It wasn’t as pretty as usual in Auckland today, so we headed below the deck to the fabulous and interactive Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium.
Identifying all the different fish was fun, but making them come to life was the highlight of the day.
First, you color a sea creature.
Then you scan them and they come to life in the digital aquarium. There are about four coloring stations, each with its own aquarium.
Then your sea creature joins the rest of the fish in an aquarium of all of the digitized drawings. Kids catch on quickly and make sure to put their names on each creature so they can track their progress on the screen.
This was truly an ingenious idea and fun for all ages. There were definitely a few grownup fish swimming around in there.
One of my favorite activities on my recent trip to Veracruz, Mexico, was learning to make and wrap black bean tamales. Our experience, orchestrated by tour operator Yambigapan, started at a local farm where we picked the banana leaves that would wrap our tamales for cooking.
After a light hike nearby, we headed to Yambigapan’s rural home-stay facility, located on a bluff over looking a small valley.
From the home, you can walk to the Laguna Encantada for boat rides or hike to a variety of destinations including the Volcan San Martin. Our group was their to experience local culinary traditions – specifically tamale-making.
We started by chopping chepil, a Mexican herb that is somewhat similar to coriander.
Then we kneeded the masa (tamale dough). You are gonna need a lot of muscle for this.
Then came the hard part, folding the tamales in the leaves. It’s actually not that hard. You just plop a blob of masa onto the leaf and then fold the tamale like an American flag.
Pop ‘em in the oven for a while, launch some globos (paper lanterns, which we also learned how to make), listen to some jarocho son music and voila, you have dinner.