Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Texas 2009 - Day 6 - The Alamo

On our second day in San Antonio, I had a full day of tourist attractions on the agenda. Our hotel was pretty close to a place called "Market Square", or El Mercado, so after breakfast we walked there. It's the largest Mexican market, and has all kind of shops and restaurants. We stopped at a place called Mi Tierra, which is a Mexican bakery. We were all sorry that we'd already eaten breakfast when we got there, because the food looked amazing! We shopped around for a couple hours and bought a few souveniers before making our way to the Spanish Governor's Palace.

The Spanish Governor's Palace was built in the first half of the 18th century, and is, according to Wikipedia, "the sole remaining example of aristocratic early Spanish home". It was pretty cool to see. It had 10 rooms and a beautiful garden in the back, where we took some pictures on a bench.
The next stop we made was at the San Fernando Cathedral, which is the oldest cathedral in the US. It's also the mother church of the Archdiocese of San Antonio and the seat of its archbishop (got that from Wikipedia, too).

The Riverwalk is right near the cathedral, so we made our way down to catch the river taxi to take us to get some lunch. We ended up at Schilo's, which is a German Deli that was recommended by Frommer's. We had split pea soup and reubans with root beer to drink.

After lunch, we walked to the Alamo. Did I mention we picked the hottest day of 2009 to visit the Alamo? It was 97 degrees that day, IN APRIL, and not enough shade. We spent a few hours at the Alamo, which I couldn't fully enjoy due to the heat. But I learned some things I didn't know. For example, I never knew Davey Crockett had anything to do with the Alamo. But that's where he died.

At the River Center Mall, there was an IMAX theatre where they showed a 45 min video about the Alamo. We were relieved to get out of the heat and into the theater to watch it. We did a little shopping before catching the River Taxi again to make our way to "Night in Old San Antonio", or NIOSA, which is part of the"Fiesta" festival that was going on that week in San Antonio. "Fiesta" is San Antonio's biggest festival of the year, and it happened to be going on while we were there. NIOSA was a party ever night in La Villita. There was music, dancing, shopping, and lots and lots of drinking. They had these eggs filled with confetti that they called "cascarones" - everyone was buying them, and you crack them over peoples heads and cover them with confetti. My parents enjoyed doing this to all of us! The place was jam-packed with people, which depleted my patience in a short amount of time. Scott and I decided after an hour or two that we wanted to leave, and my family decided they'd rather stay, so we split up. (My mom and dad ran into some dude from 20/20 after we left).

It was just starting to get dark, so Scott and I decided to catch the river taxi and relax for the rest of the evening while it cruised us around the River Walk. It's so beautiful at night time. We must have been on it for 2 hours or more. Just before 9, my dad called and said they were getting ready to catch the river taxi as well and head back to the hotel. Next thing we knew, our taxi was pulling over and there was all my family getting onto our boat. What are the chances? It was a great end to an awesome day.

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