Monday, July 17, 2006

Six Flags Fiesta Texas!

My four year old daughter and I had the day to ourselves this past Saturday. Planning what to do was a no-brainer. We had serious fun our minds and we knew just how to get it. Six Flags Fiesta Texas was on the agenda (cancel all other appointments!). We decided to go a little later in the day so that we wouldn't be tackling the early morning traffic in the gates. We have season passes and believe me it's the way to go when you live in a city that has a theme park (in our case, several theme parks).

The park is riddle with culture, color and texture fills your senses. There is a beautiful water fountain in the corridor of the entrance to the park. It stands about seven feet high spouting sparkling, cool water. It's a great spot for a family photo. There are gorgeous stone walls with wrought iron embellishments guarding the entrances to the park. While your standing in line taking in the sheer beauty of the scenery, there's Hispanic inspired music playing in the background. That's what I love about theme parks, It's an experience!

Areya and I bypassed the first ticket booth, which is a wonderful perk of having the season passes. We headed to the entry gate and presented our passes and that's it, we were in. No long lines to stand in, no screaming excited children to contend with in the hot summer heat, just immediate access to FUN! Once we were in the park and bypassed some of the gift shops, we could hear some wonderful live music playing in the distance. We decided to find out what was going on. On the outdoor stage was a live band playing some invigorating Hispanic music and dancers full dressed in colorful traditional garb. It was awesome! After catching that show, we decided to go on a train ride (Areya LOVES trains). The train takes you on a little tour of the park. When we arrived at the next station we got off and headed over the the Looney Tunes themed children's park. There are sixteen different rides for the kids to enjoy. I enjoyed the fact that there were a lot of rides that we could ride together. I enjoy watching my daughter ride but hey, I like to ride too! We had a BLAST deciding which rides we would go on next and finding our way around using the map provided to you at the parking gate. Our favorite ride was the Scooby Doo indoor coaster ride, which is a slow speed coaster that sort of takes you through a haunted house type of thing. The haunted house is all lit up in neon paint that glows in the dark. It's really cool because you get to shoot at the ghost and Areya loved that.

Some other helpful information for visiting the park:

1. If your taking the smaller children, make sure that you bring a stroller or a wagon, it's a lot of walking for little legs.
2. The water park at Fiesta Texas is FREE, unlike many other theme parks, so be sure to wear the swimsuits.
3. You can not bring any food into the park, but if you purchase season passes you will receive a coupon book for many of the food vendors. Also, you can purchase a locker at the front by the entrance of the park.
4. Bring plenty of sunscreen, cause your gonna need it!
5. Make sure you stay to check out the laser light and fireworks show. It starts at nine o'clock and is the most spectacular show that I have seen (and I've seen lots). It's an awesome tribute to the state of Texas and to San'll just have to see it.
6. Lastly, please be a courteous driver when entering and exiting the park, remember that there are children watching and learning from you so be on your best behavior!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

"Pray for me!"

I have been trying to deal with the heat in San Antonio, with my only recourse being to stay in the house most of the day with the a/c set on "Antartica". However, my strategy was foiled when my husband's first semi-pro football game was held over this past weekend. Since this was his first game of the season, I definitely wanted to be there to watch him play and support his efforts. The big problem was that he needed to be at the field at 4:00pm. That's right in the middle of the day when the sun is beaming and you can actually see mirages in the distance. I could not believe it when he told me what time he had to be there. I thought that the games might be held once the sun goes down in cities that have triple digit temperatures. Don't the coaches realize that the players and the fans could melt out there in heat like that? All I could do was pop-up the umbrella and try to move around a bit, in order to prevent myself from sticking to the bench. Furthermore, this is still July and my husband will be playing at least every other weekend until September. All I can say is "pray for me!" cause I'm going to need it.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Rainy Days

It's been raining here in San Antonio for the past week off and on. That's great, considering the fact that the weather has been in the mid 90's and sometimes reaches the 100's since I arrived here in February of 2006. When it rains, it rains warm water, which is pretty funny. The kids and I were heading to the book store when it started raining yesterday. My daughter started splashing water all over my son and I, we were all wet but warm. I couldn't help but to laugh about the water being warm, I guess I was tickled because it was my first "warm water rain experience". The other funny thing about the rainy days here is the fact that it only rains for really short periods of time. In Michigan when it rains, IT RAINS! Here it generally rains for about 10 to 15 minutes then it stops. Sometimes it will rain again later in the day for the same length of time. I like to watch it rain in San Antonio, it makes you want to grab a cool drink, get cozy on a window seat, and enjoy the show!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Fabulous Food Find

So... I finally made some friends here , it only took me three long months. I was beginning to wonder if my charming personality decided to stay in Michigan. Anyway, we went out to dinner for a "girl's night out" sort of thing. It was great to be able to ditch my husband for awhile and let loose with the girls. Isn't it funny that a girls idea of "letting loose" is going out to eat some sinful meal, loaded with calories, that will take hours in the gym to get rid of.

My friend suggested that we check out this place called Salito's Mexican Cuisine. I was all for it even though I haven't really found the type of Mexican cuisine that I'd been use to eating in Michigan, here in San Antonio. "Hold on"...I have got to tell you about this restaurant my husband and I went to the first month that we were here, this won't take but a second. First of all, in Detroit when you go to a Mexican restaurant and ask for tacos, your plate is graced with beautiful golden brown shelled tacos filled with meat, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes. My husband looooooves... tacos! When we go out and order tacos we order for a family of 15. He'll usually say something like "can I have thirty-five tacos to go please"? I'm thinking who's going to eat all of those tacos, my four year old might eat two, I can eat four max, and my son eats about four. Anyway, we go to this Mexican restaurant here in San Antonio and my husband orders twenty-four tacos to go. My hunger meter is on starve, and I can't wait to get home to eat. We finally arrive at the house and I head straight for the kitchen to make our plates. Open up the tacos and they are full of mashed up beans, lettuce, and tomatoes????? What is up with that? I could not believe it! I was hunger but not hungry enough to eat a taco with no meat in it. As you can probably tell, I was in complete and utter shock. I think I may still be suffering from the sheer trauma of it all...that explains why I'm writing about that incident versus writing about what I'm suppose to be telling you about, the fabulous food find.

Okay, I will try to stay focused this time. Where was I...Oh yea, me and two of my new friends go to Salito's for a girls night out. The place is absolutely beautiful inside and out. It has an upscale, casual, southwestern feel to it. They're playing a little Latin music in the background, while you look over the extensive menu. Everything on the menu is affordable and is plated up beautifully upon presentation. We're all sitting there looking at other people's dishes as they were coming out, while anxiously awaiting our own. The waiter promptly brought out chips and salsa for us to enjoy. We had a wonderful conversation while sipping on our beverages and popping tortilla chips. The food came out and I was awe struck, It looked absolutely scrumptious! I was pleasantly surprised by this place. The service, food, and atmosphere was surreal! How often do you find a place like that, at a casual dining restaurant?
So I want to recommend Salito's on the corner of Bandera Rd. and Loop 1604 for a great dining out option. Check it out!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

July calendar of Events

There's fun stuff happening in this city all year long. For an adventurous spirit, such as myself, it's awesome to be able to experience events for twelve
consecutive months. The month of July has three special features to highlight on our calendar of events:

July is Contemporary Art Month
This festival features more than 400 exhibitions and involves more than 50 venues. This is the only month-long festival of its kind in the entire nation. The events are held in galleries, museums, local neighborhoods, and studios. There is an admission charge for some of the events so please contact the Office of Cultural Affairs at 210-533-5762 or for more information.

Annual San Antonio Conjunto Shootout
I guess the best way for me to explain this is to say that this is a competitive event. It's a three day event that pairs up conjunto groups to battle it out in friendly, non-combative, competition. There will be plenty of entertainment, food, and art to enjoy. Check it out at the Market Place Square, admission is free! For more info contact the City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation @ 210-207-8600.

Fourth of July Celebrations
Lastly, but certainly not least is the Fourth of July Celebrations! There will be festivals, concerts, and fireworks all across the city. Contact 800-447-3372 for exact locations.

July stands for Independence!

July is here! I assume that this is the most exciting summer month for kids of all ages. When I was a kid, July meant fireworks, and lots of them. Despite my fourth grade teacher's good intentions to get me to understand the history behind the holiday. I continued to think that the fourth of July was all about fireworks. But that's all behind me now, since I've been living in San Antonio my goal is to learn as much about the city as I can. That includes the history. Read on to see what I've learned... Mrs. Lumpkin would be proud!

San Antonio has it's own story to tell about the independence of the state of Texas. The story takes place in the year 1836 at a site known as the Alamo. When I was young my mom would make me watch old movies with her,( She liked those black and white movies, and westerns, even though the trend was sitcoms in the 80's) and I remember one about the Alamo. I think it's pretty cool to be living here knowing it has a famous place in history. Anyway, 1836 was the final year of the Texas Revolution. The Mexican army was planning to infiltrate the Alamo they had a huge army in comparison to the group of Texans that decided to stand their ground at the Alamo. There were about 189 Texans fighting an Mexican army of about 1,800 soldiers. David Crockett was among them (I recall that name from my elementary history books!). Anywhoo...The jest of it is this, The Texans fought the Mexican army for 13 days continuously losing men. A small troop of volunteers from Gonzales joined the Alamo defenses. The Texans were able to fight off the Mexican army for a few days, but were unable to hold off the attacks. The Texans were losing men and their defenses were weakening, this forced them to retreat to the Long Barracks (currently a reconstructed museum) where the fight came to a bloody and deadly end for the Texans. A woman named Susanna Dickinson witnessed the battle, she was able to report the efforts of the brave defenders to an army general named Sam Houston. The story of the fight and the life sacrifices made by those men reached throughout Texas. "Remember the Alamo!" became the rallying cry. This prompted the Revolution battles that ultimately won the Independence of Texas.

This is a very moving story, and allows for reflection on the great sac