Wednesday, July 3, 2013

1-2 step 1-2 trip. Never take a ballroom dancer to a country bar.

In my attempts to really embrace Texas, I accompanied Ryan and a few of his friends/classmates to a country bar last weekend called "Cowboys".

I knew about this place before we arrived in San Antonio. All google, Urbanspoon, Tripadvisors -- listed it as a "bar to see". Boy, was it ever.

It is the largest barn (yes, barn)I have ever seen! It has a mechanical bull. Friday & Saturday's they have live country music (this Friday Tracy Lawrence is performing...who's apparently a famous country dude). They even have dance lessons on some nights.

Let me just tell you.....I am not a country girl. Yes, I grew up in North Dakota. Yes I own a cowboy hat. And yes, I drink beer (but I'm a bit a snob sticking to IPA's or Hefenweizen..) But those qualities still do not qualify me as a country gal.

Here are a few things that take Ryan and I out of the equation for being "country" : (**Disclaimer, I have nothing against country. It's just not my genre of choice....**)

  1. I purchased the cowboy hat, because I thought it'd be a good sun-shield on our camping trip. Plus, a girl has gotta look cute camping,right!? And it had turquoise beads on it -- that was the true selling point. Oh, and it was $8....
  2. We showed up at this bar -- the attire Ryan and his friends chose was: cargo shorts, flip flops, and polos. Let me just say..these fly boys stuck out like a sore thumb compared to the men attired in wranglers and boots. It was quite comical!
  3. Our attempt at 2-stepping was horrendous. Disastrous. We were stepping on each others toes, tripping over each others feet. I think I lost a shoe at one point (Now I understand the purpose of cowboy boots). The only dancing I know is ballroom and swing (I took a class in college) -- and I quickly learned that country dancing is not waltzing.
I won't knock the Cowboy's dance hall, quite yet. Maybe one night I can drug talk into taking the dance lessons they offer! But in the meantime, I think I'll stick to my flip flops and pop/rock music with my man in his I-Zod polo.......

Monday, July 1, 2013

6 Deer vs 1 girl, Greenways, Zoos - San Antonio Running

As I've stressed earlier, the most enticing part of moving to San Antonio was trying out new running trails and parks! I just think it's such a fun and intimate way to get to a know a new city! AND it's FREE!

There are several trails/parks I have yet to hit up. But I am going to start my review of a few that I've checked out. I'd like to think some San-Antonio-newcomer may someday stumble across this blog and find this useful.

**I say this because sometimes it's really hard to find out where to run in a new city. Is it safe? Are there water fountains? Where do you park? The list of mysteries go on, and I've had to find out much of this on my own!**

  • Leon Creek Greenway: I give this 4 out of 5 stars. My only complaint is that it was a bit overcrowded on a weekend morning. It's a nice black-top trail that literally goes on for miles and miles! I believe the full Greenway system actually has 130 miles! There were water fountains and bathrooms along the way. The part that I ran/biked on was not on major traffic roads - and had creeks and woods along it
    • I parked at the Drury Inn on Loop 1604 and IH 10. This portion of the trail is 13.5 miles long.
    • Biked 12 miles, locked my bike on my bike rack and ran 3.1 miles to make it a brick workout. 
    • I would not recommend road biking on this trail during the weekend. Unless you want to go slow or deal with curving around numerous of runners and other bikers. It was kind of scary at times, and one has to break about every 1/4 mile.......
    • I felt very safe throughout the entire route. 
  • Brakenridge Park : I need a little time to rate this. Currently I'm giving it 3 out of 5 stars. However, I think I need to come back after doing a little more trail planning. This park is located at the San Antonio Zoo, Japanese Tea Gardens, and several museums. It's also very close to downtown. Apparently it has about 15 miles worth of trails. 
    • I got completely lost. They were doing tons of construction to the trails, so I got off the path, ended up near downtown by an unsafe-looking bus station, and eventually ended up IN THE ZOO. Talk about awkward. :-)
    • They do have nice shaded paths through the woods and trees that are more safe (that I want to try again...after some planning)
    • Water fountains and bathrooms are available.
    • Once again, I wouldn't take your road bike here. Trail and mountain bikes seem appropriate however!
 Me after a very sweaty, humid, kind of miserable 6 mile run! I got completely lost. Not my most glamorous picture ;)
 Brakenridge Park - the San Antonio River. This was a very peaceful and beautiful area.
  •  McAlister Park: I loved McAlister Park! 5 out of 5 stars. They also have 15 miles of hard and soft (off road) trails. I was hesitant to go off roads. (I'm a Tucson girl....I know what kind of snakes and critters like to hang out in the grass!) The neatest feature about this park was the deer! There were baby deer and fawns EVERYWHERE, and they were super friendly. At one point - there were 6 standing in the road and I could have reached out and touched them.
    • Water fountains  and bathrooms available.
    • 8 baseball fields and 6 soccer fields - so the soccer fields are there if you want to do sprint work
    • It is shaded in wooded areas.
    • Trail and Mountain bikes are great here -- no road bikes, as the roads get a little too rocky.
    • There is an option to connected up with the Greenway System I talked about earlier.
  • My next park I plan on trying is the Mitchell Lake Audubon Center. It's supposed to have ponds, lakes, and a natural bird haven -- sounds beautiful!
 This was one of the many deer I saw on my run at McAlister Park. I am kicking myself for not snapping a photo of the time I saw 6 deer!