Tuesday, January 10, 2006

River Walk

As I've mentioned before, we're not really a touristy family. So when I go home for the holidays, it's usually to just hang out, go to Central Market or Whole Foods with my sister, and run errands with my brother and his family. I don't even connect with old friends. (Note to self: must do something about that.)

When I rode down for Thanksgiving with my brother and nephew, I booked a direct flight back out of San Antonio. We talked about maybe going down a day early and spending some time there before my flight. I didn't want to cut into my Austin time for that trip, but suggested maybe we could plan a day trip over my Christmas visit. So that's what we did the Wednesday between Christmas and New Year's.

San Antonio is considered one of America's four unique cities because of the confluence of different cultures that superimposed themselves over each other over the years. I wouldn't want to live there, but it's a nice city to visit, especially the River Walk along the San Antonio River. So that's where we headed after our hour+ drive from Austin.

We parked the car in Hemisfair Park and walked toward the river. On the way we noticed a lot of people walking around in red T-shirts. At one corner a man was selling some kind of tickets for some kind of game. We figured there was a connection between the game and the red T-shirts so we paid more attention to them. It turns out we chose the day of the Alamo Bowl for our visit. The Michigan Wolverines were playing the Nebraska Huskers.

So much for a quiet stroll along the river. This doesn't even really do it justice.
It was a red invasion of a totally different kind. They were everywhere. Occasionally a rowdy (usually drunken) cheer would echo around us, especially if Husker met Wolverine.
They were all over the restaurants and up and down the river. We didn't notice that many Wolverine T-shirts; I guess they don't have as much to do in Nebraska as they do in Michigan so football is a bigger deal (maybe even bigger than Texas??????)

We ate a quick, tasty lunch at the Casa Rio (warning--there's music on this link). You can have lunch or dinner on a boat that cruises up and down the river--I did that when I was in high school and went to San Antonio for a ballet convention (something I'd totally forgotten about until this trip).

Then we walked down to take a shortcut through the Hyatt up to the Alamo (pictures later). In the Hyatt lobby, we walked past this store a couple of times, and then I decided I just had to take a picture:
I wanted me some bling-bling! Seriously, all those beaded accessories got my heart pumping a little faster.

After the Alamo we were pretty much ready to head home. Those Huskers had worn us out. So we walked back down the river past the by now much rowdier Huskers. But once we got past the restaurant area, it actually got quiet and we could enjoy some of the sights, like these bridges where the streets cross overhead:
There's also a stage on one bank of the river, and a seating area on the other where they have different kinds of performances. They were setting up for some kind of Chanukah show when we walked by. Here's the stage:
And the seating area across the way:
We headed home shortly after that. Although it would have been more enjoyable without all those red T-shirts, it was a lovely outing. I hope to plan more for next year.

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