Friday, January 19, 2007

We're such "Parkies"

Ok, I know one of my good friends is going to remind me that I said that I was going to boycot Texas until the present regime in Washington changes, but our son Nicholas is graduating from Basic training which we absolutely wanted to share with him, so here we are in San Antonio. This is the Alamo, the most famous and remembered mission in the area for it's role in the war for Texas independence and in the martyrdom of Davy Crocket and Jim Bowie and others. I'd seen and even visited the shrine before on layovers but not since I began to really explore the National Parks. I love where it's located with it's proximity with the Rivercenter and Riverwalk which I introduced Mark to on this trip. It was great fun to be able to revisit a very favorite spot from work, as I hadn't been here for years. It was also fun to find a more than 50% off sale at my very favorite store in the Rivercenter and then find out that they ship for free! :)
As you all know, we are never ones to give up the opportunity to visit a National Park and get the stamps for our National Park Passports, and this trip was no exception. We love the new explorer edition because we just take the pages we want with us on trips now and don't have to carry the entire passport anymore. We only had time to visit one park, this park consisted of 4 historic sites along the San Antonio River so it took awhile to explore.
The old and historic missions you see here are the four that are left standing in the San Antonio area which make up the San Antonio Missions National Park. (The Alamo is privately run). We visited all of them yesterday on a cold and windy day after the city had managed to recover a little bit from the ice storms that had shut it down for a couple of days.
All of these missions were built in the 1700's by Spanish Friars. They used Native (Tejano) labor to build them with the help of Spanish craftsmen, and the Indians lived within the walls for protection from bands of Natives such as Apache and Comanche that were constantly raiding their settlements. The friars converted them to Catholicism which is still practiced in these missions to this day.
We really enjoyed our visit and talking with the rangers and learning about the now vanished culture of the Indians that were converted by the Friars. Due to the weather, we nearly had the park sites to ourselves all day. It was in the upper 60's last week, it was in the 30's and 40's this week.

1 comment:

Liz said...

So pretty! I love looking at and visiting old buildings.