Last July I took off down 1-35 south for a college visit at the University of North Texas in Denton. I was going to be gone two days, staying the first night in Gainesville and then the second night in Arlington with cousins. Two nights, no further south than Arlington. Well, two, two and a half weeks later I ended up back in Kansas. My trip extended to stay in the Arlington/Fort Worth area to explore with my cousins and then on south to the Houston area to see my big brother before I met up with friends in Galveston. Then, instead of going home from there I followed my friends to San Antonio because I had never been and it was on the list. I didn’t have anything tying me down to a strict schedule so I was determined to visit the Alamo.
I often refer to this trip as the “Grand Texas Adventure” because there was so much I did and I did it a lot of it solo too. The long hours driving with a crappy stereo and navigating big city rush hours was all me, by myself.
San Antio was at the end of my Grand Texas Adventure. I was sick and tired of driving and in four days I would be back on the road for several hours on the way back to Kansas. I didn’t want to worry about parking: finding a place to park my car, remembering where I parked, paying for parking. So I used Uber for the first time. Uber was seriously the best thing than enhanced my San Antio time. I had great conversations with my drivers, they gave me the run down on the absolute must visit places like their favorite water walk bars, restaurants, and their favorite missions to visit.
After I checked into my hotel I got downtown and met my friends at the Alamo. We were hanging around there when I started looking online about the hotel across the street, the Emily Morgan. I love travel related things. I love history. So when I found things claiming the Emily Morgan was haunted I wanted to dig in. I found a walking ghost tour of the historic downtown and asked my friends if they wanted to go with me. All three of them said “hell no.”
That didn’t stop me. I booked it.
We ate lunch at the County Line on the Riverwalk and then went on to SeaWorld. Which, in case you’re wondering, San Antonio SeaWorld is not entirely conducive for people like me who burn easily because there was very very little shade and I really got to know the Texas sun. SeaWorld was where I rode a roller coaster for the first time since I was a kid at Disney Land and my brother bribed me to go on it with ice cream and then failed to pay up until years later.
When I went back to the Riverwalk the next day I did a boat tour which was awesome purely because the others on the tour were fun and enjoyed joking around and our guide was spectacular. I ate lunch at Rita’s on the Riverwalk and it seemed to freak every single employee out that I was dining alone and was not expecting anyone else. I watched as a mariachi band played live at tables around me and enjoyed life.
Later when I came back downtown for souvenir shopping and to find where I was supposed to meet the ghost tour group at I stopped in at a bar to have a drink. To this day this is the first and only bar I have been to solo that has not been in my hometown.
The ghost tour gave me what I wanted: local history. I learned about the buildings and what they were originally (mostly medical buildings), and about the weird reported things that happened in those buildings. Do I believe it all? No. But did I have fun? Yes. If anything, I got to experience part of the city at night that I wouldn’t have ever done otherwise because I would have stayed on the Riverwalk.
The next chance I get to go back to San Antonio I will take it purely based on the fact that I didn’t get in much other than the Alamo and the Riverwalk and there is so much more I want to experience.