Monday, June 4, 2012

Old Homes, Neighborhoods and Friends...

This morning (Friday) we toured the Spanish Governor's Place within walking distance of our hotel. Constructed in 1749, it was the last vestige of the Presidio San Antonio de Bejar (military garrison) close to the Alamo. It was the first town in SA's history, and originally the Residence and working office of the Captain of the Presidio (army post).

Captain Ignacio Perez and his decedents used this home until the mid-1800's, when it was used for commercial purposes, then renovated in 1929 as a museum. The exterior was plain white stucco, one level and unassuming.

The interior had many Spanish Colonial period pieces and other treasures to explore. The wood doors (I love to photograph doors) had a story all their own. Here is an old-timer's story of the symbols on the Spanish doors:

Top right, and down:

The seashells represent the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria as they voyaged from the mother country across the sea.
Dragons represent the dangers the first settlers encountered, and baby's face stood for the new country of America. They brought their arms for protection, and found flowers and plenty in this great land (resources, gold and silver), including the Indian.

Left, from bottom up:

Medallion shows the head of a conquistador, which represented the Spaniards who came to this land of flowers and plenty (flower symbol), and with their arms (the shields) conquered the dangers (dragons) including the Indian (head of medicine man). In this way, the settlers won this land for the mother country across the seas.

I had a lovely treat this afternoon. We were able to meet up with two former HS students of mine who married after graduation, raised a family, and are living in San Antonio. Our family spent an hour or two with them, chatting about the past and present. It was a blessing to see my students going on for the Lord...and meet their growing children, who are also "walking down the right path."

Saturday morning dawned bright again, and we took our last breakfast on the river walk. It was bitter-sweet for me...I have thoroughly enjoyed the aviary circus each morning, as the paths along the river come to life. Our servers have been excellent. We were treated as royalty, and our meals, fit for a king!

People always comment about the hot weather in Texas. It's been in the 90's all week, and is typical of summers here. I did not find it oppressive whatsoever...maybe hotter than I'd like at high noon, but the mornings and evenings were perfect. In fact, it was too cold in the air conditioned buildings for me. As I would walk out of a frigid building, I'd feel the warm Texas air surrounding me like a cosy blanket...a good feeling!

Since we had a short stroll around the King William neighborhood at night on Thursday, the kids and I spent our last morning taking the walking tour of the most expensive real estate in Texas. Only one home, the Steves Homestead was available for an interior tour. We arrived just as the docent opened the door. This area was settled by prosperous German businessmen, and the Steves family with their three sons, were no exception. Edward began a lumber business, which is still in existence today, run by the descendants of the family. Their home, built in the mid-1800's is of Victorian French Second Empire style, and sported the first indoor swimming pool in the city. Many of the latest conveniences and amenities where seen and purchased at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition of 1876. Much of the furniture has been donated by the family throughout the years.

After a long and steamy walk back to our hotel, we cooled off in the lobby, and waited for the time we would head to the airport. San Antonio has been everything I had hoped for, and more. The people are friendly and laid back, the weather, although hot, is tolerable (the Spring is superb, I hear), the history is fascinating, and the "Texas Spirit" infectious. I hope we will be back gotta love this "Great State of Texas"!


  1. Hello!
    We have never met, but I found you over at the Writing Sisters and decided to look around. :)
    You struck a chord, here, with your discussion of the heat in Texas, plus the unbelieveably cold AC. I once heard a clever essay about staying cool in summer no longer being the challenge, but rather, staying warm enough indoors. The proposition was that if those who controlled the thermostats would wear summer clothing in summer, all that would change, but they insist on wearing sweaters, suits, etc. Ah, well!
    I also have homeschooled my children (my baby marries, soon) and am working on a few books. I loved your words, "I am content to be at home. All the skills I have learned are being poured into my family as I serve the Lord as a homemaker. To raise children for the next generation in a godly environment is the greatest and most influential role today." Thanks for that!
    I'm not such a traveler as you, but have found the biographies happene everywhere. I tend to zero in on the small people who have really lived, just where they are. So many stories, here and abroad, just begging to be told to the benefit of those who will bother to read!
    Anyway, thanks for a pleasant visit and keep up the good work.

    1. It is so good to meet you, Katharine...and yes, we do have much in common! I agree with your observations dealing with hot weather...we are pampered here in the USA. I hope to visit you on your blog soon. Blessings!


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Journey into the Promised Land

Journey into the Promised Land
From Egypt to Israel