What a whirlwind weekend!

After touring the Spanish Governor’s Palace and San Fernando Cathedral, we strolled down Commerce Street to Market Square Colorful, bustling and aromatic, Market Square is sensory overload in the best way. Both sides of the cobblestone walkway are lined with vendors peddling traditional [and some not so traditional] Mexican and Tejano wares, as well as restaurants, food stalls, musicians, dancers and people from all walks of life.

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We were directed by friends, family and numerous travel guides to visit Mi tierra Cafe y Panaderia While we waited for our table, there was time to scope out the selections in the 50-foot bakery case. So many things caught our eye!

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For lunch I had Carnitas Michoacan tacos: pork tips marinated in oranges and spices on homemade flour tortillas, served with Frijoles Charros; he had the Special Mexican Dinner y un original rocks margarita on recommendation of Sandy, who deems this the best margarita she’s ever had [including ones drank in Mexico].

Happily stuffed, we walked for what seemed like hours on the Paseo del Rio in the 104º+ heat and sun. [Might I suggest some bubblers along the walk?!]

Stops along the way included: La Antorcha de la Amistad sculpture, the Tower of the Americas at Hemisfair Park, historic Menger Hotel, Mission San Antonio de Valero — the Alamo and La Villita market.

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Exhausting and breathtaking.

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The next day began with breakfast at Torres’ Taco Haven. Floppy house-made corn tortillas accompanied our hearty meals. Huevos a la Mexicana with refried beans, and Reggies Weekend Special: two over-easy eggs, Papas con Chile, Barbacoa [a dish prepared with parts from the head of a cow, such as the cheeks], refried beans and small quesadillas. Darn good and so so satisfying; now please some walking!

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On the morning’s itinerary was to tour the San Antonio Missions National Historic Park: Mission Concepción, Mission San Jose, Mission Espada and Mission San Juan.

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Despite being another scorcher, we took a ranger-led walk through San Jose and were very pleased.

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Presenting San Antonio residents and visitors with the best reubens, pastrami on rye, frosty mug root beer and cheesecake since 1917, Schilo’s Delicatessen was the spot for a late lunch. Afterward we relaxed on a San Antonio River Cruise, strolled back to Market Square to check out the Freedom Fest festivities.

We couldn’t leave without snagging a buttery, flaky pumpkin empanada from Mi Tierra, and stroll the River Walk one last time.

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Fireworks on Woodlawn Lake and an antipasti picnic ended another perfect [beastly hot] day in San Antone.

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Breakfast our last day was at highly-rated Taco Taco me with a flour tortilla egg & Machacado [shredded dried beef] and refried bean & egg on corn; him Carne Asada, the noted chorizo & egg, and a house specialty, the Taco Taco Fritos – a deep-fried spiced chicken taco. We intended for this to be a light breakfast – oops. Worth it, though!

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Sundays are free at the McNay Art Museum so we stopped in to see the van Gogh, Monet, various Renoirs and others.

Briefly we strolled through the Japanese Tea Garden, admiring the flowers, waterfall, fish and ducks. Midafternoon brought back our hunger. We drove north to New Braunfels and had lunch at Friesenhaus a German restaurant, bakery and biergarten. We shared the Oktoberfest Sausage plate, Jägerschnitzel und ein Franziskaner Hefeweiss Dunkel bier. We hoped to stop at Naegelin’s Bakery – the oldest bakery in Texas – afterward for a treat, but it was closed. Next time!

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Wonderful. I can’t wait to return; eat more Tejano cuisine and take in more sights, hopefully to see the Alamo and River Walk at night!

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