Day 29

Trip Start Mar 15, 2010
Trip End May 26, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Monday, April 12, 2010

We were up early today...6:00 am.  I had Allyson call me this morning just couldn't trust myself to walk up that early.  We did a guided tour today and it was great.  Probably have to say one of the best tours I have been on.  Never felt rushed or herded to the bus.  I guess it helped there was only 6 people on the tour.  We would have never saw so many places on our own.  I did mention San Antonio is the 7th largest city in the US...didn't I!!!!  And a highway system that would never match the Garden State Parkway!!!!  We started our tour with an 8:00 am pick up right here at the RV park, made the rounds to several other hotels downtown then off and running.  First stop was Brackenridge Park at the Japanese Tea Gardens, AKA Sunken Gardens or Chinese Tea Gardens...depends on who you ask.  This was a man made area in an old stone quarry and a Japanese family donated the money for the garden back in the 1920's.  Then on to the Alamo...very interesting so many people gave their lives and were not military men!!!  That was something I did not know!  Actually I was surprised that the Alamo was so small but defended to the end.  There is only a small portion of the original walls still standing the rest rebuilt.  Next door to the Alamo is a hotel called the Emily Morgan Hotel which is named after a mulatto slave who General Santa Ana tried to sell but she in turn helped out the Texans at the Alamo.  The song "The Yellow Rose of Texas"  is about her...small things you learn on a tour.  She is called a pioneer of Texas.  Off to Buckhorn Saloon Museum and the Texas Ranger Museum.  I will tell you the Buckhorn Museum was very unusual all kinds of stuffed animals and antlers stuck everywhere.  We got to see Bonnie and Clyde's car here bullet holes and all.  There is a whole section dedicated to the Texas Ranger.  Here at the Buckhorn Saloon we met a cowboy...he looked authentic...but he was from Clifton, New Jersey...come on we meet a cowboy from NJ!!!!    We took a boat ride down the riverwalk, this was very relaxing.  Our next adventure was lunch...the guide recommended the Menger Hotel, which happens to be next to the Alamo...this was very good.  I think we both ate way too much dinner tonight.  This Hotel was built in 1859 and is completely restored and very elegant...many famous people including ex presidents have stayed here.  After lunch we went out to the Mission Trail to 2 missions established in the 1700's.  Again I was surprised that these missions are a part of the National Park System and they are active Catholic churches.  The first one the Mission of San Jose was very large and the church is restored...on the side is a window with carving around that is original.  Also around the front door the statues are original.  The guide was telling us they have a Mariachi mass on Sundays.  I think that would be fun!!!  Next, to the Mission of Conception which has all the original walls still standing and some of the painting is still there...this was much smaller and very beautiful.  This is also an active Catholic church.  We ended the tour going to the El Mercado, the farmers market, here you could buy just about anything...I bought a it was happy hour!!!  Finally making our way back to the RV park, last ones dropped off.  Very tired and wore out...early to bed without dinner!
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