Sunday, July 3, 2011

Trompo Magico Children's Museum

"Guadalajara" is one of those amazing words that when spoken correctly, sounds nothing like how an American would say it. In general, locals refer to it as "Guad" spoken with a lovely hacking G (think hacking a loogie, and you're close to the right sound)! I think perhaps I will never say it right...and therefore have settled with my Gringo "Gwad"

Anyways...we have made some wonderful friends in Guadalajara! Earlier this year we attended the temple, and I met a Gringo senior missionary couple who had just started their mission, serving in the Guad temple. I got the wife's email address, and we became email buddies. On a whim, I asked her if perhaps she knew of any young couples that lived near the temple, who might be interested in babysitting for us, so we could more easily attend the temple regularly. She returned to me with an email address for Megan & Hugo, who are some of our new best friends!

Megan is from Washington, and her husband is from a small Portuguese speaking island off of the coast of Africa. They have three children, and our kids are all similar ages! We have officially probably spent 75% of our weekends with them for the past several months. We have been able to do a couple of temple swaps, where they watch our children as we attend the temple, and then we switch and watch their kids while they get to go to the temple.

While doing this switch last month, Jared and I exited the temple and I noticed a younger woman on the stairs with a kid, and my Gringo radar went off.!

We started a conversation with her and suddenly found ourselves making friends with Liesel and David, who live in Puerto Vallerta. They own a Segway tour in Puerto Vallerta and I have seen their business reviews on Trip Advisor (5 Stars!). Everyone LOVES them! Anyone for a trip to PV?!

Back to the story...
They were in Guad for a youth temple trip, but had brought their own car and had some time to kill before heading back to the coast. They asked advice on what cool things they could do in Guadalajara, in which we really had nothing to offer (heck...all we do is shop in Costco!!). They told us about a Children's Museum in the area ("really?! Oh--cool!"), and we agreed to go with them and our 6 kids in tow (remember, we had Megan & Hugo's kids, too!).

Liesel and David (Liesel is from UT and David is from Mexico City) led us through Guad like they were experts (they put us "locals" to shame!), and we found the Trompo Magico Children's Museum without too much trouble.

It was an amaaaazing find! I think it puts the Salt Lake City Children's Museum to shame (although I'm not dissing on is awesome, too!)...but it is less than half the price, and much larger! Admission for kids and adults is $35 pesos (approx $3), and you can pay a bit more to do some super cool activities, if you choose. We stuck with the basic price, and were not disappointed.

They have many many different rooms (so many that they actually give you a map), and even have activities/rooms for older children, in addition to the younger. We stuck to just one of the giant rooms, and the kids stayed entertained for several hours (we had to drag them away in the end). They did their grocery shopping, played nurse, cooked in a kitchen, went fishing, could read books, build with giant blocks, and the list went on...

Ella with her shopping list of produce...
Dr. Ella...
The fishing hole...
By far the coolest section was the BUBBLE place. It was soooooo cool! This is the ceiling...
A fairly short line waited to go into the giant bubble maker. The large metal ring is lowered into the bubble pool below, and raised to form a giant bubble around the person standing there. The kids liked to pop it by touching it, or watch it expand by gently blowing on it.
Also VERY cool was the crazy wire contraption that even kids were allowed to operate. It made a huge bubble that would then fly above your head until it popped.
And of course, many many other opportunities for making bubbles!
They close this bubble section every hour for 10 minutes to clean up, and start the mess again!

Anyways, it was such a great fun-filled day! Jared thinks we should start hanging out at the temple more often...because we tend to meet the coolest people there :-)

I agree!

Ballet Class...

Ella has been begging for ballet classes for approximately 2 years (since we last lived here). When I discovered 3 of her friends attend a local class, and that the cost is only $250 pesos/month (less than $25), I decided we should give it a try.
The first day of class she jumped into the class of 6-9 year olds, she proved she is a natural! She had good form, posture, and keeps her feet turned out like a pro! She is the smallest in her class (although another girl comes close), but she tries hard and really looks forward to class 2 times each week!
POP QUIZ: How do you say "ballet" in Spanish?
Everyone here seems to say it as: "Bah-lett"
I guess they didn't stick with the whole French thing...