TRAVEL THERE: HOTEL CONTESSA’S CORK BAR
Where were you when American Pharaoh won the 2015 Triple Crown? Deb and I were in Hotel Contessa’s Cork Bar.
We’d taken a small siesta, gotten all gussied up and were ready for happy hour. The Cork Bar, on the River level of Hotel Contessa, was a lively place. Last minute guests were arriving for a wedding on the Las Ramblas patio and bridesmaids were being lined up for their entrance. Televisions near the bar were tuned to a horse race. Deb and I ordered up a pair of margaritas, then settled in to enjoy the activity.
Vicarious Wedding Guests Watch Acrobatic Nap Demo
The wedding was our first focus. San Antonio is a big military town, so we weren’t surprised that most of the men in the wedding party wore uniforms – and impressive uniforms they were. We didn’t know the groom, of course, but he had to be a tough guy just to carry around all those medals on his chest. The bride was lovely, but being unable to hear through the glass wall of the bar, we soon brought our attention into our immediate surroundings.
We chatted about how much we loved the hotel, how great the service was – especially the doormen and commented on the decor. About that time a woman came down and tried out a large upholstered bench close to us. She was in town with her adult son and joked about the luxury of not having to take him to the potty as she had when he was young. After several attempts at sitting on the bench in different positions she decided the appropriate one for enjoying that particular piece of furniture was to lay down, but she didn’t want her son to catch her. So her little nap was only a couple of minutes long.
The Triple Crown
The wedding continued, but we recognized quite a buzz around the bar. Someone had turned up the sound on the TV. We were almost irritated until we figured out it was the Belmont Stakes and American Pharoah was poised to win The Triple Crown. The last time anyone had done that was back in the 1970’s.
As the pre-race coverage gave us the background stories leading up to the Belmont Stakes, Deb and I reminisced about our own horse racing experiences. Chief among mine were George and Ruth, my very Baptist parents who followed the Triple Crown religiously every year, “betting” on who would win. Soon the newly married bride and groom, led their guests to a mezzanine nearby, but we noticed several guests lagged behind. It was almost race time.
American Pharaoh was a clear favorite, but the commentators hedged their bets by pointing out potential spoilers. American Pharaoh would have none of that. When the gate opened she was out and away. No one even got close. It was a thrilling outcome. When the race was over, the wedding guests made their way up to the mezzanine and the others in the crowd wandered away. Dinner time was upon us.
Deb and I had not decided on a specific spot. I had my eye on The Fig Tree, The Little Rhein Steakhouse or Boudro’s Texas Bistro, but I was open to other options. Where did we end up? Come back next week and find out!