San Antonio

Went through Goliad on the way back again and now we’re back in San Antonio!

Time for some killer food and entertainment down at the River Walk!

Trip is almost over so we might as well splurge with the money we have left and go all out on some fancy dining overlooking the water to watch the boats and listen to the live bands playing on stage down below.

Yum!  This chicken pasta was so filling I could hardly eat it all.  Absolutely delicious and big portions to boot.   It always annoyed me at other fine dining establishments that the more money you paid typically the less food you got and were still hungry afterwards, not so in Texas!

We noticed that there was a new Pirates of the Caribbean playing at the IMAX theatre in the Riverwalk Center.  IMAXs rule!  I’ve never actually seen a regular movie in one. There’s only one in New Mexico as part of a museum and they only play educational films on that and the next closest one is in Denver, not exactly optimal for a nice Sunday night dinner and movie.      Watching a regular movie in one was a new experience, I’ve never been to a movie theatre with assigned seating before, nice not having to fight for a seat.

With an hour and half to kill till the next movie started we had some time to kill.  Nothing like goofing off and making a fool of yourself to pass the time.   I wish I’d had another camera to take a picture of Cece and 5 other girls who were laughing their heads off while I had my picture taken with Kim.

Hey! I should buy this hat and wear it into the movie theatre!  What do you think?

Movie was good, we had another awesome night in San Antonio.


OFF Clip-On

Trying to look nice for going down to the River Walk again now that we are back in San Antonio.   We had to find a new use for Cece’s riding scarf that she uses to keep her neck from being rubbed raw by the collar of her motorcycle jacket in the wind.  Looks pretty good!

Here’s Why:

These are mosquito bites through Cece’s tshirt!  They seemed to be concentrated on her back.  When we went hiking through the woods at Goose Island St Park I was in front with the clip on and was still getting bothered by the swarms of skeeters but not getting bit.  Cece behind me had no bites anywhere but on her back where they were munching on her through her shirt.  I think the protective range of the clip on did not extend past the second person while we were moving and they really chowed down on her.

Remember at the beginning they did not touch her at all and were going after me like crazy.  We had tried every kind of repellent we could find and nothing really kept them off of me.  I’ve always been skeptical of the Off Clip-on’s claims on tv but decided, Well at this point we have nothing to loose and got one the next time in town. Cece did not want one because they were not bothering her much (yet).    Once I turned on the clip on they stopped biting me except around my ankles, maybe it doesn’t reach that far, and instead went for her.

I’m convinced they work now!  Seeing is believing.    Poor Cece!!

The Off Clip-on also worked great clipped inside the top of our tent to keep the pesky things out while going in and out and on the table while we were eating. I don’t know what chemical is in these things but after this it seems to be pretty potent stuff, maybe I wouldn’t use it around food again if just contact with the wrapper can kill large bugs like that.


Unintended Consequences – Mantid Casualty

Whoops!  Our bad!

Back at the camp site I was trying to get pictures of this cool preying mantis that was hanging around on our table when it fell off on the ground.   Cece tried scooping him up with the trash refill packet left from our OFF battery powered fan mosquito repellent thing.

She plops it back on the table and it starts flailing around and ran off the table a few more times till the poor guy just fell over and croaked.   Wow what the heck happened? Then I saw she was using the OFF refill rapper and thought wow that’s some strong stuff!

Cece felt bad,  I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to hurt it!

So if anyone thinks those fan powered mosquito repellents don’t work, just walking on the outside of one of the wrappers the refills come in was enough to kill this not small mantis.   Sorry little guy..

Deckside Dolphin Encounter

Texas State Aquarium has several special encounters and backstage passes you could also do while there.   We had to do the Deckside Dolphin Encounter as a special day for Cece.  It ended up being a lot of fun and very educational about what all goes into keeping a dolphin program running.

Plus there is the added bonus of a professional photographer there with you and you can buy photos of your experience with the dolphins or get a CD copy of all of them like we did for the blog.

So if you are a dolphin fan and not against getting wet on a hot and muggy day I highly recommend it.

We got to go back stage to see more of their toys that are used and how they were developed and made, who knew pool noodles could be used for so many things? and meet some of the others involved who make the dolphin program happen.

We also got to see how how the dolphins food is prepared and weighed and calorie intake tracked and of course got to feed them!  It was interesting, different kinds of fish and other things like gelatin and ice are used to feed the dolphins.


I forgot the purpose of the gelatin, would be a pretty good treat.

They also liked to chew ice, who doesn’t?  They like the texture and it helps hydrate them.

We learned that a lot of the tricks you see were actually designed to help the trainers with their jobs.   Getting the dolphins comfortable with being touched is an important one, it allows the trainers to check their skin for new scratches, bites, and if they are getting sick.   Plus being up close to them we got to learn how to identify each one. D.J. had these strange skin patches and blotches on him that were supposed to be a birth mark.   Shadow had the fin with the hole in it and the other was Kai.

Checking blowholes.  Of course only the guy in the group is brave enough to be sneezed on and slimmed.  Not something I would have ever imagined happening to me.

The waving and upside down swimming helps them check the dolphin’s underside and flippers.

Another reason for tail waving is to allow the trainers to check for damage and new scratches there and so on.

Then we started learning some of the trainers hand signals for tricks, jumps and noises.  For one of these to tell the dolphin to make a cool noise we were told to make a fist and roll it back like the universal motorcycle signal.   Hey, I should be good at this one!!    So I put out my right fist and the trainer put out her left and everyone else followed suit…   Hey! Whoever thought of this signal was Not a motorcycle rider!

Of course we learned the tail walk motion and ones different jumps and had a great time.  If you like dolphins I highly recommend signing up for this.  I’m not a huge dolphin fanatic like Cece and I had fun too.



USS Lexington Flight Deck

The Flight Deck on the USS Lexington was very windy.  Do not walk close to the edge if you are afraid of heights!

They have a good variety of Naval planes from all eras.   If you are a military plane nut then this is well worth the trip to see these.

Yep aircraft carriers are BIG!

Continue reading USS Lexington Flight Deck

Texas State Aquarium – Wild Flight Show

The Texas State Aquarium Wild Flight Show is pretty cool, be sure to check show times when you arrive so you don’t miss it.

The aquarium serves as a bird rehabilitation center and takes in injured birds of prey to heal them and release back into the wild.  The ones in the show are well trained and cool to watch.  For each one they’ll tell you what it is, a little bit about it and how or why the bird is in the program.  They also take volunteers from the audience to help out with the show which is very funny to watch.

Check it out, you’ll be glad you did.

This one below is Cleo the Swainson’s Hawk who was brought in severely injured.  As a result part of one wing had to be amputated and sadly she can never be released back into the wild.

Continue reading Texas State Aquarium – Wild Flight Show

Texas State Aquarium – Reptiles and Amphibians

Faster than a speeding torpedo, more powerful than tug boat, able to surf a gnarly barrel in a single bound, its super turtle!

There is far too much to see at Texas State Aqarium to confine to one post.   These are the many types of sea turtles, land turtles, reptiles and amphibians they have in their exhibits.

Poison arrow frogs.

Continue reading Texas State Aquarium – Reptiles and Amphibians

Underwater Dolphins!

While you are at Texas State Aquarium be sure to check out the underwater dolphin viewing room!  This tank was amazing and gets you an excellent view of the dolphins up close.   We were fortunate to be standing on the side of the stands while the dolphin show was going on and at the end of the show all we had to do was walk around the corner and down some stairs to find this underwater room mostly deserted.

With good timing while everyone is at another show or right after the dolphin show you can have this room all to yourself for some outstanding pictures.

Shadow seems to be very curious about Cece.

This is a great place for families and small kids to watch in amazement as the dolphins glide through the water and play.  Many times they are as interested in you as you are of them.

Another don’t miss! If just for the pictures you will walk home with.

Continue reading Underwater Dolphins!

Texas State Aquarium – Dolphin Show

The main reason for coming to the Texas State Aquarium was for the dolphins!  Cece loves dolphins and I thought this would be a great opportunity for her to see them up close and personal.   We had paid for the dolphin encounter later in the day but we made sure to catch one of the dolphin shows as a treat to see what we were going to be in for.

The aquarium has 3 male dolphins Kai, Shadow and D.J. who interestingly all get along and are happy together and love performing.  Sadly D.J. passed away unexpectedly some time after we visited there and got to know him.

The show was great and pretty entertaining despite the packed to overflowing stands with school groups and kids.  They even took a few lucky young volunteers from the stands to help with the show, I bet that made their week.

Great show guys!    If you come to Texas State Aquarium check the schedule and don’t miss it!

Be sure to check out Texas State Aquariums outstanding underwater dolphin viewing room too!

Continue reading Texas State Aquarium – Dolphin Show

Texas State Aquarium


One of the star attractions in the Corpus Christi area is the Texas State Aqarium.   Its quite impressive with a number of activities for kids, including many touch pools, dolphin and bird shows, and a water play park that was being worked on while we were there.  You could easily spend the day here with the kids.

There are still plenty of interesting exhibits for adults and those interested in history its just a short walk to the USS Lexington museum.

Continue reading Texas State Aquarium