Sunday, November 6, 2011

one year wedding anniversary.

For our one year wedding anniversary Blake decided to surprise me with a trip to San Antonio for the weekend.  He even called my boss in advance to make sure I could have Friday off.  It was the sweetest gesture. Blake tried to keep everything a secret and finally cracked about a week or two before the special weekend hit. 

We stayed at Hotel Havana and couldn't have been happier with the experience.  This boutique hotel has a strong Latin influence and has been around for ages!  It was originally built in 1914 and has clearly gone through quite a transformation since then. Blake and I were in awe of the Spanish Colonial architecture and couldn't stop finding neat things to be enamored by.  The rooms were so unique and eclectic.  To be honest, it wouldn't have been my first choice and I'm so glad he sneakily picked this.  I would have missed out on the best experience and now see hotel options in a completely new light.

For our first meal of the weekend we decided it was only appropriate to have dinner on the river walk. We were "those people" feeding the ducks and fish the entire time :)  

Blake is notorious for stopping to read every.single. historic sign whenever we are on vacation. Deep down I think it's adorable and just had to snap a picture to capture his love for these.

Blake makes this exact face ALL the time. If I had to guess, I had just said something completely random that made him laugh.  It's his "huh!?!?" and "that's funny!" look all rolled into one. 

Although Blake and I had been before as kids, both of us wanted to visit the Alamo. As Texans, we felt the need to check it out now that we are a bit older and could appreciate the hundreds of years of history and what helped create our great state! 

We decided to walk everywhere throughout the weekend instead of driving to really get a feel for the city (and you can't beat a little extra exercise surrounding some "splurge" meals.)  We ate at La Gloria which is inspired by the street foods of Mexico. The food and atmosphere was amazing.  After our long walk we were ready to dig in and enjoy some relaxation!  The restaurant was right on the river and had such a neat vibe to it.  

I had this mini quesadilla and Blake had the fish tacos.  Thumbs up on each!

Before we left La Gloria, Blake asked our waiter, Russell, if there was a better way to walk back to our hotel. He informed us that the city had just re-done the extended side of the river walk (i.e. the Floating River Walk Corridor ) which was right below the restaurant.  It took us straight back to our hotel.  We had no clue what we were in store for but it was unreal.  Under each bridge was a different art installation.  You also have the option to view it from the River Taxi for free.  Both of us really wished we had known about this before we went to lunch so we could have walked it there and back (as opposed to our sketchy walk on our way over ha!)

For dinner on Saturday night, Blake suggested we go to Mi Tierra (a restaurant he had been to several times with his family.)  I don't think he could have picked any better. I'm a sucker for Christmas lights and Tex Mex.  I was smiling from ear to ear all night. 

We found this Dia De Los Muertos ("Day Of The Dead," a Mexican holiday) monument on our way back to the hotel after dinner.  

We purchased these little guys (above) as a souvenir.  The bride and groom represent our anniversary.  And the other two...well... we just thought were hilarious and had to snag them as well ha!

Hotel Havana has two separate spaces attached to the hotel.  Both are referred to as Ocho Lounge It's a toss up as to which of these two is our favorite spot. 

First, there's the downstairs section, described on the hotel's website as, "dimly candlelit gathering place with velvet couches and antique leather club chairs suited for intimate meetings and secret rendezvous."

I heard a few girls speaking negatively in regards to how dark it was.  Honestly, I think that was the best part!  Blake and I felt like we were in the middle of some Johnny Depp movie situated in Cuba.  The music playing really added to the atmosphere as well.  To get to this section of the lounge, you take an elevator from the middle of the hotel that brings you down into a bar--a very "underground" feel.  Talk about a statement when those doors open and you are suddenly in Ocho.  The picture below is the elevator ceiling.

The hotel also offers an outdoor lounge area, the courtyard, where they play old films on the building wall. The courtyard is somewhat in between the two separate Ocho Lounge spots.

Below is a picture of the red, candlelit stairs that lead to the courtyard.

Now, onto the upstairs section of the Ocho Lounge.  The hotel website describes this as "situated in a glass and steel conservatory reminiscent of a birdcage, opens onto the river and offers seating both indoors and outdoors.  The beauty of the steel structure is highlighted in Tiffany blue, with couches and lounge seating filling one side of the luminous space and linen-clothed tables spilling into the courtyard."

Blake and I went here for breakfast this morning before we left town.  

Once again, incredible food and atmosphere.  You genuinely feel like you are sitting in this gigantic, gorgeous birdcage on top of the water.  We truly lucked out on our restaurant/bar choices and did not leave disappointed. 

The upstairs lounge sums up my decor style perfectly.  To the point where we are even contemplating decorating one of the rooms in our house to mimic this style.  Stay tuned!

I can say with the utmost confidence that Blake and I will return to Hotel Havana (as well as Ocho) in the future. Highly recommend!

Our first anniversary was so wonderful.  This was definitely a weekend that neither of us could ever forget.  How is it possible that it has been a year already? You know what they say, time flies when you are having fun. Seriously, it does.  I couldn't be luckier, happier, or more proud to be Blake's wife.  As cheesy as it sounds, I keep wondering when I'm going to wake up from this dream.

I love you, Blake.  Thank you for everything you did to make this weekend so special.


GaryC said...

By far, your best blog and photos to date! Simply put, exceptional!!!!

The Blogivers said...

You guys are too cute! Happy anniversary!

(This is Allison Oliver, by the way :)

Jaime said...

I agree with Gary! The best post so far :) I love everything! The hotel looks so amazing! I am obsessed with the design style in Ocho! It looks so cool. And I have to say I really want to go to Mi Tierra (sp?) now!!! I love all of the lights! What a great way to celebrate one year of marriage!

Melu103 said...

oh my god!
i love this post
is overloaded with beautiful
pictures. I am so jealous!
in a good way ;)

i am glad you guys had an amazing
time. I can't wait to have my bf
here so we can do fun things like

congrats on the anniversary!





Jennie said...

I love all the pictures! I am so glad that Liz Lambert purchased this hotel. I really liked it before, but now with her touches, it is all the better. We have had some fun times in their dark bar! I am glad Blake went with my suggestion and that your anniversary weekend was so special.