Sunday, April 30, 2006

An Afternoon of Cultural Enrichment

Today was the 15th annual Festival de la Familia, which celebrates Latino heritage and is the biggest one-day event in Northern California.

I figured we should go check it out. For one thing, I want to my son to be exposed to quality learning opportunities regarding his Mexican-American heritage. For another thing, I like to eat Mexican food and you know how hard it is to find good Mexican food in California right?

That said, I thought it would be a great family outing for us so I dragged my Mexican-American husband (who would have really rather watched golf all day) with me and Little Guy to the festival.

It didn’t exactly turn out to be the enriching cultural experience that I had hoped for. Not really the festival’s fault I guess, but somehow it just, well, kinda sucked. Maybe it was partly due to the fact we were outdoors with no shade in 90-degree heat the whole time. I dunno.

Anyhow, here’s how we spent the afternoon:
Time spent walking two miles to the festival entrance because I was too cheap to pay to park in the lot: 20 minutes

Time spent checking out the really cool art exhibit: 5 minutes

Time spent waiting in line for nachos: 45 minutes

Time spent looking for two squares of shade to sit down and eat our nachos: 15 minutes

Time spent eating nachos and watching some really cool-looking Aztec dancers wait to go on stage and dance: 10 minutes

Time spent reapplying Little Guy’s sunscreen: 0 minutes/oops forgot it at home!

Time spent worrying that Little Guy will get skin cancer some day due to his sun exposure at this event: 60 minutes

Time spent dragging my hot, tired butt back to the car and cursing myself for not parking in the lot: 35 minutes
In sum:

Total time at the festival: 130 minutes
Total time increasing our awareness of Latino culture: 5 minutes

Total calories consumed: 500
Total calories burned: 1000
(Well, at least I burned some calories.)


Blogger Kel said...

At least you got nachos. ^_~

I've done that too, left the sunscreen at home and went crazy all day wondering if I just doomed my child. I won't get around to dooming both kids until later this summer, if it ever stops raining.....

6:34 AM  
Blogger Pattie said...

Haha! OMG, you know, I can relate to this. Many times, I have had high expections of going to festivals for the cultural enrichment. Some times it works out, but more times than not: too crowded, long lines, parking miles away, etc.
Although, I can see why you wanted to go...Mexican food is my favorite! Hope the nacos were at least tasty!

7:14 AM  
Blogger cameo said...

it never turns out how you envisioned, does it? good perspective though - you got exercise!

7:27 AM  
Blogger Marcie said...

That was a hoot! It seems to turn out that way for me more often than not.

9:37 AM  
Blogger sunshine scribe said...

Great post. I enjoyed it - those festivals are all about the getting there and getting around there and so much less about the enriching part :) But Nachos are pretty enriching (hard WON nachos - 45 minutes waiting?!?).

It is wonderful you are actively looking for ways to share your son's Mexican-American heritage with him. I understand completely.

11:42 AM  
Blogger Mega Mom said...

Yes, sadly, so many festivals don't turn out as planned, but the memories are good! Remember the NY Puerto Rican Day Fiasco of '98ish?

There is an odd dark spot on my shoulder this morning and now I'm all worried...

Mexican food is FANTASTIC!

11:58 AM  
Blogger J's Mommy said...

very cute! the heat seems to make everything suck!

12:05 PM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

I have to say that the nachos were not worth 45 minutes in line. I thought they were going to be the really good nachos I saw someone eating nearby (like with guacamole, tomatoes, cheese, beans, etc.) but when I got to the front of the line, I realized they were just the plain old chips and processed cheese nachos. I guess that's why the line was shorter than all the other lines where you had to wait an hour and a half for food. Hmmph.

5:27 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

MMMMMM! The nachos you described here are my absolute favorite thing to eat. And there's nothing worse than expecting the deluxe kind and ending up with the kind you get at a gas station....well... the only thing worse is forgetting the sunscreen. I feel your pain.

6:19 PM  
Blogger jennster said...

LMFAO! the nachos had to be worth it though, right?!?! RIGHT?!?!

8:19 PM  
Blogger mommy on the verge said...

Husband has ruled out those festivals. Even though they always look so fun in the ads, we get there and its always a mad house! Heat doesn't make it any better! Bravo to you for going anyway.

10:29 PM  
Blogger lildb said...

Thanks for stopping off at my pad to say hi, MotR. And what a bummer that the festival was a pisser. Those sorts of functions seem to never really live up to their marketing campaigns. Insofar as the lacking sunscreen issue goes, I read (god only knows where) that kids these days are getting too little exposure to sun rays/natural vitamin E absorption being affected as a result. So the idea is to let the kidlets go without coverage, on occasion (something like 1/2 an hour a week). You know how mutable statistics are and all, but that might shed a bit of the guilt, non? p.s. I really enjoy your digs!

11:27 PM  
Anonymous rhonda said...

Waiting for Nachos -45 minutes...sheesh! That is HORRIBLE :)

5:39 AM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

I think my children are going to be very culturally deprived because I have this aversion to going places where there are big crowds. I'm not claustrophobic or anything, I just have no patience for waiting in lines and trying to see over people. We'll be the family visiting the most unpopular museum exhibitions in town, like 400 Years of Petrified Gum. (Yeah it's boring, kids, but there are no crowds!)

6:32 PM  
Anonymous sweatpantsmom said...

Ha! This is hysterical.

In my mind, a really good plate of nachos is always worth the grief, though.

6:40 PM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

lildb, thanks for reminding me about the vitamin D. That does make me feel better. :)

Nancy, I think I'm developing the same aversion to crowds. Too bad I forsee many amusement parks in my future.

8:14 PM  
Anonymous lildb said...

Um, der. I think I listened to that song from "Priscilla: Queen of the Desert" soundtrack one too many times in the nineties. (There's a lyric referencing the vitamin the sun 'contains' as being 'E.') Guess it got stuck. Oops! Obviously, you grasped the gist of what I meant, though.

8:24 PM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

Ha! I didn't even notice you said vit E and not D.

But just to show how geeky I am, I didn't get the song reference. I'm really bad at that kind of thing. I've usually heard the song, but I never know the name or the artist. It's the reason I really want to get an IPod.

8:45 PM  
Blogger Bridgermama said...

At least you tried. I usually try to distance myself from any type of festival, hate the crowds! However, I sense festivities in my future due to the arrival of my bub. I gotta enrich his life and shit... :)

10:06 AM  
Blogger something blue said...

Wahoo to family outings! Too bad that this one wasn't all that and a plate of nachos.

At least we got to spend some quality time reading about it! You are too funny.

10:15 AM  

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