2006 TMS Annual Meeting & Exhibition

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Tours depart from the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter Hotel, Commerce Street door. To sign up for a tour, download the Optional Events form.


Date and Time: Monday, March 13, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
$39 per person

Stop #1: King William Historic District
Considered by many to be the most beautiful neighborhood in all of Texas, the King William Historic District recalls a more gracious era. Prosperous German merchants who made their fortunes in San Antonio in the late 1800s built these grand homes. They are showcased along tree-lined avenues, with ornately carved wood, delicately scrolled ironwork and beautiful landscaping.

Just at the end of King William Street is the Guenther House, built by the German immigrant who operated the first flourmill on the San Antonio River. This house is still part of the Pioneer Flour Mill and run by the Guenther family. A tour of the house reveals wonderful memorabilia from the Pioneer Mill. Products from the mill are available in the gift shop.

Celebrate San Antonio TourA visit to King William is not complete without a tour of the Steves Homestead. A close neighbor to the Guenther house, Edward Steves built this home in 1876. It is now a museum owned and operated by the San Antonio Conservation Society. The house has been meticulously restored to the period of the early 1900s.

Stop #2: San Fernando Cathedral
At the center of San Antonio, the San Fernando Cathedral was founded in 1731 by a group of 15 families who came from the Canary Islands at the invitation of King Phillip V of Spain. It functions, not exclusively as a Catholic cathedral, but as a center of unity and harmony. Over 5,000 participate at weekend Masses with over 900 baptisms, 100 weddings, funerals, and other services 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.

Stop #3: El Mercado (Mexican Market)
The last stop on the tour is the border-style El Mercado, or Mexican Market. Serving as a hub of commerce years ago, Market Square, as it has become known, has retained much of its charm of the past with its quaint shops, which offer local crafts, art, clothing and food. Two indoor markets filled to the brim with wares offer visitors many unique choices.


Date and Time: Tuesday, March 14, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
$39.50 per person

One of the country's few national parks within an urban setting, the Missions tell the early story of San Antonio and European expansion in the New World.

Spanish Mission Trail TourStop #1: The Alamo
The most well-known, Mission San Antonio de Valero, or the Alamo, was established in 1718 and played a pivotal role in Texas history. The shrine displays exhibits from the battle, and guests can explore the beautifully landscaped grounds.

Stop #2: Mission San Jose
The mission trail leads from the most well-known to the largest and most restored of the Missions, Mission San Jose. Known as the "Queen of the Missions," it was established in 1720 and is the showpiece of the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. Visitors tour the Indians' quarters, located within the walls, as well as the Spanish soldiers' quarters. Also at Mission San Jose is the granary that was the storage area for the mission and the remains of an old mill. San Jose's church is one of the most beautiful in the country with its elaborate carvings on the chapel facade. The famous "Rose Window," intricately carved, is said to be dedicated to its creator's lost love.

Stop #3: Espada Dam
The next stop is the Espada Dam, an engineering marvel. Built curving the wrong way, the dam has withstood floods for more than 200 years.

Stop #4: Mission Concepcion
Established in 1731, Mission Concepcion, the oldest unrestored mission church in Texas, marks the final stop on the trail. Construction of the building, graced with twin towers, beautiful cupola and rare frescoes decorating the side rooms, spanned more than 20 years.

Stories of Mission San Juan Capistrano and Mission Espada:
The tour guide describes the stories of the two remaining missions, Mission San Juan Capistrano and Mission Espada. Originally christened San Jose de Los Nazonia while in East Texas, the reestablished Mission San Juan Capistrano made its permanent home along the banks of the San Antonio River in 1731. Mission Espada, meanwhile, was established in 1731 but never completed. The outline of an intended church is still visible.

As an everlasting memory of the beautiful Missions, every guest receives a complimentary book of the Spanish Mission Trail.


Date and Time: Wednesday, March 15, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Cost: $55 per person

Caverns and Cabernet TourOver 30 million years ago, what is known now as the picturesque Texas Hill Country was a volcanic bed of activity and violent earthquakes. Today, rich farmland lies to the east and rugged ranch land to the west.

One amazing feat of nature is the Natural Bridge Caverns, named for the 60-foot natural limestone arch that spans the entrance. Trails through these caverns cover more than one mile, and the temperature is 70 degrees year round. Tourists are amazed by the natural formations; the constant sound of dripping water is a reminder the cave is still alive and growing. Following the tour, each guest has the opportunity to pan for gold!

Next, it’s time to enjoy the fruits of ancient Texas at Dry Comal Creek Vineyards, nestled in a small protected valley. Proprietor Franklin Houser’s passion for the grape has resulted in a quality winery. All of his vines and wines receive personal care and tending. From the picking to the bottling, every step is completed by hand. Tasting four unique wines with Mr. Houser is a special treat as he explains the history and character of each wine.

To sign up for any of these tours, download the Optional Events form.

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