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San Antonio: Feliz Navidad del Rio

Since my mom and I moved to Bandera in 1985, every Friday after Thanksgiving she has mentioned wanting to go to the San Antonio River Parade. We've watched it on television most years but never been. So this year, for her 65th birthday in December, I wanted to take her and make it a special night. I reserved a hotel room with a balcony on the parade route almost a year in advance. I made dinner reservations for after the parade. For the next morning, I booked facials and foot massages at a spa on the Riverwalk as well. It would be a lovely mother-daughter event.

Mike and I and the dogs normally travel to Bandera every year for Thanksgiving. Because Mom and I had plans of our own this year, he decided to stay home and spend the day with our good friends instead. So I flew down on Thanksgiving morning and we had our traditional dinner and day of football. The next afternoon, Friday, Mom and I drove into San Antonio and checked into the Hilton Palacio del Rio on the Riverwalk. Downtown was a bit of a madhouse. Hotels had been sold out for months and everyone was trying to arrive at the same time to check in.


It took us a while to figure out how the elevators worked. I've never seen a keypad to call the elevator.


We finally made it to our room.



It had an excellent view of the river.


Since our dinner reservations were late, Mom brought along some snacks for a little pre-parade picnic. We had olives, carrots, celery, pimento cheese, Boisin cheese (the best cheese EVER), crackers, pickled okra, and deviled eggs.


It got dark and we waited for the parade to start....with our noodle hair on.


Soon the boat floats began arriving.








And the finale - Santa and Mrs. Claus, of course.


The parade lasted about an hour. Once over, we walked down the River to Boudro's Texas Bistro for dinner. Mom started with a prickly pear maragarita and I tried a strawberry caipirinha. These were paired with guacamole for two, made tableside.


My entrée was lobster tail, shrimp, and crawfish etoufee with a risotto.


Mom's entrée was shrimp and fried fish over rice.


After dinner we walked along the river for a while and then headed back to our hotel to retire for the evening.


The next day we had a relaxing time at the spa and a tasty lunch at the Mokara Hotel and Spa before I flew home. Happy Birthday Mom!

Posted by zihuatcat 14:36 Archived in USA Tagged san antonio mom riverwalk

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