Saturday, July 25, 2009

4 DAYS IN SAN ANTONIO!!! YEE-HAW!!!!

I JUST RETURNED FROM 4 DAYS IN SAN ANTONIO. MY PRINCIPAL ASKED IF I WOULD STEP IN FOR ANOTHER TEACHER AND GO TO A TRAINING DOWN IN SAN ANTONIO. WITH ALL THAT WAS GOING ON AT THE FARM AND THINGS I HAD TO ATTEND TO, I REALLY DIDN'T WANT TO GO, BUT KNEW HE NEEDED SOME HELP...SO I WENT.


LONG STORY SHORT - THE TRAINING WAS PHENOMINAL AND I TRULY BELIEVE, I WAS MEANT TO BE THERE!! I CAME AWAY WITH SO MUCH, BOTH PROFESSIONALLY AND PERSONALLY, THAT I FELT SO BLESSED TO HAVE BEEN ASKED TO GO!

YA' KNOW....SOMETIMES WE ARE SO QUICK TO MAKE JUDGEMENTS ON PEOPLE OR EVENTS IN OUR LIVES...BUT IF WE SIT BACK AND LOOK AT IT AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO EMBRACE WHAT'S "MEANT TO BE", A VERY DIFFERENT APPROACH TO THE ISSUE IS LEARNED AND THERE IS A PEACE THAT IS INDESCRIBABLE.


OUR TRAINING WAS 8-4 EACH DAY. WE HEADED TO DOWNTOWN EVERY AFTERNOON FOLLOWING THE TRAINING TO ENJOY THE LOCAL CULTURE AND SIGHTS... OF COURSE, THE ALAMO...positioned smack in the middle of downtown, dwarfed by the multitude of looming buildings. Much of it was destroyed in the 1836 seige, but has been historically restored. It is an AMAZING story of courage, and dedication - Google it!



A BRIEF HISTORY: Some accounts say that the battle at the Alamo lasted 13 days, some 11 and some 12...but it was only one of the famous battles of the Texas Revolution. Davy Crockett, William B. Travis, and Jim Bowie were some of the household names of the 189 defenders. The Mexican army numbered 1,800...


The final assault (no longer than 90 minutes) came before daybreak on the morning of March 6, 1836, as columns of Mexican soldiers emerged from the predawn darkness and headed for the Alamo's walls. Cannon and small arms fire from inside the Alamo beat back several attacks. Regrouping, the Mexicans scaled the walls and rushed into the compound. Once inside, they turned a captured cannon on the Long Barrack and church, blasting open the barricaded doors.The desperate struggle continued until the defenders were overwhelmed. By sunrise, the battle had ended and Santa Anna (the Mexican General)entered the Alamo compound to survey the scene of his victory. Those who weren't dead already were executed, and by the end of the day, all of the Alamo defenders lay dead.


While the facts surrounding the siege of the Alamo continue to be debated, there is no doubt about what the battle has come to symbolize. People worldwide continue to remember the Alamo as a heroic struggle against impossible odds — a place where men made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. For this reason, the Alamo remains hallowed ground and the Shrine of Texas Liberty.



THE MENGER HOTEL
Opened by William Menger on February 1, 1859 (23 years after the fall of the Alamo), the hotel was constructed on the site of Menger′s brewery, the first brewery in Texas . Said to have been the finest hotel west of the Mississippi River. It is the Menger that has housed personalities such as Theodore Roosevelt, Sidney Lanier, Babe Ruth, Mae West, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, Sarah Bernhardt, and Gutzon Borglum, just to name a few.



When the Civil War and Reconstruction were over, and especially after the railroad arrived in 1877, the Menger became the best-known hotel in the Southwest. It was praised for the cuisine offered in the Colonial Dining Room, which included such specialties as wild game, mango ice cream, and snapper soup made from turtles caught in the San Antonio River.

THE MENGER HOTEL ...TODAY



THE MENGER HOTEL BAR
The solid cherry bar, cherry-paneled ceiling, French mirrors, and gold-plated spittoons were the marvels of San Antonio in the mid-1800's. The beer was chilled by the Alamo Madre ditch, which passed through the hotel courtyard, mint juleps were served in solid silver tumblers, and hot rum toddies came to have wide renown. Theodore Roosevelt first visited the Menger in 1892 on a javelina hunt; he returned to recruit his Rough Riders at the hotel in 1898; and in 1905 he was back for a banquet.



It was here, in the Menger Bar, that Roosevelt recruited hard-living cowboys fresh from the Chisholm Trail, to his detachment of Rough Riders. Reportedly, Teddy would sit at the bar and as the cowboys came in, he would jovially offer them a free drink (or several) as he worked his recruiting strategy upon the unsuspecting cowpokes. Many sobered up the next morning to find themselves on their way to basic military training at Fort Sam Houston before joining in the Spanish American War.


The "Rough Riders" was the name bestowed on the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry, one of three such regiments raised in 1898 for the Spanish-American War and the only one of the three to see action. (A quick history lesson) The United States army was weakened and left with little manpower after the Civil War roughly 30 years prior. As a result, President William McKinley called upon 1,250 volunteers to assist in the war efforts. It was also called "Wood's Weary Walkers" after its first commander, Colonel Leonard Wood, as an acknowledgment of the fact that despite being a cavalry unit they ended up fighting on foot as infantry. When Colonel Wood became commander of the 1st Cavalry Brigade (1st U.S. Cavalry, 10th U.S. Cavalry, and 1st U.S.V. Cavalry) the Rough Riders then became "Roosevelt's Rough Riders". That term was familiar in 1898, from Buffalo Bill, who called his famous western show "Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World".



SOME OF ROOSEVELT'S PERSONAL ITEMS ARE DISPLAYED IN GLASS CASES, ALONG WITH A HUGE MOOSE HEAD THAT STANDS GUARD IN THE BAR. IT WAS AMAZING TO BE IN THE BAR WHERE ALL OF THIS AWESOME HISTORY AND AMAZING PEOPLE ONCE STOOD! WHAT A PLACE!






THE MENGER HOTEL IS REPORTEDLY HAUNTED!



Over the years, Roosevelt has reportedly been seen having a drink at the dark little bar room off the main lobby.



The most often sighted spiritual guest is a woman named Sallie White. Long ago, Sallie was a chambermaid who worked within the hotel and one night after an argument with her husband, she stayed overnight. The next day her husband threatened to kill her and some time later, on March 28, 1876, he attacked her inside the hotel. Badly injured, she held on for two days before dying of her injuries. According to the hotel’s ledgers, it paid for her funeral at a cost of $32.00.
Today, Sallie apparently continues to perform her duties within the Victorian wing of the hotel. Sallie has been seen numerous times wearing an old long gray skirt and a bandana around her forehead, the uniform common during her era. Primarily, appearing at night, Sallie is generally seen walking along the hotel hallways, carrying a load of clean towels for the guests.

Another apparition that is often reported is that of Captain Richard King,once the owner of one of the largest ranches in the world – The King Ranch. A frequent visitor to the Menger Hotel during his lifetime, he had a personal suite within the hotel. When he learned of his impending death from his personal physicians, Captain King spent the last months of his life, wrote his will disposing of his great wealth, and bade farewell to his friends in his suite at the Menger. On April 15, 1885, King’s funeral was held in the Menger’s parlor. Today, the room in which he stayed is called the “King Ranch Room.” He is often seen entering his old room, going right through the wall where the door was once located before it was remodeled.



Another ghostly spirit of a woman is often spotted sitting in the original lobby of the historic hotel. Wearing an old fashioned blue dress, small wire-framed glasses, and a tasseled beret in her hair, she sits quietly knitting. On one occasion a staff member stopped to ask her, "Are you comfortable...may I get you something?", only to be answered with an unfriendly “No” before the woman disappeared.



Another guest reported that when emerging from the shower they saw an apparition dressed in a buckskin jacket and grey pants, who was busy having a heated conversation with an unseen presence. The entity demanded to know; "Are you gonna stay or are you gonna go?" three times before vanishing.



Other entities have been known to "help" in the kitchen area, as various utensils have floated through the air seemingly all by themselves. Utensils are often seen transporting themselves from one area to another without the help of human hands.



Adjacent to the Alamo, some of these ghostly visitors to the hotel are attributed to the many that died during the battle of the Alamo. Often heavy footsteps and kicking are heard and old military boots are spied by the guests and staff.



THE RIVERWALK

The FAMOUS San Antonio River Walk is just across the street from the Alamo - shops, restaurants, and hotels flank the beautiful, winding river where you can take a narrated boat taxi from one end to the other. We didn't take the tour, as we all had been there before at one point or another.

Here's a little history of the River Walk: In the beginning, Spanish Explorers used the waterway to supply water to their missions. Mission San Antonio de Valero, also known as The Alamo, was the first to benefit from it. The river flooded its banks many times. In September 1921 the worst flood in its history killed over fifty people and caused millions of dollars in damage to the city. City planners struggled over what to do while large debates rang among the people. One man, an architect named Robert H. H. Hugman proposed a plan that would turn the area into a beautiful urban park with apartments, dining, shopping, boat rides and walk ways lit with old-fashioned street lamps. He wanted it to be just as if one were walking in Venice, Italy. After convincing city officials and business leaders of the financial benefits of his plan, the dream became a reality and the riverwalk was eventually sculpted into the masterpiece you see today.

OF COURSE, WE HAD TO EXPERIENCE THE LOCAL CULTURE, CUISINE AND CONSUMABLES!
THESE HUGE TROUGH-SIZED MARGARITAS WERE CALLED "TEXAS SIZE". YOU CAN'T TELL BY THE PICTURE, BUT THE DIAMETER OF THE "TROUGH" WAS @ 10 INCHES!!!




................"YEE-HAW.............................................
..........I LOVE SAN ANTONIO!!!".............................





OUR 4 DAYS ENDED QUICKLY AND IT WAS TIME TO HEAD BACK (7 hours) TO VERNON.




WHAT A GREAT TRIP!











1 comment:

GinGin said...

What was the workshop that you attended in San Anton? Sounds like it was really worth the trip and you had a real good time. I know that most of the times our inservice workshops are not good at all. I did attend one this summer that was terrific. It was the Bag Ladies from Florida. I loved all the ideas they had to enhance everthing you teach in the classroom. Great stuff!!! I love the good workshops and hate the bad. GinGin