February 1 – San Antonio, Texas


 

I will have to admit the Texas roads are in great shape. Very smooth trip to San Antonio. Arrived a little after noon and got our site and everything set up.

Travelers RV Park is located within city limits and is a nice snow bird park. Paved roads, grass and lots of people. Almost every site is filled. Good wifi and cable.

Cable is important as I turned on the satellite an error message popped up and I was not able to align the dish to find satellite to watch TV – Yikes! Called the manufacturer and they suggested some ideas – working on the solution.

As I was getting ready to climb the ladder to work on the dish, neighbor called over and said its “Happy Hour time”. So we visited and did not get up on the roof after having a beer. Tomorrow is another day. Socialize first!

Tuesday after breakfast, up on the roof to check out this satellite dish. They recommended changing out the cable connection (my neighbor thought differently and he was an electrical engineer) but I got up there and made the change. As we rebooted the dish sure enough it aligned itself with the satellites and we once again had high def TV. The neighbor did check on me and was surprised I had it fixed.

I think I found heaven – I took off on the bike and there is a wide paved bike trail adjacent to the campground. It was wonderful, I was rolling along about 18-20 miles an hour enjoying the scenery and landscaping. This trail is adjacent to the San Antonio River and I thought I was heading toward San Antonio. But after 7 miles I came to a dead end – I guess I turned the wrong way coming out of the park. Headed back and I wasn’t riding too fast, discovered I was going into the wind – reason the trip out went so easy and fast. Did make it back to home.

The Riverwalk is over 15 miles from south to north and connects over 2000 acres of public land. I would agree San Antonio had its act together when they created this system.

Brenda and I got ready after lunch to go into town to investigate. Found the Visitor’s Center and gathered information. Clerk even gave me a run down on the breweries and which ones I should visit – even recommended some beers.

We first visited the Alamo and walked around the grounds (that have been so well preserved). Such a surprise to see this compound in the middle of the commercial district of the city. But once again, the city had the foresight to preserve versus tear it down in 1905. The importance of the Alamo and the revolution for Texas’ freedom will always be remembered.IMG_1148

Walking around the Alamo brought back memories of Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie and the Disney movie “Alamo” watching it as a kid. Just checked my list of movies and I have the 1960 and 2004 version of the movie. Probably will sit down and reminisce on those old memories.

After the Alamo we headed over to the Riverwalk. Brenda was quite impressed. We walked the entire walk within the entertainment district (It was in the mid 70’s temperature-wise). Enjoyed a brew on the patio of Mamma Mia’s and continued on.

While strolling the River Walk, noticed that the Western Art Museum was offering free admission to their art gallery this afternoon. We liked the price and spent an hour or so viewing many pieces of art from the west. Had a whole display of stirrups.IMG_1166

Wednesday turned cool (50 degrees this morning) but I had to get out and continue my cruise down this great bike trail. Because the movie was so exciting from last night (Alamo with John Wayne) I rode my bike down town and around the Alamo. Round trip was only 13 miles.IMG_1170

After lunch we went out to visit the four (4) San Antonio missions (besides the Alamo). It was amazing to see these mission churches and compounds still in good shape. They are a part of the National Park system. We made it to all 4 which is probably within 6 miles of each other.

The Spanish in the 1700’s set up these mission sites to evangelize the Indians and to settle the area. They set them up with a church, and other facilities and a wall around them to protect the people from the Indians. The four churches are still active today as full-fledged congregations.

From an engineer’s interest, they even had aqueducts to irrigate the fields and provide water.DSC_0122

Couldn’t end the afternoon without a beer, found the Blue Sky Brewery with organic beers. Had a stout that was okay, nothing to write home about.

We did watch the 2004 version of the Alamo with Billy Bob Thornton as Davy Crockett. Much better and more in line with the true history.

Thursday was our day to get the sand (from the beach) out of the RV and other maintenance tasks. Brenda wanted to wash the carpets and scrub the floor – she did do that today.

I finally found a local blood donation site and gave them another pint. Also needed to get a new filter for the water system (pressure was so low it was difficult to rinse off in the shower). Got those items (bought a pressure gauge too for the water system too) and got them installed. Much better rinsing power now.

Spent the afternoon walking the dogs (did two miles on the Riverwalk) and reading a book about Lincoln. IMG_1173

We walked to a local Mexican restaurant and had dinner. Still trying to figure out what “Jalisco” style food is. Had to look it up before I publish this blog, “in short, Jalisco Style food is cheap, authentically tasty, and fairly consistent, menu-wise, from place to place”. So now we know.

Since we have good wifi, we watched the battle scene from the Alamo starring Fess Parker. Remember the Wonderful World of Disney in the 60’s?

Friday was off to Fredericksburg, a German community settled in 1846. And is still thriving today. It had a lot of stores and breweries and wineries in the neighborhood. It would be a great place to spend a week, next time through.

We walked around town, had lunch (Fredericksburg Brewery), and sought out quilt stores. Brenda is itching to quilt something.DSC_0001

In the afternoon we headed over to LBJ (Lyndon B Johnson 36th president) National Historic Park site. I watched the movie and got my stamps. I was in my late teens when LBJ was president, but as you reflect back on his time in office he passed the Civil Rights, Clean Water Act and ADA legislation. It’s amazing what changed in that time period. Unfortunately he had the burden of the Vietnam War on his shoulders too.

We did not get a chance to ride through his huge ranch (It is a State Park now) because of time. Need to do it at a later date. It was called the Texas White House as he hosted many a gathering there. People all over the world got to experience Texas at its best.

Today we are in what they call the Hill Country and our elevation is almost at 2000 feet. We have been at sea level so long, these high elevations are slowing us down – NOT! But this area is beautiful in the spring, so they tell me, with all kinds of wildflowers planted adjacent to the roads (created by Ladybird Johnson). Will have to try a spring time trip here to witness.

Traveling from Fredericksburg to Johnson City (where LBJ NHS) we saw many (at least 20) wineries. Needed to stop at least one, but would have had to backtrack, so we found one in town. Went inside the owner, winemaker, dishwasher (all the same) served us some tastings. He was interesting as he told us stories about the wine as well as his connection with LBJ. His family had catered the many meals that were hosted on the LBJ ranch. He had photos and memorabilia from there. In fact his parents had flown from LBJ ranch to the White House on Air Force One. Bought a bottle of his Texanti, supposed to be similar to Chianti.

Did you know that Texas is able to grow the same grapes as Italy? In fact he told the story that it was Texas grapes that saved the French grapes from elimination – and all this time I thought it was the Missouri grape.

Saturday began with a full breakfast at the campground’s club house. OH how I love a good breakfast of eggs, biscuits and gravy. Brenda did some shopping for Super Bowl (Oh how I love those SB foods) and I caught up on paperwork. Hate to admit but not much else happened thru the day except walking the dogs.

Sunday we decided to visit a friend of ours (we worked together in STL for a church plant (new church) in Valley Park, Missouri). He is a vicar (future pastor) in Georgetown Texas. We attended his worship service, unfortunately he didn’t preach that week. Visited with Bill (Crowe) and his family (Beth, Evie, Lawton) and took them out for lunch to some good Mexican food. To those who know Bill, the parishioners were very complimentary and glad to have Bill as a part of their church. We knew he would do a good job for the Lord from when we knew him in STL.

Arrived home at 4 PM in time to get ready for the Super bowl game. We prepped (more Brenda that I) the appetizers and got ready for the big game. The game didn’t turn out to be as exciting as some from the past but I was so glad that Peyton Manning went out with a win. After that game, he should retire. Good night of food and football anyways.

I do have to admit, I wish I had more time in San Antonio to do more things.  A town with lots to do!

Monday we are heading to Del Rio, Texas to see Amistad Lake, a National Recreation Area.

 

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