24 October 2016

Legoland California

Isaias, my middle son, turned six last week. His birthday is one of those dates that I mark my own story by, not just his. Isaias was 5 months old when Hector was detained and deported; it is five months until Hector marks six years here in Tijuana. To mark this joyous day of my prince charming's birth, I decided to take the two oldest kids an hour north up to Legoland, CA. It is fortuitous that every October, the museums and theme parks of San Diego run "kids get in free" specials. Without it, we would never have gone.

We left early to cross on a Thursday, as Legoland is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and I had the day off. I usually never cross the border on my day off, and it had been months since either of the kids had crossed over with me. As we approached the line, Isaias looked out the window at the Border Patrol agents wandering around and panicked, "Oh no! The police! I surrender!" he shouted. What a shame. At the check point, the agent asked Isaias for his name, to which he replied very solemnly, "Gordo". Oops. Next time, I'll be sure to quiz them beforehand.

We arrived up at Legoland right as they were opening, around 10 in the morning. We parked, and got in line to buy our tickets. There were some people standing behind us in line, complaining about how long it was taking. As someone who sits in the border line daily, I couldn't help but chuckle- I didn't think it was too bad. We were finally in the park, map in hand, and desperately trying to find rides wihtout long wait times.

Most of the rides didn't have long lines. That is the nice part of visiting an amusement park on a Thursday in October- there was hardly anyone there!

Our first ride was a fairy tail boat ride- the kids liked seeing all of the storybook characters made from Legos.

Cecilia has loved horses since she could say the word "horse". That hasn't changed in 10 years, and she insisted we check out the Lego horses.

I love that there are playgrounds all over the park. Kids can run and get their wiggles out before getting into line for the next ride.

Isaias wasn't thrilled with the tower ride- he didn't like the height. I started thinking that maybe we shouldn't have come if he wasn't going to want to go on any "big kid" rides. 

I *may* have gotten him to say that he was six a couple days early so he could get his Driver's License with his sister. 

We went on the castle roller coaster. I rode with Isaias and Cecilia rode in front of us. I really thought Isaias wasn't going to do well in it- but he surprised me and even wanted to go again!

Minicity was really cool. 

They have a cool Lego Star Wars section. 

 Gordo LOVES Ninjago and the new Ninjago area was out last stop. 

Happy birthday Gordo. mommy is so proud of boy you've become!

20 October 2016

Tijuana "Autumn"

-Autumn is my favorite season. My birthday is in October, and the warm autumn colors prepare me for the upcoming cold of winter. Or at least, they did. Unfortunately, the autumn of my past life in Oregon does not exist here .Here, the weather continues in the 70s and 80s, the trees continue to be green, and the flowers continue to bloom. The lack of four defined seasons was very difficult to get used to my first year here. I've learned that I have to create my own autumn. Yes, the flowers are still in full bloom, yes the trees are green, but the night air is a bit crisper. There is pumpkin spice in the stores. Halloween costumes are hot ticket items in the markets.

How does one recreate autumn in a place that it doesn't exist? Well, step one is to buy yourself a pumpkin. That is what I did for myself for my birthday, I also bought a Halloween door hanger and a Halloween welcome mat. If you surround yourself with autumn things, you begin to think that is is autumn, even when your sweating out 12 lbs.

Fall is around in places. I found these few fallen leaves in Carlsbad on a family outing with my kids. I had to stop to take it in. I finally found some. Usually, we're so busy, I never get to notice the little details around me that scream "FALL".  Noticing autumn means to slow down and find the small details and reminders.

My welcome mat was a birthday present to myself. I was feeling so bummed, so depressed about being away from Oregon, that I bought myself some autumn. I unfortunately could not find any candy corn for myself, but this is good. I get to see this fall reminder every time I step out my front door.

There is one reminder that we cannot escape- there is the rainy season that is approaching. Here the rainy season is somewhere from late fall through late winter. There isn't much rain or accumulation throughout the season, but nothing says "home" to me like rainy fall days.

Not everything is autumn. There is still reminders of the endless summer that is this place. I had always dreamed of a place of palm trees and flowers, but I didn't know that it would mean giving up my truly favorite season. Now if the temperatures could drop into at least the 60s and 70s instead of the 80s, I would finally find my fall.