Sunday, June 29, 2014

Hurry! Time Is Almost Up...

Time is almost up to win one of the three 3 month memberships on! This giveaway ends June 30th, 2014.

Check out the original post here to learn more about or read bellow for the terms of the give away:

For the next month, in collaboration with Lexikeet, will be giving away three premium memberships. To enter your name in the giveaway, you must:

  • subscribe to this blog by entering your email in the subscribe box in the above right hand corner
  • follow me and Lexikeet on Twitter, make sure to use the hashtag #lifeinmymexico 
  • like Lexikeet on Facebook.

Once you've done these three things, send me an email with your name, Twitter handlebar and Facebook name. So what are you waiting for? Sign up for your chance towin one of the three 3-month premium account(a $45.00 USD value) today and NEVER say ¿que? again!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Going Back to New York

burger ROC NY
Local burger joint Irondequoit, NY
One muggy August afternoon in 2001, I packed a suitcase, told my parents I’d be back in two weeks from visiting Mexico and never returned. On June 5th 2014, I returned to Rochester, NY for the first time in more than a decade. I spent some days in my hometown, catching up with old friends and family and then Ithaca, NY, and New York City.

It's not a zoo, but the best
supermarket in the world
Rochester, NY
A great outing for early morning, the Seneca Park Zoo is full of interactive installations that are meant to inform and educate. There is an otter presentation that puts emphasis on conservation and cleaning up the environment.

Eastman House ROC NY
Hangin' with George
Preserving the history of one of Rochester’s most famed millionaires, The George Eastman House is a walk through a time when moguls were only millionaires (because now they are billionaires) and went on safaris to Africa (wait, that is still a thing...). I have always liked the Eastman house and gardens; I always wonder what it must have been like to live with so much material wealth after his mother struggled to support him and his siblings, even if Eastman's mom was unimpressed by her son's fortune. 

A traditional English pub in downtown Rochester, I watched the opening World Cup game at The Old Toad. The bartender spoke with a British accent; she was either really good at faking it or they take the authentic part really serious and outsource to the UK.

Ithaca, NY
Taughannock Falls
Taughannock Falls NY
The clever slogan “Ithaca is Gorges” is no exaggeration. Ithaca is in the heart of the Finger Lakes region of New York State. The natural beauty is worth the trip. If you are in Ithaca, make a point of visiting, at least, one of the falls, you won’t regret it.
Ithaca is a small town, housing two major universities, it is full of shops, cafes, bars, restaurants, and activities. Our stay was short, but The Moosewood Restaurant was the perfect place to reunite with my madrina, Marina, her son and my mother. My mom raised us with Moosewood recipes. She’d introduce us to exotic foods from her worn copy of Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook. Over green enchiladas (I had to get something spicy!), locally
The Moosewood
brewed Chocolate beer (Marina and I split), salads and creamed potato soup, my mother explained she bought Mollie Katzen’s book in Rochester at a book signing when I was a small child. Ironically enough, she did not get the book signed, but we still use that recipe book to this day.
On my shopping list was to track down a record. “A record?” my dear chosen aunt/madrina asked me. “Yes, a record.” In the basement of Autumn Leaf Used Books, I found exactly what I was looking for: Angry Mom Records. I got the vinyl, I got stickers, I got happy.
Our reunion continued with Marina’s daughter, my dear friend Leslie. She works in Ithaca and knew where to take us for dinner. At Just a Taste we had freshly made tapas as we waited. I was surprised how quickly we filled up on tapas; it looked like a little bit of food but combined with the local ‘flight’ of wine (a sample of locally produced wines), we were laughing and reminiscing with full bellies in no time.

Brooklyn aka NYC
Museum of Natural History

Home to my fantastically fierce and creative cousin, SabinaIbarrola, Brooklyn did not disappoint. We had lunch (lamb with chicken) in Central Park and visited the American Museum of Natural History. I had a restful nap in the planetarium induced by the dulcet tones of Neil DeGrasse-Tyson’snarration of how the universe is expanding. And on Saturday night, I got to know some of the performers from internationally renowned Heels on Wheels.

The trip was short (10 days) but well worth it. Rochester hasn't changed that much: the weather still sucks, and the people are warm and kind. Although I must admit, the best part of my trip was hearing my children say “¡bienvenida a casa mami! Welcome home. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Read This Post And You'll Never Say "¿Que?" Again

Make sure you read this entire post for the chance to enter to win three months of free language instruction.

Over the years I have lived in Mexico, expat friends have enlisted my help due to trouble communicating in Spanish. As a language teacher and learner, I know how challenging learning a new language can be. The need to speak Spanish is a reality. Thousands of US retirees and non-Spanish speakers from around the world continue to move to Mexico every year; about a million US citizens call Mexico home. They all have different reasons for moving, but one thing is certain; speaking the language of the country where you live should take top priority.

Online Learning with Lexikeet

There are a lot of options for language learning, but online learning is the most flexible and attractive for several reasons; you can study anytime, anywhere, it lets you work at your own pace. Third, it is affordable.  I've found that like most expats, being in a classroom learning a language can often conflict with experiencing life;  if you don't interact with non-English speakers, you aren't taking advantage of your situation. And if you haven't made the move yet, online language learning allows you to learn in a structured manner, while preparing for your visit, extended stay or relocation.

Lexikeet is an extremely useful tool for learning a new language.  You can select how much time you want to study online, from as little as 15 minutes a day to over an hour.  Plus there are interactive exercises and games. Lexikeet offers Spanish, Japanese and Chinese (as well as English as a Second Language) and allows the students to decide how they want to learn.  The website has a clean, user-friendly format where you can select your learning style. Students will find a selection of different learning objectives, styles, and goals to choose from making Lexikeet a flexible alternative, going from personal to business, leisure travel, academic and power learner.  The user decides on the study time and Lexi, the parakeet avatar, is there to assist. Whichever your learning objectives, Lexikeet makes it easy for you to reach them and so you can, communicate more effectively.

Learn Spanish basics and more with Lexikeet
For the next month, in collaboration with Lexikeet, will be giving away three premium memberships. To enter your name in the giveaway, you must:

  • Subscribe to this blog by entering your email in the subscribe box in the above right-hand corner
  • Follow Lexikeet (and me) on Twitter, make sure to use the hashtag #lifeinmymexico 
  • Like Lexikeet on Facebook.

Once you've done these three things, send me an email with your name, Twitter handlebar, and Facebook name. So what are you waiting for? Sign up for your chance to win one of the three 3-month premium account (a $45.00 USD value) today and NEVER say ¿que? again!