Postcard from San Antonio

April 10, 2012 by  

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.

At the Alamo in San Antonio Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

At the Alamo in San Antonio

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.

Cycling in San Antonio Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Cycling in San Antonio

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.

San Jose Mission, San Antonio Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

San Jose Mission, San Antonio

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.

With Bubba Ammann at Picosa Ranch Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

With Bubba Ammann at Picosa Ranch

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.

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk in San Antonio Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk 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

Check for the best hotel prices in San Antonio and book here.

More Texas stories

We’re going to Texas – YeeHa!
Postcard from Houston

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Comments

25 Comments on "Postcard from San Antonio"

  1. jfb57 on Wed, 11th Apr 2012 8:27 am 

    Not a place I would have had on my ‘to visit’ list but it looks great. The Alamo is also a favourite film so…!
    jfb57´s last blog post ..Last Week I Learnt That….#33

  2. Heather on Wed, 11th Apr 2012 2:54 pm 

    @jfb Yes, the Alamo is a fun place to visit and a key place for Texas history – plus it’s free!

  3. Barbara Weibel on Wed, 11th Apr 2012 6:37 pm 

    You’ve just reinforced my desire to visit San Antonio; will be interesting if your visit to Austin does the same thing, as that’s the other Texas destination on my list.
    Barbara Weibel´s last blog post ..Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula – More Than A Little Disappointing

  4. Heather on Wed, 11th Apr 2012 11:15 pm 

    @ Barbara We absolutely loved the chilled out feel of Austin and I think you would love it there too.

  5. Sherry Ott on Sun, 15th Apr 2012 7:39 am 

    I love any Texan named Bubba…perfect. Sounds like you had a great interview and I can’t wait to see more pics from the luxury Ranch – sounds like a fun way to experience horses and all Texas has to offer!
    Sherry Ott´s last blog post ..Amalfi Coast in Photos

  6. Spencer on Mon, 16th Apr 2012 8:16 am 

    I love San Antonio, it is such an awesome place to visit. The people are so friendly too.

  7. Annette | Bucket List Journey on Mon, 16th Apr 2012 5:50 pm 

    I was recently in San Antonio and loved San Jose Misssion. I wish I would have known about the bike ride!
    Annette | Bucket List Journey´s last blog post ..An Unbelievable Tragedy

  8. Heather on Mon, 16th Apr 2012 10:30 pm 

    @Annette Yes we especially enjoyed the bike ride along the river although wouldn’t have wanted to do it in the height of the summer

  9. Heather on Mon, 16th Apr 2012 10:32 pm 

    @Spencer Yes we really enjoyed San Antonio, especially the history of the Alamo

  10. Heather on Mon, 16th Apr 2012 10:36 pm 

    @Sherry I didn’t know before but Bubba is Texan slang for little brother – apparently the name just stuck

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  14. Megan Jones on Mon, 30th Apr 2012 7:05 pm 

    I have only driven through San Antonio, but I loved Austin. I didn’t think I would, my travel destination style is much more European or cosmopolitan, but West Texas is a great place to vacation. The people are friendly, the food is delicious and the river walks are breathtaking. I would recommend it to anyone.

  15. Heather on Mon, 30th Apr 2012 8:15 pm 

    @Megan – yes everyone in our family found something to enjoy in Texas, whether the history, the food, the great outdoors or the shopping – we had a great family holiday

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