~Sunday, December 20, 2020~
Today is the first day I’ve woken up on this trip in 6 months, questioning where we are. Jeff and I were just talking about this the other day where he said he’s had this experience numerous times and I hadn’t. I guess it’s my turn. I guess this is to be expected when we’re waking up in a new place, nearly everyday. I can’t keep up.
We’re also reflecting a bit on how amazing this trip of a lifetime has been so far, and how different the next 6 months will be. Here are a few reasons. We were familiarizing ourselves with a map of the U.S. today, and it really is crazy to see that California is nearly the size of the whole east coast….just California. All of the states we’ve been to on the western side of the U.S. are so much bigger in comparison to the east coast's states. So I guess on our website, we’ll be doubling our “Playground Spots” list in no time. And it’s strange to think where we are now (San Antonio) that we’re further south than I thought. If you were to draw a straight line from San Diego, let’s say, across the U.S., we are currently pretty far below the Mexico border and below the Florida/Georgia line. It just shows how HUGE Texas really is. No wonder we’re having mid-70 temperatures in December. I guess what I’m trying to say, is we’re moving into real unfamiliar territory. There was something comforting about spending our last 6 months in somewhat familiar areas that were close to home, close to California, west of the Rockies. Though we’ll be revisiting a few states in the south and the east coast very soon, i.e. Florida, Virginia, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts, there’s still so little that we know about them. I’m a little nervous and excited all at the same time. Though it’s always exciting to see new places, there will be more to concern ourselves with, i.e. toll roads, extreme weather, unfamiliar bugs, insects and reptiles, and bridge clearances. Of these, the weather will be our biggest concern, which is why we purchased a weather radio at the beginning of the trip (if interested, check out our RV Essentials List on our website). Moving forward, this neat little gadget's home will be on the dashboard of the truck and next to the bed so we’re always tuned in.
O.k. time for some action. Yes, another beautiful, warm day, and have decided on visiting The Alamo, in downtown San Antonio. Before heading out, we wanted Sadie to get some running out of her system since she'll be hunkered down in the trailer most of the afternoon. When we arrived in town, we had a little bit of a challenge finding the perfect parking spot and had some challenges finding the exact location of The Alamo and where to pick up the tour. After asking about 3 people where to go, we finally got THE right person to steer us in the right direction. Despite this, we were only a few minutes late for our 12:30 scheduled tour which was led by a fun, animated Alamo expert. A very good story teller, he had everyone’s attention as he told the story of the battle at The Alamo. The only problem was we couldn’t hear the entire narrative because of the city traffic and the fact his microphone/speaker system was not loud enough. After his 45 minute introduction, we were left to tour at our own pace.
I must say, The Alamo acreage was much bigger than I expected (5 acres), bustling with quite a large number of tourists, despite COVID, and despite winter. It seemed 95% of people or more were wearing masks…...better than we’ve seen in most places.
What we learned......Originally, Spanish settlers built the Mission San Antonio de Valero in 1718 to house missionaries and their Native American converts. For over 70 years, this was their home until the early 1800’s when Spanish authorities secularized the five missions located in San Antonio and distributed their lands among local residents. Soon after, Spanish military troops were stationed in the abandoned chapel of the former mission. After Mexico’s war for independence from Spain, 300 U.S. families began their migration into Texas. The migration greatly increased in the coming decades, sparking a revolutionary movement turning into armed conflict in the mid 1830’s. As they cried “Remember the Alamo”, the battle during Texas’ war for independence from Mexico lasted thirteen days ensuring Texas' victory. O.k. that’s your history lesson for today, as well as mine. I must admit, all those years ago, I was not paying attention in history class, but now appreciate it so much more.
After the tour, we stopped by the bookstore to pick out a book for our trip library called "The Alamo Story" (see the Trip Bookroom on our website for a description). Highly recommend checking out this historic site.
San Antonio is one big city that has a lot to offer tourists which begs the question.....what shall we see next? Even though we plan on visiting the River Walk another day, we couldn't resist the temptation to at least check out a little of it today. The River Walk is a city park and network of walkways along the San Antonio River, minutes from The Alamo.
Along our short walk, we saw the river cruises which look like fun and many cool restaurants/pubs right along the water. We will definitely be back tomorrow late afternoon/early evening after our visit to the missions, to see all of the fun and festive holiday lights.