11/5/17

“Yo Cuento Outdoors”~The Stories of Latino Outdoors. Part 4

The stories continue from our amazing volunteers at LatinoOutdoors. This week we have Laura Torres~Social Media Contributor in Los Angeles, CA. I met Laura a little over a year ago and her kindness and authenticity is what drew me to her. Here is Laura’s story on her connections to the Outdoors.

Laura Torres~Social Media Contributor Los Angeles, CA

What are your earliest memories with a connection to nature?

My earliest memory of the outdoors is connected to living in Georgia and having fruit trees, growing some veggies, and a pond within walking distance of our home. It was great to have access to fresh fruits, especially when they were used to make dessert! I would also feed fish in the pond throughout the year and go fishing once they were big. My mom cleaned them and cooked them. Food is very important in my family and I think the Latino Culture in general. There were only two other Latino families in our community at that time and that we knew, and sharing food is one way we bonded.

What is your story in the outdoor space?

My story is one of learning to connect with Nature wherever I am. Whether I am in a rural space or a sprawling city. I have spent most of my life in Los Angeles and know firsthand the benefits and needs of regular access to nature. Making time to connect to nature is a priority. I am fortunate to currently work as the Field Representative for the National Parks Conservation Association. This allows me to connect with others in advocating for the protection of Natural Resources, increased access to the outdoors for everyone and increased representation of Latino Heritage in the National Park System. Volunteering with Latino Outdoors allows me to contribute to increased Latino Representation in the Outdoors and support other developing leaders on outings.

Photo credit- Laura Torres

What is it that makes the Outdoors so special to you?

It’s the place in which I feel most free, most at peace and humbled. I have a connection to the outdoors, as my place of grounding, my place of creativity, and my place of building memories with my partner. A place to reconnect with friends and family. Every day I am thinking of the need for supporting others in building their own unique connection to the outdoors.

How do you celebrate the connections between a Latinx identity and the outdoors? How do you see yourself “counting” in the outdoors?

I think about how my ancestors had a daily connection to the outdoors, that is far beyond my current connection. Nature is culturally and historically present in celebrations, survival and spiritual practice. By connecting with the outdoors I am active in strengthening my relationship and understanding of the earth. My Latinx identity goes beyond the snacks or clothes I wear when outdoors. It’s connected to supporting my community to have more access to the outdoors. “It’s connected to pushing my self to be in spaces that have predominantly been occupied by white males”. It is also about taking the time to learn about the native communities in an area I am enjoying and looking at the plants and researching on their multiple functions. I have much more to learn about my indigenous roots, while also learning how to take my nature adventures to the next level. It’s about making time to develop my relationship with the outdoors at my own pace and on my own terms. I started using Instagram to make sure I was being seen and that I could see others like myself in the outdoors. It was a way to connect and support each other. I think it is a great tool to feel empowered and have self-representation. I think it is working because I am starting to see mainstream media pay attention and acknowledge a need to include more diversity communities in our public lands and open spaces. I see myself “counting” as both a privilege and a responsibility. I have the privilege to have access to transportation to the great outdoors, having access to information and a basic understanding on how to prepare for the outdoors including securing permits when needed so that I can enjoy some truly magical places. I also have the responsibility to engage my representatives in issues of access to public lands and long term protection of natural resources.

Photo Credit-Laura Torres

How is this represented in the community around you?

I see that there is a growing interest in open spaces. many are starting their connection with the outdoors as a form of recreation and are willing to learn how they can not only bring others but also protect the local and national outdoor spaces. I am happy to see more meet-ups for hiking and seeing them expand. Among my friends, family and community I see an increase in yearly camping trips. I am also participating in conversations about the importance of more diversity regarding environmental education, health benefits and policy to keep our open spaces protected and accessible.

Why does what you do matter so much to you?

On a selfish note, I go kind of crazy when I don’t have regular access to nature, it’s my healthcare. I want access to nature in a fun and fulfilling way to be a given for my community. If I have children I want them to have beautiful, magical spaces to grow in and to have an opportunity to continue connecting with our heritage. It’s the best way to rest and refuel.

Photo credit-Laura Torres

Favorite hike to date and why?

My favorite hike was in Pinnacles National Park January 2016. It was my first over 3 mile solo hike in a new place. I usually hike with my friends or partner. This day I hiked a little over 6 miles in a trail that looped. This was on a whim while driving up to Pescadero to visit a friend that works on a farm. On the way up I took a detour. I had never visited the park before and only recently realized it existed. I thought this would be a great way to test my map skills and made sure I had my ten essentials and most importantly, checked in with my partner so he was aware of my location and hike. It felt great to know I had the freedom to be spontaneous. I was transitioning from one job to another and this was a great time to reflect and sow intentions for my career. This allowed time for myself and provided much increased confidence.

Favorite park and why?

My favorite place is Hierve el Agua in Oaxaca, Mexico. This is a magical place! It’s the place where my mother and I hiked together for the first time. It’s a beautiful place and knowing that I am getting a tiny glimpse of the beauty of my Mom’s home state fills me with pride. This deepened my connection with my Mother. When she agreed to go with me I felt she was showing me trust and openness to building a healthier relationship. The park is full of natural elements I love, a majestic view of mountains, water to take a dip in and relax and an interesting mix of plants including agaves and cacti. It is a place that reminds me of my ancestors and their connections to nature. Visiting Hierve el Agua was a long time desire I had. I was undocumented for over twenty years so when I finally gained legal status and went to visit in 2010 it was truly magical. 

I love sharing these stories. Thank you Laura for not only being a beautiful friend but for also believing that you can and doing so as well. You are smart, sweet and inspiring Chica and I can’t wait for your next Texas trip.

Fitfunand … Afuera!

10/19/17

The Clio Palmperfect Cordless Electric Shaver

It’s the Clio Palmperfect Cordless Electric Shaver.


Who isn’t looking for the ultimate shaving tool for silky smooth skin? Just the colors alone make it appealing and the way it fits in the palm of my hand makes for a nice shave. No worries on getting nicks or bumps and you can easily use it wet or dry.

The Clio Palmperfect Electric Shaver has a unique dual clipper design for easy and painless hair removal from the bikini area without irritation or razor burn.

Beach ready all day long.

 

I found the Clio Palmperfect electric shaver easy to pack in my make-up bag and it retails at your local stores. I received this product for a review but no need on convincing me on how great it works because I recently took it on my vacation to the beach and found out myself!

Where to buy:

  • This is available at many mass retailers like Walmart, Target and a Texas favorite, H-E-B.

Retail SRP: $9.00

Key Features:

  • Water-safe for shower use
  • Hypoallergenic grooming
  • Battery/USB operated

CLIO – The number one women’s personal care appliance brand!

 

Fitfunand … The Clio Electric Shaver.

(I was not compensated for this post but was given the Clio electric shaver for a review. NO WORRIES, all opinions are solely my own.)

 

 

10/8/17

“Yo Cuento Outdoors”~The Stories of Latino Outdoors. Part 3

It’s a wondrous thing how the wild calms the spirit within us. The “feels” we get when we know we are right where we are supposed to be. This then turns into what more can I explore, what more can I do and then how can I share this with others. The “feels” become so much more that it becomes part of your existence. For some it leads to a career in the outdoors and for some just a personal joy to share with others. Latino Outdoors has allowed more opportunities for us to experience and share what we love to do and in the process we have become a family. My pleasure to introduce New Mexico Coordinator~Gabe Vasquez.

What is the story of Gabe and the connection you have to the outdoors?

Well, it actually goes back to the story of when I first experienced the outdoors. When my family and I first got to Caballo Lake in New Mexico we threw our lines in the water and it wasn’t long before a Game & Fish officer came to check on our licenses. Because it was our first time fishing and we were from Mexico, we didn’t realize we needed a license. The officer claimed he couldn’t understand what my Dad was saying, so he called Border Patrol. Border Patrol detained my Dad that afternoon at a county jail in Truth or Consequences. They released him several hours later because he had not done anything wrong. Despite that harrasement, my dad told me to stay strong and that the outdoors were a place for everyone. We got our fishing licenses that afternoon and went back to the river. Since then, I’ve tried to spread the same message … the outdoors are for everyone.

How did this connection to the outdoors connect you more with Nature?

Fishing with my Dad and brother. I grew up in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, an industrialized border city. There weren’t many places to play outdoors and we lived in the inner city, so we were mostly surrounded by concrete. So when my Dad took me and my brother fishing as young kids, it meant a lot. My whole world changed. He took us to southern New Mexico, to a place called Caballo Lake, about two hours north of Juarez. We camped by the Rio Grande, fished for catfish and went to sleep counting the stars. I had never seen the stars that bright in my life.

What is it about the outdoors that make it special for you?

It’s a place of healing, a place of reflection, and also the world’s biggest classroom. The outdoors teaches us that we can’t just take, we have to give, it teaches us about balance and equality. We’re all the same on the trail–nature doesn’t judge–it doesn’t matter how much money you have, what color you are, gender or sexuality, we are all having the same experience outdoors.

How do you celebrate the connection between a Latinx identity and the outdoors and how do you see yourself “counting” afuera?

I helped start a youth outdoor recreation and education program in my community to help Latinx youth and people better understand their history on this land, in southern New Mexico. we celebrate our history here, not just as Latino’s but as Mestizos, as people with mixed indigenous blood, roots and beliefs. We count here because we’ve been on this land for thousands of years, we’re not outsiders here.

How do you see it in others and in the community around you?

In the world of outdoor recreation and environmental advocacy, there is a pretty homogeneous community that dominates both spaces. Much of that has to do with wealth, the people most prone to go outdoors or become advocates for their environment are people who have had the time to have the opportunities to experience recreation outdoors. We’re changing that one person at a time every time we get a new young person of color on the trail, we create more balance in those spaces.

Why does what you do matter to you?

Because it helps me find meaning in life and it connects me spiritually to the creation and his creation. Working and volunteering as an outdoor advocate is what makes me happy, and my parents always said to do what makes me happy. They were right … nothing compares!

Describe your perfect day?

A perfect day outside is sitting in silence at the top of a mountain in Mesilla Valley, watching and listening to the wildlife and seeing the clouds roll in. I think about how many other generations before us have sat on the same spot and observed the same beauty?
What has been your favorite hike?
My favorite hike to date was hiking Tonuco Mountains with my girlfriend. Tonuco Mountains is a sacred site dotted with petroglyphs and full of rich, rare earth minerals. We hiked for about nine miles that day in the middle of the fall, bushwhacking through mesquite, devils thorn and cacti to get to the very top, where an old mine shaft exists. After the sixth mile we looked at each other and wanted to turn back every 10 minutes or so, but we kept going, because getting to the top was just as important for both of us. The views of the Organ Mountains at the very top paid off. We will both never forget that hike.
Do you have any traditions outside?
I try and follow in the footsteps of those who came before us, not just indigenous communities and people, but my own father, grandfather, and ancestors. I remember them when I hike, hunt, and fish. It makes the experience sacred for me. Of course, after every hike a need a cold beer to reflect on the outing!
A huge thank you to Gabe for allowing us to share more about what a genuine and legit soul he is. Gabe is that guy you just want to know more about. His kind heart is evident from the moment you meet him. May your journeys be many my friend and keep being an inspiration to many. How lucky is New mexico and Latino Outdoors : ).
For more info about Las Cruces, New Mexico and what is happening afuera check out … Nuestra Tierra.
Josie Gutierrez ~ Southwest Ambassador
 
09/30/17

“Yo Cuento Outdoors”~The Stories of Latino Outdoors. Part 2

Aribba en el Cielo. Abajo en la Tierra. Afuero con Latino Outdoors.

 

I promised you more stories from the amazing Latino Outdoors leaders, coordinators and volunteers. This organization has provided us the space to grow and nurture nature in our own unique and individual ways. Nature knows no boundaries and how beautiful is that? Here we all are, hikers, bikers, mountain climbers, bird watchers, backpackers, environmentalist and the list goes on but our passion is the same … Tierra Madre! We have individually been called to nature in our own way and up next is the story of Ruby J. Garcia~Executive Projects Coordinator.

Ruby J. Garcia~Executive Projects Coordinator.

What are some of the earliest memories you have with a connection to Nature?

I remember sitting in my grandma’s little mint garden as a small child. I’d help her transform rocks into ladybugs with a little bit of paint. One of my favorite past times as a child was examining California burclover fruit; I’d unravel it and eat the tiny seeds inside. This activity was very soothing for me, and I can confidently say that it is the foundation to my connection with nature.

I also remember standing beneath towering nopales and being so awe inspired. I grew up in the country, next door to a ditch – yes, I played in it during summer months. There was a pond at the end of this ditch, with a tire swing hanging from a tree. The ditch itself was lined with eucalyptus trees and a few weeping willows. And there was a bridge, where I’d sit and watch the tadpoles before jumping in to catch them. I remember catching ladybugs in the adjacent open field. This was my refuge, and I revisit it from time to time.

At 30, I am still soothed by the tiniest details of my interactions with nature. In these moments, I am fully immersed in nature and the burden of being human leaves me; suddenly, I experience life as one with my environment.

Tell me more about who Ruby is and how you connect to doing what you do now in the outdoor space?

[Big sigh] I was at Fresno Community College, switching majors every semester, when I finally decided to visit the Fresno State website to browse their programs and find a career path that would maintain my interest. Scrolling, scrolling through the programs. Then I saw “Recreation Administration” and was struck with curiosity. As I scanned this major I was hooked by, Adventure” “Serve at-risk youth” and “Leadership.” I wasn’t much of an outdoor enthusiast at the time, but intuition told me that this was the path I needed to take. At this time, my connection to nature was fairly faint. My connection to the outdoors was simple: I liked to be outside, in the sun, surrounded by plants.  

A few years later, I ventured to Yosemite in a time of tremendous hardship and eventually fell in love with hiking. I say “eventually” because my first two or three visits to this park consisted of driving around the park, awestruck.  You see, I didn’t know what to do. I just knew that I wanted to be in that space. So, I sort of just drove around aimlessly; awestruck and taking it all in. Eventually, I brought a backpack with some food and water (my “day pack” – I know that now) and took my very first day hike to Nevada Falls. It was emotionally painful and awkward, because nobody on the trail looked like me; that’s super uncomfortable. And I was alone on this journey. Everywhere I looked I saw groups of happy White people with gear. I honestly felt like I didn’t belong there, and I felt like I wasn’t free to feel connected to that space. But at the same time, I was in awe of my hike. And it became clear that the only time I ever felt I had potential as a person was when I found myself on an outdoor adventure. And I remember thinking, “Why not?”

It would be a few years before I took my first Recreation Administration course, but, when I did, all of these connections came flooding in. I began to realize that outdoor recreation was my passion because I saw its potential as a tool for empowerment. I uprooted myself and my children from Fresno so that I could attend Humboldt State University; eighth hours away from home. Outdoor recreation became my go-to tool as I established myself as an independent, empowered single mother – a life changing endeavor. You see, I have experienced first-hand the benefits of outdoor recreation whilst learning the theory and practice behind such efforts. I have gained the confidence, empowerment, and resilience that comes with relentlessly pushing one’s boundaries. I have simultaneously witnessed, experienced, studied, and managed the power of recreation, emerging with an unbreakable faith that recreation is the antitheses to oppression. I advocate for this field with all of my heart, because it has allowed me to break cycles of poverty and oppression.

What is the connection that makes the outdoors so special to you?

Connecting with nature alleviates the negative parts of my human experience. It allows me to reconnect with myself and the world around me. I see my potential more clearly when I find myself in open spaces. I also use nature as a tool to accomplish my motherhood endeavors, teaching my children about the value of wonder, perseverance, environmental stewardship, and so forth. Outdoor spaces alleviate stress, encourage introspection, and promote well-being. We were meant to be outside.

How do you celebrate the connections between a Latinx identity and do you see yourself “counting” in the outdoors?

I highlight my connection between a Latinx identity and the outdoors with an unruly and celebratory rebelliousness, because this is my chosen avenue to empowerment, and I had to fight for it. I fought against the uncomfortableness of feeling unwelcomed in the outdoors. I stood against all odds and refused to fold in my pursuit of higher education. My experience has been that I make myself count in this field, as an outdoor enthusiast and recreation professional. And now that I’ve accomplished that, I seek to do the same for others as an extension of my own healing and empowerment.

How do you see it in others and the community around you?

There is a sense of comradery within the campus community here at Humboldt State. I see Latinx students making that journey to the outdoors together, venturing into an extremely culturally significant space which we’ve tradionally been excluded from as an act of resistance, self-discovery, and healing. It’s the adventure of a lifetime!

Why does what you do matter to you?

I wouldn’t be the empowered woman I am today without my unbreakable connection to nature. I couldn’t love myself, my children, or my community the way I do without having climbed this mountain. I believe in humankind’s capacity for growth, because I did it. Through my work I seek to create this opportunity for others.

It’s important that we use the outdoors to foster a connection between people and the environment. Yes, I want to promote environmental stewardship. Yes, conservation is of the utmost importance. I have heard a lot about providing outdoor recreation opportunities to underserved communities as a way of incorporating them into the mainstream conservation movement.

I’ve heard that people do not protect what they do not love. And I’ve heard the conservation movement needs all the help it can get. But my approach is this: Create outdoor recreation opportunities to uplift people first, and watch environmental stewardship come naturally. I don’t understand how we can expect populations that have been tradionally marginalized and excluded from the outdoors to even entertain ideas surrounding protecting our public lands, until they become empowered and make the journey to our public lands.

What three words best describe you?

Introspective: I learned how to love myself by spending lots of time exploring my mental and spiritual temples. This was my first step towards my journey to empowerment.

Open: Openness has helped me embrace vulnerability, practice honesty, and create pathways to understanding myself and the world around me. I am open and honest with myself and others on so many levels, and it has been so exhilarating to see the opportunities for growth this brings.

Resilient: My ability to thrive in unbelievably unfavorable conditions is something I have worked really hard for and am very proud of. At times I am in disbelief of my growth; it astounds me. The result is a profound belief in humankind’s capacity for growth.

The river or the beach?

Hands down the beach! The California Coastal National Monument is among my favorite places in California. I love to agate hunt, go tidepooling and watch the water in all its magnificence. Sometimes I visit Luffenholtz County Beach Park just to get quick kisses from my favorite place in Humboldt.

If you had one day to go outside where would you go and why?

The answer to this question is almost always the same. I would got to Humboldt Lagoons State Park to agate hunt by myself. I am a firm believer in self-care and spending time alone. Agate hunting couples nicely with this, because it is a passive activity which alleviates stress and promotes a sense of well-being.

The Family that Ruby built : ).

Thank you Ruby for sharing your story. A Latina Outdoors powerhouse and inspiration. The passion you have for the outdoors is now something your children will always associate with you. Couldn’t imagine better memories! Your on the right path Mamacita!

Stay tuned for more stories of Latino Outdoors “Yo Cuento Afuera”.

Southwest Ambassador for Latino Outdoors~Josie Gutierrez

09/22/17

“Yo Cuento Outdoors”~The Stories of Latino Outdoors. Part 1

What is Latino Outdoors?

I asked myself that very question a few years back. Fast-forward to now and I can tell you exactly what Latino Outdoors is and who the community of amazing leaders that help support this beautiful organization are.

José G. González is an educator, environmentalist, artist and the founder of Latino Outdoors.

This organization helps connect Cultura with the outdoors with a growing and inclusive vision for the future in conservation, the environment and often just plain recreation in open spaces.

Latino Outdoors is a Latino-led and volunteer-powered organization which has inspired many to celebrate their culture with the outdoors. Even though we have a focused celebration of the Latinx identity, everyone is welcome regardless of race, language, socio-economic background, and ethnicity! The support of these unique, amazing individuals who are our volunteer leaders and the passion they have for Tierra Madre (Mother Earth) is what I would like to share with you. Their voice, their story and what the outdoors means to them. I myself have been a volunteer for over two years and I can honestly tell you it has been nothing short of amazing.

It is an honor to be a part of sharing what makes us unique in our passion for what we do. During the month of Hispanic Heritage Month I will be highlighting the stories of us. Who is Latino Outdoors … keep reading!!!

“Yo Cuento Outside” Q & A with Carlos Jorge Miranda~Website Coordinator for LO

 

1.What are the earliest memories of you in the outdoors with a connection to Nature?

My earliest memories of being connected outdoors would be driving to Muir Woods in California and going to the beach most summers. Going to camp Mather outside of Hetch Hetchy in Yosemite National Park is another treasured memory. This was a week long camp for families a few miles from the park entrance. During these trips I would spend lots of time with my uncles learning how to hike properly and fish very early in the morning on the Tuolumne River and American River in California.

Yosemite National Park (2005)

2.What is your story in relation to what you do now in the outdoor space?

I mentioned earlier I spent lots of time outdoors as a kid but as a young adult I would lose sight of that passion. In 2007 I went through a traumatic spinal injury that happened on the job, this would make it even more difficult to go outdoors and travel as a whole and as I was going through rehab I learned to modify any outdoor activities to accomodate my disability. I’ve been able yo camp again, hike and do light backpacking despite my injuries. This is one of the reasons I work with disabled students and show them the power of “Modified Dis-Ability”. I am a father of a 5 year old and I see now that education, outdoor conservation and diversity in education but also in our wild and public spaces is crucial to our and generations to come.

3.What makes the outdoors special to you?

It makes it a special place because it brings my thoughts to a neutral place, I am able to slow down and enjoy being on the moment. One of the disadvantages of living in San Francisco is the hustle and bustle, one of the advantages is trails are within miles.

4.How do you celebrate the connections between a Latinx identity and the Outdoors and how do you “count” yourself afuera?

As a current student at The University of San Francisco in the Latino/o/X American Studies department, culture, history and legacy is at the forefront of what drives me as a student, father, spouse and educator. I feel I am able to share outdoor spaces with those that may have not been exposed to it but also don’t have the means of transportation.

Counting as an “Identified” person of Color, also as a larger than average tattooed guy from San Francisco’s Mission district I have come accustomed to the stares and have used that as an ice breaker to educate people on diversity and outdoor equity for those underrepresented in these spaces.

Photo credit-Veronica MIranda

5.How do you see this in others and the communities around you?

One of the things I do see in others in the LatinX community I live in is lack of resources, education and specialist who are of the same ethnic background to bring fourth the opportunity to experience even local outdoor spaces. This is the main reason I was excited to volunteer with Latino Outdoors and continue to work with them and I am now going on two years with them. I see the power in planting the seeds on the molecular level with those that know how to fertilize the soil in their own communities and that is what has made Latino Outdoors successful. They are also a wonderful team of volunteers and leadership roles.

6.Tell me why it is important to you to do what you do?

It matters because as a student, I love to educate and see that spark ignite in people of all ages. I love the memories that also come from hikes and walks from our elders who remind me that we come from the Tierra.

Photo Credit~Veronica Miranda

La Familia Miranda~Carlos Jorge, wife Veronica and son Mayuteo.

Muchas Gracias to Carlos for sharing what makes him and what he does special to his own family and Latino Outdoors. I am so honored to call him my friend and he really is a special soul and stories like his are what we will be sharing with you during Hispanic Heritage Month. Let your story be told and may you be inspired by some of our Outdoor Familia and stay tuned for another story!
Southwest Ambassador for Latino Outdoors~Josie Gutierrez
09/7/17

Verdi’s Macbeth – Opera San Antonio

“So foul and fair a day I have not seen”.

– William Shakespeare, Macbeth

Dress Rehearsal for Verdi’s Macbeth (Photo credit – Karen Almond)

The story of Macbeth, described by Verdi, the composer, as “one of mankind’s greatest creations,” is a classic thriller of power, greed, and the destructive costs of tyrannical ambition. Set to Verdi’s gripping and ferocious music, Macbeth is a spellbinding opera with musical fireworks and stunning drama. Macbeth is Giuseppe Verdi’s tenth opera and his first to be inspired by William Shakespeare.

I was invited as a guest to attend a special dress rehearsal of Macbeth and I felt like the luckiest girl. Opera is not something I have had the pleasure of enjoying but I knew in my heart that it was something I needed. Back in my high school days I enjoyed many years of theatre and can truly appreciate the art of a live performance.

The music, the costumes, the live orchestra pit … WOW! I felt myself feeling the emotions and joining in on the journey with them. It was so vibrant and beautiful, full of characters telling the story of Macbeth by voices that left me speechless. If this is Opera then I shall return. Wonder where I can get a pair of opera glasses, lol.

FYI: Sung in Italian with English subtitles.

Here is a PROMO CODE: MACBETH for 25% off your tickets. You can get your tickets at Tobin Center box office or call (210) 223-8624. You won’t regret it. Sit back and enjoy the show.

TWO PERFORMANCES
September 8, 2017 at 7:30 PM
September 10, 2017 at 2:00 PM

Fitfunand … Opera San Antonio.

 

 

07/4/17

Live the Story: Battle for Texas the Experience

I was invited to journey back in time to experience the daily lives of early Texas settlers at the Battle For Texas The Experience. This San Antonio attraction features a completely immersive adventure that is great for the entire family. Over 250 artifacts together for the first time. The unforgettable, curated exhibition provides views with an in-depth perspective on the stirring story of the Battle of the Alamo!

Live the Story.

Learn more about James Bowie, David Crockett, William Barret Travis, Juan Sequin and Santa Anna in the representation of the story for the Battle for the Alamo. It’s very easy to lose yourself in the history that is Texas. What are y’all waiting for? Plan your visit and journey back in time while having fun doing so!

Mobile App

Experience Battle For Texas with their mobile app! You will have access to over forty different audio clips featuring information on the story of Texas and the artifacts on display. Watch exclusive video content of 1836 re-enactors telling their story!  With seven different historical figures to choose from you wont miss a detail. Select the person of your choice and see their perspective. You can even embark on a unique scavenger hunt, search for character cards containing additional information about each historical figure. The mobile guide is also available in Spanish!

Interactive. Educational. Immersive.

 

If you listen quietly while walking through the gallery you will hear the special soundscape of mockingbirds, mourning doves, cicadas and insects that would have been heard across the Texas plains in the early 1800’s. This adds to the experience of the daily lives of the Texas settlers and the tensions leading up to the Texas Revolution and the climactic battle in which the Alamo defenders sacrificed their lives for freedom.

Fitfunand … born and raised in Texas!!

(Sponsored post but no worries, all opinions are solely my own.)

Plan your visit here for the Battle of Texas The Experience.

Group/School Adventures

Location:

Alamo Plaza at Blum Street
Inside the Shops at  Rivercenter
San Antonio, TX 78205

Call the toll free number to reserve your tickets now 1-866-633-0195.

 

 

 

 

 

 

05/29/17

Breathe Today. SA Tomorrow. What Can You Do?

Last week the City of San Antonio~Office of Sustainability launched an Air Quality awareness campaign to encourage businesses and residents to help reduce air pollution.

This is just the beginning of a campaign set out to make the city a fabulous place to work, play and live in while enhancing the environment and quality of life for all residents as well as future generations. The air we breathe should be as pure as we as a whole can help make it.

#BreatheTodaySATomorrow #AirQuality

“Air quality is a priority for San Antonio because of it’s impact on our community’s health and economy,” said Chief Sustainability Officer Douglas Melnick. In October 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a more stringent, health-based air pollution standard of 70 parts per billion (ppb) of ground level, ozone emissions. Bexar County’s air quality is currently at 73 parts per billion. Ground level ozone is created from emissions from various sources such as industrial facilities, motor vehicle exhaust and gasoline fumes in the presence of sunlight.

Don’t just breathe, breathe clean. It’s our right.

What can you do to help keep the air cleaner everyday? According to EPA below are some examples.

Transportation tips:

  • Car pool, use public transportation, bike or walk when possible.
  • Combine errands to reduce “cold starts” of your car and avoid extended idling.
  • Be sure your tires are properly inflated.
  • Keep car, boat and other engines properly tuned, and avoid engines that smoke.
  • Follow gasoline refueling instructions for efficient vapor recovery. Be careful not to spill fuel and always tighten your gas cap securely.

Household Tips:

  • Use environmentally safe paints and cleaning products whenever possible.
  • Some products that you use at your home or office are made with smog-forming chemicals that can evaporate into the air when you use them. Follow manufacturers’ recommendations for use and properly seal cleaners, paints, and other chemicals to prevent evaporation into the air.
  • Conserve electricity. Consider setting your thermostat a little higher in the summer and lower in winter. Participate in local energy conservation programs. Look for the ENERGY STAR label when buying home or office equipment.
  • Consider using gas logs instead of wood. If you use a wood-burning stove or fireplace insert, make sure it meets EPA design specifications. Burn only dry, seasoned wood.

Lawn and garden Tips:

  • Mulch or compost leaves and yard waste.

There will be days when the ozone and pollution is expected to be high. We can do small things in order to keep our city air cleaner. I believe that if we practice putting these tips into our everyday life and explain to our children why this is important, it will make us more aware of the environment and space we live, work and play in. Awareness and education might just bring more caring and need for protection of the city love.

Remember that we are part of the imprint and we make an impact always.

 

Let the City of San Antonio~Office of Sustainability know what your doing to make air quality better.

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/COSAOfficeofSustainability/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/COSAGOV

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/cosa_sustainability/?hl=en

I was born and raised in San Antonio and am a Nature Girl at heart. This means I play, hike, swim and have fun outdoors. If there is anything I can do to ensure that my family and friends breathe cleaner and leave it cleaner I will!

Fitfunand … #BreatheTodaySATomorrow.

(Sponsored post: The Social Being.)

 

04/19/17

SeaWorld on a Sunday in San Antonio, Texas

The year was 1988 and my oldest daughter was just 2 years old. SeaWorld had officially opened in San Antonio, Texas. I was so excited to take my daughter and get lost in the park. I knew the visits would be many the moment we stepped in the world of the Sea. It was so magical, from the marine life to the amusement rides. I was happy to make memories for my daughter.  Many years have passed since my first visit.  My oldest is now a mommy herself with a 6 year old daughter who has become my partner in adventure. We decided on a Sunday for a funday with the family.

I was going to take on the task of entertaining not only my granddaughter, but my niece and nephew as well. Along for some support was my younger brother who last minute decided to join me as an extra adult, good call!

 

 

Rule number one in visiting any park should be a map and a plan. We were lucky enough to have two adorable volunteers for the job. Once they decided where we should go, we were off!

Did you know … that for more than 50 years SeaWorld has been a leading theme park and entertainment company delivering personal, interactive and educational experiences that blend imagination with nature enabling their guest to celebrate with and care for the natural world they share. Countless rides for all ages, shows to engage our hearts and mind and exhibits from conservation to personal interactions with Dolphins, Beluga Whales and Sea lions at SeaWorld Discovery Point.

A good pair of walking shoes a cool hat and hydration will make the day just a little smoother. Did I mention that they do have a height requirement for all rides and if your lucky enough you can make it extra adventurous. But no worries if your not tall enough because there is plenty to keep the family busy, requirements or not : ).

The kids, hands down, loved the Sesame Street Bay of Play. The kids were able to cool down with bubblers, geysers, jets and dumping water buckets. The Sesame Street friends are also out and about for great photo opportunities.

It’s also a great spot for the “adults” to relax. Keep in mind that you will want to take some sunscreen for the family and don’t hesitate to lather it on. If you forget, not a problem, plenty of souvenir shops around.

I officially became a cool aunt with the kids asking when we could do this again! I smiled, my day was complete. Thank you Sea World for the memories and we can’t wait to return. Maybe next time … Aquatica waterpark.

Fitfunand … Sunday Funday!

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post but I was provided with entry passes to the park. I sincerely had a great time there and just had to share my own opinion and excitement for the park. 

04/13/17

Chica Afuera at Brackenridge Park

I am where I know I was meant to be.

My first Easter at Brackenridge Park

You don’t have to travel far to find yourself in Nature. These parks, trails and open spaces are usually not that far from your home or work. The more I explore the more I uncover. The more I uncover, the more I want to share. My memories are many and I will forever be grateful that my parents loved me enough to fuel my soul. Was it my smiles and my enthusiasm every time they took me to the park that made them realize that was my happy place? Perhaps it was a combination of the love they had for me to want to see me smile and their appreciation for the outdoors. Whatever it was … it worked! Nature was a natural thing growing up. The outdoors was my playground!

Every park has it’s story and that is the journey.

 

If you ask me what my favorite city park is I would have to say Brackenridge Park. This very popular park is minutes from downtown San Antonio and I am totally positive that the reasons for it’s popularity would include the San Antonio Zoo, Japanese Tea GardenWitte MuseumBrackenridge Park Golf Course, walking trails, playgrounds, fishing, bird watching, a miniature train, Kiddie Park and the Sunken Garden Theater. These attractions are all withing walking distance from each other so make sure you put on a good pair of walking shoes when visiting and exploring.

San Antonio Zoo

Brackenridge Park is rich with history with evidence of human visitation and occupation dating back 11,000 years. Native American artifacts dating as early as 9200 B.C. have been found inside the parks boundaries. Historical buildings remain standing in the park as well like that of the 1878 Pumphouse #1, the oldest industrial building in Bexar County.

If your just old enough you might even remember the Horse stable, paddle boats and the Sky Ride that you would board at the Japanese Tea Garden and exit at the Zoo. For the record … I’m just old enough to remember, lol.

In my heart there are memories and there they will always be!

 

This park was introduced to me by my parents. It was a happy place for us and when I grew up and had my own family it was the first park I took my girls.

I have seen the park change through the years and the growth and development has been great. The Conservancy seeks to ensure the best possible user experience for future generations by improving park amenities, providing programming, and building a sense of stewardship in the community.

This park is very special to many and family traditions run deep.  It’s all about quality family time no matter where you are. The element of outdoors is just a plus. San Antonio Parks & Recreation does allow overnight camping during Easter weekend and they do extend the curfew hours. Check out the link in case your feeling adventurous, lol.

Fitfunand … Pafuera!

San Antonio Zoo with my Mom