This is my San Antonio and Austin jewelry inspired jewelry blog! San Antonio is a mixture of cultures with southern charm. The city has many Spanish colonial missions and has an eclectic food scene, from Tex-Mex food to BBQ to farm-to-market food. The Market Square (El Mercado) is a colorful and vibrant place, the largest Mexican market in the US, with 100 shops selling colorful jewelry, piñatas, textiles and many more Mexican products. These markets are a great example of San Antonio’s strong connection with Mexico. My colorful vibrant Kblossoms jewelry above were inspired by the Tex-Mex culture and foods of San Antonio and Austin. The San Antonio River walk follows a network of waterways that wind around the city. It's a good place to cool down in the 100 degree summer heat of Texas. It's also called Paseo del Rio, lined with shops, boutiques, bars, cafes and restaurants and worth visiting either night or day. You can take a boat ride tour on the river. The river at night is beautifully lit with strings of colorful lights across the pathways. The San Fernando Cathedral light show was amazingly colorful and artistic telling the history of San Antonio including the battle of Alamo in 24 minutes. The have showings on Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 9pm, 9:30pm amd 10pm. If you're short on time and don't want to see all five missions in San Antonio, just visit the Mission de San Jose as it is known as the "Queen of the Missions". It's the largest of the missions and was almost fully restored to its original design in the 1930s and is a World Heritage site. I thought the frescos at the mission was beautifully design with symbolism in the heart, pomegranates, Virgin Mary, and Saints engraved in the frescos. The Alamo is a great historical site to see. The battle of the Alamo was fought between Texans and Mexico from Feb 23, 1836 to March 6, 1836 at the Alamo. The Mexicans won the brutal battle killing all 200 of the Texans inside the fort. For the Texans, The Battle of the Alamo became an enduring symbol of their heroic resistance to oppression, struggle for independence which they won later that year. Entrance to the Alamo is free and they have a museum telling you the history, a gift shop, and pretty garden. I recommend eating delicious and flavorful charcuterie board and fried quail and oysters at Cured at the Pearl District. Cured is a little pricy but worth it. You can choose from over 10 cured duck, pork, lamb meats and 3 different cheeses. I liked the Industrial art district vibe of the Pearl District, a great outdoor hangout for families, kids and dogs. They have farmers market on Saturdays with lavender, kombucha, bakery, yogurt vendors! The historic Hotel Emma is a beautiful place to visit. I love the 1800's industrial interior decor vibes of the hotel. The Japanese Garden in San Antonio is very pretty too with floating plants in a large pond lake and waterfall. We also visited the beautiful San Antonio Botanical Garden. They have beautiful orchids, ferns, and lotus filled lakes. To get some relaxation, we got massages at the Loma de Vida Spa and resort. Their masseus were great and skilled and I felt so relaxed afterwards and swam in their Infiniti pool. We spent 2 days in Austin which was a 1.5 hr drive north of San Antonio. We visited the Texas State Capitol in Austin, which is made of red granite and is built in an Italian Renaissance style and modeled after the US Capitol. The outer and inner dome is a beautiful piece of architecture and they have guided tours inside. Austin has over 1,000 food trucks scattered around the city made from Airstreamers or refurbished trucks. If you're hungry, I recommend eating small bites at various ethnic food trucks at Rainey street. We ate at Monk's Momos a Nepalese food truck serving delicious spicy dumplings! If you want to see great views of Austin, you can do a short hike up to Mt. Bonnell and the 360 Bridge which both have river views. We hiked in 100 degree heat in August so I recommend bringing water and shoes with tread as your going up limestone rocks on a cliff. At sunset I recommend taking a sunset stroll down the Congress Bridge to see bats and the Austin skyline. A 1980 renovation of the bridge transformed the Congress bridge into an ideal bat cave to 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats. Decades later, Austin's bat numbers have swelled and locals have adopted the beloved creatures as neighbors who happily handle the city's bug mitigation and provide an amazing nightly show. The bats come out in March to August to feed on bugs. After watching the bats at the Congress Bridge, you can take a romantic stroll west to the to the Hyatt Hotel and see the beautiful Austin skyline light up in the night sky. Watching the natural phenomenon of flying bats under the Congress bridge and seeing the gorgeous Austin skyline on the river was my favorite part of Austin. Lyndon B Johnson is the 36th president of the US, born in Hill Country TX. We visited the LBJ Library in Austin on our last day here. It's a great museum highlighting all his accomplishments in office. In addition to pursuing the Vietnam War, President Johnson passed an expansive slate of programs labeled as the “Great Society” that included three landmark civil rights bills, equal opportunity act, Medicare and reduced the unemployment rate by half. We can still feel the effect of his immigration and education bills giving federal aid to students pursuing college education, opening the doors to immigration in the late 60's, and many of our healthcare jobs are funded by Medical and Medicare. But the Vietnam war's impact damaged Johnson’s political base severely, and he declined to run in the 1968 presidential election. Thanks for reading! I hope I've inspired you to visit San Antonio and Austin one day!