Now that my Ali Wong show was officially postponed I didn’t have a real reason to visit San Antonio, but decided to go nonetheless to check it out. I arrived just as the city was beginning to implement coronavirus distancing, so pretty much everything was still operational with tweaks. Between these preventative measures and so many fewer people being tourists around I felt okay still visiting a few spots by keeping my distance, regular hand washing, avoiding close quarters, remaining outdoors as much as possible, and just playing it by ear as the situation changed not being on home turf.
I rolled into the city in the late afternoon, parked, and wandered down to the Alamo plaza and luckily as I took some creepy cat photos (#creepycatroadtrip- check it out on the Insta) I watched the small line dwindle as some rain drops began and closing time approached. By the time I hopped in the line there were only about 5 other people around. Win!
I had heard that the Alamo was kind of a let down, and while it was a beautiful exterior facade there wasn’t a lot more to the site… I enjoyed reading about the history of the Spanish missions and expansion, Texas’ history towards independence and statehood, etc, but the actual battle part didn’t resonate with me so much.
I walked part of the river walk, which is such a nice and unique element of the city I wish I’d been able to explore it as intended. I had dinner in my van before heading towards the old Pearl Brewery area. My best understanding is that this was an operational brewery in the early 2000s when the brand was acquired by a larger conglomerate, and the old brewery space in the city has evolved into this amazing space with a hotel, a lot of high end bars and restaurants, shops, and one of the Culinary Institute of America campuses. It was kind of later in the evening on a Sunday so by the time I got there it was pretty dead, perfect for social distance outing? Had one fancy drink made from some spirit I’d never heard of similar to a toned down tequila that was like a restrained bloody Mary maybe? The bar was in the hotel and maintained the feel of the old industrial feel while also luxurious and full of cozy, secluded nooks. The whole complex was very hipster vibe and would be amazing to live near and frequent. One tick on the livability test!
In the morning I visited another of the old missions that is now a national historic site. The church was closed for pandemic fun times, so I just walked around the exterior and read about the mission lifestyle and the native tribes in the area and their relationship to the complex.
Finally, as per usual, I hit up a few roadside attractions before leaving town. One was a set of giant cowboy books (probably not the largest in the world, but pretty big) that were initially built in DC as an art installation (woot woot!) but now stand outside a mall. My second stop was to a large Veladora prayer candle themed mosaic. A cool display in an artsy neighborhood. I would totally come back to spend some more time in this small-feeling city at a more normal time. If I can’t figure out my ticket refund situation (Ticketmaster is a mess understandably) perhaps that time will be this summer- ha!