by Mike Dutton

Tour A - Monday, September 3, 2007

Tour of Texas State Capitol & the LBJ Library and Museum from 0800 through 1600 door to door from the hotel. This is a guided tour and transportation is provided on a deluxe motorcoach.

Texas State Capitol - Today

Travel to Austin, Texas which is the capital of Texas and tour the Texas State Capitol. Completed in 1888 as the winning design from a national competition, the Capitol's style is Renaissance Revival, based on the architecture of 15th-century Italy and characterized by classical borders, round arches and symmetrical composition. The structural exterior is "sunset red" granite, quarried just 50 miles from the site. Additional structural support is provided by masonry walls and cast iron columns and beams. The foundation is limestone. Texas paid for the construction not in dollars, but in land: some three million acres in the Texas Panhandle that would later become the famous XIT Ranch.


Old Engraving of the Capitol Building

An extraordinary edifice by any measure, the 1888 Texas Capitol is the largest in gross square footage of all state capitols and is second in total size only to the National Capitol in Washington, D.C. Like several other state capitols, the 1888 Texas Capitol surpasses the National Capitol in height, rising almost 15 feet above its Washington counterpart.

LBJ Library

Then move on to the Lyndon Baynes Johnson Library and Museum. In addition to the collection of documents and papers related to President Johnson, there are a great number of interesting collections available for viewing by the public. Statuary, paintings, President Johnson’s limousine, gifts of state, a vintage Model T Ford auto car presented by Henry Ford II, and The First Lady’s Gallery which exhibits a portrait of Mrs. Johnson’s legacy as a humanitarian, an unofficial diplomat and a champion of nature.

Quoting President Johnson:

"It is all here: the story of our time with the bark off. This Library will show the facts, not just the joy and triumphs, but the sorrow and failures, too."

"I hope that visitors who come here will achieve a closer understanding of the presidency and that young people will get a clearer comprehension of what this nation tried to do in an eventful period of its history."

During the tour, time will be allotted for lunch which is purchased on your own.

Tour B - Monday, September 3, 2007

Welcome to San Antonio Tour including the Missions, the River Center and Paseo del Rio, the River Walk, from 0900 to 1500 door to door from the hotel. This is a guided tour and transportation is provided on a deluxe motorcoach.


Mission San José

Mission San José y San Miguel de Aguayo — Founded in 1720, the mission was named for Saint Joseph and the Marqués de San Miguel de Aguayo, the governor of the Province of Coahuila and Texas at the time. It was built on the banks of the San Antonio river several miles to the south of the earlier mission, San Antonio de Valero (the Alamo).

Its founder was the famed Father Antonio Margil de Jesús, a very prominent Franciscan missionary in early Texas.

San José, as it became known, was the largest of the missions in the area. At its height, the community contained about 300 Indian neophytes sustained by extensive fields and herds of livestock. Viewed as the model among the Texas missions, San José gained a reputation as a major social and cultural center. It became known as the "Queen of the Missions." Its imposing complex of stone walls, bastions, granary, and magnificent church was completed in 1782.


San Fernando Cathedral Interior

San Fernando Cathedral — San Fernando Cathedral has always been at the center of San Antonio. It is a special place that occupies a unique position in this city and for the many visitors who come by the thousands every year.

From its founding on March 9, 1731 by a group of 15 families who came from the Canary Islands at the invitation of King Phillip V of Spain, this church was planned to be at the center of the life of this city.

San Fernando Cathedral functions not exclusively as a Catholic Cathedral, but as a center of unity and harmony for all the God-loving people of San Antonio and beyond.

Over 5,000 participate at weekend Masses each week of the year. Over 900 baptisms, 100 weddings, 100 funerals, and countless other services are performed each year. Symphonies, concerts, and television specials are but a few of the special events held in the cathedral regularly. Hundreds of people enter the church daily to pray, visit, light a candle, or follow various devotional traditions. Tour buses arrive constantly to visit this 275 year old spiritual center. San Fernando Cathedral is the oldest cathedral in the United States.


The Alamo at night

The Mission San Antonio de Valero - ‘The Alamo’ — established in San Antonio in 1718, was but one of many Catholic missions organized as part of the official Spanish plan to Christianize native Americans and colonize northern New Spain. Franciscan monks began building on the present site, on east side of the San Antonio River, about 1724 and remained there until 1793, when the Spanish government legally dissolved the mission and distributed ownership of its lands and buildings.

After the departure of the Franciscans, the seventy-five-year-old mission entered a long period of rather haphazard use. In addition to its famous role in the Texas revolution, the site's subsequent functions have included quarters for both Spanish and Mexican frontier troops; housing for local Indians, Tejanos, and itinerant squatters; hospital; army supply depot; Masonic lodge; jail; commercial store and warehouse; public park; tourist attraction; movie set; and historic site. This multiple use has greatly complicated efforts to document or describe the Alamo at any given time. Another difficulty arises from semantic ambiguity in many descriptions of the site, with the title Alamo sometimes used to refer exclusively to the church building and sometimes to the entire mission complex.

For some really interesting reading about the history of the mission visit this website:

El Paseo del Rio

Lunch and free time at the River Center Mall — There is sufficient time for tour participants to take a boat ride on the San Antonio River from the mall. The San Antonio river flows through the center of the mall. Or, after lunch, tour participants can walk along the Paseo del Rio, “River Walk” before returning to the hotel.

Tour C - Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Tour the Texas Hill Country including the town of Fredericksburg and the Nimitz Museum. This guided tour starts at 0800 and ends at 1600 door to door from the hotel. Transportation is provided on a deluxe motorcoach.

Fredericksburg is one of the most popular tourist towns in the state of Texas. Fredericksburg has over 100 unusual shops featuring arts and crafts, antiques, gifts, clothing, jewelry, novelties, and more. You will find plenty of shopping in Fredericksburg, Texas. The main street of Fredericksburg is full of quaint shops and the side streets of Fredericksburg offer more of the interesting tourist shopping.

Fredericksburg was founded in 1846 by German settlers. Over 150 years later their influence is still evident throughout Fredericksburg. The buildings with the two story balconies and the Victorian gingerbread, the German fachwerk, and the older log buildings scattered throughout Fredericksburg remind us of the German settlers.

The beautiful Fredericksburg churches with their massive steeples are a sight to behold. You will want to take a lot of pictures of the churches and other historical Fredericksburg buildings throughout the town.

There is a German restaurant and a German bakery on Main Street that you will want to visit. You may even hear an occasional German dialect or two in conversations throughout the town.

The Nimitz Museum

The National Museum of the Pacific War is the only institution in the continental United States dedicated exclusively to telling the story of the Pacific Theater battles of World War II. Located on a six-acre site, the Center includes the George Bush Gallery, Admiral Nimitz Museum, Plaza of Presidents, Veterans' Walk of Honor, Japanese Garden of Peace, Pacific Combat Zone, and the Center for Pacific War Studies.

Originally named The Admiral Nimitz Museum and housed solely in the historic Nimitz Hotel, the Museum has grown into a dynamic, first-class experience that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and from all backgrounds. In addition to nearly 34,000 square feet of indoor exhibit space, the museum boasts an impressive display of Allied and Japanese aircraft, tanks, guns and other large artifacts made famous during the Pacific War campaigns. An additional 40,000-foot expansion is planned for the Museum's future.

Lunch on your own in one of the many restaurants in Fredericksburg.

Tour D - Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Browsing Boerne Tour takes you to the town of Boerne, Texas for a day of self-guided shopping, luncheon and touring. The tour starts at 0930 and ends at 1530 door to door from the hotel. Transportation is provided on a deluxe motorcoach.

Kuhlmann King House

The town of Boerne (pronounced “bernie”) is named for Ludwig Borne, who inspired many young men to leave Germany in the 1840’s and travel to the new world. Some of these German pioneers created a settlement called “Tusculum” near present day Johns Road. Even after most of the original creators had moved on, a few of the men decided to remain and named the area Boerne.

Today, Boerne is a popular place for tourists to scavenge for antiques, view historic buildings and relax in the comfort of a small town. Several community activities take place throughout the seasons and Boerne can now boast that it has more than 8,000 citizens who are proud to call this town home.

There are some of the wonderful historical sites to see while touring Boerne. All of them are within walking distance of each other, making for a pleasant and relaxing outing steeped in the rich history of this beautiful town. Among some of the historic buildings to see and visit there are:

1.       The BOERNE PUBLIC LIBRARY ~ 1884 in the historic Joseph Dienger Building 201 N. Main Street.

2.       The OLD BOERNE PUBLIC SCHOOL ~ 1910.

           HOUSE ~ 1885, or the HENRY J. GRAHAM BUILDING ~ 1891 all located Behind City Hall.

For more information visit either of these websites:

Tour E - Tuesday, September 4, 2007


Texas Cattle Ranch - Rio Cibolo - Dinner / BBQ. Deluxe motor coach transportation leaving at 1830 and returning at 2300 door to door from the hotel. Dinner and entertainment are provided by the Rio Cibolo Ranch.

The Rio Cibolo Ranch is working Texas Longhorn cattle ranch. A two meat BBQ dinner, with entertainment consisting of a story teller relating tales of the Texas cattle drive, a fiddler and hayrides to see the Longhorns is included.

Visit this website for more information:

Tour F - Tuesday, September 4, 2007


The Riverwalk at night!

Tour the Paseo del Rio - The Riverwalk - on a self-guided, evening / night time adventure along the San Antonio River. Round-trip transportation on a deluxe motorcoach leaves at 1830 and returns at 2230 door to door from the hotel.

There are a limited number of seats for this self-guided tour sponsored by the hotel. Sign-up on a first come, first served basis.

Visit San Antonio’s famed Riverwalk and enjoy the evening! Visit this website for some information about the Riverwalk:

Tour G - Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Shopping in San Antonio takes you to the well known SAS store and then on to Market Square - the well known Mexican Marketin downtown San Antonio. This self-guided tour includes deluxe motorcoach transportation leaving at 1030 and returning at 1530 door to door from the hotel.

Enjoy nickle Cokes, fresh popcorn, freshly roasted peanuts in a country store setting. Also enjoy the lowest prices for SAS shoes that you’ll ever see. Someone on the bus could even win a pair of SAS shoes.


Art, Pottery, Leather, El Mercado!

Then visit El Mercado - the Market for shopping and lunch. Visitors to this historic square avail themselves to a myriad of activities. They sip margaritas in outdoor cafes, savor the finest Mexican foods including tasty fajitas, listen to the music of strolling musicians and visit shops filled to overflow with pinatas, Mexican dresses, curios, candies, jewelry, art, and an infinite variety of other items. There is also the Farmers Market where farmers brought fresh produce from the fields and offered it for sale. Due to the growth of Market Square as a tourist attraction, fresh produce became an item not in demand. Today, the new Farmers Market Plaza, renovated in January of 1994, contains small to large shops and a food court. A blend of merchandise that is representative of the cultural, artistic and ethnic influences of Texas and Mexico.