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Remember the Alamo!

From Buda, Texas to San Antonio is about an hour and fifteen minute drive. After saying goodbye to our new RVICS friends we got on the road relatively early for us, around 9 AM. Our first stop was the visitors center at the Walter's Gate to JBSA Fort Sam Houston. Each time we visit a new military installation, we need to check in to get my VA card registered and Karen a pass for base access. It's a minor inconvenience but worth it because the RV camping facilities are first class; we have commissary and exchange privileges. Not to mention you're living in a gated community with armed security! We drove through the main gate 30 minutes later to the RV park grounds. We paid $60 for two nights; a bargain so close to downtown San Antonio.

Our set up was completed before noon so we decided to drive into San Antonio and check out the Alamo and River Walk area. We found a church parking lot for all day parking at $15 and walked to the Alamo historical site. My first impression was how small it looked. Surrounded by towering high-rises didn't help.

On February 23, 1836, a Mexican army, variously estimated at 1,800 to 6,000 men and commanded by General Antonio López de Santa Anna, arrived from south of the Rio Grande and immediately began a siege of the Alamo. Estimates of the size of the small defending force (including some later arrivals) usually vary between 183 and 189 men, though some historians believe that figure may have been larger. That force was commanded by Colonels James Bowie and William B. Travis and included the renowned frontiersman Davy Crockett. At the beginning of the siege, Travis dispatched “To the People of Texas & all Americans in the world” an impassioned letter requesting support. For 13 days the Alamo’s defenders held out, but on the morning of March 6 the Mexicans stormed through a breach in the outer wall of the courtyard and overwhelmed the Texan forces. Santa Anna had ordered that no prisoners be taken, and virtually all the defenders were slain (only about 15 persons, mostly women and children, were spared). The Mexicans suffered heavy casualties as well; credible reports suggest between 600 and 1,600 were killed and perhaps 300 were wounded. Ironically, Karen and I visited on March 6, exactly 187 years to the day these brave men died defeating the Alamo.

While at the Alamo I asked one of the security detail for a recommendation for barbecue. He told us to go to the County Line restaurant located in downtown San Antonio on the historic River Walk. It was an easy 6/10th of a mile walk from the Alamo. We shared a 1/2 rack of pork ribs appetizer and some beverages. Karen had a prickly pear Margarita and I had an Arnold Palmer (iced tea/lemonade) since I was the designated driver. From there, we took a river boat ride along the River Walk and learned some colorful downtown San Antonio history.


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