As a child, back when I lived in Mexico, my cousins and I used to go to a place we called los juegos. Los juegos —Spanish for the playground— was a special place for all of us. Back then, I believed los juegos were the happy, go-to place for kids everywhere. This was also one of the places where I felt the safest.
The playground was managed by the local government of San Luis Potosí, which charged an entrance fee of one peso per kid. A security guard was always on duty, managing the entrance door and collecting the entrance fees from the fingers of eager children ready to go climb and run around every corner.
As I said, I felt safe in this place. Perhaps it was the security guards, whom I thought were policemen. Maybe the uniform they wore or their professional demeanor put me at ease. It could also be due to the fact that both my grandmother and our moms felt it was safe letting us go to this playground. Granted, we had to go as a group, never on our own. Back in those days going places in groups was all my cousins and I did.
I have many happy memories of los juegos:my cousins and I meeting new friends and playing with them, all of us spending long hours and entire weekends playing there. When we eventually were all played out and made our way back home, oh my, we were all so very hungry and thirsty!
Now as an adult, I reminisce a lot about these fond memories. And as a mother, I dreamed of one day taking my kids to this special place where I was once happy.
The opportunity finally came during our trip to San Luis Potosí in 2019. Unfortunately, since December is one of the coldest months, los juegos remained closed for most of our time there.
During that trip, we spent almost three weeks in San Luis Potosí, visiting friends, spending time with family and taking in the sights. Between our packed schedule, the Christmas holiday festivities and days (most of them) when los juegos were closed during our time there, I was not able to take my kids to my favorite childhood playground. However, we did manage to squeeze in some time at a playground at one of the places we visited.
The place we went to is called Los Adobes, an hacienda-style restaurant with a big playground in the back reserved for customers. It is a family-friendly restaurant with a country-style atmosphere. After customers enjoy a delicious buffet-style meal, they can go outside and enjoy the playground and the beautiful pond in the back of the property.
The views there were just breathtaking: the playground was kept in great condition and the food was delicious. I think the playground was the best part of my family’s outing that day, though the food came in at a close second.
After we got back from our trip to Mexico and while looking at the pictures of this trip, I saw my daughters’ faces illuminated with a big smile while running around and enjoying the restaurant’s playground. I realized that it didn’t matter if we weren’t able to make it to my favorite childhood playground as long as we were together at a playground in Mexico making new memories.
Looking at the beautiful sunset over the mountains, between San Luis Potosí and Guanajuato, my daughters were helping me relive my most cherished childhood memories and for a moment I was a happy child once more, spending endless hours playing in a playground.