18/10/13 – Antonio, nooooo!

Got up and got ready and packed in a very relaxed manner this morning, even though my stupid dreams still haven’t stopped. We even got to watch some South Park in between. We then got everything packed into the car and set off for San Antonio. It was just over an hour drive and I actually relaxed much more this time. Driving along the interstate is really simple, just a bit dull after a while. We were still ahead of check-in time so we went to the Japanese tea gardens first to kill some time. They were really lovely – they looked so old and authentic. There was a waterfall and several koi ponds, as well as lots of cute little paths and stone stairways.

Up for a game of Where’s Weirdo?

After checking into our hotel we headed back out to downtown San Antonio. Had a bit of a game with parking, but eventually managed to find a solution for it. We had a wander around, saw the Alamo, then went to the Rainforest Café for tea. We both had steak and chicken with garlic mash and Caribbean rice. The chicken was a bit weird, but everything else was lovely. We were also sat next to the tropical fish tank, which certainly kept us entertained. My favourite was a perpetually happy fish with goofy teeth – I genuinely laughed every time I looked at him. Kel reckoned it was like the nerdy, brace-y schoolkid fish in Finding Nemo.

We did a Walmart stop on the way home, which ended up taking longer than anticipated because Sam decided to play us up. Got some Seagrams and some more Kool-Aid though (the last six-pack didn’t even last me twenty-four hours). They also had the most awesome long Batman and Robin tees with attached capes! Sadly though they were only in kid’s sizes and Kel was sure that none would fit her. I was actually gutted – we could have been Batman and Robin on Halloween!

Came back to the room, had a few drinks, some popcorn and watched Friends and bits of Role Models. I discovered that the comedian we’d listened to in the van during the tour is actually in a show called King of Queens, which we also saw a bit of. And then to top everything else I learnt that James Roday was born, guess where? That’s right – San Antonio! Thank you for spawning a man of such comic genius and perfect hair.

My fine-finned friend – “oh my goshth, Nemo’s shwimming out to sthea!”

 

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17/10/13 – Forget everything you know

Bit more of a relaxed wake-up today, though I still made sure we had time for breakfast. I had a waffle (which got drowned in syrup when the top came off the bottle), sausage and scrambled eggs. Felt very fat afterwards but it was totally better than last night! We got packed up, checked out and got the shuttle back to the airport to pick up our car. It’s a black Nissan Versa. Still trying to think of a name for him (I’m hovering over Elvis). Not only do I have the whole driving on the other side of the road thing, it’s a lot bigger than what I’d used to driving AND I also have to get used to the whole no clutch or gearbox fandango. It took me forever to actually get it into drive!

Come on then Elvis, break me into this American way of driving!

The first part of the day was iffy and I felt very uncomfortable. I felt like I was trying to watch a million things at once. We stopped at a Walmart for some drinks and snacks (I got a six-pack of blue Kool-Aid, two thirds of which is now gone) and a Radio Shack to get a cheap emergency phone and a satnav. Samantha is much more articulate than Dirty Debby. It’s very sad. Though once we had her we were able to find our hotel no problem. We munched on some popcorn whilst we Skyped Mom and Dad and then later ordered and ate takeout pizza and buffalo wings whilst Skyping Sid.

We then headed into the main stretch of Austin. We went to Congress Bridge first, which is famous for sheltering one and a half million bats who all go out on the hunt every day at dusk. They clearly waited for us too, because we’d only just got down there when they all chose to venture out. It really was an unbelievable sight (and quite an unbelievable smell too!) After most of the bats had sodded off we went down onto Sixth Street, the city’s main hub. We had a wander up and down and then went into Bat Bar for a drink. Because it was called Bat Bar. Since I was driving and America has a zero alcohol tolerance, I had to settle for a can of Red Bull. Oh sorry, did I say settle? We all know how energy drinks are never settling. There was a live musician playing, who was actually amazing. It was just a shame that the bar was so empty and he wasn’t getting the huge audience that he blatantly deserved.

Though we went back to the hotel afterwards and had a chilled night, we still went to bed quite late. Kel watched Magic Mike and I created a new original character. Good times all round! (Though more geeky and less naked men involved on my part. Oh well).

The sights tonight involved a couple of supercars and more than a million bats. Call me Bruce Wayne.