Spanish Missions---San Jose and Concepcion

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"God bless you, Texas!  And keep you brave and strong.
That you may grow in power and worth, throughout the ages long.

Texas, O Texas! Your freeborn single star
Sends out its radiance to nations near and far.
Emblem of freedom! It sets our hearts aglow
With thoughts of San Jacinto and glorious Alamo."
                -from Texas state song

On day 2 we traveled to the Spanish missions. Just as we had settled on the bus, my sister-in-law called to say that my father had passed away early that morning. A service was being planned for 10:00 AM on Friday, so right away John and I started making mental plans for getting to Huntsville, AL, Thursday instead of home on Friday. Our emotions were pretty much running the gamut: sadness, disappointment, guilt, even joy at the prospect of being surrounded by family.

At Mission San Jose we saw a film at the Visitor Center, followed by a guided tour of the grounds. It was pretty interesting. As an elementary school student in Texas I had studied Texas history and found it fascinating. My family had lived in Fort Worth for 7 years and I had always wanted to see the Alamo and other historical structures but never did. Finally, here I was living that dream!

Next we toured Mission Concepcion---not quite as much to see nor as impressive as San Jose.

Lunch was planned at Mi Tierra in the Mexican Market. It was an amazing place---see to believe! We had some tasty margaritas and Mexican food.  There was a bakery there, too, so we had to try a pastry and one of their famous pralines for dessert.


We had some options after lunch: shop the Mercado or visit the Cathedral San Fernando. John wanted to shop but he went along with me to the cathedral. It was quite beautiful. We were even able to spend a few quiet moments thinking and praying about the coming days.

Another optional trip in the afternoon was to the SAS (San Antonio Shoes) factory, which ended up being just shopping. I thought I would see shoes being made but that was not to be. However, John won a drawing for a $25 gift card! He could not bring himself to pay over $100 for a pair of shoes so I found a pair for myself. I couldn't let that discount be wasted! :-) (I have had many pairs of SAS shoes over the years. They are supremely comfortable!)

We had a few minutes back at the hotel and then reloaded the bus for our visit to SAMA---the San Antonio Museum of Art. We had an excellent docent who gave us an overview and treated us to some interesting stories. He jokingly called us Elderhustlers! (Road Scholar programs used to be called Elderhostels.)  I enjoyed this outing much more than I thought I would!

Time to eat---AGAIN! Dinner was at the Boardwalk Bistro. We were served a huge plate of fish, rice and vegetables---delicious and more than most of us could eat! And carrot cake for dessert---yum!

Later after making our flight changes with Southwest, we met the Cooks at the Riverwalk. We strolled along just enjoying the sights and sounds and hopefully burning some calories!

We hit the hay around 10, very tired after a busy day. In fact in writing this I am amazed at how much was crammed into 14 hours!

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