San Antonio


US Flag Flying High Over the City

What a great city. . .we spent three days and could have easily spent a couple weeks!  Public transportation in San Antonio is inexpensive, readily available and makes exploring easy.  There was a bus stop right at the campground and we had a short 6 mile ride into the city.  (Editor's Note:  I've ridden a lot of city busses but had never seen one with a bicycle rack on the front.  The bus driver actually waited for riders to put their bikes on the rack so they could then take the bus to finish their commute.  We spent three days and could have spent a week!

Bicycle Rack


Our first priority was visiting The Alamo.   Spring flowers had started to bloom and the grounds were immaculate.    We joined a group of other visitors to listen to one of the Park Rangers narrate the timeline of the days leading up to and including the final battles.   You are very aware that this is hallowed ground and that this is the site of the most famous sieges in world history.    Not being Texans, we knew about The Alamo but didn't realize that we would be visiting on the 168th anniversary of the beginning of the 13 day siege.  Viewing the frescos that survive in the chapel and learning that several women and children survived the battle by remaining huddled in the corner of the chapel sent chills down your spine.

The Live Oak growing in the courtyard is over 100 years old and was originally planted as a memorial.  The trunk is over twelve feet across and the branches extend over fifty feet.  There are many of these Live Oak trees growing all around the city.  The original grounds of The Alamo encompassed a much larger area than has been restored.  "Old Meets New" is an example of the original size -- the high rise office building and garage was built on Alamo ground.  The Alamo is totally self-sustaining through the efforts of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas.  The foundation does not accept any local, state or federal grant money and relies purely on donations from If you want to read more about The Alamo, go to

The Alamo                    Fortress Shrine            Fortress Shrine        Barracks                        Gardens 1                    Garden Archway                                       

   Gardens 2                  Old Meets New           Inner Courtyard                                                                                       Barracks from Alamo Square

             Live Oak                       E Crockett            Scotsman at the Alamo                National Flags  



We walked half the length of River Walk but since the entire Walk is almost 2-1/2 miles long, we decided to take the boat tour.  Interesting history and sites!  (NOTE:  Nancy traveled to San Antonio for a couple business meetings so was able to pick out some "fun" spots.)

While we were having lunch at Tony Roma's along Riverwalk,  we heard music from the other side of Rivercenter.  The group was playing movie theme songs on natural flutes and guitars.  The group was Andean Fusion.

Here's a quote from a recent review that we found on the Internet:  "[i] stumbled across this group performing in the touristy Rivercenter along the famous River Walk, and it only took a few minutes of listening to know I had to snag some of their recordings.   Led by Jose and Carlos Hilario, all the band members hail from the Andean mountain countries of South America -- Ecuador, Perú, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina.  Their sound, though modern in attitude, is based in the folk traditions that originated with the Inca civilization.   Their unique instrumentation reflects this, with the an impressive array of ghostly sikus (pan pipes) and light, airy kena flutes, as well as violins, guitars, bandolins and the fascinating charango, a South American offshoot of the guitar, 10-stringed and made from armadillo shell..  These guys had traveled from South America to San Antonio over 10 years ago to do one concert and never left.   If you have an opportunity to listen to their music and like natural reed flutes, you'll love this. "  Their albums are available on Amazon.

The river tour is an interesting and fact-filled way to learn about San Antonio.  The Boat Pilots talk about the sites as you float along the River.   (NOTE:  Most of the pictures are here to show the beauty of River Walk in the Spring.   I've provided some detail for the ones with names.)  Underground springs help provide enough water to make the River Walk navigable.  Early in the 1900's, a flooded San Antonio River caused significant property damage and many people lobbied to have the river covered in concrete to create a natural spill-way.    

Our River Pilot called this Cupid's Island.  Apparently it is one of the most popular places in the City for couples to say "I Do."    You can request that the boat stop here and get off to pop the question. 

Hilton Palacio del Rio was built for the 1968 HemisFair.  It was the first high-rise to be built off-premises, trucked in as completely furnished room modules and stacked in place.  The entire hotel was built in a matter of weeks, not months.  If you look close, you can see a man standing on one of the balconies.

There is so much to see and experience. . .

                                                                                                                   Convention Ctr                                                                                           Water Source

 Andean Fusion            River Boats                    Hilton Palacio del Rio           Cupid's  Island                                Ducks Always Have the Right-of-Way                                 




The 33,000 square foot, world famous Buckhorn Saloon and Museum has delighted hundreds of thousands of visitors for over 120 years.  It's a quick walk down the street from The Alamo and a great place to get a drink after a long day of sightseeing." (Buckhorn marketing brochure)  The Buckhorn Saloon & Museum has been in continuous operation since 1881.    The world's record whitetail "78 Point Buck" (see below) was acquired for $100 in 1899 and has hung over the bar ever since.   During prohibition, the Saloon turned into a Curio and Museum and stood the test of time until alcohol could be served again.   Today, the Saloon, Curio and Museum combined have been acclaimed as the second most popular attraction in San Antonio.  It's five museums in one -- horns, fins, feathers, The Hall of Texas History Wax Museum, and regular special exhibits.    You are able to get a drink at the bar and wander through the museums taking as much or as little time as you want.   Ron thoroughly enjoyed this museum with all the trophy mounts -- it's that hunter thing -- and we spent two afternoons here.  (PS -- It might have been the cold microbrews that brought us back!)

  Buckhorn Signage      78 pt Buck           Two Blondes                Moose                    Two Blondes Too           African game           Texas Longhorn       Wooly Mammoth 

Kissin' the Moose        Deep Sea Fish             Lion                               Texas Longhorn            Elephant                    Mountain Goat

Whitetail Deer           Ceiling of Antlers


Is it obvious that San Antonio was one of our favorite places to visit?????