San Antonio: Day 11

We decided to forgo the alarm this morning, so didn’t get out until about 9:00 a.m.  It was a welcome change.  And, at breakfast, we made another change.  The woman who prepares and sets out the breakfast at the hotel saw us studying maps and asked if she could answer any questions. When we explained we just wanted to see San Antonio, she sat down and began to help us make our plans.  It was such a lovely and welcoming thing to do!  And, we were so grateful for her advice.

2015-06-26 10.41.40Because of her excellent suggestions, we left our little Prius to rest in the parking lot, and we went out to explore San Antonio on foot.  As we walked out the doors of the hotel, it was as if we were walking into an oven.  But, we were well prepared with hats, and sunscreen, as well as water and maps, and we went in the direction of the Alamo.  Along the way we went through the Cathedral of San Fernando.

As we walked, whenever it looked as if we were lost or figuring out where to go, someone would step forward and give us a tip or point us in the right direction.  It felt as if everyone here knew what President Johnson was talking about when he said it takes all of us together to make this nation great.  It certainly took a lot of friendly help for us to find the Alamo.

But, find it we did.  It’s iconic silhouette seemed dwarfed by the growing San Antonio  skyline, but the grounds of the old mission are a lovely oasis in the midst of this thriving 21st century city.2015-06-26 11.22.17 By the time we realized the line to get into the mission was several blocks long, we elected to just walk the grounds and enjoy the beauty without entering the old church. Ironically, the church itself was not even actually completed at the time of the famous battle for Texas independence that took place here.

While the weather was hot, the grounds around the church are planted with all manner of palm, cacti, flowers and shrubs providing shade, beauty and welcome respite among the old stone walls.2015-06-26 11.40.19

The surroundings are a photographer’s dream – only there were walls and walls of people who seemed to be in every possible shot.  While I love the thought of sharing the sights with all these visitors to the Alamo, for some reason, I always want the pristine shot, without the other visitors.2015-06-26 12.01.50

From the Alamo, we went down under the streets of the city and found the lovely river walk that is so picturesque and so unique to San Antonio.  We couldn’t resist a little taste of home along the way, and stopped at Starbucks for some ICED coffee and a little touch of air conditioning.

2015-06-26 12.58.12-1On the advice of our breakfast friend, we took the river ride and managed to time everything perfectly so that we were lucky enough to step on the boat just before it set out for the tour.   In addition, we were lucky enough to get Joseph D. for our river guide, whose funny and informative explanations kept us laughing as we floated among the sights.  Be sure and ask for him if you want an excellent, informative and entertaining guided tour on the river beneath the streets of the city.2015-06-26 14.15.04

By now you must know we were hungry, and we followed Joseph D’s directions to Schilo’s Deli.  We walked along the river until we arrived at the right street to come up to street level and entered the cool haven of an authentic German Deli.  Sausages were on the menu, as well as homemade root beer and we enjoyed them while these fellows watched.2015-06-26 13.16.40

Then, of course, there was the walk back, strolling and taking in the beauty of this amazing day among the sights and the very friendly and congenial people of San Antonio.  And, there were some more photographs, too.  And, just as we were helped along by others earlier in the day, we found ourselves passing on what we had experienced and learned that could help another visitor enjoy this beautiful city.

Once back at the hotel we couldn’t bring ourselves to think of getting in the car now, so we are cooling down, re-hydrating, and catching up on laundry, blogs, and emails.  I’m sure we only scratched the surface of San Antonio but it is a lovely, lovely city with many helpful and friendly inhabitants.  Certainly we will look forward to returning again sometime in the future.