The Alamo (and we don't mean rental cars)

Trip Start Jul 05, 2006
Trip End Jul 22, 2006

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Monday, July 10, 2006

Well, it's 9 and we're awake..ready to go explore San Antonio.

We ate the hotel's "continental breakfast" if you could call it that--coffee, orange juice, donuts, apples, assorted prepackaged convenience store junk, or cereal (the cereal was in a large glass cannister, and looked to be a mixture of cap'n crunch, cheerios, and fruit loops). Yeesh, when I type it out like that, it seems like a lot of food, but trust me, it sounds better than it looks.

Soon, we're going to check out the Alamo and whatever else is near it, and then we're going to do the Riverwalk at night (as Unlce Rick suggested because "It's cooler at night, and so is the temperature."

So off we went to explore San Antonio. After parking in a parking garage at the Rivercenter Mall, the first site that we saw was a St. Joseph's Church, a Catholic Church build by German immigrants in the 1860's. It was incredibly beautiful inside and out. We posted two pictures of it. After reveling in its beauty, we headed off to the Alamo. We had been "warned" by many people that the Alamo was going to be small. Well, while we wouldn't consider it small, it wasn't huge either. We found it to be quite impressive nonetheless. The inside was very somber, acting as a memorial to its 200 defenders who were killed when it fell in 1836. The several acre enclosure outside of the mission building were beautiful, with lots of flowers and nice plants. We then decided to go for a bit of a walk, and wound up in a Masonic Scottish Rite Cathedral, which had a museum/library. We were the only ones there, so we got our own private tour of it by one of its members. It was built in 1923 specifically to be used for ceremonies for inductions or when lodge members moved up to a higher degree. Very impressive!! Rick was in awe of the lodge room, as to him, freemasonry, being a "secret society", had quite a bit of influence on America's early days. So after a lengthy tour there, we decided to head down to the river walk (paseo del rio). On the way there, we decided to stop in a store to see what kind of souvenirs they had. Rick got a "Don't mess with Texas shirt", so that made him happy.

We ate lunch in a restaurant called Boudros, which was literally on the edge of the river of the riverwalk. The food was out of this world! ...especially the guacamole. It was the best and freshest guac we'd ever had. How fresh? The waitress brought out a little cart to our table cut up an avocado, orange, scooped in onions, tomatoes, salt, etc., and mixed it up right in front of us! After this, we walked along the river walk for a bit, then went in search of La Villita, a little artsy "village", with artisan shops. They had lots of cutesy, hand made items that were fun to look at.

After La Villita, we went to a wine bar, and sat inside there having a glass of wine (we just wanted to be in some air conditioning!!) as we planned our next move. We decided that we would walk over to the Hemisfair park and then walk on the Riverwalk.

Hemisfair park was very interesting. In 1968 San Antonio hosted the World's Fair, and this 92 acre park was sort of the centerpiece of the Fair. The key attraction is the Tower of the Americas, which is 750 feet tall, and symbolizes "achievement." There were also cool sculptures on the grounds, and we took plenty of goofy pics by them.

We entered the Riverwalk from right in the middle of Hemisfair park, and sauntered along it. The entire walk was beautiful. We decided to get a ride on one of the tour boats that cruise on the water. It was well worth the price, as our guide was very entertaining, and we got to see the Riverwalk from a different perspective and learn about some of its history, key points, and interesting facts. After that, we walked through the Rivercenter Mall, and then went back to the car. We were in the downtown area from about 11:15am to 8:15pm, so boy were we tired! We got in the car, and drove off to Don Pedro's, a Tex-Mex restaurant, complete with a mariachi band. The food was good, and very authentic, not to mention, very cheap =). After that we went back to our palace....emm....shoe box...and drifted off to la-la land.
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