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Posts filed under 'Travel'

Peru Earthquake Relief: How to Help

The folks here at Quixo have been busy communicating with friends in Peru about the devastating 8.0 earthquake that hit last Wednesday.  We’ll be posting some more travel information soon, but in the meantime, please help any way you can.  Donations to any organization with folks already on the ground there can make a difference.  These include the Red Cross, the Embassy of Peru, and many others, including many religious organizations.

(Our friends at the Peru Food blog have some moving pictures and more earthquake news.)

More very soon -CC

August 23rd, 2007

Packing List for a Vacation Trip to Peru

Catherine Criolla has provided another helpful entry on the Quixo Peru travel site. Her Peru Vacation Packing List is crafted to help plan for a two week trip to Peru with travel in the highlands and on the coast. The list focuses on travel between April and November with a supplemental list for Peru’s summer, December through March. The list has all you’ll need for you trip, plus luggage recommendations and a Kids packing list. Seems like a good list if you are looking for bon voyage gifts for any adventurers headed to South America.

1 comment July 30th, 2007

Fun Facts about Spain updated!

What is it people love about fun facts? I don’t know, but I do know they get a lot of attention here at Quixo. Our Fun Facts about Spain page has been updated a little. Still fun, still factual. There are items about food (of course), animals (and bats in particular), music (not flamenco, but the new wave/punk of La Movida Madrilena) and some basic geography items. There is stuff for kids but sophisticated adults should enjoy it too.

And, yea, the whole Quixo Spain guide is full of fun facts, really. You can find a slightly silly guide to Spanish meal times and business hours for travelers (with other cultural topics like smoking and air kissing), a Spanish language primer (also a bit quirky), and a write up about staying in a beautiful Spanish castle parador.

Hasta luego.

16 comments June 10th, 2007

Castle in Spain — Parador Alarcon

Ever want to stay in a castle in Spain? Us too! So we did. Here’s a write-up on the amazing parador we found not too far from Madrid: Castle in Spain, Parador Alarcon with Kids. (Paradores are a system of historic buildings that have been converted to hotels and resorts. They are run by the Spanish governement.) We had an amazing time! The location was perfect for a short trip (by rental car) from Madrid. And the site was a perfect blend of history, culture and modern updates. Perfect for kids who dream of magic castles! See the  castle parador article for more! (Or check out our Spain fun facts, flights to Spain or Spain book suggestions pages!)

2 comments May 3rd, 2007

Spain Fun Facts!

We’ve just added Fun Facts about Spain to Quixo Spain! We’ve got it all — nuggets about Spanish food, pearls about la Movida in post-Franco Spain, and morsels on bird-eating bats and other animals of Spain. There’s stuff for kids (mmm chocolate!) as well as jaded adults. Enjoy!

21 comments May 2nd, 2007

Spain Book Recommendations added!

I know we just launched Quixo Spain last week, but we have so much more to add! Our spain book recommendations page just went up. It has recommended fiction to enjoy during your travels, Spanish / English dictionary recommendations, poetry (yes poetry is a fun way to learn Spanish. If you are a geek like me.) And some kids books that we enjoy. Yea, more Spain stuff is coming soon!

April 29th, 2007

Peruvian Food Recipe: Lomo Saltado (gringa version)

We’ve been having a lot of fun with Quixo Peru and we’ve been getting a really nice response. The biggest surprise has been the huge demand for info on Peruvian food. We’ve been getting emails and requests and here is our first recipe: Lomo Saltado (gringa version). It is a mostly authentic peruvian recipe with plenty of background resources, tips for substitutions and variations. But our chef, Catherine Criolla, while she insists on authentic Peruvian aji chile and even lists an option to cover the dish with pisco (an alcohol drink from Peru) and ignite it, she just had to take a little gringa short cut. I was personally involved in the taste test and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it, so here it is: Peruvian Cuisine: Lomo Saltado Recipe.

¡Buen provecho!

13 comments April 26th, 2007

Spain Travel Guide Launched

Quixo Spain is now live! We offer info on flights to Spain and travel within Spain, tips for lodging, including hotels, hostals, paradores and apartments, a cultural survival guide, Spanish language tips, and a guide to the best in Spanish food and resources to plan your trip to Spain.

Yea, we have much more in store, but we just had to get this out there to share with you. As always we appreciate your feedback!

7 comments April 25th, 2007

Toddlers are Terrified of Automatic Toilets

I don’t know what goes through the minds of people planning kids’ museums and attractions. Why do they put automatic toilets in places that are supposed to be kid friendly? My kids are just starting to get past this, but as toddlers they were absolutely terrified by the automatic toilets.

It goes like this: you are trying to potty train your young child, you bring her into a public restroom at the local tot museum, and as soon as she spots the blinking red eye, she freaks out, refuses to use the toilet and you are left struggling for ways to reassure her. Finally, you crouch down, face nearly touching the toilet, to attempt to firmly cover the sensor so the toilet does not flush while your child is sitting on it. You hold this painful pose for 15 minutes while your kid tries to poop. Then maybe you get a little lazy because you’re in pain from holding the pose or because your other child is lying on the floor, licking the side of the stall, and you move your hand ever so slightly. The toilet, with its supersonic public toilet pressure, emits a loud WHOOSH and your kid is sure she is going to get sucked down, never to see you again. Potty training is set back a decade and have to start looking for a therapist.

I know not every kid is afraid of these things. Some may think they are kind of cool. But save this cool feature for the sinks. The cool factor is much more appreciated there when there is no danger of being sucked into the sewer.

Any day now I’ll start a whole campaign with T-Shirts. Something like: Toddlers United to Stop Horrifying Terrible Red-eyed Automatic Potties. (T.U.S.H. T.R.A.P.). If your interested in joining the movement or have a more punchy acronym, let me know.

If you are a parent seeking help, I can suggest one solution that works pretty well. We learned it from a kind attendant in the baby care center at Disneyland. She showed us you can simply stick a Post-It Note® over the eye and it seems to work most of the time. The trick depends on a couple of things – first the ability of the post-it to stick to the dingy surface of the toilet. Second and most importantly it requires buy-in from the toddler. You have to really sell it with confidence and enthusiasm. I’m not much of a salesperson, so my success would rely on the kid’s disposition on a given day. Still, I keep a couple of post-its handy in my wallet at all times.

My suggestion, again, for anyone building children’s facilities: DON’T MAKE THE TOILETS AUTOMATIC. Save it for the sinks and we’ll all be better off.

(If you are in LA or Santa Monica, I have a list of fun things to do with toddlers and kids. But they don’t have toilet reviews. Yet.)

4 comments April 20th, 2007

Peru Animals, Plants & Natural history page updated

Our Quixo Peru Animals, Plants & Natural History page has been updated! Say you want to know where to find a llama, alpaca, vicuña or guanaco…. Or maybe you want to find the best reference books for bird watching in Peru and South America. And by the way did you know that in the highlands of Peru you might find a member of the chinchilla family that looks like a cross between a rabbit and a squirrel? You guessed it, the vizacha.

Anyway, there’s a lot more, like info on dear, foxes, giant hummingbirds. And as always great book recommendations.

2 comments March 27th, 2007

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