As everyone knows, our big "trip" this summer was to Orlando, Florida -- a place I've been to before, and I hate to repeat vacations.
Now I hate it even MORE, because I just learned that San Antonio, Texas, is the REAL vacation capital of the world, and they're proving it to people with their "SAVE" promotion of Limited Time Offers. And that they have an amusement park in a hole. But more on that in a second.
"SAVE" stands for "San Antonio Vacation Experience," and it's the promotion San Antonio is running this summer to encourage people to go there for vacation, and after reading about what there is to do there, I have to say, I WISH WE'D GONE THERE.
Let's compare the vacation I DID have with the one I COULD HAVE HAD.
Actual Vacation Days 1 and 2: Driving. Lots and lots of driving.
San Antonio Vacation Days 1 and 2: Flying -- with the more than $600 in savings offers that SAVE is offering for San Antonio, we could have flown. (Seriously: the Drury Inn & Suites on the San Antonio Riverwalk are only $99!, which is at least $50 less than every hotel I've ever stayed at.)
Actual Vacation Day 3: Sit around in the rain, eventually go swimming at the pool.
San Antonio Day 3: Assuming it DID rain, we could have walked along the River Walk, a public park full of restaurants, hotels, and shops with lots of covered walks. We could have STAYED on the River Walk, instead of the middle of nowhere -- lots of the River Walk hotels are partners in the SAVE promotion, so we could stay in a swanky hotel with easy access to downtown San Antonio. And then we could shop someplace like the North Star Mall, which would give us a free "Premier Passport" and we could see the world's largest pair of cowboy boots!)
Actual Vacation Day 4: Went shopping, swam.
San Antonio Day 4: We could have gone on SAFARI -- the San Antonio Zoo and the Natural Bridge park both have safari exhibits. And they're cheaper, too, with SAVE -- the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch is offering $2.00 off entrance (we'd have saved $10), and the Zoo is $2 off, too, so we'd save another $10 there and that $20 is like a free lunch!
Even with all that, we could have packed more in and gone to the Schlitterbarn Waterpark -- they've got $2 off per ticket, too, for another $10 in savings -- and then go to the best of all, the Amusement Park in A Hole: Six Flags Fiesta Texas, with 8 roller coasters and 50 rides, is a SAVE Partner, so we could've gone THERE (one reason we skipped the theme parks this last time? The price -- why pay all that money if the boys aren't going to like it?) and it's IN A HOLE, as I said.
Literally: it's built in an old quarry, so your theme park experience is surrounded by scenic carved rock walls -- which means, people, it's ECOFRIENDLY or whatever it is the Sierra Club likes because it's reclaiming old quarry land. (And Six Flags is offering LOTS OF DIFFERENT WAYS to save money: coupons to let everyone pay kids' price, buy one get one, next day free, it's like they're giving YOU money.) (We'd have gotten in for half-price with buy-one-get-one, alone, but everyone pays kids price would have let us get our tickets for $60 less than usual!)
It's too late for me -- I've already gone on vacation. But you can SAVE yourself (get it?) by using the SAVE – San Antonio Vacation Experience site to get deals on that end-of-summer trip. So go to that site, or follow @SAVEinSA on Twitter for up-to-the-minute deals.