03 February 2006

Alamo and the River Walk

Yesterday, February 2nd, we drove into downtown San Antonio to check out the Alamo and the River Walk.

Everyone you talk to that has been to San Antonio says, the Alamo isn’t that big a deal, but you have to check out the River Walk. The Alamo was better than I was expecting, but strange in the fact that it’s hard to feel the vibes of standing in a truly historic place when you are standing in the middle of a major city, almost like the Alamo was an afterthought, not an historic piece of land, it’s really strange. We bought the History Channel DVDs on the Alamo and watched part of it last night. It was really interesting to watch the DVDs after having been there. It’s also interesting to see them start to come out with what really happened at the Alamo and not the Hollywood version. The Alamo is shrouded in mystery and no one really knows most of the details of what happened there, they don’t even really know if David Crockett died there or was taken prisoner, the Alamo seems to be all myth and mystery.

After the Alamo we checked out the River Walk, which was really pretty and very touristy. It’s a novelty that you have to do if in San Antonio, but not something that would bring me back. We ate lunch at Casa Rio…awesome food!! It’s the oldest existing restaurant on the Walk and is still owned and operated by the same family, three generations running. The food is excellent, the prices reasonable and you can sit right on the river to eat. The only draw back to this is that people on the river walk will continually stream past, most of them smoke…gross! Our waiter compared his job to playing Frogger, I laughed and tipped him well.

Along the river walk is La Villita http://www.sanantonio.gov/sapar/villitahis.asp?res=1280&ver=true an artist’s community that they make sound way cooler than it actually is. It has some neat old buildings and tile work mixed in with modern buildings of the city, but mostly is has a bunch of stuff they call art for really inflated prices…that’s just my opinion. Maybe we're just here during the wrong part of the year, but I doubt it.

After that we walked to the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum,http://www.buckhornmuseum.com/ I have to say that so far this was my favorite thing. It’s a little disturbing, but also fascinating. They advertise as being “The World’s Oddest Store” and they just might be right. The taxidermist who did their work must be living fat and happy somewhere, it was just amazing the amount of stuff they have there. I was torn between the horror of all those animals dieing to hang on the wall, and the fascination of being able to see them that close. They also had some funny stuff in their museum. I chuckled at the Manboon and the River Raptor; hopefully you’ll be able to read the sign here. The Buckhorn Saloon and museum was by far the most entertaining place we visited yesterday. I even learned how to properly shrink a head, so watch out world!

I can say that I saw some better sides of San Antonio today, but it’s really just not my thing, I understand that some people may come here and this would just be it for them the way Southern AZ is for Bill and I….but San Antonio will not be a regular stop for us.