Exploring the Riverwalk and the Alamo

Trip Start Jan 11, 2008
Trip End Feb 2008

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Wednesday, January 16, 2008

We arrived  in San Antonio on Wed. the 16th.  Stayed at a Gorgeous Omni right on the Riverwalk.....our patio overlooked the Riverwalk. If you have not been there it is hard to explain what it is really like except beautiful,fun and interesting! It was actually designed  by a guy that was only  27 or 29  years old at the time!!!  There are street/pathways on both sides of a narrow waterway.  The landscaping everywhere is undescribeable.  There are walking bridges to get to the otherside. The Beautiful small waterfalls,flowers and unique architecture are awsome.  It is very beautiful at night because there are lights in all the trees.  During the day you can see long lines of lights hanging from  the trees.  Many great shops,even visited the Harley Davidson store.  Wonderful eating places from an Irish Pub to Joes Crabshack,to very fancy french/italian restaurants.  Most have outdoor seating and on the cold days they had tall heaters out and great ponchos on all the chairs for the customers to wear that wanted to eat outdoors.  There are Jazz clubs,commedy clubs,50-60's music and dancing clubs,sports bars...great ice cream shops etc.etc.
  We did take a boat ride with a narrator and that explained much of  the history of the Riverwalk and pointed out many areas where movies have been filmed,and descibed how some of the larger bridges we traveled under are closed  for flood control and to drain the river once a year to clean debris etc.  We walked a lot of it the evening we got there and spent much time on the walk the next day and evening before and after our tour at the Alamo.
  The Alamo originally served home to missionaries and their indian convert for nearly 70   years. Construction of the site began in 1724. In the early 1800's the Spanish military stationed a calvary unit at the former mission.  The soldiers referred to it as the Alamo which is spanish for cottonwood in honor of their hometown Alamo de Parras,Coahuila.  They established the first hospital in Texas.  The Alamo was home to both Revolutionaries and Royalists during Mexico's 10 year struggle for independence.
  San Antonio and the Alamo played a critical role in the Texas revolution  in  Dec. 1835 when Texans came in  to push out the Mexican troops .  After 5 days  of house to house fighting the Mexicans were forced to surrender. In 1836 a surprise  attack by the Mexicans  began that lasted for 13 days....on the 8th day volunteers arrived from Gonzales bringing the number of defenders to nearly 200.  When the Texans  began to realize that after sending out many messengers with pleas for help  and that extra men may not be arriving to  help them  ,Colonel Travis drew a line in the dirt and asked any man willing to stay and fight to step over the line..all except 1 did   They saw that the Alamo was the key to the  defense of Texas and they were ready to give their lives rather than surrender their position to Santa Anna.  Among the Texans was renowned   Jim Bowie a famous knife fighter and Davy Crockett a famous frontiersman and former congressmen of Tennesse(that info surprised me).  The final big battle came before  daybreak on March 6th ,1836 as a surprise attack again.  By sunrise the battle had ended and Santa Anna was victorious. The facts surrounding the siege of the Alamo are still debated.There is no doubt that the battle has come to symbolize the heroic struggle against overwhelming odds....a place here where men made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. For this reason the Alamo remains hallowed ground and a shrine of Texas Liberty.
  This type of history is not so interesting to me,but we did enjoy our tour there and going through the compound. I guess I imagined something else or more or a diffrent type of location.  The daughters of the Republic of Texas have been entrusted by the Texas state legislature since 1905 with the care and maintenance of the Alamo.  According to Texas law they must preserve ther historic site"as a sacred memorial to the heroes who gave their lives upon that hallowed ground.
  When we arrived back at our hotel on that Thursday eve I recieved a call from my sister that my dad had been admitted to the Heart Hospital in McAllan,Texas......Our next destination was to visit my parents for a few days,so we just rerouted the way we were going to go and got an early start the next morning.  My dad at 80 years young never gets sick??????????  I am thankful we are so close!
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