Wednesday, June 27, 2012

More About Food

 I thought that instead of sticking around home I would take the girls out into the wild and go on an adventure.  We had walked past the McDonald's and it looked like it had a great playplace.  It also looked like it had air conditioning so we thought we should check it out.  Rocky held Daisy's hand the whole way there and tried really hard to keep her protected.  The scariest part of the walk is when we have to cross the huge Bodega parking lot.  There are parking attendants there with whistles that tell people when and where to park.  It always stresses me out when I hear all those whistles.  It is like being at the pool and when I hear the lifeguard's whistle go I always think that I'm in some kind of trouble.
We got there a little after 11 and realized that they don't switch to the lunch menu until noon so there was plenty of time to play.  Rocky climbed right up to the top of the structure and ran through it a couple of times and was bored in 5 minutes.  Daisy, on the other hand, climbed herself to the top and then became completely terrified.  She curled up in a ball and started to cry.  She just kept saying, "Mama, Mama."  I tried to talk her down for a while, and then I sent Rocky up there to try to coax her to go down the slide at which point the crying turned to screaming and hitting.  After a while I actually tried to wiggle myself up the steps but not only do I have a huge belly, but they weren't sturdy at all and I was doubtful that even if I could maneuver myself through that it wouldn't hold.  After about a half hour I finally talked her over the bridge and through the netting to the slide and then Rocky climbed up the slide and pulled her legs until she made it to the bottom.  I can only imagine what the employees thought about those crazy gringos in the kid zone.  I was worried that she was going to have some kind of lasting trauma but the second her feet hit the ground she was happy as could be.  The Cajita Feliz was priced very similarly to that in the states, I think it was 49 pesos, which seems like highway robbery here.  We just got one and an order of fries to share.  The chicken nuggets tasted exactly like they do at home, that is to say, they were nasty.
 Needless to say, I think this was probably our first and last trip to the Mexican McDonald's.
On the way home they were fighting over the toy so we compromised and Rocky got to hold the box while Daisy got to hold the toy train.
 To make up for lunch we hit this little place that we pass several times each day.  Once again we had al pastor tacos and they were amazing.  I'm not sure if it is a pregnancy thing, but it seems like those tacos are all I can think about.  On weekdays this place will do 2 for 1 tacos so these ended up being about 30 cents each.  They are corn tortillas with the meat and a slice of pineapple and then you cover it with chopped onion and cilantro with a squeeze of lime and then one of the variety of sauces that are spicy but also full of delicious flavor.
 The guys that work there were super nice and I think they are really proud of their al pastor.  They tend it all day long and it has a crispy roasted texture that isn't like any of the other places we've tried.  I think it might be my favorite.  Wait, I'm pretty sure that I've said that about every single thing we've eaten.
 On the way home we stopped to get some groceries and I had to take a picture of the bakery section because there is such a variety of sweet breads.  To make your selection you go to the counter and pick up a tray and some tongs and then you select what you want and take it back and they'll bag it for you.  The girls followed Brandon around and tried to get him to buy one of everything, but he ended up with three for us to sample.  One of them was covered with sprinkles and filled with jam. 
Buen Provecho.

Gettin' Cultured

 For family night we took the girls to a small art museum la Galería Libertad.  We thought it could be a practice run for all the museums that we are scheduled to visit in Mexico City.  This place was very small and had illustrations by La Remolacha which you should check out because they are really cool.  The girls scored about a C-.  They could have been better, but they definitely could have been worse.  For our part it was a fun exhibit.
 We also found another plaza with this memorial to La Corregidora.  I really like it because I think she looks tough standing up there, and you might not be able to see it, but below her feet is a keyhole.

I have already mentioned the upcoming elections but they are a very prevalent part of our daily life.  I thought that things were getting kind of heated with the presidential elections in the U.S. but this is that magnified by about 500.  Every night there are huge rallies with music blasting and all day there are cars with huge speakers driving around blasting campaign messages.  There are tons of firecrackers and concerts with people dancing in the street.  There are teenage kids that stand around wearing signs and handing out flyers.  The actual election is this weekend so I'm guessing that it will keep building until Sunday night and then explode into about a week of celebrations.  Brandon said that he would definitely vote for this guy because on the back of his campaign material there is a picture of him with a luchadora.  Just picture him standing there with Nacho Libre in his mask and you've got the idea.  This car has been driving around and Rocky always gets a little bit nervous.  It looks even scarier from the back because there is a face on the other side too and it makes him just look like his body is on backwards. 


 When Brandon was describing Bernal he said it was a place with a big rock that you can climb.  I guess this is the third largest rock of this kind and a cute little tourist town was set up around it.  We took this first picture before we started hiking and sweating our buns off.  We were stopped here while everybody payed a few pesos to use the bathroom.
And then the ascent began.  I was ready for a hike, but this was more strenuous than I had expected.
 There were some amazing views along the way and the girls took a lot of breaks, which were very helpful for me too.  I could just pretend that I was going so slowly because I was waiting for them. 
 Brandon somehow got all the students, two little girls, and one pregnant lady to the top.
 Once we were there Rocky spent the entire time looking for bugs in the puddle.  I'm not sure she even realized that we were on a cliff.
 Here we are with the whole group.  I'm the big one in the middle. 
So far these students are a really good bunch.  They are doing quite a bit of drinking, and a lot of dancing, and hopefully getting some study in on the side.  It is fun to practice Spanish with them because most of them are beginners and they think I'm really good. 

 Rocky took a picture at the restaurant where we ate gorditas that were made with blue corn.  We got some that were filled with nopalitos which are cactus and are delicious.
 While we were there this scorpion fell out of the ceiling and bounced off the face of one of the students.  Of course, Rocky had to have a photo.
 The town is full of restaurants, gardens, and shops and is really beautiful.

 The word on the street is that Bernal has the best popsicles in the world so we had to try them out.  I figured that after hiking up and down that rock in the scorching heat that anything cold would taste great.  Rocky's was some kind of fruit that I've never heard of before and Daisy's was flavored with pine nuts.  They were, as rumored, delicious.  They enjoyed them with their friend April who won their hearts in seconds.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Pozole 2 for 1 on Fridays

 We went out to do more exploring and found so many amazing things.  It is like a feast for your eyes and even though I try to take pictures of everything, it just doesn't seem to be able to really catch it.  This is around the Centro which is a hot spot all week, and especially during the weekends.  Queretaro is a place full of tourists that are traveling from other parts of Mexico and the whole place becomes a party on Friday nights.
 I know my friends aren't surprised that I would stop to take a picture of this wicker skeleton.  I couldn't pass it up.
 We checked out the river that goes through the city but the girls really weren't that impressed.  I guess living next to the Willamette has dulled their appreciation a bit.
 The house of La Corregidora is right in the Centro and is so beautiful.  It is a huge open space.  See if you can find the gringos. 
While we were there and in the other plazas Daisy just wanted to dance.  She and Rocky were the entertainment in the plaza and everyone had huge smiles watching them.  We eventually were overtaken by a political rally so we moved on.
We hit the 2 for 1 pozole night and it rocked, especially the horchata. 
 Pozole is a soup that is made by boiling meat and spices with hominy and then before you eat it you dump in a bunch of great condiments.  We also had a sope and a quesadilla in case the girls got picky again.  They didn't.
I was worried that because it was so hot that the pozole wouldn't seem as good, but it really hit the spot, and who could resist a deal like that?  Not the locals because there were a bunch of people in there stuffing themselves. 
 Here is some proof that I am here too, and that my belly is huge, and that my daughters are adorable.
After all that walking we were all pretty worn out.
Bonus Pictures:  This is Daisy before and after her nap.  It is like this every day.  I don't even know why I get her ready at all.

Friday, June 22, 2012

More Nun than You Want

We spent yesterday in the house so there aren't too many new adventures.  We did learn that Strawberry Shortcake is called Rosita Fresita which I think it really cute.
Brandon brought home dinner.  He bought 10 tacos and this huge quesadilla with ham, avacado, onion and tomatoes and he spent 60 pesos (a little less than $6).  I think that place is about to become my new favorite.
He also brought some of the Pedos De Monja for us to sample.
The slogan is 'mas vale adentro que afuera'
More valuable inside than out
It turns out that these chocolates are a product of Queretaro.
On the back there is a little bit of history and it actually explains that despite it's name, the pedos really have nothing to do with 'ventosidades' which apparently is the more genteel way of putting it...maybe like the word flatulance.
Two chocolatiers  in Queretaro wanted to make something special with a local flavor.  They were inspired by a similar chocolate that you can find in Barcelona called "Pechos de Monja" which means Nun's boobs.  They thought it would be smart to just to change the middle of the word and instead of 'pecho' it became 'pedo'.  I'm still trying to figure out which one is more offensive.  
I think it is a good connection for our family because Barcelona will always be Brandon's first foreign love and Queretaro is quickly becoming his second.
Once you get past the bag, the chocolates inside are delicious truffles.

I'm feeling really good about the decision to bring Daisy's manatee pajamas because no matter how naughty she is during the day she is absolutely adorable every night.

Also, we are still sending our love to Utah to our little Cambria.  She had her surgery and is hopefully on her way to a full recovery.  Rocky wishes she could be there to support her cousin and to watch cartoons with her.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


 We're getting a little bit better at the Skyping, but it still only keeps the attention of the girls for about 5 minutes.
 We got to check out the library, which is awesome!  It is round and has a big open space in the middle with this fountain. 
 We also finally found a playground.  At first the other kids were kind of scared of Rocky, but that seems kind of normal.  She has a tendency to come on a little strong.  But by the end she had charmed a couple of boys who looked like they were a little older.  I didn't take any pictures of them because I didn't want anyone to think I was a weirdo.
As for me, I've been hit with what I've heard referred to as Montezuma's Revenge.  Hopefully getting sick now will mean that I just get it over with instead of meaning that I'm going to be sick the whole time.  Everyone else is still fine, I'm the only one with a wimpy system.  As far as I know we've all eaten the same things.  I guess it is better that it is me because I manage without making any messes.
The girls are still happily plowing along and at this moment they are eating hot dogs, which the sight of just about brings tears to my eyes.
Since they are still feeling well they have been up to all kinds of mischief.  While I was in the shower, literally 5 minutes, Daisy got on the computer and opened about 500 windows and started up the virus scanner and somehow messed up our internet.  She also broke the key off the letter b so now it takes me twice as long to write.  It took me all morning to get it fixed up and just now Rocky said that she was going to get her water and instead went into the little bathroom that doesn't really even seem like is should be used and filled the water in the toilet with coffee filters that she found somewhere. 
Looks like they are back to their normal selves.

We are all feeling hopeful today that everything goes well with Cambria.  After my niece took a bad fall she is having surgery on her back and we are praying for the best.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Just Dip It

 Yesterday I let Rocky use the camera to take pictures of the things she thought were cool.  Most all of them turned out badly but this one shows our 'pool'.  While it appears that at one point it was a pool with a great slide it is now empty and dangerous.  The whole thing is concrete steep and both kids have bruised bodies from falling already.  They are still fascinated though so I think there will be more bruising in the future.

I took some photos of how they are keeping themselves entertained.  We have heard sounds of other children here, but still have yet to actually see any of them, with the exception of some teenagers that like to yell, "Hey!!!  How ard jew?"  Which I can only assume is their best attempt at English.
 There are these little orange seeds that they collect and here they are playing like they are ninjas in another pool that we found. 
 This is the view of the street in front that we walk wherever we need to go.  You can see one of the bazillion campaign posters hanging.  It has been interesting to note that different neighborhoods are supporting different candidates. 
 This is the parking lot and the outside of our place.  It is called Colonia Andalucia and all the different sections are named after places in Spain.  We live in Cordoba.  We are on the third floor but here the third floor is considered the second. 

 This is our water that we put in the hand washing station because we are the spoiled brats that get our own machine.  You can see the clothes hanging.  The water has a pump on it that can be changed with the new bottle which makes it really convenient.  The guy comes by every couple of days around nap time and yells aGUA, aGUA.  The girls think it is really funny and they like to yell it, especially when they are supposed to be resting.
 Brandon found this amazing piñata store.  They had all kinds of different characters.  They even had an Ironman Mr. Potato Head pinata.  They were all bigger than Rocky.  The store also sells all the candy and toys to fill it with.  This was one of three other huge sections.  Our little piñata girl was in complete awe and started trying to convince me that we needed to get one for her birthday.  I'm not sure it would fit in my carry-on.  We'd probably have to buy it it's own seat.
 This is the view from the mausoleum of La Corregidora. 
 La Corregidora was a woman who was the wife of the magistrate (el corregidor) before the revolution.  Her real name is Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez and she was like a secret agent.  When King Ferdinand VII of Spain was overthrown it gave the Mexican people their opening to declare independence.  The rebels had a plan in place and Mrs. Magistrate was having secret meetings and stockpiling weapons.  The Spanish got wind of it and decided on a raid and so her husband locked her in a room so she couldn't tell.  The word around here is that she slipped a message through the keyhole to a neighbor and thus became the Paul Revere of Querétero.  I think the story is pretty cool...oh, and she had 14 kids.  So, basically, she was pretty much the bomb.
 From this view you can see the aqueduct that still runs through the city.
After doing a little sight-seeing we stopped to get tacos and had to sample the al pastor.  Our friends in Eugene are the local al pastor experts  so we know when it is good, and this was good.  It is a pork that is marinated in spices and pineapple and then roasted on a spit and it is tasty.  They serve it in burritos or on tacos with chunks of pineapple and if you haven't tried it you are missing out.  If you aren't planning on being in Mexico anytime soon you could check out El Pato Verde on 13th in Eugene and get a little taste of what we're experiencing.  
 Daisy scarfed hers down and Rocky did too, once we ordered her one without any onions. 
They are zoned out right now watching cartoons.  I feel kind of bad letting them watch so much of the old boob-tube, but at least they are hopefully getting some vocab.  It will probably be the only time in their childhoods that they will ever have cable so we had better take advantage.
 Rocky did show that she has a little latina in her when we tried this new snack.  The bag of apples came with little dip packets.  I wasn't sure how well it would go over because the ingredients on the back said that it was made with sugar, chili powder, and salt, but they loved it.  I have heard Mexicans say that Americans are crazy about dipping things and I guess this is proof.  It doesn't matter what it is, as long as it is dip (and not guacamole.)