backyard1 blades-thumb2 blades3 blades4 flowers5 footer6 fort_selden_wagon7 masthead8 masthead19
slider by v9.0

. icon icon icon iconWe'd love for you to share our stories.

American Roads and Global Highways has so many great articles you may want to search it for your favorite places or new exciting destinations.
search engine by freefind


 Cover of Tenant from Hell
The Tenant from Hell
Book 1 in the Realtor Mystery Series
Casey Clark, property manager, is just trying to evict a bad tenant. Instead she is over her head in murder and mayhem

 Cover of Double Duplicity
Double Duplicity
Book 2 in the Realtor Mystery Series
Trouble  follows Casey like a raging fire.

cover of Missing
Missing-- Gone but not Forgotten

Based on the unsolved abduction of a little girl in a rural  Florida Community.

coverof Under a Bloody Flag

Under a Bloody Flag

Kansas and Missouri were a "no man's land" in the days before the War between the States.

cover of under a black flag

Under a Black Flag
Kansas and Missouri heated to the boiling point during the War between the States. 

cover of For want of a ship
For Want of a Ship
John Roy came to New Orleans looking  for peace instead he found war.

cover of last step
Last Step
Last Step will keep you on the edge of your seat and leave you gasping in surprise at the ending

cover of kudzu
Kudzu shows you a different part of the South, past and present. Mystery with a touch of romance and a smidgen of paranormal.

cover of Wild about florida south
Wild about Florida: South FL
The Everglades swarm with wildlife from birds,  to mammals, to reptiles.

cover of Wild about florida central
Wild about Florida: Central FL
Central Florida has the ocean and gulf beaches much like other parts of Florida but in many other ways it is distinct and unique. 

cover of Wild about florida north
Wild About Florida: North FL
Come explore caves, hills, whitewater falls and lots of other fun things you didn't expect to find in Florida.

cover of georgia's ghostly getaways
Georgia's Ghostly Getaways 

Who is not fascinated by mysterious things that go bump in the night? Are there some places where departed souls still linger?

cover of hosts
Hosts With Ghosts
The South has long been famous for its Southern Hospitality. Hotels throughout Dixie vie with one another to offer their guests more service and more amenities. Many have guests that never depart.

cover of finding florida's phantoms
Finding Florida's Phantoms
Florida! The land of sunshine and wide-open beaches. But even the Sunshine State has its dark secrets. Places where centuries old spirits remain tied to earth. Beneath the facade of fun and make believe lurks the real Florida.

cover of color st augustine coloring book
Color Saint Augustine
This is a way to virtually visit Saint Augustine. It's a coloring book for grown ups (but kids will love it too.)  with an actual photo of the attractions in Saint Augustine. The opposite page is the same photo converted into a black and white line image for you to to color. It's 64 pages with 30 photos and 30 pages for you to color. On each photo and each color page there is a little about the story of the image . 

San Antonio: Deep in The Heart of Texas

Story and Photos by Kathleen Walls

The Alamo


There is no question. San Antonio is the heart of Texas and the heart of San Antonio lies the middle of its 21st century downtown. There one piece of 18th century architecture reigns supreme. It is not the tallest or the largest. Not even the grandest, but it is unquestionably San Antonio's crowning jewel. The Alamo! No other symbol in American history is more revered as a shrine to heroism in the cause of freedom. In actual fact, the story is a little different. A group of American who had been invited to settle in Mexico's then owned territory, actually snatched Texas away from Mexico and created a separate county, the Republic of Texas. They declared independence from Mexico on March 2, 1836. The Republic of Texas was not recognized by the United States until a year later in 1837.

alter at alamo church

Today's Alamo was originally one of a string of five missions built by Spanish friars with the help of local natives, it was named officially Mission San Antonio deValero. Eventually it was secularized and the land returned to the natives who farmed it until the early 1800s when a Spanish military unit was stationed there. The soldiers nicknamed the post "Los Alamo" in memory of their hometown of Alamo de Parras in the province of Coahuila. The name stuck. The Alamo continued to serve as a military barracks through the Mexican Revolution until the Texas Revolution broke out. The Texas rebels under Ben Milam took the Alamo and increased its fortifications.

A small band of Texans under Col. William B. Travis, with Jim Bowie in charge of the volunteers, held the small post on February 23, 1836 when a superior force of Mexicans under command of the Mexican president himself, General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, appeared at its gates and demanded surrender. Travis answered with a cannon shot over Santa Anna's head. Santa Anna declared "No Quarter."

reenactors at alamo

The defenders were a mixed bag. Men from 21 other states as well as England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Germany, and Denmark rallied together to become one united force. Legend states that the young Travis drew a line in the sand with his sword and asked all who would stay and fight to the death to step across. All but one man did.

These men knew the consequences. One soldier, Daniel William Cloud, from Kentucky, stated in a letter:

"If we succeed, the country is ours. It is immense in extent, and fertile in its soil and will amply reward our toil. If we fail, death in the cause of liberty and humanity is not cause for shuddering. Our rifles are by our side, and choice guns they are, we know what awaits us, and are prepared to meet it."

markers at alamo

Travis in his most famous letter begging for reinforcements states: "The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken -- I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, and our flag still waves proudly from the walls – I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of liberty, of patriotism and everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch -- The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily and will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible and die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor and that of his country -- Victory or Death"

Travis and his men held against insurmountable odds for 13 days but death was the final price for the approximately 189 defenders of the Alamo. (Historians differ in the actual number ranging from 150 to 250)

As a natural result of its turbulent history, the Alamo is reported to harbor many spirits. ( I tell much more about that aspect in my book, Hosts with Ghosts.) One unexplained wraith appears frequently in the basement of the Alamo. Staff entering the storage area have reported seeing a tall native American who either just disappears or walks through a solid wall that once housed a tunnel into the Menger Hotel across the street

Menger Hotel

menger hotel

Perhaps the fact that is it built next to the Alamo is what makes the Menger Hotel one of the most haunted hotels in America. True the hotel is so colorful and unique it has no need of ghost stories to enhance it reputation. The spirits that inhabit the hotel range from the Alamo participants to one of America's most colorful presidents. They include the well known and the obscure among their resident phantoms. One sighting that must relate to the Alamo was witnessed by a hotel guest. He came out of his shower to hear an argument going on in his supposedly empty room. Two men dressed in buckskin stood in the middle of the room. The conversion he heard consisted of "Should we stay?" "Maybe we should go." As the phantoms relived their fateful decisions after Travis offered them the chance to leave.

inside menger hotel

The history of the Menger begins just 23 years after the most famous battle in Texas history. A German immigrant couple, William and Mary Menger built a 50-room hotel on what was once a bloody battlefield adjourning the Alamo.

Over the years such famous personalities as Theodore Roosevelt, Sidney Lanier, Babe Ruth, Mae West, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant and Sarah Bernhardt have made the Menger their temporary home. 


The Menger Bar is where a young Theodore Roosevelt recruited volunteers for his Rough Riders and still looks like he might strut in an any moment. If you are a believer in the many ghost tales, he just might!


Institute of Texan Cultures

native American Exhibit at Texas Instituter of Culture

This hands on interactive museum is an explosion of color and culture that makes San Antonio and the people of Texas come to life in an ever-changing series of exhibits. It is a trip through time and space from the prehistoric inhabitants to its present day multicultural heritage.

cabin at institude of texas culture

Witte Museum

interactive dinasour exhibit

The Witte Museum is ranked San Antonio's most popular museum. It's a fascinating blend of art and culture. It's hard to pic a favorite her but one of mine is a huge wall screen where you interact with dinosaurs.

wild texas exhibit

Another is the Texas Wild Exhibit that showcases the native wildlife of Texas.

River Walk

river walk

The second most popular reason to visit San Antonio is its River Walk (Paseo Del Rio). After you have toured the Alamo, the next thing you want to do is get down to this city treasure and indulge yourself. The river walk has shopping, dining, river taxis and the most relaxing atmosphere in the heart of any city. If you are in town when there is a parade on the River Walk do not miss it.

river parade

 La Villita is an artisan village, listed on the U.S. government's National Register of Historic Places, on the River Walk. It featuring architectural styles ranging from adobe structures, to early Victorian, and Texas vernacular limestone buildings that house it's over 25 shops and galleries

dancers at La Vallita


A ride on the River Taxi is a wonderful way to see this San Antonio Treasure.

The Missions

Follow the trail of the Spanish missionaries when they colonized Texas. There are five missions. The two that impressed me the most are San Jose and Conception.

san jose mission

San Jose is the most complete with the homes of the Native Americans as well as the church, a chapel, and other buildings.

ranger by rose window

The Rose Window located on the south wall of the church sacristy has become one of the symbols of San Antonio. Legend says Pedro Huizar, a carpenter and surveyor from Spain, created the famous window in 1775 in memory of his sweetheart, Rosa. Who had been lost at sea on her way from Spain when she was coming to marry him.

altar at conception mission 

Conception Mission was named  of Mission Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de Acuña in honor of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. It is the most authentic church in the missions park as it was built on bedrock and never lost its roof.

Saga at San Fernando Cathedral

band and venders at the Saga

 San Fernando Cathedral is the oldest cathedral in the United States. Although that is a good reason to visit there is another reason. The Saga, a video art projection by international artist Xavier de Richemont,  takes you  though Texas history in a 24-minute journey. 

the saga

The show is projected on the front of the cathederal every Tuesday night at 9pm and again at 9:30. There will be venders and music in the plaza before the show.

King William

guenther house

I was surprised to learn that there was and still is a large German population in San Antonio. Visit the King William section and The Guenther House, the 1920s home of German mill owner, C.H. Guenther. You can tour the home and dine it since it is now a restaurant. Many of the dishes served use the flour produced in the still operating mill.

polar bear sculpture in guenther house

The King William section is filled with historic homes. 

San Antonio Memorial Cemetery

buffalo soldier at cenetery

Many cultures make up San Antonio. The Buffalo Soldiers played a part in its history and many are buried in the San Antonio National Cemetery. Bexar County Buffalo Soldiers Association preserve their memory.

The Pearl

antique truck at the pearl

One unique part of San Antonio's more recent history is preserved in the Hotel Emma in what was once the Pearl Brewery. The brewery was built by beer baron, Otto Koehler, more than 120 years ago The Emma was just named Top Luxury Hotel in the country by Trip Advisor. It was also honored as the nation's overall No. 2 hotel in the same awards.

bar at Emma

The Emma is filled with unique remnants of the former brewery and it creates a truly one-of-a-kind experience.

Hotel emma

The Pearl has a entire plaza square surrounded by boutique shops, dining options, and fun places. It's pet and kid friendly.

Of course there is so much more to see and do in San Antonio. I just returned from a great trip with IPW Convention for travel writers there, and learned so much more about that fascinating city on this visit. If you plan to visit be sure to get the CityPASS for San Antonio. It will save you a lot of money.