Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A very Fiesta Weekend Indeed!

Though we have lived here for six years, it really feels like we are just diving in. I suppose the first two years we were childless and so we spent all of our time traveling. The next three years we had tiny babies and spent all of our time managing them. And now, in year six, we are out and about, existing as San Antonians. I actually can't believe that my kids are real San Antonians even though neither of us are. They are somehow authentic, I suppose, whereas we will always be transplants. In fact, maybe there is a word for San Antonians besides the one I am using and I don't even know it!

This month has been filled with Fiesta events but we missed much of the kickoff with trips to Houston and Austin to watch Uncle Jon in his annual basketball tournament. This week, Sam and I were both committed to Fiesta-ing.

First, we tried to find something on Thursday after Sam got out of work. I have been trying to have an easier work schedule and that includes not heading in once I have met my hours. Glorious. We had Thursday to ourselves for the first time in forever. We ended up at a Culture Fest and Rib Cookoff at St Philips College. St Philips is apparently the only college to be federally designated as both a historically black college and a Hispanic-serving institution - that's pretty cool. Why not give it a whirl, we figured. Honestly, I think a majority percentage of San Antonio's African American population was at this particular event and that made it feel like home! (My home, Houston.) Also, the music was fantastic!

Zayd showed us what a brave boy he was by scaling an inflatable rock climbing wall. I had insisted he was too small (certainly that harness doesn't go that small) but I was wrong. Boy, did he let me know it!

Then I let them pick a dessert and they opted for Gulab Jaman - see feels more like home everyday! The Gulab Jaman were billed as Indian Donuts which I think is hysterical but Zayd loved them Rose Syrup and all.

The next day Mommy braved the Battle of the Flowers parade with a dozen awesome neighbors and 350,000 of our closest fellow San Antonians. :)  Zahra LOVED the music. LOVED it. Every night we talk about what our favorite thing we did that day is and hers that Friday was clapping with the parade music. :D She really could have cared less whether I had joined her at the parade or not as long as there was a marching band on the street in front of her.
Even Zayd had a great time after adjusting to how many people there were and making the nearly mile long trek to our fancy bleacher seats. (Thanks Dows for hooking us transplants up!)

Zayd's favorite thing from this Friday was a special float with hot air balloons that actually floated up and down! Check it out!

Just before leaving we had cotton candy and my was it delicious.

The next morning (Saturday) an even BIGGER group of neighbors headed to the King William Fair for a low key parade and family fun! As we were making our way tardily through the crowd to meet up with the Mahncke Parkers Zahra said, "I am so mad at you!" What?! Why!?! "I want to stop and hear the music!"

Here we got our first Fiesta medal!

This was hands down my favorite float and Zayd said it was his too. (That's my boy!)

There were cascarones!

And then each kid got to pick one activity in the kids area before we melted from the heat and melted down due to a fast-approaching naptime. Zahra chose a free arts and crafts station where you could make a fiesta crown.

Zayd opted for a $7 bungee jump. 

After the King William Fair we went to the airport to pick up Rachel! Yay! But, that meant we were going to need to embark on our fourth and final consecutive day of Fiesta on Sunday to make sure that Rachel got a true San Antonio experience. We opted for the Mission San Jose Fest and I can't really recommend it. In some sort of strange racket carnival game Zayd managed to pop a balloon with a dart and was awarded not one of the many huge stuffed animals on display but rather an inflatable machine gun. I would have argued for the stuffed animal but it is much easier to pop an inflatable machine gun than discard of a two foot tall stuffed panda so I let it slide. Plus Zayd wanted that gun sooooo bad. Thus, we have our first official toy gun, I would say. He wants to bring it to show and tell. Absolutely not.

Though the fiesta event itself was a wash, there were turkey legs and Las Nieves so I can't really complain. Best of all, we got to take an educational trek through Mission San Jose and the kids loved it (all three of em!).

"Look it's Africa!" Then I explained, no kids that Antarctica, you know that! BUT, there was a rhino drawn right on the land mass. So, OK. Honest mistake. My kids apparently could have been 16th century map makers with the skills they have already acquired. The map was extremely interesting.

So, that's it folks. To round out our San Antonio adventure we actually got Las Nieves after naptime on Sunday AGAIN. (At Fiesta there were only shaved ice options.) We tried a wide range of things: Strawberries and Cream (amazing), Watermelon Fruit Cup with Lime (great) and chamoy (not great), milkshakes (delish), and Sam ordered whatever "that guy is having" which turned out to be a chamoy raspa called a chango. Don't ever ever order it. Ever. Unless you just want to taste what might possibly be the worst sweet treat in the world. It was hysterically disgusting. We laughed a lot.

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