May 19, 2017

Tales From Texas #2: The Riverwalk and The Alamo.

These are even more interesting times than usual to be in the US.

I can report from the front line that Anderson Cooper has been rationing his signature eye roll in the wake of news that a special prosecutor has been appointed to investigate President Trump and his political relationship with Russia.

This morning saw us bid a fond farewell to a grey skied and wet San Marcos but not without one last trip to the outlets to remove a rogue security tag from one of our bargains.

We then hit the road for San Antonio is the company of our wonderfully chatty cab driver and ultimate slashie, Mr R.  A cab driver/business and property owner/marathon runner/single father to seven/pig and goat farmer, /ex-military/retired police officer and former weight lifter - there were many stories to be told and pearls of wisdom to be shared with us.  The hour's drive passed in no time.

It was still a bit grey when we checked in, here's a view of The Tower of the Americas from my room window.

The striking colours of the flowers and boats on the San Antonio River popped against the greys and khakis of the water and the Riverwalk foot bridges.  The present day network of bridges and sidewalks one storey below street level came into being after a a disastrous flood of the area killed many in 1921.  It took until 1938 for the San Antonio River Beautification Project to commence and the result now is a 4km walk through sidewalk eateries, shops, a theatre and of course, the boat rides.

It wouldn't be a US trip report post without some gratuitious photos of my meals so here's lunch.  From Dairy Queen, it's a beef taco salad bowl and a 'small ' serve of onion rings.

Dairy Queen.  Does the very name bring you back to that Judy Blume novel stage of your life?  Coincidentally, I was reading about Judy in the American Airlines inflight magazine on the way out here.  Apparently Judy's given up writing and now owns a book store that gives her ample time to just play with books and share them as opposed to all the frustration and stress that I assume must come with writing a book.

You'll be happy to know that after going off on that tangent and thanks to the powers of American fast food, it stopped raining, the skies cleared and we were left with this weather.

Every so often, we'd climb the stairs to street level (cross reference streets above the walk are sign posted on the bridge arches.

This is South Alamo Street that took us to, funnily enough, The Alamo.

The Alamo has a fascinating role in American history.  It's been many things including a monastery, a garrison and a chapel.  It's now a preserved historical site that's very popular with tourists and school groups alike.

A view of the Emily Morgan Hotel from the grounds of The tAlamo.

The Alamo Cenotaph commemorating those who died in the Battle of The Alamo.

It was so restful and cooling walking the grounds inside.

I spent a lot of time just sitting and taking in deep breaths of the 'tree filtered' air in the shade.

We then made our way back to the Riverwalk and jostled along with the other tourists making the most of the sun to have a drink or a bite to eat.

There were almost too many choices.

I loved the mish mash of architectural styles along the walk.

Festive umbrellas on the terraces above us added to the all day party atmosphere.

Judging from the benches and seats dotted along the walk, many use the paths for a bit of exercise and not just as a means of getting to dining destinations.

Look who I found on my walk!

The Riverwalk's very own CVS where I bought such exciting things as milk, Raisin Bran pots and contact lens solution.

It hit 32C by mid afternoon and that was my sign to head back to the hotel to do a few laps in the outdoor pool.  I was only out there for a 10 minute swim and despite being slathered in SPF 50, I do believe I have the beginnings of a tan.  Should go down a treat in Sydney next week!

And I'm just about ready for bed.  It's an early start and a long day for me tomorrow.

No excuses for not hitting the fancy hotel gym first thing tomorrow.  My gym tank top crisis was averted thanks to H&M.

And I've had enough practice with these talking crosswalk buttons to kind of guess what the digital voice is trying to tell me for when I try to walk to the convention centre tomorrow.  Even locals turn around to ask me what the button just said as it launches into some kind of calm but insistent monologue.  I don't know if you'd had much to do with automated emergency devices like defibrillators, but crosswalk button man sounds exactly the same only he has more to say on the street than in an arrest situation which adds to the difficulty in understanding him.

Take care and be well.


  1. love it. I was there 11 years ago.

  2. Fascinating and pretty area. The US is so varied from state to state isn't it! I used to swim at night in Vegas to cool off.


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