2010 San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo

After being gifted with FREE box tickets to the rodeo this year I thought I should do my homework on my greatly appreciated prize!

Last year the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo was attended by over 1,300,000 poeple!!  During that time they raised almost $1,800,000 in scholarships during the Livestock and Horseshow exhibitors!  In 2009, they were also inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, CO.  (For more fun facts about the Rodeo check out: Fun Facts)

When: The 2010 San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo will last from February 4th through February 21!

Where: 3201 East Houston Street, San Antonio, Texas   78219
View Larger MapSan Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo

Grounds Hours & Admission Prices:

*OPEN EVERYDAY (8am until between 10pm & midnight)

  • Adult – $7.00
  • Senior Citizen (ages 60 & over) – $5.00
  • Children (2 to 11 yrs of age) – $3.00
  • Children (under 2 yrs of age) – FREE

*Season Grounds Pass (unlimited grounds admission for 18 days) – $20.00 by stopping by the ATT Center SW Box Office, calling 210.225.5851, or emailing tickets@rodeo.com (or visiting HEB business centers!)

Carnival Hours

If you’re going to enjoy the carnival, take advantage of these offers!  My daughter and I ALWAYS enjoy going to the carnival!

  • Friday, Feb. 5th (Dollar Day): 11:00am
  • Monday – Thursday: Opens at 4:00pm
  • Friday, Feb. 12th (Dollar Day): 11:00am
  • Monday, Feb. 15th (Dollar Day): 11:00am
  • Friday, Feb. 19th (Dollar Day): 11:00am
  • Saturday & Sunday: 11:00am

Stock Show & Rodeo Family Fair

Area of the Stock Show & Rodeo grounds which provides a wide variety of interactive activities and attractions geared towards family fun, education and live musical entertainment. All venues located in Family Fair have the same hours of operation (see below).

My daughter and I really enjoy the Pig Races…I remember selecting a pig to win when I was young and the tradition has continued with her!

  • Sunday through Thursday: 10am – 9pm
  • Friday and Saturday: 10am – 10pm

Helping Others

What to help someone else?  Special ticket programs!

Business charity program helped over 2000 individuals last year!  Choose your favorite charity and give generously!  Your contributions can also support the military and wounded and injured soldiers!

San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Deals

San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo offers an incredible time for friends and family, especially those that take advantage of THESE offers:

GREAT DEALS

Rodeo Feast!

Get tickets through Ticketmaster or call 1-877-63-Rodeo:

http://www.ticketmaster.com/San-Antonio-Stock-Show-and-Rodeo-tickets/artist/804262

4 rodeo tickets ($10 level), 4 hot dogs, 4 chips, and 4 sodas for $49!

4 rodeo tickets ($10 level), 4 hot dogs, 4 chips, and 4 sodas for $49!

Fan Appreciation Night!

February 9th and 15th, purchase two rodeo tickets and get nachos FREE!

February 9th and 15th, purchase two rodeo tickets and get nachos FREE

San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Dollar Days!

San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Dollar Days: Fridays ONLY (2/5, 2/12, 2/19)!

$1 grounds admission from 8am-6pm, rides, hot dogs, popcorn, and sodas in carnival $1 ALL day long!

San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Dollar Days: Fridays ONLY (2/5, 2/12, 2/19)!  $1 grounds admission from 8am-6pm, rides, hot dogs, popcorn, and sodas in carnival $1 ALL day long!

San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Dollar Days!

College Days Thursdays only, Feb. 4, 11, 18…free admission to grounds with current college ID!

College Days Thursdays only, Feb. 4, 11, 18...free admission to grounds with current college ID!

Free USAA Military Fridays!

Current and former military receive free grounds admission every Friday during the Rodeo, courtesy of USAA!

Current and former military receive free grounds admission every Friday during the Rodeo, courtesy of USAA!

San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Text Alerts!

Get the latest San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo news alerts, exclusive offers, and event information on your mobile device!

Text RODEO to 50927!

Get the latest San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo news alerts, exclusive offers, and event information on your mobile device!  Text RODEO to 50927!

San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo iPhone App in iTunes!

San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo iPhone App in iTunes!

– Stock Show and Rodeo iPhone App –

San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo iPhone App in iTunes!

Dollar Admission: President’s Day – Feb. 15, 2010!

Monday, Feb. 15th, $1 grounds admissions!

Monday, Feb. 15th, $1 grounds admissions!

!

San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Senior Day!

Free grounds admission for anyone over 55 years on Tuesdays, Feb. 9th & 16th!

Free grounds admission for anyone over 55 years on Tuesdays, Feb. 9th & 16th!

!

San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Entertainment

http://www.sarodeo.com/sarodeo/rodeo_concert/2010entertainment.html

Entertainment from past rodeos: http://www.sarodeo.com/client/media/80/3608/rodeo_performers_all_time.doc

http://www.ticketmaster.com/San-Antonio-Stock-Show-and-Rodeo-tickets/artist/804262

San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Entertainment Linueup

!

Rodeo Events

Send an E-Card

Dillin the Armadillo Texas Ranger, scoot around and throw your badge at wolves, foxes, and his arch nemesis the farm truck!

San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Stock Show and Rodeo

Become a Fan on Facebook

Follow @SanAntonioRodeo‘s tweets!

Myspace

Valentine’s Day with a View Contest at The Westin La Cantera Resort

As soon as I heard about The Westin La Cantera Resort‘s Valentine’s Day with a View contest I was VERY excited to enter.  I love to read wonderfully romantic stories (i.e. Chicken Soup for the Soul: True Love), watching unrealistic “chick flicks” on Netflix’s instant Romance queue, and reading romance novels (not of the graphic variety)…more like all of Kristin Billerbeck‘s fun, witty romance series.  (I couldn’t write this post in good conscience without including helpful links and fun facts.) 😉

Valentine's Day with a View Westin La Cantera Resort Contest

*Besides my blog post on Valentine’s Day deals, check out Buxr’s Valentine’s Day deals here.

<Perfect Valentine’s Day>

5 Critical Components

Although I’m low-key enough to enjoy ANYTHING, making whatever we did special, my homework assignment was to blog about the PERFECT experience…that would easily be achieved by including the following in our itinerary:

1 – Flowers Delivered in a Box (purchased w/ a coupon!!) – there’s something terribly romantic about getting flowers that you weren’t expecting that were delivered in a box.  (Think old-school Hollywood…)  Enough said.

2 – The Fray – my favorite group since they arrived on the music scene in 2005 with How to Save a Life I have loved their lyrics and melodies.  Part of perfection is knowing you’re with someone special who appreciates all your idiosyncrasies, including fanatical infatuations with bands other people (insanely?!) are less excited by.

3 – Lamb Chops – I never understand people who think of “eating away your money” in a negative context.  I truly enjoy great culinary experiences.  I savor each bite and literally experience a Pavlovian reaction whenever I read menus!  My ideal Valentine’s Day would include lingering over a 7 course prix fix meal and basking in scintillating conversation (see Critical Component #5).

4 – Darts – Well after we have dessert-ed and digested comfortably, and before Cinderella’s midnight deadline, throwing darts at a non-smoking, great music, empty bar with my favorite kind of electronic dartboards (which charges a quarter, not 75 cents a game…or unlimited…that’s good too.)  I <3 playing darts, I’m competitive, I play to win! 😉  {Bonus Points } Give me pink darts (tips and flights) as a V-Day gift!

5 – Wonderful Conversation – Above all else, this is most important to me.  Just enjoying each other verbally throughout the entire evening.  Recapping wonderful memories from the past year, discussing plans for new vacations and making more memories, and reminding each other that regardless of the tough stuff, the reasons it’s worked as well as it has is because of the non-negotiable characteristic each other possesses, reveling in that realization!

</Perfect Valentine’s Day>

Check out all entries and tweets by following the #VDayView hashtag.

Also, don’t forget to find out all the latest by following @WestinLaCantera on Twitter and becoming a fan on Facebook!

This post is part of The Westin La Cantera Resort’s Valentine’s Day with a View contest. Enter between Jan. 25 and Feb. 8 for your chance to win a one-night stay for two at The Westin La Cantera Resort on Saturday, February 13, which includes a romantic dinner for two at Francesca’s at Sunset and two rounds of golf to be played at either of our championship courses during your stay. Learn more at http://www.westinlacantera.com/Valentines-Twitter.html

Hung Cuong Pho Restaurant | San Antonio

Actually searching for a junior-sized basketball, my daughter and I had a serendipitous encounter with the Hung Cuong Restaurant when stopping at the sporting goods store.  Although we didn’t find the basketball (it was actually a winter sports store…) we did find a new Vietnamese restaurant to try.  We stopped by before basketball practice later in the week.

Address: 12730 I-10 West Suite 302 (map)
San Antonio, TX 78230

Phone: (210) 691-1500

Immediately we were greeted with a friendly, familiar face!  Literally…our waitress remembered my daughter’s favorite dish from her previous place of employment Pho San Antonio (my LONG-time Vietnamese haunt…)  Although they didn’t have my daughter’s favorite dumplings, we did find plenty of great treats to eat.  Lately on a Pho kick, I ordered the steak Pho which came with beautiful garnishes.

Hung Cuong:

*Although they don’t have a kid’s meal they will serve any dish in a child sized portion, including the soups.  Also, I always ask for an extra bowl if I get the Pho to share with my daughter…just 2 things that keep this restaurant family friendly. 🙂

Online Menu

Although they don’t have a website, here is a scanned copy of their menu (as of 1/18/2009), click on the images for full-sized versions of the menu:

Hung Cuong: Menu Page 2
Click on the image to check out their to-go menu!
Hung Cuong: Menu Page 1
Click on image to check out the 2nd page of their to-go menu!

Soups

Items 19 through 51 on the menu are dedicated to various fragrant, hearty soups varying in complexity and intensity.

Hung Cuong: Special Pho

Fried Rice

52 through 63 include every combination of fried rice possible…get yours with shrimp, chicken, shrimp, curry, eggs, or with vegetables.  (In case you’re curious, the menu mentions being a Vietnamese/Chinese restaurant which I think contributes to the fried rice dishes.)

Pan Fried Flat Rice Noodles

These are a thicker, egg noodle that are also very tasty.  Although I didn’t try this dish yet, I hope to.

Crispy Egg Noodles

This is one of my favorite Vietnamese dishes…I have had this several times at San Antonio Pho…I’ll have to taste test it here and also let you know.  The thin, crispy noodles pack a great punch with the rich sauces.

Rice

Another classic Vietnamese dish, simple and incredibly delicious.  Served with fish sauce, rice, pickled carrots and radishes, fresh tomatoes, and cucumbers, this is a great dish to eat in the summer when everything else is too heavy.  I normally drizzle half of the sauce on my food (this time I also forgot to ask for a fried egg on top…another tasty topper, not always on the mention…they’ll be impressed when you ask!)

Don’t forget to dip your spring rolls in the sauce as well.  Sometimes I mix some of the Sriracha sauce a.k.a. “Cock” Sauce (um, there’s a rooster on the bottle – the menu goes into significant details about this Thai hot sauce from the city of Si Racha) into the fish sauce for my spring rolls (and to evenly mix into pork rice plate…)…only a couple dots for me.

Hung Cuong: Wok Fried Pork Chop w/ Egg Roles

Vermicelli Noodle

One of my daughter’s favorite Vietnamese dishes is the noodle and egg roll bowl.  Although the noodles and egg roll combo normally comes with lettuce, bean sprouts, julienne carrots, and fish sauce, she skips the lettuce and carrots (…she claims until she gets older…)  Its another light dish that’s especially refreshing in the summer when heavy dishes are just too much in the extreme San Antonio heat (didn’t have my camera with me when we ordered that dish.) 🙁

Hung Cuong Specialties

89-99 include house specials…I’ll be sure to try them and let you know!


PHO-sho!

To finish up this post, I thought it would be helpful to give a little background on the very popular Vietnamese noodle shop.  Pho – rice noodle soup with an incredibly rich, tasty broth.  It’s pronounced “fa” like you’re about to say a profane, 4-letter word…and it’s a staple item on any authentic Vietnamese restaurant.  It is a HOT (temperature, not spicy) broth filled with various meats and rice noodles that finish cooking in the hotness.  Meats vary between thinly sliced steak, flank, brisket, meatballs, chicken, tripe, tendon, or any combination of the aforementioned carnivorous options.  It’s incredible comforting on a cold day, when you’re feeling under the weather, the intense flavors instantly transport you into a better place.

Broth add-ons:

Just like you can enhance your favorite browser, you can also dress your broth/soup up with even more flavors!

  • Fresh bean sprouts – I dump all of them…it adds a great crunch to the soup!
  • Cilantro (I always ask for extra…love it!)  I twist into thirds and drop into my soup…I normally cannot do enough…
  • Lime wedges (Normally squeeze however many wedges are provided…1-2…)
  • Mint Leaves (I only use a couple, torn in half and dropped into the soup…)
  • Fresh jalapeno slices (I’m can’t handle super spicy but enjoy a little kick…I normally dunk one jalapeno into my soup and take it out when it starts to taste too spicy.)
  • Sriracha sauce (see above)
  • Hoison sauce which adds a little sweet and spicy to an already inviting broth.  I normally fill up my spoon half-full and stir into the soup

Hung Cuong: Pho Condiments

Delicious, enjoyed a lot.  Great customer service!

Pho Hung Cuong on Urbanspoon

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sriracha_saucehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sriracha_sauce

Tasty Bytes: Yard House San Antonio

Name: Yard House

Where: 15900 La Cantera Parkway, San Antonio TX  78256 (Get directions here.)

Did you know? The name yard house pays homage to the 3-foot tall English glass, originally created for passing to stage coach drivers easily, during more relaxed alcohol consumption days.  (There is approximately 32 ounces in a yard house including those glasses offered at all Yard House locations.)

Quick Bit: Opened for only a week, the first Yard House in Texas did not disappoint!  My friend and I enjoyed an incredibly indulgent Sunday afternoon meal at The Shops at La Cantera’s newest eatery addition.  The sun streamed demurely through the windows, offering a full-scale view we did not ascertain during a late-night reconnaissance visit the previous Friday.  As one of the first lunchtime patrons (day-lights savings has no affect on the discerning palate), I was struck by the intimate openness of the spacious restaurant, the dramatic artwork on the walls (details to follow), and the numerous flat screens patiently waiting for NFL Sunday (and yes, sports fans, they do have NFL Sunday Ticket.)

Geekette Bit’s Tasty Byte Highlight

While reviewing the extensive menu, my dining companion and I immediately struggled to select a rational and reasonable number of tantalizing appetizer specialties from the 20-plus offered on our local menu.  We were not disappointed with the crisp, solid Blue Crab Cakes happily dancing with the lightest mango papaya chutney, passion fruit beurre blanc, and tomato oil.  Dipped individually, the crab cakes spawned 3 distinct tastes, joined revealed its perfect complements.  For our starter course we also ordered the behemoth Hawaiian Poke Stake which included generous layers of fresh, hearty ahi tuna, crunchy wontons, and ginger mix of julienned carrots and bean sprouts medley.  The avocado accompaniment politely subdued the strong ginger crescendo without diminishing the dish’s richness.

The half pound avocado and Swiss burger my friend ordered was served in the good company of a slender French fries and a tasty pickle which I thought was pleasantly attentive to a somewhat minor detail!)  He was also offered the choice between a potato or wheat bun.  I did not need the charming wooden stake to know my 12 oz. full flavor grilled rib eye was a perfect medium, my butter rose melting quickly.  The garlic mashed potatoes, full of texture and adorned with a sprig of rosemary, quietly outperformed the green beans that packed a solid crunch but almost under-delivered on flavor.  The colossal shrimp impaled with a thick lemon grass skewer were beautifully grilled and seasoned.

Our meal concluded with a light mini chocolate soufflé, the perfect portion, coupled with vanilla ice crème.  Served warm, both immediately melted fondly in my mouth.

Throughout the meal, our server Casey treated us as if we were her only (and favorite!) customers – gregarious, patient, and charming, a wonderful host who only enhanced our meal.

For more pictures see Geekette Bit’s Tasty Bytes on Flickr

Feature(s):

  • Beer Menu – “Transparent keg room containing more than 600 barrels, some 1,000 gallons of beer” contributing to the 130-some beers on tap at the San Antonio, TX location, dramatically ascend across the ceiling to the island bar.
  • Kids Klub – [Family Friendly] although I haven’t been there with my daughter yet, I know she’ll appreciate the 12-page kid’s activity book (with a chance to win the monthly kid’s coloring contest, multiple winners), frozen strawberry fruit bar, and VERY kid-friendly, diverse meal selection.
  • Order Online – order online for pick up (and conveniently curbside)…I don’t see San Antonio as an option yet, benefit of a doubt inserted here.
  • Large Party?!  Call ahead! – Instead of having to wait (and it was packed Friday night), parties with 8 can make reservations, smaller parties can take advantage of “call ahead seating”.
  • Tap In After setting up an account, create evites to send to friends, co-workers, and family.  Pre-populated with your default Yard House (address, phone number, etc.), you’re given the option of 4 stunning images and multiple styles to play around with.  Evites also track guest lists with option to allow guests to invite others and view whose already rsvp-ed.  Invite can be sent to 200 email address and a personalize message can also be included.  Mimi’s Café offers a similar online event invite option however Yard House’s reigns supreme.
  • Gastaldi – Massive, contemporary artwork by Italian ancestry artist Jerome Gastaldi fill the walls of Yard House with bright vibrant colors and distorted reality, complimenting the dynamic energy that consumes the restaurant.

Menu

  • Breakfast – No breakfast, opens at 11am, 7 days a week.
  • Lunch – lasts from 11am to 5pm, Monday through Friday, includes entrée salads, house favorites, and other enticing combos.
  • Dinner – late-night dining offered Monday through Friday until 12am; Friday/Saturday kitchen is cooking until 1am!

In the Community

Take a second to view the main organizations Team Yard House continues to supports in the community:

1 – Komen Cancer Foundation

2 – Canyon Acres

3 – Share Our Selves (SOS)

4 – 9-1-1 for Kids

5 – Kids Konnected

In addition to these incredible groups, you can also contact Yard House with other opportunities to support.

Get the Deal(s):

Mon – Fri from 3pm to 6pm

Sun – Thu from 9pm to 11pm

Monday Night Football from kick-off to 11pm

  • Extensive list of half-priced appetizers, sliders (Classic/Bearnaise/Pastrami/Turkey mini-burgers), and specialty pizzas are offered
  • Bountiful pint, well, wine, and martini drink specials
  • Alerts – Sign up for the e-mail newsletter (below) to hear about specials and events at your Yard House

E-mail Newsletter: http://www.yardhouse.com/invite/default.asp

Facebook: www.facebook.com/yardhouse

Twitter: @yardhouse

Price: $$$           (Although moderate during Happy Hour!)

Yard House on Urbanspoon

$ – Bargain

$ $ – Moderate

$ $ $ – Upscale

$ $ $ $- Expensive

Halloween Tailgating Events

Haven’t caught the fall spirit yet this year?  Have to much stuff to do already?  Kids can’t stop talking about the big day?  This post includes all kinds of Halloween tailgating events to get you and your family psyched for the big day!  Fun things to do and entertain through the upcoming weeks!

This Halloween series of posts will include:

  • Halloween WoW – Holiday special, this website of the week is a real treat!
  • Halloween Tailgating – Tailgating events to get you psyched for game day!  Get Halloween to “go green” and find friend and family fun!
  • Trick or Treating – Check out my ideas to breathe new life into an age old tradition!  Great ideas for individuals, families, neighbors, and friends.

Go Green!!  …and not from candy…

Go green, win big!! ChicoBag and Green Halloween’s® 2nd ANNUAL TRICK-OR-TREAT BAG DESIGN CONTEST – “Children ages 1-13 are encouraged to enter the contest by submitting an original drawing best depicting the spirit of a Green Halloween.”

Who: Ghosts and Goblins ages 1-13

What: An original design depicting the “spirit” of a Green Halloween

When: Images due October 24, 2009 by 5:00 PM Pacific Time. (Winner will be notified no later than 11/5/09.)

Ghouly Girls and Bootiful Boys Boys can create the 2010 Green Halloween ChicoBag™ and win a bag of green goodies!

Monster Mashup – Oriental Trading Company came up with a great website to easily make mashup video with up to 5 of your closet friends with an awesome Halloween backdrop!  I made one with my daughter of her and her friends and she almost died laughing! Easily share with your friends through email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Check out the one I did of San Antonio Social Media super stars @ColleenPence, @Nanpalmero, @1337wine, @ashleypalmero, and @anaflores!

Bonus:  Upload your pictures or use existing pictures from Facebook!  Using FacebookConnect, you can select from your existing photo albums or use friends!  It was super simple to do!  Don’t forget you can also resize the area around the face to select – for optimal mashup potential!

Halloween Tailgating

There are a lot of fun events going on before Halloween even gets here!  Don’t wait until the end of the month; check your newspaper for local events!

1 – Bass Pro Shop! You heard me right!  I have been more and more impressed with the activities offered here!  Oct. 24/25 and Oct. 30/31, get there early and stay for different crafts and activities offered throughout the day and store!  Make a leather craft, rope a bronco, partake in kid costume parades, paint a craft pumpkin, roast marshmallows, and lots of other GREAT events!

2 – Lakeshore Learning Store! Enjoy making a different Halloween themed craft each Saturday during the month of October.  Crafts include silly scarecrows, countdown calendars, and other things to drive you batty while your child has a lot of fun!  All locations from 11am-3pm.

3 – Pumpkin Patches! This was one of my favorite October traditions!  Find a local pumpkin patch, maybe as cool as this oneSouth Texas Maize!  Right outside of San Antonio, TX…it even has a corn maze (one kid friendly and one more difficult!)  Help you kids select their own pumpkins, snack on fall snacks, take a hayride, and automatically have the picture backdrop for Halloween pictures.

I’ll also continue to update this post as I find more family friendly events as well!  Check back for that and my next post on alternatives to trick or treating or ways to spice it up!

Nine 9/9/09 Events

What are you doing on the 9th day of the 9th month of the 2009th year at 9am/pm?

Sure a lot of people will get married and babies will be born on September 9th, 2009.  Already appreciating September (the month of my birthday), I am excited to announce other ways people are choosing to celebrate this upcoming Wednesday:

1. One Million Random Acts of Kindness@yokoono has been tweeting in support of One Million Random Acts of Kindness being executed on 9/9.

  • Follow @BecomePeace2009 on Twitter (and help make #peace a trending topic!)
  • RAK (Random Act of Kindness) – but BBC Radio also help start a growing RAK trend…read the blog to find out more (and print your own flyers or cards)!

2. FTD Good Neighbor Day 2009The flower experts are celebrating the 15th annual FTD Good Neighbor Day holiday.

  • Since 1994, FTD has encouraged all neighbors to foster community by offering (through local florists) same-day deliveries of beautiful, FREE bouquets.
  • Customers are encouraged to keep one flower for themselves and offer the rest to their neighbors.
  • Find your local FTD florist here.

3. Monopoly City Streets Google (heard of them??) launches their Google Maps version of Monopoly!

  • Buy any street in the world!
  • Monopoly City Streets blog here.
  • Play against your friends and finally get into the real estate market like you always wanted to, become a property mogul.

4. Beatles Revolution 9 – the iconic Beatles have a lot going on, 9/9:

  • The Beatles Rockband – Comes out for Xbox 360, PS3, & Wii (check back for coupons – I’ll find them!)  Early review from CNET.
  • Digitally Remastered – after 22 years, the digitally remastered versions of the Beatles studio albums will be released, as confirmed by press release:

Please Please Me
With the Beatles
A Hard Day’s Night
Beatles for Sale
Help!
Rubber Soul
Revolver
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Magical Mystery Tour
The Beatles (The White Album)
Abbey Road
Let It Be
Past Masters
Yellow Submarine

5. World Day of Interconnectedness“a shift from I llness to WE llness”…

  • Starting in New Zealand, take time at 9am, to participate in interconnectedness (or oneness) opportunities (formal to informal acts.)
  • Global Events – see what and when countries across the world are participating in.
  • Email a friend
  • Join the group.

6. @BarackObama Don’t just follow him on Twitter, listen to him address a joint session of Congress on health care reform in prime time!

  • Obama’s website highlights concisely.
  • Obama Mobile – somewhat unrelated, text “HOPE” to 62262 for updates from Obama’s camp.

7. Independence Daythe Republic of Tajikistan declared independence on this day from the Soviet Union in 1991.

8. Father Laval DayI’d be remiss to exclude Father Laval Day, the 9/9 national holiday for Mauritius, the island republic off the coast of Africa.

  • Father Laval – Roman Catholic priest and missionary to the local people.
  • Mauritius – famous for being the only home of the Dodo bird!
  • On this day, Mauritians (not Martians…) locals head to his tombs in hopes of benefitting from his post-mortem healing powers.

9. SA’s Bartender Bash w/ YVodkaYVodka who I first read about in @SavorSA’s blog, envisioned a vodka for the ’77-’97, you guessed it!!, Y-generation consisting of young professionals (and +21 college students) who appreciated a top-of-the-line bottle for a bottom-of-the-barrel price.

  • Free Y Vodka to 1st 300 club goers!
  • $2 YVodka all nite!
  • Club Newsletters – Not close to San Antonio?  I imagine this is a BIG after-hours night for a lot of venues…sign up for their email subscriptions NOW to get alerts and coupons for Wendesday (and on your birthday, etc…)
  • Follow @TheYVodka & @ClubRive on Twitter!

Technically it just another day…but make 9/9/09 memorable by taking the time and participating in several, if not all, of the events listed above.  (If you don’t make it to Martian, I’ll understand…)

Classic like the Sunday Newspaper

Growing up, reading the printed newspaper with my dad while he drank coffee was always a special tradition.  In order to remind people while online isn’t always best, I decided to post about great deals and alerts I found in different sections of the local newspaper…I’m sure the paper in your city has similar deals as well!

The newspapers website offers online articles, contests (I won season tickets to Splashtown once!!), and other great interactive online resources.  Use their Twitter directory to follow individual sections – sports, food, etc.  You’ll be surprised how many people are Twittering!

I’m also a big fan of their food section and their annual Reader’ Choice Awards, here’s 2009.  List includes picks for different types of eateries and entertainment venus (1st, 2nd, 3rd, & my favorite – Critics Choice.)

Although you can subscribe to the San Antonio Express-News paper online, the best deals are offered in front of HEB or Walmarts where they’re desperate to sell and have additional bonus and great discounts.  You can order it Monday-Sunday, Sundays only, Fridays-Sundays…

Favorite Newspaper Days of the Week (and why I like them):

  • Wednesday Food section of the newspaper!!!  Local cooking classes, events, highlights of local eateries, interviews by local chefs, recipes from restaurants, and other fun food trivia.
  • Friday Weekender!  Highlights everything going on this weekend, upcoming music venues, movie reviews, and other events you might have missed…there is also a “kids event” with a lot of interesting tidbits as well.  Car review – I like to see what car is being reviewed…the section also includes Click and Clack’s Cartalk column…another family tradition.
  • Sunday – about to go into detail but the deals, deals, deals!  The advertisements, coupons, etc!

Sunday Newspaper Deals – different sections of the paper

  • Express-News Star – (Gossip section) not only read celebrity gossip for the week but also includes pictures of the locales at recent events (include your pictures by uploading to mysa.com KEYWORD: Entertainment.)  This weeks included pictures from the “Happy Hours, Happy Tails” pet adoption, “Julyfest” at the Polish American Center
  • Advertisements – obviously you’d find a lot of good deals here, some examples this week include:
    • Petco – join Petco P.A.L.S. to get coupons, FREE food/grooming, exclusive pet friendly event invites.  (Petco is also a fun, FREE outing for kids – kid sized shopping carts, and opportunity to walk around and see all the different animals.)
    • Academy – register instantly for the CCA Texas/STAR Fishing tournament running through Sept. 7.  (Who knew you could register at Academy sports + outdoors…)
    • Office Depot – purchases receive 20% at all Foot Lockers coupon, Project Backpack (create unique design on blank canvas backpack with sharpie to win!), FREE glue with $5 purchase, 2 for 1 printing sign coupon…
  • Travel – Coupon alert!  Aiport Security Park offers 1 day FREE (with 2 day stay)!  Also, on the bottom left-hand page was a small blip about the Tourism Development Corporation of the State of Nuevo Leon offers deals to tourist for coming thru Dec. 2009.  Details at www.nuevoleonsesuma.com (although the front page is in Spanish, the tabs are in English – print maps, coupons, and find out where to stay, when!)  Offers include 2 nights/3rd night free, buy one entrance to park or activity/2nd free, refunds on tollbooth expenses, buffets also buy one get one free!
  • Front Page section – Buying Gold & Silver at 2 hotels near the airport (Holiday Inn Airport & Comfort Suites (next to Cracker Barrel, exit Rittiman.))  Do you have old gold or silver coins?  Old paper money?  Coin collectors unite!  Bring misc. items too – sterling silver, fine jewelry, diamonds, lamps, toys (metal, pre-1950)…7 days only!
  • Classifieds – Job Fair, Tues. Aug. 25, 9am-3pm at Crossroads Mall.  The Sunday before newspaper will include a preview of employers set to attend.  Free seminars offered throughout the day.  (Want a booth?  Call 210-250-2387 for details.)
  • Entertainment – not only were there multiple sections on volunteering opportunities, there’s also a poetry section, tributes to the arts, home decorating articles, and a “Bookmarks” section that includes info about local literary events.
  • Metro – this week’s section of the paper included an ad from the San Antonio Water System with details about the water restrictions and days.  On your day you can water from 3am-8am and 8pm-10pm with a sprinkler, soaker hose, or irrigation system.  Hand water anytime. Details on their website and to find out your day….
  • Sports – I have always found good deals here (nestled away…coupons to Rodeo, Spurs family nights…don’t miss this section…even during the week!)  This week I found a coupon for La Cantera Golf Club…Two for One golf, valid through Aug. 30th, starting at 1pm, $45…great deal! Great course!  Ad must be presented at tee time…deal valid for up to 12 players valid.  Right next to that was the 16th Annual Project Stuff the Bus School Supply Drive Aug. 7th from 7am-7pm…bring supplies to any area Walmarts!

University Bowl 101…

At University Bowl, take advantage of the free student bowling program.  Students bowl their first game free, Monday through Friday, 9am-12pm.  Make sure you print out the consent form first.  Shoes are required but available for a discounted rate – $2.25 per pass holder.

Also make sure you join them on Aug. 5th for Customer Appreciation Day!  From 5pm-7pm, bowl for FREE!  First come, first served, limit to 2 games per person!  Shoe rentals for only $1.79!

Want to hear about all the specials in the future?  Become a fan on FB and join their mailing lists.

8 reasons to follow Geekette Bits…

Taking advantage of all the social media opportunities, I have tried to reach out to possible readers through multiple channels.  Something incredibly important to me and the goal of my entire blog – make your life easier…by saving you time and money!

Everything I do on my blog should do just that and here’s 8 ways I tried to take advantage of Web 2.0:

  1. Follow me on Twitter! @geekettebits
    Follow me on Twitter!Not only will you be alerted of new posts – you’ll also see them conveniently with everyone else status updates!
  2. Friend me on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/geekettebits facebook
  3. Once you add me on FB and Twitter, check out who I am following.  Businesses local to San Antonio, websites that offer GREAT deals, get the scoop before I do!  Or if you don’t want the extra noise, check out my profile to see the alerts without having to add anyone!
  4. iGoogle Gadget – have a personalized Google homepage?  Add the Geekette Bits Google gadget there!  See quick summaries of the most recent posts! 
  5. iPhone – my site is mobile friendly!  Got an iPhone?  Doesn’t have to be 3G but it’s very iPhone friendly!  Bookmark me!
  6. rss-feed-pinkRSS Feed – don’t want to mess with those other tools?  Just subscribe to RSS feeds directly!!
  7. Leave Comments sign up for my site through Google Friend Connect to leave comments, good and bad on my posts.  Let me know what you really would’ve like information on OR what you’d like to see next time!
  8. Google Maps – I have 3 right now…whenever I post about something I try to also include it in one of 3 maps:
    • Lil’ Bits – take a quick glance on a Saturday morning to see what’s free and close…or look to see a map view of kid friendly places!
    • Geekette HotSpots – just places I think are worth checking out!
    • Great Bytes – places I’ve reviewed or want to check out or will eventually blog about!
    • Links can be found at anytime on the right hand column of my blog “Bitmaps”.

Spend an evening on Broadway at one of San Antonio’s historic theaters…

For the next 6 Fridays, the San Antonio Woodlawn Theater presents Spotlight: The Super Sexy Stage Spectacular Broadway Review Show which will include selections from:

  • Cats
  • Chicago
  • Grease
  • Hairspray
  • Miss Saigon
  • Phantom of the Opera
  • Rent
  • Sweeney Todd
  • and much more!!!!

The show will start at Friday at 8 p.m for the next 6 weeks:  July 17 – August 21

1920 Fredericksburg Road
San Antonio, TX 78201

Directions: Google Map

Tickets:

General Admission: $10

VIP Reserved Seating: $20 regular / $15 with Spotlight Broadway Review Coupon (from Geekette Bits – print and bring to the door)!

*VIP includes a snack AND drink during intermission!!!!!

6 kid-activities for the 6th day of the week…

Throughout the year, not just during the summer, join the following places for kid-friendly events:

  1. Lakeshore Learning – store offers a Saturday arts and craft activity.  Not only are the crafts cleverly designed but also very intricate and interesting.  We normally go for about an hour or so, doing the craft and then going around the store and playing with all the toys laid out on display.  We sometimes bring a friend or meet someone there.  On holidays they offer multiple things to do, perfect gifts for all the grandparents, aunts and uncles.
  2. Lowe’s – signup because supplies and slots go by for this bi-monthly clinic for kids…make a putting green, pirate ship, and many more fun things, again FREE!  Activities are from 10-11 and you get the Lowe’s apron on the first visit to collect pins for each craft.
  3. Home Depot – on the first Saturday of every month, visit here for another hammer and nails activity.  They’ll also get a kid-size apron and activity pin, FREE!
  4. Michael’s – Called the Knack, this Michael’s website is for kids and educators.  Check out the calendar event for different crafts scheduled…as well as joining the club!  Receive special offers, birthday specials, and event news!
  5. San Antonio Audubon Society – 2nd Saturdays have gone to the birds!  Join the society for a junior walk, everyone welcomed…binoculars available!
  6. Houston Street Fair – the last Saturday of every month, from 12pm-6pm, come down for this FREE family event with a different theme each month.  Bring a lawn chair and enjoy local crafts and foods…

Kid-approved* summer activities…

*Based on the approval of one 6 year old girl…but I think you’ll agree.

The only ones who look forward to the summertime are educational professionals…everyone else knows that for 2 and a half months, everything entertaining you can do with your children will be done within the first week.  After that, creative juices stop flowing as freely.

This summer, instead of dreading the summer schedule, use this post as a guide to family-fun, found in San Antonio (and wherever chain establishments exist.)  Use it also as suggestions for searching local places in your city!

Check here for the best valued Chuck E. Cheese coupons (click on the link with the “Best Daily Deal” sticker).  100 tokens for $10 (normally you’d pay $25 for that many…)  You’ll also get this coupon the first time you register on Chuck E. Cheese’s website, also print out reward calendars and certificates worth more FREE tokens.  During my last visit I asked about weekly programs and they didn’t know of any…

The City of San Antonio’s Park and Recreation Department offers cost-effective summer programs to keep your kids engaged and outdoors.  More information on the San Antonio Youth Sports – this website has Boys & Girls Club, YMCA, and other kid organization game schedules…also has information about golf camps and other clinics.

Weekly summer activities throughout the week:

Family Summer Film Festivals:

  1. Regal Entertainment GroupFamily Festival Film Festival at 10am on Tuesday s and Wednesdays take your kids to the movies, for FREE!
  2. AMC TheatersSummer Movie Camp $1 admission…all proceeds go to charity!  Shows start at 10am on Wednesday.  During this time you can also get the AMC KidsPack (drink, popcorn, candy) for only $3!

Peter Piper Pizza is celebrating schools out with Summer Kid’s Days, every Tuesday from 11-1pm…$3.49 gets you 2 slices of pizza, a drink, dessert, and fun activities, different themes each week.

Incredible Pizza offers a different deal every day…check out their website (sign up for their mailing list too – they’re pretty good coupons!)

*This place gets CRAZY busy…go earlier in the day or during the school year for the most enjoyable days…

Bet you wouldn’t have guess this!  Bass Pro Shop has an entire summer calendar of fun activities – every Saturday and Sunday from 12-6pm!  Different crafts every weekend, you and your child can make a lure, birdhouse and leather keychain!  Free s’mores cookout!  Free casting pond to learn fishing skills, workshops (offered Tues/Thur/Sat/Sun, free pin for each 30 minute workshop you attend…different workshops from 3-7pm, check schedule), laser shooting, photographs – everything is FREE!!  They even have a kid’s website!  While in-store don’t forget to pick up your FREE summer guide, 48 pages of everything you need to know while outdoors.

Check back for new posts – I’ll keep the activities coming!

Top 8 ways to get free stuff by just reading to your kids…

I was one of the lucky ones.  Whenever I wasn’t reading my dad asked me why not.  I read all the time now, I cannot wait to get to the library and read more.  Over the summer, while you’re trying to entertain your child who was recently release from school…without spending too much money…consider these 8 great options:

1.       Half-Price Books offers Feed Your Brain – kids 12 and under can earn $3 gift certificates a week (June 1st through July 31st) by reading (or being read to) 5 times a week, 15 minutes each time…download the English/Spanish reading logs.

2.       HEB – HEB Buddy 2009 Reading Program read 10 books over the summer and mail in the reward form by August 9th to get your FREE kids t-shirt.

3.       San Antonio Public Library –here’s another reason the public library system is so good – Deep in the Heart of Texas.  The SAPL summer reading program allows you to sign-up and keep a reading log – for every 15 books checked out and read you’ll get a FREE paperback book of your choice.

4.       Border’s – Reading Challenge asks you read 8 books to get a FREE coupon for 50% off selected awesome items your child will love!  Here’s the website with more information!

5.       Pizza Hut – Book It! website (sponsored by Pizza Hut) offers a FREE parents’ guide for summer reading fun.  Includes links to printable calendars, the top 10 books your kid should read this summer, and other games and resources to help the summer fly by.

6.       SAPL – library FREE events that your kids will love!  Performances from the Magik Theater onsite (“If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” – great time!!!), plenty of summer reading kickoff parties, and activities for all kinds of ages.

7.       Barnes & Nobles – Summer Reading with Percy Jackson & Olympians works like this…read 8 books, and keep the summer journal.  Once you’re done, bring it into any Barnes & Noble between May 26th and September 7th for a coupon for a FREE kids book!

8.       SAWS – the San Antonio Water System offers H20 Heroes a section of their website committed to educating kids up through high school about water conservation and how important water is to our society.  H20 University offers tools for parents and educators for different age levels.  Meet the heroes.  Download FREE printable activities.  Get a FREE bookmark just by asking your librarian about water. Q&A from the H20 Heroes.

Not only will these 8 reading activities get you free stuff ($24 bucks from Half-Priced Books alone!!!) but it’ll keep you and your kid(s) busy for hours and hours!

Gimmie a N-I-S-D…

Northside school district (NISD) offers Adult and Community a diverse range of classes including the following categories:

  • Profit & IT – computers, business solutions, minding money
  • The Arts – dance, fine arts, jewelry making, make-it-yourself, music, languages
  • Mind & Body – Body/Mind/Health, defensive driving, leisure, personal growth, study skills, etc.
  • Fun & Play – kid summer camps, animals, clowning, D-I-Y, home/garden, sports, travel, etc.
  • Online Computers – basics, networking, programming, web design, etc.
  • Online Mind-Body – accounting, cert preps,
  • Online Personal Interest – everything under the sun…

I have enjoyed taking several different classes through NISD including a sushi class, advanced French class, a first-time homebuyers  session, and a financial planning class for women.  Although my daughter will be out of town during the week they’re offering this awesome class  – Robotics using Legos – I contacted the coordinators and they graciously setup another class for a different time (the response was QUICK!)

Some classes I haven’t tried yet but want to include:

Get the FREE course catalog by mail if you don’t already – if you do stop throwing it away and check out the awesome offers!

Have a workshop in mind?  Teach it!  They’re always looking!

Some other cool links on the NISD website:

  • Raise Your Hand Texas – “a non-profit, bi-partisan advocacy organization made up of business and community leaders, parents, taxpayers and concerned citizens, all with a single focus: supporting the more than 4.5 million students in the Texas public education system.” Support them on Facebook too!
  • Volunteers/Mentors – everything you need to know and fill out in order to volunteer in the NISD. (Parents – fill this out before you try to help out in the classroom – go to your child’s school prepared!) Opportunities for parents and friends in the community – be a positive role-model for a child today!
  • NISD Weekly Newsletter – find out where your taxes are going and how NISD is contributing to the community! (Signup for e-mail or txt alerts here – get alerted with emergency notices, academic notices, and event reminders!)
  • NISD News – NISD details making the news…voting, information about new schools and the school boards…anything and everything else you wanted to know about the Northside school district.
  • Facility Rentals – Hosting an event like an HOA meeting? Rent the neighborhood school in the evening instead of inviting strangers into your home…
  • Reunion Announcements – did you graduate from a NISD high school? Have a reunion coming up?
  • School Menus – if you can’t remember what’s for lunch check out this site.

Craving Welfare…

Normally welfare denotes a negative connotation but in this case Welfare Café leaves little to be desired.

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Receiving glowing accolades from all over the state (including Texas Monthly and the San Antonio Express-News), Welfare Café has established itself as one of the best reasons to head to the Hill Country. Visiting twice on leisurely Sunday afternoons, I instantly am taken back to the 8 years I lived in Bavaria Germany. Just reaching Welfare is a drive (well worth it!!) through farms and the Hill Country…the restaurant was originally the town of Welfare’s General Store in the early 1900s. Although there are several tables surrounded by history inside I recommend eating outside on a mild, spring day. The sun shines through trellis and it’s incredibly serene while you’re sipping one of 10 German beers or munching on homemade breads.

Don’t come if you’re in a hurry although the chef rewards your patient wait with incredible modernized German dishes. To start off ordering the Kartoffelpfannekuchen, a very traditional German potato pancake, with both the sour crème and apple sauce. While my Deutsche roots compelled me to select the apple sauce, my date enjoyed the sour crème as well. (Order your own, you won’t want to share…)

For entrées the gentleman ordered Chicken Fredericksburg served over spätzel…the caramelized peaches and jalapenos danced a spicy-sweet number together we enthusiastically applauded. I ordered a traditional schnitzel, (their menu boasted 7 different varieties!) with red cabbage and pan-fried potatoes. I’ll admit that when I placed the order I was skeptical it would meet my high, lived in “Germany for 8 years” standards but the pork cutlet was thin, tender, and pan fried to crispy perfection.

I can’t wait to go back, let me know what you order! Just make sure they’re open before you go, as of this post they’re open on Thursday s-Saturdays for dinner, Sundays for both lunch and dinner. Enjoy live music on Thursday nights and Sunday afternoons!

Recommend reservations: 830.537.3700

Finding Welfare Café in Welfare, TX:

*Near Boerne

For directions check out my Great Bytes Google map. This map will be updated with my favorite places to grab a byte (technically really a bite) to eat. I’ll link from posts about the place to my map and I’ll also link from my map to the detailed post for more information including recommendations on what to eat and when to go.

Welfare General Store & Cafe on Urbanspoon

Man’s Best Friend

Man’s Best Friend – check this out:

M – utts

B – eer

F – ootball

What are the odds?  But I digress.

What to do with man’s best friend in San Antonio?  Well, from what I hear from my canine loving co-workers, not much.  I don’t have a dog but enough of my dear loved ones do…so I’m going to give you the kibbles and bits.

From what I’ve found, there are a couple animal love resources…

Fetching Newspapers & Blogs

Pet Me is “a blog about our furry and feathered friends.”  While checking out the articles in my local copy of 210SA (My San Antonio’s sister cool and happening periodical) I have been pleased with the amount of dog-oriented information.  They listed all the places that dogs were welcomed, dog photo contests at La Cantera, and I’m sure they’ll include information about the 4th annual Bow-Wow Meow Luau put on by the Pet Pals of Texas which has quickly become a San Antonio tradition.

The Dog Blog is written by the owner of a black Lab named Missy.  The dynamic duo reviews foods, talks about canine events, and even tries different recipes.

Like “The Dog Blog”, SA Paws is hosted off My San Antonio’s website.  This sub-site not only has a calendar of pet pal events, but also feeds all animal related stories from the local Express-News and of course has furry forums and cutesy pictures.  You can even find them on Facebook which impressed me as mysa.com is not known for taking advantage of cutting edge social networks.  Find information about pet product recalls, more pet blogs, and the following helpful links:

Giving Back to the Canine Community

Don’t have a dog?  Don’t want one full-time?  I know a mother with a 5 year old daughter who DESPERATELY wants a dog?  Is the mom ready for one?  NO!  So instead of dedicating their life to just one single dog…they go the San Antonio Humane Society and give their love to many dogs (and cats) who also want love and affection.  For many this is a great way to still bask in unconditional furry adoration.  I felt very comfortable visiting on a Saturday afternoon.  The facilities are surprisingly clean, bright and open.  They also have all kinds of events, some fundraisers, for adoptions, or just plain fun.  You can email the Humane Society to offer your services as a volunteer – sign up for their bi-monthly training class.  The class last only an hour and a half and with a one-time $25 fee per person.

This covers your volunteer T-shirt or apron, badge, volunteer insurance coverage in case of injury, and your HS/SPCA membership.

Want to be a foster parent?  Click on the link and download the application.  Take care of the pet of someone deployed in the military, a rescued animal, or a special needs puppy.  These are the animals that need the most love and attention.  You can be specific in how long, what type, they’re looking for pet-lovers and am sure will try their hardest to match foster parents with their ideal situation.

Kid’s birthday?  Book it at the San Antonio Humane Society and you’ll get two and a half hours of interactive, education fun.  Get behinds the scene tours, educational presentations, and playtime!

Puppy Play Time

Just like toddlers enjoying playtime and group play, Pawderosa Ranch offers day-time and overnight drop offs while you’re at work or away in San Antonio.   Another puppy playgroup to join is Camp Bow Wow which also encourages social interaction, during the day, or sleep away.