Friday, February 5, 2010

San Antonio 2010 Stopover

We are currently in Benson Arizona continuing our westward trek to the Phoenix area. Our first stop after Rockport was San Antonio where we stayed for a week. This is where we encountered the coldest temperatures that we have had so far while full-timing. The lowest low was 18 degrees which requires a little preparation. Bob made sure that the fresh water tank had some water to get us through the night and enough propane for the furnace. While it was still light Bob turned off the water, drained and put the hose in the heated underbelly we call the “basement”. We then ran off of the water pump and freshwater tank until it was warm enough the next day to put the hose back on. This continued for 3 days as temperatures were from 18-22 each night. We did notice that the pressure in the shower was better if we were running off of the water pump instead of city water and the pressure regulator. Bob will be looking into getting a better pressure regulator at our next Camping World stop. The water pump is noisy so we are hoping a better water pressure regulator will do the trick.

In spite of the low overnight temperatures it warmed up during the day enough for us to do a little sightseeing. Both of us had always wanted to see the Alamo so we did that the day after we arrived just south of San Antonio at Braunig Lake RV Park. What stood out to us was the bravery exhibited by everyone, especially the couriers, because everyone had to know that no reinforcements were coming yet they stayed. The couriers were sent out to plead for help and they kept coming and going, one guy three times. The couriers kept coming back into the Alamo when they really knew the bad news. We heard an outdoor lecture by a historian and another lecture inside the church which has become the symbol of the Alamo. The outdoor displays were good as well as the displays in the Long Barracks Museum. In the Long Barracks Museum we saw a rifle in a glass case that has a great story. While Davy Crockett served as a Representative for Tennessee in the House of Representatives the Pennsylvania Legislature gave him a rifle to honor him. Fast forward a number of years and the Pennsylvania Legislature gave a replica of that rifle to Fess Parker who played Davy Crockett on television. Fast forward a few years and Fess Parker donates the rifle to the Alamo Museum, great story!

Another great story we learned at the Alamo is that Phil Collins is obsessed with the Alamo. He has a great collection and had a diorama of the battle built. This diorama is in the History Building across the street from the Alamo and he narrates a 15 minute light show detailing the battle. There are other exhibits in the History Building which make it a must see while in San Antonio.

Usually another must see while visiting San Antonio is the Riverwalk. One thing we did not know until this trip is that the Riverwalk is drained once a year for clearing debris, cleaning and maintenance. Although the shops were still there and it was an interesting walk it was a little disappointing for the Riverwalk to be drained while we were there.

What we like so much about full-timing and traveling around the country is that we are learning so much we never knew before. We were excited to find out that Mission San Juan Capistrano, one of the five Missions in San Antonio, is still an active Parish, in fact the Alamo is the only Mission that is not an active Parish. Because of this we visited Mission San Juan Capistrano on Saturday so we could tour the grounds and then attend Mass. Parking was very confusing because all the signs directed you to the National Park Service parking lot which closed at 5:00 p.m. the same time that Mass started. Luckily we saw that sign and asked the Park Ranger where to park and moved our car before Mass started. Five minutes before Mass started the Priest made an announcement about the parking and there was a mad dash to move cars.

Although the weather did not cooperate we were able to see a few sights and eat at a couple of places of note during the week we were there.

* Landry’s – on the Riverwalk as mentioned before is one of the better seafood places to eat.

* Tom’s Burgers – located near the Braunig Lake RV Park in Elmendorff Texas serves up a great burger. Being so close to the park we were able to eat there a couple of times.

We certainly will be coming back to San Antonio sometime in the future because there are still a lot of places to see and food to sample. Here are things we missed and will try to do next time:

* Visit the other San Antonio Missions

* See the Riverwalk when there is a river to walk by

* Museum of History in Hemisfair Park

* Botanical Gardens

* Seminole Canyon State Historic Park

* Governors Canyon

* Tour St. Joseph's Catholic Church

* Military Base free museum

* Eat at The Cove (a diner, car wash, and laundry all in one), Tip Top CafĂ© , Big Lou’s Pizza

Photos from this trip have been added to

Till next time,

Bob & Jo

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