It has been a slow day. Did some loads of laundry and hung them in the warm sunlight. Also went for a walk and sat on a park bench and started reading Huck Finn. Paid way too much for a few vegetables at a produce tienda. And got my socks scared off by the neighbour’s dog.

So I really don’t have much exciting to show for my day. But I have been to collecting pictures ofdoor hardware I have been noticing over the last couple of weeks so here is something to feast your eyes on.

High Rollers

This afternoon Rudy and I decided that it was time to experience the high life here in San Miguel. How did we determine what was chichi? (pronounced shee-shee and not to be confused with the Mexican Slang expression, chichi . Look that up for a chuckle.) Well Rudy thought that the rooftop terraces were probably where it was at. So off we headed to a place called Quince. And, yes it was fancy. We each ordered a drink and our budget was blown. We were up high and right next to the central cathedral and the view was glorious. All the beautiful people were there and we fit right in! (hardly anyone stared at my tights and sensible walking shoes)

By the time we had finished nursing our drinks we were hungry. Rudy checked for nearby restaurants and found one. Once down from the rooftop we checked the location only to find we had to take 10 steps down the street and climb to the top of building. Good joke on us. We were on the next terrace over and could basically reach over and tap the shoulder of our waiter at Quince. Food was pretty good and pretty expensive. The joke at the end of the evening was that none of the apple pay credit cards on Rudy’s phone worked and neither did my Mastercard so we had to scrape all our pesos together and pay cash. It is good to be put in our place. We are definitely not high rollers.

Another Day

Today we had thought we might take a bus to Hidalgo to check out a new town but Rudy felt under the weather and I was content to stay at home and wash the floor, read my book, talk on the phone, and do some crafts.

By late afternoon we decided we should get out so we headed to a place near to the Teatro Santa Ana called the Inside Café.

We sat at stools on the terrace overlooking the street and the theatre and drank and ate. I had a peanut satay with roti and Rudy had  Pho.




We hadn’t had any Asian food yet in San Miguel and sitting up on a terrace, watching the people walk by on the street, was a peaceful evening’s activity.

Variety is the Spice of Life

This morning was something different.  And, they say, variety is the spice of life. Rudy went down to the bakery to purchase bread for breakfast and came back with a chocolate croissant and an apple danish. He claimed that the bread was not yet out of the oven so our regular peanut butter on bread would not happen. Which was all good with me as I like to change things up from the regular routine. It goes almost without saying that Rudy is a man of routine and so could probably eat peanut butter bread for breakfast for the rest of his life. (Anyone who knows Rudy will be know how much he loves his regular lunch…. a ham and cheese sandwich with 5 chips and 8 grapes).

So when it got to be close to lunchtime, it was MY job to go for bread. Rudy insisted that a walk was good for me and sent me out the door. (Am I too annoying and talkative when he is trying to do his morning crossword?) Anyway, I headed out and by the time I hit the bakery I was in full stride and decided not to stop on the going out but, rather pick up bread on the return trip. I walked myself into Colonia Guadalupe, a suburb in the north part of town. I hadn’t been in this particular area yet and  I was surprised to find rows of brilliantly coloured houses. It dawned on me that perhaps El Centro has rules and regulations about building colours because all the buildings there share a similar shade of ochre. Kind of like the rules of suburbia back home, I guess, where there are only a few types of “bricks” or “stones” allowed on the front facade, each house allowed only 1.5 pillars (I know you have all seen these lopsided entrances and wondered) and the exterior colour palette  restricted to 3.5 shades of tan or brown. (Not to mention a 3-car garage dominating the front yard.)  I have always, not so secretly, laughed at these suburban development rules, but realize that the same can be said about historical areas when cities want to keep things authentic. So yah, I guess “authentic suburbia” is a thing too. Can’t allow a magenta or neon pink house on Wildblossom Cresent, just off Sunrise Bay, next to Montego Cove because the authenticity of the neighbourhood would be compromised.

Well Guadalupe had no such rules and I enjoyed all the colours of the houses. I was reminded of the delight that my daughter Ana had as a 3 and 4-year-old in Guatemala seeing all the pink houses there. Entire houses painted in her favourite colour. She didn’t even think such a thing was possible. There certainly were no houses in Steinbach that were painted a bright pink.

Well I loved it and every corner I rounded I found a variety of house colours and even painted murals and mosaiced walls.

Late afternoon found Rudy and me excitedly heading down to Teatro Santa Ana for a spicy flamenco show. Earlier in the week we had seen a poster for it  and Rudy thought it might be a good idea. He had seen a flamenco performance in Argentina years ago and had been blown away. The raw energy, the sheer speed of the footwork, and the sweat flying off the musicians and dancers had been almost unbelievable. (Although, he forewarned me that this  might just be some amateur cringy show.)

We hadn’t been able to buy tickets online, so we decided to take a chance that the box office at the theatre would be open before the show and that tickets would still be available. And so it was. We bought our tickets, and with an hour and a half before showtime, we figured we might as well go to a nearby bar for a drink before the show. Across the street from the theatre was a rooftop bar. We ordered a couple of margaritas (Rudy picked a chilli pepper flavour, Naomi chose the passion fruit one). It seemed an auspicious way to start such an evening.

Well, our flamenco show wasn’t quite as hot as Rudy’s margarita. The first indication was the theatre. It was old and small and somewhat tired-looking. And it appeared the patrons were of a similar vintage. We were a bunch of senior citizen tourists with our hearing aids, support hose, too much perfume, and not enough cell phone knowledge and etiquette (the old lady next to Rudy couldn’t figure out how to put her constantly beeping phone on silent for the duration of the show). The four performers (a guitarist, a flutist, a singer, and the dancer) were old pros (literally) and had clearly practiced their craft for many years. This was a senior’s event on all fronts.

Not to say that the show wasn’t impressive. It was just a little hard to get into it. The singer was amazing but initially hard to read. I wasn’t sure whether she was singing in tune or keeping the rhythm or what. But as time went on I realized it was a bit like hearing traditional Inuit throat-singing—not that it was anything like throat-singing, but rather, I just didn’t understand the “rules” of the music. As the show went on I started to understand and appreciate it. The dancer was “very experienced”; actually, her foot-clicking and stamping was incredible and I admired her expertise. But the performance lacked the excitement and sexual energy that one might expect at a flamenco show. Despite the professional execution of the moves, it just didn’t cut the mustard.

After the show, all the old farts slowly made their way out of the theatre and gathered on the sidewalk to ooh and aah about the concert. Speaking of farts, Rudy had seen signs advertising Pedos de Monja at several of the small candy shops we’d passed on our way to the theatre. I explained to him that Pedos de Monja are traditional and popular candies made here in Latin America and they’re very delicious. I also informed him that the name translates as “nun’s farts”. So on our way home Rudy stopped at a shop to buy a bag.

Over a late supper at a little restaurant on our way home, we discussed the evening. Spicy? No! But definitely the variety of experiences served up to me during the day had been more than satisfactory even if some of them lacked the level of “hot pepper” spice that I have enjoyed in San Miguel so far.

Back at the apartment, we ended our night with a delicious un-spicy dessert of sweet chocolate and cherry flavoured “nun’s farts”. Our day concluded with  the Mexican Saturday night sounds as the neighbourhood celebrated it’s own Flamenco concert: loud party music at the neighbours, the staccato of fireworks from somewhere downtown, and an appreciative audience of barking dogs.





Today is our last full day in San Miguel before we head out on the bus towards Sayulita. So, it means the last of some things. This morning I grabbed the dirty laundry for the last wash. I have enjoyed the convenience of our patio laundry machine and the wash line. The sun shines down warmly on me this morning even though my hands are cold in the wash water and when hanging the damp laundry up to dry. I water the patio plants for the last time too. I plan to take a walk down to our favourite tienda, Super Toto, for one last paleta (ice cream on a stick) and we will buy ground beef at the Carniceria for spaghetti tonight.  This is all bittersweet. I am ready to head on to a new location but the familiar streets and daily routines provide me with a sense of belonging. We all need to belong and feel at home and, when traveling, it isn’t any different.

I remember our family road trip to Guatemala. The kids were ages 2, 3, 5, and 9. Each child had packed in a small number of books and toys for entertainment and each a favourite blanket for comfort. We were crammed into a VW Westfalia van (all 6 of us) and when darkness fell the children often began to be homesick. But, as Paul and I made up the beds each night, we would reiterate about how this was our home and these were our beds and how good it was to have this oasis as our constant.

I find a need for a constant when I travel now too.  It is always uncomfortable when a “new life” needs to be found in another town or city. Of course, this is true wherever we are. When things shift we need to find some rocks to stand on. And so, I feel a sense of discomfort, but also anticipation. There will be new anchors down the road. For now, we eat our final spaghetti meal on the terrace. The air is warm and the sun goes down and the lights of the city begin to twinkle.

Heading Down the Trail

Moving Day.  Time to get up and get all the things packed and to the door. But, before that happened I got a call from Ana around 7:30 am. She had gone out to the car to start it and throw in her purse and school bag. Then she went back to the house to get Rio to put him in the car to take to the Sobral grandparents. As Carlo and her were stuffing Rio into his snowsuit they watched a vehicle drive up beside the Kia and someone hop out,  jump into the driver’s seat and drive away. And why were they phoning me  in that frantic moment about their stolen car? Because it is MY car! And they needed to know what the license plate was and other particulars in order to make a police report. Why did they have my car? For those who don’t know the backstory, here it is. Ana was in a car accident a month ago. She was driven into and forced onto a boulevard where her car knocked over a whole traffic light standard which landed on the hood squishing the front of their car. This happened at the end of December so she was using mine while I am away. Anyway, there were phone calls to the police (by them) and phone calls to MPI (by me) and then a quick rush out the door for us to get a taxi to transport us to the bus station on our trip to Guanajato. The bus ride was lovely. The bus was plush and comfortable. Once we got to Guanajato we caught an old city bus to the historic centre where our hotel is. During the whole trip from San Miguel to Guanajato I was texting back and forth to Carlo about the car. I had a tracking tag on my keys and was hoping that it would be of some help. But no, despite the fact that Ana drove during her lunch hour to where the tracking device was indicating, it came to nothing. My tracking device is probably in a snow bank in that exact location.

Anyway, here we are In Guanajato. The hotel is right across from the main basilica. Guanajato is the capital city of this state and although the city centre is old and magnificent (I saw a church that was built in 1632) it is different from San Miguel. He seems rougher and busier and the streets are way more steep and windy. There is a massive university downtown and it definitely feels like a university town. Loads of film festivals and other academic activities are advertised. The restaurants are cheaper. There are more street food stands and eating establishments set out in front of houses serving all sorts of meals at long tables.  The vibe is very different. We went out for lunch at a street café and then walked around.

After Rudy went back to the hotel I continued exploring and got totally lost. There are tunnels that go down to streets below and ratty old streets with buildings falling apart. It is more colourful here in the downtown and there are many more narrow streets and alleyways and stairs that are only for pedestrians.

We went out later in the evening to a little hole in the wall to get Chinese food. We got an enormous amount food for a small bit of cash. We took it back to our hotel and ate it there, picnic style. We fell asleep to the sounds of the basilica’s bells across the street. I am beginning to appreciate the different sounds that each bell makes, from the low loud sounds of the large bells to the higher clang of the smaller ones. These bells ring day and night at every quarter of the hour and it is becoming a familiar and pleasant sound.

A New Vibe

Guanajato has loads to offer and we have decided to stay a few more days than we had originally planned. The city centre is teeming with life and it has a gritty feel to it. It is more of a “real city”.  Most things are not sanitized here at all. I loved San Miguel but this city is a whole different game. The biggest difference between here and San Miguel is the shear amount of young people. In San Miguel, in the historical centre, the old expats were a predominant force.  San Miguel’s population demographic, especially in the city centre,  is the direct opposite to here. Here the young people rule.

I guess it is the university and colleges in the city centre. And  also, perhaps,  the fact that this city is much bigger and there is just a lot more regular Mexican life happening here.

This morning we were served breakfast at our hotel. Fresh fruit – pineapple, papaya, watermelon, cantelope, honeydew melon, and bananas were abundant. And yogurt and toast too. After breakfast I went out to wander around and ended up near the Mercado Hildalgo.

There were big trucks pulling in and unloading vegetables and fruits. Vendors were opening up their stalls of plastic trinkets, purses, electronics, etc. The breakfast stalls were doing a brisk business. On the streets surrounding the market vendors were cutting fruit, making tortillas and salsa, and setting up breakfast taco stands. Even the churro woman was filling up oil into her vats for churro production. I stopped at a store to buy some necessities….a toothbrush and q-tips.

After this I wandered further and came upon the Casa Diego Rivera Museum. It is the house he was born in and lived for the first six years of his life. The main floor was set up to replicate how it would look during his childhood.

The next three floors were pictures (sketches, oils, watercolours) from various time periods.  (I was not allowed to take any pictures of the art.) There was also work of other Mexican artists during his time period.

By this time Rudy was chomping at the bit for lunch so we met and had a traditional meal. I had tamales and Rudy had a torta el pastor.  There wasn’t much touristy about this eating establishment.



After lunch we followed our noses which led us to   the Museum under the Templo San Diego (350 years old) where excavations in the 1990s uncovered part of the original church 7 metres below the city’s current elevation. It also had mummies that had been exhumed during a period starting in the mid 1800s until the 1950s when the government levied a tax on the decendants of those buried in the cemeteries and if the families did not pay, the bodies were dug up. Because of the dry soil many of the bodies were perfectly mummified. Entrepreneurial cemetery personal started charging money to see these mummies and this is how this dark tourist attraction started. I won’t cast any stones, as I went to see these mummies myself, but was somewhat disturbed by the lack of respect shown the dead.

In the evening Rudy and I went out to wander the streets again and I took him down to the market area. We ate at street vendors and also sat for a long time at a little restaurant. What a great way to spend a couple of hours: talking and people watching. The vibe here is sometimes unsettling but moving out of a comfort zone always provides food for thought.



Just a Few Notes and Pictures

Some days I just need to report and this is one of of those days. In the mornings I go for a walk and, often randomly, end up somewhere. It’s not like I have a plan or anything.  Today was one of those days. The sun was hot where it shone on the cobblestone walks or stone buildings and when I got too hot I just wandered to the other side of the street in the shade. I always wear layers because a couple of steps to the left or right can change from boiling hot to cool sweater weather.

This walk, criss-crossing from one side of the street to another, depending on the temperature, had me ending up at the Alhondiga de Granaditas (granary building) which is now a museum. A forward thinking government leader of the city decided a dry building for grain storage was needed and so this colossal building was erected. It was only used for a number of months before the revolutionary Mexican forces besieged the city and the governor converted the granary into a fortress. The long and short it was that the revolutionary Mexicans(trying to break with Spain) broke into the fortress and won a battle. (However this was just the beginning and it was many years before Mexico gained independence.)

Anyway, the building is now a museum to pre Spanish artifacts, revolutionary history and social history found in old  photography.

So there you have it. One activity from today.




Sights (familiar and not so familiar)

The morning started with some uncertainty. What would we see today?  Rudy’s stomach was unsettled from last evening’s supper so it seemed his sightseeing might be restricted to the inside of the bathroom. This left me with some hesitation. Should I stay or should I go (out)? Rudy seemed to prefer to be left with his troubles, so I set off. Part of me wanted to experience something new and part of me was tired of the low-level anxiety I feel when not exactly sure of my surroundings. So, I decided to do a bit of both. My first stop was a Gordita stand where I confidently ordered a variety of ingredients (who knows what they were) to be stuffed in the gordita taco pocket. I poured on salsas with abandon and walked to the nearest plaza to sit by a statue and eat. It was pretty good and I had confidently tried something new. However, now I had run out of steam. So I headed to the market and turned in at the local “department store”. It is the most like north American shopping with prices marked on everything and no hovering shop keepers. I had been in this store the other day to scout out t shirts for Rudy. Today I thought I would check out women’s wear. I am positively sick of my one outfit that I wear day and night. Would there at least be some tshirt or tunic to buy to wear over my tights? Well, the answer is no. The clothes were worse than Walmart, The Dollar Store, and Ardenes combined. I either would have to buy a pink crop top with Princesa printed on the front in gold and silver or a dowdy polyester sack meant for a woman much my senior. I wandered past the hair gel (for men) aisle and marveled at the shear volume of products.
(It was a comforting blast from past trips to Guatemala, Peru and Ecuador.)   I did purchase tic tacs and some lotion and it felt vaguely familiar and reassuring. And so I continued my morning jaunt, looking for the familiar amidst the foreign.

I checked out the iconic Callejon de Besos (kissing street) where the street is so narrow that you can kiss from the balcony or window on one side of the street to the other side.



By this time Rudy was ready to join me so we picked him up an empanada and walked to the Union Garden Square to sit out under a patio umbrella for a drink. The waiter brought snacks….cucumber and jicama with chili and lime. Oooo, that hit the spot for me. I have loved jicama since we lived in Guatemala. Rudy, on the other hand, was ready to give it a hard pass.

From here we headed to the Funicular to take a trip up to the top of the city for the view.  If I haven’t said so already the houses are piled up, one upon the other, all the way up the steep sides of the mountain. Most streets do not accommodate cars. They are mostly steps and alleyways that twist and wind up and down. There are few streets meeting a right-angles.

The view from the top was stunning. But perhaps the more startling sight was who we met at the top.  And so I took a picture of my former spouse with my present one.  (The once familiar juxtaposed next to the now familiar.)

Really the sights for the day could have ended there. I felt I had seen it all. But that being said, the walk down through the narrow staircase walkways was wonderful and confusing. (Had my encounter at the top, or mountaintop experience as some would name it, addled my thinking?) We never really knew where we were going and where we would end up but we kept going down, finding new and interesting sights along the way.

Back at the bottom of the mountain we chanced upon the Cervantes Museum. Each fall Guanajuato hosts an international art festival solely focused on the novel Don Quixote. Artist create work (sculptures and  paintings) interpreting various Don Quixote themes. The museum was amazing with loads of different styles and interpretations.

As always, uncertainty may cause me some anxiety at the beginning of the day, but I am never disappointed about what unfolds. Sometimes uncomfortable, sometimes familiar, and often hilarious, I am always caught by surprise.



Today is a day to take it easy. Last night was less than restful. I felt hot and had a fever, my whole body ached, I was awoken with nightmares frequently and it was Friday night so the music was pounding. So today I am just relaxing. Rudy and I did go out for an empanada, a coffee, and a sit in a restaurant for a drink. Rudy bought some t-shirts and I nattered to him about what else we should buy (Rudy’s interpretation of the shopping trip.)

We spent a quiet afternoon in our hotel room… me having a nap and Rudy working on a website. We emerged around 7 pm to find some food on the street and were astonished to find the place buzzing. Hundreds of people on the streets, people in costumes, people selling coronetas (flower headbands with twinkling lights) and plastic toys, and tickets to evening strolls with minstrels. After procuring a hotdog for Rudy and elote with cheese for me we joined the throngs streaming towards the Union Garden. There were musicians and dancers and noise. Wow, what an incredible night. It seems like a carnival but I am sure it is just a regular Saturday night downtown in Guanajuato.

Long Time, No See (or Hear)

Well, we are in Sayulita and have been for a number of days. The roosters crow, the big dogs woof, and the little dogs yip. Frequently a motorcycle roars by or an old truck back fires in front of our house. I can hear a washing machine or dryer going in someone’s courtyard on most days. And let’s not forget the ever-present chaaaa ch ch chaaa of the traditional Mexican tunes that emanate from the houses down the street.

We live in a very Mexican neighbourhood although it is very hard to imagine finding one in this village that is overrun by tourists. The expats rule the place, spilling out of the bars and restaurants. The place has changed a lot since I first started visiting Wes and Bridgit here ten or more years ago and even more so for them. “The Ranch” where they live along with Tessa (their daughter) and her kids is further away from town is quieter but more houses are being built there as well.

We arrived on Sunday afternoon to the bus station on Revolucion Road and because of our suitcases, guitar, and backpack we thought we would catch a taxi or an Uber to our place even though it was pretty close. Well Uber did not exist and the taxi would be between 100 and 150 pesos so we set our directions into google maps and set out. Immediately we were down some dusty road and definitely lost. Three young men assured us that we could continue on and we did. But something was lost in the translation and we ended up dragging our suitcases along the dry but very sandy riverbed. I wanted to sit down and laugh but the drag from my suitcase in the 5 inches of gravelly sand took too much effort so I could not expend any extra energy on a chuckle. Eventually we climbed out of the river bed to find a “nice” road following the curve of the river. Duh! By nice, I mean dusty, lots of garbage, lazy dogs lying mid road and no clear street signs to direct us. Thank goodness for google maps. (I remember wandering for hours in little Portuguese towns with Ana trying to find our hostels or hotels, unable to communicate, and only outdated or missing street signs and vague gestures by passersby to help us find the hotel that we had walked by at least five times.) That being said, we found our accommodations. Whew, we were not used to the heat. Down at the coast the temperatures are definitely much hotter. The only thing Rudy needed was a cold beer but after that was procured from the corner tienda he needed to do an inventory of what the amenities. (Did I mention how happy he was with the kitchen utensil supply, both the variety and quantity, in our San Miguel place?) Anyway, the long and short of it was that this place did not meet some housekeeping standards. No place to hang clothes, no place in the bathroom for toiletries, and some kitchen necessities were missing.  We did manage to do some rearranging but the next day would require some shopping at a housewares tienda for more knives and a kettle.

For supper we made our way to the main part of town near the plaza where I had shrimp tacos. Yummmm. I think I will eat those every day until we leave this place. So despite the trials and tribulations of the day we were soothed by our delicious supper.

Life in Sayulita

The vacation has changed. Suddenly we are in a place where I know lots of people. Well, that may be an overstatement but I certainly am acquainted with many of Wes and Bridget’s friends. When in the company of either of them, I cannot go many places without them being greeted by passersby in the street or in a restaurant. Besides that, there are the people I know. Luca and Chia (Tessa’s kids) call out when they pass by me on the way home from school with their caregiver. “Hi Aunti Nome,” calls Luca, “It’s Aunti Nome, Chia, (he says as he nudges her). Aunti Nome is back.” When up at James and Augusta and Callum’s place, Nas, (Kaleigh’s boy), climbs the stairs to the balcony with a Coco Fresco. “Pops (his grandpa and my brother Wes) and I cut down the coconuts. Pops is bringing one up for you.” He snuggles and plays with Callum and chats with me. Later in the evening Wes texts me to say that he and Bridget are taking a drive around town in the golf cart and should they pick up Rudy and I for a drive and sightsee. It all seems pretty natural to me. I am used to the rhythms in Sayulita. But it is strange for Rudy and strange for both of us to suddenly have more people that just the two of us to hang out with.

Today Augusta and I decide to go “shopping”. Augusta drives over in the golfcart with Callum strapped in the carrier in front of her. We head downtown and find a parking spot in the congested street. We head straight to Wa Kika for a paletas. I choose a Mango Chili one and Augusta a plain yogurt one so she can share it with Callum. He is wild for it and keeps grabbing his mom’s arm to pull it to his mouth. Afterwards we wander through some shops and wish for some of the brightly and intricately painted animals and mystical creatures. (alebrijes). Augusta tries on beautiful leather hats with beaded bands. After a few stores we head back. Even though shopping doesn’t necessarily mean buying I really enjoy having someone wander with me.

I come back to the house to find Rudy deep in his book. I join him. After 3 o’clock we head down the street to Don Juan’s for a drink while we wait for Wes and Bridget to pick us up for a trip down the road to San Pancho. Wes, Bridget and I are volunteering at a 3 day music festival in San Pancho at the end of February. Rudy is going along for the ride. When we get to “The Ranch” Rudy decides to stay back as it is too crowded in the truck. The long and short of this quick decision is that I have the key to our place in my purse which leaves Rudy stranded for hours. All seems to be redeemed however when we arrive back and Rudy has a delicious fried fish, mashed potatoes and vegetables at Don Juan’s.

So this is life in Sayulita.

Friday …. market day

So today we have a jam packed agenda….

This morning we are off to the market to hopefully catch some good live music, buy some fruit and maybe some good hearty bread (aka bread that is not made by Bimbo which is the local iteration of McGavins). Then we must get money from the bank (known affectionately as Banco No Dinero because more often than not it has no money to dispense). Well the market is a bust as the music consists of one woman doing some karaoke and the bread offered by the organic crowd is too expensive and doesn’t look that great. We have better luck at the bank and are able to withdraw money. That seems to be a full mornings work so we head off to a well known taco shop for beers and shrimp tacos. Wow, delicious. I think I will eat fish or shrimp tacos for the rest of my time here. We meet a young man from Austin, Manitoba. He’s a farmer there and has come for 10 days. We commiserate about the Manitoba winters but, truthfully, I can hardly imagine the cold. It seems so far away.  Gus and James and Callum pop in during the afternoon and then we have a bit of down time before we head to the Miramar beach bar to listen to Wes and Bridget and some of their friends jam. But the down time proves too much for Rudy and when it is time to leave he is fast asleep. So I head off and it is hours before Rudy gets there. Although I left a map for him he doesn’t see it so does a tour of town before he locates the ocean and, in time, the Miramar bar. We end up sitting with another couple, John (from Vancouver) and Glenna (from Toronto). There are fascinating stories shared and the evening fades quickly into sunset. James and Augusta pop by at the end of the evening. Callum is still laughing and chirping, the happiest little camper on the beach. We ride home on the back of their golf cart and climb into bed.


Beach Day

Today is going to be a beach day. Lots of sand, salt, and heat. James and Augusta pick us up with their golf cart with all the paraphernalia (umbrellas, diaper bag, sun screen, towels and blankets) and off we go. Gus and Callum and I trek to the beach from our parking spot and James and Rudy go for food. We are at the beach where all the fishing boats are and although this is a good choice for calmer waters it is not so good in terms of beach traffic. We do manage to eat our lunch (sand and all) and sit by the ocean edge with Callum playing in the water and sand. But when Augusta and I go for a swim there is lots of action back on the beach with boats coming in and out .Also,  large trucks and tractors are kicking up sand as they pull the boats up out of the water to higher ground. By the time Gus and I are done swimming, the blankets and umbrellas have had to be moved and Rudy calls it a day and heads back to our place. The rest of us manage to hang out a little longer but it is too loud for Callum to fall asleep in his beach tent so we head off home as well.

A Big Day

Well, some people (Rudy) might say that today is important because of the super bowl but for me the day seems to be important for family reasons. It is Nas’s birthday and there will be a celebration at The Ranch. Nas was delighted with the monsters I have been constructing and would like one with a baby so I have finished stuffing and sewing one and it has a tiny baby in its front pocket.

At noon I walk down the highway and up to Augusta and James’s place to go for a swim with Callum. I am hot and dusty by the time I get there and the pool is a welcome reprieve. It is a strange pool. It is relatively small (about 6 by 9 feet) but it is about 6 feet deep so I have to stand on my tiptoes. Callum loves it. He splashes around, frog kicks his legs and giggles. After a cool off I take the dusty hot road home.

Supper comes soon enough and I am back on the same dusty path for the birthday celebration. The food is delicious, the kids are sweet and the evening air is cool and refreshing.

After the festivities Bridget walks me home. It was a win win day for me. Not completely so for Rudy. Although the super bowl game was exciting and he had a good spot at the bar right in front of the TV (there were many people standing on the street looking in at the screen), his team did not win. But that is the way it works sometimes. He didn’t seem to be entirely devastated when he arrived home. It seems that the experience is just as good as the outcome.