Sunday, November 29, 2015

Taking A Sunday Drive #4

Texas is a BIG state and we've seen parts of it on several different trips. In 2005 we made our second trip to San Antonio. At that time we were both working for Midwest Products and the trip was made on behalf of the company. Bud was going as a representative. I was going as a 'guest' which meant I had more free time to explore parts of San Antonio we hadn't seen before which included.....

La Villita, little town, one of San Antonio's first neighborhoods in the 18th Century and restored in the 1930's with the help of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The Historic Arts Village is home to art galleries, shops and restaurants situated along shaded walkways and plazas. This photo of me is in front of The Little Church of La Villita built in 1879.

This honey onyx votive holder is one of the items I bought at a shop in La Villita.
I took a bus to The Guenther House located at the foot of the King William Historic District. After touring the museum and store of the Pioneer Flour Mill's founding family, I started walking back to our hotel.

All the while peering through fences, ogling, gawking, salivating and taking pictures of all the Italianate, Victorian and Greek Revival mansions along the entire two miles.
This was one of my favorites, Villa Finale - so named because the owner said it was the last place he was going to live. It was built along the San Antonio River in 1876 and was the first property on the Texas National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2002. Many of the fine old homes in the area had fallen to neglect and/or been divided into apartments before revitalization of the area began in the 1950's. The neighborhood became the city's first historic district in 1968.

On another of my solitary walks I found this quiet spot. The small splash of water into the shallow pool is just enough to invite reflection. Chiseled into the limestone are the words: "I was tamed, Rio Amanzado, to yield, to feed, to foster. Me nombraron San Antonio who finds the lost."  As I recall, I had been to see the Cathedral of San Fernando and walked back through the plaza and down toward the river walk when I happened upon this spot. Still one of my all time favorites. 

The Alamo Cenotaph - aka The Spirit of Sacrifice - commemorates the Battle of the Alamo. It was dedicated in 1940 and bears all the names of those known to fight on the Texas side. The memorial is across the street from the Alamo. Its 60 foot shaft dwarfs Bud in this photo.

Seen from inside The Alamo's walls is the iconic Emily Morgan hotel. Built in the Gothic Revival style in 1924, it was originally the 13-story Medical Arts Building. It was converted to office space in 1976 and became a hotel in 1984.
Emily Morgan is the folk heroine whose legendary activities during the Texas Revolution have come to be identified with the song, "The Yellow Rose of Texas".

The Point Isabel Lighthouse built in 1852 to guide ships through the Brazos Santiago Pass.

When our conference ended in San Antonio, Bud and I opted to go further south in Texas to Port Isabel and from there across the causeway to South Padre Island to spend a few days and celebrate our birthdays and anniversary.
I don't remember if it was on one of Dr. Beach's "Top Ten Beaches" lists or one of the ones for "Best Spring Break Beaches", but somewhere I had learned of South Padre Island and decided I wanted to go there. Being less than 300 miles away seemed the best opportunity especially in November when it would be less crowded.

Bud is always agreeable to my trip suggestions. When he learned he could drive on the beach at South Padre, he was more than agreeable. It was fun until we got stuck in soft sand, but luckily some good Samaritans with tow straps and a 4-wheel drive offered to help. It wasn't long before we were back on the more solid sand.
Note some of the garbage on the beach. We were there after both hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The beaches were littered with items washing up on them from those natural disasters. We saw refrigerators and couches among the debris.

I was all about 'shelling' so finding this Lightning Whelk was a really big deal! I was so excited and looking forward to bringing it home until I realized its animal was still alive inside it. So the photo was what came home with me and the whelk went back into the Gulf.
I got what I wanted for my 62nd birthday - holding hands with my sweetie and walking along the beach under a full moon - definitely one of our best Texas trips.

"I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky." (John Masefield)

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