Thursday was the last day on the road before reaching Fredericksburg, Texas where we will hunker down for a few days and celebrate the joining of two families.
There in Fredericksburg my brother will marry the love of his life, and we will be joined by family driving and flying in from all over the country to celebrate this happy day. It will be a treat getting to see aunts and uncles we haven’t seen in a decade.
Thursday evening we were scheduled to meet up with everyone at the hotel where the entire family will make camp for the weekend, but we had all of Thursday to kill before everyone’s arrival so we made plans to explore San Antonio, a city I have always wanted to visit!
We spent Wednesday night at a hotel in the city. This allowed us to leave the car at the hotel while we walked the one mile to the Alamo and River Walk where we planned to spend the day.
We began our visit to San Antonio with a trip to the Alamo.
Having studied the Alamo briefly in American History class 20+ years ago, I had a shallow understanding of its historical significance but it wasn’t until we visited and walked the grounds that I fully appreciated all that the Alamo represents, especially for the people of Texas.
There’s no question that the enduring symbol for all of Texas is the old Spanish mission known as The Alamo.
We all know the story of James Bowie, David Crockett, William Travis, and the other Texans that held out for thirteen days before finally succumbing to the Centralist army of General Santa Anna. It’s a story of courage and sacrifice that draws millions of people a year to visit this landmark in downtown San Antonio, and to carry out the words of Sam Houston when he shouted “Remember the Alamo!”
As soon as we entered the Alamo, we could immediately feel a sense of sacredness for the events that took place at the Alamo and what it stands for.
It was a fascinating history lesson as we learned more about the events that not only occurred on that hallowed land but also the events that led up to it and how history was altered because of it.
We were so glad we visited.
From there we walked a few blocks to San Antonio’s River Walk.
Other than the Alamo, San Antonio is probably best known for the River Walk.
Ernie Pyle once described the River Walk as “The American Venice” and it’s easy to see why. If you tried to imagine a place where the sights, sounds and flavors of Native America, Old Mexico and the Wild West blend effortlessly with the hustle and bustle of a modern city, it would probably look a lot like the San Antonio River Walk.
Located one story below street level, the River Walk meanders along the banks of the San Antonio River and is lined with restaurants and shops to enjoy.
Built over a long period of time, starting in the 1920’s when the San Antonio River flooded, causing several deaths and lots of damage to the city, it’s been developed into a thriving attraction that most would say is the crown jewel of San Antonio.
For a relaxing introduction to the Riverwalk, we hopped on a boat tour of the water. Rio San Antonio Cruises offers 35-minute guided tours of the river for only $8.00. It was a great way to get background on the history of the unique space, to get a feel for navigating the Riverwalk, and to pick out a few things to see and do.
The boat tour was fascinating and enjoyable. It was lovely to float along the river, enjoying the breeze and beautiful scenery, all while listening to a fascinating narrative about the sites we were seeing. It was well worth the cost of the boat ride!
The remainder of the day was spent strolling along the River Walk. The girls loved peeking their heads in the cute stores along the way and Tyler loved walking along the river’s edge looking for fish and ducks in the water.
It was so pleasant and relaxing.
We fell in love with that area of San Antonio and soon saw why the River Walk is called the city’s “Crown Jewel.”
Next stop: Fredericksburg, Texas!