Monday, December 3, 2007

Mom visits the Alamo City

Riverwalk illuminated for the holidays

San Antonio is what is known as a "destination city" -- meaning that each year hoards of tourists and convention attendees come out to visit it's many picturesque locals. The Alamo, Sea World, annual Fiesta celebration and the Riverwalk. Since I grew up in Orange County, with a father who worked at Disneyland, I kinda O.D.'d on the whole manufactured "amusement" park experience at an early age. Even now, when my husband wants to drag me out to oohhh and ahhh at a fireworks display, it's hard to pull myself out of my 80 or so memories of Tinkerbell suspended on wires above Disney's Matterhorn, illuminated by pyrotechnics. Then as now I just want to put my hands over my ears and wait for the predictable spectacle to wind down.

Mom and me

My mom doesn't share my jaded sensibilities when it comes to 1st World amusements. She loves the flash and garish spectacle of places like Vegas and Miami. A visit to the annual Riverwalk Lighting Ceremony was definately in order. It was mom's first night in the Alamo City, so we braved the traffic and crowds to share a slice of wholesome and silly X-Mas fun.

Amidst a blaring rendition of Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl" featuring a boatload of tweeny future Texas pagent queens...

...and costumed holiday soldiers, we did our duty as San Antonio tourguides to dear Mamaw. She loved it. A lifetime of Bolivia's muted earthtone palette with pretty llamas wandering afoot and condors soaring above has given her the abilty to appreciate these "plastic" pleasures. I of course having grown up in the shadow of the Mouse house, always yern for wilderness and ecological splendor. We're a bit of yin & yang mother daughter pair. It amuses Payan tremendously.

Mom loves Rosario's cactus tuna margarita

Thankfully, we're both fans of good food and my favorite spot for dining out is currently Rosario's on the edge of King William and Southtown. I like to head over on weeknights, before the loud salsa band starts playing. Maybe I'm becoming a bit of a grump in my old age, but I like heartfelt conversation at dinner, as opposed to clublike yelling over loud music. Rosario's salsa is to die for and their cactus tuna margaritas are as potent as they are tasty. Everything on the menu is fresh and flavorful.

Martha and Pocha at the swank Tower bar

We topped off the week with a visit to San Antonio's "space needle" - the Tower of the Americas. Since the terrain here is flat, I often long for the kind of perspective being up high gives you. In LA I used to love driving up to the Griffith Observatory and taking in the breathtaking view.

Thankfully Texas' tower bar -- glamourous, plush and serving a generous array of cocktails -- is a great alternative for my Griffith park nostalgia. Mom had the hot chocolate and I savoured a yummy pomogranate creation. Mi madre totally enjoyed her stay deep in the heart of Tejas.

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