I edited one of my photos of the Alamo using Picnik photo editing.
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This marker is located in Alamo Plaza near the Alamo Cenotaph. It says:
Adina de Zavala
Her firm belief, later verified, was that remnants of Mission San Antonio de Valero, known in 1836 as the Alamo’s long barracks, lay underneath the wooden exterior of buildings adjacent to the Alamo church. By 1893, as President of the De Zavala Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Miss Adina had secured the adjacent property owner’s commitment to give the chapter first purchase option. In 1908, upon hearing that the 2-story long barracks were about to be razed, Miss Adina barricaded herself inside the building for three days and nights in an effort that ultimately prevented their destruction.
Yes, that’s right. Barricaded herself inside the building for three days!
Adina de Zavala’s impact can be seen throughout San Antonio. She was responsible for identifying historical sights, encouraged the state-wide celebration of Texas Independence Day each year, and formed organizations that would help protect historic landmarks.
What better way to celebrate Texas Independence Day than with a photo of the Alamo:
I haven’t lived here long enough to pretend to understand the real meaning and traditions of Texas Independence Day, but here are some links that focus on the historical significance of March 2, 1836.
Texas Independence Day links:
If you have a Texas-themed photo you’d like to share, please leave a link to it in the comments section.
And hey, while you’re at it, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog and follow me on Twitter!
We’ve packed a lot of fun into our first 6 months here in San Antonio: we stepped into an 18th-century mission church, explored the world-famous Alamo, cruised down the San Antonio River, watched the world from above in the Tower of the Americas, and ate some really great waffles at the Guenther House.
Here is a list of 15 fun places to visit with your family. Enjoy!
1. San Antonio Children’s Museum: Where to begin? The museum features a huge contraption that sorts, spills, and sucks-up plastic balls. Then there’s the mini-airliner. Downstairs, you’ll find the mock grocery store. Great fun! For more about this museum, check out one of my previous posts here.
2. The Alamo: You can’t visit this city without taking a few pictures of the family in front of the Alamo. Besides the famous exterior, the grounds are very pretty, and you’ll find lots of displays and informational signs to help you learn a little more about the famous site’s history.
3. San Antonio Missions National Historical Park: The four missions that make up the park are absolutely beautiful. I particularly love Mission Concepción, the oldest unrestored stone church in the United States, which was built in 1755.
4. Japanese Tea Garden: This garden is located within Brackenridge Park and admission is free. Our daughter particularly likes the lily pond, which is filled with plenty of colorful fish.
5. Brackenridge Park: This park contains so many fun activities for families. It’s home to the zoo, Japanese Tea Garden, Witte Museum, lots of walking trails and picnic areas, and the small train which makes a loop through the park.
6. San Antonio Zoo: Our daughter is particularly fond of the elephants and monkeys. Located in Brackenridge Park, the zoo is easy to fit into your family’s itinerary since it’s near several other attractions.
7. Kiddie Park: This small, old-fashioned amusement park is one of my favorite kid-friendly spots in San Antonio. Many of the rides date back to the 1920′s.
8. Guenther House: Who doesn’t love waffles covered in strawberries and whipped cream? This is a great place to enjoy breakfast or lunch. The setting, a home built in 1860, is absolutely gorgeous.
9. Milam Park: This city park is very pleasant and has plenty of swings, slides, and climbing structures for young kids. Nearby, you’ll see a beautiful pavillion designed by Jalisco architect Salvador de Alba Martin. Also, parents who love history will enjoy checking out the monument to Ben Milam, a man killed while defending the city against the Mexican army in 1835.
10. San Antonio Botanical Garden: A family could spend hours here. It’s a great place to relax on a nice day and watch the kids run free.
11. Riverwalk: Along with the Alamo, this is another absolute must-see in San Antonio. Lined with restaurants, this is a great place to grab dinner, take a stroll, or hop on a river cruise.
12. San Antonio Art Museum: The museum’s collection encompasses a wide range of styles, from Western Antiquities to Latin American art to Contemporary American paintings. The museum also features special exhibitions; for an exhibition schedule, visit the museum’s website.
13. McNay Art Museum: This museum is based on the collection of Marion Koogler McNay, an heiress and art-lover who set aside her art collection, home, and 23 acres of gardens in her will. In 1954, the McNay opened its doors and became the first museum of modern art in Texas.
14. Tower of the Americas: Our daughter loved riding up the elevator to the observation deck and looking out across San Antonio.
15. Orsinger Park: This park has an almost impossible combination: a. swings b. a large sandbox and c. shade! If you’re visiting on a hot, sunny day, you’ll want to check out this playground.
Most people are familiar with the Alamo’s famous facade. It is one of those iconic American buildings that draws tourists from all over the world, and it is almost certainly on the itinerary of anyone who visits the city of San Antonio. But many people don’t take time to consider the grounds around the Alamo, the context in which it sits. Here are some photos from beyond the facade:
This bell, which rests over the door of the building next to the Alamo, was dedicated to the Daughters of the Republic of Texas in 1954. Originally a museum, this building now houses the Alamo gift shop, an important source of revenue to maintain the site:
Directly behind the Alamo, you’ll find this oak tree, planted in honor of those who died:
You’ll also see lots of yucca plants and cacti in the garden area:
Our daughter really enjoyed watching the fish swim by. (This is directly behind the main building):
It’s safe to say that the back of the Alamo isn’t as memorable as the facade:
Looking out from the former barracks, you can see a well that was once used by the friars:
Happy holidays from our family to yours!
If you’d like to add a link for Texas Photo Tuesday, please use the widget below. You can read the rules for posting images by clicking here.
For more information on free Christmas light displays in San Antonio, click here.
Thank you so much for reading Wandering Off. See you next year!
These holiday light displays are both beautiful and free. Happy holidays!
University of the Incarnate Word: This is the 24th year that the university has decorated its campus with colorful lights. You have until January 6 to enjoy this year’s display.
Last night, I couldn’t get the Shutterfly slideshow to work properly if I added any of my own text, so here’s what I was going to say about our evening:
When E. deserves a special treat, we like to drive downtown and eat ice cream in front of the Alamo. How many kids can say they’ve done that? The Alamo is so pretty at night, and the street in front of it is closed to cars, so E. has plenty of room to run around. Also, there’s a Haagen-Dazs located right across the street, so it’s pretty convenient, which is always important when you’re hanging out with a toddler.
We spent our very first evening in San Antonio enjoying our ice cream in front of the Alamo, so it will always have special meaning to us.
Click here to see pictures from our night at this beautiful building.
Here are my favorite things to do in this beautiful city.
Riverwalk Downtown San Antonio Why our kid loves it: It’s such a pleasant place to walk, especially at night, and the people-watching always keeps E. distracted. (Note: I do put E. in the stroller. Slightly unsteady and easily distracted toddler + lots of water = mommy swimming.)
SA Children’s Museum 305 E. Houston St., San Antonio, TX Why our kid loves it: Where to begin? The huge contraption that sorts, spills, and sucks-up plastic balls. The mini-airliner. The grocery store. Great fun!
Guenther House 205 East Guenther St., San Antonio, TX Why our kid loves it: Who doesn’t love pancakes? (And for that matter, who doesn’t love waffles with strawberries and whipped cream?) Whether you sit inside or out, the setting is lovely. The grounds around the house are a great place to hang out and let the kiddo roam while you wait for a table. And there’s free coffee while you wait. Yay for caffeine!
San Antonio Missions Various locations along the Mission Trail. Why our kid loves it: E. gets to run around outside, while I take pictures and appreciate the beautiful architecture. I particularly love Mission Concepción, the oldest unrestored stone church in the United States, which was built in 1755.
The Alamo 300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, TX Why our kid loves it: When E. sees the Alamo, she thinks of one thing: ice cream! Our very first night in San Antonio, we bought ice cream from a shop across the street and ate it in front of the Alamo.
Tower of the Americas 600 HemisFair Park, San Antonio, TX Why our kid loves it: Two words: elevator ride. As the elevator goes up to the top of the tower, E. can look out the window and watch the world below as it becomes smaller and smaller. Once you reach the observation deck, the views are awesome.
Fralo’s 23651 IH 10 West, San Antonio, TX Why our kid loves it: Delicious pizza, pleasant outdoor seating area, and live music. There’s nothing better than watching E. dance.