Friday, May 11, 2012

The Day I Saw The Alamo

Day two of our San Antonian adventure began with a wonderful brunch at The Guenther House.  The Guenther House is a museum, restaurant and a general store, located in the King William Historic District of San Antonio.  The home was orignially built as a private residence in 1859 by Pioneer Flour Mills founder Carl Hilmer Guenther.  After we put our name in to be seated we had some time to look through the musuem and the shop, located inside of the actual home.
The downstairs Restaurant reflects the Art Nouveau style of the 1920's, characterized by the use of stained glass, symmetrical lines and extensive plant motifs. Constructed between 1915 and 1918, the room reflects the miller's trade, with plaster bundles of corn and wheat used as supports for the mantel and wall buffet.

They have restored a couple of the rooms to what they would have looked like when the house was the private residence of the Guenther family.  I just love the look and all the characteristics of old southern interiors, they are extremely classy.

The Guenther House is famous for their sweet cream waffles and pancakes, they had mixes of their specalties in their little store

After a little bit of exploring it was our turn to be seated.  We got to sit out on the beautiful wrought iron, Art Nouveau patio and enjoy the warm, humid morning.  Most of us ordered the delicious sweet cream strawberry waffles, a few tried out the pancakes, everything was amazing! I just love breakfast food so much

The restaurant is located right on the river so we had gorgeous views of all the flowering trees and bushes overflowing down to the river bank.  It felt like a scene right out of an old, classic film.

After brunch we headed over to Morgan's Wonderland, which is a play land that has all sorts of different playgrounds, little rides and activities for kids to do.  The little boys were in heaven!  They had so much fun discovering all the different things to do there, they played on all the playgrounds, rode all the ride, swung on all the swings and experimented with all the science oriented activities.  It was so fun to watch them all have so much fun.  My favorite thing here was the carousel, it was the most magical, colorful and unique carousel I have ever seen!
We spent the majority of the day at Morgan's Wonderland and had to eventually pull the boys away to try and make it to the Alamo before it closed.  We made a quick stop at the hotel to return the cars and to take a quick "freshen up" break then we walked to the Alamo which is just a few blocks up from our hotel.

We passed this building a lot in our travels back and forth from Alamo square to our hotel and I loved the design of it.  The whole city of San Antonio has a lot of Art Deco flare and details which makes for such a beautiful and memorable city.

The Alamo is such a majestic building, I love all of the architectural details.  I have to admit, I didn't realize that the Alamo was right in the middle of the city, I always imagined it off by itself in some open field, kind of like the rest of the missions in San Antonio (I got to 4 of the 5, pictures of the rest will be on a post coming soon, so you can see more of what I envisioned for the Alamo) It is actually right in the middle of everything!  The mall is right next door, tourist shops line the walk across the street, a huge business building is right next door, it's, literally, right in the center of it all!  And it was probably the busiest attraction of them all which made me so happy.  I love when people appreciate things of the past, history, art, architecture, sacrifice.  I wonder how they would have felt if the soldiers who fought in the battle of the Alamo, knew at the time of their couragous sacrifice, how many people would come to commemorate their brave fight. 

I was excited to share my Alamo cookies with the family at the actual Alamo!
The line to get inside was so long! But it wrapped around part of the mission complex which was so lush and green, so at least we had something pretty to look at while we waited.

Pictures weren't allowed inside the building, but I did sneak a few pictures of the plaques honoring the heroes of the Alamo.  These plaques lined the entire far wall of the mission, many men gave up their lives in the name of freedom.  I am so grateful for all the soliders, families and lives that sacrifced or were sacrificed, so that our nation could enjoy everything that comes with being a free country.

When we exited the Alamo we found ourselves in one of the courtyards of the mission complex, here is a little replica of what the entire structure looks like.  Here, we enjoyed our fun Alamo cookies!

The cookies came in all sorts of fun shapes, the Alamo and the state of Texas, were my favorites.

The Crockett hotel over looks the Alamo, so even though Davy Crockett died in the battle, he is still watching over the mission.
This is one of the back buildings in the mission complex, I thought the stone work was so intricate and beautiful!

By now we were all starving, and ready for a big dinner.  Tonight we dined at Fogo De Chao, a brazilian steak house that is similar to Tuscanos or Rodizio Grill but just a little bit nicer.  The boys were in absolute heaven, all of them said that this is now their favorite restaurant and asked to go here for dinner every night that we had left in Texas.  It was amazing! 
I liked their system a little bit better then the ones I had been to in Utah, but I think the new one in City Creek might do it this way as well.  Every person at the table had their own "meat token," instead of having just one per table, this made it so much more efficient and not as akward when some wanted more but others didn't.  If you have the green side up and showing, waiters with various types of meats prepared in the most delectable sort of ways, would stop by and give a little slice of what they had.  Most of the meats were different cuts of beef, all called by their Brazilian names. Some of the meats we got to sample were filet mignon wrapped in bacon, Fraldinha (Bottom Serloin), Beef Ancho (Rib Eye), Alcatra (Top Serloin), Cordeiro (Lamb) prepared in a mint marinade, Frango (Chicken) also bacon wrapped, and the table favorite, Lombo (Pork Loin) encrusted in a rich parmesan cheese coating.

We all got creamy Brazilian lemonades to sip while we enjoyed our wonderful meal

I loved their silverware
Along with all the meat, and unlimited access to the huge salad bar, the meal also inlcuded bottomless fried bananas, polenta cakes and cheesy mashed potatoes

John had multiple servings of every single kind of meat that was served, he is Karin's little meat eater, and a bottomless pit apparently.  Will liked when the waiters would come around, but had a hard time deciding if he wanted what they had to offere once they were there haha
Even though we were all pretty stuffed and had thrown in the towel for the meats, our meal wouldn't have been complete with out a sweet ending.  My dad always insists on getting dessert no matter where we are, it's one of the things I love most about him.  We got a couple of desserts and passed them around the table, their presentation was stunning!

By the time we were done eating we needed to do some walking!  The restaurant is located in the Riverside mall so we had a nice walk ahead of us to get back to the hotel.  Tonight was the first night that I saw the princess carraige tourists traps!  I think they are adorable and they are everywhere!  If the Griffin girls had been with us, I would have insisted that we take a ride in one of them, I thought they were so magical and fun! But the boys, being the manly boys that they are, wanted nothing to do with them, plus I'm sure its like 1,000 dollars for one ride, so I just took some pictures of them instead.

It was fun to see the Alamo at night, all lit up with no one on the grounds

What a fun filled day!  Keep an eye out for San Antonio post #3 and find out what other fun things we found to do in Texas!

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