We went to the "Chapala Carnaval" (yes, it is spelled that way) last month. We arrived in the late evening just before dark, and found the whole park nearly empty. Vendors were just beginning to set up for the night. One vendor told us the crowds would start around 8pm, and continue until 3am or so. Until the crowds began to arrive, wWe scoped out the animals, got some food, and prepared ourselves for the festivities and mariachi noise!
An almost perfect family picture.... :::sigh:::
The toppings on the table at a burger/hot dog joint:
The rides at the Carnaval weren't nearly as cheap as I remembered from two years ago. This ride was $3, so we just watched the other kids get into these giant balls and roll around on the water. Pretty cool "ride," in my opinion! Most other rides were $10-$15 pesos apiece ($1-$1.50 USD). Yikes!
We have started to give the girls a small allowance. They have a chart they fill out daily--and they get 1/2 a peso for each item they do right that day (clean up, talk nice, don't hit, listen, take a bath, etc). They have a hard time hitting all of those goals, but they love the chart and the bribery does work in shaping up their behavior throughout the day. The money doesn't add up really fast--but every week they might earn $1 to $1.50 or so. They saved up their money for a few weeks to go on rides, and then we also chipped in so they could enjoy some activities.
Their giant bounce-houses are awesome. They usually include multiple levels of trampolines and balls. As always, our children are show-stoppers when we walk around places like this. Hard to hide their pale skin and bright hair!
Maiya really enjoyed driving the ghetto bus.
And let me tell you...it was SOOOO ghetto :)
For the first time ever we let Jared do one of the carnival games to try to win a stuffed animal. He popped a balloon and we thought he had won. But, alas, no reward. I guess we were wrong, and we didn't know the rules. Language barriers!
The highlight of the night was watching the Ballet Folklorico from Guadalajara. They did a small show with traditional Mexican dancing, and all of the kids were glued for quite some time! We saw the performance at night, so it was hard to get a photo. Here's a photo I found online of the dancing with their beautiful and colorful dresses:
I don't have the patience to let my video upload for the predicted 349 hours, so instead I will just link to a video of one of their performances that is already online, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGCBo3UsO30&feature=related
Overall, we had a fun (albeit expensive) night out with the kids!!