Several months back the family and I took a trip a few miles down the interstate to good ole San Antonio. The plan was to go to Sea World and the San Antonio Zoo! The fine folks at Holiday Inn offered to pick up the tab for our lodging in return for a candid review of their newly renovated property. We stayed in the location closest to Sea World. It seems Holiday Inn properties all over the nation have gotten a face-lift, and they want every one to know.
I accepted the offer; you just can’t beat free lodging and an adventurous weekend with the Family.
As it turns out, I was the perfect candidate to perform the review because I ended up spending A LOT of time in the hotel. Here’s why:
Thursday prior to our Friday departure, my youngest son came down with an ear infection, RSV and began cutting his first tooth. While not banning us from hitting the road, if you had to cancel plans every time a little one was sick you would never go anywhere, his pediatrician cautioned us to monitor him very closely because RSV can be nasty!
On Friday evening we loaded the little dude up on Tylenol and antibiotics, loaded the mini-van with luggage and family and hit the road. We left our house at 7 pm for the 70-mile or one hour and fifteen minute trip South. An hour and a half later we had ventured approximately 23 miles. Multiple potty stops, a gas break and a rain-storm that would make Noah wet his pants made for slow going. Finally at 10:30 we rolled into the Sea World Holiday Inn.
The hotel was nice. Freshly renovated rooms and bathrooms were well appointed, spacious and comfortable. They even had those big ass fluffy towels, which was a good thing because I ended up spending 36 straight hours hanging in the hotel. By the time we checked out on Sunday morning the staff knew the Powell’s by name. I must add here that the staff was delightful and their friendliness made our stay that much more enjoyable.
It turns out that the monsoon we drove through on Friday evening was associated with a Blue Norther otherwise know as a Texas Cold Front. Saturday morning dawned bright, sunny and cold with a biting wind blowing at 30 mph! Certainly not weather conducive to being outside with an infant fighting an ear infection and RSV. So we hunkered down for the day in the hotel. We watched in room movies, swam in the indoor pool and ate meals in the Hotel restaurant.
Later in the afternoon, Liz, Ella and Molly ventured out for a shopping tour while Walker, Myers and I watched NCAA basketball in the hotel restaurant. Walker had cheese sticks and I had Daddy juice and we all had a grand time. Given our hectic daily schedules it was wonderful to just relax and hang out with the family. There were no games to go to, no birthday parties to attend, no music lessons, no dinner parties, no nothing. It was a lovely lazy day.
As is typical of Texas weather Friday’s tempest gave way to a mild and mellow Sunday. Our agenda for the day was simple: find good breakfast tacos and do the ZOO. We scored on both fronts. By accident we stumbled upon Taco, Taco, a small joint located on East Hildebrand Street a few blocks from the zoo. Unbeknownst to us this little dive had been noted by the Food Networks “Bon Appetit Best American Restaurants” a few years back for having the best breakfast tacos in America. The praise was well deserved. The tacos rocked.
Fat and happy we headed on to the San Antonio Zoo. A trip to the zoo is always enjoyable for me because watching the kids’ faces when they see the animals is priceless and this trip was no exception.
So, at the end of the weekend, we rolled back into our driveway in Austin, Texas. As we unpacked the car, with a full week ahead of us, I looked at my sleepy family and felt thankful. I know a sick baby in a hotel room sounds to some like a total nightmare. But, thanks to the hospitable folks at the Holiday Inn, and the great adventure that an indoor pool in January offers, we managed to enjoy ourselves. I am actually quite fond of the get away that doesn’t include a packed itinerary. All we needed was each other and a comfortable place to stay. Oh yeah, the movies and the indoor pool followed up by tacos that will make you slap your momma didn’t hurt.