June 9-12: San Antonio, TX

Trip Start May 31, 2010
Trip End Oct 22, 2010

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Where I stayed
Braunig Lake RV Resort

Flag of United States  , Texas
Wednesday, June 9, 2010

6-9:  The first day was cloudy and overcast. The morning was spent on the RV roof fixing the leak; won't know if it worked until the next rain. 

Spent the afternoon downtown; the public lot seemed to be the best place to park.

Alamo--looked at all the exhibits.  Watched the movie about the history of Texas getting its independence and the significance of the Alamo.  Didn't realize that the mission was moved to this spot.

--great place to walk along the tree-lined path of restaurants and shops.  Delicious dinner at Cafe O'le on the upstairs balcony overlooking the Riverwalk listening to the Mariachi Band playing across the river and people watching.



6/10:  Mission Trail--there are five missions in a 9-mile area.

Mission San Jose--started with this one.  Watched the movie at the Visitor Center that told about the missions' origins and the lives of  the Indian people of the area that developed them.  A park ranger led a tour telling about the purpose of the different areas of the mission village.  The intricately carved stonework of the Rose Window is one of the highlights of this mission. A man's betrothed perished at sea on the way here, and he built this in her memory.  The arches were interesting; some curved, some pointed.  The grist mill was also noteworthy because of the way it was designed to work.  Both the movie and the tour were excellent; definitely want to do this first for an understanding of the purpose of the missions.

Lunch--Nicha's (just up the road from the mission).  A very busy place but worth the wait.  The ranchero enchilada and flautas were fabulous! 

Mission San Juan Capistrano has an open bell tower that is still in use.  There isn't much left here but the walls and the church. We were fascinated by the harvester ants that have made trails in the grassy area; also the tiniest butterflies we've ever seen.  The trail behind the mission is a must do.  It's not very far and goes down to a really pretty spot on the river.

In the field between the Missions San Jun and Espada, notice the art creations "Makin Hay at the Mission" were truly unique!


Mission San Francisco de la Espada
is smaller than the others.  The Brother of the mission really has a green thumb; the flowers were magnificent.  He is also a gifted organist, and you can hear his music playing while your're visiting.

The Espada Aqueduct is worth a stop.  Amazing that this type of irrigation was engineered in the 1800's to provide water for the farms and fields.

Mission Concepcion
has most of the original structures and looks almost as it did over 200 years ago because it was built on a stable bedrock base.  You can still see some of the original colorful geometric designs.  The fresco painting is being restored on the inside of the chapel.

The Market downtown is definitely a fun place to shop; lots of small stores with a huge selection of imported items from Mexico at very reasonable prices. 

MiTeierra Café and Bakery is truly unique.  The bakery area is mouth drooling!  Couldn't believe the huge selection of different delectable sweets.  We finally selected a pecan cluster, a coconut macaroon (both were waaaaaay too sweet!), and a Mexican sweet "bread" called pan de huevo--good with coffee.

6-11:  Planned on going to Austin today; however, the RV Park we want is full until Sunday so we're staying here two more nights.

Went back to Nicha's again for lunch.  Today there was a Mariachi Band playing.  Another delicious meal of enchiladas.
Drove back downtown to see:

San Fernando Church
—breathtaking alter; very ornate, shiny gold. Beautiful stained-glass windows along both sides.  In the lobby are the remains of Bowie, Crocket, and Travis from the Alamo.

La Villita--historic arts village of stone and adobe buildings that is converted into a variety of specialty galleries and shops.  The day was much too hot (95) to enjoy this.

6-12:  Road trip in the Jeep on some of the scenic highways in the middle part of "Texas Hill Country."

Bandera:  Drove highway 16 (a really good road) to the town that portrays itself as the "Cowboy Capital of the World." All the decorations in the town are related to its theme.  The streetlights have different metal cowboy scenes, the Visitor Center has huge wire cowboy boots out in front, and the shops have everything a cowboy/girl could want. 

Our goal was to eat some great BBQ; the local recommendation was Busbee's.  They were sure right.  The beef brisket was perfection, as were the pork ribs and sausage.  (We're not losing any weight!)

What's a cowboy town without a gun fight?  The old-west action takes place in front of Gunslinger’s store--a real shoot out.  Gunslinger's has a wide variety of items; really unique--definitely worth a look. 

The other antique shops we looked in had very nice things.  There are quite a few places that have live music and dancing at night.  What a fun place; bet it's lively on Fri and Sat nights!!  Drove down the street to see the St. Stanislaus Church in the historic district. 

The Medina River is next to town, and lots of people were floating in inner tubes--good idea for this 95 degree day.

The drive continues along the Medina River with lots of good views and into the town of Medina (the apple capital); too full from lunch to stop for apple pie. 

Drove 337 toward Leakey; much steeper hills and bluffs.  Lots of big ranches with magnificent gates.  Thought we’d see lots of cattle; not so--only about ten longhorns.  There were more goats grazing than cattle.

The drive up 187 wasn't anything great.
Hwy 39 was twists, turns, up, and down; almost as good as a roller coaster!  Lots of gorgeous views of the Guadalupe River--people canoeing, kayaking, floating, some looked like they were just sitting in the mud. 

 Lake Dam is where everyone must go on a hot day.  All kinds of people there.  Couldn’t believe that they slide down the dam; it’s perfect for this!  Fun watching them do this and then how easy they walked back up the dam.  Should have brought our bathing suits!  Lots of resort-type places in Ingram. 

Headed back from here.  Can't believe we drove 256 miles! 
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