The Alamo, San Antonio, TX - 15 DEC 2011

Forget the River Walk, the “must see” for me is the Alamo…the place where two American Pioneer Icons (David Crockett and Jim Bowie) met their death on March 6, 1836
Most of what was once the Alamo (Misión San Antonio de Valero) compound has been swallowed by the concrete and buildings of downtown San Antonio
The north wall where the commander William B. Travis was shot during the final siege, lies under the US Post Office Building.
Entering through Gate 4, we were greeted by beautifully landscaped grounds.
The Convent Courtyard had this historic live oak tree under which is a fenced off well:
Planted in 1914
The Gift Shop also contains exhibits of military artifacts, long rifles, bowie knives and other Alamo archeology:
Notice the building date, 1936, and the Shrine motif.
Near the gift shop is a Wall of History which gives details about the Almo’s 300 year existence. 
A small portion of the original living quarters (for priests, native peoples and soldiers) is now the Long Barrack Museum.
In 1914 a Japanese geography professor, Shigetaka Shiga, presented this monument to the Almo. It contains a poem which compares the Almo to The Siege of Nagashino Castle which took place in 1575.
And finally, I found the most photographed facade in the nation, the Shrine (Chapel) which has come to represent The Alamo and the famous battle for Texas independence: 
The best story is how a 23 year old heiress, Clara Driscoll, used a $1,000 of her own money, in 1905, to save this last remaining section of the Alamo for future generations.
Turning around, across the street from the Shrine, I found a Texas version of a Christmas tree.  It was adorned with: college emblems, Road Runners, oil derricks, boot spurs, long horn cattle, lone stars, outlines of the shape of the state, two types of cactus, howling coyotes, horses, cowboy boots, wagon wheels, rabbits, maple leaves (they have 19 different types of maples in Texas) and of course, armadillos.