Monday, March 11, 2013

Butt Paste!

So we just got back from a week in San Antonio Texas! It was beautiful and warm and a delightful trip all around. It was a real shame how the important conference I was there to attend kept getting in the way of our vacation. Jeremiah has already covered the flights down at his blog, FatherFails. The flights back went just as well, and Jeremiah and I were both so very relieved.

Once we got there and spied the fridge in the room, we went out to get some food for the week. There was a great grocery store not far away called H.E.B. We walked around collecting the diapers, toothpaste, cheese and whatnot we needed. I was having a particularly bad ADD day and had already jumped through about 50 subjects while shopping. I was standing in the front of the stores, near the registers, you know, where like ALL THE PEOPLE are in a grocery store when my face lit up, I twirled around, and announced at nearly the top of my lungs that we still needed: "BUTT PASTE! WE NEED BUTT PASTE!" I merrily whirled in the direction of the baby things aisle, oblivious to the at least 20 people who were now staring at me and chirped "THIS WAY!" Jeremiah at this point had his face in his hands while he muttered "I don't know her. I'm just, uh, here with her baby." He said it wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't sounded so happy about it. I started cackling maniacally and continued to laugh off and on for at least an hour.

Mommy, why do I have clothes on in this big bathtub?
The conference I was ostensible there for went well, overall. I have a great lead on a post-doc for when I graduate. And a nice shiny new deadline for getting my ducks in a row in order to graduate.

For the real fun, we got to take Her Royal Squirmyness swimming. She was overall confused by the experience, what with the gigantic bathtub and total lack of soap. Maybe some pool toys would have helped, but silly mommy left them all at home, and the hotel didn't have any. I looked. Amazingly enough there weren't any in the hamper, and I was pretty sure that taking down the life ring when no one was actively drowning would have been a bad idea

Mommy, why is the water all sparkly? I'm gonna try to catch it.
Our home for the week was the Best Western on S. Laredo St. It was really nice, actually. A microwave and a small fridge in the room. And, as seen above, an indoor pool and spa. She went swimming several days, and it had the desired result of wearing her out so that she actually took a couple of good naps. She's napping now, right by my elbow as I write this, actually.
I hope that when she gets a little older that she will enjoy the water as much as I do. We can go swimming and snorkeling together! Hopefully.
There was a really neat park not far from the hotel. I say was, as though it was only there when we were there, but in reality it is still there, and a very nice place. It's called ChrisPark and was built in memory the founder's son. I'm not sure why he died, but she clearly loved him very much. One of the most fascinating things to me about the park were these rhinestones that were set into the concrete walkways. I'm not sure what they were meant to be, but I found them to be quite lovely.

 We also went to the San Antonio Zoo while we were there. It was a really nice trip and we walked all over the park. My feet hurt SO much by the time we were done, but it was still very cool. The spring flowers were in bloom and it wasn't too hot at all. We saw a lot of really neat animals

Like for instance this nice kitty who agreed to pose for us. So kind of her, really. And that handsome man who is taking his life in his hands by standing so close to the fierce animal is of course my co-star in this program. Lois was snoozing right about now, I think. She wasn't impressed.
Grumpy Snake is SO disappointed in you.

From there we went into the reptile house and met this charming gentleman. He was SO not impressed with us. In fact, I'd say he was actively upset. Look at that face. Is that the face of snakely happiness? I offered to give him a nice little scalerub, but curiously I couldn't reach him. Something about being VERY VENOMOUS. I decided that he could manage his own heartbreak and moved along.

 In the next set of aquariums were these two. Now you can't see their faces, but that is because they were REALLY INTERESTED in all of us in the hallway. Lots of motion, swaying and careful consideration of the faces peering in at them.

This became significantly spookier when we realized that these charming snakes were in fact green mambas. Deadly as they may be, I found this pattern made by their entwined tails to be both beautiful and fascinating.

 This is a gratuitous picture of otters put in here solely for the benefit of our otter-loving friends. There were 7 small-clawed asian otters in the really huge cage holding some really cute monkeys. There was even a baby monkey playing around. But the baby monkey, cute as it was, was still not quite as cute as these otters tumbling all over each other as they played around. They even went swimming and tried to dunk each other. I was just waiting to hear one of them start squeaking "Marco!"
 As we moved along, we found a stationary Komodo Dragon guarding part of the path we were walking. Mr. Fargo decided to leap on and try to subdue the fearsome predator. After some vigorous wrestling and truly inspiring pinning techniques, the Komodo gave up, declaring Jeremiah the winner by total knockout. The real Komodo dragon was not amused by his lookalike's performance and ducked his head in utter shame.
We promptly went to the local tattoo parlor and bar and commemorated the occasion with new tattoos and a rocking hangover.*

GAH! I mean... Oh, how nice.
After the fearsome fight with the real-life dragon, we moved across the way to the butterfly house.

SOMEONE would have you believe that I screamed and leapt when a butterfly got too close to me, but I would characterize it as more like a ladylike squeak and small start. I certainly did not break any holes in the greenhouse in some vain effort to get away from the aggressive and ravenous beasts harmless fluttering beauties.

Lois was delighted by the butterflies as well. She kept reaching out for them, and I really hope I don't infect her with my fear of all things insect. It was getting overly warm in the greenhouse by the time we left, and we were all glad to be outside where it was cooler and with a nice breeze.

These two beauties offered themselves up for pictures and I happily obliged.

There is also a small aquarium in the San Antonio Zoo.  Being from the east coast, I am rather spoiled by our aquariums here, which feature a multitude of tanks with millions of gallons of water. Still, they had some very nice tanks, which samples of some beautiful aquatic life, like this seahorse here. He was just chilling in the seaweed, watching us funny-looking mammals walking by and peering into his tank. He tried to request a single tank with a bit more privacy, but for some reason he was denied by the zookeepers.

Speaking of zookeepers, there were two sightings of the wild zookeeper while we were there. One was feeding honey to the bitty golden monkeys and one was (bravely) walking into the gator enclosures to feed the birds that shared their spaces. From her we found out that the birds that Jeremiah was calling starlings were actually great-tailed grackles. They apparently cause lots of problems and take the food out of the enclosures. Then, I heard, they eat it while laughing at their caged friends. Cruel, cruel birds.

 We also went to see the Missions around San Antonio, but I think this post has quite enough pictures already. There will be ANOTHER post in the near future talking about that fun. We got stamps!

 * Not really.

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