Friday was “our” day in San Antonia. Janet, Ralph, Dale and I found a parking space on the corner of Bowie, locked the truck up, paid our fee and walked toward the Visitor Center to check out trolley prices. While Janet was checking on prices, Dale and I were looking in the gift shop of the Visitor Center and this woman walks up all bubbly and “how are ya ‘alls” etc. We thought she worked at the VC but NO, she worked at some hotel and was trying to drum up business by offering free tickets to this and that if we come and tour the hotel and listen to a 1.5 hour presentation. We said NO thank you in many ways but she just wasn’t getting the hint. Finally, we just had to be rude (which we don’t like to do to anyone) and walk out the door and get on with our day of exploring San Antonio.
Walking San Antonio
Our first stop was The Alamo. The mission was roofless after the war there, but it now has a roof. We could see some of the old wall while inside. No photo taking inside so can’t show you what it was like. It was a long room with side rooms. They had a mock-up of the grounds and what it looked like. We were told it was Davie Crockett’s place of command and where he was killed. Across the way was the medical rooms that were under the command of Bowie. Travis had the north wall. The battled lasted 13 days. On the 13th day it took 90 minutes of Santa Anna soldiers to breach the walls, turn the cannons around and blast away. 189 men died within those 90 minutes. Santa Anna too their bodies and put them on a bridge and burned them Ashes were laid to rest in Fernando’s Cathedral. The gift shop had another mock-up of the battle and showed that the whole place was overrun with Spanish soldiers.
After the Alamo we parted with Janet and Ralph. They went off to catch a trolley and see the city and we headed for the Riverwalk. The Riverwalk (San Antonio River) is incredible. They keep the landscaping so nice and pretty. They use barges to go from area to area.
Our first stop was the food court. Lot of restaurants here with all kinds of food offers.
We stopped for lunch at the Republic of Texas Restaurant for hamburgers. There’s a story behind this decision because we were going to go to Casa Rio just down the way for Mexican food but someone was soooooo hungry he had to stop then and there. I have had better burgers at Carl’s Jr.
Our walk on the river took us all the way to the main plaza. This is where Fernando’s Cathedral is. This church is still active and they let you go inside and even take photo’s. It is a small church and very beautiful.
Inside – the alter – and yes, that is solid gold you see.
On the River
After lunch we walked down to where the main office is for getting on the river boats and taking a 35 minute tour. They were kind to seniors and took $3 off the regular price. Yahoo!
David was our tour guide and he was a funny guy. What a cushy job! We were sandwiched between Kansas BB fans (March Madness was playing at the Alamodome) and some foreigners. We floated down (or maybe up) the river as David told us history of the Riverwalk. In 1923 the river flooded and it also flooded the town. Because of this the people in charge wanted to cement the river over and make it either a sewer or drainage field. Mr. Hugman (28 years old) came to the rescue and came up with a better plan to save the river. San Antonio thanks him today with all the tourist traffic they experience!
San Antonio was named for this priest. (Well, the real flesh and blood priest. Not this statue.)
This is a mosaic done in honor of the first mayor of San Antonio. It took 3 years to assemble the supplies and 2 years to complete. It was put up for the 1968 World’s Fair. It shows many cultures coming together in harmony. It was beautiful.
A couple of guys (not the ones shown here) had a great idea and built a building for 3 million dollars in the early 1920’s. They had these faces all around one part of the building and they are called grotesques. On the top of the building were gargoyle rain spouts. The Depression hit and the two guys sold their building for $250,000 – a far cry from what they thought they were going to get. Today that same building is worth $500 million. Are they turning over in their graves or what!
At the very back of this photo is River Center Mall. It has a million square feet of space with 175 businesses and is three stories high. We did hit every floor and it seemed like we walked miles. IMAX is housed in this mall. Outside in a little plaza are tables to have lunch at or just sit and watch the boats go by. A group of musicians (sorry don’t remember their name) played pipe music (wind instruments) and drums. Really nice music for the river. You can see a video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrZnNOdcEmE
Our day was special. We enjoyed every moment and plans to come back next year for a month are on the 2012 itinerary. There is much more to see. (I took a down day today and Dale rode his bike so we missed the tour of the missions)
Life is good. Very good. God is sovereign and salvation.