2009 May 07 | San Antonio, San Marcos

Wait, is this saying that even during a hurricane, you should leave the shoulder open for emergencies? Uh, I think a hurricane is a bit of an emergency.

Now this is what I think of when I think Texas: lots of cacti.

Our tour guide actually thanked us for not asking him about the Torch of Friendship like everyone else. The Tower of the Americas is on the right.

A part of the River Walk during the day. It reminded me of Venice, with lots of little restaurants scattered along it.

A view of downtown from the Tower of the Americas.

And the same a little after sunset. Actually, this was the only side that was really worth looking out of.

Aw, that's cute. These old-women tourists were getting stuffed animals out of the claw machine.

A part of the River Walk at night.

Coyote Ugly, with a girl dancing on the bar.

Oh, I love continental breakfast.

That's neat. If they don't have your name engraved on a knife, you can mail this off and they make you one.

A view near the Alamo.

The Alamo.

A big tree inside.

The Menger Hotel. Apparently a lot of Germans moved to Texas in the mid-1800s, which explains Tejano, a mix of polka and Mexican music.

When they built the River Center Plaza, they couldn't destroy the church to the right, so they just built around it.

I love walking tours. This time, however, it was only this woman and me. I actually wasn't even going to go if was only going to be just me, but since she wanted a tour, I went, too.

The Arneson River Theater.

There were lots of baby ducks along the River Walk.

It was very pretty.

Another view.

The tour boats that took you around the River Walk had these seats in the middle that are only held up by the cables at each end, and nobody wanted to sit on them because they didn't trust them to not break.

The Nix Professional Building, which has the optical illusion of looking like a wall when viewed from the correct angle.

San Fernando cathedral.

This crosswalk allows you to go diagonally at some points. I kept forgetting that, though, and instead crossed each way individually every time.

The Spanish Governor's Palace.

The gardens.

You'd think this would be very expensive property, so I was surprised to see a Goodwill on it.

Market Square.

One of the big houses in the King William Area.

And another.

And another.

And another.

No, actually, I want to park where I am. I should park over there.

One of the streetcars.

I saw a big line of people waiting for something, so I decided I'd have to try to find out what it was when I got back to the motel.

The Buckhorn Saloon and Museum, with lots of animal heads.

The multi-colored top of the Casino Club Building.

Well, it took me a bit of searching around online, but I finally figured out what all those people had been waiting in line for: Mixfest. It was an outdoor concert with The Veronicas, Kevin Rudolf, White Tie Affair, We The Kings, The Offspring, Nick Lachey, and the All-American-Rejects. I thought it was pretty cheap for the amount of music you got ($25), but it was insanely hot.

Lots of places had these signs. Well, if I've already checked out of my motel and can't keep my valuable there any more, where should I leave them?

Our tour guide told us to try the Guenther House for breakfast.

It was a very pretty little place, and you could eat outside.

And the last part of my San Antonio itinerary was to check out the missions. There are five that are all along the same road, so that makes it easy.

Mission Concepcion had lots of wall paintings.

Mission San Jose still had a big wall around it.

And the Rose Window, one of the most photographed sights in San Antonio.

The main building across the yard.

Mission San Juan.

Some weird sculptures out in a field.

These are a neat idea; you use your cell phone instead of borrowing the audio tour machines. However, they were a bit too long for me.

Mission Espada, which had a nice garden.

The San Antonio mall, which part the river run right next to.

On the way home, I noticed a sign for San Marcos. I hadn't originally intended on going there, but a few people had said I should visit it some time, and since it's a bit of a drive from Houston, I decided to stop by.

It's known for some giant outlet malls.

And they are absolutely gigantic.

It just goes on forever.

However, even though they're outlet stores, some are still pretty expensive.

Well, since it was a road trip, I decided I should at least have one road-trip meal, so I stopped at a gas station and bought one of their often-nasty pizzas, CornNuts, and a Cherry Coke.

A neat little car, but it must be awfully loud because he has ear muffs.

An interesting building top in Houston.

Hmm, maybe I shouldn't have stopped at San Marcos after all because it meant I got back to Houston just in time for rush hour traffic.