March 1-3 , 2019
After months of a very wet and cold winter, it was nice to outfit our motorcoach “Buddy” again and head out west seeking the sunny, dry weather the U.S. southwest is traditionally known for this time of year. We have planned a two month trip to explore the region, with our first major stop being San Antonio, Texas.
We made a reservation at Traveler’s World RV park based on internet reviews and this place did not disappoint. It is a lovely campground right in the middle of the city which provides easy and fast access to the historical city center. We were given a site on Winnebago Drive, which we found very appropriate.
On our first day, we toured The Alamo. My first impression of this world heritage site was a bit of a let down. I had pictured in my mind that it would be much larger and out in a country setting but it is smack in the middle of the city and dwarfed by modern buildings. But my disappointment didn’t last very long as we started to tour the place. I would highly recommend booking a tour with the park service. Our tour guide Ed (an archeologist from Brooklyn) was fabulous and provided a very interesting timeline of how the Alamo came to be and how and why the famous battle took place, dispelling many misconceptions about the historical events that unfolded. For example, I was under the impression this was a battle between the US army and the Mexican army and that is not the case. This was basically a Mexican civil war, as Texas was still part of Mexico at the time. It just so happened that in the middle of the months long siege, Texas declared their independence from Mexico, but that news never reached the defenders of the Alamo. The 90 minute walking tour of the grounds and church was a wonderful way to kickoff our San Antonio visit.
After working up a good appetite on our walking tour, we made a beeline for the famous River Walk and sat down to a tasty lunch at Rita’s on the River. This area of downtown is lovely and provides a beautiful walking path along a horseshoe shaped promenade with connecting bridges flanking and crisscrossing the San Antonio River (which is very narrow). The walkways are lined with shops and restaurants and landscaped with lovely flowers and fountains along the entire path. We plan to return tomorrow for an encore and to take a ride on a river boat.
After lunch we decided to visit one of the historical Missions in San Antonio. The San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is an organization that preserves and maintains 5 of the original Spanish missions that were outposts of Catholic religious orders with a goal to spread Christianity and colonize the area starting in the 17th century. As a matter of fact, The Alamo started as one of these missions before it became a military fortress. These missions are all part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and are truly magnificent. We visited the San Jose Mission which was located a few minutes from our campground. The beautiful church and complex was established in 1720 and is very large and well maintained. The chapel is still a working Roman Catholic Church and has a sharing agreement with the US Park service which maintains the site.
What a lovely first day in San Antonio! And there is still more to see and do tomorrow. As they day winds down I still have that 1970’s TV series song running through my head. 🎼🎼 Davy,….Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier 🎼🎼