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Smelly Socks: 'God dropped a cow from heaven'

By By Johanna Bloom
Oct. 25, 2012 at 5:25 a.m.

Austin and Jamison Bloom at  Charter House Restaurant-Tower of the Americas in San Antonio.



Ranch Life

Austin recently celebrated his 12th birthday.

John and I gave him several options of how to celebrate this momentous occasion. He chose to spend the weekend in San Antonio and have a family dinner at the Tower of the Americas-Charter House Restaurant. Ever since we visited the Cape Henry lighthouse at Fort Story in Virginia Beach, my boys have been interested in height.

Tall buildings, tall bridges, tall monuments, and in this instance, tall restaurants. Anything tall, and my boys' interest is peaked and they become consumed.

We made reservations at the restaurant for 7 p.m., thinking that we could watch the sunset over the city from our window facing table. We all cleaned up quite nicely. The boys each had their sports coats, ties and khaki pants on. John and my dad both wore suits, and my mother and I sported nice dresses, all in honor of Austin's birthday.

The boys' eyes were huge saucers as we entered the glassed in elevator and rode to the top of the Tower of Americas.

"Whoa, baby," Austin mumbled as he was taking in the impressive view.

Jamison was speechless. As we got higher and higher, he began taking small steps backing away from the window.

They both grabbed each of my hands, kind of a "holding on for protection" move.

That elevator makes you feel a little vulnerable and very small that high up.

We were immediately seated, and Austin's birthday dinner officially began. We quickly ordered our drinks, several appetizers and placed our dinner order.

Jamison and Austin were fascinated at the fact that the restaurant rotated and were taking bets on how long it took to make an entire circle around the city.

Our drinks arrived, our appetizers arrived, and we were patiently waiting for our food as the sun set beautifully outside our gigantic window perch.

We waited and we waited.

In case you were wondering, Jamison won the bet, and it takes two hours for the tower to make a complete rotation giving you a full view of the spectacular San Antonio skyline. We were painfully aware of that fact because two hours later, and we still had no food. Tea glasses empty, appetizers demolished, and our bread basket was bare.

In our excitement to celebrate we all ate light meals, preparing for a wonderful dinner at the restaurant. Everyone was starving.

I have to admit that the boys handled the wait extremely well. The fact that the restaurant moved definitely helped. They were very well-mannered as they went exploring, and they covered every inch of the restaurant. They excitedly exclaimed that, "the restrooms are so cool and high-techy, and oh, the family at the far side of the restaurant had kids about the same age and they are hungry, too."

Jamison, the construction expert in the group, at one point saw several small cracks in the window as the restaurant turned. He then proceeded to explain to us that "if and when this glass breaks we will all surely be sucked out."

Austin in agreement stated, "That would be cool, but I want my steak first."

Our young waitress was very pretty and that got my 12-year-old's attention right away. He would suddenly get very reserved when she apologized for the long wait, and wanted to know if she could get anyone anything while we waited. He would just smile all mushy and lower his gaze to his feet. Every time she left our table, he would say that this restaurant has a nice view, glancing in her direction.

Three long hours after we were seated at the restaurant, our food finally arrived.

Austin in his starvation took one bite of his prime rib and he immediately jumped to his feet. He proceeded to raise his hands straight up and proclaimed for all to hear, "This is so good. It tastes like this steak came from a cow dropped down from heaven."

Then unfazed, he calmly sat down and began to devour his birthday meal.

In stunned silence, we all exchanged glances and burst into laughter.

Jamison slapped his hands over his eyes in embarrassment.

Austin certainly knows how to get attention and the entire restaurant took notice and cheered him on. Fellow restaurant patrons stopped by our table and all commented on Austin's bravado.

Apparently the entire restaurant had been patiently waiting for their food also. However, our table was the most vocal about being served such a quality steak.

We learned some valuable lessons that evening. With two growing boys, never eat lightly in the anticipation of a timely, great-tasting meal in a restaurant that you are not familiar with. Remember that Texas boys love their prime rib, and never underestimate the comments that a hungry 12-year-old boy can come up with and the attention he can garner.

Johanna is a proud seventh generation Texan. She lives on her family's South Texas ranch with her husband and two lively boys. Email Johanna Bloom or Anita Spisak at smellysocks@vicad.com.

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