Work has my husband traveling all over the US and Canada. This winter he is spending some time (snow birding, ha) in San Antonio. Being the traveler that I am, and that I wanted get some one on one time with my hubby, I seized the opportunity to fly down for a short weekend earlier this month. Well, a very short weekend, flights delays on both ends of the trip gave me less time with hubby, and more time sitting in the airport…but that is not what this post is about.
When I did a little research on the area, I told Builder that the beach looked like fun. Then I remembered that the Alamo is in San Antonio, along with several other missions. So Sunday morning we headed out to the San Antonio Missions NHP Visitor Center and the first of 4 missions that we visited that day. What a delightful day of fresh air, companionship and history we enjoyed together.
Our first stop was Mission San Jose and the SA Missions National Historic Park visitor center. If you start with a tour at the visitor center, you will likely get information on the other missions. Each site has it’s own stories and each one is so interesting. So we were just in time for a tour of the mission site, with Tatum. If you find yourself planning to visit Mission San Jose, call ahead and ask if Tatum will be giving tours. She is a great tour guide, you will be in for a real treat. Her interest and compassion in preserving the stories of the past, and respecting the people brought so much life and color to the information and stories she shared.
Each of these missions were established by Franciscan friars from Spain. The missions were built and run according to European culture and models, with the intent of creating new Spanish citizens. Native American tribes that were struggling under the burdens of famine, loss of land and conflict from other warring tribes (Apache and Comanche) were offered refuge in exchange for labor and conformity to the culture of the Spanish Crown. It was the “new converts” who built the actual buildings and walls, and cultivated the land for farming and ranching. The mission walls offered these people shelter, food, education and protection.
Our visit to The Alamo was quite different. It is in the heart of downtown San Antonio and there were crowds of people. While there is much to see at the Alamo, a museum full of weapons, artifacts and displays, we didn’t enjoy the same slow pace and quiet exploration as at the other sites. It was just so crowded. But, as we were leaving, we did find another fantastic storyteller and heard a fantastic and interesting retelling of the battle of the Alamo that either of had read before.
Just having one day to spend in San Antonio I, of course, didn’t even see the tip of the iceberg. But a day visiting the missions and soaking up some history is right up my alley. That evening we did head to the Riverwalk, and we had a wonderful evening walking and talking. It was so pretty and romantic with all the lights, the light crowds, water lapping and boats passing by. Perfect end to a good day!
Hopefully this post and the pictures will encourage you to check out the San Antonio Missions if you find yourself in the area. And be sure to plan an evening on the River Walk!