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Apr 19, 2013

One-of-a-Kind Trip

The trip to get back home was the most unusual trip return we’ve ever taken together.

We are finally home — we slid into Traverse City Cherry Capital Airport just before midnight Monday April 15.

These are pretty exact photos of the kind of shuttle we road in both times in the story ahead!


Shuttle Bus

This one was from Leon to the Hotel  on Sunday


 This one was from the Hotel to the Airport at 5 a.m.

The ride to Leon after we left San Miguel was a true thrill ride!  I’ve never gone so fast on such a winding road (and somewhat dangerous road at that speed anyway) in my life.  He drove like there was no tomorrow (we thought there might not be!) and he tailgated even worse than Michigan — and that’s really bad.  We followed a pickup truck loaded with the usual “all-family-members-aboard” with kids sitting up on the sides and going like 80 km an hour.  We were 2 feet behind them as all of us swerved on the corners and the kids gripped the sides of the pickup.  I was hoping we weren’t going to be going over them like topes (speed-bumps) as they bounced off the truck.

Kris was totally ill.  I was in the front seat totally scared, and the ladies in the back who had ridden with him before simply closed their eyes at certain times — Kris asked how they did it and that’s what they said — they close their eyes and trust at times.  I finally just said inside myself — well if it’s my time I’ll go.  If it’s not I won’t.  I know that’s rather fatalistic, but it turned out to work for me!  ha ha ha  I had to do something!  It was an hour and a half trip and my nerves couldn’t wind up any tighter after about 15 minutes.

It was CERTAINLY a trip we won’t forget soon.  Nor will we forget the one that came the next morning!

The hotel in Leon was nice.  We were glad we chose a 5-star (so-called by the description they gave) rather than anything lower!  ha ha ha again
The bed was comfortable and they were very polite but they absolutely do NOT speak ANY English which proved to be an interesting situation too.  Goodness we wished we spoke more while we were there.  We were cracking up all the time at how funny the whole thing was.  They didn’t even have a clue most of the time, when we spoke our gringo Spanish.  They really needed the real word in Spanish.  Oh how we laughed.  There were no cups or wash clothes offered in the room.  1 TV channel – whoopee!  They did give a free bottle of water!  Emoji  (One for the two of us to share.)

Then the next day at 4 a.m. we got up and got everything ready.  We had spent a good amount of time the night before repacking the bags and decided to pack one of the carry-ons to be checked this time, and Kris carried a little Soriana grocery bag (like all the stores here in the states sell) with her stuff in it for her carry-on, plus her computer.  I went with my backpack and computer.  But, at the Leon airport, one of the main shoulder straps on the backpack tore completely off and I had to carry it differently all day.  Obviously it was too heavy!   Oops!


Broken backpack strap

But I digress.  At 5 a.m. the airport shuttle (of the hotel) picked us up to take us to the airport.  There was just the driver and us.  He drove up the entrance to the hotel (out the in) and turned left onto the toll road.  Yes, he turned into the oncoming traffic lane and drove about 1/2 a block ( I was beginning to freak), and then he turned down a dirt path.  It was like the kind of thing where dirt bikes have formed a two track where they ride the hills.  He went down that road/path and just kept going.  Potholes the size of crater lake were everywhere.  It didn’t feel right to us.

This was all we could see in the headlights — this and bigger than this — but this is the best photo I could find that “sort of” shows what it was like — big deep potholes!  Not exactly what you expect when going to the airport in a shuttle bus!

Sharp-Edged Potholes On Dirt Road
There were just the three of us, and it was still totally dark outside — no other traffic, no lights, and getting weirder by the minute.  We went under an overpass and the dirt pothole road continued.  I got a very sick feeling and Kris finally cleared her throat and said — uh – –  a donde vamos?? (trans. where are we going?)   He smiled — al aeropuerto! (trans. to the airport)  So we started asking some very serious questions about the route we were taking.  Then he realized that we were not kidding.  He laughed and told us we didn’t need to be frightened because he was not one of “those” kinds of Mexicans.  Actually that made me feel  worse!  But sure enough we came up this very rough dirt hill and there was the toll road again and there, on the right was the airport exit — which he took.

As it turns out, to get to the airport exit, he had to take this route because otherwise he’d have to drive 10 km down the highway before he could get off and come all the way back to catch the airport exit.  So this way he saved himself an extra 20 km drive.  He thought it was all very funny that we were worried.  We, however, didn’t find it quite so funny and wondered why they don’t just tell you that they have to take this backass route to save time and gasoline.  Emoji

After all that, the Leon to Houston flight was delayed 2 hours.

The flight to Houston was uneventful – thank goodness.  But there was an 1 1/2 hour delay at Houston just about when we were supposed to leave for Chicgao, because they had put too much fuel into the plane and had to un-fuel it.  So we had to sit while they siphoned off enough fuel to make it “safe” to land in Chicago.  Yep.  Never heard that one before.

The flight to Chicago was uneventful.

We had a 3 hour layover in Houston, and supposedly a 5 hour layover in Chicago.  But Chicago turned into an 8 hour layover because they couldn’t find a crew to fly the plane to Traverse City, so we had to wait until a crew from a Kansas City flight landed and they could take the shuttle over to the terminal where we waited.  They said they would get us to Traverse City quickly, which, believe me they did!

The flight normally takes about an hour.  We made it in 35 minutes flat!  I thought it was fun… a bit noisy… but fun.
We crawled into bed at about 2 a.m.

So there you have it!  A very strange trip home, but no one got wounded in the process!  chuckle

I thought all of you would enjoy this story.

The Leon Airport:

leon aeropuerto

Apr 19, 2013

More Mexico

I know, I know, you thought I’d be done with this blog as soon as we landed here in the States.  Well, sorry to disappoint you but I really like doing this.  I read a certain number of blogs that interest me.  Well, okay, other than proofing what I write myself, there are two blogs I follow.  I do it because they interest me.  I like the way the authors express themselves.  One is about travel, and the other is about health.  Mine is going to continue to be my take — spiritually, emotionally, relationally, personally — on the places I find myself.  So if I’m here or somewhere else, there is always something to see, and always something that can be seen in a new way.

But I didn’t exactly finish with Mexico.  As the time came close, and the Internet didn’t work so well, I missed blogging in the day-to- day way I had been doing it.  So our last few days when we were running all over San Miguel having fun, I didn’t get to post for you.  So at least for the next couple of blogs, I would like to continue to share some of the hundreds of photos we took — of the architecture, of the town, of the art — so you can enjoy them with us.

During the last few days we were in San Miguel, we decided to take a taxi into the city center and visit a few places we had wanted to visit earlier.  In fact, a couple of them were places we had seen online before we ever left.  Taxis are only about $2 anywhere you want to go, so because of the profuse cobblestones and the difficulty it is to get anywhere “fast”, we often took the taxi across town to see the next thing on our list.  We practiced our Spanish. . . they practiced their English and a great time was had by all!

We visited the Instituto Allende which is a fine arts institute where classes are held, and where there are monthly shows of crafts, paintings, sculptures and other forms of art.

We also wanted to visit the Bellas Artes which was supposed to be a very fine school of fine arts – music, theater and art.

We also visited the famous Biblioteca Publica which is the Public Library.  It has a massive library — the largest in South America, plus a store, a restaurant and lots of murals and art work from local artists – on the walls. . . literally.  We ate there a couple times and used the Wi-Fi to check email.  It was not a place conducive to “working” however.

Finally, we visited La Fabrica de la Aurora which is a former fabric factory that has been turned into many galleries and a wonderful cafe where we ate several times.  When you go to the you will find the new photos under their labels.  The very next blog after this one I’m going to post the adventure we had getting home from Mexico!  I decided to post it in this next blog so you could all see it!

Kris ordering – She waited on us every time we came in!

Cafe at the Fabrica de la Aurora

Me walking around through La Fabrica — an awesome place!

Walking around the Fabrica

Apr 12, 2013

Interesting Stone Textures

One of the interesting things about this world is that texture is unending.  Texture is everywhere, and a little observation makes it even more fascinating.  These are textures of the cobblestone roads and sidewalks, of the steps and walls that are built everywhere in Mexico.  But I find the whole world of texture highly fascinating and will be adding other kinds of textures from everywhere I travel, for my amusement and amazement, and for your enjoyment!

What’s so funny about these photos is that I would stop in the middle of the sidewalk or the street, walk up to a restaurant wall or a fence around a property and simply take a photo.  People just smiled — all these stone configurations are so common, I doubt they even notice them anymore.  But that’s what makes them noteworthy.  Someone had the skill and was paid to put every single stone in place.  None of them got there without someone putting them there.  So I honor the work of their hands, for these walls and these cobblestone sidewalks, fences and streets are not made by machines but by the skilled hands of a dear human being.  THAT makes them noteworthy!

This is one of the examples you will find on the slideshow website:IMG_0950

The website also provides captions that tell you what kind of construction the photo shows – road, sidewalk, patio, wall, floor or stairs.  Click on the cobblestones to go to the photo website.

Apr 11, 2013

Cañada de la Virgen – A Super Day Trip

This is me at 5:30 a.m. today!  I was so eager to get this blog up so I could share the experiences we had yesterday with you all!  So this is what an early morning blogger might just look like.  (smile)

Doing my blog

Yesterday we took a trip to a Pyramid.  I have always wanted to see a Pyramid up close.  Yes, this is a small one, but after climbing it up AND down, I’m so deeply grateful that it is small.  And yet, at 9000 or more feet in elevation, that’s not really anything to bicker about!  ha ha ha

We left in the morning with Joe and Mary, our next door neighbors.  We all decided that we would like to see it so we went together.  They had been before, but Joe had never been to the top.  This is best described as a photo and spiritual trip for Kris and me.  I was sort of in a state of “stun” because this is something I have always wanted to do — visit a Pyramid.  I’ve never been able to go to Egypt, and the trips to the more southern parts of Mexico to the larger Pyramids, were not going to happen this trip.

What we found so fun was that the guide only spoke Spanish.  But several of the people on the trip did not.  So even with the little Spanish we have learned since beginning our studies, we could understand enough to translate what Alexandra was saying.  I guess our little isn’t so little after all.  I did a little translating while Kris took photos, but she did most of it as she is better at switching back and forth than I am — and I think she understands it even better than I do too – what fun it was.

There is no way to put into words all we took in – both from walking around the grounds and from climbing to the top.  So we did it in photos.  There are about 40 photos in the slide presentation, so you’ll need some time to see them.  When you look at the map, I want you to know that we walked all the way around the entire complex first, then went up the outer stairs, then down the inner stairs to the large Ceremonial Grounds, then up the stairs to the very top of the Pyramid.

After our trip to the Pyramid, the four of us went to a very great hamburger place that Mary and Joe like…..Mexican style.  Kris had one of the best veggie burgers ever, made on a wood fired grill.  It was made with a huge Portabello mushroom, and lots of real veggies piled on top of a grill-toasted, sesame-seed bun.

Mary and Joe and I had 1/4 pounder incredible beef burgers with all the wonderful trimmings, and the best French fries I’ve had in a very long time.  Of course I don’t normally have either of those things, but we were absolutely ravenous by the time we sat down to lunch.  Our delicious lunch slid down nicely with some Mexican Corona.  We were too full for desert.

And — when we got home to our respective places, all four of us had to lie down for a bit of a siesta!  What a delightful and fun day trip.  We highly recommend it.  Now – – – enjoy the photos HERE.

Apr 9, 2013

What About the Water?

Today is a “serious” blog entry, as many people have asked me about the water.  When we first got here, at the place where we are staying, the owner said they drink water from the tap.  So I did.  Wrong move.  I had serious intestinal problems for a couple of days.  It really knocked my energy and attitude out of sorts.  It was actually my sister that said I should probably boil the water for drinking.  So I began that day and have been using either bottled or boiled water everyday.

When Kris and I stayed in town for 4 days, (staying in the mansion, remember?), we found an interesting booklet that Primeir Real Estate provides to people coming to San Miguel.  You have to remember that this is the desert.  Water is an issue.  It’s actually one of the big things we are weighing when thinking about retiring here.  There is one thing without which we humans cannot survive and that’s water!

They have precious little of it here in the desert town of San Miguel, and it is not safe to drink – no matter if some people tell you it is!  The booklet I mentioned has this to say:

There is a lot to be said for “Don’t drink the water!”  It is best not to even brush your teeth with it. The doctors suggest that you (or really, the maid) bring a pot of water to a boil and let it boil for 30 minutes, and let it cool for drinking, coffee, tea, ice, etc.  If you want to order water by the 5 gallon jug call ….[and the name and phone number for ordering it, plus the price are given].

I was told by Mexicans and Expats alike not to drink it.  To purchase drinking water that has been purified is not particularly expensive, so why run the risk of getting sick?

I also found a couple of great quotes on Yahoo’s question and answer page which I include here too:
In answer to the question “Do Mexicans drink the water from the tap?” here are two very good replies:

NO ONE drinks tap water. Everyone drinks bottled water. You cannot become immune to viruses, amoebas, parasites, and lead poisoning. Mexican people do get sick from tap water just like Americans do. Bottled water is delivered to homes and sold in every store. Restaurants use it, hotels use it. I have been in many Mexican homes, and they all used bottled water.

NO we don’t. There is a very good service of bottled water, trucks bring 20 lt. bottles home, they ring every bell and sell the water at least twice a week.  We can also buy it at supermarkets, convenient stores, drugstores, everywhere!  Nobody drinks the water from the tap.

You might wonder why I’m even talking about this.  It’s not one of those “feel good” topics.  I don’t have great pictures to show you.  However, there is a need for us to be aware that the only water we have is the only water we have!  The earth is not manufacturing water at the same speed at which we are consuming it.  There is a limited amount of fresh water on the planet which would normally serve us well as the watersheds do their job when it rains or snows and then runs into the rivers and so on.

But we have this idea that we can unendingly use it up, waste it, and pay no attention to the seriousness of things like dirty water from fracking or nuclear fallout.  (I am astounded to learn how much Fukishima has affected water all over the northern hemisphere.)  We wonder why cancer rates are higher, and why children suffer more terrible conditions and illnesses, and why our immune systems can be so compromised.  In part it is because we drink too little pure water, and the water we think is so pure is not necessarily so.  It happens because those in control of things that are said and done, keep raising the “safe” limits on so many things we encounter.

No, this is not a soapbox speech!  But boiling my water every day to drink, and having to use boiled water even to brush my teeth has certainly given me pause as to how much I waste, how much I use, and how much I really need.  That’s all.  Just reminders for us never to take fresh, pure water for granted!

Water Pouring from Bottle


Apr 8, 2013

The Weather and A Little Dip in the Pool!

Today’s Suttons Bay, Michigan Forecast

* Rain Moves In This Afternoon

* Drizzle/Fog Tonight

* More Rain Tomorrow Afternoon

As you read the three lines just above this, you will understand why we are having so much fun just “being” in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico!  Yesterday it was in the 80’s here.  The day before that it was in the 80’s and today it will be in the 80’s.  Today there is not a cloud in the sky; the sun is shining as only it can do; and the sky is so blue and gorgeous we would like this to never end!

When the weather’s this nice, it’s okay to have some days when you do “nothing” but enjoy.  That’s why we came here to check it out!  I know we aren’t exactly retirement age yet, but who says you have to be, to enjoy the kind of weather we only have for a month or two in the summer up North?  (And my tan is looking pretty nice too.)

As you can see from the photos below, the pool and hot tub are finished.  Just to make sure, I took my sandals off and stuck my foot in the hot tub.  After the one foot went in, it came back out right away!  No heat yet.  They figure the pool will be heated naturally by the sun and be really warm sometime in May.  The hot tub is cold too, but it is going to be heated by a solar panel.  It will be really awesome for those who live or visit here.

Yes, life is rough, as we sit here and drink our ice cold guava juice!  Really rough!  Maybe we should set up a tour for this coming winter!  Any takers interested?
P.S. If you think this photo looks crooked — that’s because the pool is level and the stone wall goes downhill to the left of the picture.  Does funny things in your head doesn’t it?

Me testing the new “hot” tub:

Taking a Dip - Literally

The Pool finished and filling — Still on the VERY cold side but at least it’s finished and beautiful!  (That’s the hot tube on the end.)

The Pool Finished and Filling

Apr 7, 2013

Hey There!

As of October 14, 2015 we are in Uruguay!

 Wherever Any of Us Go There is Something Interesting to Observe, to Enjoy, to Learn From, to Be Thrilled, or to Simply Appreciate.

That’s Exactly Why I Share With You All By Way of This Blog.  Enjoy!

Uruguay Location Map

Where the star is – is where we are staying for our first full week in Uruguay.

Where the heart is on the map – is where we will be living beginning

October 21, 2015!

And we will be learning more Spanish than we have so far!

Mexican Doll   To Learn Spanish Quickly Click Here  This course has helped us a lot — we find we DO know a bit more Spanish than we thought we would.  




Apr 7, 2013

We Get Around, Round, Round, Round, We Get Around!

I am so very pleased to announce that the photos I’ve been wanting to post are now on the blog website.   Hope you enjoy.  They are just more photos of places we’ve been.  One slide show is of the house we stayed in as mentioned before.  Another is simply neat places to give you more flavor of San Miguel.  It is one of the neatest places you could visit.  AND you might even want to live there — well at least maybe January and February and March!  I bet you’d never guess why either, huh?

So please enjoy the photos.

Apr 7, 2013

What Happened to Easter?

Easter Lily1

Many of you know that we particularly came to Mexico during this time to experience Easter here.  We are staying out of town and no one at the farm wanted to brave the traffic and the crowds.  So we didn’t get to go in and see the Good Friday activities.  I was very, very disappointed since we had planned our dates around it.
We did get to see some of the activities when we went in to town on Easter Sunday to begin our “in town” experience.  Monday we were sitting at the bar table using the WiFi at the American Library.  A guy was eating his lunch there too.  I was reading the American/Mexican newspaper Atencion and all about the Good Friday celebrations.
I mentioned to Kris how well every thing was acted out and how real it looked.  They had done an excellent job – really like a movie set.  I was really sad that we missed it then.  The guy next to me asked me if I had ever seen the story acted out by the Mexicans.  I told him that I had not but that we had specifically set our dates to be able to include it in our experience of Mexico.
I told him everything looked so real.  He looked at me and told me that it like that because it WAS real.  HUH?  All the blood and stuff?  He said that there were three real crosses, three real men – a real person being Jesus, the blood all over was real blood.  The really do whip them and cut them up, and they really do put  them on the crosses, and they really do drop the crosses in the ground.   They weren’t actors, they were participants!
He had attended it once and said he never would again.  His take was that it was truly gross, truly upsetting and very, very horrible.  He told me I should be deeply thankful that I didn’t get to see it because it marks you.  These people do it, just like in the Philippines and elsewhere, as a way of doing penance, of great honor in being chosen to be the two thieves and the highest honor in being chosen to be Jesus.  They do it all – Pontius Pilate, crown of thorns, blood and guts and all.  People follow the “parade” crying and beating their chests and sobbing and praying and that it’s not fake, it’s real to them.
He says he doesn’t  go anywhere near  el Jardim (central garden) in San Miguel that evening.  And repeated that unless I’m into gore and violence and horror, I should be glad I didn’t get to see it.
And I was very glad.
And . . . I was very sad too.
I was very sad that people still feel like they have to pay for their own sins and that it’s an honor to participate in such a violent and gruesome event.
After that conversation, Kris and I began to be so thankful that instead of the Good Friday Passion Parade, we had gone into one of the great cathedral-type Catholic churches.  We went in because we heard drums and guitars and music – we love music so it was a natural choice!
Mass had ended and 2/3 of the people had left.  So we went in and sat up front about 1/3 the way back from the front of the church.  There were dozens of young people – Junior High and High School age who were singing and dancing and waving their arms sort of like we’ve seen here when people are singing praises to God.  Gloria, Gloria, alleluia, alleluia to the Lord!  We could even understand what they were singing.  It was like in the old Catholic charismatic movement days!   Up front there were two banners.  One read “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” and the other said “He is not here for he is risen!”  And they were singing that.
It was very moving to us.  The young people were so excited to be singing.  Yes, there was a whole band with guitars, keyboard,  bass and drums and they were singing really cool music in praise of Jesus.  I think we even have a photo of it.  Now if you don’t celebrate Jesus, remember I’m not trying to offend you.  Most of you who know me, know I love him.  So it turned out okay that we didn’t see Good Friday Passion, (whew!) and that we did go to the Cathedral on Sunday – on Easter.
So, that’s what happened to Easter on our trip to San Miguel!  It all turned out super after all, just not how we thought it was going to.
See photos at

Easter Lily2

Apr 4, 2013

Back at the Farm!

What can I say?  The the time in town was wild and wonderful.  We were only gone 4 days but when we came back to the farm, it had rained about 3 drops and everything is already greening up.  We are astounded at how little rain makes such a huge difference!  Today, we have a little internet signal here at the farm.  So I’m going to see if I can put up a couple photos we took just before leaving.  We fully intend to enjoy our last week here to the maximum.

We got a ride from town back to the farm with a taxi.  He is fluent in English because he lived in Chicago for 7 years and only came back when his brother was sick and dying.  Then his mother convinced him to stay.  He was great fun.  So now we know someone safe to ride back and forth to town with. What a relief.

Here are a couple of photos for you all to enjoy:

 Linda on the Rooftop Terrace

Me on the rooftop terrace in San Miguel

Linda & Marcia1

Marcia & Me — she is the gal who put the lodging and fun together for us in SMA – why would we ever stay anywhere else when we know her?  Wonderful persona — wow!

Entrance to Life Path

Entrance to Life Path – an Holistic Health Center and B & B

Soon there will be more photos – dozens – on the blog photo site.

Apr 1, 2013

Staying In A Mansion – Loving the City!

We had no idea when the room we wanted didn’t work out, that we would be staying in a half-million dollar mansion!  Wheeeee!  We have Internet very seldom and so I’m taking the opportunity to send these photos from an English Speaking Library location that has free Wi-Fi for those who come here.

We decided to stay in the actual city of San Miguel de Allende.  We came on Easter Sunday and visited churches and shops and had good food in Mexican restaurants and are having a very, very good time!  We like it much better than the farm we’ve been staying at in the country, believe it or not!  This is awesome.  I’m going to put some photos up here so you can get a taste of what we see looking out over the city from our rooftop terrace.  Also, so you can see a bit of the house and just know we are glad to share them with you even though we don’t have the time today to write all about them.

This is a taste of San Miguel!  We’ll attempt to keep you posted whenever we have a chance to use free Wi-Fi.  Good stuff is happening and we’re glad!


From the terrace on the roof as evening was falling — bells ringing – everything becoming magical and beautiful colors — WOW!

The street lights below are how they light the little narrow streets at night.



The main Catholic church in the center of town — El Jardin

Me – standing amazed on the rooftop — WHAT A VIEW!

Casa6 on the Roof Terrace

Our room in the “mansion” is great.

There isn’t room to post all the photos we’ve taken of the various and beautiful tiles… it’s never ending!

That’s all for today.  See more on the blog photo site.  Hasta Luego!

Mar 29, 2013

How Does Your Garden Grow?

As you know, we are staying at a farm — Simple Choice Farm.  So I’d like to give you an idea of how it’s working.  The idea is to be a sustainable community.  There are 6 dwelling places on the property, and several very large “plots” where planting is already taking place.  In fact, some things that were planted only last week, are now sprouting up very beautifully.  That’s what a little rain and a lot of sun will do for a garden!  Funny thing.

In this photo, I’m standing directly in front of the house where we’re staying.  Kris took the picture facing out to the West.  So behind me (also to the West) are the four major divisions of the garden.  The pumps have been put in so that when the pool is finished, if water is needed anywhere on the property and there isn’t enough rain to water, it can be pumped from the pool cistern.  It is a very slick operation about which I don’t know a whole lot more!  (smile)  I only know that it’s a very smart idea for being able to always water your plants.

I didn’t get a picture this a.m. because I forgot to.  But I will show you soon how the melons and the tomatoes and all are already doing.  It feels funny to see plants growing so well and it’s still March!  Only in the greenhouse at home would we see things begin to sprout out.

Exciting things are about to happen.  Kris and I decided to bite the financial bullet and stay in town for three nights so we could get a feel for the city center.  We’ll be staying about 8 blocks from that big pink church in last blog’s post.  We will be near an organic store and restaurant.  It’s about 1/8th the size of Oryana, but it truly has some good stuff.  And we’ll be investigating some other things while we’re there too – like the public library, the Easter parade on Sunday and other cool stuff.  So here’s me at dusk in front of the garden plots.  (p.s. the hot tub is nearly complete).

In The Garden

And YES it’s definitely cool enough for a jacket after the sun goes down!  Great for sleeping too.  We really, really like this place.  Just in case you were wondering.


Mar 25, 2013

Palm Sunday in San Miguel

Hi Guys!

Today has been a delightful day.  So I’m going to share a little bit with you.  First a history lesson so this all makes sense.  Before the United States took away part of Mexico and turned it into Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, the Native American Indians traveled all over the place.  What we, in the Northern Hemisphere, think of as “our” Indians, are really just a part of the indigenous peoples who lived, worked, hunted, and had a life with no Texas/Mexico border line running along where it does today.  So, guess what?  The parades here that have Native American Indians in them look very much like the same Native Americans that we know North of the border.  Funny thing!

On the way to lunch we saw a small, local Palm Sunday parade.  You’ll see it in the photos.

Again we went to church.  Again we had a fabulous lunch in yet another wonderful Mexican restaurant.  Kris and I each ordered a stuffed portabello mushroom with all sorts of good things and topped with a hefty layer of parmesan cheese, with rice and a very delightful sauce.  I ordered a citrus salad which is featured in this blog.  Well after taking a picture, we decided to share it.

We had had a bit of appetizers with very very hot sauce which Kris had warned me was way too hot for my liking.  So I didn’t have any, and it took  her a few minutes to get over the one bite she had.  She left part of the chip and all of the hot sauce off to one little side of her plate.

When my gorgeous salad arrived, and after the photo, we decided to share it.  Well, the waiter saw me attempting the feat to put half of the salad on her plate and asked if he could take it and do it for us.  So he did.  Then brought the plates back and we had our salad.

I asked Kris how she like it — it had grapefruit, oranges, apple slices, lettuce and almonds.   She was enjoying hers very much.  I said it had to be the hottest citrus salad I had ever tasted.  My eyes were watering, my nose was burning and my lips were about to flame off my face.  She said hers wasn’t hot at all.  I thought that was really strange.  Well. . . . you have probably guessed it by now.  When the waiter brought the plates back, he got them mixed up and she actually got my plate and I got hers – – – which had the chip and hot sauce that had been too hot for her to eat underneath my salad.  The four of us laughed and laughed.

I will guarantee you all that I have never in all my born days eaten ANY salad on earth that was as hot as that salad.  Of course I survived just fine about 1/2 hour later!  ha ha ha  We were with Joe and Mary and a good time was had by all.  I’d sort of like to go back and have that salad again without the hot sauce!

Another new thing today (to my knowledge) was my first visit to a building over 450 years old.  The two churches that are pictured on the photo website are very very old churches.  Think of it.  As I was standing there, I was looking at stuff that has existed since 1600.  It boggled my mind.  I’ve never been to Europe, so I haven’t had the opportunity to be in buildings that old.  But it was quite a thrill to read the history.  It’s all in Spanish so I didn’t include it here.  We took taxis up and down the hill to save our legs for the real fun of wandering around the shops and all.  What an awesome day!  It was in the 80’s and quite warm.  But when you step into the shade it’s suddenly cool.   Verrrry nice.

We’ve included some photos of us posing with our new hats.  When you’re in the sun — they are very nice to have.  And, I’m getting a tan!  Eat your hearts out!   – – – and enjoy the photos!  (oh yes, I still had to fix food and do laundry!)

Cooking Again Laundry Again

Church Again

This is the “pousada” (hotel) where we went to church and then. . . .

See the rest of the photos by CLICKING HERE

Then click on Palm Sunday in San Miguel when you get there.  Talk to you soon!

Mar 23, 2013

When “Same” is Fantastic!

We were talking with our neighbor Mary this morning and commenting on how positively beautiful the day was.  She said “Yes, just another day in paradise!”  We all laughed, but couldn’t take our eyes off the hills and the gorgeous sunrise and the pink clouds.  Then we talked about the sunset last night . . . same song, a little variation on the verse.

Then I thought about several things that when they are “same” are not boring, or irritating or unwanted — love, no war, joy, a happy and full heart, appreciation for beauty, delight in the simple and beautiful things that come our way, sharing compassion with those in need, caring for animals no one else cares for.  My — the list is long — much longer than this.

What is for sure is that if what is “same” is wholesome, loving, caring and helpful and fills the heart with joy then the “same old, same old” becomes the “same” new –  everyday.  Neat, huh?

This is one of the photos Kris took of the sunset on the evening of the spring equinox.  Just totally awesome.  That is followed by one of the sunrise pictures I took this morning!  Ahhhh the pause that not only refreshes, but fills your heart to overflowing!

Spring Equinox Sunset1

The following photo is entitled “Almost Sunrise” .  I got up this a.m. and took this photo out the back — see the mountains?  We have them in front and in back and so we have these glorious colors every morning and evening.  Hope you enjoy them!

Almost Sunrise

Mar 21, 2013

Sticky: Learn Spanish Quickly Amigos!

A N N O U N C E M E N T  (drum roll please)



Most of you who read this blog, know that we started studying Spanish a LONG time ago in hopes it would do the trick. Well we can find the bathroom and do lots of things.  However we did find the the course we were studying did not have as much to do with daily life, the markets, the restaurants and renting a house, etc. as we found we needed.  It was much more focused on business life.  And the set of CD’s was too heavy and bulky to bring with us.

(and ordered I might add) A fantastic Spanish Language Course that is on target for what you use when you walk downtown — or out in the front yard to converse with the Mexicans who are right here working. It’s real life Spanish. It’s only $67 to buy the whole course to use on your computer. (Something like 70 MP3s + ebook)  If you want them to send physical disks, it’s more – $110 I think. Anyway, if you ever wanted to learn Spanish — this is definitely the way to do it.

We are loving it!

CLICK HERE!  To Access This Awesome Course!

Mexican Doll


Links You Will Like

  • Connect Globally Connect with people around the world in the countries of your choice. Information, real people, real discussions!
  • Uruguay Insider Great newsletter on Uruguay and lots of nitty gritty details you will love! Check it out.