It has been awhile since I've blogged. The little virus I caught turned into the gift that just kept on giving. I even re-gifted it to Rick, though he was able to return it. This very much unwanted house guest has finally departed, leaving a very long list of undone tasks in its wake. I am one of the neurotic types that everyone else likes to mock: I usually have all of my shopping done before Thanksgiving, have it all wrapped and mailed by December 1st, mail the Christmas cards by December 1st, and then start baking. None of that happened this year, so now I am frantically trying to make up for lost time. I could definitely use a few of Santa's elves!
Back to San Antonio. Lesly and I were both really excited to visit the Alamo. I must admit that we were both surprised to discover how small it is. Maybe all of the lore we've heard throughout the years made it seem gargantuan to us, at least in our minds. Despite its smaller-than-we-expected size, we really enjoyed visiting it.
The Alamo was a refuge to Catholic missionaries and Native American converts from 1724 to 1793, at which time Spanish officials secularized the Alamo (as well as four other missions in Texas) and gave its land back to Native American residents. Sometime during the early 1800s, the Spanish military took over the former mission and converted it to a calvary station. The commander of this station transformed the mission's Long Barrack into the first hospital in Texas. During Mexico's decade-long battle for independence, the Mexican military occupied the Alamo. In fact, they continued to do so until 1835 when an independent militia group comprised of Texan volunteers engaged in a five-day battle against the Mexican soldiers and their general. In the end, the Mexican military surrendered and the band of volunteers took control of the Alamo. Among the volunteers were Davy Crockett (yes that Davy Crockett) and Jim Bowie (a renowned knife fighter whose name is still attached to Bowie knives). But the ultimate victory was not to be theirs. On the thirteenth day of battle, the Mexican army blasted open the Alamo's church and Long Barrack. General Santa Anna (the commander-in-chief of the Mexican Army as well as Mexico's President) regained control of the Alamo.
Capturing the Alamo was not General Santa Anna's main goal. In addition to controlling the Alamo, as well as other strategic locations, he also wanted to hunt down the Texan political leaders. In 1836, upon hearing that these political leaders had retreated to Harrisburg, Santa Anna and a small regiment of his soldiers advanced to Harrisburg to complete his mission. One night, Santa Anna's camp was attacked by a group of Texans led by Sam Houston. General Santa Anna and his men were captured. Because of Santa Anna's dual roles as President and Commander-in-Chief, the Texans were able to negotiate the Treaty of Velasco which granted independence to the newly formed Republic of Texas. The Alamo is now referred to as "The Shrine of Texas Liberty." (This information was paraphrased from http://www.thealamo.org/hero/history.php and some of the information remains widely disputed. I certainly am not an historian, so consider this a mini and possibly inaccurate history lesson!)
This is the front of the Alamo.
This is the Long Barrack which became the first hospital in Texas.
This is the church which now serves as museum gift shop.
These are views of the courtyard between the church and the Long Barrack.
This is a prickly pear cactus. Prickly pear margaritas are a big thing in Texas. Lesly tried one and really enjoyed it.
So that's about one-tenth of the photos I actually took at the Alamo, but you get the general idea. Besides, you don't really want to see all of my branch photos, do you? LOL
Now for more stuff. First of all, I spoke to my publisher a few days ago, and Zamboni's Goal is going to be released in March! Yippee! I should see the galley proofs within the next few weeks. I am so excited! Secondly, I saw the e-book edition of Zamboni's Bath and downloaded it onto my iPad. Emma got such a kick out of seeing it! Thirdly, my dear friend Robyn has been quite ill since before Thanksgiving. She now has pneumonia, is on her third round of antibiotics, and has been sent home with a breathing machine. In addition, her father is battling cancer. If you feel so inclined, I would deeply appreciate your prayers for Robyn and her father. Finally, the father-in-law of my dear friend, Kristy, is in the hospital undergoing tests. I would appreciate prayers for him as well.
That's it for today. Perhaps I'll be back tomorrow with more photos of Texas. I wish you a wonderful weekend!