San Antonio vs. Seattle

It came and went far too quickly, but we DID have another SIBling reunion in Seattle, just like we told you we would. Robby did a pretty great wrap-up of our weekend with a social media collage, of sorts. Since THAT exists, and our Argentina vs. Chile comparison post is one of our most popular, I thought I’d do a comparison of cities.

WARNING: I absolutely loved Seattle and could easily see myself living there, and on the flip side, I’m not a huge fan of San Antonio. Meaning, I’ll try to make this a pretty neutral comparison, but there may be some (glaringly obvious) bias. Woo, here we go!


San Antonio: country, to the point of being a little redneck

Seattle: as hipster as a coffee shop in an Apple store

The easiest way to notice this would be the bar scene, I’d say. Places I’ve gone out to in San Antonio include Cowboys Dancehall, Wild West, and Thirsty Horse Saloon. There’s also this gem right down the road from my apartment…

Back Camera

They have bike night every Wednesday.

When I got to Seattle, though, Robby was waiting with a bottle of locally grown and bottled wine.

This is a true friend.

This is a true friend.

And then we walked about a block and a half up from his street to the Eastlake Zoo Tavern, which looked like a cleaner and less shadowy frat house basement that got thrown into an old barn and was full of flannel-and-beanie-clad young folks playing pool.

I tried to blend in.

I tried to blend in.

That may not sound appealing, but I assure you it was charming and delightful.

The Zoo

The Zoo

Local craft beer, of course!

Local craft beer, of course!


San Antonio: the Riverwalk and not anywhere else super close, since it’s the desert.

Admittedly, it's pretty cute.

Admittedly, it’s pretty cute.

Seattle: literally, everywhere

I mean... SEAPLANES?!


Beach time

Beach time

An Abi Original

An Abi Original


San Antonio: south of the border and/or as big as possible

All Mexican all the time!

All Mexican all the time!

Food as big as your face!

Food as big as your face!

BONUS: There are many margs to be had.

BONUS: There are many margs to be had.

Seattle: fresh, local, sustainable, VEG-FRIENDLY

So fresh, it's still alive.

So fresh, it’s still alive.

Molly Moon's! My sophomore roommate worked there!

Molly Moon’s! My sophomore year roommate worked there, so we *had* to.

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Truth is, as much as I adore Mexican food, one can only have so many greasy cheese-only enchiladas in a city that doesn’t understand why you wouldn’t want a huge bloody chunk of cow on your plate. Seattle was all about local sourcing, which I’m all for, and I don’t remember seeing anywhere that DIDN’T have a pretty decent vegetarian option on the menu. Sign me up.


San Antonio: two-stepping, walking around malls, and floating on the river

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Seattle: biking (EVERYWHERE), walking (everywhere you can’t bike), paddle boarding, wind surfing, [insert various other water sports, etc.]

Pike's Place strollin'

Pike’s Place strollin’

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Follow the leader... up a mountain of stairs

Follow the leader… up a mountain of stairs

And I wonder why I’m not getting in any better shape here…


San Antonio: Tower of the Americas


Seattle: the Space Needle


Surprise Fact: The Tower of the Americas wins the heigh contest by just 17 feet.

POLITICAL VIEWSnothing too taboo for this blog!

San Antonio: Texas, as a whole, is super-de-duper conservative, minus the liberal bubble that is Austin. One of the hot button issues that’s been ongoing since I’ve moved here is Planned Parenthood vs. a restrictive Texas abortion law, which you can read the updates on, if you so please. Spoiler: women’s rights are not the current victor.

Seattle: Same-sex marriage has been legal for almost a full year in Washington state, as has recreational use of marijuana. There are, of course, tons of other issues to be considered, but you can draw a general conclusion from that one statement.

Found in Seattle's Urban Outfitters - I rest my case.

Found in Seattle’s Urban Outfitters – I rest my case.


San Antonio: The city is a huge circle with few ways to distinguish sectors; usually it’s done with cardinal directions (i.e. I live in northwest San Antonio). Everything runs together and, besides Downtown, looks like a continuous strip mall.

Seattle: Like Pittsburgh, Seattle has very distinct neighborhoods with their own personalities, essentially making a bunch of mini-cities under the Seattle umbrella. Robby lives in Eastlake, which has its own bars (as you saw), restaurants, markets, shops, and office spaces. You could easily survive without leaving the few-mile radius of your neighborhood, but each area is so unique, why would you want to miss that?

There’s a lot more I could cover, like sports teams and history and nearby attractions, but I think I’ve rambled enough.

From that circular narrative, I hope you could see that we had a grand ol’ time in Seattle! It was nice to remember what seasons feel like, and Seattle’s honestly like the Pittsburgh of the West. I needed some quirkiness back in my life.


This wasn’t really supposed to be a Battle of the Cities, but I guess I can’t help myself. I’m sure you can tell I have my eyes looking beyond the Alamo. Even so, I have at least a year left in San Antone, so I’ll be trying to make the most of it and find some nifty little pockets to show you!

– Alexa


SIBlings in… Texas!

I haven’t had a full weekend in San Antonio since Abi and Lisa left, so here I am catching up on adventure documentation just one month later! Woo, let’s go.

If you recall, we’re pretty big fans of abbrevs. “SIBlings” came from the brain of Robby one fine day back at Pitt since we were all in the Society for International Business and hung out like sistas from anotha mista/brothas from anotha motha. Get it? Wanted to expel any confusion there right away.

The first SIBling reunion since we’ve all graduated and scattered about the country was held in lovely San Antonio, TX! How did I get so lucky, right? Abi, Lisa, and I skipped out on our corporate responsibilities for a few extra days and did things like…

pool chilling - because it is ALWAYS summer in San Antonio

chill by the pool – because it is ALWAYS summer in San Antonio

... synchronized swimm ?

… synchronized swim ?

blow Abi & Lisa's minds at the biggest gas station in the history of Earth: Buc-ee's

blow Abi & Lisa’s minds at the biggest gas station in the history of Earth: Buc-ee’s

make a necessary Whataburger run

make a necessary Whataburger run

die, briefly, after all the FUN!!

die, briefly, after all the FUN!!

joke about going to IHOP... then actually go to IHOP

joke about going to IHOP… then actually go to IHOP

find the Alamo!

find the Alamo!

discover rare street art downtown

discover rare street art downtown

and prove, once again, that everything is bigger in Texas.

and prove, once again, that everything is bigger in Texas.

Fun fact: Adam from Man v Food did an episode at this restaurant, Lulu’s Bakery and Café, where he had their biggest chicken fried steak and the cinnamon roll that Lisa and I failed to devour because it’s basketball-sized.

So, that basically makes it look like we just ran around and ate everything. That’s partially true, but we were too excited to take pictures of any of the extra fun things we did, like get lost and wander all over downtown San Antonio (yes, it was my fault), float on the river, make friends with the Domino’s pizza guy, and have a lovely dinner on the Riverwalk with friends at Iron Cactus. Pittsburghers: it didn’t hold a candle to Steel Cactus, so know that you have the superior metal desert plant.

Unexpected negative side effects to this trip were severe sunburn, memory loss, dehydration, and allergic reactions to Texas. Even so, Abi Downing was quoted as saying, “this was totally worth the plane ticket.” We all needed the mental break, and it kept me sane being able to hang out with people I don’t feel like I need to impress (HAHA YOU’RE STUCK AS MY FRIENDS FOR LIFE). They left me way too fast, but we have another SIBling reunion coming up in November – this time in Seattle to see Robby!

Any suggestions as to what we should do and see?

– Alexa