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Rolling in from the Riverwalk at 4:00 AM got the better of the boys, and they didn't stir until 9:00 AM. With way, way, too many beers and Tequila shots, the thought of going out in the 100+ degree heat just curdled their stomachs. By the time they had breakfasted at the Menger, and checked out, it was already pushing 11:00 AM.
Sailing out of San Antone
Saying Goodbye to the Alamo Dome
Driving without a Clue
The omni-present heat of the South Texas SUN was wilting the boys in their hung-over state. Without a firm plan of attack, they sort of meandered through South Texas with the air conditioning on full blast. Through the haze of sun and too much fun they decided to continue the Mexican American War theme, thereby making the next stop the site of the Goliad battles, which was the other of Santa Anna's screw-ups that came back to haunt him.
As the boys headed south they noticed that the temperature was rising by the mile, and the terrain was becoming much more tropical.
The Tragedy of the Goliad
As stated before, Sam Houston was right. The Alamo was in the middle of nowhere in context of the rest of the Texas population in 1838, whereas the Goliad was in the middle of the path from Mexico to East Texas. With the Goliad out of the way, Santa Anna had a straight shot to the Texas capital at the time, Washington-on-the-Brazos. Stopping or slowing Santa Anna was critical to the survival of the Texas Republic and t he brave defenders of the Goliad did slow the Mexican Army down enough to allow Houston to assemble his army, but at a horrible cost.
The leader of the Texians, James Fannin was no William Travis Barrett, Fannin did not believe in "Victory or Death !", like the lunatics at the Alamo, so after hearing about what happened to the Defenders of the Alamo and Santa Anna's 1,200 member army surrounded thee 300 defenders of the Goliad, Fannin was very open to surrender terms from the Mexicans.
Treachery most Foul After much negotiations Fannin surrendered his command. As stipulated in the surrender Fannin and his troops marched out of the fort and lined up for review. Instead of being marched off as prisoners they were lined up and slaughtered to the very last man.
Santa Anna defended the action by stating that he did not negotiate with "pirates." Interestingly both at the time, and even now, people of Texas were and still are more incensed at the Alamo, than the Goliad.
The Goliad Mission
"Things would have been different at Goliad if I woulda been here !!", puffed Bone
The Goliad Mission is now of museum of Spanish/Mexican Mission life and the battle. Unfortunately with the temperature zooming over 100 degree's and the humidity about the same, as well as last nights excesses still weighing heavily on the boys brains, interest in the Goliad visit waned quickly.
The Goliad Battle Memorial and Col. Fannin Burial Ground
However, before they left the area, the boys did pay their respects at the burial site of Fannin and his troops.
By this point in the day the rental car's air conditioning was on full and it was still unbearably hot in the car, the boys decided to make a run for the coast and see if the Gulf breezes would provide a little respite from the relentless heat. The closer they got to the coast, the more tropical the terrain became. Finally, after a few more hours in very hot weather the boys made it to Aransas on the Coast. Discovering that Port Aransas is a barrier island that requires a car ferry, the boys had visions (turned out to be delusions) of a party island like Key West.
The Port Aransas Island Car Ferry
Deciding to check out the Island and look for lodging the boys drove on the ferry. Unfortunately Gulf breezes were blowing very hot and did not provide much comfort on the ride over. Once over, the boys quickly determined that Port Aransas was not a party town, but a sleepy fishing village. However the fare of lodging, bars, and restaurants appeared to be better on the Island the boys found a moderately run down Fishing Hotel (hey, at least the air conditioning worked !)
Port Aransas, Fishing Village Extraordinaire
By now it was pushing 9:00 at night and it was still over 85 degrees, with no sense whatever the boys headed down to a outdoor restaurant on the water. The food was great, with excellent local Redfish from the Gulf, but sadly the beers were few, as the late night the evening before, the long drive, and the heat finally took their toll. After dinner, while considering the loong night on the Riverwalk, and the hot day, the boys decided for a tactical retreat and retired "early" at Midnight.