Monday, September 7, 2009

Alamo & River Walk - San Antonio, TX

Since we’re in San Antonio, we decided to get the touristy things out of the way on day one, especially since day one was a Friday and might be less trafficked. We headed to the Alamo, since Coach had never been there. Of course, there were lots of comments about the basement along the way and he paged Mr. Herman numerous times, but it was still hilarious.

Amanda Hugginkiss drove us downtown and parked within a couple blocks of the Alamo. We walked around the corner and saw this guy that looked just like Coach’s brother. I don’t mean his ACTUAL brothers, LBJ and OBJ, but someone who could have been his brother. Why? Because the guy had long brown hair, a goatee, was… uhhh… portly, oh yeah, and was wearing the EXACT SAME THING Coach was wearing. Same color t-shirt and same color shorts. Hilarious. I took a photo of Coach with his fake brother behind him, so you could all see and agree with me. I love being right.

We went through the Alamo, so Coach could take it all in (twss), but you’re not supposed to take photos inside the museum parts, so we didn’t get any hilarious shots. There were some awesome kids running around with coon-skin caps which cracked us all up. Coach made a comment or two about the number of Hispanic gentlemen that were working as security guards there and how ironic some people might find that. We watched the film of the history of the Alamo and headed out to the downtown area.

The last time I was in San Antonio was with Belcher and it was like 10 years ago. We had done the RiverWalk then and weren’t all that excited about it. This time, there were some new parts of the RiverWalk open and some new places to see. So we headed down to the water to give Coach the grand tour. After some difficulty acquiring a Rio Taxi (which we kept hearing as “Real” taxi), we hopped on board with this driver/captain?/admiral? named Joseph who kept laughing nervously and loudly after everything he said. He talked about how his boat had the loudest horn on the RiverWalk and scared the bejeesus out of Coach at one point with it.

We got to see tons of stuff. Once we got away from the restaurants and shops, THAT’s when Amanda Hugginkiss got hungry/thirsty. It always happens like that. Hahahaha. I’m totally giving her crap, since she wasn’t the only one. She just brought it up first. We got to the end of the southern loop and asked the guy if there was any place to grab some food up on the northern loop (the new part) – he said no. We asked if there was any place at this stop to grab some food – he said no. We were in the middle of the Saranghetti apparently, and it was… ummm…. warming up.

We hopped off the southern route and walked up the little walkway to the other side of the tiny lock and dam system and started walking. We saw an empty boat guy driving upstream and we hailed him and asked where we got on. He looked over both shoulders and said, if you can make it down this embankment, you can hop on right here. Coach thought he was saying we’d have to jump onto the boat from the side, and since I’ve been around when he’s had a couple bad luck incidents with jumping over bodies of water, he was a little hesitant. The guy laughed and pulled up along the steep embankment and had us jump on board. He was actually really hilarious.

He gave us the grand tour of the northern section, which is kind of sparse, since the only things of note there are the San Antonio Art Museum (which is really awesome looking – used to be Anheuser Busch brewery and they converted it into a four story art space) and the Pearl Brewery (still functioning Texas brewery). The guy also pointed out the oldest VFW post in the US – which looked big and white and old. There were some artsy installations along the northern route – some pretty glass things hanging from a bridge, some giant plastic fish hanging from a bridge, some bent mirrors hanging from a bridge. I think in a few years, when this section is more developed, it will be more cool. Right now, it’s a long haul for not much to see, and there’s no tree cover on the new section.

You basically go up the river a bit, and then make a u-turn and head back down to the lock and dam section. On the way back to the southern route we were all talking about how it would be really nice to get water or something to tide us over. DeliveryBoy was out of school and intended to meet us down at the RiverWalk for a late lunch. We actually got to go through the lock and dam. We were with these annoying people who were loud and lost (so our captain made them hop the embankment and jump on board with us), and they were asking the stupidest questions about the lock. “Where does the water go?” “Are we just going to drop?” Now I’ll pull back on my mocking just a tad, since I realize not everyone grew up on the Mississippi River like I did where Locks and Dams are part of every gradeschool curriculum EVERY YEAR. So maybe those weren’t stupid questions. But I’m sure all of my family who grew up on the Mississippi River will think the questions were as ridiculous as I did.

The captain of our boat mentioned we could grab a water or soda from the RiverWalk booth just outside the Lock and Dam (which the laughing guy failed to mention), so we headed up to grab something to drink. We grabbed a couple of drinks from the ticket booth and milled around for a bit. The captain told us it would be about 15 minutes before the next Rio Taxi appeared at our location. We finally decided we should head back, and as we were walking down the first of a few steps, Amanda Hugginkiss decided it would be easier if she just rolled down the steps. (I’m not entirely convinced Coach didn’t push her, but there was no video evidence of that.) Coach said he turned around and wondered why Amanda Hugginkiss would be sitting on the ground at this particular moment. He CLAIMS he didn’t see anything. I unfortunately saw it all.

She went down hard on the stone steps and skinned her ankle. Our boat captain from the northern route just happened to be walking past when she fell and he ran over to make sure she was alright. He suddenly got creepy and made a comment about how “we” all know CPR (was he referring to boat captains or Coach, myself, and himself?) and how we might be “working on” her later. None of us even know what he meant, but I was impressed with his ability to turn on the creep so quickly in an emergency situation.

Just then, Coach looked up and saw our Taxi arriving. He yelled out, “our taxi is here”. Then he was torn whether to run after our taxi or stay and make sure Amanda Hugginkiss was alright. It was hilarious! She thought he was joking, and I assured her our taxi was indeed pulling up to the boarding zone. She got up off the ground and slowly limped down the rest of the steps to the boarding area, just as the taxi pulled away. She was less than pleased. So now, she was skinned, hot, exhausted, hungry, and angry that we missed the boat (literally). We waited just a couple more minutes and the next taxi arrived to pick us up. Amanda Hugginkiss seemed to be moving around alright, but she’s one of those people who doesn’t show weakness and could have been missing an arm and would have told us she was fine. She’s a trooper.

We headed back to home base on our new taxi and met DeliveryBoy back at the Alamo. We needed to find some food for all of us and quickly. Thankfully, he knew right where to go!

Top 5 things about the Alamo and RiverWalk
1. Hanging out with Amanda Hugginkiss talking crap about my nephew the DeliveryBoy
2. Seeing Coach’s fake brother at the Alamo
3. The RiverWalk is about the same as I remember from the last time – touristy, but great for people watching
4. Watching Coach being torn between running down a water taxi or staying to make sure we didn’t have to amputate Amanda Hugginkiss’ leg
5. Didn’t get sunburned like last time – Wahoo!!! (just a little pinkness around my face)

Bottom 5 things
1. Gerd should be on this trip hanging out with all of us. She loved all of these people and would have made this trip even more ridiculously fun
2. Amanda Hugginkiss eating pavement on the RiverWalk
3. There’s not much to see (nor shade) on the newly opened northern route of the RiverWalk
4. Amanda Hugginkiss got money out of an ATM that displayed her detailed account information on the screen for about 4 or 5 minutes after her transaction was finished and thankfully we saw it and waited around until it disappeared – super weird and dangerous
5. I’m totally convinced these river taxi people just make things up about the buildings and touristy things they point out. I could totally do this job if I got to make things up all day. I do a little bit of that right now at my current job…


Coach said...

"Two dollars for water? I would rather die."

Nikki said...

Coach probably shoved Amanda Hugginkiss down the stairs to sue someone so he could afford to get some water!! lol If he would have dove for the boat and missed he could have gotten some free water when he belly flopped!!