Year of the Rabbit
Sunday, February 06, 2011
Today my family and I went to Austin's China Town to ring in the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Rabbit. We had a late start but I figured it'd be okay but they were already started by the time we got there. There was a major crowd and we couldn't see anything. I was disappointed mostly because my 3 year old couldn't see the dragon dancers. You see his favorite show is Ni Hao Kai-Lan on Nick Jr. For those of you not familiar with preschooler programming this is a show about a little Chinese girl and her friends (a tiger, monkey, and koala) and her grandpa YeYe. The show focuses on dealing with feelings, learning about social behaviors, and about the Chinese culture. In a recent episode my son learned about the Chinese New Year and saw Kai-Lan and her friends perform as dragon dancers.
Anyway I was disappointed but we decided to go over to the supermarket and get some Pocky and Japanese sodas which are all low in fat and favorite snacks. Oh and some squid jerky yum. Well as we walked over to the supermarket we saw the dragon and lion dancers were making their way over to the market and performing again in front. We saw what we could but couldn't see very well with the crowd and there was no way to get into the market so we decided to go eat. Of course we had Korean Grill yesterday so my kids wanted something different. I was totally unprepared for making any dining out choices and was concerned.
After talking to my sister I decided on Vietnamese cuisine and we walked over to the TC Noodle House. Well one I'm not big on pasta and two I'm not big on soup so I had a real hard time deciding what to eat. They had a seven page menu so that didn't help either. I asked the waitress and she was really no help but ended up suggesting beef and broccoli over egg noodles. My children happily ate their meals of curry chicken, sesame shrimp, crab rangoon, and fried fish cakes I picked at my beef and broccoli. I just couldn't bring myself to eat something so unhealthy. I could taste the fat and grease in the meal. I ended up maybe eating 1/4 of the meal which is good because beef and broccoli is over 1000 calories with over 90 grams of fat. Okay never eating that again. Thankfully I barely touched it and only had to enter in 1/4 of a serving so it wasn't that bad although I had to be careful of my fat content for the rest of the day.
I am happy we chose that restaurant though since as we ate the owner came up and asked my daughter to move my granddaughter to the other side of the table. I thought he was concerned about her being in the path to the bathroom. Little did I know the dragon and lion dancers were about to come in and dance around the restaurant and bless the business for the new year. It was really awesome our table was right in front of the door so we were the first table the performers came to. Each dragon danced past us and a couple even pretended to eat my 3 year old and interacted with him. One of the Buddha dancers even played drum on my son-in-laws head with his fan. It was amazing and a once in a lifetime experience. My little guy was amazed and my granddaughter sat in stunned silence with a huge smile on her face.
When we went outside on our way to the supermarket for our snacks I saw the performers right outside the restaurant. My baby and I were able to see the entire performance and watch the Buddha dancers entice the dragon up a ladder to catch some lettuce. The entire performance for luck and prosperity was awesome and I really enjoyed. I'm glad my son was able to experience this real life example of the culture he's been learning about on one of his shows and it gave us a learning opportunity. My 3 year old now wants to be a dragon dancer.
So overall it was a great day and my knowledge of healthy foods kept me from making a terrible mistake at lunch but the choice also gave us a one in a lifetime experience. When I got home I enjoyed the low fat snacks from the market and Lean Cuisine pizza while we watched the Super Bowl. The only bad thing is I think I'm getting sick and I hope it doesn't effect my run tomorrow and my start of Week 7. I had a great day and now I'm going to get some rest.