Piñata

I don’t know why, but the Boy decided that he wanted a seahorse piñata this year.  How’d we do?  He helped with the paper mache and with the tissue paper.  I think it looks like a penguin or a demented hummingbird, but he thinks it looks suitably aquatic.  I predict explaining the shape many times in two weeks.  🙂

Pre-tissue Piñata   Post-tissue piñata

TINY Fly-in

We went to the indoor air show today. That’s a trip. I guess it’s pretty cool to have a large auditorium to use for radio-controlled airplanes, since the weather doesn’t always cooperate. It was very cool, especially seeing how homemade-looking some of the planes were. Lots of styrofoam and cardboard were in evidence, with a rare airplane that looked retail. There were even a couple of planes that looked like jets, but obviously weren’t. Their propellers were just well-disguised in the wings or in front of the tail. They bill it as the first annual, and if they make good on that, I’m sure we’ll hang out there again next year. What the heck, it’s free!

Kaplas

Kapla blocks are kind of cool – they are all identical, so you never have to look for the right block. Recently, one of the biggest importers of Kaplas started making their own in America – Keva blocks. Alex thinks they’re neat and has been begging for them since Christmas of last year. It’s amazing how 200 blocks ends up seeming like not very many. Check out the bridge.

Parks

I’m convinced that [info]jabberjenny is some sort of magical being. How do you explain that she was at Unidad Park (not close to where she lives, but convenient to me) when we got there recently, and at the brand-new park today, which the Boy and I only discovered yesterday? She and her brood have somehow discovered a time-travel method of following us before we arrive.

Tapas

My friend Dora hosted a party at her house last night, and I catered it. We had tapas and sangria (white and traditional), and Jenn brought cheesecake, while Tammy brought pie and homemade bread.

One of the things Alex and I enjoy is trying out new recipes. Everything last night (except the traditional sangria) was a new experiment. Based on the speed with which food disappeared, I’m gonna say that oven-roasted potatoes are always popular, and the chorizo in red wine was a big hit too (although I found it too strong personally). Sadly, the one thing The Boy helped with was not one of the hits. We put little bits of roasted pepper and green olives on cocktail toothpicks, along with feta cheese or cocktail onions. The onions were almost universally unloved, and the feta eventually got eaten, but not something worth bothering with again.

The game Hoopla is a load of fun, if you ever throw a party for a decent-sized group of people. Apparently everyone is on the same team. Huh? Anyway, hope for the demolition derby card.  😉

No Processed Food, Ever!

I know I’ve never mentioned how unique my son is. Today, after eating some of the marvelous, only available one month a year, Pecos Sweet cantaloupe ice cream, he lectured me about how important it is to eat hand-made food instead of machine-made. He even generalized to say that hand-made things are better than machine-made things.

This, after we had scallops and shrimp on wilted spinach for dinner (which he ate without complaint, but did say it was only “a double” and not a home run). I love this kid; we obviously are raising him right.

Changing Paradigms

A friend once mentioned that his children wondered why he called Hastings a record store – what are records? It goes even further afield when I think of my son. He doesn’t really deal with CDs even; it’s all a playlist to him. In fact, his current playlist is posted online, just because I’m that kind of geek.

Proving that he is definitely my son, notice the totally eclectic nature of his choices. It’s important to note that I only add songs to his playlist when he asks me to. He recently asked for the Ramones “I Wanna Be Sedated” and I was astonished to realize that I didn’t have that ripped yet – soon that will be rectified.

Seriously, what other child nearing his seventh birthday wants Harry Belafonte and Elvis Costello and The Beatles? What other child has even heard of Ozomatli? I have a cool kid.

UPDATE: As noted in comments, Alex’s mother also has very eclectic musical tastes. One of our earlier conversations when we first met was our mutual astonishment that the other had heard of, much less listened to, Ani DiFranco.

Trip Report – Day 3

Friday, we had planned to go to the Kiddie Park and Witte Museum. The Kiddie Park is one of those seemingly anachronistic places you probably remember, but thought didn’t exist any longer. They have a carousel from 1918, and a bunch of rides that no adults can fit into. They even have a tiny roller coaster, just like they had at the park near my grandparents’ house in the late 70s. And it only costs eight bucks for the day. Alex wanted to spend every minute possible on the roller coaster, and was nearly inconsolable when it was being maintained at one point.

The Witte Museum has a nice variety of dinosaur skeletons, live and stuffed animals, as well as a great children’s section with hands-on areas devoted to air and electricity and weight and all that jazz. There was a bicycle on a high-wire that you could ride, and he did. Overall, a very fun day.

Of course, we spent much time in the hotel pool. For dinner, we walked across the UTSA campus and hit the Mercado. After a small amount of dithering, we decided on Mi Tierra, the oldest of the restaurants there. Alex had enchiladas, and I had the chicken enchilada in mole sauce. If you’re not familiar with mole sauce, it’s chocolate and spices together, and is very yummy. I’m not normally a fan of spicy things, but mole sauce sneaks up on ya, since it’s so incredibly rich and dark, then hits you with the pepper. Of course, the quart-sized margarita may have colored my memory a touch.

Trip Report – Day 2

And then it was Thursday, and the Boy had to watch bizarre Japanese cartoons before breakfast. Our big trip of the day was to the Natural Bridge Wildlife Park, a drive-through safari. Great numbers of animals, and many of them came up to the car for photo opportunities and food. The ostriches, never considered the smartest animals in nature, proved to be dimwitted and aggressive. Geez, you’d think the park owners never fed them, the way they tried to climb into the passenger seat for more pellets of compressed grass.

We had enough safari around lunch, so we hit the nearby Natural Bridge Caverns. I’ve been in a few caves, and never have I been in one that was so uncomfortable. The place was 70F and 99% humidity – most caves I think are cooler, if just as humid. Anyway, that was pretty neat, Alex loved it, and then we went back to the pool at the hotel.

Dinner on Day Two was Joe’s Crab Shack, which neither of us had been to before. We shared a meal that was supposed to be 27 shrimp (9 each of three styles), but we counted the tails – 34. The waitress obviously thought my son was adorable – it happens frequently.

Another walk along the San Antonio Riverwalk, and off to bed. End of Day Two.

Trip Report – Day 1

Alex and I hit San Antonio two weeks ago, and I’ve just not felt like writing much since we got back. Now that the sunburn has faded, I’m more willing to hang out in the computer chair.

We started out with Ripley’s Believe it Or Not, which was pretty bizarre, even if the Boy didn’t spend much time looking at anything, but more time telling me it was time to go to the next room. That’s his ideal exhibit – the next room. Whatever is in this room is never as cool as what will be in the next room.

Alex has been begging to go to the Alamo for months, so we hit there next. The Alamo is kind of unique in that it is a national monument that is run by a private non-profit organization. And, unlike the Park Service, they don’t charge admission! Alex was again interested only in the Next Room, of course. Maybe he’ll be more interested in a few years.

We ate the first night at the Rainforest Cafe. Yes, it is kitschy. Yes, the food is nothing to write a culinary review about. But, where else can you eat your dinner surrounded by rubber animals that come to life every ten minutes, and have a thunderstorm indoors every half hour? Exactly. It was a hit, of course.

We rented a room at the Radisson. For a well-known hotel, it was remarkably average. They did have a pool and hot tub, so we spent many many hours in the water. That ended up being the highlight of San Antonio for Alex – the hotel pool.