Relaxed day, nice weather and cultural differences!

The rest of yesterday was equally low key- which was very welcome after the long travel day and late night.

It was actually a beautiful day (I am not convinced the rest of the days will be, looking at the forecast, but I guess who knows.)

The boys were basically in heaven, just loving “re-exploring” everything, and like I mentioned, going to the store every 5 minutes. 😅

We went to the way top of the roof (again) – (accessible by an indoor staircase) and took some more pics looking out over the neighborhood:

The afternoon’s big adventure was just running a couple of errands! We went out with Ivan’s mom and dad to Walmart for a few things, and to a local carnicería (meat shop) for some fresh meat for dinner.

Walmart basically looks like Walmart, here there and everywhere 🙂

Later, the boys just played around with Ivan’s brother (who is I think 20 now? He’s in college and lives here at home. He is good with still paying attention to the boys.)

It’s hard to capture what exactly the boys like so much about being here. On the one hand, it could seem “boring”- they don’t have exactly a lot to do at their house. But they get such a thrill out of the different lifestyle, I think. It’s exciting to them!

How a guy comes around in a truck with a loudspeaker yelling “TAMALES”….”TAMALES”….for sale. Or how the garbage gets picked up by a truck that rings a bell loudly so people know to run and take their bags out when it passes. Or all the stray dogs just wandering around (including the family dog that also just lives in the street during the day, but comes into the patio area at night.) Or how everyone strings all their laundry up to dry outside on the roof, air drying, because no one really has a dryer. (And if they do, like my in-laws (we sent a washer and dryer set for them years ago), they don’t really use it because it’s too expensive to run.) How “worrying about disturbing your neighbors” is not really a “thing” here- people play music, loudly, at any time of the day or night, or honk, or yell out to someone, etc.

Ethan took this picture of a guy leading a cow through the green space across the street:

(Odd to Ethan, because this is not a rural, farming area! Haha.)

Ethan even thinks it’s cool how the windows don’t have screens, so he can lean right out from the upstairs window:

Anyway, after the errands we sat and talked with Ivan’s parents while they made dinner. After a while his sister + family arrived (they have two girls, 12 and 9).

The kids hung out and played around in the little enclosed patio area (not really a patio- it’s where they do laundry and keep a water tank and squeeze the car in off the street at night.)

Playing with a soccer ball

We ate dinner and then talked with his sister for a long time. They brought some drinks and other snacks too. It was very relaxed and very nice!

I didn’t make everyone pose.. haha. Just snuck a candid shot. 🙂

Ivan’s brother took the boys over to a little local fair that was going on for a while. Sounds like they played some festival games and had fun.

Courtesy of Ethan

They are doing great with their Spanish!!! It’s crazy how much more fluent they get after being immersed in it for even a whole day. Still not always totally correct, but they understand a majority and are speaking it well. We try to make little corrections as we can to help solidify it, but right now the most important thing is just for them to SPEAK IT as much as possible! They’ve been surprisingly outgoing and chatty with their abuelitos and everyone, and they seem to have no real fear about speaking Spanish to the store owners, etc.

Today we are heading back to Mexico City to go to the huge local tianguis, which is their big weekly market. It is enormous and stretches on for blocks and has tent after tent of food options. Ivan has a bunch of favorites – he already knows what he wants. His sister and family are coming along.

From there, we are heading off to Tepotzlan for a few nights for our little weekend getaway. Ivan’s godparents and family are meeting up with us there.

Better go get showered and ready- we are leaving around 10! Fingers crossed for continued nice weather. ( I need to stop looking at the forecast…. 😬 Shows high chance of rain all weekend!! But it’s a beautiful blue sky morning right now.)

6 thoughts on “Relaxed day, nice weather and cultural differences!”

  1. I am glad you touched on how the use of Spanish is going because I was going to ask! I feel like on your last trip they were less likely to speak Spanish but I am probably mis-remembering. There is nothing like immersion to help with language acquisition. I have only taken a few semesters of Spanish in my life and then I learned some French on my own through CDs before my Paris trips, but I have never been fluent in a language. Phil has lost his fluency but he can understand everything, he just has a harder time speaking or is as little nervous he will misspeak.

    Sounds like a great trip so far! It looks like a mountainous region and weather seems to be kind of fickle in those regions so hopefully it continues to pleasantly surprise you!


  2. Language immersion is so exhausting! I’m sure the boys were excited for a less busy day (although what you consider a chill day sounds like a lot to me!) because their brains are working overtime with the language stuff.

    I do hope the weather holds for you, although I think your worrying about it might be a detriment to the vacation!


  3. I am trying to think less and less about weather forecasts on vacation. This week called for rain ALL week (we have company visiting), but really it has only been two days with rain and even then we could plan activities around that. I always stress about it (mostly because of my father who is obsessed with the weather and forecasts), and in the end, it always works out.
    A few weeks ago we planned some travel plans around a sunny/calm forecast and it ended up being windy and overcast and really impacted the day. Win some, lose some. And sounds like you’ll make the best of it regardless of what happens!! You seem like such an optimistic/fun traveler.


  4. I love chatting with families when going home for hours and hours… it’s endless conversation and brings me back memories of home. it’s great that the boys’ Spanish is back just few days. I think part of traveling home is to let the kids understand where we came from and learn there’s a different way of living that what they know. 😉


  5. It must be so nice for Ivan to go home and be with his family, and also for you guys to share this binational experience. We have that too (Jon loves going to Germany, although I realize that the cultural difference between Germany and the US are far fewer than between the US and Mexico). Does Ivan miss his home? So wonderful that your boys get immersed in the culture while exploring with family members!


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