We left Victoria Sunday and went to San Antonio. First stop was the zoo. It was a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon and half the town had the same idea. The zoo and Brackenbridge Park in general were packed. It also turns out the San Antonio Zoo is 100 years old this year. My mother always reminds me that when she was a kid, the zoo was free.
I knew flamingos were originally gray and turned pink from the shellfish they eat but I’d never seen one that was gray. It’s like how when Katy was a baby she ate so many carrots and sweet potatoes her cheeks turned orange. It’s amazing she’s not candy-colored these days.
We visited the bat cave. There were bunches of them hanging around, it was too dark to get much of a photo, though.
We stayed in a Drury Inn on the River Walk so after the zoo we found the hotel. Monday morning we got on the first River Walk boat tour of the day. Katy and I did this when she was four so she doesn’t remember it and Heath had never done it. The tour was really interested and our guide was really funny. He pointed out that there were 47 brand-new life vests under a bench but since the water is only waist deep if the boat sank we could just walk over to the side. He said the first week of January every year they drain the river and have Mud Fest. During that time they retrieve everything that’s been dropped in the river over the past year. The top three lost items are silverware from the restaurants and dinner cruises, sunglasses and cellphones. He said it’s appropriate that they find things as San Antonio was named after St. Anthony who is the patron saint of lost things.
We wanted to see the Imax movie about the Alamo and then go visit the Alamo. We got to the theater and the next movie wasn’t for an hour so we got our tickets and then decided to go over to the Menger Hotel. We wanted to stay in the Menger but it was booked up.
There was a store with a hotel entrance and a street entrance that was called the Army Figurine Store or something to that effect. They had models of various battle scenes from different wars including WWI and II, Korea, Vietnam and the Alamo battle, also. They were really neat to look at.
By then it was time to head back to the theater. I recommend the Alamo movie but it is full of bad acting, fake sideburns and a few creative licenses. It does get the point across, though. The men had three choices: surrender and be taken as POWs, escape and live with the brand of coward or stay and put up a decent fight even if it did mean certain death.
At the time of the battle there was no roof and the top arch wasn’t there. It was unfinished when the church abandoned it. There were many other buildings at the time that were completed and one, the long barracks, still remains. Although the second floor was removed and the Daughters of the Texas Revolution were pretty unhappy about that.
You can’t take photos inside but there were a lot of neat things to look at, including one of David Crockett’s vests.
After the Alamo we went back to the hotel for a rest then for dinner at Mi Tierra, a wonderful Mexican restaurant at Market Square. Neither of us had been there in more than 15 years and I’d forgotten how good it is. I’ll never eat Mexican food around here, again. Besides the restaurant they also have a Mexican bakery and both are open 24 hours a day, closing only on Christmas Day. A restaurant reviewer for Texas Monthly said being inside Mi Tierra is like being inside a Christmas ornament. He’s right.
After dinner we did a little shopping in the store. Heath and I each got a t-shirt and I bought some chocolate for making Mexican hot chocolate. We were going to look in the shops at El Mercado but everything closed at 6! So we went Tuesday morning before heading to Houston. Katy got a purse and a Mexican dress. A Mexican lady clapped her hands and said “she’ll look like a real little Mexican girl now!” It was really pretty.