Courier October Courier - Page 20

NTA WORKING FOR YOU My San Antonio walkabout NTA’s Anna Pettus shares 3 city favorites from her first visit I WAS LUCKY enough to be sent on a “work” trip to San Antonio in August. My task was to interview local members, get footage of our Travel Exchange ’17 host city and attend the associa- tion’s Meet-up event, which brought together area tourism professionals to meet and mingle. Sure, I was there in prepa- ration for our December convention, but the good people of San Antonio made sure that my trip felt like anything but a job. With barely three days to spend in the city, I laced up my best walking shoes and hit the pavement. Here are three of my favor- ite experiences from the time I spent deep in the heart of Texas. 1. River Walk, of course This being my first time visiting San Antonio, I definitely wanted to spend some time wandering up and down the famous River Walk. It was both charming and lively (as expected) in the summertime, but I’m sure we’ll be in for a treat in December, when it’s decorated with 100,000 lights to celebrate the holi- day season. I found my own treat on the River Walk in the form of Café Olé, home of the 60-ounce margarita. Don’t worry, I didn’t partake in this tequila-filled concoction, but my guess is we’ll have a few TREX attendees go for it. 2. San Fernando Cathedral Down by the riverside: Anna Pettus, communication and marketing manager at NTA, placed the River Walk atop her list of favorites during a recent trip to San Antonio. Travel Exchange attendees will experience this iconic attraction at the Deep in the Heart of Texas party, Friday, Dec. 15. Meet me in SAT: Visit San Antonio’s Francisco Gallegos (second from left) and NTA Board of Directors Secretary Paul Larsen of Ed- Ventures (second from right) joined NTA’s Anna Pettus (left), Dawn Pettus (middle) and Katey Pease at the August Meet-up event. TREX Checks 18 Situated downtown, the gorgeous and gothic San Fernando Cathedral towers above the city’s Main Plaza. With a quaint setup of tables and chairs, and water bubbling up from foun- tains, the plaza seemed the perfect spot to stop and kick my feet up for a while. So I did. I sat in a pure, peaceful bliss and stared in awe at the cathedral. It truly was one of those “life is good” moments. You can check it out for yourself on the Travel Exchange Iconic Sites of San Antonio sightseeing tour. 3. The locals For me, trips are made special because of the people I’m with rather than where I am. And for the most part, I was on my own in a new city. But that proved to be a non-issue with San Antonio. Everyone I came across was helpful and friendly, and I can’t describe how comforting that was for 1) a people-person and 2) someone who’s prone to getting lost on the way to the mailbox. Thanks to Francisco Gallegos of Visit San Antonio, who recom- mended I check out Pearl Brewery. The name is deceiving, as it’s no longer a brewery but a neighborhood bustling with restau- rants, shops and cafés. Thanks to my cab driver, who, on the way to Pearl Brewery, told me I needed to stop in Bakery Lorraine. And thanks to the folks at Bakery Lorraine for hooking me up with the best pastry/coffee combo I’ve maybe ever had. San Antonio locals truly love to show off their city, and that’ll be no different when you arrive this December for Travel Exchange ’17. What: Travel Exchange ’17 | Where: San Antonio, Texas | When: Dec. 14–18 Register: NTAonline.com/convention October 2017