Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What I did on Summer Vacation, part 1

Needless to say, summer vacation went fast!  I always dread it because I know the kids will need entertaining.  But it appears they are growing up.  (Hey Hey, who would have thunk it.)

Avery and Connor did swim lessons during different weeks of the early summer.  There were lots of overnights and kid swaps. And then came our trip to San Antonio which we had been planning for a good 6 months.  We had decided to save money and do a travel trip rather than the Disney World, yet again.   Not sure how San Antonia was decided on.  It seems so long ago.  But Doc had lived there for a year and taught at a girls alternative high school.  I have those girls to thank for Doc never leaving the house without styling gel in his hair.

San Antonio skyline

Of course there is some great history in San Antonia.  We wanted to go somewhere educational for the kids with lots of interesting places to experience.   We stayed at the historic Menger Hotel right across the square from the Alamo.  It was within walking distance of everything and quite a good buy.  I love the Hampton Inn and we usually stay in one during our vacations but Doc really wanted to experience the history of the city. We stayed here two nights and then planned to move to a Hampton Inn.  The one a few blocks away was actually $50 more a night than the Menger which sent us looking farther outside the city. But we did find one not too far away and enjoyed the rest of our vacation there. 

The Menger Hotel

The history of the missions in and around San Antonio built by the Franciscans and Spanish church is quite captivating.  The story of the Alamo is central to how San Antonio became part of the newly formed United States.  We watched a short movie, Alamo, The Price of Freedom,  being shown in the IMAX theatre inside the Rivercenter mall downtown, blocks from the Alamo itself.  It tells the story of the Alamo which is quite informative.  The acting is not very good but the cinematic are compelling.  I for one did not know that during the time of the siege against the mission San Antonia de Valero or the Alamo as its known Texas was not yet a state.  The land still belongs to Spain.

The Alamo

There are some faces you might recognize in the movie also. Patrick Swazy's brother plays a pretty substantial part and he walks just like his brother.  A little too much horse back riding as a kid, I would imagine.

We  also attended a bi-ligual mass at the Mission Concepcion established in 1731.  There are 5 missions in and around San Antonio.  The Mission Concepcion is quite large.  As all the missions are, Mission Concepcion is part of the State Park Organization.  We took a guided tour lead by a park ranger before attending mass.  Remnants of original wall and ceiling paintings in the surviving rooms of the mission's convento have been conserved. Exhibits lead visitors through the grounds and into various quarters set up as they were at the time of the mission's inception.  The mass was a great cultural experience for the kids.  The mass itself was said in English but the music was in Spanish and a mariachi band accompanied the singing.

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