Monthly Archives: March 2016

Blackbeards on the Beach

I hunt through Groupon almost daily for weeks before a trip.  I hit paydirt when I saw a Groupon for Blackbeards on the beach.  It had good reviews and was right in back of our hotel.

With the time difference we tend to be in restaurants a bit earlier than usual but that also means no wait for a table.  And our waitress was very attentive, she was really good!

We came for seafood so Husband had to start with oysters.

Blackbeards oysters

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I had something else in mind, a huge frozen margarita!  I just had to walk back to the hotel through the parking lot so why not? Everything is bigger in Texas!

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Our Christmas Texas Trip Rollup

Here is a roll up of our Christmas Texas trip.  Somethings I think we did very inexpensively like our hotels.  Other things we went a little over budget on like food…  I wish I had been able to convince the family to do more food planning to save on those costs.  I think we did alright on our entertainment costs between Groupon and picking lower cost options like the mission tour.  Some things like sitting in the hot tub on Christmas Eve after opening our presents do not have a price tag!

 

Residence Inn Austin Round Rock – 15,000 points

Dickey’s BBQ  – Groupon

Innerspace Cavern – Buy 1 get 1 free so had to pay for 2 people instead of 3 with the entertainment book coupon online.

Radisson Austin Downtown – 44,000 points for two nights.

Dinner at Russian House – no discount      https://stretchingittotravel.wordpress.com/2016/01/06/russian-house-of-austin/

Austin Trail of lights – no discount but got airline miles through Groupon  https://stretchingittotravel.wordpress.com/2016/01/08/austin-trail-of-lights/

Austin Zoo – Groupon and generous sharing person covered our 3rd person  https://stretchingittotravel.wordpress.com/2016/01/14/austin-zoo/

The Salt Lick BBQ – no discount         https://stretchingittotravel.wordpress.com/2016/01/15/the-salt-lick-bbq/

Government Canyon Park Hike – no discount but still cheap

https://stretchingittotravel.wordpress.com/2016/01/20/government-canyon-state-natural-area-dino-walk/

Residence Inn Alamo Place – Marriott anniversary night free category 1-5

Iron Catcus for dinner – no discount

Bad Wolf Ghost Tours- Groupon

https://stretchingittotravel.wordpress.com/2016/02/05/bad-wolf-ghost-tours-san-antonio/

Mission Trail Visit- no charge to visit the 4 missions

Radisson Corpus Christi – 2 nights 44,000 points and 1 night $80.50

Blackbeard Restaurant – Groupon

USS Lexington Ship Tour – $1 off coupon

Christmas Night Dinner at Radisson – very painful price with no discount due to Holiday

Alamo Car rental for the trip $169.02 and very little on gas.  This car was amazing on gas considering how many miles we drove with the AC on high.

Flights on South West had to pay for one and a half tickets, points for the other round trip and a one way.

 

Russian House

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Radisson Corpu Christi

Back when Club Carlson still offered the second nights points redemption for free we made plans to spend Christmas in Corpus Christi.   We were not totally firm on our Texas plans so we left some leeway for when we wanted to head to the gulf.  After purchasing our airfare we made the decision to do one night in San Antonio giving us another night in Corpus Christi.  Originally I booked the first night at $115 a night but by watching the sale promotions I was able to re-book at $80.50.  Always check the hotel prices if you see a sale and you can re-book!

So December 23-26 we were booked at the Radisson Corpus Christi for 44,000 points and $80.50. Not a bad way to spend Christmas!

It was a very easy and fast drive to Corpus Christi from San Antonio, almost two hours on highway 37.  The hotel takes a little bit to find on the one way streets by the beach.  Its behind Blackbeards restaurant.

Check in was quick and I was recognized as a gold club member with an excellent room upgrade and welcome gift.  7th floor facing the bay with a great view of the USS Lexington!  They really know how to welcome their club members at this hotel!

Radisson Corpus Christi view

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As you can see all the bay facing rooms have balconies.  Husband likes to sit outside in the morning before us girls get moving for the day.  Also it makes the room feel larger when you have some place else you can go to drink your coffee in the morning.

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Mission Espada

Our last stop on the mission trail and my favorite mission.  This stop took me a little too long and the family was getting restless.

Mission Espada

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I loved all the potted plants under the archway.  There was a cute little bistro table set to relax in the shade.  This mission felt used and appreciated.

Mission Espada

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Mission Espada

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The interior is very simply decorated for Christmas.  Until you see their Nativity in the side alcove…

Mission Espada

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Wow!  This Nativity even had running water in the scene.

This was my favorite mission.  They even had a little gift shop where I stopped to buy a candle to take home.  Inside is a great map with pins from all the visitors to the mission.  Everyone who works here is so friendly.

The family got tired of waiting for me and went to the car.  It was time to make the drive to Corpus Christi and luckily the highway was very near the mission so we were on the road in no time!  We saw some sights, learned a little history and had a no cost morning looking at the missions.

The mission can be found at 10040 Espada Road, San Antonio, Texas, 78214.  More information here: http://www.nps.gov/saan/learn/historyculture/espadahistory1.htm

 

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Mission San Juan

Mission San Juan

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The family was holding up pretty well despite the heat so we continued on to the next mission.  The ten minutes driving in the air conditioning from the prior mission helps everyone cool down a little.

Mission San Juan

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Mission San Juan

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We chatted with the park ranger here for a few moments.  No one else was inside the building and it was a few moments out of the sun.

Mission San Juan

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We stayed the shortest amount of time at this mission.  We were here for maybe fifteen minutes, just enough to walk the grounds really.

The mission can be found at 9101 Graf Road, San Antonio, Texas, 78214. More information here: http://www.nps.gov/saan/learn/historyculture/sanjuanhistory1.htm

 

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Awaken Summer and Save up to 30% on Rooms at Select Disney Resort Hotels

Discover a summer unlike any other! Walt Disney World Resort is bursting with new and immersive experiences for the whole family to enjoy.
Soak up the magic at all 4 parks and save up to 30% on rooms at select Disney Resort hotels for stays most nights June 12 through August 25, 2016.Check availability for other great rates for stays most nights May 30 through June 11, 2016.

With this great offer, you’ll have time to explore it all! For example, when you book a 5-night stay most nights June 12 through August 8, 2016 at select Disney Value or Moderate Resort hotels this summer it’s like getting a night free!

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Book through June 10, 2016.

This special offer is valid for the Disney Resort hotels listed below. View the chart for a breakdown of savings within each Resort Category.

Resort Category Resort Savings
The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same room. Length of stay requirements may apply. Moderate and Deluxe suites may be available at a lesser discount. Tickets are valid for one theme park per day and must be used within 14 days of first use. See Important Details.
More information at (407) 939-1874 or here: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/special-offers/awaken-summer-room-offer/
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San Antonio – Mission San Jose

Our next stop was Mission San Jose.  Here is the first Mission we encountered people who were biking the Mission Trail and they looked a bit warm!  We also spent the most time here exploring the buildings.

Mission San Jose

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Mission San Jose was finished in 1782 and restored during the 1930s.  It is certainly the fanciest mission we encountered.

Mission San Jose

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And I think of the four we visited this mission had the largest worship area.

Mission San Jose

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There is also a National Parks Visitor Center here.  We did not enter the visitor center, the family was getting a bit hot on our visit.

Mission San Jose is located at 6701 San José Drive, San Antonio, Texas, 78214.

More information here: http://www.nps.gov/saan/learn/historyculture/sanjosehistory1.htm

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San Antonio – Mission Concepcion

By now if you read this blog often enough you know I am all about free activities!  Vacation and free are my two favorite things!  So while in San Antonio I planned to stop at the various missions for as long as my family tolerate.  We actually made it to four of them on the mission trial and we started with Mission Concepcion.

Mission Concepcion

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From the National Park Service website ” This handsome stone church was dedicated in 1755, and appears very much as it did over two centuries ago. It stands proudly as the oldest unrestored stone church in America. In its heyday, colorful geometric designs covered its surface, but the patterns have long since faded or been worn away.”

 

Below is one of the better condition Frescos in the mission.

Mission Concepcion

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We also took the time at most of them to walk through the grotto area.

Mission Concepcion

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I like history and being able to walk through a building that has been in existence since 1755. We are so quick in the country to tear down the old and replace it with new and better.  This mission did not need much repair due to how it was built all those years ago.

You can find Mission Concepcion at 807 Mission Road, San Antonio, Texas, 78210.

More information here: http://www.nps.gov/saan/planyourvisit/concepcion.htm

 

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