Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Students' Art Gallery

"When told at the right moment and in the right way, stories can have an inspiring and healing effect."

Last night my Mother-in-law along with other students from the Art Club of Split had the opportunity to showcase their work.

Some of the paintings from various students.

The student's age varied from early teens to late 60s.

Some of my favorite paintings were from a 16 year old student.

I see a successful future for this young lady.

I can only imagine that with a view of the city and the sea , the students work in a positive and relaxed atmosphere.

View from the terrace.

Professor Tihomir Bašić explaining one of the techniques.

The artist's corner.

I wish I had an ounce of creativity but the only thing I can draw is a fish which resembles something in between a whale and a number 8. What can you draw?

Monday, June 28, 2010

The squirrel ate the cookies

Would you purchase these cookies if you saw them on the shelf? Well I did, I mean chocolate and chili, just what a Mexican gal eats. Alright, I won't lie, I thought it was a strange combination so of course I had to purchase them and have a tasting event ,and guess who ate them all? The squirrel or Me?
After the first bite, I didn't taste the chili, so I ate the second cookie, the chocolate melted in my mouth so I had to eat a third one, just to make sure. After eating all 12 cookies I will be honest, they were ordinary triple chocolate chip cookies, very similar to Chips Ahoy. So would I buy them again? They were a bit too crunchy for my taste, I prefer eating soft chewy cookies. Plus for the price of 19.99 kunas ($4 dollars) you can buy several pieces of the local baked pastries. Sorry El Tequito but these cookies need a heavier dose of chilies to be called Chili Cookies. What strange foods have you come across when you go grocery shopping?

(Disclosure Note: A few years ago when we lived in Colorado I followed a recipe for double-chocolate chip cookies and I over baked them! So I placed them outside the balcony to rid the house of the burnt smell, well I didn't count on my small neighbor, the squirrel, to enjoy my burnt cookies.)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

How one corn kernel went missing

I'm sure you've heard plenty of stories from parents talking about it. You know, about how their children place objects up their nose. Well this weekend, it happened to us while we were visiting Hubby's grandparents in Bribir. I guess you can say it was the chicken's fault.

The incident occurred when Beli was outside feeding the chickens with Great-grandpa. Afterwards she walked inside with several pieces of corn kernels in her hand. I guess this should have been my first clue that maybe it wasn't such a good idea to let her hold the kernels. She started throwing some on the floor and then she sat to watch the world cup.

After a few minutes she runs to me asking, "donde esta kukurus?" I replied, "where is the corn kernel? you threw it on the floor." She repeated her question then she started whimpering. Hubby came over to see what was the matter, he was questioning her in Croatian, and I followed in Spanish.

Beli: "mami, donde esta kukurus?"

Hubby: "Beli did you put it in your mouth?"

Me: "Esta en la boca as I pointed to my mouth, oido (ear)... nariz (nose)?"

Beli repeated each body part as I continued with my inquisition, then I asked about the nose, her reply was different, she answered, "No, nariz!" BINGO... The kernel was up her nose.

We thought what were the chances we would find a doctor, much less a clinic open in the small town of Skradin. We got ready anyways to drive into town but Great-grandma was in a state of nerves mumbling, " how could this be possible." She then turned to me and pointed to her stomach and said, "It hurts." We remained calm and reassured her that it was fine. These things happen and toddlers do this sort of thing all the time. Then I remembered that I had a pair of tweezers in my purse and hubby had a flashlight in his car glove compartment. Hubby said he could see the kernel with the light, we felt comfortable enough to remove it. After we pulled the kernel out we showed it to Beli and she grabbed it and threw it as far as possible. "Think she learned her lesson?" I hope so.

We decided not to tell Hubby's parents, why worry them over this. I will remind you that she is the only granddaughter so I wasn't sure how my Mother-in-law would react. By the end of the day when we were driving home Beli was asking grandma, "donde esta kukurus?" and she answered herself by pointing and saying " nose!" Since grandma was unaware of the episode she scolded Beli, "the corn is for the chickens and you don't put in your nose, nor in your mouth." Hubby and I only looked at each other but said nothing.

The next day my Mother-in-law called to say she had heard about the episode and asked, "is that why Beli kept telling me about her nose and the corn kernel?" Hubby turned to me and said "how did she find out, did you blog about this?" I replied, "of course not." But I do wonder, "how did she found out," she doesn't even know I have a blog. Maybe it was Great-grandma? Any guesses as to why kids do this sort of thing? Placing objects in their nose. I asked both of my sisters and they both replied, "my boys never did that!"

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sibenik hosts its 50th International Children's Festival

By the time we made it to the town of Sibenik, our sweet Beli has fallen asleep. We debated whether to skip the event but then I remembered we had the stroller in the car.

As we parked the car we heard singing from a crowd walking past the parking lot, it was a loud wedding party going to the church . The song resembled "Las mananitas" but a Croatian version. We waited a few moments then placed our sleeping beauty in the stroller. The noise didn't even phase her.
We walked along the seafront to the entrance of the downtown area, and what do you know, there were steps. Not a problem we can manage a few steps uphill.

We saw a cathedral then turned left and saw more steps, oh boy..then we turned to the right, and more steps!

Ok, maybe I'm exagerating just a bit, but then again I was unaware that the town was situated on a hill. I guess it makes sense to have all those steps.

We quickly learned that sightseeing with a stroller and a sleeping toddler was not a good idea after all.

We found a poster on one of the streets with the program for the festival, the opening ceremony was scheduled for 9pm.

And from the security we saw walking by, we concluded that the Croatian President would be present for the opening ceremony.

Since it was only 6pm, what would we do for 3 hours? We could only do so much walking around. After much consideration we decided that hopefully we could watch the play Buratino at home as it was suppose to be televised.

And we opted to return another day and have a proper visit of the town.

The cathedral that we saw, St. James. resembled the churches we saw in Florence, then I read its history and it made sense. The construction began under the direction of the Venetian architect, Antonio Dalleand then it was passed on to the sculptor Jurac Dalmatinac.
It took over 100 years for its completion, with influences from Northern Italy, Tuscany and Dalmatia and the result was a church with an upper Renaissance style and a Gothic lower level.

Did you notice the faces towards the bottom of this picture? There are more than 70 unique portraits immortalising important contemporaries and figures from the 15th century who had for some reason particularly impressed the architect.

It was dissappointed not to see the city in it's entirety. But not to worry, we will be back!

For more information on the Festival you can click here. If you had a Children's Day Holiday in your country, how would you celebrate it? I think in Mexico I remember as a child my Mom mentioning, El Dia del Nino, it was a special day for my sisters and I because we had a fun day at school filled with activities like dancing and singing. But for parents it was a more serious holiday, it was a day to remember and acknowledge that children have rights and that they should be protected by their families, society, and the government and that children are special to the future of Mexico and to the world. Fascinating right?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Solaris Hotel and Resort: the Pirate City

We were driving to the town of Sibenik for the International Children's Festival but we took a detour to visit the Solaris Hotel & Resort for some ice-cream. Beli was frustrated from all of our driving. I couldn't blame her, sitting constrained is not a fun thing for a 2 year old plus we all needed to stretch our legs.

I was surprised to learn that you are allowed to visit the premises even if you aren't a guest. I guess the coastline, beachfront belongs to the government and the hotel can't prohibit you from entering or charging you a fee?

Is this the case in resorts in other countries? I have never visited one before, until now. So off we went for some exploring of the property.

This is called the DalmatianVillage, an authentic dalmatian restaurant.

We couldn't resist the wonderful aroma so we purchased some warm bread right out of the oven.

Beli was happy to take a photo.

Do you know what this plant is called? Interesting flowers.

This place had it all. Children's facilities, sports, a fabulous restaurant, and entertainment. Beli was ready to jump in the kiddie pool. I guess that means we will have to come back another time, as guests!

What do you think makes a successful resort? Location? Activities? Entertainment? Food?
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