Arturo and Tina Vargas have a unique way of celebrating their family's central Mexican roots. They make an annual journey to different locales south of the border, ending each trip with a visit to their hometown of Cuernavaca. But these aren't average vacations. Instead, Arturo and Tina use the opportunity to discover new ingredients or recipes that they can bring back to Cristina's Fine Mexican Restaurant, their flavorful franchise of Texas eateries. Their culinary findings appear throughout the menu of Tex-Mex cooking.
The staff at each of the Vargas' venues wholeheartedly embraces those deep roots, making flour tortillas in-house, hand-rolling enchiladas, and preparing orders of guacamole directly beside diners' tables. But that's not to say the dishes are expected?salmon with pineapple butter and fried chicken breast with white wine-cream sauce demonstrate some of the kitchens' more experimental inclinations. Flavored margaritas and mojitos can add spirited refreshment to meals, as can any of the beers that the restaurants import from Mexico via man with a very strong throwing arm.
No great work of art is ever finished, but at Sunshine Glaze the works are even more unfinished than usual. Shelves lined with dozens of unpainted, blank clay bisques in the shape of bowls, plates, and pots await the creative touches of customers armed with the studio’s array of brushes, stencils, paints, and glazes. Visitors can leaf through idea books before setting out to decorate their clay vase or wooden mosaic, or tap into their right brains to render wholly original pieces. At the end of the session, the staff gives works a finalizing fire to dry the glaze and allow customers to take home their creative handiwork.
Jump!Zone is an inflatable, indoor play center packed with moonwalks, bouncers, and giant slides for children ages 2 to 12. With a pass to six open play sessions, mini-humans can slip on a pair of socks and experience all of the facility's bouncy attractions. Children who prefer stationary entertainment can dominate the air-hockey table, leaving their adult counterparts free to recite the periodic table of elements backward in peace.
At each Jump!Zone locale nationwide, children aged 2–12 race through themed play areas, bounce on inflatables, and fly down giant slides. Boys and girls can become airborne in SpongeBob SquarePants and Atlantis-themed bouncers or slide near the vigilant figure of Batman, which, as in real life, is 16 feet tall and filled with air. Kids 18 months and older can tackle a multi-level play-zone maze, and the whole family can blast away in the ball-o-city ball-shooting arena. Meanwhile, Jump!Zone's interactive arcade caters to older children and teens who'd rather game than bounce.
Tots with aspirations to be firefighters slide into a bouncy fire truck, and hopeful time travelers acquaint themselves with their future by examining prehistory in the Jurassic Adventure. Pintsize play timers can dispatch their financial stresses in the Toddler Zone. While the kids play, their adult counterparts can enjoy complimentary coffee, relax in the café, use Jump!Zone's free WiFi and computer, and finally have time to recite the periodic table of elements in peace. Check the schedule for open-play hours.