Texas

The Alamo, The River Walk and The Tower of Americas All in One Day!

Bundled up for the streets of San Antonio!
Bundled up for the streets of San Antonio!
Despite the brisk temperatures, a mild breezy 27 degrees, we headed out to visit downtown San Antonio. Braunig RV Resort is actually about 12 miles from downtown but not a bad drive at all. We fairly easily found a parking lot although we did have difficulty getting it to accept our card. It was $15 for 5 hours and $20 for 8 hours. Jerry was trying to get 5 hours but since it wouldn’t accept his card he ended up getting 8 hours for $20 (the only cash he had) which in the long run was a good idea as it was after 8 hours before we returned!

We began walking and our first stop was the Visitor’s Center. We talked with a guy there who eventually talked us into going to a Wyndham presentation with the promise of a $100 gift card for dinner at the Tower of Americas in the VIP section. Why not, it was warmer inside than outside for sure!
We went on the tour and quite honestly were pretty impressed but as RV owners it just doesn’t fit our lifestyle now. I do think it’s a good deal for some people though if you want to arrive at a destination, sit by the pool and drink Pina Coladas – that’s not us!

Afterward we began wandering toward the Alamo and the River Walk. Unfortunately the River Walk cruise boats are not running today due to the frigid weather. We were getting hungry but since we had a dinner reservation for 5:00 we only wanted a snack. The driver of the bus that took us to the Wyndham hotel suggested wings at either Hard Rock Café or PizzaRita’s. We were on the River Walk and saw the Hard Rock Café but it was on the other side so we went up and there was PizzaRita’s right in front of us. While we were standing on the corner waiting for the light to change Jerry saw a large rat run into the corner garbage can. Yuk – glad I didn’t see that and I took a wide breath around that can!

We went into PizzaRita’s and order wings. While we were waiting Jerry got an alert on his phone saying that due to icy conditions in Raleigh the State-Carolina game had been postponed until Sunday at 1:00. It had originally been scheduled to Saturday night at 7:00, thus our 5:00 reservation for dinner. While we were waiting for our wings a pigeon flew into the restaurant and walked around and then flew around as employees tried to shoo him out. Oops, there goes the sanitary rating. They finally chased him out. The tourists were pretty obvious as we were oohing and ducking. The native guy just stood there and ignored the pigeon until he got too close and then he just bent down as he continued working on his phone.

After a good meal of messy wings we decided to go back to the Visitor’s Center to see if we could change our reservation to 6:00 since we didn’t need to get back for the game. That accomplished we walked next door to the Hagan-Dazs store and got cones of ice cream. $10 for two cones is just a little pricey. After all, I just got plain old chocolate!

img_1468Our next stop was the Alamo. Despite the cold weather there were many people there. When we entered we were reminded that it was place to show respect and they would appreciate our silence. At one station they had the names of the people who lost their lives at the Alamo when Santa Anna stormed the fort. Interestingly enough seven of the people were from North Carolina. We wandered around the outside. The grounds are pretty but it was obvious that the gardens were hit hard by the freeze the previous night as there were many frozen plants. We watched a video of the history of the Alamo and then ended up watching it again at another station. “War is Hell” aptly describes what happened at the Alamo. There were two leaders, William Travis who was shot in the head and the other, James Bowie, already famous for his knife was bayoneted to death as he lay on his sick bed. True to his promise Santa Ana killed all of the men leaving only the women and children and Joe, a slave who he wanted to tell the story of the victory. It was a sobering reminder of what Texas, the Union, the Confederacy and the United States have gone through and continue to go through to protect our freedoms.

After the Alamo we wandered around the River Walk for a while and realized that since we really didn’t know how to get to the Tower of Americas we better begin that trek and trek it was. The tower is the tallest in the area so we just followed that spire and then went through the Convention Center (boy that brought back memories of my working days) and finally arrived there.

On the Observation Deck
On the Observation Deck
After we checked in we went up to the Flags Over Texas Observation Deck. Being 750 feet up gives an absolutely spectacular view of the city. Photographs on the deck’s floor pinpoint landmarks to help you identify your surroundings plus historic photos are in abundance. You can stay inside or walk outside around the building where there a protective wall.

We arrived a few minutes early for dinner so waited a while and people watched. My observation of dress in San Antonio – shoes may be different, tops may be different, coats may be different but skinny leg pants are everywhere until you are a young girl with a pretty short tight dress on!

We were escorted to our table in the VIP section and it was right on the outside of the revolving wall. Jerry put his cap up on the ledge and quickly realized that he couldn’t leave it there as it would slowly go to the next table. I made sure my backpack was securely stabilized too!

img_3067-2For dinner I had a glass of wine along with absolutely delicious filet with mashed potatoes. It was so tender I think I could almost cut it with a fork. Jerry got a ribeye and agreed his was delicious too. For dessert we got a Crème Brule. Unfortunately there was no fire to go with it but it was still very good. As we ate we slowly revolved around the city and it was beautiful. It was a bit difficult to pinpoint specific places but Jerry found the Alamo and we sort of went from there. Looking out at the millions of lights was almost mesmerizing, very relaxing and I thought I could take a nap but … we had a hike back to wherever the car was plus our 8 hours was long up!

The waitress brought the bill and when Jerry opened it and saw $248 I thought he was going to have a stroke. As he looked closer though he realized that along with our bill, there was the $248 bill that belonged to someone else and had already been signed. Whew! Thought we might have to wash dishes in that elaborate place.

With directions from two people we headed back to the car which was indeed a nice hike. I sort of led the way despite Jerry’s objections that I didn’t know where I was going. After all I am the navigoddess! He said he would apologize if he was wrong but he didn’t really want to follow me. The navigoddess prevailed and led us straight to the car! By the time we got back to the campground it was after 9:00 and we were two spent people. It was a grand day with (according to my FitBit) over 5 miles of walking but we thoroughly enjoyed it and are anxious to do some more touring tomorrow. Although as we often say we don’t prefer large cities, this one was interesting despite the many people.

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