San Antonio Notes

We have been back for a couple of weeks, but I wanted to leave a few thoughts about San Antonio. Great city to visit! Here are a few highlights.

The house we rented was on the RiverWalk.  It is really a great place to walk. The boat ride was informative. There was a boat parade on St. Patrick’s Day. The down side to the week we visited was that it was spring break in the area. Kids, kids, and more kids! Yikes.

The Japanese Gardens,  also known as Chinese Tea Gardens, Chinese Tea Garden Gate, and  the Chinese Sunken Garden Gate is beautiful. (But don’t get the Bubble Tea. It’s not very good.)

San Antonio, The Saga. The 24-minute film about 300 years of history  is shown on the facade of the San Fernando Cathedral. The visuals are amazing and the film is  choreographed with surround sound. Don’t miss it!

The Majestic Theater is breath-taking. What you see in the photos is the theater, not the set!

The food. San Antonio has great TexMex, but just about any other kind of food, too. We had great ramen at a neighborhood restaurant. Our last morning we had breakfast with our friend Chris. An old hand at SanAntonio, she was a great tour guide! Oh, I also found out I like margaritas!

We decided to visit the “hill country,” a few wineries and the LBJ ranch. Our first stop was the ranch, both a state park and a national park. The state park contains the boyhood home of LBJ, his grandparents’ cabin and the visitor center. The National Park is where the Johnson family home is located. LBJ and Ladybird Johnson donated their home to the National Park Service.  We visited Pedernales Cellars, Becker Vineyards, 4.0 Cellars and Lost Draw Cellars. The wine was pretty good, but I thought a little expensive.

The drive to wine country also included a stop in Luchenbach.

From Wikipedia: “Luckenbach’s population increased to a high of 492 in 1904, but by the 1960s it was almost a ghost town. A newspaper advertisement offering “town — pop. 3 — for sale” led Hondo Crouch, a rancher and Texas folklorist, to buy Luckenbach for $30,000 in 1970, in partnership with Kathy Morgan and actor Guoch Koock. Crouch used the town’s rights as a municipality to govern the dance hall as he saw fit.

Today Luckenbach maintains a ghost-town feel with its small population and strong western aesthetic. One of its two main buildings houses the remnants of a post office, a working saloon, and a general store. The other is the dance hall.”

On our way home we had to pass through Waco. Couldn’t miss a stop at Magnolia Farms, the creation of Chip and Joanna Gaines of the show Fixer Upper. It was insanely busy. If nothing else, they have made Waco a tourist destination.