Well; we’ve been working pretty hard on having a good time at the rally but today was a free day from rally activities. Last evening it started blowing and cooling down and it was down into the 50’s by this morning with 25-35 knots almost all night and through the day today. Nonetheless; today represented our only opportunity to do something in this area so we passed on the wine tour truck pool and headed off instead to San Antonio; which is about 60 miles or so from here at the park in Kerrville.
We got there in the late morning and our first stop was the Alamo…this was one of the three great battles of the Texas Revolutionary War when they broke away from Mexico. The Alamo was originally a mission but it was fortified in the late 1700’s and used first by the Mexican army and then later by the Texan Army. On March 6, 1836 Mexican forces of about 5000 over ran and massacred the 189 defenders in the Alamo including Davy Crocket and Colonel Travis. Only one man survived (a slave) as well as the women and children inside the fort.
This picture is taken from the southeast corner of what was the fortified portion of the mission looking to the northwest. The church is on the right side and housed the wounded and women and children during the final battle. The low building on the left was the barracks and was (along with the church) the fall back point after the Mexican forces breached the wall and gained entry to the mission both where this picture was taken from and on the far side of the barracks building about where the building with the red roof is located.
This is the original mission bell; it was remounted in the museum that was constructed for the 100th anniversary of the battle.
We wandered around the mission for an hour or so; quite a moving story and well documented with how and why the war was fought and the particulars about the battle.
Next we wandered around the corner and visited St. Josephs church; this was built by the German settlers in San Antonio in 1868 and is the oldest church in the city. We really liked the inside of the sanctuary with it’s stained glass and gold around the altar.
After that we headed around the Riverwalk which is an isolated portion of the San Antonio River. It was isolated for flood control purposes and has a controlled water level with a lot of really nice hotels, shops, pubs, and other tourist stuff on the shores.
We stopped for lunch at Durdy Nellie’s Irish Pub and had sandwiches and Guinness then continued around to the San Antonio Cathedral where Davy Crocket’s bones are interred. The cathedral was built in 1938 or so and while bigger than St Joseph’s isn’t as nice inside.
After that we headed again down the Riverwalk and lo and behold saw a site I would never have believed we would see. Right on the bank of the Riverwalk we spotted a male Mallard Duck (quite common) and a Yellow Crowned Night Heron. If you had told me this morning we would see this normally very skittish bird in the middle of downtown San Antonio and he would let you walk up to within 10 feet of him I would not have believed you.
That first picture was taken from across the river which is 30 feet or so wide. Neil walked around closer to him and got this second shot from about 10 feet away.
By this time we were getting tired and were back to the car anyway so we came home. Our friends Lyn and Ed from New Jersey came over and we went to Grape Juice here in Kerrville for dinner. I would not have figured a town this size had a wine bar but they do and the wine was pretty good…although Neil had some Toasted Coconut Porter which was mighty tasty instead of wine. Following that; we came home, had the evening rally get together/social hour, then headed home. Neil’s roasting garlic for tomorrow’s pot luck…garlic roasted in olive oil and french bread makes a mighty fine contribution.
Tomorrow we have a few more rally educational sessions to attend and the final pot luck and closing get together then rally participants start pulling out Saturday AM although we aren’t leaving until Monday. Connie has some work stuff to do on Saturday and Sunday at this point we haven’t gotten the jello out of the package yet so I can’t stir it to see what we might do.