The day after we arrived, Isa had her 8th birthday party. It was a pool party, and the boys had fun jumping in the pool over and over again for 4 hours with their cousins.
We went to a quinta (ranch) out in the countryside--behind Presa de la Boca (a reservoir) in an area I never even knew existed. We went past a bat cave--literally--it's filled with millions of bats that come in and out at dusk. I hate bats so luckily we did not drive by at dusk! The boys had fun jumping on a trampoline and swimming while the adults cooked. Somehow I did not get pictures of the quinta.
We spent two days in Parras, Coahuila, a small town in a neighboring state. It was about a 2.45 hour drive away. A very cute little town with pecan orchards and vineyards. We went to the center and did some shopping for artesanía. We stumbled across these two twenty-something guys that had converted this VW into a portable cafe. It was cute. Thank God they had coffee because I had a caffeine headache! ;-)
We had lunch and breakfast at two different hacienda-style hotel/restaurants. The outdoor patios were so lovely for eating.
We went to a really cool vineyard--Casa Madero--and took a tour. This was the chapel out front. It is obviously undergoing renovations, but it had these super cool streamers.
We stayed at a little tiny hotel that was crowded when we arrived on a Sunday afternoon. However, by the time we came back for the night, we were the only ones there! All the rooms had a grill and a table outside so that you could make carne asada.
They have this crazy church on a hill. You have to *walk* up!
We saw our friends Carlos and Yolanda at a mall and saw Despicable Me 3 with them--in Spanish. The "Junior" theater had a play area. You could play before the movie and for about 10 minutes during a mid-movie intermission. Interesting concept!
We checked out Paseo Santa Lucía and Parque Fundidora with the cousins one cloudy afternoon. The weather was perfect because otherwise it would have been too hot to explore the parks before dark. We took a half hour boat ride down the river and then went into the museum so that we could go to the top of Oven #3 that used to be part of the iron factory.
View from the top.
We spent a day at the pool and tennis club that Beba and Carla belong to. We had a cook out and swam in the pool. The big hit, though, was the water slide. They let all of the kids go down together, which the boys thought was the best thing ever. Carla and I even joined in the fun and did the water slide about 10 times in a row.
We went to Kidzania the next day, which is basically like a children's museum. The kids earn "money" for "working" at different jobs around a pretend city. It's actually a great concept, and many national and international companies sponsor posts around the city.
The boys delivered packages for DHL...
running around this whole city...
Stocked the shelves and shopped at Walmart...
They were so disappointed when after five hours of "work" their money was enough to buy only a fist-sized soccer ball and some lego crayons that broke immediately. It was a great life lesson! ;-)
The day before we left we had a goodbye breakfast in Villa de Santiago, another small little town about a half hour outside Monterrey.
Then we packed and headed to the hotel at the airport. Since our flight left the next day at 6am, we decided it was worth it to stay the night close to the airport. We met Carlos's uncle and cousin for dinner.
Saying goodbye to the cousins and aunts wasn't easy...
See you next summer, Monterrey!