Monthly Archives: January 2016

Iron Cactus San Antonio Riverwalk

Usually I have done my research and know what restaurant I want to try in a town. It might be the Russian House or Salt Lick but I have an address and a destination.  Somehow I could not pick for San Antonio and decided we would ask opinions once we arrived.  There were so many choices!  There is a Dick’s Last Resort, Rainforest Cafe and too many options!

The front desk clerk said when she had people in town she went to Iron Cactus.  She liked it because aside from good food the tables were not on the sidewalk so there is more privacy.  Sold!

We took some time strolling the riverwalk and admiring the holiday lights. Even for a Tuesday night in December this place was packed!

San Antonio Riverwalk

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San Antonio Riverwalk

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A short wait at the hostess stand has us seated outside with several tables at Iron Cactus.  Our waiter was very busy but provided good service.  You could tell he was hustling to keep up with all his tables!

I was really excited to try the brisket enchiladas.  I had been thinking enchiladas the whole time we hiked back from the dinosaur tracks.  They were worth it, amazing!

Iron Cactus

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Husband tried the Southwest Paella and was in love.  He would have licked the bowl clean, there was nothing left!

Iron Cactus

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Daughter had a cheese burger that she ate every bit of.  She was in heaven to not have to eat Mexican food.  She did also eat most of the chips and salsa that were on the table as appetizers.

They have a large menu at Iron Cactus and I am sure something for everyone. The dessert tray looked so good but we did not have room for anything else!  I would recommend calling for reservations if you have a party of 6 or more.

Iron Cactus  200 River Walk Suite 100  San Antonio, TX 78205   Tel: (210) 224-9835

More information here:



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Its Fair Trade Friday!

I just love Fair Trade Friday!  It is so nice to receive something besides bills in the mail once in a while.  I look forward to this day each month and I never know what they are going to send.

FairTrade Friday Jan 2016

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Fair Trade Friday Jan 2016

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I love to receive bags from Joyn and appreciate the work that goes into crafting them.   They are hand printed and so beautiful.  I used this new one for church on Sunday.  More information on Joyn here:

I really like the planner and need to figure out what I want to use it for.  Seems too pretty for my daily grinder calendar.

Fair Trade Friday

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And a discount code for the Fair Trade Friday Bracelet of the Month Club for $5 off your first month using the code GIVEHOPE.

More information on Fair Trade Friday can be found here:


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Residence Inn Alamo Place

We spent our one night in San Antonio at the Residence Inn Downtown/Alamo Plaza.  We had many Marriott choices when picking where we wanted to stay.  Husband had his free anniversary stay certificate to use for our trip so we needed a category 5 or lower Marriott.  We could have done the Fairfield Inn across the street, Sprinhill Suites or Towneplace Suites all in the same area.  Residence Inn had a one bedroom suite available so they won by default.

The hotel is a five minute walk from the riverwalk.  Its so close!  Even closer is the Alamo!

Our one bedroom looked just like any other Residence Inn so I must not have taken a picture of our room.  Daughter was pleased to take over the couch and her own tv.  We were a bit worn from our hike earlier so Daughter elected not to visit the pool with Husband and I .  The pool are was empty at 4pm and we had the hot tub to ourselves.

                                             (photo Marriott website)

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Government Canyon State Natural Area Dino Walk

Driving between Austin and San Antonio we needed something to break up the day a little and chose to do a hike in the afternoon. Government Canyon looked interesting and the family was up for a small stop.   For some reason no matter what our plan is hiking always takes us longer in Texas.   This was no exception….

Government Canyon has over 40 miles of hiking trails according to their website, this place is huge!  They offer camping and we would like to try staying there in the future.  Camp sites are only $18.  Over the Christmas holiday the park is open more days than the usual weekends.  We hiked on a Tuesday and still encountered a dozen people over our trek.  The cost to use the park is $6 an adult. Kids under 12 are free.

IF it has been raining the trails will be closed.  I would not want to be stuck out hiking in a heavy rain event, you could visibly see where deep flooding has occurred.  So please check the Facebook page before heading out.

We parked and paid at the nature center with ample bathrooms.   Those are the only bathrooms we saw so I would recommend you use them before setting out on your hike.  Going in I knew it was 3 miles one way to our destination.  No big deal!

But this was much more hiking than walking.  The trail is very uneven and rock covered in several areas. I was too busy looking at my footing to take many pictures.

Government Canyon

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There were cute little signs like IF you do not have water at this point turn back.  And part mile markers either direction to remind you how far you really did not walk the last fifteen minutes.

Government Canyon

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The rattlesnake sign was at the almost halfway point.

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Tasty Disney Vacation Package

Enjoy a FREE meal at a quick-service location per person, per night when you buy a non-discounted 4-night/5-day room and theme park ticket package at a Disney Value Resort hotel.
Offer valid for arrivals most nights May 29 through June 30, 2016 and July 5 through August 13, 2016. Book now through February 29, 2016.

The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Tickets are valid for one theme park per day and must be used within 14 days of first use. All Guests in the same room must be on the same package. Check availability for packages with other lengths of stay.

To book by phone, call (407) 939-7943† to speak with a vacation planning expert or call your travel agent.

Important Details

  • Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion.
  • Advance reservations required.
  • Offer excludes campsites and Disney’s Art of Animation – The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms.
  • Excludes alcoholic beverages and gratuities.
  • Children ages 3 to 9 must choose from the children’s menu, if available.
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Spirit Airlines 1,000 Miles Free

I have flown Spirit Airlines several years ago.  They are no frills but cheap!  They are offering 1,000 miles for free through the billion miles jackpot.

You can enter here to receive your free 1,000 miles:

So what does 1,000 miles get you on Spirit?  Generally a magazine subscription.  Spirit miles are pretty much only good for 90 days unless you add more activity to them.   Points said they would post in 14 days.

Spirit's Billion-Mile Jackpot!

Missed out on last night’s record jackpot? Well, your luck hasn’t run out just yet.

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The Salt Lick BBQ

Our family appreciates a good BBQ place.  In the upper Midwest our choices are often pretty slim so when we travel south we find BBQ.  One of the legendary BBQ places is the Salt Lick in Driftwood.

We thought it would be wise to try such a popular place at an off time.  Monday for late lunch sounded good to us.  It was about twenty minutes from the zoo to Salt Lick on very hilly roads.

Salt Lick BBQ

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Austin Zoo

Our family enjoys visiting zoos in other states, you never know what you are going to find.  In Florida most zoos offer a water feature type playground.  In the Midwest its the standard child’s petting farm that we see.  In Austin the highlight was the animal feedings.

I purchased a Groupon for admission for two to the zoo and assumed we would pay for Daughter once we arrived.  Someone had a Groupon for more than their party and it was shared with us.  Very nice and appreciated!

Austin Zoo is a rescue zoo and many of the animal plaques tell you not only about the animal but where they were before coming to the Austin zoo.  While it might not have all the normal zoo animals it offers a great variety!  Lots of monkeys and less reptiles, works for me!

Austin Zoo

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We visited on a Monday morning.  The zoo was about half an hours drive from our hotel in Austin and its a very easy drive!

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Austin Trail of Lights

When we travel around Christmas I try to find holiday events to keep us in the Christmas spirit.  This year we attended Austin’s Trail of Lights.

We purchased our tickets off Groupon for $3 a person a couple of weeks before our trip.  Now there was no discount, it was the same price as buying them from the lights website but I did earn 4 Southwest points per dollar spent.  So 48 Southwest points towards our next trip, it all adds up!

Traffic getting to the park was horrendous so the taxi dropped us off about  two blocks out and we walked the rest of the way.  We could see the lights as we approached.  And also the horrendous line that stretched across the field to enter the lights.  Oy!

Luckily the huge line moved fast as we only had to turn our vouchers to enter.  Maybe we were in line for fifteen minutes max?  I had chosen Sunday night to visit thinking the lines would be shorter but I must have been off in that reasoning!


The lights were amazing.  It did not disappoint!

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Russian House of Austin

If you have followed us for a little bit you can see we like to try things off the beaten path.   The same can be said for food!  When I heard about Russian House I knew I could get the family to give it a try!

We arrived early in the evening Sunday because of the time difference and we did not have reservations.  I really wanted to see if we could eat here! There were a couple of people at the bar when the hostess said she could seat us.

You walk through the bar into the dining room that looks very much like a Grand Mother’s house.  There were two other tables filled when we arrived, it was much busier when we left!

Russian House

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The menu is pretty large and it takes a bit to choose because I had to read all the item descriptions!

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