On Sunday we made the 2.5 hour drive from Corpus Christi, where we're staying in a N. Padre Island condo, to San Antonio for the day to check out the Alamo and the famed Riverwalk. In retrospect, we probably should have gone on a weekday as both the Riverwalk and Alamo were packed with families, but we were trying to avoid commuter traffic around the city, and we did do that as traffic was no problem. We also got a beautiful day for it with temperatures quickly rising from the low 60s when we arrived to the low 70s a bit later on. Not bad for January, no matter where you are!
After parking and getting oriented, we quickly found the Alamo -- and some restrooms! After a quick pit stop, we got in line to go into the site. The line had grown quite a bit just in the short time we took to visit the restrooms, but it moved pretty fast. They don't allow taking photos inside the Alamo building itself, so we contented ourselves with exterior photos as well as photos of the grounds.
The trip through the building was over pretty quickly; there's not a great deal to see inside, but it was worth the visit. It's just one of those all-American things to do, you know, even for a non-history buff like me.
Next up was the gift shop next door. It was jam packed with way too many people, but we were determined to get a refrigerator magnet for our collection. We purchased one and left as quickly as we could.
After soaking up as much history (and crowds!) as we could handle we mosied on over to the Riverwalk. I'd heard so much about it that I couldn't wait to check it out. And I loved it! It actually wasn't too crowded when we first started out in the late morning but got busier as the day went on.
The riverboat tours were very busy and looked like fun, but we wanted to get some exercise on such a beautiful day, so we stuck with walking.
Once we'd seen a lot of the downtown Riverwalk area, we started walking south (still along the Riverwalk) to the Guenther House, where we'd had a local's recommendation to eat lunch. The restaurant is in an old mill and is very famous, especially for its breakfasts. Just reading the TripAdvisor comments made me drool! The restaurant is on Guenther Street in the King William historic district about 1.5 miles from the Alamo. This made for a nice walk as we got to see more of the city, and the sights eventually became more residential as we went along. It was a real pleasure being able to walk along the river and not worry about cars.
We didn't take any photos of the charming homes in the King William district because we were getting hungry and just didn't want to stop. Sadly, when we got to the Guenther House, it was packed with big groups, and they told us there would be a two hour wait. TWO HOURS?! I suspect Sunday is their busiest day for lunch/brunch, and we might have done much better on a weekday.
Needless to say, we had to give it a miss -- we just couldn't wait that long! So, we had to turn around and walk back downtown. There are plenty of restaurants, but by the time we got back there, they were mobbed with people. Everyone and his brother, cousin, and children must come out to eat lunch at the Riverwalk on the weekend! So, remembering we'd seen a couple restaurants just off the Riverwalk at the charming La Vilita (Little Village) district, we walked back there and decided to eat at the Guadalajara Grill.
The restaurant was busy, and service was not what I'd call super energetic, but we did finally get seated (outside, our favorite!) and served. The food was very authentic and tasty.
After lunch we headed back to the Alamo for a couple more photos now that the light was different, and one final restroom break before heading home. It's nice that the entire complex is free to get into so you can use the restroom without paying for a ticket! Sometimes it's the small things.... ;-) They rely on donations, gift shop purchases, and sales of audio tours and digital photographs to fund the site operations. Even though it was a nice shot, we didn't want to spend $30 on the digital image the photographer took of us right before we entered the Alamo building (they do this for everyone entering). Here's the proof (literally!)
We finally paid our parking tab ($14) and hit the road around 3pm to get back to N. Padre Island (and Paisley!) before dark. I made Barry take one final photo out the window as we were leaving San Antonio -- one of the B-Cycle bike share stations. Any city that has one of these gets major points in my book!
All in all, it was an excellent day. I hope we can get back again another time when we have more time to spend -- I'm determine to taste what I've read are the EXCELLENT biscuits at Guenther House! Next time....
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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