What an amazing day!

Not only did I get to speak to Brooks, which always puts a huge smile on my face, but I also got to spend the day with my sister. Our time can be limited at times, and The Boy and I miss her fiercely. How much fun to spend the whole day exploring San Antonio with someone we love so much!

After a quick semi-breakfast we headed to El Mercado. The hotel we were staying at is on the Riverwalk and within walking distance of El Mercado. Along the way we checked out the Spanish Governor’s Palace (which Little B really enjoyed – and where he repeatedly told us we were rushing and missing all the good stuff).

El Mercado was fun. There was plenty of live music and lots of people milling around. I love people watching, the way couples interact, the gleam in kiddos eyes, the older couples holding hands: love that stuff.

The Boy and I were pretty pleased to have found mini pinatas, which he’d had in his mind he wanted for his upcoming birthday party. He’s going for a video game theme, and although we haven’t worked out all the details yet, we know we want to go with a Viva Pinata theme inside the house, while the games will feature different video games or video game characters. While we were there we also picked up some plastic papel picado. May can’t come soon enough!

After some shopping and some street vendor tacos we made our way to the San Fernando Cathedral. There was a beautiful service in progress and we stepped in quickly to check out the church. On our way out we were able to see the casket that supposedly holds the remains of some of the Alamo defenders. It was pretty neat, and for sure we enjoyed the architecture and history behind the cathedral.

I love exploring new places and getting to know familiar ones better. The Boy and I love nothing more than packing snacks in our bags and making a day of it. I was really worried when we headed out that we wouldn’t have time for everything we said we wanted to do today (though I kept it to myself). I’m used to heading with Brooksy to one spot and it taking all day to get through whatever it is we set out to do. So what a treat to have gotten all those things done by the end of lunch time?

After our walk, we jumped in the car and headed to the San Antonio Zoo. I’ve lived in Texas for almost five years and have never been! Sacrilegious, I know! After reading that it’s the third largest in the US we were pumped to check it out. The Zoo is absolutely beautiful. And the weather was wonderful. I can’t imagine visiting the Zoo in crazy hot Texas weather. Especially with my disdain for water. I might pass out!

We were at the Zoo for three and a half hours and didn’t even come close to seeing half of it. What we did see we truly enjoyed and The Boy and I are looking forward to returning so we can catch all the spots we were unable to see. I think some of Brooks’ favorite activities had to be the Butterfly Sanctuary and feeding the birds nectar.

The Butterfly are was super hot! Thankfully we adjusted quickly to the crazy heat and Little B began trying to coax a butterfly, any butterfly, to climb onto his finger. It took some coaching and patience but thank goodness he finally caught on and even helped some kiddos a bit younger by bringing them butterflies and coaxing them onto their fingers.

Feeding the lories was hilarious. Brooks immediately dropped his cup of nectar. I remember thinking that would probably happen, and then it did. So after handing him my cup he set off in the hopes of getting one of them to climb onto his hand. They did that and more. Some landed on his head, his shoulder and two even fought on his arm. He had so much fun he didn’t want to leave.

After the Zoo, and a stop at the beautiful Japanese Tea Gardens, and some amazing Texas Bar-B-Q we headed back to the hotel to see the sun set while relaxing in the hot tub. That Child went straight for the pool, that although heated, was just too much for me. He alternated between the two while we watched the sky light up with beautiful colors, and slowly darkened. Absolutely beautiful to watch the sun set over the amazing San Antonio skyline.

The night could have ended there but Brenda had a craving for bread pudding and she’d done some research and found a restaurant on the River Walk that was supposed to be phenomenal. We headed to Boudro’s and picked up three desserts to go and guacamole just for good measure. We all changed into comfy clothes, turned the lights down and pigged out while watching a movie. A perfect ending to a perfect day.

Saying goodbye to my amazingly amazing sister is going to be tough going. She makes me happy on so many levels and has always been there for us no matter what. Not only do I love the way she loves me but I love the way she loves My Boy. Their conversations are priceless and I love the way they smile at each other and giggle at crazy Brenda-Brooks things. And I’d be remiss not to say that I love the way she loves my better half.

When I had The Boy, she showed up at the hospital as quickly as she was able. And beyond running errands for us and waiting on us hand and foot she ran out to the store and bought my hubby a plethora of Big Brooks related items, from a Bob Marley CD to snacks he liked, because she said, the mommas and baby’s get all the attention and Dad’s deserve some love and recognition too.

She’s working on her doctorate while working a full time job at a college in Oregon. Her schedule is crazy and hectic and insane and yet she finds time to call us and knows what’s going on with us. I love that. I love that she carved out a few days to come visit him before he headed out out on his fifth deployment. The sacrifice of that time spent with us was not wasted on us. I found that simple act of love unbelievably touching.

I feel so blessed to have a sister, to share crazy things with her that I would only share with Brooks. I love that she shares my history and she gets me. I don’t have to explain the path I’ve traveled to her because she’s been there every step of the way. Saying goodbye tomorrow is going to be tough, regardless of when we’re planning on seeing each other again.

So, tomorrow is another day. But for today, I am so thankful for the memories made, the laughter shared, the loud conversations, the looks we know too well, and the love she showers on My Boy. Life is so, so good.