#11 San Antonio, Texas March 23 - March 27 1994

Wednesday, March 23: "Bienvenidos a San Antonio," the llth mini, was headquartered at the premier Hilton Palacio del Rio on the city's Riverwalk. Its Imperial Suite was site of the Hospitality Room where attendees socialized and were greeted by host Nani Falcone and his wife Pat. Custom-designed tote bags contained a detailed schedule of events, tourist data and name tags.

Thursday, March 24: During the day, two tour groups alternated visiting the King William Historical District, developed during the 1870s by wealthy German citizens, where many stately homes have been restored; the Mission San Jose y Miguel de Aguayo, queen of the five Spanish missions built along the San Antonio River; the Main Plaza, an historic area downtown featuring the San Fernando Cathedral, Military Plaza, and the Spanish Governor's Palace; the Alamo, site of an historic siege in 1836; and the Institute of Texan Cultures, a unique research, education and communication center focusing on Texas' multi-ethnic history and traditions. We all met at La Margarita's colorful Terraza Room overlooking El Mercado for Mexican fare. The Lone Star Brewery hosted our "Six Flags Over Texas Dinner." Colorful carts featured cuisine from France, Mexico, Spain, Texas, Confederacy and U.S. Some braved line dancing lessons; all enjoyed the country-western music.

Friday, March 25: A brisk breeze on the walk to the historic Menger Hotel for breakfast. T. R. Fehrenbach '45, noted author (Lone Star) and newspaper columnist, was the speaker. Buses took us to Fort Sam Houston, the city's oldest military institution and the home of the 5th U.S. Army. On to San Antonio Botanical Gardens and the Japanese Tea Gardens in Brackenridge Park. A delightful lunch at Los Patios a rustic spot on the banks of Salado Creek. The privately endowed McNay Art Museum featured a fine display of Winkler etchings. A barge cruise along the scenic Riverwalk took us to Southwest Craft Center former site of an Ursaline convent and academy (established 1854) for an authentic Texas barbecue. A trio of Mexican guitarists serenaded the group. Very emotional class meeting as Pete Buchanan read the list of deceased classmates, then all sang Old Nassau.

Saturday, March 26: The day was spent in Texas' Hill Country a two-hour ride from the hotel. First stop was the LBJ Ranch, combined state and federal national parks along the Pedernales River. Nani explained it was an ecological disaster when early pioneers replaced native grasses with cotton crops. Subsequent erosion denuded the land of soil, followed by an invasion of juniper. We boarded trams for a guided tour, visiting Johnson's school, birthplace, family cemetery, ranchlands and Texas White House during his term as president. Next stop was Fredericksburg where we ate German fare at the Old Munich Restaurant. A highlight was Pete smashing cascones on our hosts' heads. A short walk to the Admiral Chester Nimitz Museum, which displayed his life and World War n maneuvers in the South Pacific, and the unforgettable Japanese Peace Garden. Returned to San Antonio for dinner.

Sunday, March 27: Breakfast at the Menger Hotel ended this excellent mini in one of America's 10 largest cities. "jAdios y que vuelvas pronto!"

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