Thursday, July 31, 2008

Mission Possible: Missions and New Beers

After a breakfast at IHOP (we need more those in Detroit!), we went to some of the Missions that are a part of the San Antonio Missions National Historic Park on the south side of town. Very impressive structures. Some of these missions date back to 1718 and are still used today. We found the sign on one door particularly interesting: basically “Leave your guns outside.” It was on the chapel door! “I love you, my Christian brother! Just as long as you don’t flash the wrong gang sign. If you do, I get to put a cap in your ass! But I love you!” What a crock.

All of this took on an even more interesting feel based on what we witnessed getting there. It’s a four-way stop. The car in front of us stops. The passenger gets out, walks to the street corner, and stands there. The driver gets out, walks to the other corner, and stands there. Two woman spill out of the car and start knocking each other around. It’s a clown car! How comical. How sad.

After spending some time there, we went off to Sea World. Most people get to pay $50 to get in. No joke. How much did we pay? Nothing. Rebecca’s military status got us both in for free. Anheuser-Busch picks up the tap. For me, a big highlight was the Brew Master’s Club. Basically, you pick four beers off the list and they bring you the itty-bitty sample glasses with fruits, cheese and chocolates. Our guide, Carlos, took us through beer and food pairing ideas. Wild Blue, Stone Mill Pale Ale, Beach Bum Blonde Ale, and the Bare Knuckle Stout were all pretty good. While I know my beers, I don’t really have a handle on how to partner them with food. In the past, I have never really been a fan of fruit beers, but if you have them with lights cheeses, and grapes as an appetizer, you are all set. Smoked Gouda goes well with stouts, too. Chocolates are also good with pale ales (though I don’t eat chocolate). It was all free.

I think a highlight for Rebecca was when her photographer/brother got a picture of her feeding the dolphin. She could have fed him more, but the little kid next to her horn-swaggled her out of her fish. He seemed to think that just because he knew the magic word, he should get what he wants. I’ll have to try that during our upcoming contract talks. “I want a pay raise. Pleeease?”

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