Next Stop: San Antonio

River Walk Tour via Rio San Antonio, Tour of World Famous The Alamo, Restaurant That NEVER Closes Mi Tierra Cafe & Panderia, San Antonio River Authority Project, The Westin La Cantera Hill Country Resort, Music of Carla Morrison

Alamo Hop-on Hop-off Trolley TourFor total flexibility, the Alamo Hop On Hop Off Trolley is the way to go! Discover the best of San Antonio at your own pace. The trolley stops at all of the best places to see and you are free to stop and browse at your leisure. When you’re done, simply board the next trolley that comes along!




00:00-00:03 JON: Ola, I’m Jon Olson and Bienvenidos to Next Stop from countdown city
00:19 JON: Welcome to San Antonio, also known as Alamo City. San Antonio is Texas’s most visited city by tourists, and for good reason-there’s a lot to see and do here., we will feature a few of those highlights. We will also bring you an amazing latin grammy award winning artist. It is also called the countdown city because of it’s area code, 210, which is our countdown to fun, which starts now.
00:40-00:42 Next Stop Logo
00:43 JON: We’ve just arrived in San Antonio and it is my first trip here, I can’t think of a better way to see your city than on the rive man, this is awesome.
CHRISTOPHER: I get to meet people from around the world, they are all coming together here for a city park, but it is also, of course, welcome to visitors. Alright, hello, good afternoon and welcome to San Antonio, my hometown. We are going to cruise through the most exciting, the most historic sections of the riverwalk. I’ll tell you a lot about its story, its history. The city and the riverwalk have been growing up together for centuries now, and I will tell you the stories of the buildings that we see along the way too. Do you notice that an audience could be sitting there on the left side, imagine 800 people completely filling the hill, or imagine a concert happening on the other side of the water, because on my right, on the starboard side, there is a little clearing that is a stage. If you are curious about that, like how long it has all been here, it’s actually quite a rich story. We started with a river, we are on a real river, the San Antonio rivers natural path, and then the riverwalk was a federal government project to have a park on the river.
01:52 CHRISTOPHER: 1929, this tower like building was designed by architects Atley Ayers and Robert Ayers. there are little details around the second floor like faces, and monsters, and flowers by the second floor windows, Superstition says the ugly faces and the monsters and the gargoyles protect it from bad luck and evil spirits. This building on the right side, the brown brick building,built in 1926 used to show black and white silent movies in it. On the left side, lets look at this next building, the tall yellow building, and people say it looks like it is going to fall down, but see if you agree it looks like a free standing wall. Well don’t worry about that, it is not going to fall down, there is a sharp angle on the whole building, like a triangle, and high to the right is an observation tower, the tallest structure in San Antonio. We don’t have 60 story buildings, but we have a tower that is the height of a 60 story building, so you can take a look around, this was the hemisphere expansion project for our fair, which was called hemisfair. On the left side of the boat, part of the convention center is decorated with an amazing tile mosaic. That is not a painting, there is no paint involved. The tile mosaic is made out of little stone pieces, mostly one inch wide, and it was assembled to show cultures coming together
03:20 JON: I like what you said on the boat, you’ve met people from all over the world, but at the end of the day, what?
We’re all in the same boat.
JON: That was good, I like it! Now when you travel, what do you tell people about San Antonio? What should they come to San Antonio?
CHRISTOPHER: I like to say it has a small town feel, right, we ar enot one of th ebiggest cities in terms of skyscrapers but we still have a lot to offer with our growing tourism industry, with our parks, we have a number of theme parks and other attractions that are away from the riverwalk. I think there is something unique that you are just not going to find any other place.
JON: I would agree. Thanks for having us man.
CHRISTOPHER: Great meeting you.
JON: Good to meet you too.
04:03-04:05 Next Stop Logo
04:06 JON: Coming up on Next Stop, where Davy Crockett made famous, and a restaurant that never closes.
04:14-04:16 Next Stop Logo
04:18 JON: You can’t come to San Antonio Texas and not visit the world famous Alamo. This is really a treat for us, this is the first time we’ve been here, teach us, tell us about this beautiful place.
DR. WINDERS: We welcome you to the Alamo. Now, we are at a different spot, most people that come here head straight to the church, but this is the actual historic entrance to the Alamo compound.
JON: So the Alamo structure that I know of as the Alamo is way the heck over there, and we are over here but we are still in the Alamo.
DR. WINDERS: It really does show you how big the compound really is, and on the sidewalk, if you come down here and there is gray stone, what that represents is an irrigation ditch that ran through the Alamo.
JON: So the man, Davy Crockett, was here.
DR. WINDERS: He is at the Alamo. And for many people, the Alamo wouldn’t be the Alamo without Davy Crockett, and that is why his death here really matters, because for many people it’s like I don’t know where the Alamo is, and what does it have to do with me? But when you throw him into it, it’s like Oh, Davy Crockett, he wa skilled where? So it really makes people more interested.
JON: So this is what I am talking about, it is so much larger than it looks from out there. It’s beautiful, the grounds, the foliage, absolutely gorgeous.
DR. WINDER: It really is, and what we are entering here, this is behind the church and this is a 1030’s era park that created a green space.
05:53 JON: So this is fun, I like that you guys are all dressed up in your period costumes.
DR: WINDERS: This is typical for 1830’s and what we’ve got is, we’re in the hot months, so both of them have on lightweight trousers. These are rapid firing weapons. Well you might want to say ‘How fast is a rapid firing weapon in 1830?’
JON: Probably a little less rapid firing than it is today.
DR: WINDERS: A little. 3 times a minute.
JON: Pretty good.
DR. WINDERS: So 2 times a minute, 100 yards, but when they are empty you still have a weapon, and that is where the bayonet comes in.
JON: Ah yes.
DR. WINDER: Important step, ready.
JON: Ready!
JON: Aim!
JON: Fire! Let’s talk about the battle, how long did it last?
DR: WINDER: It is a 13 day long siege, 12 days being the siege where they are cutting off reinforcements, cutting off an escape, about 200 of them that are dead, and then you have on the mexican side maybe 500 dead and wounded.
JON: This has been a great day, I am pleasantly surprised with San Antonio, and the Alamo was wonderful, I thought it really was just this, but yet the expansive beautiful grounds, thank you for sharing the history and thank you for sharing the Alamo, it was a pleasure.
DR. WINDER: Thank you.
07:26-07:28 Next Stop Logo
07:29 JON: With a population of 1.3 million people San Antonio is the 7th most populous city in the United States, second only to Houston in the state of Texas. From 2000-2010 it was the fastest growing city in the top 10, and it receives over 26 million visitors a year making it the most popular tourist destination in the great state of Texas. It also plays host to the 4 time NBA champions and much loved San Antonio Spurs. For more information on this great U.S. city, go to
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08:00 JON: Since 1951 family owned Mi Tierra has been feeding hungry locals and tourists alike. It has become an institution in this great city of San Antonio, and for good reason. I love a good family story, and you have a very good family story.
MICHAEL: Oh thank you. Well, it all started with my grandfather Pedro, and my grandmother Ruz Cortez, they actually, we are in the place where the restaurant actually opened, and so with 150 dollars that he borrowed from an aunt and uncle, he opened this restaurant. The story goes in 1951 this was the original restaurant, or the main dining room. We kept all the panelling, and the original booths as well, so it kind of keeps the feel.
JON: I love all the colors, it is Christmas year round at Mi Tierra.
MICHAEL: That’s right, year round.
JON: Who got to do all this?
MICHAEL: Well you know, there has been a couple artists that have worked on the mural, the original artist was Jesus Garza, now the current artist is Robert Eduarde. There is artists, there is presidents of Mexico.
JON: And family.
MICHAEL: And my family. This is my grandfather Pedro, and my grandmother Ruz.
09:17 MICHAEL: It is all about the experience more than anything else, and what we do to make this room, and all the spaces that the folks are in to enjoy themselves, to have a good time. The music, the art of the wall, the lights on the ceiling, you know.
JON: And in the end it is about the food. All this food has gone by me and I have yet to taste your food.
MICHAEL: Well we will do that next.
JON: I’m in!
MICHAEL: Come on, let’s do it.
09:40 JON: I said I was hungry, I don’t know if I am this hungry, holy smokes.
MICHAEL: Well this is a little part of what we serve here at Mi Tierra, you know we are truly a capital tex mex food, you get a little bit of everything here, you get baby goat, ground beef, polana pepper, you get carnitas, and over here , because we are open 24 hours a day, we never close, we also do chilequillas, which is a breakfast dish.
JON: Let’s dine man, let’s dig in. I don’t even know where to start.
10:18-10:20 Next Stop Logo
10:21 JON: Up next, a city doing the right thing, and one of our all time favorite hotels.
10:29-10:31 Next Stop Logo
10:33 JON: The San Antonio river authority is passionately committed to the preservation and sustainability of the San Antonio river watershed, and they are doing a great job of it, let’s check it out. So tell us about the San Antonio river authority, what’s it’s purpose?
STEVEN; The river authority, what we do as a regional agency is take care of the San Antonio river, from here in Bear County where it starts, to 140 miles south of here all the way to the Gulf Coast.
JON: It doesn’t always look like this, all the different seasons happen, and it looks much more colorful certain times of the year. I think this is pretty beautiful today as well though.
STEVEN: I enjoy it all year round, but you are absolutely right, there are going to be different colors for different seasons, depending on when visitors may be in town.
JON: I notice people riding bikes by, walking by, we’re going to take the golf cart on our tour.
STEVEN: We are, we are.
JON: You said blue bonnets, we are going to call this our ‘Blue Bonnet’ golf cart.
STEVEN: Perfect, alright.
JON: Let’s do it.
11:28 STEVEN: We’ve got plenty of turtles that are sunning themselves on the rocks here, so it is really a great place for folks, if you are a bird watcher this is going to be a paradise for you to come enjoy. If you really like to get out and just enjoy nature, running and walking and biking, it’s the place to be out here, but if it is someone who just wants to watch birds or butterflies for example, we have lots of migratory monarchs that fly through this place as well so this really creating a habitat that is going to be a wonderful benefit not only for us humans to enjoy, but the other species that we share this area with. So what we have here is many B cycle stations that are set us all along the San Antonio river, both through downtown, north of downtown, and all the way south here on the mission reach project. You check them out, there are stations all over the river you ride them for about 30 minutes from one destination to the other, you park it back in, you get out, you enjoy your destination, you come check out another bike and go to the next destination.
JON: I’m very impressed.
12:33 STEVEN: So we are here at the Mission Conception Portal. There are 4 portals along the Mission Reach Project, and they are designed to connect the San Antonio river with the historic 1700’s era Missions that are in town.This one was actually built up, we had to walk up these steps to get a little bit higher, so we could actually create a view shed, so what we see here off in the distance here is the 2 towers or Mission Conception, and that was built in the 1730’s, 1740’s timeframe. So, the river actually flowed much closer to the Mission Conception back in the 1700’s when it was built. Over the years we’ve channelized the river for flood control, and kind of controlled it as much as we could, so we couldn’t really restore the river back to it’s 1700’s flow at this area, but we wanted to make that connection again between the river and the Mission, so we have this portal here so we have that connection here even though it isn’t exactly the way it was in the 1700’s, we still get that impression that the river and the Mission are connected.
13:31 STEVEN: Ok, so we are standing in, literally, right next to the San Antonio river.
JON: Finally we get to be by the river.
STEVEN: We are getting close to it here. This Mission Reach project, we’ve seen a lot of the habitat restoration, we’ve talked about that a lot already today, but we’ve done a lot of work to restore the actual river itself, we’re not just doing it for the birds and the fish, we are doing it for us to enjoy. we’ve put all these canoe shutes in, so if you are out here enjoying a day of paddling or kayaking you can just shoot through here, you don’t have to get out and forage around it, so we are really trying to do something good for the environment, but make it recreationally enjoybla for us as well.
JON: You’ve done a great job. Steven, thank you so much.
STEVEN: Thanks for being here, appreciate it.
14:12-14:14 Next Stop Logo
14:15 JON: Alaska Airlines offers daily non stop service from San Antonio to Seattle, gateway to the Pacific Northwest, with connections to Canada, Hawaii and Mexico. Thier award winning service is offered on Boeing 737 state of the art aircrafts,one of the youngest fleets in the idustry. For more information go to and learn how you can explore more and spend less of Alaska Airlines
14:35-14:37 Next Stop Logo
14:41 JON: The Westin La cantera Hill Country Resort is perched atop one of San Antonio’s, highest points, overlooking the breathtaking Texas Hill Country. It’s ideal for families, business travelers, leisure travelers, and this week for our Next Stop crew. This lovely resort has 508 guest rooms, a full service spa, 6 pools including a kids pool and an adults only pool. Let me clue you into a little gem I found, one of the pools even has it’s own built in massager, no extra charge. Located just a few hundred yards from the main resort, Casita Village is an escape within an escape. The village is made up on 11 casitas, or little houses in spanish, and each one is named after famous Texas ranches, which is apparent in the classic texas style of the interiors. The coolest part of staying in the casitas is that each unit comes with its own golf cart to motor around this 535.9 acre property, but please be courteous of other drivers, and don’t text and drive.
15:45 JON: Now let’s check out the resorts many dining options and world class golf. We’re in Francescas, which is obviously fine dining.
DIRK: Very fine dining. It’s very fun, and very fine, we use a lot of local farm to table, or csa which is community sustained agriculture, and every Friday we get amazing fruits and vegetable of the season come in, and we are constantly evolving with our menus here at Francescas.
JON: So you guys also have special events, we we actually fortunate enough to be part of one of those where everybody made their own rubs, that was cool.
DIRK: Yeah, it is our spice rub orientation class, we will go the gamut of all the different spices, and then what they do are their classic pairings, what do you want to do with th eoutcome of your spice, do you want it to be something that is big and bold and spicy, or do you want it to be something that is approachable to all of your guests, or do you want to to something that is seasonal, a seasonal rub that you could add to your dishes.
16:42 JON: There are 36 holes of championship golf here at Westin La Cantera, and Steve, this is spectacular.
STEVE; It’s a golf course that’s playable for anybody, it doesn’t matter what kind of player you are, high handicap, low handicap, women find the golf courses to be very friendly to them, so I think that is a huge advantage for us.
JON: This is a great location, you’ve got Six Flags right over there, so when you are done golfing you head over there and you hit a roller coaster.
STEVE: You head over there and hit a roller coaster, if you like you can go over and hot the shops at La Cantera, you can spend a lot of money over there.
JON: You really get a good idea of the size of this property.How big is this property?
STEVE: Well this that we’re on right now, we are on the resort course on La Cantera, the golf itself is 250 acres, so it’s large, it’s very large. The Palmer course that we have which is a signature course by Arnold Palmer is about 158 acres.
JON: What do you tell people about San Antonio, I see you are from Iowa.What do you tell your friends in Iowa about San Antonio?
STEVE: I tell them you can come and play golf year round, because the weather is beautiful if you don’t mind the heat just a little bit in the summertime, but other than that it is absolutely beautiful and I think the other thing you will find here is the hospitality is beyond belief.
17:50-17:52 Next Stop Logo
17:53 Coming up on Next Stop, we feature a 2 time latin grammy award winning artist
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18:22 JON: Our featured artist on Next Stop San Antonio is none other than Carla Morrison, 2 time latin grammy winner. That is pretty impressive, congratulations on all your success recently.
CARLA: Thank you.
JON: You look too young to have all this success behind you, how did it all start?
CARLA: It all started from back home in Mexico, I was very influenced by my dads music. My dad is American, so he used to put on the Beach Boys, Patsy Cline, and all this good stuff
JON: You also have a giving side to you. You gave the japan tsunami, you donated one of your songs, tell us about that.
CARLA: Yeah, well they told me how they were trying to get some money for the tsunami, and of course I had a song and I said go ahead and do whatever you want with it
20:14 JON: What’s next for you, what is your goal? You’ve already won a couple latin grammy’s, what’s next?
CARLA: I well, I guess my goal in life is to pretty much have fun and you know, I’m just having a lot of fun so whatever comes my way I am happy.
21:25-21:27 Next Stop Logo
21:29 JON: Gracias for tuning in to Next Stop from San Antonio, another amazing Alaska Airlines destination, and thanks to this shows sponsors, the Westin la Cantera Hill Country resort, and the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau. As always, thanks to our shows title sponsors and good friends, Alaska Airlines and the Alaska Airlines VISA Signature Card.Next Stop, where will we take you next? make good memories everybody.
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