Sunday, June 29, 2008

Remembering the Alamo (but not my hat) in San Antonio

Last weekend, Tracy and I took a short trip to San Antonio, which made me want to shout "Yeeeeeeeeee Haw! What a fabulous town!".

We spent our first day at SeaWorld, which has lots of fun things to do, including feeding dolphins (you could pet them) and alligators (didn't really feel like petting them). A team of cleidsdale horses were there, as well as a fun climing gym for the kids (which I climbed too while Tracy took pictures...I'll spare you photos of my rear-end, though!).

The best part were the awesome and entertaining shows. Each show had a funny pre-show (which usually involved getting people wet), and then had amazing divers, synchronized swimmers, and leaping whales and dolphins. It was a kick to see killer whales do full flips out of the water, as well as slap the water with their tails in order to splash people clear up to row 16! Here's a little video that shows some of the leaping dolphins.

We also loved their Water Skiing show, especially this part where a guy skips across the water on his rear end, just like a rock might.

The next day, which was a Sunday, we enjoyed touring the 5 missions that are still there. The missions still have operating churches within them, and we were able to attend a "Mariachi Mass", at one of them! Since I haven't been to very many Mass services in my life, I wasn't sure what part was standard and what part was specific to that church, but it was probably the first and the last time I'll ever hear hymns sung to the accompanyment of a Mariachi band. After Church, the father greeted each of us as we exited, and then the Mariachi band stood in the courtyard and played a few more songs.

Speaking of Mariachi's, we enjoyed listening to some as we ate our dinner along the beautiful riverwalk. Here's a little video of the experience.

Another fun thing along the riverwalk was attending a song and dance program at an outdoor theatre they have there. The stage was on one side of the river and the audience was on the other, and so every five minutes or so, a boat full of tourists would come floating by.

Our last day, we visited the Alamo and enjoyed learning about that piece of Texas history...realizing that Texas had been an independent country for about 10 years helped me understand why Texans have so much pride. I hadn't realized that both Davie Crockett and Jim Bowie died defending the Alamo. As is my tradition, I purchased a magnet as a souvenier, and selected one which had a Davie Crockett quote. He had been a congressman in Tennesee for three terms, and when he was up for re-election he said to the people "If you re-elect me, I will continue to serve you as faithfully as I have in the past. If I'm not re-elected, though, then you can go to hell, and I'll go to Texas". Which is exactly what happened. I really enjoyed learning the history there...I was so engaged in remembering it that I was too busy to remember my hat that I left the ladies restroom!

Finally, we ended up at the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum, which had been established long ago when San Antonio was still the very wild west. When hunters and trappers came in wanting some whiskey, the owner would trade them a shot for their kills or rattlesnake rattles and such. So, the place was full of amazing things (some of which I though were really gross, like real shrunken human heads...yuck!). Here's a shot of Tracy at the bar, the "My Motto" sign behind her was written with rattlesnake rattles.

The trip was a rip-roaring good time! If you get a chance to visit San Antonio, I highly recommend it!

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