USA

Road trip to San Antonio

20 August 2014

We took a 1.5 hr drive from Austin to San Antonio this past weekend!

One thing I noticed about the skies here is that they stretch on ENDLESSLY. I can literally see the skies spanning miles and miles! The buildings here go for width rather than height, and it’s rare to even find a building that is taller than 5 stories! It’s really refreshing and relaxing with this spaciousness.

Me and my very serious driver

We decided to explore San Antonio because it was recommended by an extremely sweet reader who wrote me a comprehensive list of places she visited and loved in Texas! (Thanks again, April!)

She recommended the River Walk, but as it was best viewed at night, so for the earlier part of the day, we researched on where to go in San Antonio and our first stop was…

Natural Bridge Caverns

I’ve never been in a cave before and was quite excited about it!

There were several different tours and we chose to go on the original cavern tour, the Discovery Tour.

As it was super crowded that day, instead of traveling in a fixed group with a tour guide as is the usual case, the tour was self-paced instead, with tour guides stationed throughout the cave.

The first guide we met gave us a brief history of the first room we were in, how we should behave while in the caverns and more importantly, grave warnings about what would happen should we fail to adhere to cavern etiquette.

To sum it up, in order to preserve the cave, we totally, absolutely CANNOT touch any natural part of the cave. It is a third degree felony and punishable by imprisonment and a fine.

In the guide’s words:

You don’t want to go to jail for touching a piece of rock.

We took those wise words to heart.

Pointing is fine. And no, my arm is not touching the rock!!!

Posing with rocks without touching them 101

You have to admit, he really exercises creativity in posing…

Finally, a normal picture

Even though it’s burning outside, I was holding a long-sleeved knit. I had a reason for this ridiculous behavior. On the website, it said that temperatures in the cave are about 70°F (~21°C), which is cold! (to me, ok?)

Seriously la, it was more like 26°C, a perfectly comfortable temperature!

I thought I was being well-prepared, but in the end I only looked mad.
(aren’t my rhyming skills rad?)

Moving on to the formations, which are nature’s works of art!

The Watchtower – The tallest column in the entire cave

Mount of the Landlord

King’s Throne

I love that they gave names to them, and is it just me? But many of them reminded me of Lord of the Rings, hehe.

The Watchtower –> The Two Towers
Mount of the Landlord –> Mount Doom
King’s Throne –> Return of the King

:D

Caught a romantic moment when they are just about to kiss! When they do, they will become a column. When I said “just”, I really meant about 50 years, give or take. That’s the time it takes to fill that small space!

A surprise inhabitant!

The cave is huge! This is but a small portion of the entire cave.

The largest room in the cave – View from the top

This pile of bat poop here is 5,000 years old. No kidding.

In closing, let me give you a tip on photo taking and why angles are everything!

My favorite photo of us, with the gorgeous lighting from the cave

However, look what happens if just the angle (and ONLY the angle alone) is changed:

SEE THE DIFFERENCE?!

/end of mini photography lesson

We paid $19.99 per person for the Discovery Tour, and this is their website: http://www.naturalbridgecaverns.com

At the end of the cavern tour, I realized for the first time that the cave is my perfect home! No sunlight, humid enough (ok, it’s actually 99% humidity, but whatevs), perfect temperature, and no sunlight! What? The last point is a major plus and worth mentioning twice.

I need to find me a cave.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! San Antonio

After the caverns, we made our way to town, and Ripley’s was next on our list.

As you might already know, I’m normally game to visit new places or try new things, but as I walked down the entrances of Ripley’s various attractions, I grew more and more reluctant in shelling the money for them.

They looked extremely gimmicky-looking, with props that look like it was taken from a fun fair. 20 years ago.

I simply cannot justify paying $30 for them when Six Flags, a nearby full-fledged theme park with mega thrill rides charges only $45 for an entire day!

Sorry Ripley, I don’t feel like being ripped off.

The River Walk

We headed over to the River Walk early instead!

The River Walk meanders through the downtown area, and is lined with numerous shops, bars, and restaurants.

We also spotted ducks swimming and loitering around the edge of the water!

As you can see, the line for the river boat was crazy long!

We didn’t bother taking the river boat and explored the area on foot. With the crowd and weather, it was quite hot and uncomfortable. But it was much more cooling at night!

We sat and chilled on a random ledge along the River Walk as we took in the sights and sounds.

Did you notice? This is back at the starting point! (compare with first picture of River Walk above)

While walking around, we bumped into these:

Horse carriages!

We were surprised to see these running on the streets! So pretty but I felt a bit bad for the horses. They looked kinda skinny. I think their legs are even skinner than Fu’s.

This little surprise (the horse carriages, not the discovery that horses have skinnier legs than Fu) brings our first road trip in USA to an end!

ps: Don’t tell San Antonio, but I like Austin more ^o^

pps: Just for fun, compare this with our first road trip in Japan!

2 Comments

  • Reply Dale 21 August 2014 at 2:19 pm

    I prefer your first japan road trip! Looks more peaceful, clean and I guess less commercial ?
    But it sure looks like you’re having loads of fun and you look absolutely kawaii with your heart shaped shades!

    • Reply Rin 22 August 2014 at 9:54 am

      Might also be because of the places we went!
      Hehe, thank you *blush* ;D

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