During September and October Susan and I embarked on a tour of several midwestern and western states, driving in our 2000 Toyota Siena van(215,000 miles before our trip)a total of 7,279 miles through 13 states. We were gone 33 days and spent the night in 21 different places. When we got home it dawned on us that we had been together virtually 24/7 for the entire trip with no major disagreements and without growing tired of each other. I think our marriage of 41 years will last.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday October 10 through Wednesday October 12: West Texas and San Antonio

The terrain between El Paso and Fort Stockton is more desert-like, relatively flat with scrub bushes.  As we traveled farther east, we entered the hill country of West Texas with rolling terrain and more trees.  However, due to the recent drought it appeared half the vegetation was either dead or mostly dead.

The Texas hills are alive with the sound of wind turbines.  You see them everywhere in this area and I guess that most of them have T. Boone Pickens’ name on them.  More power to him—and less pollution for us.

We arrived in San Antonio and checked in at our hotel on the Riverwalk.  We took an exploratory walk around the Riverwalk loop, then stopped for a delicious Texas margarita.  After that it was back to the hotel to relax and get ready for a night out.

Cheers at the Iron Cactus

And cheers to you.

Scenes along the Riverwalk



One of the denizens of the Riverwalk.  The main staple of their diet is tortilla chips.

Dinner tonight at Las Canarias in the La Mansion Hotel with a table on the patio at riverside.  Beautiful atmosphere, food just OK, but a good time nonetheless. 


On Tuesday morning we slept late and then visited the landmark tourist attraction The Alamo.  You just can’t go to San Antonio without seeing The Alamo.  We walked around the grounds but due to the crowd we opted out of the tour.  Later in the day we saw an IMAX movie which I’m sure dramatized the story of the battle with Santa Ana.  While we waited in the lobby for showtime, the PA system played over and over the song “The Price of Freedom is Not Free.”  After about 10 times it began to grate on us just a little—sort of like “Rocky Top.”  One thing I did learn is that there were survivors at the Alamo—women, children, and one slave, but no soldiers (except some of Santa Ana’s men of course).  

The front wall of The Alamo.  (That’s not us on the sidewalk.)

And the front door. 

Tommy Crockett

While walking around San Antonio we passed by Louis Tussaud’s Wax Works (nephew of Madame?) where Susan was attacked by a creature in the window.  I’m not sure if she’s encouraging him or fighting him off.


As we continued our walk we were very impressed with the architecture and preservation of older buildings in San Antonio.  Here are some examples.

San Antonio Express-News office

Emily Morgan Hotel

Casino Club Building

Tower Life Building

Bexar County Courthouse

All that walking just made us thirsty, so it was back to the Riverwalk and margaritas with guacamole prepared tableside at Boudro’s.

Dinner tonight was at Biga on the Banks—redfish and pork tenderloin—delish!  Great place to eat on the Riverwalk, check it out.

On Wednesday morning we had breakfast at Las Ramblas in Hotel Contessa, with riverside table, of course.  Here’s a contented couple.

More Riverwalk beauty

Our hike today was on the Riverwalk, but south of the commercial loop and leading toward the King William Historic District.  Here we saw some magnificent old homes of San Antonio’s early and wealthy residents.




On our way back to the Riverwalk we got in a little urban mountain hiking.
Urban Hiking

We made a quick pit stop for ceviche and beer at La Paloma and listened to a trio of strolling musicians.  We didn’t ask them to play for us , but we listened off other people’s tips, again saving some pesos.

Regretfully, it was time to leave San Antonio, but Austin awaited us.  It had been nice to park the van for a couple of days, but we needed to move on.

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