On August 29th, we arrived in San Antonio. After checking in at Cranes Mills on Canyon Lake, we motored the 18 miles to my oldest brother’s house (Mark & Kathy’s) for the cordial visit and then planned the next 4 days. Their house sits at the end of a cul-de-sac in a beautiful neighborhood up on a hill overlooking Alamo Heights and San Antonio.
Our campsite at Canyon Lake and all of us in San Antonio (Mark & Kathy’s place)
So, the deal with the campsite: the reservations are only for Wednesday and Thursday nights. Long story but I was only able to reserve for those two nights and being Labor Day weekend, staying longer looked bleak. I asked the host if there were any cancellations, that we would be interested in staying longer. Well, he took a liken’ to us and informed me that there are two sites reserved for “walk-ins”. “If you can be here at 8am Friday morning I can give you one of those sites.” And so it was, on August 31st, we secured a walk-in site for the next 5 days!
There were stipulations. One, we needed to be in his office when he opened on Friday morning. The other, we could stay no longer than 14 days (and told us ways to get around that government loophole). Hell! We were visiting, not moving to San Antonio (LOL)!
Look what came to welcome us! Scorpion welcoming committee
Thursday and Friday were spent visiting. Mark & Kathy watch their latest grandchild, Evan, so we spent the days in their house. Literally, IN THE HOUSE. Temperatures hovered around 100 outside! (Quite a change from a summer where it frequently went below freezing at night.) It was great catching up. The only negative part was; one sibling was missing. But as my youngest brother, Rick, said, “Someone has to continue working to pay into the system so us retirees can enjoy life.” Rick, your time is coming. (Let’s plan another trip!)
On Saturday, it was Mark’s 66th birthday! So no good landmark goes without celebration! We had cake, ice cream, and enjoyed many memory recollections of the last 66 years (as only 60 something’s can remember!). Brittany, Paul and Evan joined us in helping Mark celebrate his special day. It was a great day indeed.
The next day, we all (7 of us) drove to the bus station to take the public transportation into the center of the city. On tap was the Alamo and River Walk. If time permits (and it did) we would explore more of the city. The historical value of the Alamo was exciting and like all history, you learn new things about an “old” subject. First, NOT everyone died in the March 6, 1836 siege. Learning about the first-hand accounts was pretty exciting. Second, the battle did NOT buy Sam Houston valuable time to amass an army, as conventional history has taught. (Seems that fake news existed even back then!)
Alamo scenes: the family at “The Alamo Tree” (150 year old live oak)
What the battles of the Alamo and Goliad did was inspire. Because of the “perceived” slaughter and executions, it gave the Texas’ patriots a cause. Yes, the independence movement of Texas was greatly influenced by the sacrifices made at these two historical events. “REMEMBER THE ALAMO! and REMEMBER GOLIAD!” became the rallying cry!
More views of downtown San Antonio
It is pretty amazing that the Alamo Mission withstood the invasion of modernization. In reality, not all of it did but the preservation society is working to acquire some of the nearby buildings and use them as a living museum. And it should not go unnoticed that many in the Alamo on that fateful day back in March 1836, were Free Masons.
Masons of the Alamo
Another amazing feat in downtown is the River Walk. Originally just designed to be a flood control apparatus, some planner had the foresight to make it an attraction as well. The town has been so successful at promoting it, that it is featured on the Travel Channel and History Channels! And I have to concur it’s pretty amazing.
Downtown River Walk
There were other places of interest as well. We ate lunch at Buckhorns Restaurant and Museum. If you like taxidermy and stuffed animal heads, this place is for you. Personally, not my cup of tea. There also was a Texas Ranger museum. And yes, it all cost extra. As for the food and service; reasonably priced, food was okay, and service was above average. The city itself was interesting. I found it very modern, relatively clean, and a joy to walk through. It is the 7th largest city in the USA so be prepared. Like all large cities, it has plenty to offer; from theater arts, museums, and major sports teams (no NFL nor MLB yet).
San Antonio Skyline
On Monday, September 4th, we spent the day at the Whitte Museum. This was exciting, both getting there and inside! Never one to like city driving, the museum is closer to downtown than we thought, but we made it …safely. The museum itself gives a great overview of the geological history as well as the more modern Native American occupation of the Southwest. Finally, President George W Bush has his paintings (Portraits of Courage) on display. This art gives a personal face to those who have valiantly served our country. This was well worth the visit.
Portraits of Courage
more pics from Whitte Museum
Tuesday, we treated Mark and Kathy to a meal at “our” place. Spending the last day at Canyon Lake was a fitting setting for all of us. The next day would see Lance and Ronnie board a jet headed west for Hawaii. We would board an F150 and head east for cold and rain. Don’t worry San Antonio we’ll be back!
Last day at Canyon Lake – Traditional Pink Camp Spaghetti Feed – Texas style
Onto Elvis and Memphis!
STAY TUNED! More “tales from the campah”!
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Coming Soon!!! YouTube channel with movies of the adventures!