Monday, August 9, 2010

10 years

10 years fly by fast, when you're having a good time. I can't believe it's been that long since Joe and I tied the knot. To celebrate, I planned a surprise weekend for Joe. I've never done anything like that. In the end I think it was more exciting for me to have the surprise, than for Joe.
We've lived in Texas for 3 years (we arrived here on August 16, 2007), and have never gone anywhere south of Dallas. When I was researching what to do, I found some caves close to San Antonio. From there I planned the weekend. We drove down to Austin Friday night, and spent the night at Joe's cousin Billy (and family) house. They gave us the star treatment, including fresh roses and chocolates on our pillows!After a good late night chat, we got up early to head to the cave. The Natural Bridge Caverns have a LOT of commercial tours. Not my cup of tea at all. Walking down a concrete path has never been my idea of a fun activity. 2 tour guides took Joe, me, and 3 other people on an "Adventure tour" deep into the cave. First we were lowered by a wench into a 22" well shaft, 160 feet deep into the ground.Once to the bottom, we actually landed at the commercial part, but from there we passed the end of the "sidewalk" onto the rocks. The guides kept stopping every few feet to tell us all about rock formations, and other information. It took a long time to make it through the 5 different "rooms" of the cave.At one point we did a "repel", which I think was built into the tour, just so they could say that. The decline was barely 45 degrees, so it was more of a safety precaution.In the end we had 15 minutes of complete darkness. What a weird experience! My eyes started kind of hurting, almost like the pupils were trying their hardest to let some light into my eyes.
The 4 hour tour turned into a 6 hour tour. Joe and I both think that the guides would rather stay inside the cave, than get out and do their regular job.Something funny/annoying happened to me. The tour instructions said to wear hiking boots. So I pulled out my fancy Columbia snow hiking boots that my friend Challis gave me a few years ago. It hadn't been 15 minutes after I put them on, that I noticed this
I wonder if Columbia would have sent me new boots if I had showed them this picture?? Luckily they had some ducktape, so I could be the ghetto fabuloustest person there.

We made our way to San Antonio and to the Bed and Breakfast. That night we headed to the riverwalk. What a fun treasure! We stopped an had dinner at an Irish pub right next to the water. It reminded me of the old days of sitting at a "terrasje" in Holland. Just sitting there and watching people.Later at night we went to a piano bar. That was the first time I'd ever done that, and really enjoyed it. The musicians were amazing! It seemed like they could all play at least 3 instruments. People would just request a song, and they would know how to play it. really amazing!
Sunday morning we hit the historical site of the Alamo in downtown San Antonio. There's some real history there. (although I found myself comparing it to European historical sights, and it didn't quite measure up...)Some funny things we saw on the way:sometimes my GPS isn't the smartest. I had set the preference to "fastest route". Instead I think it did "most use of freeways", or should I say "use as many of the freeways in the town, while making a spiral out of town"


Nancy Sabina said...

Happy Anniversary! Sounds like a great trip! (Although I am definitely the kind of person who is thankful for the concrete pathways in caves.) San Ant. is a fun town from what I remember of it from my one short visit. I was just telling Richard that it would be a fun place for a trip like that a couple of weeks ago.

Maddy S said...

What a fun way to celebrate Jessica. How cold were the caves?

kelsey said...

Wow! Getting lowered down the well shaft looks intense. And 15 minutes of total darkness is pretty intense too. High adventure indeed.

I love San Antonio.

Bea said...

Watleuk! O, en nog gefeliciteerd he. Haast niet te geloven idd, 10 jaar alweer.

Amber said...

First, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! Ten years is such a big deal in today's society!!

Next, while I am an adventure seeker, total darkness freaks me out. Not actually being in the cave, but the pitch black makes me avoid them.

But it does look like fun and an awesome way to spend an anniversary!

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