Y'all Come On Down! Hear?


I have attended the American Federation of Aviculture's annual convention every year since 1992. Each and every one has had its own flavor due to the various locales.

Well, I'm here to tell you that San Antonio, Texas, the location of the American Federation of Aviculture Convention '97, is the best location ever for this event.

My wife and I were just recently in San Antonio for our first real vacation in over five years. After seeing and doing all that we did, I guarantee that you absolutely do not want to miss this one. For sure we'll he back in August.

Regardless of your interests, you will find something to do well above and beyond the opportunity to mingle, hand and fraternize with other bird enthusiasts.

The San Antonio Zoo has a world class collection of both parrots and softbilled birds, some of which are rarely if ever seen.

If tropical plants are of interest, the San Antonio Botanical Gardens are out of this world.

If history is your thing, there's the


Alamo, Ft. Sam Houston, the Institute of Texas Cultures and many other interesting learning experiences for the whole family.

For those of you who just have to shop, there is a large mall within walking distance of the hotel. It contains



O; e

~ many small boutiques and craft shops. ~ And, of course, if you love to shop &_ and eat, the best of the whole area is

the Riverwalk. This is a below-streetlevel walkway along both sides of the San Antonio River that features a wonderful variety of shops, restaurants, outdoor cafes, flat bottomed boat rides, tropical landscaping and shade under gorgeous Magnolia and Cypress trees. No matter what kind of food you enjoy, it's there. Who knows, maybe you'll even be brave and try something new.

For those of you who want to see any of the attractions listed so far, there are several tour companies that offer trolley or bus routes that cover an assortment of stops that you can see over the course of a day or just for a few hours. They offer tickets that allow you to get on and off at designated stops all day long. My wife and I took one of these excursions to see the zoo, botanical gardens, Ft. Sam Houston, the Art Museum and the Science Museum for $23.00-a bargain at twice the price. (This does not include admission to the various attractions).

I want to make sure that all of you Watchbird readers learn just how much fun you will have attending the next AFA convention. Every one of you will find something to do that will he fun and educational-tots of fun and oery educational. You'll want to bring your whole family. They deserve it.