death is not a neat, tidy thing when you have a lot of animals in the country. I've seen some terrible things that leave an imprint in your mind. I didn't want them to see any more than they needed to.

Being Sunday and Father's Day, the city could not come out to bury her and the horse had collapsed right in front of the house. My parents had been taking turns leading Olivia around to make sure she didn't roll but it had been too late. Exhausted, she finally just dropped in front of the house and wouldn't get up. Rachel described the scene to me and it wasn't pretty. And the vet was inexperienced and instead of running a tube to her stomach to get in some meds, she ran the tube into her lungs which caused a great deal of bleeding. It was a mess all the way around. Terrible.

Before we arrive to get the kids, a cop, who had a relative down the road, brought over a tractor and tied a chain around the horse's neck and dragged her away from the front of the house. Keep in mind the temperatures we've been having. They covered her with a tarp until the city  could come out to bury her the next day.

My mom was terribly upset, of course, and so were the kids. I think it was hard on my dad as well.  We loaded the kids, hugged everyone, and headed home.

It didn't hit me until Monday (yesterday) how tired I was from everything. I had trouble staying awake the entire day.  Feeling better today. :)

It was a fun and eventful yet relaxing weekend. I wasn't thrilled about how it ended, of course.

So that was my weekend. How was yours?!

And I'd like to tell my hubby one last time: Happy Birthday, my love. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.


  1. Your weekend sounds amazing. I'm sorry about the loss of your mother's horse. Happy Birthday to Chuck. I'm glad you had such a wonderful time.

  2. Wow! What a weekend! Thank you for sharing, I am seeing places I will probably never get to see and find it interesting.

  3. I wouldn't kick myself too hard for not getting photos at Friendly Spot. No one needs to see the sweaty mess that I was!

    Rob and I will have to check out Azuca; we always pass it on our bike rides but never have stopped in. I'm so glad you guys enjoyed the city and your weekend. I love it here, too!

    I'm so sorry about the horse :( I can't even imagine how terrible that must have been.

  4. Thanks Sweetie.
    This one was one for the books.

    We need to do it again VERY soon.


  5. Hi Kelly, what a WONDERFUL post. Love all the pictures. So glad you had a great time but so sorry to read about the horse! Have a great week.

  6. How fun to have rolled up to that restaurant in the Rolls and have everyone think you were *someone* - of course, they were right! Sounds like a fun weekend and a relaxing one as well, which I'm sure you needed.

    So sorry about the horse - that is just too bad.

  7. Splendid, splendid, splendid!!! What a wonderful weekend. Love all the pictures.

    So sorry it ended sadly.

  8. Wow, what a great weekend until the story about the horse - my boss has two horses and one of them is about to pass away - she's had it for 20 years so I can understand how emotional it could be.

    I've been to a place like Texas de Brazil, but in Chicago its called Sal & Carvao - or what we like to call "meat on a stick!" Their salad bar is amazing, and after my second trip to the salad bar, my husband was like "you better start eating meat for the $$!"


  9. Wow! What a cool place! And the car is cool too.


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