This morning went totally sideways. Kevin woke up at 4am in way too much pain to do the race at all. Since doing so would jeopardize the remainder of our trip, I crushed any ideas he had about running it. Then I totally botched my own race by not realizing that my phone hadn’t synced with our adjusted time zone and missing it entirely because my alarm didn’t go off until two hours after I was supposed to get up.
Brightside: I obviously needed to catch up on some sleep. And I did.
Lesson: Stick to the plan. (Why did I rethink that race, anyway?!?)
We were determined to recover and pay no mind to the pain or the mishaps of the morning. We got ready and headed out for a day of exploration and adventure.
But first, I had to find some sunglasses. One of the screws came out of mine during travel yesterday and I figured that finding a replacement would be easier than finding an eyeglass repair kit. This isn’t even the first time I’ve been in need of sunglasses on day one in a sunny destination. Fortunately, I’m not picky and found a pair pretty easily. At the same place, we picked up a couple of cheesy souvenirs as well.
Kevin has a great idea considering his limited mobility and our desire to get a good look around town. He suggested that we get on a hop on-hop off bus tour and get an idea of what was happening in this city. I’ve never really done that before. I’ve booked city tours on buses and boats and on foot, usually on my first day visiting someplace new, but I’ve never done one of the hop on-hop off variety. I know friends who have and loved it so I was game to give it a shot.
Our hotel, as I mentioned yesterday, is right across the street from The Alamo so the buses weren’t hard to find. We hopped on and stayed on all the way around most of the loop. Were were going to go the whole way, but Market Square and it’s brightly coloured bustle lured us in.
Market Square is, according to the website I linked there, a festive indoor mall famously described as the largest Mexican market outside Mexico. And it was a lot of fun. I bought a few souvenirs including a flower crown – I mean, how could I NOT? – and then we hopped back on the bus.
We took the bus back to the start and walked over for a quick trip back to our hotel. We dropped our bags, freshened up and then hopped back on the bus. We’d intended to do the full tour and then come back to our neighbourhood to look for something to eat, but again we were lured by an enticing stop. This time, Pearl Brewery, (a district, not just a brewery) which “provides a unique experience as a top culinary and cultural destination.”
We were hungry so we easily committed to the most appealing place we saw at the start, Southerleigh’s Fine Food and Brewery.
We showed up in time for their Happy Hour menu which was pretty simple: pressure fried wings and biscuits and a few seafood options. Kevin tried a beer called Like Because, Love Despite and we went for biscuits and some shrimp. We didn’t want to eat too much because we’d been warned that there are so many delicious options in the area and we were hoping to snack a little here and there.
In the end, we wandered for a while and then hopped back on the bus to what would be our final stop: Buckthorn Saloon and Museum. To be completely honest, it was king of an in and out visit. We walked in, walked around, but decided not to pay to see the museums (Buckthorn Museum is taxidermied animals and freak show kind of stuff, Texas Ranger Museum is Texas Ranger stuff.) We checked out the gift shop and then we headed over to the River Walk and back to the hotel.
We took a little break and then headed out with just one thing in mind: dinner. I need to eat something and get back to the room to relax before tomorrow morning. I was trying to find the fine balance between feeling prepared and not sacrificing the entire evening for tomorrow’s race.
As it turned out, the River Walk was a zoo when we got there and we ended up in Margaritaville eating Margaritaville food and getting Margaritaville service. None of it is recommended, but it was our best shot at getting any food within 90 minutes.
My pre-race jitters have set in and now I’m back in the hotel trying not to think about tomorrow and trying to get some sleep.
Wish me luck tomorrow! And happy December!