San Antonio, Texas

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We are back from beautiful, warm and gracious San Antonio, Texas! My parents lived in the San Antonio area (Garden Ridge) some 15 years ago and I remember visiting them many times. But, somehow, I never got a real feel for the area. After spending the long holiday weekend there, I can tell you I love it. First, it was warm an sunny our first day. Second, I can’t remember the last American city I’ve been to that had so much diversity. We kept remarking at different sites at how many times we saw people of different ethnicities socializing together. There was such great American history and culture in San Antonio. We stayed at a fantastic inn in the King William / Southtown neighborhood and were walking distance from the Riverwalk and all the major attractions.

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But, my biggest personal draw to San Antonio was the chance to meet Amanda from Amanda’s Sewing Adventures. She was kind enough to introduce us to real Texas BBQ on our first full day in town. I say ‘introduce’ because there really was a lot to learn 🙂 Like, did you know brisket can come ‘wet’? Until this trip, I thought brisket was boring and I didn’t know what the big deal was. After this trip, brisket is my jam. Also, from now on, I might try and meet sewing bloggers over local food instead of fabric.

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It’s possible I plan trips around what other sewing bloggers I can meet. If I’m being honest, when we start talking about places to go, I do run through a mental list of ‘Who do I know…’ Sadly, Amanda didn’t bring her recent pink coat so I could take it back to Baltimore with me.

We got rained out of our bike tour of the city and missions on our second day. So, we made up for it by going back out for more BBQ. The Big Bib opened at noon and I kid you not, there was a line 30 people deep when they opened the door.

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My dad was also in San Antonio for the weekend and we got to spend a little time with him before heading back home. It’s good to see him smiling again.

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I naturally took the opportunity of being in Texas to dress like an American Flag.

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My last funny about TX is I reserved a hybrid or sub-compact car while we were in San Antonio. When we arrived, they gave us a Toyota 4Runner as it was the smallest car they had available. I guess everything really is bigger in Texas.

But, for real. From now own, President’s Day weekend gets spent in a warmer climate. We came back home to 8 degrees (-13 in Celsius) and snow. I also really like that in the last year I’ve done more traveling in the continental US. Growing up an Army brat we were always taking trips overseas. But, I’ve really come to appreciate all the great places there are in the States you can visit.


  1. Hubby and I will be in San Antonio May 15-16 for a food festival. Can you tell me the name of the inn where you stayed?our red jacket looked perfect for Texas in February.

    • We stayed at the King William Manor. It was *perfect*. There’s a small parking lot for your car. They give you a voucher for breakfast a block or two away. The Riverwalk is a 15 minute walk away and the bike / hike trails are 15 mins the other way. Plus, there were four highly rated restaurants on the same block and a higher end / fancy one, Bliss, about 1/3 of a mile away. It really was an ideal location away from the crazy part of the Riverwalk but in a fun and artsy neighborhood. We did drive to the art museum but that’s because we were in the car already.

      On Tue, Feb 17, 2015 at 9:32 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  2. I’ve lived all over the world and I love living in San Antonio. I’ll likely be happily living in San Antonio the rest of my life and I’m glad you got such a good view of it.

    • You had me a ‘hot chicken’. Funny you should ask. We almost picked Nashville for this weekend but needed to do Texas because my dad was going to be there. Memorial Day this year is Indianapolis. But, we’re looking for the right three-day weekend this year. I also need to convince Jordan he won’t die of heat exhaustion.

      On Tue, Feb 17, 2015 at 9:45 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  3. Bummer you got rained out of your bike tour! It was super fun to get to meet up. Maybe sometime you can show me around your neck of the woods.

  4. I love San Antonio! Did you visit the historic Hotel Menger (German built, of course)? I have been there but missed out on the ghost tour. Maybe next time. Local food is always a must. Whenever I visit my daughter in Houston, we make a point of eating at El Tiempo–great, authentic Tex-Mex cuisine.

    • I had no idea until this trip that San Antonio had such a large German population. It helped me make sense of some of the road names. I honestly assumed it was the US military influence that places were called ‘Wurzbach’, LOL!

      On Tue, Feb 17, 2015 at 10:34 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  5. Glad you got to meet Amanda, but what you ate isn’t barbecue, lol. You need to come to Lexington, NC to get the real deal. Pig, chopped, with vinegar dressing and served with hush puppies and red slaw.

    Also, Jordan is correct. You CAN die of heat exhaustion, and quite easily, and much sooner than you might think.

    • HAHAHAHA! A friend of ours from North Carolina has already let me know that what I like isn’t BBQ. It’s barbequed, but not BBQ. I don’t eat pork (Jordan does) so I have to make do withe beef short ribs, smoked turkey legs and brisket. Mmmmm. Brisket.

      On Tue, Feb 17, 2015 at 10:39 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


    • Oh, also. Jordan has a dream of driving through the south sampling BBQ. Seriously. We tried to do it for his bar trip last year but there wasn’t enough time. And, as for heat, he’s naturally super warm blooded. So, I can only talk him into the south during the fall, heh.

      • Round Top Antiques Festival April 1-4 in and around Round Top, TX. It’s where I buy most of my vintage patterns and OMG THEY HAVE SO MANY BUTTONS. My family’s from that area, too, so I know all the good food places.

        Just sayin’.

      • Remember to stop in Memphis for ‘cue. And Kansas City. I think they barbecue alligator in Baton Rouge.

  6. Oh this brings back such good memories! We were stationed in SA for four years (my son was born there). Across from the Menger hotel there’s a park, and an old guy who has tamed most of the squirrels so you can feed them by hand. Next door is the Alamo, which is strangely sad and lonely amid all the hustle and bustle. I hope that you guys tried some Shiner Bock beer when you were there, it’s made just up the road in Shiner, TX-my husband always has some in the fridge here at home, for cooking as well as drinking. So many great things in the area, and you went at the best time of year-in summer it is REALLY hot! LOL! The seasons are basically reversed-you do all your outdoor stuff in the winter when it’s nice out, and hibernate in summer, in the air conditioning! Glad you had such a great trip, I hope you go back, there’s even more to see and do!

    • I have to admit I only had the Lone Star beer. But, I thought the Shiner Bock advertising was hilarious! Something like 50 percent Texan, 50 percent German, 50 percent American.

  7. OK, I was already starving, but brisket (and pulled pork!) always makes my mouth water. I assume that “wet” means that it’s sliced instead of pulled? Or does it refer to a wet slathering of sauce vs a dry rub? I’m not a fan of chopped/pulled brisket, but sliced is a whole different story!

    So glad you had a great trip and got to see your dad, and it cracks me up that you decided to dress like an American flag. 😛

    P.S. Kansas also has some great BBQ. Just sayin’. And harvest is an awesome time to visit, if you can keep Jordan cool enough. 😉

    • I think there, ‘wet’ meant more fat and it was sliced! Jordan always got it lean and I thought it tasted a bit like shoe leather. The sauces all come on the side and you also get pickles and onion too. The pickles and onion on the side with BBQ was also totally new to me. You don’t have to ask me twice about Kansas / Missouri. He wants to do trips to both states just for the meat (and he has a good friend in St. Louis).

      On Tue, Feb 17, 2015 at 11:33 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


      • “Wet” means that the meat is mopped with a sauce as it cooks, rather than treated with a dry rub. Usually diners are offered the option of having more sauce poured/dripped/mopped onto their portion of meat. I’d opt for the sauce, if offered. The servers will know best how to present their product.

        Side items offered with barbecue are the biggest regional difference markers. Where I live, “red slaw” is made with the same vinegar-and-pepper flake sauce that flavors the meat. And you’ll get hushpuppies, usually the long, skinny kind that cook evenly all the way through. Not like the yucky round ball ones that are raw in the middle sometimes. My husband grew up in Georgia, where sliced white bread, mayonnaise-based slaw, and Brunswick stew are de rigueur. (But they don’t do Brunswick stew right down there in my opinion. It’s mostly just vegetable soup.) In South Carolina, you’re as likely as not going to get a side of baked beans.

  8. And no trip to the Alamo? I’m married to a Texan and he made a point that we had to take the offspring to the Alamo when we were in San Antonio. The other landmark that was a “must see” was the San Jacinto Monument when we were in Houston to see family. Love San Antonia, it’s a great city.
    Theresa in Tucson

    • Hahah! Yes! We took a food tour (that was terrible) that actually started at the Alamao. But, somehow, we didn’t take photos in front. I do have a photo of me in front of the Alamo from 15 years ago. But, sadly denied Jordan the pleasure.

      On Tue, Feb 17, 2015 at 1:08 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  9. I love when the world of sewing bloggers meet – especially when the faces are familiar.
    80 degrees sounds so crazy right now in the midst of a deep freeze.

    • I’m not going to lie to you. It was *glorious*. And I am not a warm weather person.

      On Tue, Feb 17, 2015 at 1:14 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  10. My husband and I just made reservations for a trip to Texas – he was stationed in San Antonio in the army in the late 1960’s and has always wanted to go back. Everyone here (San Francisco area) thinks we are nuts, but we are so looking forward to SA and the music scene in Austin. Thanks for the tips from your trip there – we will use them!

  11. I also vacation where my blogger friends are. Off to Kyoto, Japan in 4 weeks to spend the last two weeks of March with another sewing addict.
    I really never gave it too much thought about how to entice other sewing peoples here – just south of Portland, Oregon. Voodoo Doughnuts, anyone?
    My actual town has a restaurant curse, but daughter who lives in Portland always has suggestions. Plus – we have the best fabric stores. Not just quilting stores, but activewear/outerwear at RCT Fabrics and the daddy of them all, Fabric Depot.
    And, we’ve had several Project Runway WInners.

  12. Oy. Wish I was going to be visiting my family west of Indy over Memorial Day so we could meet up. But I don’t even know if my fave food places are still there. Nick’s Chili was the place to get a ‘kill it or cure it’…but that was 35 years ago.

    Not sure where I would meet you if you ever came to the Rocket City….but give me a heads up if you’re ever headed this way and I’ll come up with a short list. 😉

  13. The first time we visited here they offered us two cars. I was like, take the Subaru so we can blend in 🙂 Come visit here. We’ll have lunch and go to Fancy Tiger!

  14. I loved this sewing/food/Texas post! We are heading from Melbourne Australia to Texas this October. We are planning to fly to San Francisco and then drive down to Arizona via as many national parks as possible before flying to Austin. I had never thought of the Alamo but I think we will now be heading there too! As for BBQ – we are really looking forward to trying it American style 🙂

  15. I really hope you come to Canada sometime (Toronto, Ottawa, or Montreal) so I can meet you and show you the sights! I’m a real fan. 🙂

    • No lie, we’re trying to do a ‘big’ Canada trip in the next year. I *love* Montreal and have never been to Toronto. He’s not been to Quebec City and neither of us have been to Ottawa! We might have to just limit to one place or the other this fall though.

      On Wed, Mar 4, 2015 at 10:19 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


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