Aquila Mendez-Valdez

Aquila Mendez-Valdez

City Story: Aquila Mendez-Valdez

Job Title: Blogger & PR Agency Owner at Haute in Texas, Fashion and Beauty Editor at San Antonio Woman Magazine, Adjunct Professor at Palo Alto College

Very tired, but very happy.

I was recently able to experience the Ford Holiday River Parade for the first time with my two daughters. It was a great way to kick off the holiday season on the San Antonio River Walk. We caught the parade on the patio at Range, a modern chop house from San Antonio’s own Chef Jason Dady. It was the perfect spot to enjoy a stellar meal, complete with cotton candy, before watching the themed floats pass by with the lights on the River Walk aglow.

Aquila at River Parade with Daughters

Meet Aquila

How long have you lived in SA? 18 years


  • Eatery: Tre Trattoria at the San Antonio Museum of Art
  • Nightlife Scene: The Rustic, when I am out past 9:00 pm
  • Cultural Spot: The McNay – Gorgeous Lighting + Georgia O’Keeffe is my favorite
  • Attraction: SeaWorld San Antonio, especially at Halloween and Christmas!
  • Shopping Destination: Shop Local – Eye Candy Boutique, Chic’tique and more

The River Walk is such a magical place year-round, but it is particularly magical during the holidays. On the river, you feel as if you have been transported to another place and time. The water is soothing and with the trees surrounding, you feel connected to nature while in the heart of the bustling city. Add in the lights, holiday fanfare and you will experience this joy ten times over.

Experiences like these make San Antonio shine above all. They make me proud to call myself a San Antonioian and remind me why we have chosen to raise our two daughters here. We are never pretentious, always kind and forever looking to help contribute to the memories that happen here. I love that our city is able to stay true to its culture and roots through events like the Ford Holiday River Parade, while growing into the city it wants to become. I think we will add watching the parade annually as one of our new family traditions to start the holiday season!

Start planning your holiday trip now.

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