Here are photos of some of the random fun things we did in El Salvador.
First on the list was to make a visit to Golfito Park at La Gran Vía, because we received a special invitation from the owner, Carolina who is the sister of my friend (and jefa!) – Ana of SpanglishBaby.
Golfito Park is a miniature golf course for children and has other attractions as well, including a zip-line, bumper boats, moon bounce, and more.
Our younger son had a lot of fun and Carolina was super amable. We had a nice chat and she gave us a lot of ideas of other things we should check out. She even walked us over to Viva Espresso.
Why would we go to Viva Espresso? Because Viva Espresso is home to the best barista in the world – Alejandro Mendez. (That’s not just my opinion! He holds the title!) I was looking forward to meeting him but unfortunately he was on tour.
After we said goodbye to Carolina, we walked around the area and came upon the “bungees” which are a common sight in the shopping centers of El Salvador. The first time we saw these trampoline/bungee cord contraptions, the boys watched a little kid flying into the air, screaming at the top of his lungs, and swore they would never go on one.
Every time we walked by a bungee they stared though, and I could tell they were both trying to work up the courage.
“Get in line,” I said.
“What?! No way!” they said.
I told Carlos to go pay and shoved the boys into line. They continued to protest and attempted to leave the line several times.
“We already paid. Don’t waste money,” I said.
They watched the kids in front of them take their turns, the line got shorter. They begged me and then when they saw it was getting them no where, stared at me in silence, hoping I’d change my mind at the last minute.
Carlos whispered to me, “Are you sure about this?”
I told him I was. I knew that they would regret it if they left El Salvador without trying it. I knew that it would give them courage later in life – that they’d be able to look back on this and remember how brave they had been… I knew I was forcing them for their own good, and hoped that I wasn’t scarring them for life.
Finally it was their turn. The boys each obediently climbed onto the trampolines. Our younger son told the man strapping him in, “No muy alto. No me gusta.” The man nodded, but I went over and repeated that he wasn’t to spin him or do any of the extra tricks with him since it was his first time.
As for my older son – when he climbed up on the trampoline, the attendants rubbed their chins and then had a quick whispered chat before bringing over more bungee cords due to his size. As they added reinforcements my teenager shot me a look which meant he was very unhappy with me.
Once they were strapped in and got to jumping though, smiles crept onto their faces.
Our younger son became so delirious with joy that he began to laugh maniacally. People walking in the plaza stopped to watch and pointed at the funny kid laughing his head off on the bungee. His laughter was infectious. Everyone in the area was smiling. A man noted that it was my child making all the noise since I was snapping photos. “Está bien feliz, vá?” he said – (He’s really happy, isn’t he?) – I agreed that he was and breathed a sigh of relief that my boys hadn’t been traumatized.
Another new thing the boys got to try was a Salvadoran playground. You wouldn’t expect a playground to be different but when we went to Parque Balboa in Planes de Renderos, our younger son climbed some stairs and then said, “Hey! Where’s the slide?”
Carlos had to demonstrate how to use this “slide.”
The swings were different too, but he didn’t need help figuring them out at least.
While in El Salvador we also got to hold a Tío’s parrot.
And we watched a pick-up fútbol game in Parque Cuscatlán. It was nice to see young people playing instead of walking around the malls.
I also liked that a girl was playing on one of the teams.
We also went swimming.
While we were in El Salvador we often saw women carrying things on their heads. Our sons were totally fascinated with how the women did this – particularly when the load looked large, heavy or precarious.
So, anyone who saw my son walking to the pool and carrying his towel like this, my apologies. He was just practicing.