Monday, November 30, 2015

Get in the Holiday Spirit

Image courtesy of Nan Palmero - Flickr
Thanksgiving has come and gone but the holiday season is just ramping up. To get yourself in the mood for the holidays, you’ll need to put some fun in your life. As the Spice Girls would say, “Spice up your life!” There are tons of activities going on throughout the month of December to get you into the holiday mood.

See the Riverwalk lit up and joyous for the Ford Fiesta de las Luminarias. Stroll the banks of the river guided by over 6,000 Luminarias. The tradition, which has been ongoing for centuries, begins Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from December 6th through the 20th. Come see the Riverwalk in its best light!

Saturday, December 5th from 12PM to 6PM at Pearl Brewery, you can eat all the tamales your belly can handle. Try tamales from over 40 different tamale makers. Don’t like one? That’s okay! There’s more to sample. Enjoy live music from local acts while you munch on your tamales. Bring the kids too because there will be tons of fun activities for children to keep them occupied while you decide on your next tamale. Don’t miss out on this holiday tradition.

This Sunday, you can participate in the Rock ‘n Roll marathon and half marathon. The course will lead you past several historical San Antonio monuments and landmarks all the while driving you on with awesome music. Along each mile of the course there will be bands playing live music for you to rock out to! There’s nothing like a real live band to motivate you to make it through that last mile. Register here!

From November 27th until the end of December, you can see the San Antonio Botanical Garden in bloom. Holidays in Bloom is your chance to step away from the hectic rush of the holidays and catch an early glimpse of spring. If you were looking to take some holiday photos this year, this is the place to take them. With the vivid colors in bloom, you’ll have a perfect backdrop for some floral holiday photos.

There are so many great activities to get you geared up for the holidays. What’s your favorite December activity in San Antonio?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Friendsgiving Done Right

Image courtesy of Pixabay
Spending the holidays at home with the family is probably an annual tradition. The whole extended family packed into one home and crowding each other out to get to the wine and dessert. You might be so caught up in family time that you don’t get to spend time with your friends. Set a day aside to throw your friends a Friendsgiving feast. Show them that you care!

Delegate. Divvying up the responsibilities of the party will relieve a lot of the stress from the host or hostess. By delegating certain dishes or necessary items to other party guests, the responsibility falls on everyone rather than just one person. And with multiple people bringing different dishes, you’re bound to end up with a diverse spread of food. Everyone has a different specialty, so it’ll be interesting to see what everyone brings!

Drinks All Around. Everyone should contribute to the community beverage collection. A congregation of friends isn’t complete without some good drinks. Make sure you stop and grab a bottle of wine or something a little more serious for the group. Consider having a signature drink for the party like something from this list. Every party is more fun with a little alcohol.

Take the Party Outside. If you’d prefer to head out rather than stay in at someone’s home, you can go out on the town. You don’t even have to go far since the Residences at La Cantera is conveniently situated right in the middle of a great shopping district. There are a ton of awesome restaurants to host your Friendsgiving from. Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille has a great selection for you and your friends. Shrimp cocktails, bacon wrapped scallops to kick off the meal, filet mignon for the main course, you can’t go wrong at Perry’s. Kona’s is a solid choice if you want to have a Hawaiian Thanksgiving. Pan-seared tuna, kona calamari, grilled apple and brie flatbread: there is no wrong choice at Kona’s. If you’d like to keep the pressure of the dinner low, take everyone out instead of cramming into someone’s apartment.

Thanksgiving is a time for reflecting on the things you’re thankful for. Hopefully, you’re thankful for your friends. If you are, celebrate with them in the best possible way: with food and drinks. Do you and your friends host a Friendsgiving dinner?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Start a New Thanksgiving Tradition

Image courtesy of Wikipedia
Thanksgiving brings with it a lot of holiday traditions. When thinking of Thanksgiving, most people think of turkeys and stuffing, family around the TV watching parades and football games, staying at home and spending time with family. That can be great for some families but other families would prefer to get out on the town for the holiday.

Boudro’s on the Riverwalk will be offering up a special Thanksgiving feast from 11AM all the way until 11PM. Enjoy some pumpkin bisque, perfect for the fall season, and a winter mache salad, just to kick off the meal. Good luck choosing between the Niman Ranch pork chop with the potato-Manchego gratin and the oven roasted chicken breast with stuffing, haricot vert and cranberries. In between courses, snack on their multitude of breads. This is a great alternative to dinner at home and trust us, it will be so much more delicious than dinner at home! Best of all, it’s only a 20 minute drive away from our home at the Residences at La Cantera.

Maybe you’d still like to eat in the comfort of your own home, you’d just prefer not to have to cook your own meals. Earl Abel’s is the answer to your prayers. Not only do they offer some delicious sit down Thanksgiving dinner options but they also have some amazing takeout options if you’re feeling anti-social or don’t want to cook for the hordes of family members in your house. The Traditional Turkey Order, which serves 20 people, is perfect for a Thanksgiving party filled with hungry family members. There are multiple variations with sides to add on and desserts that you won’t be able to miss out on. Or if you’d prefer to just have desserts (there’s nothing wrong with that) you can order a parade of pies: pumpkin, pecan and apple. Enjoy restaurant quality Thanksgiving dinner from the comfort of your own home.

Living in San Antonio has its perks. The Houston and Alon locations of Green Vegetarian Cuisine are closed on Thanksgiving but the San Antonio locations are open and ready to serve up some vegetarian friendly meals. For those with doubts that vegetarian food can be good, Green Vegetarian Cuisine will prove you wrong. Vegan turkey, herb mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and cranberry salad? Sign us up! For dessert you can have your pick from pumpkin or pecan pie, Thanksgiving staples. They also offer the same options up for take-out if you’d prefer to keep it at home for the holiday. Reserve your dinner spot or order yourself take-out. Green Vegetarian Cuisine is only a 13 minute drive away from the Residences at La Cantera so you won’t have far to go on Thanksgiving.

We are so thankful for these restaurants for being open on Thanksgiving and welcoming us in for a delicious feast. Do you have an alternative holiday tradition?

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Keeping Busy Until Thanksgiving

Now that Halloween is over and the kids are all coming down from their sugar high, it’s on to the next adventure! Luckily for us, San Antonio has tons of great family friendly activities to keep you going all the way until Thanksgiving. The next time you and the family are getting restless sitting at home, pop over to our blog for an exciting new idea for an outing.

Image courtesy of Zereshk via Wikimedia
The San Antonio Botanical Garden is having a couple of different events for the remainder of 2015. Big Garden, Little Me is an exhibit that can make even the tallest person feel miniature. Throughout the garden, you’ll find gigantic versions of your everyday backyard objects. Take a seat in a supersized adirondack and enjoy the view of the blooming flora. Have you ever wondered what an ant sees when they look up at you from your picnic blanket? Now you can find out! There will be tons of games and activities to participate in as well as interesting photo opportunities for the whole family. The San Antonio Botanical Garden is only 25 minutes away from our home at the Residences at La Cantera so the kids won’t have long to ask, “Are we there yet?”

A new art exhibit by artist Kim Beck will be living at the Botanical Garden until January of 2016. “One Way Trail” will feature a series of routes and views through the garden. You’ll be guided by audio through your smartphone. Visitors to the garden will find themselves led through the garden by poets, ranchers, a child, a dog and other unexpected tour guides. You still have plenty of time to see the exhibit at the Botanical Garden but don’t dilly-dally!

At the end of the month, the San Antonio Zoo, after five full years without a giraffe, will unveil their brand new giraffe exhibit. Along with the reappearance of the giraffes, the zoo will also unveil their brand new giraffe feeding station. Zoo visitors can walk right up to the graceful animals and feed them right out of the palms of their hands. You can get eye to eye with the skyscrapers of the animal kingdom. The exhibit opens to the public on November 20th. The zoo is a quick 20 minute drive away from us at the Residences so you’re never far from the giraffes!

The long month in between Halloween and Thanksgiving can certainly drag for younger kids. Keeping them occupied and amused isn’t hard when there are so many exciting things happening in our area this month. How do you pass the time in between Halloween and Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 2, 2015

Vegan Month: Where to Find the Best Vegan Eats

Image courtesy of Wikimedia
With all of the news coming out from the WHO about meat, a lot of folks might be opting for vegetarianism soon. Many people choose to have different diets than what is considered to be average on their own. Some choose to go vegetarian and cut meat out of their diets, some choose to be pescatarian and only eat fish and others choose to be vegan and cut all animal products out of their diets. Being vegan can help fend off many diseases that you would otherwise be much more susceptible to. There are tons of benefits to eating vegan however, there are some downfalls. For example, a lot of restaurants don’t specifically cater to those with restrictions on their diets like veganism. We wanted to hunt down some local joints that served up the best vegan food in honor of Vegan Month in November.

Only 20 minutes away from the Residences at La Cantera, La Botanica serves up food rich in the traditions of TexMex, the Gulf Coast and New Mexico and Mexico. The fruits and veggies on your plates at La Botanica are so fresh that you can actually walk out back and pick them off the vine yourself! The gardens serve as a laboratory to learn about growing sustainably and cooking sustainably. In addition to the gardens, La Botanica also shows films and hosts live music on the patios for your entertainment. They also host benefits to raise funds for social justice movements. The menu is typically pretty small with some seasonal additions popping up here and there. However, you won’t need anymore than what’s here. The delicious, fresh dishes will sweep you off your feet then you’ll be cradled in the arms of a scrumptious cocktail. We recommend Ms. Bella’s Fried Red Beans and Rice Balls and a Mezcalarita to start out with. You won’t be disappointed by anything you find here at La Botanica unless you’re a carnivore.

Located just 20 minutes away from the Residences at La Cantera, Senor Veggie has the vegan cuisine to satiate your hunger. In the heart of Lavaca, just outside of downtown San Antonio, you can taste some delicious, fresh, vegan Mexican inspired food. To kick it off start with some crunchy lettuce wraps filled with tofu, carrots and other veggies. For the main course, have yourself a Buffalo Tofu Po Boy, but be careful: it’s a hot one! Or if that’s not your taste, try a bowl. There are tons of different combos so you’ll have something different to try every time you come to Senor Veggie. Everything on the menu at Senor Veggie is made to treat your taste buds.

It can be difficult finding restaurants that fit your dietary needs. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or allergic, some restaurants just aren’t inclusive to all diets. Luckily there are a few in San Antonio that have what you’re looking for.
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