What a beautiful city! The area around the San Antonio River that flows through the historic district is a goldmine. Known as the River Walk, it is a huge tourist draw, and contains restaurants, bars, shops and hotels. Originally constructed by the WPA in the late 1930s, it has served as a way to minimize flood damage along the river and also to bring commerce to the area.
The conference hotel, The Hyatt Regency, opens directly onto the River Walk. The lobby is a pool with fountains and waterfalls.
I strolled along the River Walk several times in my four days amazed at the mixture of vibrant humanity and calming nature. The huge bald cypress trees, all decorated in unlit Christmas finery, some reaching ten stories into the skyline, held the sense of ancient primeval forest while the bustling sidewalk cafes and eateries reminded me of fast-paced modern living.
The colonial architecture and beautiful landscaping made these buildings fun to look at and photograph. The many bridges slung over the river gave the setting a European feel. At times I could imagine myself back in Venice.
The Alamo Mission was only a seven minute walk from the hotel. I spent time after the post-conference session with fantastic author, speaker, and writing teacher, James Scott Bell to view the landmark. It reminded me of the Mona Lisa–smaller than I thought it would be. I wandered inside and felt transported back in time. I thought of the small band of Texans holed up in the tiny structure and felt their fear and their bravery. That intangible substance that causes men and women to stand in a fight they know they will lose for a belief that will outlive them. They had faith in their cause and eventually, their cause won out.
This piece of history reminded me of the apostles after Jesus’ crucifixion. They thought their cause was lost, but continued to meet together, even if in fear. After the resurrection, their faith and belief rose to new heights. They were willing to die for the cause of advancing the name of Christ. Formerly cowering individuals rose up in bravery to preach, teach and spread the gospel around the world regardless of personal cost.
They had such a lovely garden at the Alamo. I took advantage of the shade to snap this selfie.
The final event of the Conference with the Gala Dinner where awards are distributed after a fine meal of filet mignon. I enjoyed applauding and celebrating with the winners. Especially since I’ve read several of the Carol-winning books and had met many of the Genesis finalists.
Another year is in the books and I’m already looking forward to the 2020 conference in St. Louis. Hopefully, I’ll have advance a bit down the publishing road, but whatever God has in store for me, I’m enjoying the journey. I’m so glad I was pointed to ACFW and have many others sharing that path with me.