I haven’t written in a while because my laptop hard drive began to fail and we took it in to get backed up and have a new hard drive put in. Unfortunately, the backup couldn’t capture everything I had on the old hard drive so I’ve been having to rebuild my computer. The last couple days we’ve been busy seeing about the last of everything we wanted to see while we’re here, so I have pictures to share:
We were picked up by a bus here at our RV park and our bus driver was our guide for the day. His name was David and he was very funny.
Our first stop was at the Alamo which we had already toured in depth, so we headed straight for the gift shop. It was a good thing that we had already seen everything there because it wouldn’t have been a long enough stop to see everything anyway. That’s the down side of taking a bus tour. The up side was that we had a lot packed into one day!
After the Alamo, we went to the Japanese Tea Gardens. Having come from Portland, Oregon where there is a huge Japanese garden and also a separate Chinese garden, we found this garden really disappointing. Basically all it had was one pool (the other was drained, with a couple bridges over it.
From there we went to the River Walk and all got onto one of the river boats. I had been wanting to do that for Valentines Day, but we ended up opting for the horse drawn carriage ride, so I was glad to finally get to do this. A couple of my family members had told me about places I hadn’t yet seen when we were on the River Walk before and I finally got to see them from the boat. Too bad I didn’t know where they were when we would have had time to go back and visit further.
By then it was lunch time, so David dropped us all off in front of the Buckhorn Saloon. We didn’t have to eat there, but Mark and I opted to do so so that we could see the Texas Ranger Museum. We had a lot of fun doing that.
After lunch, we visited Mission San Jose. David directed us to a movie about the history of the missions. We learned that the Spanish priests who came to convert the Native Americans got them to build the missions for them. The converts also carved beautiful statues of Mary and Joseph and Jesus and the saints as they were directed to do so by the brotherhood. It is theorized that because the Indians couldn’t read, the statues were meant to be used for teaching them. The walls of the mission were to keep them safe from the raiding Apaches. Spain sent paintings and statues as gifts. But eventually the converts died or disappeared and the missions were abandoned.
We also visited Mission Concepcion which was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. This was a smaller mission with only one statue in it; a small statue of Mary. One of the things about both these missions was that the facades were originally painted with Moorish designs, but most of the painting has deteriorated. They had to clean the ceilings in this mission to see faint traces of what had been there before.
Finally we were taken to the Mercado. I could have spent a lot longer there. It reminded me of my time in Mexico — so many bright colors and beautiful things to see. However, we had to get back to our bus. It was a full day but left me with a taste for more!
Today we drove up to Seguin to visit my older sister, Sherill, and her husband Fred. They are spending a few days the in Seguin visiting Fred’s son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren. It was so good to have lunch with them and catch up on each other’s news, but again, it ended too soon.
Tomorrow (the 14th) is Mark’s birthday. I’ll have more to write after that. 🙂