Saturday, July 17, 2010

Our Day at the San Antonio Riverwalk

SanAntonio_map_s Even though we've lived in Texas for over a year now, we just made our first visit down to San Antonio earlier this week. I had to run Jonathan and Jasmine down to the airport anyway, so they could catch a flight to Reno, to visit their aunt and grandparents. Over the weekend, we decided that it might be a fun idea for all of us to go down; since I had put in for two days of leave anyway.

We drove down on Monday afternoon, via the "scenic route" ... we went over to Lampasas, then took Hwy 281 South, almost all the way to the San Antonio airport. Along the way, we drove through a couple of interesting little small towns, including Marble Falls (which is a place we plan to visit again when we have time to stop and explore).

After we dropped the kids off for their flight, we stayed the night at a TLF (or "family room") at the Lackland AFB billeting. At only $41.50 for the night, it was only about 1/2 as much as any of the hotels in town ... plus we had a refrigerator and kitchen so that we could make breakfast in the morning. After a quick jaunt down to a nice little Italian restaurant, and a pop into Walmart for supplies, we got a good night sleep that we could enjoy our sightseeing on Tuesday.

Ana and the girls in front of a fountain at Lackland AFB billeting
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A colorful little bench outside our room
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We checked out of our room and headed downtown at a little before 11am on Tuesday. We put the address for Ripley's Believe it or not; 300 Alamo Square into the GPS and set off on our 20 minute drive. The GPS took us through some "interesting" parts of town, but eventually we reached our objective ... and then spent another 15 minutes looking for parking. We actually drove past the Alamo 3 times .. I felt a little like Chevy Chase in European Vacation .. "looks kids there's the Alamo". Eventually we found a lot, and paid $8 for the day.

Ana and Jaiden outside The Alamo
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We spent about 30 minutes or so at The Alamo. I actually didn't even go inside. We had the big double stroller, and it would have been too much of hassle to get the baby out, and then worry about leaving it outside. So, while Ana and Jaiden toured the inside, Joey and I found a bench out back near a fountain that appeared to be dedicated to Davy Crockett:

Joey grabbing a nap at The Alamo
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Jaiden checking out the Davy Crockett fountain
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On our way to the River View Center Mall; which turned out to be the most convenient place for us to get down to the river walk, we stopped along a little street so Ana could have her picture taken next to a cigar store indian chief:

Ana, Joey, and the Indian Chief
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After stopping off at the Disney store, and another little shop where we bought some t-shirts, it was time to make our way down to the riverwalk itself ...

this is near the food court at the River View Center mall
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We ended up staying down at the river walk for almost 3 hours, with just a quick stop for lunch at the Lone Star Cafe ... which btw is one of the better bargains of a restaurant I've been in anywhere in Texas; let alone right in the middle of a tourist destination. The special that day was $5 for all-you-can-eat boneless fried chicken, with mashed potato and corn.

After lunch, we spent the rest of our time there taking pictures along the river walk, as we slowly made our way back towards the car.

looking down the river, in the direction we were heading
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a little bridge over the river walk (wish the bridges didn't all have stairs .. not fun with a double stroller)
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looking across the river at the outdoor seating for the Hard Rock Cafe
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tour boats ... which we will probably try to go on next time if we don't have the big stroller
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and finally, a view looking back down at the river walk from up at street level
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We ended up heading back home in the early afternoon, and that's where I made one of the few "mistakes" of our trip ... we decided to take I-35 home, instead of going back up 281 ... and we were rewarded by what should have been a totally expected traffic jam in Austin:

stuck in Austin rush hour traffic
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Oh well, next I'll know better.

All in all, it was a fun (and relatively inexpensive) little overnight trip. I expect that we'll probably do it again soon.

[todd-sig]

17 comments:

  1. Todd, those are great pictures of San Antonio's River Walk and the Alamo. We've been there a few times and I never get enough of the beauty of the River Walk and surrounding areas. The boat ride is so much fun, so hopefully you'll be able to do that sometime soon without the stroller.

    The architecture of the many buildings surrounding the River Walk are stunningly beautiful. Seeing The Alamo and walking through it is pretty cool, but since we've seen it several times already, our latest trip there didn't include the Alamo visit.

    Have you been to Bandera yet, and seen the gorgeous Hill Country out that way? That's definitely a Camera Ready must trip because the hills and winding roads are spectacular. Taking that little trip around the hill country areas during the fall, when the leaves on the trees change colors....oooooh, simply beautiful. That's a trip I want to take again in a few months.

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  2. Hi Lin,

    Yes, it was a good time ... I'm glad we all made the trip ... and yes, the boat tour is definitely in the cards for next time.

    I haven't actually heard of Bandera ... but I may have to look on a map ... I doubt I can talk the whole family into another trip ... but a fall picture taking day trip does sound right up my alley.

    Thanks for the suggestion :-)

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  3. That looks a great and your visit here has been fun and exciting.

    I think now the San Antonio Riverwalk is bigger and better than ever before. Did you ever get a chance to visit the new Museum Reach portion of the Riverwalk?

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  4. Just stumbled across your blog. Lovely family! I was stationed at Ft. Sam Houston back in the early 80s, and loved hanging out down on the Riverwalk, so your pictures brought back some great memories for me. Next time you make it down, be sure and visit the zoo - it's really great!

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  5. What a great blog. I was actually doing research for my next trip to San Antonio and stumbled across your lovely family and photos. Every time I've visited the Riverwalk I am amazed at its beauty - i feel like I am in another country. I agree with Kelly about the zoo!!! Thank you for a walk down memory lane.

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  6. Great Blog, can't wait to visit San Antonio next month, Thank you for sharing the information and photos.

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  7. To answer your question with a question, "Why haven't I been to yours?" (Not a clue. Heather's the glue.) Beautiful pics of San Antonio! And if you go up into the hill country, look for Stonehenge and the heads from Easter Island. Think I'm kidding? Just don't drive around there in a thunderstorm, because if that's your first glimpse of them - in a flash of lightning, it'll creep you out in ways you can't even imagine now. Trust me on that.

    Hi. Nice blog. :)

    Oh, and you didn't miss much, not going inside the Alamo. You can find a book, with pictures. Just being there - well, you'll remember it, now, won't you?

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  8. Beautiful pictures! I envy your talent. I got all misty when I saw the photo of Ana holding Jaiden's hand outside the Alamo. She so reminds me of my little Lily.

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  9. Eh? Suppose it's better to be called the glue than the foo'.

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  10. Hah! I pity the foo' - but have yet to find any reason whatsoever to pity YOU. ; Todd and I were just wondering why we'd never visited each other's blogs, despite occasionally chattering on together over at YOURS. Thus my likening you to glue. Figured you'd like that better than some of the metaphors I could come up with.

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  11. Just an aside, in rereading that comment, it strikes me as being a little Where's Waldo?-ish. Why? you ask? Because my love of semicolons, my penchant for gleefully tossing them around like confetti is legendary. And I just found a stray peeping out from between a period and a consonant, just like Waldo - where you'd LEAST expect him.

    Send him done when he's through being silly, will you?

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  12. Hi Holly ... well, since I have to drive down to San Antonio again later this week to pick the kids up, I suppose I should actually plan to stop at a few place along the way ... with a little advanced research, it shouldn't be too hard to add the Stonehenge and Easter Island heads to my itinerary ... thanks for the suggestion :-)

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  13. Hi Heather ... yes, you do have a little cutey yourself in Lily ... they're so fun when they're that age. As for "talent" ... no, apparently I just have a "nice camera" ... at least that's what I sometimes hear when I'm out taking pictures :-D

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  14. Oooh, get pictures if you do! I didn't have time to stop (I was driving kids to an orchestra competition). I couldn't even tell you how to get there. But in a flash of lightning, they're disturbing; by morning sunlight, they're delightful.

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  15. Holly .. the kids don't come in until just after mid-night, so I'll most likely get "sunset" pictures. But as long as it's not too far out of my way, I will make the effort to look those places up. My other possible stop, based on places we drove through last time, is Marble Falls.

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  16. Skip it. I just did a search, so I could tell you where to look, but apparently it's being relocated. Not sure when - but in time for Winter Solstice, it seems.

    http://www.roadsideamerica.com/blog/stonehenge-ii-move/

    At least you can see some of the pictures.

    http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/7819

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  17. Oh, that's a bummer .. but thanks for doing the research .. much appreciated.

    I've actually been to the real Stonehenge, in England. But that was when I was a kid, and before I was such a shutterbug, so I'm not even sure if I still have pictures hiding in a box somewhere.

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