Day 4 – Thursday, July 2nd – San Antonio, TX

By Gennadiy Kofman

As we woke up and checked out of that dreaded motel, we decided to have the first stop at the Alamo.

The Alamo was actually in the center of the city. It is free to all visitors and the place makes money mainly in the gift shop. We watched a 15 minute video so that we would know the details of the history of that place and then we walked around and looked at the artifacts. The place itself was fairly small, and we were pretty much done after about an hour and a half (the tour book recommended more time for some reason). Next, we decided to go to the Whitte Museum. But on the way, we stopped off at IHOP that was across the street from the museum since we haven't had any breakfast yet.

I know, I know, I'm known for loving the "no name" type of diners but we were pretty hungry and there was nothing better around. Strangely, there were a lot of military people. Afterward though, we went in the museum. It was a museum that showed the history of San Antonio, its surroundings, and its wildlife (to name a few). There were old dresses, a real mummy, log cabins (of some famous people) and a center where you can perform science experiments.

Unfortunately, flash was not allowed in most of the places. In one room, there was this black dude dressed in old soldier's clothes and he was telling about his life as a Buffalo Soldier.

In the back, we came out to the San Antonio River. The river looked very polluted and dirty. Yet we did see certain reptiles, birds, and fishes swimming in there.

The science center was very exciting for me and I was walking around all awe struck trying to avoid all the kids half my height. One of the cool things that was there was a room where you sit in front of a camera and it's like you're telling the weather news on the screen in front of you.

There was also a cool looking thing made of pipes, pans, other types of metal and plastic. And you took some sticks and you start drumming on it.

Also inside, we saw the theory for the formation of the caves that run underneath the city and so we decided to go and visit them.

The caves were about 10 miles away from the city and it took us about 20 minutes to get there. We bought the discovery tour that runs for a bit over an hour, and lucky for us, it started in only about 5 minutes. The caves ran pretty deep, maybe about 200 feet. To get to the first and second rooms, we had to go down a pretty steep incline. The caves themselfs are humidity preserved and that means that we had to pass through doors that don't let out humidity. That also means that it's very humid inside. The temperature does not drop inside either like it did in Sequoya. It must have been at least 90 inside and it felt even hotter as we transended down. Some of the rooms were huge but they offered all the regular cave characteristics: stalagmites, stalactites, columns, etc.

There was even evidence of bats living down there but they said that the caves colapsed at one time in history and so the bats had no way of getting in and out anymore. They did say that there are occasional rats and frogs, however, we didn't see any on our tour. After the tour and a quick cooloff with Dipping Dots,

we were on our way back to our hotel. However, Vlad needed to buy some clothes and so we stopped at Kohls. I must mention the roads in San Antonio. They are very confusing. I saw the store and the mall on the other side of the freeway, it took me about 20 minutes to get to it. The same thing would happen previously with our Motel 6 motel. It seems that the freeways have roads running parallel to them and not only is it hard to go the other way, but the business on the side of the road would have a freeway as their street address. An example would be something like 1234 I-10. The problem with that is that our gps doesn't want to recognize it. We had to put the address as a parallel street that runs there and then look for the place ourselfs. Continuing though, we checked in (to a lot better room than Motel 6 I must say) and left to go to the River Walk. The Motel was only about 1 to 1.5 miles, so we decided to walk. We walked on the street that would lead us there until we came over the bridge with a sign pointing downwards that said River Walk. There was a little walkway besides the river on both sides. We hardly saw any people there but we haven't gotten to the main part of the River Walk. It one point, we started to see a couple of restaurants that were facing the river, and then a big white generator blocking our path. We went in to the closest place we could find which turned out to be some hotel and came out on the street. We walked around the block until we came back to a set of stairs that leads back to the River Walk. We saw boats that would go on the river carriyng people around. We wanted to get on one of those things, but we were also hungry. We saw a steak place down there with decent prices and since the place was closing in about half an hour, we decided to eat first. The steak there was amazing. Vlad tried his first ever steak.

When the waiter learned that he never tried it before, he was in great shock and wanted to know how old he was cause I don't think he ever met anyone that old and haven't tried steak before. He gave him a recomendation and said that he will leave the place calling out his name and thanking him. He got a medium well cause he was afraid of blood, I however got medium rare. The bloodiest I have eaten before was medium well, and triyng this one, I quickly learned what I was missing. The meat did come all pink, but it was very soft and full of flavor. It tasted a lot better than Vlad's steak and now I'm a converter to ordering medium rare from now on. After eating, we started to tour the River walk. We didn't see any more boats go by though so we were too late for the boat rides. We did pass through many restaurants and bars. One struck us the most interesting. The place was called Dicks. We saw people wearing these strange paper hats and each one had some funny message on it.

One for example I saw on this girl said “I chipped my tooth on my vibrator”. As we went inside, it was a pretty crazy scene. There was some band playing there, the floor was covered in paper napkins, and so people were having a paper fight.

It looked like pure chaos but fun at the same time. After that bar, we walked the rest of the River Walk, saw some club, decided not to go in (the line was pretty big) and made our way back to our motel.

You can look at the rest of the pictures here.

Day 5 coming soon...