Thursday, November 12, 2009

Heading Westward

Today we put the Navion into Drive and headed west again. We made it ALLLL the way (LOL) to Del Rio, Texas. That's about 140 miles. The drive was easy and pretty, as we got to see the trees gradually getting shorter, and the prickly pear cactus taking over the undergrowth.

Del Rio is right on the border between Texas and Mexico. Its main geographic feature is Lake Amistad, a lake created by a dam on the Rio Grande River. We are camped at Holiday Trave-L-Park, which .. isn't really like a "real" Holiday Trav-L-Park. This one has potted roads and unlevel sites with grass growing through the gravel. We were able to get level, only after being moved to a second site, and driving up onto all the levelers we have.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Another day in San Antonio

What a fun day this was! We took the bus into town and got a transfer. This was so that we could hop the trolley down to the King William District. This is an area rife with beautiful historic homes. We toured the Steves home, saw many lovely things, and learned a lot about the history of the district.

From there, we walked all around the district, enjoying the other houses from the outside. The tour ended up down by the river, and we loved walking along there.

We caught the trolley back up to the city, getting off at the Hemisfair park. This is where the Tower of the Americas sits. This 750-some-foot-tall tower is one of the structures remaining from the international exposition that was helf here in 1968. We rose gently to the top in the glass-sided elevator.

Up there, we enjoyed a lovely lupper (lunch-supper). We ordered the scallops with ginger and bok choy rice and clam chowder. Afterwards, we shared the chocolate lava cake. This was a great meal, which we savored as our table rotated around the circumference of the restaurant, affording us wonderful views of the entire San Antonio metro area.

We picked up a pin in the gift shop before we left (We are collecting little pins from everywhere we go.) and then sauntered back to the Alamo area via the River Walk.

Happy Hour time, and we did a margarita, a beer, and a plate of fried mushrooms. By then, it was starting to get dark, and we strolled along the River Walk a little more, before making our way back to the bus stop.

City buses rock! Nothing beats public transportation for big cities. And... speaking of big, would you guess that San Antonio, TX is the 7th largest city in the US? We didn't believe it at all, till we looked it up. San Antonio is bigger than Denver, Detroit, Washington, DC, San Francisco, San Diego... I am really surprised. This town seems small, probably because of its walkability and the little neighborhoods. We both agree that San Antonio is a fun place to be, if you're a tourist!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

San Antonio

Today we awoke to a bright blue sky and that delicious feeling of having NO plans. We readied ourselves, had cereal and a pear, secured another night at the San Antonio KOA, and then went across the street to wait for the city bus.

Right on time, the bus arrived, and, before we knew it, we were at the Alamo! Jack loves historical places, and so do I, so we relished the Alamo and its museums. I loved the model of the compound as it looked back in 1836, with the thousands of Santa Anna's troops surrounding and marauding the 200 Texas soldiers holed up in the former church.

I think that the title of "hero" is tossed around too much, and too many of us are credited with "bravery." But these people who proclaimed "victory or death" and sent out letters begging for more help with the defense of the compound... heroes. No question in my mind. Brave? You betcha. This is a moving place to be -- a shrine to some great Americans.

Next we went to the River Walk. There are dozens of riverside cafes, offering all kinds of refreshment for the city's locals and for us tourists. We shared a meal of 2 beef tenderloins, a baked potato, and baked beans.

Sharing a meal is a great way to save money. This lovely meal cost us less than $25, including tip. The other thing we accomplish when we can agree on a meal to split is that we don't eat too much!

After our delicious lunch, we walked over to the River Center Mall and found a hair cutter, who sold Jack and me each a haircut. Mine's shorter than it's been in a very long time, but... it's cute!

Next, we walked the 10 blocks or so down to the Market Square. This is a huge shopping mall of Mexican goods of all descriptions. We escaped without buying anything, but it was cool to look at all the brightly colored and shiny objects.

Back to the River Walk, we were ready for a break. A guy hawking his cafe's Happy Hour lured us in, where we each enjoyed a margarita and shared a plate of onion rings -- all for $6, including tax!

I'll have time to go through my photos soon. I'm just now downloading a bunch, including ones from Huntsville Rocket Center and Disney World!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Arriving in San Antonio

We arrived last evening in New Orleans, thinking that we'd go into town today, eat at the French Quarter, groove on some jazz.... but then the lady at the campground told us that there was a hurricane which might affect the city. Well, the memory of Katrina and the still-very-present damage from that storm are too recent in our memories. So we opted to leave there this morning, not having enjoyed ANY gumbo or crawfish etouffee.

We drove like maniacs, instead, going 540 miles, and making it all the way to San Antonio! We're at the KOA, which is close to downtown and right on the bus route. We had a hotdog feast, sponsored by the campground, met some fellow campers, and we're happy to be here!