Hey ya'll! I just got back from a 5-day trip to San Antonio, TX. Why? Because the Miami Heat are in the Finals playing against the San Antonio Spurs, hoping to win the NBA Championship! Last time I traveled for work to cover sports was in 2006 when the Heat played against the Dallas Mavericks -- & that was in Texas too! So when you travel with 4 crews & a bunch of photographers & all their equipment... this is what your checked luggage looks like:
First stop for our liveshots on Local 10 was at the AT&T Center. We may be on Spurs Turf but I got my Heat Pride in Sunny San Antonio! Don't be fooled... we really did bring the Miami Heat with us... Highs in the upper 90's all week... scorcher!
In Texas, Trash-Talking is a Must! I go head-to-head with a T-shirt vendor, supporting my man LeBron while he bleeds black & grey. Obviously, we did not come to an agreement but we did make some good TV... AND I got to keep that LeBron head! My photographer, Marcel SanPedro, is the best guy to be out-of-town on a work trip with, he knows how to handle the crazy... and me too!
Ok... let me provide full disclosure when I tell you that I grew up owning a horse, riding all the time & I spent summer vacations on a farm in Alabama with pigs, chicken, goats, turkeys, horses... and so on. So I have been exposed to a bit of southern/country flavor... However I have never owned a genuine cowboy hat. I still don't own this one, but I sure liked trying it on! You think I could pull off this look in Miami?! As long as I thrown in some feather & fringe boots right?! Yee-Haw!
Ever since I saw the old cowboy movies and of course, Pee Wee's Big Adventure, I wanted to go see the Alamo. But San Antonio was never very high on the vacation list, so it was perfect that I had to go there for work, because now I get to cross it off my bucket list! Here's what you need to know:
1. It's super small
2. The inside is mostly empty
3. There's a koi pond in the backyard
4. #1 tourist site in all of Texas
5. There is NOT a basement
Everybody told me I had to go to "Mi Tierra" to eat because of the celebration ambience and the true Tex-Mex cuisine. The restaurant started with just 4 tables... today it seats 750 & it is probably the most popular & historical restaurant in all of San Antonio.
My favorite part about the place? There's a vegetarian & gluten-free menu! Ordering & eating Vegan was a breeze! Veggie enchiladas (minus the cheese) & chips with refried beans. No cow necessary when you can eat like this in a Mexican restaurant!
Piñatas are everywhere along with Christmas Decorations! I was working so I couldn't partake in the partying... but just soak in this fiesta flair... & you'll want to start downing margaritas & shooting tequila!
This place is open 24-7, 365 days a year. In 80 years, they only closed once for 2 hours... to go to the owner's funeral... can you believe that?!
The next day we went to the historical Mercado & Market Square that has been in the exact same location since 1820. After doing a San Antonio Spurs story, chatting with locals & doing some window shopping, it was time for lunch & the Texas menus did NOT disappoint! I think these veggie enchiladas may have even beat the last order! Check out the grilled vegetables... YUM!!!
One day we had to skip the authentic cuisine & visit the local Palm Restaurant, only because of time limitations & vegan necessities. Now, normally I am not a fan of chain restaurants, but you can't ever go wrong with the Palm & they are always so accommodating with special diets! This lunch was no different, as I feasted on fresh, diverse grilled vegetables & I even treated myself to some linguine :)
No butter! Only olive oil.
It took a bit of binging & googling... but I found a fully vegan/vegetarian restaurant called "The Cove" about a mile from our hotel. Very granola & very strict with the healthy options - I loved it! I got my order to go:
1. Veggie Lentil Soup
2. Portobello "Burger" with Cashew "Cheese"
3. Sweet Potato Baked "Fries"
I think I have mentioned here before that I am not a sweets person & I definitely do not have a sweet tooth. Having said that, when I saw "Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Vegan Cookie" in the dessert case... I felt the need to splurge! I ate that cookie over the next 2 days & savored every scrumptious crumble... it was special! But I still say Whole Foods has the BEST Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Vegan Cookie in the WORLD!
Now, while I was working my TV-tushy off, by running all over the Lone-star State & coming up with fresh, feature stories for all the different newscasts, my wonderful Mom & Dad were taking care of my 2 munchkins. So, like any good dog-sitters, they would frequently send me photo updates & this one has to be my favorite by far! My man Jagger is nestled in & cuddled up into my parent's dog, Bijou's leg! Does it get any cuter than this? Don't you just wish you could be that cute & just cuddle up like that!? Doggy Heaven!
Even though it felt like forever... after 4 long days... we said goodbye to San Antonio & hello to South Florida. It always feels sooooo good to come home & get back into your normal routine. So I was quite happy to sleep for about 10 hours, wake up & juice some fresh, hydroponic, home-grown wheatgrass & then go hit up one of my favorite Orange Theory workout classes!
My lunch was easy-peasy! Fresh steamed kale piled on top of veggie stew! As my photog said, it's much easier to find vegan options in my fridge than on the streets of San Antonio! True - can't argue with that - but somehow I always manage to squeeze out some sort of healthy option without having to settle for something fried or starchy or carb-overload! What can I say? It's a gift! ;)
So I went to lay outside & get some sun & work on my non-existent tan & I was reading my favorite Vegan magazine & I came across the statistic below! Can you believe that 40% of ALL the food in the US ends up in the garbage??!! We need to change that asap! Make an effort this week to eat left-overs! Try not to toss them, but instead incorporate any extra food into your next meal! If we all do our part, we can make a difference! I mean, how else are we going to keep feeding 7 billion people on this planet? Come on Americans, we can do better than trashing nearly half of our food! :(
On a lighter note... does life get any better than this? Taking a deep breath of fresh ocean air while soaking up the sun on my friend's rooftop, overlooking the inter-coastal waterways in Fort Lauderdale may be the absolute best way to end a work trip! Always good to recharge the batteries before you gotta set the alarm & get back to the grind. But for now... let's all just breathe... eat more of our left-overs and always Remember the Alamo! Bye Ya'll!!