We looked all over to find the most Irish spot in Texas in which to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, and ended up in San Antonio.
That’s not true at all (though San Antonio may be the most Irish-centric city in the state, I have no idea), but we did happen to pass through the city during St. Patty’s weekend, and they did a very decent job of celebrating the green tinged holiday.
Our visit to the Alamo coincided with a presentation by the Harp & Shamrock Society of Texas, including a high school band, a multitude of kilts, and the best mint green beret topped with a white fuzzy ball I’ve ever seen:
The Alamo was packed, due to the St. Patty’s business, as well as a cadet graduation. But we were able to poke around a bit, and see the sights.
The mission, and site of the famous battle, is notoriously small. We were told by several people prior to our visit, so we were prepared for it. What I loved about the historic site, though, is that is kept completely intact while the city has built up around it. We parked a few blocks away, not really knowing where we were walking, and all of it sudden the Alamo pops up!
The Battle of the Alamo was a key point in the Texas Revolution in 1836. The Mexican army, led by Santa Anna, laid siege to the mission for 13 days, then led a full assault on the garrison. Only two Texans survived (the estimated deaths total about 250Texans, 400-600 Mexican casualties).
Famous deaths during this battle:
James Bowie (of Bowie knife fame)
Davey Crockett (of King of the Wild Frontier/ killing a bear when he was only three fame)
This battle is where the famous saying “A line in the sand” derives from.
The small plaque under the line states:
Legend states that in 1836 Lt. Col. William Barret Travis unsheathed his sword and drew a line on this ground before his battle-weary men stating: “Those prepared to give their lives in freedom’s cause, come over to me!”
We toured the grounds, watched a video, and poked our heads into the shrine (which had about a 2 hour wait to actually go inside!). Then it was on to the San Antonio Riverwalk to watch the St. Patrick’s Day festivities.
Have you ever seen a river dyed green? I mean, the actual process of the dying, not just the result? It basically looks like someone is peeing off the boat. It’s just normal river water (though slightly greenish, since the city had dyed it the day before as well), and then a stream of dark green that slowly disperses throughout the rest of the river.
I’m not sure what I expected, but it was a little underwhelming. But then the river was green! All green!
And there were bagpipers everywhere. Bagpipers on boats!
Bagpipers in bars!
And this little guy, clearly embarrassed to be caught without his green:
We had a great (though short) time in San Antonio! We met up with a former colleague of Cory’s, and then headed out of the city just in time. The following night, two tornadoes swept through town. We were pretty happy we chose to leave.
We would highly recommend the Riverwalk for some fun people-watching. And I also suggest that you check out the Menger Hotel right near the Alamo. Walk along the halls of the first floor, and check out the amazing photographs. The hotel has hosted many famous guests, including Theodore Roosevelt and Babe Ruth.
Writing, eating, loving, laughing, and enjoying where life takes me.
lovely to visit
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