Casa de los Primos

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The beach has always been my magical place. It has been my favorite place to disconnect from real life. There is something about the sound of the waves that can lighten even my heaviest thoughts.  Thankfully we were lucky enough to visit a lovely little beach named Akumal that is found on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico about 60 miles from Cancun. The name Akumal means “place of turtles” in Mayan and the name suits it perfectly. The town’s tourism centers on the life of turtles, from birth on. There is a wildlife sanctuary for the turtles, snorkeling tours to watch them in their own habitat and a plethora of decorative turtles and gifts to be bought everywhere you go.

This post focuses on the place we were lucky enough to stay in. It was a beautiful house called Casa de los Primos on the south part of Akumal.

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The house is a 4 bedroom house with an additional guest room separate from the main house that has one room and mini kitchen. It has its own pool and is right on the beach. This is not a post to advertise the house for you to rent, as I have no affiliation to the owners. I just wanted to give you a layout so you can visualize it with me as I show you what struck me most: the artwork and decorations.

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The owners (or decorator if they used one) took time to cover almost every nook and cranny with gorgeous and mostly original Mexican artwork. There were sculptures, paintings, weaved artwork, masks, crosses and everything you can think of throughout the house. Here are some of the pieces they had that I wanted to share with you to show you just how beautiful Mexican art really is.

 

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My boys loved all of the vibrant colors they say there and have since painted with a little more enthusiasm themselves. My oldest picks bright colors for his projects and can draw a beach scene for you with no hesitation. It may be his favorite thing to draw and paint right now, and I love it.

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There is something special about art from Mexico that just makes me smile. I am very grateful that this is my culture and that I am able to share it with my kids. Thank you, Mexico, for having such deep pride in the arts. Thank you, Casa de los Primos, for showcasing so much of it. Thank you, Akumal, for inspiring my boys and me to love art, color, nature and life a little more than before.

I hope you enjoyed the art. 

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Have a bright and colorful week.

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My Global Pick of the Day!!

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It is my turn to share one of my first posts with you and the Multicultural Kid Blogs readers.  So I thought I would share with you one of my firsts post dealing with my greatest fear.  It’s not snakes, dark spaces or even heights. I’m pretty good with all of these. What is it then? Public Speaking. Can’t do it, even at my age. What’s a mama to do?

Public Speaking: Not in English or in Spanish, Please.

I hope you enjoy my take on it and I would love suggestions on how to help my little ones avoid this challenge.

Thank you!

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Dear Southwest: A Reply

Dear Southwest Airlines,

Thank you for responding to my letter. I appreciate you trying to explain why such a mess happened in the first place.  I must state, however, that you have left us with more questions than answers. In two separate correspondences from two different people at your company you give different reasons for the poorly made decisions of our return trip:

  1. “Because we had to bring in another aircraft from another city, we had passengers in ATL that we needed to drop off or pick up as well; hence, the reason for the stop in ATL.” (-Maddie)

  2. “The decision was made to operate your flight to Atlanta in order to clear Customs and accommodate you to Austin the following morning. “ (Adrienne Yurdyga)

Neither of these reasons sounds like a good explanation why this decision was even thought to be a good business decision. Neither does this:

“We carefully evaluate every available option to minimize delays and serve the greatest number of Customers while inconveniencing the least.”

What delay did you manage to minimize exactly? And who did you inconvenience the least?  Did anyone benefit from this?  As far as I could tell, everyone was inconvenienced including your staff in Mexico and Atlanta. I do not think this excuse holds much water.

If you did have passengers on the flight that were trying to get to Atlanta, did you take them all the way to Mexico and then back to Atlanta? How is that fair to those customers? Would it not make more sense to send in an empty flight? This is what I mean by having a backup plan. It just makes good business sense to be prepared for the unavoidable.

I completely understand the maintenance issue, as I stated in my previous letter. That was never the problem.  The “solution” to the problem is my issue. The fact that YOU HAD NO BACKUP PLAN is all I want you to consider for future flights. Bringing in another aircraft from such a long way and so late in the game just showed that your company had to scramble to avoid a major meltdown from over 100 people.  You must set up better policies to avoid such horrible conditions for the customers you claim to value so much.

Also, there are other issues that you did not even bother to address from my letter. Mainly, why sell tickets with flight times to choose from if you do not have the ability to keep those times. There should be some sort of warning that flight times are not guaranteed. This would make the fact that you can’t control your schedules clear to customers BEFORE they purchase a ticket and make their arrangements to fit those schedules.

Your apology email ended like this:

“We want you to have a better experience when you travel with us; and in this spirit, I’m sending a LUV Voucher* (in a separate e-mail) as a gesture of goodwill that we invite you to apply toward a new Southwest reservation.”

A little discount is what that means, right? Unfortunately that won’t entice my family back especially if it’s like the meal voucher you gave at the airport instead of finding accommodations for everyone you inconvenienced from children to elderly, from pregnant to those with medical issues and everyone in between. I’m afraid that for the rest of us, no “discount” will make up for the horrible experience.

I hope you do review this situation as well as every bad experience that keeps getting posted in your Facebook page and make the necessary changes.

Thank you for your time. Good luck in the future.

Sincerely,

Still a disappointed mama

www.bilinguazo.com

To see my original letter to Southwest, please see link below

Dear Southwest: A Mother’s Rant

Spanish in the Kitchen

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Yesterday was a great day for learning Spanish as well as delicious meals. I don’t know why I decided to experiment a little, but I’m glad I did.  The boys were extremely happy with their meals and that doesn’t happen very often.  There are days that one meal works and another doesn’t. There are also days that meal time can feel like it takes forever because they eat it so slowly.  I can’t complain too much, though, at least they eat healthy. They always eat their fruits and veggies, thank goodness. For that reason I’m so glad we started them early on the love of healthy food. I am also very glad they like to try new foods even if I have to sell it a little. When I found these recipes online, I knew I had to share them with the boys.

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For lunch I decided to try a recipe I found for “sopa de fideo” which is a tomato based soup with thin noodles. You can use actual fideo noodles or if your grocery story doesn’t carry them, then you can just cut noodles you have.  I used angle hair noodles and broke them into small pieces.

We would eat sopa de fideo a lot as kids.  It brings back very lovely memories.  This soup is one of those comfort foods that make you feel so warm and happy inside. I just had no idea how much work went into it at all.  I should ask my mom her recipe for it to compare, but I must say this one was close.  It makes me want to grow a bunch more tomato plants so I can make my own sauces and soups.  I adjusted the recipe here a little as I didn’t have and don’t like onions and garlic (crazy, I know). Instead I added half a teaspoon of cumin which happens to be my favorite spice. 

 As far as a teaching moment with this, I used the whole dining experience to tell them about how I grew up.  We sat at the table and as we ate, I talked about Mexico and yummy food.  We talked about family and how wonderful it was to bond in the kitchen and at the dining room table.  We talked about how important it is to keep traditions alive even if they are just cooking or playing in the kitchen and family meals.  In Mexico, my family has been known to sit for hours at the dining room table, chatting about our lives, laughing at each other jokes, reliving old memories and just being happy together. It wasn’t only a tasty meal, but one that made me feel a little closer to my boys.

Then it was time for dinner.  I let them play while I prepared the main components.  We decided to do our take on “make-your-own-taco” night and it was awesome! I have been reading a lot about how to get kids involved and make them feel independent at the same time.  I saw a  post about letting kids make their own sandwiches on Super Healthy Kids and thought, why can’t it be tacos? I’m so glad I did. I even made our own taco shells.

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All you have to do is warm the tortillas just a bit in the microwave (no more than 30 seconds) and then spray both sides of a tortilla with cooking spray. Lay them in a preheated oven at a temperature of 375. Place the tortilla over two of the bars of the oven rack as shown and bake for 8 minutes or until crispy.  This makes awesome shells and because of the rack makes them stand up on their own which is great for little hands. I also cut the tortilla in half before I baked them so they could have mini tacos making it easier for them to have full control.

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Something as simple as choosing what they put on a taco can do wonders for their self-esteem.  They were so excited that they created their dinner that there was not a single complaint. I think they thought their own taco creation was the greatest thing they had ever tasted because they made them themselves. They devoured them and wanted more! Hooray!

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 Our teaching lesson this time was naming and recognizing the ingredients.  We would name the ingredients as they filled up their tacos.  They put everything I put on the cupcake tray on their taco which made me happy as they were mostly veggies.

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green peppers, lime and cilantro, lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, sour cream, salsa, cottage cheese and shredded cheese

There is a a game the boys like to play in the kindle which also reviews foods as a guy eats them and says “gracias” (thank you) and then makes munching sounds every time he gets food.  My little one loves this game and at dinner said “gracias” and munched every time he took a bite.  Now that is a compliment in my book! 

 All in all, I feel amazing about the day.  We shared, we learned, we grew, we ate good food.  I have to find a way to keep this going. Any suggestions?

hooray

9 Kids’ Valentine’s Day Crafts

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Hello!

My latest post on AMB is up.  Please check out these fun crafts to do with your little ones.

Have a fabulous weekend.

Valentine’s Day Crafts for Kids

MKB Global Pick of the Day!

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Here is a look at six lessons my kids have taught me about teaching them Spanish for Multicultural Kid’s Blog Global Pick of the Day. ‪#‎mkbglobalpick

What My Kids Have Taught Me…As I Try to Teach Them

(If you would like to share my blog, I would be so grateful. You can find it under www.bilingualeyes.wordpress.com. You can also find it in Spanish at www.bilinguazo.worpress.com and on Facebook. We are now also on Pinterest and Instagram. And don’t forget to hit me up on Twitter. Thanks a bunch!)