Monday, October 11, 2010

san antonio & The Alamo

Happy Monday Sweet Hearts!!!
It's hard for me to believe a week has gone by since I was walking the fields of Texas. When you have such a remarkable awakening as I did to the fabulousness of the Junkified Lifestyle, all you want to do is to get BACK TO IT!

Hittin the open road now kind of calls to me, but at least I have some amazing memories of the two lane blacktop. I truly am The Accidental Tourist!

Takin the detours in life has lead me to some of the most wondrous sights & historical landmarks this country has to offer & The Alamo was not a disappointment. Here is the Memorial to The Alamo Defenders that stands proud & strong in the Alamo Plaza under the blue Texas skies.

Erected in Memory of the Heroes who sacrificed their lives at the Alamo, March 6, 1836 in the defense of Texas. "They chose never to surrender nor retreat, these brave hearts with flag still proudly waving perished in the flames of immortality that their high sacrifice might lead to the founding on this Texas."

The Alamo is smack dab in the middle of downtown San Antonio.

Standing there looking at the 360 degree view surrounding it, it seemed like the perfect tribute to this little mission built in 1758, where such a pivotal battle in the Texas Revolution took place.

As with all the Texas Missions, their simplicity mixed with such amazing ornate stone work, always leaves me in awe.

The Live Oak Tree in Convento Courtyard, was planted in 1914 to beautify the grounds. It is HUGE!

And there are several cannons still on the grounds that were actually used in the famous battle.

The entrance to The Alamo Museum & Gift Shop...

I have to admit, the one thing that took me most by surprise, was how moved I was walking inside The Alamo. No photography is allowed once you have entered the hallowed grounds where so many fought & gave their lives.

Looking into the actual room where the women & children were hidden at the height of the battle, unexpectedly my eyes filled with tears & the hairs on my arms stood up. The feeling of their fear was tangible to me, standing near that cold, stone room.

The Alamo will be unforgettable to me. I am soooooo glad I took the time to see this National Treasure & a little more of San Antonio!

I Loved The Alamo Plaza Gazebo...

& some the architectural details I found walking the streets of San Anton!

I was so excited to see this sign! I spotted it while I was still trying to figure out where to park & my mind took me back to the idea of a 5 & 10 a hundred years ago. Possibly a soda fountain & little pharmacy, sundries & some fabric & ribbon on vintage bolts...but that was not to be. It was a typical tourist store selling Alamo souvenirs, bummer huh!

Knowing I was running out of time & so needed to hit the road, I considered not seeing San Antonio's Riverwalk, but it was the 1 thing my Dad thought I should see.

So, again...I took the time to SEE!

And again, I'm soooo glad I DID!

The Riverwalk or Paseo Del Rio, is a 2 1/2 mile stretch of beautifully landscaped waterfront on the San Antonio River.

A photo of my little friend, who must have known I was all by myself & decided to keep me company while I sat at an outdoor cafe drinking my Shiner Bock & eating a hot dog.

Even the birdies are more friendly in Texas!

The Riverwalk was beautiful & I soooo wish I could have stayed longer & really enjoyed some extra shopping & dining along the river's edge.

But a little taste of something fabulous, is better then no taste at all.

I LOVED San Antonio!!!

Heading back to my car after my rather long detour, I saw this on the side of 1 of the old buildings near my parking lot & thought...'Me & Texas have a lot in common'! LOL

I'm going straight home & painting this on the front of my house!!!!
Texas Rocks!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

as promised...San Anotonio Missions

Greetings Sweet Hearts & as promised I'm taking y'all back to Texas with me to visit the exceptional & truly unexpectedly, sooooo very coooool,
San Antonio!!!

So here's the silly scoop. I left all my Texas Lovelies telling them I was heading straight home, no detours, no off the map adventures, Hubby wanted me home, Kai was having a soccer game Sat morning & I just had to make it to the game...sooooo, noooooo playing around or crazy OCD National Park touring, none. Cross my heart & stick a needle in my eye!!!

Off I went with mt Dodge Durango weighed down with Texas Gold, straight on till morning...I was on a Mission!

Well, that lasted all the way from Weimer to San Anton & then I started seeing those damned brown signs. It's like taking a drunk to the bar & expecting him not to order a drink...I know, I'm sick!!! lol

Do they have a National Park 12 step program??? LOL
What truly perked my little eyes & ears, was that it seems unknowingly to me that San Antonio has a series of 4 Missions that are part of the National Park System. Hummmmm, what a coincidence...if you look on my sidebar you will notice under things I LOVE, that I am also a California Mission Junky.

Wow...two birds with 1 stone. I can get a few more stamps in my Passport Book & check out some Mission Love all at the same time. I mean what was I suppose to do??? Just drive by when I saw the turnoff? So even though the car was on cruise control at the leisurely Texas speed of 80 miles an hour & I really WAS trying to have SOME self control...I slammed on the brakes, took the turnoff & followed my favorite little brown signs.
Maybe it was a sign from God that I go, right?
It could have been!

This group of missions is called The San Antonio Missions National Historic Park & they are truly spectacular gems!

The 1st in the tour of 4, is the wondrous Mission Concepcion with it's hand~painted religious murals & glorious chapel.

How beautiful is this chapel, the painting, the was breathtaking! Now this mission is awesome, but my favorite was number 2...

Mission San Jose, The Queen of the Missions! Founded in 1770, to me it is the mission of arches, an architects dream, my dream.

Again...hello, does anybody notice that you can't take a bad picture in this state cuz those sky's are just soooo blue & the grass & trees couldn't be any greener.

Did I mention it has arches,

in front of other arches, that are in front of some more arches?
I am in love with all of these arches!

Then, off in the distance, I saw THIS window...looks pretty cool right?

Well, come to find out, this Rose Window is considered to be one of the finest pieces of Spanish Colonial ornamentation in the country. Heavenly, this window is like looking at heaven.

After taking at least 40 pics of the window I turned towards the bell tower, just as the chimes began to ring was magical!

Now..heading towards the chapel doors, I'm greeted by these classical ornate concrete statues & cravings, can we just say WOW!

This could be any Capella in Italy, truly... it is that wonderful.

A simple iron door pull,

on a not so simple, amazingly exquisite, hand craved door.

Behind the heavy wooden doors, lies the chapel with it's cupola & arches & wrought iron chandelier candle holder.

This is still a local, viable, working church here in San Antonio.

I would go to church everyday if my local church had the history & the beauty of this one.

Could you imagine what I would have missed if I hadn't been flexible enough to change my mind in an instant, to take the unplanned path & follow my heart?

All of this historic grandeur!
The last 2 missions San Juan & Espada, were beautiful, but in a remodeling stage leaving the chapels unavailable to view, but the exteriors were still remarkable & something I couldn't pass up.

In 1716, Mission San José de los Nazonis was established to serve the Nazonis Indians. However, the mission was not successful, and was eventually moved to another location.

Founded in 1690, Mission Espada was the first mission in Texas. This mission is small & quint with a lush garden feeling to it & a beautiful well in the center of the courtyard.

And on top of the well is an...

unbelievable, really want to have it, wrought iron cross.

The wall of bells is stunning, especially against those Texas skies!

This one reminds me of home...the San Juan Capistrano Mission has a wall that looks very similar to just needs a little bougainvillea! ;)

And of course, more gorgeous doors...

& arches...

& rustic charm door pulls.

This accidental tourist has found more wonders on her journey, then could EVER have been planned!

I LOVED San Antonio!
It is filled with soooo much history & beauty!
And since I'd already spent wayyyy toooo much time there, {I thought I could do it all in an hour} why not head over to The Alamo? The Mission's were just a sweet surprise!!
Oh, & by the way...the Missions were a treasure trove of passport stamps. I got 6 there!! Yipppeeeeee!!!!
See you soon Sweet Hearts & we'll be headed over to The Alamo...
Life is SWEEET!