Well...we were in for some fun! ...or a part of it anyway. Our first outing was to the Fiesta Arts Fair at Southwest School of Art. We had actually gone to this several years before and really liked it. You have to pay to go into it, but it has some of the best arts and crafts we've ever seen. Really unusual pieces here. Really upscale artisans doing some very imaginative work. I love to see their creativity! I always sneak a few pictures...
Afterward we just to a nice walk around town and enjoyed the River Walk. The following day we found out that evening was going to be their big Texas Cavaliers River Parade at 7:30 p.m. We thought if we went down around 4 p.m. we would be fine...get a bite to eat along the river then enjoy the parade. Ha! We didn't realize what a "big deal" this parade was to the locals! Ticketed chairs were all lined up all around the River Walk and most of the restaurants were either closed or all their tables were "reserved" or they had "pre-set menus of $65"! After a long search, we lucked out at O'Malley's Irish Pub, right on the river. We got good seats and got to watch the parade from there! It didn't pass by there until almost 8:30 p.m. but we didn't care. They even passed out a complimentary whiskey drink to us! Fun crazy evening...
Besides all the crazy Fiesta happenings, the city streets are all torn up with being widened, so 90% of the street parking is gone, which makes things difficult. All the public parking people have taken advantage of the situation and have jacked their prices skyrocket. Such greed, it was sad to see. It took some time on our part, and we were able to find street parking, but most places were charging upwards of $20+ each time. Such a shame.
We skipped the crowds the next day and chose to go out to see two of the Missions we hadn't seen in our previous visits. Mission Espada (c1740), and Mission San Juan (1731). Both beautiful sites, and not far from the downtown area. I love the old Missions and the ruins surrounding them. With all the festivities going on downtown, there was almost no one visiting them, so it was nice and peaceful there. ;-)
Afterward, we decided to go see the small little shops I like in La Villita. Well, once again, we wandered into "A Night in Old San Antonio" - a HUGE event taking place in the little village area of La Villita! So much for our simple browsing! A nice gentleman saw us wandering around (looking bewildered, I'm sure) and explained what was about to take place in a few hours, and offered us some free tickets to attend. ;-) We decided to head on over to the River Walk (once again), grab a snack, then return to "see what it's all about".
We did. After our snack, we did something we've never done before...we took a boat ride! What fun! The tour guide shared so much information and was a delight. After all these years of walking along different sections, it was nice to see areas we'd not been to, and to learn about it all. It was a lovely way to spend 40 min.
Afterward, we headed back to La Villita, and sat and listened to a nice band play some popular music, then ventured into the crowd. And CROWD it was! Oh my!! Wow! Body to body...we had been warned (by that nice gentleman who gave us the tickets) and he was right. Tons of people with lots of food and drinks, and music groups, each in a different section, each themed (Cowboy, American, German, Clown, etc) some shops stayed open, but mostly it was food vendors everywhere.
We wandered for a while, then left. I'm getting to old for that kind of crowds anymore. Been there, done that. As we left, they were pouring in like crazy and it was only about 7 p.m. and this was a three day event! I think they were going to be a success!
If you wish to view the rest of the photos from this trip, you can at my Flickr account at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/74905158@N04/