San Antonio - Thank God for the River Walk...
WHEN DID WE GO: August 4-5, 2017
WHY DID WE GO: USA Road Trip
HOW LONG WERE WE THERE: 1 night
WHERE WE STAYED: San Antonio KOA
I'll just go ahead and say it. In hindsight, San Antonio is a place I would have skipped. We stopped there because it was on the way to New Mexico, which was our next big stop and first National Park of the trip. But if I could do it again, I'd probably go to Austin to visit friends instead of swing through San Antonio again.
THE TRAFFIC. I did not know this, but apparently I-10 through Houston is a cluster fuck. We left NOLA at a pretty reasonable time, and our 8 hour drive time should've been cake. But, needless to say, it wasn't .We were stuck just rolling along through Houston for probably 2 hours. Apparently, that's making good time. I'm from Seattle and apparently, we have some of the worst traffic in the country. But my experience? It was nothing compared to Houston. I don't know how people live there.
THE ALAMO. We got there and sunset and I was really pumped for some great lighting to take pictures. But from the parking to the general experience at the Alamo? Well, I was underwhelmed. There was no pay-per-hour parking option nearby the Alamo. So basically we had to pay a pretty damn high flat rate. At first I was pretty nonchalant about it, thinking that we'd be exploring the Alamo for a while. Then we rounded the corner and all I could think of was "that's it?" It's TINY. Not quite anything that I was expecting. I guess that's pretty cool when you think historically about what happened at the Alamo. But in terms of a tourist attraction, it's underwhelming. What was more disappointing was that they let us in to go check out the Alamo, wouldn't let us take pictures and then shooed us out within 5 mins of us entering. Considering the parking fee that I paid, we took our sweet time in exiting the attraction. Needless to say, the Alamo was a big disappointment.
The only other thing I have that's remotely negative to say about San Antonio is HOLY HUMIDITY! Ewwwwww.
THE TEXAS WELCOME CENTER. Haha I can only imagine how weird it is to read that the fricken welcome center was a highlight. But this place WAS COOL! We mostly pulled over to pee and because we had been taking picture of each state sign as we entered the state. When we got there, we were pleasantly surprised. Not only was the building itself really nice with tons of great information on the state, but we walked out back and there was this absolutely beautiful marshland with a great boardwalk. We decided to go for a walk just to stretch our legs and it ended up producing some of my favorite pictures from the first half of the trip (above). Texas, you kind of win at state welcome centers. Just sayin'.
THE SAN ANTONIO RIVERWALK. WEll, I've already said that I wasn't a huge fan of the Alamo. But the riverwalk was a whole different story. We almost missed it. We kept following the signs and couldn't quite figure out where they were talking us. We almost turned around actually! But, I'm so glad we kept going. Because if I ever end up back in San Antonio, this is where I will be spending ALL of my time. The riverwalk is this incredible pedestrian area set below the main streets of San Antonio, you guessed it, on the river. The river flows right through town and they have pedestrian walkways with all sorts of great bars and restaurants and of course hotels. They even do this awesome little river tours. The place is pretty fricken incredible! And if we didn't need to leave to go check into our KOA and set up our campsite, and if we weren't on a budget, well, then I think we could have easily spent the rest of the evening here!
Now it's entirely possible that I missed some seriously awesome things in San Antonio. But my impression after our night in San Antonio, eh, it's something that's skippable.