Road Trip: San Antonio and back in three days of ‘firsts’

road trip
Sea World

When it comes to road trips, for me it’s about “firsts.”

There are so many amazing sights to see while traveling, I like to make a mental note of the things I discover for the first time. Silly, but it adds value and fun when getting from Point A to Point B.

My family recently drove the 249 miles from Fort Worth to San Antonio. It was to be a journey full of firsts, especially for my daughter, who was taking her first road trip.

Day 1 Heading south down I-35, we made our way through Waco, home to Baylor University, and caught a glimpse of the new stadium being constructed to host the Bears football team.

An hour and a half later, we were rolling through the Lone Star State’s capital, Austin. I’ve had a lot of memorable road tips from Fort Worth to Austin en route to the annual South by Southwest music festival, but this would be my daughter’s first experience with the city.

Sixth Street, where people and live bands crowd the sidewalks and bars during the festival, was quiet when we arrived, but we still got a sampling of why Austin is known as the “Live Music Capital of the World.” On our way to get a bite to eat, we stopped to listen as a singer with an acoustic guitar belted out a Wilco tune.

Around the corner we were greeted with a friendly, “bonjour,” from the hostess at the quaint Old Pecan St. Cafe. A delicious brunch of eggs Benedict, French toast with vanilla bourbon sauce and pesto-stuffed chicken filled our tanks for the road ahead.

Our final stop was the hotel in San Antonio. Another first for my daughter, since she’d never stayed in a hotel before.

Day 2 Our second day was full of firsts courtesy of SeaWorld.

My daughter got her first tattoo (TEMPORARY!), pet a live dolphin, was finally tall enough to go on the “big” rides and got to see a baby beluga whale born just days earlier. We had a blast at the amusement park (the first visit for all of us to SeaWorld) and slept well that night with visions of sea life swimming in our heads.

Day 3 After a hearty breakfast at the hotel, we were back in the car and headed north toward home. We took time to squeeze in a few more first-time memories in West, Texas. Though I’d been to the famous Czech Stop many times before, it was a first not only for my daughter, but my wife as well.

They both were amazed by the glass cases filled with rows of wonderful pastries made fresh every day. As we left, we dropped a donation in the jar by the register to help support the town that was hit by a disastrous fertilizer plant explosion in April.

Our weekend jaunt was complete when we pulled into the driveway shortly before sundown. A quick poll of our traveling party confirmed it was a great trip all around.

I’m not sure who enjoyed our voyage of firsts more, my daughter, my wife or me. I do know I can’t wait for more firsts, seconds, thirds, etc.

Here is a slideshow of our trip.

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