The Trail to San Antone

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.

Whataburger stop along the way
Whataburger stop along the way

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.

Ostrich chicks
Flamingo chicks

We visited the bat cave. There were bunches of them hanging around, it was too dark to get much of a photo, though.

It sure is. You can take bat tours in Austin and Houston
It sure is. You can take bat tours in Austin and Houston
Giant anteater. I thought it looked like Mr. Snuffalupagus from Sesame Street
Giant anteater. I thought it looked like Mr. Snuffalupagus from Sesame Street.
Egg from the extinct elephant bird. The birds weighed 1,000 pounds and the eggs 22.
Egg from the extinct elephant bird. The birds weighed 1,000 pounds and the eggs 22.

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.

Waiting for the cruise to start
Waiting for the cruise to start
This trees roots stick out of the ground so the tree won't drown.
This trees roots stick out of the ground so the tree won’t drown.
Whatever kind of bridge this is, there are only 10 in the country and five are in San Antonio.
Whatever kind of bridge this is, there are only 10 in the country and five are in San Antonio.
Mural over the Lila Cockrell Theater. She was the first female mayor of San Antonio.
Mural over the Lila Cockrell Theater. She was the first female mayor of San Antonio.
St. Joseph's Church, built by German immigrants in the late 1880s. San Antonio is full of old churches.
St. Joseph’s Church, built by German immigrants in the late 1880s. San Antonio is full of old churches.
Heath talking with the tour guide. You can see the boat, too.
Heath talking with the tour guide. You can see the boat, too.
Katy and the tour guide.
Katy and the tour guide.

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.

Historic marker
Historic marker
Lobby where Teddy Roosevelt recruited his Rough Riders.
Lobby where Teddy Roosevelt recruited his Rough Riders.
Model of the Menger
Model of the Menger

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.

Heath was interested in this plaque at Lake Lanier near us was named after Sydney Lanier.
Heath was interested in this plaque at Lake Lanier near us was named after Sydney Lanier.

 

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.

The Spirit of Sacrifice cenotaph side view
The Spirit of Sacrifice cenotaph side view
Front view through the tree.
Front view through the tree.
Heath and Katy at the Alamo
Heath and Katy at the Alamo

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.

Artists rendition of the battle. There were 6,500 Mexicans to 125 Texans. Women and children sheltering in the wall were spared as was William Travis' slave, Joe.
Artist’s rendition of the battle. There were 6,500 Mexicans to 125 Texans. Women and children sheltering in the wall were spared as was William Travis’ slave, Joe.
Katy tried on a coonskin cap. It wasn't very effective as it's nearly the same color as her hair and you couldn't really tell she was wearing it.
Katy tried on a coonskin cap. It wasn’t very effective as it’s nearly the same color as her hair and you couldn’t really tell she was wearing it.

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.

Pinatas hanging from the ceiling
Pinatas hanging from the ceiling
More pinatas
More pinatas
Decorations in the bakery
Decorations in the bakery
Katy got a wreath. The lady said they are handmade but not by her because if she made them she wouldn't have time to sell them.
Katy got a wreath. The lady said they are handmade but not by her because if she made them she wouldn’t have time to sell them.
Katy had chicken enchiladas with mole and loved i.
Katy had chicken enchiladas with mole and loved it.
A little dinner music. They were serenading a big Mexican family at the next table.
A little dinner music. They were serenading a big Mexican family at the next table.

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.

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