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  #1  
Old 09-17-2018, 02:56 PM
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Default The Great San Antonio Grand Tour!

Yesterday was the day that I was taking Leonard Wheeler ~ Yellowbird, wife Deb, and Tom Taylor ~ scumdog and wife Chris on the tour of San Antonio, the Alamo, Missions, Mexican Market, Supper on the River Walk, and a moonlight River Boat Cruise! I started out in a gully washer of a rain storm that left me in doubt if I was gonna get to their hotel in one piece! I was thinking that we might be about to do this in a raging rainstorm, but the weather gods smiled on us because by the time I got to their hotel, it was just sprinkling.

So off we drove in Leonard & Debs' big SUV (thank goodness it was not in my little Ford Focus!) to the Alamo to tour it. I think they found it quite interesting. Some people, over the years, seem to be disappointed after seeing it, because they were expecting some large battlefield and majestic buildings I guess. It is not the size of the battlefield, or the buildings that is that important. It is what happened there to led to Texas Independence from Mexico... It was a large battlefield, but after the battle, some years later, as San Antonio started growing from a town into a large city, builders encroached on the battlements, tearing down walls, building new buildings close and closer to what is now left of the battlefield. Just the Alamo chapel, and part of the Long Barracks for the soldiers exist today. The chapel was put to use by the troops, and for other uses unbecoming its history. Luckily, a group of women banded together to form the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, and in 1905 assumed control of the property which was in bad condition. The rest is history and you can read about it here.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daught...ublic_of_Texas

Battle of the Alamo - If you have seen the John Wayne version of it, there were a lot of liberties taken with the facts.... But it was a good movie...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Alamo

The Missions are now managed by the National Parks Service. Click on the various links for more information.

https://www.nps.gov/saan/index.htm

After touring the Alamo, we loaded up again and took off to see the Missions, in the southern part of the city and county. The four Missions are Concepcion, San Jose (the largest one by far), San Juan Capistrano, and Espada. Near it, is the famous Roman style curved aqueduct that supplied water to the Mission. We toured the first two and everyone was hungry by then, and I asked them what the wanted for lunch. The resounding answer was a Texas Steak! So off to the Little Red Barn Steak House we went! They were impressed with the food, the names and brands of famous Texas Ranches you read on the walls, and the menu you read off the wall. I will post some pix later.

After lunch it was back to the Mission Trail to see the last two Missions, San Juan Capistrano and Espada and the aqueduct. At Estrada we were able to see the small but beautiful chapel from the inside. These Mission Chapels have been in use for church service by the Catholic church for centuries, as was Mission San Jose while we were there. Two of them were closed and I know that one was being reconstructed. On the way back to town though, I suggested that we stop at Mission San Jose again, because I figured that Mass would be over and the chapel might be open to the public again, as it often is. So we did, and it was and they were able to get some great pix of the chapel interior, which is very impressive.

Off we went to the Mexican Market for the girls to do some shopping. While there, Tom, being a retired Police Officer, struck up a good conversation with some of our own Police Officers on duty there. Then it was back to the hotel. From there it was a short walk to the River Walk for supper. I had asked at their hotel who they suggested for a variety of good food, since they had eaten Mexican food yesterday, and a big Texas Steak for lunch. They recommended Rainforest Café for the atmosphere and the variety of food, which is great and so is the service. Since I had never been there either, we decided to go there and it was a great choice. I think there are four floors to that restaurant, and if YOU ever make it here to see ME before I am 100 and no longer able to take you on the tours, I will take YOU there, to the 3rd floor! The food was great, so was the staff and so certainly was the atmosphere. I will also post some pix of some of the things we saw there, including large animals. There was a gorilla right behind Tom while we ate! The animals you see are also animated and move.. and make noises... They thoroughly enjoyed the restaurant.

After that, it was time to take a River Boat Cruise, (about a 35 minute ride around the River Walk area. I had hoped to get Juan, The Admiral of the River Boat Fleet, (he claims! And for what I was told by their office, he might be, because he is a long time employee and their most requested Boat Captain!) but he was off last night. But I tried. I think they greatly enjoyed the ride. After that it was a walk back to the hotel and goodbyes as the guys walked me to my car to make sure I got there in one piece! Or it might have been to make sure I left before I totally wore them down! Today, Leonard and Tom were chasing down some classic car parts (of course!) out in the country somewhere. Then it would be off to Fredricksburg (a great German community founded by a German Prince) who had fallen out of favor at the German Court, I think, and moved here for freedom and to start his own community. We have a good number of other German, and many other European settlements around here. It also happens to be the home of the famous Admiral Nimitz of WW II fame, and his fantastic War museum is there that I and Leonard have been to before. Leonard wanted to take Tom there also. Then it would be off to one of the famous German restaurants there and then on back to home in North Texas they go.

So now for some pix that were taken. The pic of the four of them on arriving at the Alamo is: Leonard, wife Deb, Chris wife of Tom on the right. The picture of the double Hamburger (Maybe a Triple!) was so big that I could hardly hold it with two hands and was only able to eat about a third of it. I just had more of it for lunch and will again later! It is good! I had a great time and I will long remember that, as I do with Bill and the crew when they came here. And so many others I have taken on tours since the 1970's from around the world.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Leonard-Deb-Chris-Tom.jpg (56.3 KB, 43 views)
File Type: jpg LRBSteakHouse1.jpg (61.9 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg LRBSteakHouse2.jpg (57.5 KB, 41 views)
File Type: jpg LRBSteakHouse3.jpg (87.7 KB, 41 views)
File Type: jpg RainforestCafe1.jpg (98.5 KB, 41 views)
File Type: jpg RFBurger.jpg (137.0 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg RFDrink.jpg (105.2 KB, 41 views)
File Type: jpg RFElephant.jpg (94.5 KB, 41 views)
File Type: jpg RFGorilla.jpg (84.8 KB, 41 views)
File Type: jpg RFTiger.jpg (51.3 KB, 41 views)
File Type: jpg Tom-Chris-Leonard-MeAtThe RainforestCafe-2018.jpg (50.3 KB, 42 views)
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Last edited by YellowRose : 09-18-2018 at 02:43 AM. Reason: Typo Corrections
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  #2  
Old 09-17-2018, 05:27 PM
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Dan Leavens Dan Leavens is offline
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Cool

Ray thanks for the itinerary of the tour and also the pixs. I am sure that Leonard / Deb / Tom & Chris had a first class tour of San Antonio.
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  #3  
Old 09-17-2018, 08:41 PM
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Good of you to show them around Ray. Looks like you all had a great time. Too bad Juan wasn't available, & good to see members faces.

Chris.....From OZ.
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Old 09-18-2018, 12:25 AM
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Great stuff Ray! I, for one, know how much effort you put in to people visiting San Antonio and its fabulous to see other members getting the first class treatment as well.

Lets hope you pass 100, and i reckon you will still be taking members around
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Old 09-18-2018, 02:46 AM
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Glad everyone had a good time. Ray's sentient chance paid off at Mission San Jose and the rain. Good show, Ray. You make a wonderful host.

My daughter went to the Alamo for her senior trip many years ago. I've traveled across Texas (on my way to LA via Route 66) but never went far enough south, to visit San Antonio. Maybe some day Robin & I will get there. She's already talking about retirement (in three years). Maybe then... Those steaks look fantastic! - Dave
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Old 09-18-2018, 02:47 AM
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Default The Great San Antonio Grand Tour!

Hi Bill! As I was doing the tour with them, I was also recalling the great time I had with ya'll! If I am doing this at 100, I bet I will be doing it from an electric scooter! But it will be difficult getting up the steps and over the bridges across the River on that! I had enough problems with that on this tour!
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Old 09-18-2018, 10:28 AM
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Default The Great San Antonio Grand Tour!

Dave, thank you for the nice comments. I hope that you and Robin will be able to visit before I get so long in the tooth that I won't be able to make that tour! Here is a bit of a tour for those who may never make the trip here...

http://www.lsjunction.com/facts/missions.htm

I thought some of you might enjoy seeing the beauty of the Chapel interiors and how they vary from Mission to Mission. The Alamo was built in 1718, Mission San Jose in 1720, Mission San Juan Capistrano, Concepcion and Espada all in 1731! Think about that.. There must have been three different architecture teams building three Missions at the same time! All four Missions had been established in East Texas but because of French and Indian resistance, drought and malaria, they were moved to San Antonio. I like the Espada Chapel because of its simplicity in comparison to the Chapel at Mission San Jose, for example. Mission San Jose also has something the others to not. A grist mill. It was the only one in this area during the Spanish colonial era. Here is a link to it.

https://www.nps.gov/saan/learn/histo.../gristmill.htm

So Mission San Jose had its grist mill, Mission Espada its Aqueduct, and Mission Concepcion the Virgin Mary Grotto. Here are pix of each of the four Chapels. I will start with Mission Espada, then Mission San Juan Capistrano, Mission San Jose and then Mission Concepcion.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg MissionEspadaChapel.jpg (49.3 KB, 29 views)
File Type: jpg Mission-San-Juan-Capistrano-Chapel.jpg (57.4 KB, 29 views)
File Type: jpg MissionSanJoseChapel.jpg (516.5 KB, 29 views)
File Type: jpg MissionConcepcionChapel.jpg (66.0 KB, 29 views)
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Old 09-23-2018, 09:55 PM
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Default What a trip!!!

Well we’ve finally stopped travelling long enough for me to respond to Rays initial post. (I blame Yellowbird for being too enthusiastic a tour driver!)

We had a blast with meeting Ray and being shown around the Alamo and other Missions and having tea (they call it dinner here in the US!) was a fitting end to the day. Ray was an excellent tour guide, he was knew the landscape, the history and the facts of the sites we visited, he’s to be recommended if you’re ever in San Antonio.

Of note; on our way back to Azle we stopped at Fredericksburg for two nights and spent many hours visiting the National Museum of the Pacific War, very interesting and a very moving, some parts almost left me in tears...

On a more cheerful note, we stopped off at the new Summit Racing warehouse at Arlington, as Leonard said ‘Nirvarna!’ My credit card took a bit of a pounding before I left there!

Now to help Yellowbird with finalising the installation of the a/c in his ‘58 Thunderbird!

Thanks again Ray, it was a real pleasure meeting you and ‘putting a face to a name’!
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