Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Adriatic Sea

We headed to the small town of Trieste after Venice. It is located in the northeast of Italy on the Adriatic Sea. Alejandro was attending a conference so we used this time to relax in the sun.

It was interesting to discover that Trieste has a connection with Mexico. The French imposed Emperor of Mexico, Maximilian I, built and lived in Miramare Castle before moving to Mexico. This is a view of the castle from our hotel.

The castle is just as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside.

Ah, Venice!

The beauty of Venice is overwhelming. We loved just walking around the canals.

Alejandro's mother and aunt were traveling around europe and joined us in Venice. It was a real treat to be able to share this experience with them.

First we all went to Piazza San Marco

where we fed the pigeons.

We also toured the Basilica San Marco and Doge's Palace.

We then visited the Bridge of Sighs

and the Rialto Bridge.

First Overseas Flight

We took the kids to Italy this summer. It was the first time that they flew overseas. I think that the initial excitement wore off very quickly.

However, everyone was very happy once we arrived.

Annapolis, Maryland

Independence Day is always something that I really miss when we are in Mexico. I was so grateful that we got to go to Annapolis, Maryland for the 4th of July this year. We started off the day by exploring the town and doing a little shopping.

Later, we put on our patriotic clothes and headed to the Navel Academy.

The fireworks were fantastic!
The navy boys really know how to put on a show!

Finally, we took a tour of the academy. Two of the cadets were kind enough to pose for pictures with the kids. It was a great day.

The Sculpture Garden

We visited the Sculpture Garden at the Hirshhorn Museum. Alex and Tiffany had fun trying to imitate the positions of the sculptures.

There was an interesting piece by Yoko Ono called the Wish Tree. Everyone is invited to use the paper and pencil provided to write a wish and tie it to the tree. When the tree is full, the wishes will be collected and sent to the artist and eventually they will be sent to the Imagine Peace Tower that she is creating in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Making New Friends

While at the festival, the kids were invited to play some games including Duck, Duck, Goose!,

Red Light-Green Light,

and Simon Says.

Don't Forget the Irish!

Northern Ireland was also represented at the Smithsonian Folklife festival. The music was so wonderful that everyone decided to dance a little jig.

Alex and Tiffany look great together;

But, LeeAnna and Andrew look like professionals!

Mekong River Crafts

Alex really enjoyed the hands-on activities. He made a fish out bamboo with a man from the Yunan province of China. They were limited to communicating with hand signals as the gentleman did not speak English and we only knew how to say "thank you" in Chinese.

I really enjoyed the shadow puppets from Thailand.

The pottery from Cambodia was also a big hit.

Smithsonian Folklife Festival

While we were in Washington, we visited the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. This year, its focused on the Mekong River region including Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and the Chinese province of Yunnan. There were several exhibitions which we thoroughly enjoyed.

There was dancing,





and embroidery

Sewing Lessons

There is a great tradition of quilting in our family. Tiffany's Grandmother gave her a sewing machine for her 16th birthday. But, it isn't just any sewing machine. It is the Bernina Activa 230. We actually like to call it the space shuttle. It has all kinds of bells and whistles. When we were in Maryland, Tiffany's aunt took her for some lessons so that she can really benefit from having such a wonderful machine.