Friday, February 22, 2019

    Last full day in San Antonio: lunch at Green. Here's my last little tribute to them.

     I found a new museum by searching for things to do. It's the Doseum located at 2800 Broadway in San Antonio. It's 5.5 acres of pure fun. There was, indeed, LEARNing, EXPLOREing, and CREATEing taking place.

Sis took a special computer/coding class.

playing around with the green screen

     This was one of our favorite exhibits. You color a house, building, or form of transportation and then scan it. It shows up on the huge, active screen.

     It was fun to spot your art as it moved around.

stop-motion drawing

      Tornado was in his element creating a comic.

building a creation that could withstand being dropped

talking about meals astronauts could eat in space and creating meals with clay/combining colors to create new colors

Dash, dreaming about the future

     Tornado loved the exhibit with recycled objects. I think he would love for his bedroom walls to look like this.

More scenes from Doseum:
      I really think this was the BEST children's museum we have ever visited. There is indoor and outdoor space. We will definitely go again.

      We met Wimpy and Liz at La Fiesta Patio Cafe in Universal City. This is one of our traditions - they have taken us there since I was young. It is a healthier version (with vegan/vegetarian options) of authentic Mexican food. We had to say goodbye to them here after we ate. That's always a sad thing to do!

      I really love these two so much.

      Our one fun thing we definitely do on our drive from Texas to Florida - if the timing is right - is stop at the restaurant Seed. We always pose with this cow and sign, too. We have roamed around New Orleans on other trips, but it was too late to do anything during this drive.

     Aaaaand, our favorite thing about Seed are the vegan beignets. It's something we have never been able to get anywhere else. The kids always comment that beignets remind them of The Princess and the Frog.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Field Trip: San Antonio Missions and The Alamo

     The next day of our San Antonio adventure (which happened to be September 6, 2018), we went to see all of the missions. I'm not sure if I had ever visited all of them before...perhaps when I was young I might have seen them? I know that when Tornado was little, we took my Granny on a trolley tour of San Antonio which drove by them, but we didn't get out. The first one (of the 5) was Mission San Jose.

     The kids love it, of course, when we find cool trees to climb.

     They also immediately got to work on their Junior Ranger booklets. (I've said it before, I think this is a great, worthy program. The kids love collecting the badges.)

     The sad "oops" of the day was Tornado completely sliding out on the slippery ground. We joked that it looked like he made a "mud angel." He had a good sense of humor about it, though, and even posted pics of his fall on instagram. He was so dirty. His brother was very kind to take him in the bathroom and help him clean up. (It was a rainy day, on and off.)

     The missions are all so beautiful! I was so glad we came. I believe they still have Catholic church services here. San Jose is the largest of the missions. We watched the movie about the history of the mission in the visitor's center, which helped the kids understand what we were visiting. (I LOVE the movies/videos in visitor's centers!)  For those of you who don't know, the Spanish missions were little communities created to spread the Christian faith and integrate the Native Americans into their current political, religious, and economic system.

     We were worried that our day at the Missions was going to be cut short because the rain was POURING.

     However, we waited a bit and were able to journey on. We had to endure some sprinkles here and there, but it was fine! Second up was Mission San Juan.

     We got out and walked around the area. Imagine a whole little world going on inside the walls - crops being grown, tradesmen and artisans working on their crafts, everyone working together and learning from one another.

     Third on our list was Mission Espada. There was more to see here. I finally understood more about the history of Native Americans and the communities created by the people from Spain who journeyed here and how the culture of Mexico evolved. The park ranger was very kind answering all of my questions.

     Since they were almost finished with their books, the park ranger gave them their badges with our promise that we were going to complete our books and our remaining missions.

     SO lovely

     The kids got a snack inside this visitor's center. We bought a cross to hang on our art wall at home.

The 4th mission of the day: Mission Concepcion.

    There was a small museum connected, and we were able to visit the church.

      I read that it's the oldest unrestored stone church in America. Long ago, the "frescos" (the colorful artwork) was visible on these buildings, but most of them have faded. The architecture from so long ago is amazing to witness, especially in person.

     Toward the end of the day, we made it to The Alamo.

      We had a longer visit here last summer, so we didn't do as big of a tour this time or watch the movie.

     We did walk around for awhile, though, inside and outside the grounds.

     I wanted to visit it again, though, since it makes more sense to them now that we are reading The Boy in the Alamo. They know Davy Crockett a little better now.

Tornado outside The Alamo

     Early in our trip, we had occasionally noticed these scooters just propped up against trees or lying on the ground unattended. The more we saw, the more curious we became so we googled to research. We learned that they are called Birds, and they are meant to serve as a form of transportation to San Antonio (among other cities) residents. There is an app. You can locate the nearest scooter to you, or you can just scan one that you come across. Dash was very enthusiastic about trying one out. They go pretty fast. (He did get a warning by a security officer protecting The Alamo not to ride too close or look like he is going straight toward the Mission.) I think it's a fun addition to a city, and we hope Tampa gets them.

     Sis got the hang of it, too. You pay by the minute to use it.

     He rode it all the way to our parked car.

     These long days really wear Little Man out, and it makes him really need some Momma time.

     A little vegan soft serve from Earth Burger helps, too. We ate dessert first, then met my Uncle at Salata, which is another super vegan friendly place he introduced us to. We all really like it. I didn't end up getting any photos, but you can pretty much put anything you could possibly want into your salad or bowl. Would love for Tampa to get one of these, also!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Witte Museum

     On our first full day in San Antonio, we headed to Earth Burger, which we have loved in the past.

    It's a very fun treat to have vegan friendly fast food...

especially when soft serve is involved.

    After that, we drove over to the Witte Museum.

Copied from Trip Advisor: Founded in 1926, the Witte Museum is where Nature, Science and Culture Meet, through the lens of Texas Deep Time, and the themes of Land, Water and Sky. Located on the banks of the San Antonio River in Brackenridge Park, the Witte Museum is San Antonio’s premier museum promoting lifelong learning through innovative exhibitions, programs and collections in natural history, science and South Texas heritage.

     My uncle met us there to enjoy the day. He is a teacher/professor and is a wonderful mentor for all of us. When my siblings and I were growing up and we would speak to him on the phone, the last thing he would say is, "Study hard!" If he was talking to my mom on the phone, he would say, "Tell the kids to study hard!" He is fun to hang out with and to visit museums because he is so smart and knows about so many different things.

More scenes from our day 
at the Witte Museum:
    After we left the museum, we went hiking in the Guadalupe Mountains.

It was lovely.

     Dash even tried to push Sis off the mountain. Ok, not really. This was just inside the museum, and they wanted to take photos to look like we were really there.


     However, they were very brave and adventurous while trying out this bicycle on a tightrope.

And Dash. 
(Ninja wasn't tall enough.)

     Even Tornado got out of his usual comfort zone to ride.

     buffalo cauliflower wings
(and tofu on the side)

     Many hours at the Witte Museum wasn't even enough to see everything. At closing time, we went to Green Vegetarian Cuisine at Pearl Brewery (a nice area).

     Protein Salad

     Another great part of adventuring with my uncle is he eats a healthy/vegetarian diet, so we enjoy the same restaurants. We like this one a lot. I think I enjoy eating out in San Antonio more than I do in Tampa.

      We decided to "walk off" dinner since the River Walk was in "walking distance" of the restaurant.

     He also wanted to take us to his VFW spot he has enjoyed since he was young. It's the oldest one in Texas and right up the steps of the River Walk. He told us about his memories of coming here when the area was not so developed.

     We sat outside and rested on the picnic tables. My uncle bought us drinks. It's cute inside; I get the appeal of the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) and why he feels so proud and patriotic about it.

More scenes from our 
nighttime River Walk stroll: