Our Lady of the Blue Highways

Our Lady of the Blue Highways
Portrait in oils by Jackie Poutasse

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

San Antonio

San Antonio

I am visiting with Sue and Mitch. I worked with Sue in Virginia Beach – the same time/place I worked with Susan from Alabama. So it has been years since we’ve visited, but it could have been just last week!

This morning, Sara, Sue’s daughter was my tour director. We drove downtown, and parked close to the Alamo. It is amazing to see this tranquil park setting in the middle of a busy city.
We wandered around the plaza for awhile, stopping to listen to a talk about the Alamo, and to catch a short film on the history of Texas.

Then we headed for the Riverwalk. I was last here in 1974. At that time, there wasn’t very much to the area – a couple restaurants is all. My how that has changed. It is beautiful, and lined with restaurants, with the patrons sitting out on the patios under bright colored umbrellas.

We took the boat tour. In 1968 when San Antonio was getting ready for a World’s Fair, they built a huge Hilton Hotel in just 200 days. How did they do it? Each room was manufactured off site, decorated, furnished, and then just lifted in place by a crane – just like building blocks.

I’m going to try to post a couple photos of one building. They call it the disappearing wall. From one side of the bridge, you are looking at the end of a triangular building, once under the bridge, you can only see the front of the building, and it looks as though the side wall is just gone.

They suffered a great flood in 1921. One building has 2 trees growing out the side of it – said to have washed in during the flood. One is a fig tree, but sorry, I can’t remember the type of the other tree.

I saw a 300 year old tree the locals call the Sniper Tree, because it was used by Mexican soldiers to fire upon the Alamo.

The encroachment of modernity is sad, with huge hotels lining both banks of Riverwalk, but I am very glad they have honored as much history as they have.

After the river, we caught the trolley, and went to El Mercardo – the Mexican market. What wonderful, diverse and colorful merchandise. No sadness here. With all the color, you had to smile. I was good, I only bought a bottle of water. I have no room for souveniers.

We had lunch at Mi Tierra, a restaurant recommended by Joy, and also by Sue’s family. We really enjoyed it. Such a wonderful setting.

After another short walk through El Marcardo, we caught the trolley back to Alamo Plaza and headed home. It was a wonderful day, the weather was perfect, and I do believe my face picked up some color from the sun.

Tomorrow, we are headed for New Braunfuls.

Until next time,
Bear Hugs

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