San Antonio Day 5 - All Day Town Pass

In April 2013 we spent a week in San Antonio Texas, for our son's graduation from Air Force Basic Training.  This is our trip diary from Day 3, our first day on base.  See More Here:
As near as we could tell, ALL the roads in San Antonio are a loop.  Which is nice, because if you miss your exit, no big deal, just take the next one..  
When your airman has a town pass, the important loop to remember is the 1604, shown in red here.  Your airman must remain INSIDE of this loop while on town pass.  He can apply for exceptions beforehand, if you have family nearby, etc.  This is a large loop, you should not have any trouble remaining inside of it.

  • Be sure you know where to meet your airman in the morning.  Many chose the parking lot by the baseball field.  We chose the mini mall
  • Do not panic if your airman is running late.  It was 9:20 before Luke got to us. 

As agreed the night before, we met Luke at the mini mall.  He came with his duffel of civilian clothes, to sort out.  We could have brought things home with us, but he had packed pretty light, other than some letters, he planned to take everything on to tech school with him.
The Japanese Tea Garden was  our favorite place in San Antonio.  There are more pics of it on the Day 2 trip diary.  Here, on the left, Luke is reading the plaque that explains why the sign above him reads "Chinese Tea Garden".  (Hint: the explanation involves the bombing of Pearl Harbor)

We went to the Japanese tea garden first, and walked, and talked, and sit, and talked, and walked, and talked...  it was quiet and peaceful there.  It was not empty, there were a lot of people taking photos, but it was still so much more peaceful than the river walk.  We had tea at the cafe, then called home to talk to his sister & friend who had run a zombie 5k that morning.

The new "no shine" shoes.  They do not need to shine them..  they remind me of the gel nail polish that you use the led light to set.

Hat check!  

Congers Smoke Shack

From there we drove to congers smoke shack for more of that amazing BBQ. 
Ordering Tip: get the three meat platter.  Make sure it includes the turkey.  I know, I know - trust me - it's amazing!  The brisket and pulled pork were my other two favorites.  For sides, get the potato salad (which is not like any other potato salad I have ever had) and the spiced cream corn (which is not really creamed - it is corn in a spicy cream sauce - but it was SO good!)

 We took it half a mile down the road to Robbers Baron park, to eat it.  Airman cannot walk & eat in their blues - they must stand absolutely still, or sit.  It is easier for them to slit.

Robber Baron park is a tiny little park, with a huge cave under it.  There was a group of scouts there when we arrived, with two cave guides.  Our airman is an eagle scout, so he enjoyed talking with them for awhile before we ate.  After we ate we walked down to see the cave entrance, which is so tiny!  It is hard to believe that this used to be open to commercial tours.

Next we went back to our hotel and Luke spent a couple of hours Skyping back home. :-)


Groupon had a deal for Monster Mini Golf, we took advantage of that.  It was fun - a place like this would be very possible here at home.

We used Yelp to find a restaurant nearby, Luke thought Greek food sounded good, so we tried Zorbas.  Compared to main street grill here at home (owned by a Greek family, with fabulous greek food) it was very disappointing.  But as with most things this week-end, it was more about sitting and talking with Luke than anything.

From there we stopped for gelati, before taking Luke back to base.  Dan & I had been to Brindles Awesome Ice Creams for Gelati earlier this week, we knew it was fabulous.  

Note: When taking your airman back to base, he will need to show his military ID at the gate, along with your base passes and drivers licenses..

Day 3 - Airmans Run, Coin Ceremony, Base Liberty
Day Four - Graduation Day!


  1. Thank you so much. I wish I had found your blog sooner. We are leaving in two days from Upstate NY, driving down to San Antonio to see our Airman. I learned a lot from this, thanks again.

  2. Thanks for the blog. My wife and I leave for TX on Wed...

  3. Thanks for posting...very wife and I will be at the graduation this week...


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