Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bienvenidos a San Antonio...

Thought I'd do a post on San Antonio today. I don't get down there very often because it's about 40 miles from my house. It's very different from any other city I've lived in (and I've lived in quite a few)...I guess because of the heavy Mexican influence that I've never experienced before (other than in Mexico, of course). The pace is slower and more laid back, which took some getting used to since I'm more familiar with the faster pace in big eastern and midwestern cities.

So set yerselves back and I'll take y'all on a little San Antonio tour (emphasis on the "little").

This is the Tower of the Americas. This is one of those photo ops where you can get a bunch of different angles of this landmark. I'll show you.

Tower with Mexican statue...

Tower through window...

Tower with fountain...

Tower close-up...

I kind of like the first one the best. I call it, "Siesta with Tower." lol Okay, enough of the tower.

Another famous area of San Antonio is the Riverwalk. The San Antonio River is man-made and runs through the middle of downtown. Shops and restaurants line both sides and it is a huge tourist draw.

It is literally one restaurant after another along a several block area, all vying to get your business. In a way, it's like Hidalgo on Isla in that they have menu stands outside each one with maitre d's trying to lure you in. Everything is overpriced, but it is a fun place to hang out...unless it is in the middle of summer and is about 175 degrees and there are a million people bumping into you.

Every year they drain the river and clean out all the junk that people have thrown or lost in it...that's when they have the Mud Festival. I've never been to that...would probably be a good opportunity for photos.

They have boats that run through it. You can even arrange for a dinner excursion on them.

Then there's the Alamo. I wish I had a shot of it from across the street so you could see the whole thing. The first thing almost everyone says when they see the Alamo is, "It's so small." My sons and I said the same thing. It doesn't even cover a city block. It's right in the middle of downtown, so you don't really even feel like it's the real Alamo. My boys were disappointed...they thought they were going to get that feel of history and see gunshot holes in the wall type of thing. But it's a very touristy, well maintained landmark...

...with lots of pretty flowers and cactus. It takes about 15 minutes to see the whole thing...along with the re-enactments they put on.

This hotel is right across the street from it, which only helps make it seem smaller yet.

The Buckhorn Museum...

I kind of liked this little cowboy on the roof of this western wear building. Good ol' Texas. They do love their cowboys...and cows.

Like I said before, San Antonio has a tremendous Mexican influence which is represented in the well as just about everything else.

One of my favorite places is the Market Square which is also's kind of like stepping right into Mexico.

One of the most popular places there is a restaurant and bakery called Mi Tierra. They've been around since 1941 and are open 24 hours a day.

People come from miles around for this bakery. You can wait in line for hours to order something because it is so popular.

The Market Square has restaurants and shops with a lot of the same kind of stuff you find in Mexico.

That's Emiliano Zapata in the window...a leading figure in the Mexican Revolution. I love the metal violin-playing guy. He would look neat on my front step...with the hat, of course.

Skeletons...with cowboy hats. Sheesh.

Pretty Mexico colors...

I caught this interesting character while I was there. I bet she has a story or two.

I saw these thingamajigs last time I was down there. Actually, they're called Segways and seem like a good "green" idea...until you run down a pedestrian.

Another thing I ran into last time I was there was a wedding at an old Catholic Church downtown, so I snuck some shots.

The bride's dress was beautiful.

And the little ring bearer looked like he was taking his job VERY seriously.

On a more somber final note, I took this photo about a year-and-a-half ago as I was walking to my car. It was a long-distance shot because I didn't want them to see that I was taking their picture. What struck me about it was the irony of the words on the building in the upper left hand corner. They're hard to read, but it says, "New Hope Building." Very sobering.


Jamqueen said...

Thanks for the tour around the city! The bakery has my mouth watering!

Life's a Beach! said...

Beautiful photos Deb! I bet that woman DOES have a story to tell. She almost looks like she's not real. The landscaping at the Alamo looks beautiful. Love the skeltons -- love all of it! Craig's been to a lot of meetings along the riverwalk. I'd love to go some day! :)


Vee said...

Deb, now I really want to go to San Antonio, but I want to have a big pile of money to spend. Sounds as if I'll need it, lol.

That last photo is pretty darn awesome. It could win a contest, but in a sad way. It certainly gave me pause.

Thanks for sharing your perspective.

couzin frank said...

One of my favorite weekend towns.Thanks for the tour!