Postcard from San Antonio
This is a quick virtual postcard to tell you what we got up to in San Antonio, Texas where I’m on holiday with my family at the moment. Of course the must see attraction in San Antonio is the Alamo – it’s actually what is left of one of the several Spanish Missions in this area. Although the Alamo is not as big as many people expect, it has a huge significance in Texan history as the place where 200 Texans made a stand against the Mexican army and were all killed in the process. The defeat rallied the Texans with the cry “Remember the Alamo” and they counter-attacked at the battle of San Jacinto, their victory leading to Texan Independence from Mexico and its birth as a sovereign nation.
After we spent the morning looking around the Alamo we decided to hire bikes from Seg City just across the road behind the San Antonio Visitor’s information centre to cycle out to see the other missions which are a litte way out of town. We got onto the river path and cycled south along a part of the river known as Mission Reach that has been developed fairly recently as an extension of the River Walk that loops around the centre of town.
The cycle ride was very enjoyable as we stayed by the river for most of the way with only a little bit on busy roads towards the end of the ride. The only drawback was that none of us had put on any suncream and had underestimated the heat of the Texas sunshine which meant that we all got burned and were bright red by the next day. We reached San Jose Mission and had a look around this beautiful old mission, set in a grassy compound with a beautiful stone fronted church that was under restoration. As we needed to get the bikes back within 4 hours and also the childrens’ enthusiasm for old churches is somewhat lower than mine, we passed on the other missions and cycled home, stopping for refreshment at the Blue Star Brewing Compny on the way.
The next day, we drove south of San Antonio to Picosa Ranch Resort where we’d been invited to spend the day. Picosa Ranch is the former family home of Governor John Connally, Governor of Texas in the 60s that has now been converted into a luxury ranch that offers a bespoke experience ranging from hunting, fly fishing and shooting to horseback riding and hay bale rides – basically everything is tailored to give you the experience to suit your group or party.
The guest accommodation we saw was ultra-luxurious Texan style but what I found most interesting was to find out more about the family history from Governor John Connally’s grandson Bubba Ammann who is now Vice President of Operations at Picosa ranch. Bubba was able to tell us the story as he’d heard it first hand from his grandfather and grandmother who were in the front of the car with President John F Kennedy when he was assassinated in Dallas. We even saw the stetson hat that was due to be presented to JFK with his initials inside the brim and the invitation to the ball that was due to take place that evening.
We returned to San Antonio to our lovely Hotel Valencia – set right by the Riverwalk that flows through San Antonio. From the outside it has a Hacienda feel and inside is very stylish with a modern boutique feel – lots of leather and dark wood. The best thing was the central location which meant that we could easily walk along the river to most of the things to see in San Antonio.
I shot many more photos, videos and audio so I’ll be giving you a much more detailed acount of all of this once I get home. Next we drive North to Austin, Texas from where I’ll be sending you another postcard.
Links to the things mentioned in San Antonio
- We booked our hire car that we picked up in Houston through Argus car Hire
- We stayed in San Antonio at the luxurious boutique hotel, Hotel Valencia Riverwalk San Antonio
- The Alamo Website
- San Antonio Missions Website
- San Antonio River development for Mission Reach
- Blue Star Brewing Company along Mission Reach with cycle hire, cafe and brewery and art projects
- San Antonio City Bike scheme for cycling in the city
- Picosa Ranch Resort for a luxury bespoke experience of hunting, shooting, fishing, horseback riding and other outdoor activities
- For more things to see in San Antonio check out the Visit San Antonio Website
More Texas stories
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