Monday, August 27, 2007

(8) San Antonio Texas, Trine and Linda's visit

San Antonio Texas

A city of History, growing every day, and my friends Trine and Linda. What could be a better mix. Trine and Linda moved out here from Florida a couple of years ago after retiring, selling there house in Orlando in only a day or two. It ended up that they sold their home to Katrina Survivors. Because the family had barely the shirts on their backs, Linda and Trine gave them much of their furniture and Trine even gave the shirt of his back (so to speak) donating extra clothing to the family. What a nice way to begin a new life. Giving to those who were in need while being thankful for all the blessing of a good life.

Well if you knew Trine and Linda, (they’re known as The Village People because of where they live. Isn‘t that cute?) you’d know we started out by going to a couple of great Mexican restaurants (MamaCita’s for one) and a trip to a Gelato shop for Italian ice-cream! If you’ve never had it, you should give it a try. Made from milk not cream, no bubbles, little or no sugar in the ice-cream and as rich and smooth as could be. A tour of their immaculate gated community completed the day.

Did you know, over the Easter weekend, many Mexicans come to San Antonio to buy stuff they can’t get in their own country. Now isn’t that a switch. Many of the large malls have adds and directions printed to help out the shoppers and even have tour busses going to and from the hotels. Big business.

Oh and I discovered a great inexpensive seafood place called Barnacle Bill’s Seafood. For $6.00 I had Mahi-Mahi, 6 good sized shrimp, French fries, hush puppies, coleslaw, and a large ice-tea. All made to order. Nothing sitting in a warming tray.

My friends live on the north end of town which is surrounded by multiple loop highways that appear to work fairly well, though I’ve avoided any traffic rush hours. The north end looks like a completely new city unto itself. Growing in every direction possible. They even showed me Eva Longoria’s new mansion being built on top of a prominent hill. Unlike the heart of downtown that on the surface looks like a vibrant active city with historical buildings, high rises and of course the famous River Walk and Alamo. But as you walk around the city, you realize that many of the shops outside of the River Walk are closed or vacant, waiting for a revival. I’m sure it’ll come as more apartments and high-rises continue to be built.

The park I’m in, The Travelers Rv Resort, is located on the south side of town. Backing up to green space and a gulf course, The San Antonio River, an 8 mile bike path and a couple of Missions. A swim in their heated pool and hot tub at the end of a day sure is a nice touch. I’ve had to put my bike in a storage unit because they’ve had many small thefts in the area.
An easy bus ride into town costs only one buck. I road my bike to the Mission Concepcio’n and drove to The Mission San Jose’. Concepcio’n is the only Mission in it’s original state since it was in continuous use after the Spanish gave up Texas. If you go, look up at the top of the archway to the entrance of the main chapel. The native Indians added one of their own gods under the top of the arch. Conversion was never a sure thing back then.

Downtown Trine and I toured the Mercado, the Spanish Governors Palace and saw the Aztec Theatre. The Aztec is the only surviving “Exotic-Themed” movie palace in Texas. It’s like walking into a Mayan Temple. I went back a few days later to watch the free lobby show and then went into the theatre and heard the original Wurlitzer organ and viewed a large screen movie on the Mayan culture. Not to tell the whole story, but the Mayans had hundreds of books containing their history using a form of pictographs. The Franciscan Monk that first stayed with the Mayans, built his mission then burned all of their books. History destroyed.

The theatre was closed for 20 years. After two years of renovations it’s open again for the past year. Check it out at: AZTECONTHERIVER.COM San Antonio is fortunate to have a couple other old theatres like the Majestic, that are now used by the local opera and theatre groups.
A final note, the people are exceptionally friendly in Texas and I felt welcomed where ever I went. Along with the campers who always seem to be in the best of moods, I’d rate this city a warm plus. On my last day at the campground, I gave a couple a ride to a nearby med-center. The husband put a nasty gauge in his leg, requiring 8 stitches. We won’t even talk about my almost falling off the ladder. That’s another whole story.

Till next time, wear your helmet and be safe while having fun.

No comments: