Tuesday, May 24, 2011

5 days, 4 nights = aaaahhhh :-)

Our trip to Texas.

5 glorious days and 4 nights without kids! and my honey all to myself - well mostly. We went to San Antonio, TX for the Beltone National Conference. Keith had to attend classes for part of 3 days but the rest of the time we had to ourselves.


Wednesday, we caught an early flight and were in Texas by noon. After checking in and getting settled in our room we met up with fellow coworkers and had lunch at the crooked branch bar – yummy. Then we  sat by the pool and soaked up some late afternoon sun.


After a little siesta, we then met up again with everyone later  for dinner at Cibolo Moon ( restaurant within the resort). Keith tried one of the 90 tequillas the bar had in a “Bloody Sunset Margarita which was so potent that he sipped on it all night.

I really lucked out that his co-workers are so cool and the ladies in particular are great - it was a lot of fun spending time with them each day during the different things that we did.

Thursday was a late start for his meeting and I went shopping with some of the wives for a really cool necklace and earrings for the party scheduled on that evening. No expense was spared on this party - the buses were lined up promptly and we were all transported to downtown San Antonio to where they had rented out the entire Buckhorn Saloon, a bar/restaurant & museum. There were food stations everywhere on each of the three intricately decorated floors. There were  

                mounted heads, 2011-05-12_20-01-13_259

antlers and museum quality animals, 2011-05-12_20-05-01_940

reptiles and fish displayed everywhere.  2011-05-12_19-54-07_159

They even had a DJ playing some great music and the food was wonderful: sausage and pepper kabobs, queso & spinach dip with chips, fajitas, tortillas, guacamole - the works!2011-05-12_20-03-51_959

After we had our fill of tex-mex fare we took a stroll down to the infamous San Antonio Riverwalk. It was really cute, the river ran right through the middle of all these shops and restaurants and bars and there were little cobblestone bridges to cross over it in various places. there were even riverboat cruises going around on tours.

2011-05-12_20-15-28_138 The river couldn't have been more than 30 feet across, so I would say it was more of a glorified canal than anything else. But it was cute nonetheless. We stopped at one of the restaurants and shared a giant margarita between 3 of us - it was 60 oz!

2011-05-12_20-59-38_296 By the time we got back to the hotel we were completely exhausted and hit the hay in anticipation of another fun-filled day.

Friday Keith had classes again and a few of us ladies decided to hit the pool instead of the shops. It was beautiful outside and the sun was intense. All day long we hopped in and out of the pool while our waiter made sure our cocktails were never empty. After class the guys joined us and the fun continued.

2011-05-13_15-01-08_638We even got everyone to go down the lazy river a few times, which is probably why everyone ended up sunburned! Later that evening was the awards dinner which they certainly did up with style! The dinner itself was held in one of the grand ballrooms of the hotels and it was a black-tie optional affair. Only the big wigs had on tuxedos thankfully though. Keith wore a suit and I finally wore a red gown I had purchased a few years ago.

Awards Dinner 2011 We had such a great time and the food was divine. I'm not much into detailing what I've eaten for the day but this meal is worth spelling out. We started with lobster bisque with a pastry top, and then went into a caesar salad with blue cheese crumbles, followed by an enormous and perfectly cooked filet mignon topped off with a decadent chocolate cake - my mouth is literally drooling and I remember each course! The awards dinner lasted way longer than anticipated and we all just went to our rooms afterwards.

Saturday was the last day of classes and also the day of anticipation as the location for next year's convention was to be revealed at the end of the day.

2011-05-14_12-44-21_255Since most of us girls were crispy from our day at the pool on Friday, we decided to go out to lunch. We ended up at a place called Willie's Grill & Icehouse, obviously a local favorite, and enjoyed a lunch of appetizers and cold ones.

The closing ceremony had Mike Ditka as the guest speaker and they revealed that our conference destination for next year is the Bellagio in Vegas - so cool. After returning from lunch, we met the guys for drinks in the lobby and then went to go get ready for the big fiesta party. Once again, the party did not disappoint. Everything was decorated so colorfully out on the lawn and the weather was extremely cooperative. There were food stations galore with more tex-mex fare and they even had fun stations set up. There was a table where a woman handmade paper flowers which the guys picked out to match our outfits (how cute!), there was a caricature station where we had ours done (very funny)


and last but not least, the guys really got a kick out of the cigar rolling station. The icing on the cake absolutely had to be the amazing band they had. There were 3 brass players, 3 singers, a keyboardist, a drummer and a guitar player. they were amazing! Every song they played sounded like the original artist and we danced until the last second of the last song (not an easy feat wearing kitten heels on a grass dance floor). Even Keith was dancing at the end! We were all so pumped up that after that we continued the party in the sports bar and just ended up being plain silly for our last night together. We were fortunate that our plane didn't leave until the next afternoon because we were certainly in no shape to function early the next morning.

The weekend as a whole was akin to a Disney experience, the staff at the hotel, the resort itself and all the functions that Beltone had planned for us were truly top notch.

We came home relaxed and renewed and looking forward to next year's convention. Watch out Bellagio, here we come!

1 comment:

  1. just read this- have you thought of a career as a travel agent? Now I want to go here too besides Moms! Also, another career would be a food critic, my mouth was watering reading along your descriptions! love ya.