Sunday, June 29, 2008

La Ciudad II

We made it to our apartment yesterday afternoon, and so far we love it. I haven't ventured out with the camera yet, so I don't have proof, but the neighborhood is great. This is shaping up to be a lot better than the summer in El Salvador.

There is a lot to do within walking distance some of it will even keep S happy (a great playground, fountain/pond where people gather to drive RC boats). My Dallas boy will have to get used to walking a bit further than he's used to. All those walks to Williams Park should help though. Hopefully the commute won't kill Phil.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Photos of La Ciudad de Los Ninos

I couldn't figure out how to post these like I wanted in the write up (is there a term for a new blogger?). Here's the construction crew. S laid about two bricks because he couldn't keep his hat on, he spent the whole time trying to balance it on his head.

This girl thought S was the cutest thing ever. They delivered packages to the bottling plant, the chocolatier, the police station. This was his favorite, he keeps pretending to be the delivery man, though he can't quite remember the letters. Sometimes it's DHT, HDL or even HEL.

The ubiquitous Wal-Mart.

Here's the car dealership and car rental counter.

La Ciudad

Yesterday the boys and I went to La Ciudad de los Ninos. Here's the link:

It's an anchor in a nearby mall, so I figured we should go while we're still at the hotel, since our apartment is further away.

It was impressive... well there were some issues... like we tried to go on Wednesday and it was closed for some sort of upgrade. I'd checked the website, no warning, just found it was closed after we got there (and after the hotel taxi way overcharged us, but that's another issue). On Thursday morning there were soooo many school groups as we neared the place you could hear a dull roar far before laying eyes on todos los ninos.

We waited for nearly an hour at the airport modeled counter (AA sponsored this part), but I gave up as we got close since one of the employees came by explaining that the school groups were leaving at 1pm. We walked back to the hotel (ha! take that taxi drivers) and returned after naps (walking again, ha! ha!). What did we find upon arrival? School groups. At this point my expectations were pretty low.

The girl at the counter gave S a "check" for $50 kidzos which he was to cash right after he entered. Then he could choose to spend his kidzos (at the ice cream store, domino's pizza, wal-mart etc) or get a job (construction worker, fireman, etc) and earn more kidzos. It was impressive. The sponsors added a lot to the authenticity of the experience. At each booth the kids would have a short orientation (of which S understood exactly zero due to the language barrier) and then get to act out the activity. This meant more lines and waiting than I'd expected but it was worth it as the kids got time to try each activity. There were a few things that just wouldn't fly in the US, like real dogs at the vet or a firetruck that they loaded up with kids and drove around the city on.

As time passed my enthusiasm dwindled, and there were points where the whole thing felt a little like Pleasure Island (you know Pinnochio, donkeys). And whenever you leave something with two crying children you wonder and the wisdom of the activity. Though when it came time to leave I helped S put his kidzos in the bank. He got a debit card in return so that he can access his Kidzos on his next visit, supposedly he'll earn interest. P wanted to know the rate of inflation la ciudad is currently experiencing.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

La Lavadora

This building is right next to our hotel (the blue reflection in the center of the circle is our hotel), for some reason I'm kind of obsessed with it. It's an officebuilding nicknamed the washing machine. Which is perfect, since that's exactly what it looks like. Every time I look at it I chuckle. The guard out front wouldn't let me take pictures of it which probably just added to the obsession and infinitely increased my desire to have a photo of it. Phil's office is right next to a building called "El Pantalon" since apparently it looks like a pair of pants. I have yet to see it, I am sceptical that it could possibly be as appropriately nicknamed as this.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ode to great friends

Yesterday I found S building this offshore oil rig and underwater robot out of Duplos. He was using the pictures in the book Gaston Builds an Off Shore Oil Rig, by James Rice for specs. This book was a recent going away gift from some great friends in Dallas. Another great going away gift was the ABC photobook of Dallas friends and happenings. We love it.

There really is no way that we would have made it out of Dallas as planned without the help of some amazing friends. Thank you to everyone who watched my boys, helped me pack, helped us move everything to a storage unit, let us stay at your house, fed us, cheered us on, and otherwise rescued us. We will miss you all so much.

There were a number of times in the last week where I marveled at how willing everyone was to help and really wondered at our decision to leave. Great friends like that don't come along in every city. We love you!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Lightening McQueen or Kung Fu Panda?

As we drove through DF after arriving on Sunday night, S saw the ads for Kung Fu Panda and asked, "Who would win Kung Fu Panda or Lightening McQueen?"
"Fight or race?" queries Mom
Discussion ensued.
Boyhood has arrived.

The Reluctant Blogger

Somewhat reluctantly I am typing my first post for Blogburn. I liked being a hold out. I liked that people would listen when I explained why I didn't blog. I don't know that anyone is interested in the day to day happenings of my boys and I (well, except for the grandparents, so it's for them I've considered doing this in the past). But, anticipating adventures that might be of interest to friends I've left behind as well, here it goes...

Welcome to Blogburn!