We not only remembered the Alamo, we actually visited it. Driving into San Antonio on Sunday the 12th, it was hard to miss the Alamo as all signs lead us right there and we found a parking lot right across the street, so we had no choice but to go there. We didn’t know (or didn’t remember from our long ago school days – very long ago) that the Alamo was the one of the first missions built in the area to convert the local Indians, except for the Comanches and Apaches who did not want to be converted. They just wanted to fight to keep their land. Conversion consisted of pledging allegiance to the King of Spain, learning to speak Spanish and becoming Catholic. Many of the Indians whose numbers were dwindling due to illness wanted to move into the mission for a better life and agreed to the three conditions. Some them actually kept their promises.
Next we took a trolley tour of the area, with a really bad tour guide (ultra dramatic and very impressed with himself). It was a hop on and off tour. But they neglected to tell us they only ran once an hour, so we stayed on the trolley rather than spend most of the day waiting for the next one at each stop. This was as close to a mission as we got and even the dogs got closer.
The SundayBrunch Buffet at the Menger Hotel was recommended as having great food and you probably know by now, if you didn’t before reading this blog, that is one of our delights, The hotel was built in the 1920s and retains much of its original charm. The buffet can only be compared to one on an elegant cruise ship. From eggs benedict to smoked salmon, from shrimp to roast beef, from vegetables to salads, from an array of cakes to bread pudding, and so much more. Yum! As for the bread pudding, YUM, YUM! It was so amazingly and unusually delicious that we asked for the recipe and they gave us a pre-printed recipe card which also included the rum sauce, but didn’t mention that it was served hot over vanilla ice cream. The secret which obviously won’t be a secret after I finish this sentence, was that they used croissants instead of bread. The recipe is available to anyone willing to make it for us when we get back to Santa Rosa on March 3rd or 4th.
The San Antonio river curves right through the city and is the least impressive river imaginable. However, if the river was a lemon, San Antonio made the best lemonade ever and called it Riverwalk. They built walking paths for miles along the banks of the river and, in downtown, lined them with restaurants, bars, hotels, shops and a mall, all one story down from street level. They even tried to tempt one of us to come in for lunch but we weren’t hungry after the buffet. A tour boat runs around the prettiest areas or you can take a water taxi to your next destination. The Riverwalk, with the help of the Alamo, turned San Antonio into a popular tourist attraction
We lucked out by stopping at the Travelers World Carefree RV Resort, one of the nicest places we stayed. It didn’t have the beauty of campsites in the Florida Keys or Fort DeSoto, but had a library with a TV (where Charlie watched Downton Abbey), a computer room, a small gym, ping pong, pool table, foosball, etc. and best of all it was across the street from the public bus line that went right through downtown San Antonio. If only we had known that before we got lost trying to leave the city with its closed streets under construction and one way streets that never got us to the freeway. Since we needed a day to rest up after all our walking, we stayed at the campground a second day and lunched at the 54 Grill where we had great Texas steaks and saw our first one of these signs which we later found on most restaurant entrances. So we guess all the guns in the restaurant were licensed which made us feel much better.
Before leaving San Antonio, we had to visit at least one mission and we found out the San Jose Mission was just down the street from the campground. Gina watched a video while Charlie took a walking tour of the grounds, the”apartments” where the Indians lived (and no one referred to them as Native Americans, just Indians) and the rooms used for defense by shooting through the holes as well as the church . The grounds are now a National Park surrounding the church which is not part of park so the tour guide left us in front of the church but told us we could go in so we did. It would have been quite an experience to attend the Mariachi Mass on Sunday, but since we were there on Tuesday we just missed it.When we returned to Phred, we exchanged information so we both had the total experience.
Onward to our next adventure…