For the third year in a row we left the Far Frozen North Land which is Vermont to bask in the warmth of San Antonio, Texas. We left Vermont in a snowstorm and returned to sub-zero weather, but enjoyed the 70 and 80 degree weather in San Antonio.
Kathy’s sister Mary and her husband Mike again joined us for part of the time we were there and as always it is fun to spend time with family. We stayed at the Hyatt Wild Oak Resort for the second time and really enjoyed all it had to offer: heated pools, hot tubs, gym and good food.
Our first adventure was a visit to a Japanese Tea Garden that was built in the Quarry District. San Antonio found a unique use for the quarries after the digging was over. The garden was started in 1917 and during World War II it was renamed The Chinese Tea Garden. It was not until 1984 that the name was changed back.
The Koi ponds were being cleaned while we were there so the fish had been removed and most of the ponds were empty which was a shame because as you can tell from the pictures they were large and would have added to the visual experience.
Kathy and I returned for a second quick visit and a delightful lunch at the Jingu House.
Of course you can not go to San Antonio without a visit to the Alamo so Kathy and I headed downtown for visit to this historic site.
We took a trip out of town one day with Mike and Mary to historic Gruene (pronounced Green), Texas, for a look around and a great lunch at the Grist Mill. While there we visited the Gruene Hall which was built in 1878 and is the oldest continually operating dance hall in Texas. We also did some window shopping and some real shopping in several of the unique stores there.
Inside the hall there were walls of photos of many current stars who played there long before they were stars. It was interesting to see how some of them looked 20, 30 or 40 years ago.
When we were in San Antonio a year ago we visited several of the old Spanish missions and this year Kathy and I made a return visit to Mission San Jose, the largest and best restored and visited two more that we had not gone to a year ago. They were built in the early 1700’s along the San Antonio river.
Mission San Juan was founded in 1731 and became a regional supplier of agricultural goods and other products including wood, cloth, iron and leather.
The last mission we visited was Mission Espada which was also founded in 1731.
We also visited the King William historic district which consisted of a delightful walk along tree-lined streets and the San Antonio River while looking at the old large (really large) mansions that have now been mostly restored.
After our walk we had a great lunch at a small Mexican restaurant in the district that was recommended by the staff at the Hyatt.
Our last attraction in San Antonio was the Witte Museum and its collection of South Texas history and culture. Part of the museum was closed for construction and renovation, but we enjoyed the part that was open.
Returning home to sub-zero temps and snow was a sad end to our warm and wonderful trip. Although the good part was returning to our critters and seeing how happy they were to see us. They also acted very needy for a few days… I guess we are lucky to have been missed.
This is what we returned to…