In our household, Fridays are known as Field Trip Fridays. As often as we can, we take advantage of free or cheap excursions in Santa Cruz and the greater Bay Area. Recently we took a field trip to the Henry J. Mello Center in Watsonville to see Esperanza del Valle, a Mexican ballet folklorico dance company celebrating its 30th anniversary. Friday night was Family Night Preview at only five bucks a seat. So we sat the girls on our laps and felt okay about leaving at intermission, giving the kids enough time to soak up some rich cultura before bedtime. The show was filled with regional music, impressive dancing and drama…there was something for everyone in our family! My husband enjoyed the stories each dance told without having to understand Spanish. The girls were mesmerized by the twirling, ruffly dresses, especially the pink ones. The boys really pepped up when the men came out dancing with real swords that sparked every time they struck them together! One number, where the women danced with shots of tequila balanced on their heads, took me straight back to my college days. Hey, I took folklorico dance as an extracurricular activity…what were you thinking? Stay tuned for more Field Trip Fridays to come!