Thursday, August 13, 2009

Here are the top 10 things I cannot live without in San Antonio:

[Editor's Note: OK I stole this idea from a fellow blogging San Antonio newcomer who actually gets HER blogs posted on the San Antonio New Express Web site. She moved here two months before we did…stealing my dream job of blogging about San Anton with a purpose (read: pay check)! But I enjoy her blogs anyway and we actually have a lot in common…]

1.Chips and salsa. I'm not sure I've been to a restaurant that doesn't serve these up upon arrival YET. So far our fav is the salsa at Guajillo's (which I can never write without googling the proper spelling...sigh).

2. Bodies of water. I am just NOT accustomed to months-long stretches of 100+ degree days.... At least we can escape by tubing or kayaking on the Guadalupe and Comal, lounging at Canyon Lake (if it hasn’t dried up yet from lack of rain) or a day-trip to the ocean! In Cleveland we had the mighty banks of … Lake Erie. Which, more often than not, was not suitable for swimming due to high levels of bacteria. Yes, they do have this issue here…but that just means you go to another lake, or river, or the ocean …they’re all within a day’s drive!

3. The pool at Fort Sam. probably should be shuffled in with bodies of water, but I like having access to a pool (it’s on base) because it allows me to interact with people while The Husband is at work. I feel like a part of a community – even though, while I’m there I usually just plow through books and magazines, only stopping every 20 min. or so to jump in the water.

4. The Quarry Market (or “The Quarry” as the locals call it). It has the same vibe as Crocker Park but it also meets all of my shopping needs in one place: Whole Foods (it’s my Trader Joe’s substitute since there are NO TJ’s in the entire state of Texas – WTF?), Borders and … Old Navy. Normally, I despise this store because it’s usually filled with ill-fitting clothing made by 8-year-olds in Guam and crying babies. But when you need a collection of sundresses and tank tops to get you through a San Antonio summer, well, the ON and its annoying talking mannequins have won me over with their cheap prices. And? Every first day of the month military members get a 10% discount! Which brings me to …

5. My military ID. I get a mad discount everywhere with this baby! Not only can I buy non-taxed clothes, shoes (I got new Nike Shox for $70!), liquor (tequila is dirt cheap at the Class Six) and groceries from the PX, I saved money on my rental car (for when I am back in Cleveland next month), hotels, books, Old Navy, you name it. I look morbidly obese in the photo, but most people never look at it.

6. Sunscreen. Because jesus on a pogo stick do I burn easy this close to the equator!

7. Skirts. Because … did I mention it’s hot in Texas? It's like built-in wardrobe air conditioning. I haven’t worn pants since May. In fact, I tried on a pair of pants the other day and they were way too big! I guess I am losing some weight (likely due to all the sweating in the heat. It's hot here) … which brings me to …

8. My Gold’s Gym membership. I’m not sure you could call me an exercise addict because I’d have to be stick thin to qualify, no? But I am at this place - which is a scant 2 miles from my house - EVERY DAY, SOMETIMES TWICE. I’m not bragging by any means. It’s my outlet for stress, sadness, loneliness and anger. Plus, I found several classes that I just love: BodyJam is sort of like training to be a Britney backup singer or in an R&B music video. I’ve learned a lot of crazy dances and moves. Granted, that rhythm and skill I don’t have in Zumba? Yeah, it applies here too. But it’s way fun to groove to “Party Like a Rock Star” and “Turnin Me On” By Keri Hilson/Lil Wayne. Then there’s BodyAttack which is hard to describe. It’s like boot camp – you run in place and do calisthenics and jumping jacks until you pass out. I love it. Plus, the instructors are really fun and the people in the classes are not tan, anorexic cougars like back home....they're real people.

9. Facebook. True to its advertising, it’s my connection to my friends and family. And when you’re often alone for 8-hour stretches, it’s vital to my sanity.

10. The Husband. Aw, I know, sap. But he is my rock here. My best friend and … the only one I know in this city other than my Aveda Institiute hair stylist – and that’s only because it took about three and a half hours to make me a blonde yesterday, so we had some time to chat.

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