General Considerations, San Antonio
You must go away from your party (the restaurant) to the upper area where the riverwalk is located, to smoke a cigarette. I was merely 18 years old when I went with a group of older friends from our Texas Fence Association quarterly get-together we used to house at the Westin La Cantera Resort every Christmas. The resort is by far one of the best I've been to, and the golf carts have talking GPS inside them to keep you on track, which was really cool, especially in 2006 when they were considered fairly "new" technology. To this day, when I am photographing our TFA golf tourny's riding around on the carts at other resorts, the Westin was the only place that had the GPS inside them. My "tip" isn't about the Westin, though, which is an amazing place to stay, if you have the funds, and it overlooks Fiesta Texas, and the greens also overlook Fiesta Texas and the beautiful changing colors of the trees during fall/winter. But back to the point.
If you go up for a smoke after dinner, I'd suggest taking at least one person with you. I was hit up by 3 or 4 different people when I went by myself for one smoke. They asked for spare cigs or change. One guy kept hitting on me asking me my name, and telling me "oh I dated a Lisa once, she was a total b*tch" well thanks dude. He wouldn't leave me alone. Ended up getting two cigs out of me and asked for my phone number. I texted my mom's best friend to come up and run the creep off. This dude was like at least 30 something. Later before our party broke away from the restaurant that night, I went back for another smoke and the same guy was on a bench a few yards away...just lingering. I immediately extinguished my cigarette and walked back down to my group. Just totally creepy vibes out of locals. This was before I became outspoken and rude. If you're a "too nice" kind of person, avoid walking around at night by yourself, because you'll be taken advantage of in many different forms of the word. If you haven't mastered the "mean mug" or the go-to-hell look, find a friend that has, or just don't be alone.
San Antonio attracts a multitude of visitors over the holidays. Last year we traveled to this lovely historic city to spend Christmas, while his year we celebrated New Year's Eve in its festive embrace.
Once the tourists depart, things begin to happen...like the draining of the canal. We were so glad to have enjoyed its beauty and taken our pictures before this occurred!
picture #s Inspectors wade the canal
picture #3 Muddy banks and desolate duckies
The slow draining begins after New Year's day, then inspection of the canals begin. Interesting relics surface, like discarded menus, rusted metal chairs, a cellphone or two. Ducks look puzzled over the transgression and paddle pathetically in the shallows.
During my 4 days stay in San An, I was approached by 2 guys on separate occasions... they're polite.... but they ask for money. The first encounter was this guy outside the Rivercenter Mall. Walking about, came up to me and asked if I had some change to spare him for parking. Next to that particular mall entrance is a basement parking lot.
While waiting for the trolley, I watched him going up to many passerby, saying the same thing.
Only 1 man, who looked like a visitor gave him some money.
Later in the day at the Streetcar Station, this other man approached me and had no story. he went straight to the point and asked if I had a dollar to spare him.
So, it's up to you. I didn't give any money them. What would you have done?
People coming to San Antonio need to be aware of the number of drivers here who don't have auto insurance. My wife has been hit three times in five years by uninsured motorist. Last Friday was the latest event. The policemen who came to the accident scene found out the driver at fault had NO INSURANCE and was driving with a mexican license. No citations were isssued because there is no value in writing them, even though the driver adimtted speeding through a red light. The cop said in the last year the number of uninsured mortorist on the highways in San Antonio has risen to 90 percents. The state and the city cannot or will not stop the flood of uninsured motorist driving here so all drivers beware.
Much has been said about the dangers of driving with cell-phones. However, San Antonio's River Walk was the first place I ever encountered the danger of pedestrians with cell phones. One stylishly dressed young lady was so engrossed in her phone conversation, paying no attention to where she was walking, that I had to do a remarkable little tap dance (for my squatty old body, that is) to avoid being pushed into the river. This is one place you have to watch other pedestrians as keenly as you watch other automobile drivers in traffic - or you get wet!