How to Get Lost Less:
Step 1: Get new glasses the week before your trip so you can actually read the maps and street signs. Surprisingly, this helps a lot.
Step 2: Print out lots of maps to carry in your purse. And carry a guide book with you just in case.
Step 3: Add a compass to your purse.
Step 4: Go to a city that has these guys posted all over (Not Doug, just the guy on the right):
They have GUIDES along the Riverwalk!!!! How cool is that? Now, they weren't always exactly accurate in what they told me, but they were about 80% of the time, which helped a lot!
Step 5: Go to a city that even puts these signs up along the poles on many streets:
We weren't in San Antonio very long, just one evening (Wednesday, and then another full day and night - Thursday). But I tried to prepare for the trip by reading through two guide books, the skinny little DK Eyewitness Travel Top 10 San Antonio & Austin. . . which has a little fold-out map in the back. . . and Frommer's San Antonio & Austin. I also made a list of the places I wanted to photograph, because I knew that I was going to try and pack a lot into roughly 36 hours.
Frommer's suggested Acenar for dinner, and their recommendations was excellent! We ordered quesadillas for an appetizer. . . and then I decided that between that, the chips and salsa, and the margarita, I really didn't need to order dinner as well! Doug has this instinctive voodoo built-in radar for food, and ordered the tacos filled with crabmeat tinga (a mix of onions, tomatoes and chiles with avocado), which turned out to be one of the recommendations in the guidebook. This was a moderately priced restaurant.
It was right across the river from the Aztec theatre, a refurbished 1926 movie theatre. In the lobby, there's a special effects show with a pagan feathered-serpent god rising up through the floor. This is free, happens every 90 minutes and lasts about 5 minutes. Unfortunately, we didn't know about this until I read about it later. Bummer.
As it becomes evening along the river, the atmosphere changes dramatically. It takes on a colorful, ethereal dimension, and the pace definitely picks up with a more festive, slightly alcohol-infused tempo. There's about 35 footbridges along the 3 miles of the river, all different, and I really liked how the lights were reflected in the water.
Tomorrow, I'll start with our barge tour.