Larry & Lee Ann's Journey travel blog

Onboard the river barge for a tour of the river walk...

We're on our way...

View ahead as we pass under one of the many bridges...

Looking up at street level as we drift along...

The lights are beginning to come alive...

So many things to see, beautiful hotels for one...

The Casa Rio Mexican Restaurant, one of many along our route...

This particular barge ride loops back just past here to our original...

The mosaic work on the Lila Cockrell Theatre was beautiful...

Lovely Christmas display ahead...

Hard to tell here, but that wreath was huge!

One of the many lovely bridges...

Meet Judi & David Kruse, nice folks! Go back to picture #7...

It's getting prettier by the minute!

I caught Judi on one of the bridges...

We love the new lighting!

Such a beautiful walk tonight...

Time for a short break, I could sit here for hours...

Cool!!!!

Up on the bridge, looking down on our previous path, so nice,...

Last shot for today, hope you enjoyed the River Walk, we sure...


Today's post covers the wonderful San Antonio River Walk. Native Americans once called the main, life-giving stream, Yanaguana, which means refreshing waters. Renamed the San Antonio River in 1691 by Spanish explorers, the river has since brought settlers, ranchers, farmers, craftsmen, artists and many others from around the world to its meandering banks. A tapestry of modern skyscrapers, colonial missions, museums, historic neighborhoods and a diverse international culture has sprung up around the famed river. In earlier years, heavy rains would often flood downtown San Antonio, which held back growth. Many city fathers wanted to turn the river into a storm drain and cover it with streets.

The San Antonio Conservation Society battled to keep the river alive and backed a design by architect Robert Hugman in 1929 to create a charming walkway that hugs the landscaped banks. The first section of the San Antonio River Walk, the part mainly known as the horseshoe bend, was finished with WPA funding and local taxes in 1941. The River Walk has since grown to a stunning eight miles and will stretch to 15 miles by 2013. Each part offers a unique look and feel. The entire River Walk is dog-friendly and some restaurants are too. You can explore the River Walk on foot, on a bicycle and most sections, by river barge. We decided to start our day with a ride on one of the river barges. Tickets were $6 for a 35 minute guided ride. Our guide was terrific, chock full of interesting information. We arrived here late in the afternoon as we had visited the Alamo earlier in the day but our timing was perfect.

As our ride progressed, the winding San Antonio river was fast becoming a glittering ribbon of light and color. This holiday season, for the first time, the River Walk is adorned with led lights, 1.8 million of them! Oh my, it was amazingly beautiful! I am so glad we came late enough in the year to catch it in all it's glory. Not that it's not great all year through. With the lush landscapes, quaint pathways, tinkling waterfalls, quiet pools, outdoor art and relaxing outdoor patios, how could it not be?

After our ride we strolled along the walk, discussing which of the 55 restaurants we'd like to have dinner at. A couple sitting at the famous Casa Rio Mexican Restaurant got our attention as we walked by. "Larry, Lee Ann"? Yes??

"Hi, we're David & Judi Kruse and we read your journal. We've e-mailed back & forth a couple of times". Wow, how cool is that! We stopped for a chat and were so glad to have finally met them. They were just finishing with their meal & were heading back to their Rv park so unfortunately our time together was all too short. Hopefully we'll meet again sometime down the road. They are on their way to Livingston, Tx for the next month to work at the Escapees property. What's interesting is when I looked at our pictures later they were in two of the shots I took earlier while on the river barge, before we met! Too funny, of course I e-mailed them the photos but will post one for you to see also.

We continued on our way, dining at the Texas Land & Cattle Steak House, where we enjoyed a wonderful steak dinner. We finished it off with a peach bread pudding with brandy sauce and vanilla ice cream...YUMMY! Afterward we continued our river walk, trying to work off a few calories before reluctantly heading back up to street level. As you saw in the last post, we enjoyed the walk back to our parking spot along the beautifully lit streets and past the Alamo one final time. Wow, what a great day...

Tomorrow we move on, destination Ft Stockton for an overnight stay before continuing West. Boy, Texas is a big state!

P.S. I'm a day or two behind. We stayed in Ft. Stockton last night and arrived in Deming, New Mexico late yesterday afternoon.



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