Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The most recent outings

I’m writing another one of those housekeeping posts that turn out to be behemoths, so I’m breaking it down and talking about my most recent monthly outings here. (For previous outings, see here.)

My September outing (which I attended by myself) was a talk by Jane Goodall, a living legend in my eyes. It was wonderful to hear her speak in person, and if you have an hour or so to spare, you can watch her talk below.

For our October outing, we went to see the walking path beneath Oakwell Drive, because of this San Antonio Magazine article. As far as I can tell, it’s technically in Tobin Park, though we couldn’t find the exact spot in the picture. What we found was definitely less pleasant, mostly because it seemed abandoned (in a creepy way, not an idyllic one). We also made it a point to try the famous 3-pound cinnamon roll at Lulu’s Bakery and Cafe. Yes, it is as ginormous as it sounds! We took the leftovers home and it took us an extra three days to finish it. Plus, we took a look at the Japanese Tea Gardens, which I can confirm look better in October than in February, though they didn’t seem at their peak then either.

In November and December, we had a single outing to Panther Springs Park, which has a beautiful new 2.5-mile asphalt trail. It’s stroller- and bike-friendly and very pleasant to walk on! We plan on going back when the weather is warmer, perhaps for a picnic.

I’m including this here as an outing, even though it was more than that: in January, we took a trip to Cancún. We hadn’t had a “real” vacation in a while, so this was fantastic! It was also our first time booking accommodations and tours with a toddler in mind, and I think we did pretty well. We stayed at a resort on the beach most of the time, so we got some relaxation in (I read Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things and played Monument Valley, both of which I highly recommend, and I got a wonderful massage at the hotel spa). We also booked a tour to visit Chichén Itzá. At that point, our main concern was that we wanted the Little Prince to travel safely, but most tour companies operate buses without car seats and some won’t even guarantee a place for a toddler! We ended up booking a tour with a well-rated, small company that we ended up loving: Flavio Tours. They provided a seat that we managed to secure with the lap belt, plus we really liked the individualized attention that we got with this small tour. We started off by swimming in Cenote Ik Kil, an unexpected highlight of the trip; plus, Flavio took us there first thing in the morning, and we left as the first tour bus crowds got there – I’m so glad we had the place practically to ourselves! We loved seeing Chichén Itzá, and we also made a short stop in Valladolid on the way back. Overall, this was great value for the money, and we’d readily do business with them again! Maybe when the Little Prince is older, we can go back and visit Sian Ka’an or Tulum…

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