San Antonio Museum of Art

I’m loving living in a new city and exploring it when I have the chance. San Antonio has so much to do and see! Today my friend Erin and I went to the San Antonio Museum of Art.

image

It’s located in an old brewery downtown on West Jones Avenue with easy, free parking directly across the street.

image

The museum has 4 floors of permanent exhibits and a separate special exhibit that can been seen for an additional fee.

The first floor boasts an Egyptian collection.

image

And an area of Roman and Greek statues.

image

There is an Asian art wing.

image

And an Oceanic section.

image

The contemporary art  was probably my favorite. It included an electric chair, some abstract paintings, trash turned into art, and a giant fish. (??)

image

image

There’s so much to see that you can easily spend 3-5 hours there. We were there for about 3 hours, and it wasn’t quite enough. Regular admission is $10, children get in for free, seniors pay $7, and students and military have a discounted rate of $5. This museum is full of history and art and worth every penny. If you’re ever in San Antonio, be sure and stop by!
image

Forget The Alamo

I’ve only been in San Antonio a few weeks, but I decided to make a quick trip to Spain.

Many parts of what is now Texas were colonized by Spain. Between the years of 1690 and 1821, “New Spain” acquired many cultural practices of Spain, including the Spanish language and religion. In an attempt to convert the “savage” natives of the area, the Spaniards set up churches. These churches were more than just churches; the Native Americans lived at the compound, learned the Spanish way of life, and participated in Catholicism.

There were 26 missions in Texas. The most well-known mission is The Alamo. Many people visit this landmark while in San Antonio, but most miss out on the other missions in the city. These 4 other missions, in my opinion, are grander and more beautiful than the Alamo.

San Jose, known as the “Queen of the Missions”, was built in 1720. It is the largest mission in San Antonio and once hosted over 300 Native Americans.

San Jose Mission in San Antonio

Inside San Jose

Inside San Jose

Prayer candles

Prayer candles inside San Jose

Spanish architecture at San Jose

Spanish architecture can really be seen at San Jose

San Antonio churches

Walls surround the entirety of the mission

Tourist at San Jose Mission church in San Antonio

I felt like I had left the US!

image

San Jose Mission door and carvings

The carvings were extraordinary!

Prayer Garden at San Juan Mission

In the prayer garden before entering the actual mission

San Jose Mission

A look at the church from inside one of the other buildings on the compound

Mission San Juan was established in 1731. This one stuck out to me because of its white color. Visitors are able to go inside each of these missions and worship services are still held.
Mission San Juan

image

image

image

Mission Espada has been around since 1731. There’s really not too many building left that existed before the US was even a country!

image

image

Not the Alamo

I was in love with all the doors!

Mission Concepcion is the oldest unrestored stone church in the US. This mission is the one that looks the most like it did in the 1700s.

Mission Concepcion

Mission Concepcion

Fresco inside on church wall

Mission Concepcion

I loved the palm trees surrounding this mission!

The missions are part of the San Antonio Missions National Historic Park. Admission is free, and the inside of all of the churches are open until 5 each evening. Feel free to wander the outside of the missions after 5, but I highly recommend getting a look around inside each church. You will need to drive to each mission, unless you plan to spend a bit more time there by biking or hiking. We spent almost 4 hours there, so, if you go, make a day of it. Make sure you visit the visitor center first, close to San Jose. There is a neat 15 minute documentary that will explain some things to you before you begin.

So if you are planning to come to San Antonio, Texas anytime soon, please don’t miss out on these jewels of the city! And contrary to the infamous phrase, please do forget the Alamo!

Danshui River Walk

Taipei City is a huge metropolitan of more than 2.6 million people. There always seems to be hustle and bustle. And heat. On the weekends, many city dwellers like to go a little outside of town to get away from it all, cool off  from the ocean breeze, eat some snacks, and play a few games. Recently I had a chance to visit Danshui, where the Tamsui River meets the Pacific Ocean. It was a perfect respite from constantly being in the city center. travel in Taiwan

Taiwan Danshui mountains

The mountains were beautiful!

Snacks in Danshui Taiwan

Yum?

Yum?

Danshui Taiwan

Is this not the tallest ice cream you’ve ever seen?!

Taiwan Beach

Playing games

Playing games

Temple in Taipei Taiwan

There were even a few temples there

 

Danshui Danshui Taiwan

Man's Silhouette in Taiwan

The Padaung Women of Myanmar

The Padaung Women of Myanmar

The Padaung are a subgroup of the Karen minority group in Myanmar. They are known for the wearing of brass neck coils. Girls start to wear the coils around the age of 5; It is said that the women do so in order to enhance their beauty.

I took this photo when I visited Myanmar in 2004. This was my first trip out of the country. This is what started it all.