Visit the Riverwalk. The river...
Visit the Riverwalk. The river that flows through the heart of downtown and the Rivercenter Mall is lined with a charming cobblestone pathway and accented by picturesque stone arch shaped bridges. The entire atmosphere is extremely romantic and reminds people of Europe. There are river cruises with a guide on each uncovered barge that will take you through the winding path that the river takes all through downtown. I have never had the opportunity to take one of these cruises because of time constraints and tha fact that the lines were too long, but I did get this lovely picture. They have a website at www.sarivercruise.com with a lot of information on there.
Note : This picture wasn't taken by me. You absolutely must sit down and eat at one of the many cafes and restaurants that line the river. I guarantee that you will go home with a lot more memories.
Flora - Yucca Plants
Having grown up in the desert, I was fairly impressed to run into one of my favorite plants, the Yucca on my recent trip to San Antonio. The Yucca is a relative of the Agave plant, which brings us our favorite Mexican liquor Tequila, but the Yucca is a more robust desert dweller. There are about 50 different species of Yucca, this one in the photo is the Yucca filamentosa, also known as Adam's Needle.
No Free Parking ?
Unless you visit San Antonio on a Sunday when municipal parking are free, be ready to pay 5+$/day. There are many open parking with people (we can't really call them 'guard') ready to collect your money!
On a Saturday, I had found as an alternative: the deserted parking of the Frost Bank in West Houston Street. It was open and completely empty. Apparently this bank was not open during the WE. Not too sure if that could be a good tip for free parking, there was small panels mentioning towing away for non-authorized vehicle at any time. Some of the parked cars were obviously not authorized. However as soon as I had removed some money to a nearby cash machine, I moved to one of the regular paying parking! So I can't really say if the towing policy is really enforced on a Saturday but I doubt it!
Pizza classic has great delivery service. They delivered to us on a weekday at 3:00 a.m. and the food was awesome. My friends quote "Chicken Alfredo melts in your mouth, I've never tasted anything so good".
Ballooning - a relaxing float over "Hill Country" - San Antonio/Austin area - at sunrise. Wind and weather determine whether a balloonist will fly. Fortunately we had good weather, a little wind and a beautiful sunrise.
It's a good idea for weddings, anniversaries, birthday parties, advertising grand openings, or just for fun. I went with a friend just for fun.
Ballooning was the first flight. In 1783 in France, two brothers, Joseph and Ettienne Montgolfier, who owned a silk and paper company discovered that the material would rise under fire - only (they weren't scientists) they thought it was the smoke that made the silk rise, when it was actually the hot air.
As a result, smoke-filled balloons were flown for years!
A sheep, a duck, and a rooster were the first passengers in a hot air balloon launched by the Montgolfier brothers.
On October 15, 1783, French nobleman, Jean-Francios Pilatre de Rozier, volunteered to become the first human passenger in a hot air balloon built from paper and silk by the Montgolfier brothers.
Often the balloons would (and still do!) accidently land in someone's field. This happened in that first balloon flight; the peasants of the 18th century didn't know what this fire-breathing, smoke-filled flying thing was, but it clearly had kidnapped a couple of people and was about to eat them up, so the farm peasants did the most heroic thing - they chopped the balloon to pieces!
The French being winemakers got a great idea - next time, just drop down the family label from your wine to show them everything's okay before you land - this they would understand!
So it is today that the tradition lives on, in memory of those first in flight, to pop the cork on a bottle of wine or champaign after every flight, and to always carry a bottle on board - just in case you have to make an emergency landing in someone's field.
Incidentally, we who fly are called "pilots" after that pioneer of aviation, Jean-Francios Pilatre de Rozier! True story!