Spring Break 1999
Boerne, TX    ---   San Antonio, TX    ---   San Marcos, TX

   Our Spring Break vacation was a lot of fun. We started out about 8:00 in the morning on Sunday 3/7/99. We drove until we got to Boerne, TX. At Boerne we did a couple of caverns, Cascade Caverns and the Cave Without A Name.

   After we finished in Boerne, we drove on to San Antonio, where we stayed 2 or 3 blocks off the river walk. We were in San Antonio for 3 days. We packed a lot into those days!
  1. Monday
  2. Tuesday
  3. Wednesday
   After eating at the Hard Rock Cafe, we left San Antonio and drove to San Marcos. While at San Marcos we went to the Aquarina Center, Wonder World Park, and the outlet malls.

   We left San Marcos on Friday about 6:00pm and drove back to Big Spring that night. We got to drive through a lot of rain between Comfort and Eden, but after that it just misted on us until we got home. With the time spent stopping to eat, and other breaks, and time lost because of the heavy rain, we didn't get home until about 12:30 Saturday morning. Andrea slept between Comfort and Eden and stayed awake all the way back to Big Spring.

Cascade Caverns
A pretty good cavern, although it is small, and the tour only took a few minutes. It started with a video that lasted 10 or 15 minutes. The video was about the best part of the tour. It gave some information about cave formations, and showed part of a movie that was filmed at the cavern. The guide was there mainly to point the way, and make sure everyone got back out. There was no narrative along the way. The water fall at the end of the trail was nice, and a good feature, but for the $8.00 cost for a ticket, it wasn't really worth it.

Cave Without A Name
The Cave Without A Name was as satisfying as the other was disappointing. It's pretty loosely run right now, but what it lacks in glitz and slickness it more than makes up for in substance. The current owner was the tour guide, and it was the MOST interesting cave tour I've ever been on. Carlsbad might be bigger, and Sonora prettier (maybe), but this was most interesting. They were in the process of restoring some of the cave features that had been covered during the past owner's tenure, and it was interesting watching the cavers working down there. If you can find it, the Cave Without A Name is definitely worth visiting!

Brackenridge Park
The park was a lot of fun. We walked around a lot, and took the train ride and Andrea rode the carousel. The train is a lot of fun, and a good way to see the park. It runs for about 4 miles and is made up of replicas of steam locomotives. The carousel, featuring antique Bradley-Kay horses, is very pretty. Although we have been to the Japanese Tea Gardens before, we didn't make it this time.

San Antonio Zoo
The San Antonio Zoo is located adjacent to the park, so we went there after we did the park. The zoo is recognized as one of the finest in the country, and it looks it. Most of the settings for the animals and birds appear to be very natural. There are approximately 700 species, and 3,000 animals on 25 acres so when you are finished you are very tired (I was anyway).

Planet Hollywood
Planet Hollywood was a lot of fun! We had a good time eating ,of course, (the Taiwanese shrimp was very good) but we also had a good time looking at the decorations made from movie memorabilia. It's kind of an expensive place to eat, but worth it a time or two.

Yanaguana Cruises
We took a boat ride after we ate, and had a really good time. It takes 40 or 45 minutes for the complete tour, and the guide (boat driver) talks about some history of San Antonio, the buildings along the river walk, and history of the river walk itself.

Sea World
What can you say about Sea World? It was a lot of fun. Here's an overview of what we did:

Dolphin Tank
You can pet the dolphins and feed them smelly fish. It was fun, although we couldn't get many to come near us. I got to touch a few, but Andrea didn't. She got close, but not close enough.
Sea Lion, Walrus, and Otter Show
A really funny show with the animals helping in a home improvement show. There's lots of people getting electrocuted, things breaking, otters getting flushed down the toilet... It just goes on and on.
Symphony of the Sea (beluga whale and dolphin show)
It was a good show with lots of jumps and flips of the dolphins and some jumping of the whales.
Shamu Show
A really good show. Lots of splashing. Lots of water everywhere. We sat in the cheap seats in the 7th row. Andrea wanted to set closer, but that would have started to go below pool level, and we wouldn't have seen all the show. We sat very close to the platform where Shamu slides up and poses. We had a plastic bag to put our cameras in when the whales were close. The only bad thing, since sea water hurts electronics very badly, was that at the end of the show while the whales were at the end of the pool, one of the handlers got a bucket and started throwing water on us and lots of other people around us (while our cameras were out and exposed and weren't looking for water.) They warned us at the beginning of the show about the water, but didn't tell us we had to watch for people throwing water too.
Educational Exhibits
In between the shows we wandered around the park and visited some of the exhibits, including the aquariums and the penguins.
We rode two of the rides at Sea World. We rode the log ride and the Rio Loco. Andrea didn't want to ride the log ride during the 45 minute wait in line. When we got on, she still wasn't sure. About 2/3 of the way through the ride, she was wanting to go again. After the log ride we went to the Rio Loco and waited about 10 minutes and had a good time. Andrea and I got soaked under the waterfall. Brenda and two others in the same float didn't get very wet.

The County Line
The County Line is a bar-be-que restaurant on the River Walk. It has very good food, and tables outside by the river. They didn't have any of those available, so we ate inside by an open door about 10 feet more from the river than the outside tables.

The Alamo
"The Shrine of Texas Liberty." "5 Hours That Changed History." That's just a few of the phrases used to describe the Alamo. It's a very interesting place to go, and an important part of Texas history. Also, any Texan that goes to San Antonio and doesn't go to the Alamo might as well be from "New York City."

Hard Rock Cafe
The Hard Rock Cafe kind of like Planet Hollywood, only different. There was a lot to see on the walls, lot's of really loud music (except we sat outside), and lots of good food. I had the blackened chicken alfredo. We sat outside close to the river and had a good time. This was the only time we were down on the river during the day.

Aquarina Center
I went to Aquarina Springs (now called Aquarina Center) back in 1970, and again with my wife in 1988. I enjoyed this time, except that they didn't have the mermaid show that they used to have, and they didn't have Ralph the swimming pig. They also didn't have the sky ride that they used to. South West Texas State bought Aquarina Springs and changed it into more of an educational than an entertaining place. It was still OK, and they had aquarium exhibits of some of the endangered species in the San Marcos and Edwards Aquifer area.

Wonder World Park
This was a fun place. They have a wildlife petting park where you can ride a "train" through the park and feed the deer and other animals that come to you. They have many different animals in the park. There is also a cave that we toured called Wonder World Cave. It's not a cavern like Carlsbad or Cave Without a Name, because it was formed by an earthquake, not water. You walk down into the cave, and then take an elevator back to the top of a tall tower where you can see the difference between the Hill country to the North and the Gulf Coastal Plain to the South. The two areas are separated by the Balcones Fault Line which runs right down the middle of the cave. There is also an antigravity house that uses a tilted floor to create the illusion of water running up hill.

Outlet Malls
We shopped till we dropped part of the day Wednesday, part of the day Thursday, and then on Friday until 6:00 when we left for home. Between the Tanger Outlet Center, and the San Marcos Factory Shops there are over 150 different outlet stores. Some have better deals than others, but they were all fun to look in. We bought books, toys, some pieces of LeCruset cook ware, and lots of odds and ends.

Comments to: Tony Claxton
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