Remember the Alamo?


In early November we found ourselves, once again, in the car on our way toward another mini-adventure. Because my fiancé is a recent transplant to Texas from Michigan, I feel a tremendous duty to familiarize him with his new home. The only problem is that Texas is gigantic and there are lots of places to see. Add in a five-year-old boy who doesn’t like all of the same vacation activities that two adults prefer … and you have a scheduling nightmare that is almost guaranteed to leave someone less than enthused.

But, this Saturday morning found us headed for San Antonio, which I had only visited once previously, even though I’ve lived in Texas since 2008. This time around, we had a specific destination in mind and a specific reason for this vacation. You see, San Antonio has a Legoland®.

Yes, a Legoland. Atrociously expensive and boring, usually located in a mall, filled with children in various stages of illness wiping their faces all over the slides, lego blocks and play surfaces. But, all-day kindergarten has been more stressful for my son than we had anticipated, and so this trip was a promised treat for perseverance through phonics and mounting expectations of counting and adding.

We spent three torturous hours smiling and saying, “Wow, that’s so awesome” at all appropriate times. The main positive was that the mall that housed Legoland was located on the Riverwalk, arguably San Antonio’s biggest attraction. The Riverwalk is exactly what it sounds like – a walking path with shops, boutiques, restaurants and bars lining either side of the San Antonio River. It is designed for pedestrian ambling and essentially, its own little world away from the traffic lights and crosswalks and honking horns. It is a lovely little tourist area with bright colors and interesting architecture, music spilling out across the water and boats passing through. When the weather is fair, it’s pleasant to spend the day (or evening and night) popping in and out of outrageously priced boutiques and hopping from bistro to bar for a cocktail or three.

Unfortunately, the weather was not fair. It was drizzly and gloomy with rain coming down in moderate buckets, squishing shoes and umbrellas bumping into each other as pedestrians tried to get through the walkways, teeth bared in a rictus grin, everyone determined, despite the circumstances, to have a fun vacation.

But my son was not having it, tired from a day at Legoland, perturbed by the rain and demanding to be carried. We soldiered on for a while until reaching the Alamo, which is mostly impressive in its ability to disappoint. It’s small, situated in the middle of commerce, hotels to the left, parking lots to the right. It sits just a few steps off the Riverwalk, and one is left bemused at why anyone would have fought to defend such a puny edifice of not much distinction. But, it is beautiful and historical, worth a quick picture and an appreciative nod toward our forefathers. So, after a few snaps, umbrellas blocking much of the façade, we ran in the rain toward the nearest bar, which happened to be the same place where Theodore Roosevelt recruited his Rough Riders. Besides some interesting artifacts and memorabilia, however, it was simply a bar like any other and definitely of no interest to a small child.

San Antonio was … underwhelming. Especially on a drizzly day with gray skies and a tiny Alamo. Sometimes, though, adventures are meant to be had simply to try something new, venture someplace different and explore something for the heck of it. There’s not much memorable about the Alamo, but we visited together – and those are moments we don’t forget.  


Leave A Reply