Monthly Archives: September 2021

A Washingtonian in Aguascalientes

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A Washingtonian in Aguascalientes

It’s great to be back here in Las Flores. Being the only gringa in this barrio, it’s not surprising that so many people around here remember me although I was gone for a year.

Let’s get Covid out of the way. I don’t wear a mask outside. However masks are required in shops, restaurants, etc. Sanitizing mats and temperature checks are common. Done.

I’ve been out walking again and am delighted that my favorite cocinas and restaurants are all still here and open. However the nearby cinema is gone, not just closed.

The weather is comfortable and the thunder boomers tend to hold off until nighttime. I still haven’t found time to go and color in the park yet but tomorrow is another day. Today I’m looking forward to strolling through the tienguis.

Tonight is the reading of the gritto and tomorrow is Independence Day. I plan to venture into Centro and join in the celebration.

Vive Mexico!

Travel Time

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Travel Time

I remember when I used to love flying. I admit I still love the joy of take-off and landing, and the part in the middle is great for a siesta. It’s the before part and the layovers that have become more tedious as the years go by.

As a foreigner boarding an international flight, I am never able to check in online. The lines at SeaTac are usually ridiculously long although it can be amusing watching people pulling items out as their bags are overweight. And then the TSA lineups! I used to allow three hours and frequently it actually took that full amount of time.

I’d also take the Wenatchee Valley Shuttle out of Peshastin to SeaTac which added another two and a half hours.

Thank you Alaska Airlines for adding an afternoon flight from Wenatchee to SeaTac. Travel time to Seattle now reduced to just twenty six minutes.

Pangborn Airport…..you are now my favorite airport. In under twenty minutes, I checked in and went through TSA and arrived at the departure gate. When is the last time you flew out of an airport that had only one departure gate?

I had just over two hours in Seattle, plenty of time to catch the train to the other terminal and grab a much appreciated beer along with dinner.

I slept on the flight to LA. This is always an overnight layover, but not long enough to go to hotel and then start up with TSA all over again in the morning. But it was a perfect time for a Candy Crush marathon on my tablet.

I attempted to sleep on the flight to Guadalajara but the friendly staff on Alaska were determined that I remain hydrated. Then there were the customs and immigration forms. And a reminder to about a health questionnaire that I had already completed online.

My bag arrived well within Alaska’s 20 minute guarantee. Minutes later I had my 180 day visa in hand and was in a taxi headed for Central Nueva for the last leg of my journey to Aguascalientes by bus. And I did sleep for most of that two hour bus ride.

Raul picked me up at the bus station and drove me home to Las Flores. Shower and sleep time in a real bed!

The pandemic continues with all the new variants. However I was much more relaxed traveling now than I was a year ago when I finally made it out of Mexico and got to Washington. I’ve been vaccinated, for whatever protection that has to offer. Where I’m living in Mexico, masks, sanitizing mats and temperature checks are the norm. I even hope to do some traveling in Mexico in the next few months.

No, I am not afraid to travel. So are millions of others judging by the full flights I experienced. Life is too short to live in fear. Life is for living!

Checking In

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Checking In

I’ve been back in Mexico for just over 24 hours and it’s been a whirlwind of activity.

On Sunday I’ll post about my travel experience but for the time being I’d like to say that I have arrived safely and am settling back in to life in Aguascalientes.

Thank you Telcel for allowing me to keep my phone number although I’ve been away for a year. What’s App is up and running again.

The ATM was a bit of a challenge as it’s been reformatted. But that’s okay. I’m getting quite used to change.

Las Flores, my neighborhood. It’s so nice to be back. I went for a walk this morning in search of breakfast and enjoyed a delicious bolillo filled with shredded pork, frijoles, egg, cheese and potatoes. 25 pesos or $1.25 US.

I spent a good part of the day unpacking. And I even got together a bag of laundry that I will take to the lavenderia tomorrow.

For dinner I got takeout from one of my favorite local places. I have missed their enchiladas rojas served with a side of potatoes, carrots and beans. The cuenta was 48 pesos or $2.40 US.

Tomorrow I plan to hit Waldo’s (Mexico’s version of Dollar Tree) and then pick up a few groceries at the tienda nearby.

A big thank you to Raul, hotel owner extraordinaire, who has been chauffeuring me around since I got back. His translating skills were especially helpful at Telcel. It’s hard enough conversing with fast-speaking Mexicans, but the mask sure muffles the speech.

Yes, I’m back in maskland. Antibacterial gel before entering a store, temperature taken and sanitizing mats. Very different from Washington state.

Last Post From Washington State

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Last Post From Washington State

Three days until I leave. I’m actually very organized, other than the last minute stuff that just can’t be done beforehand.

I’ve been here for almost a year and am more than ready to head south except for the fact that I’ll be missing fall here. I won’t see the leaves in their fall splendor as they change color. The view along Highway 2 in Leavenworth is spectacular. I also won’t be able to meander through Cashmere admiring the glorious fall colors, especially my favorite red maple.

Wednesday will be a busy day and I won’t be posting. I fly from Wenatchee to Seattle to Los Angeles. Then on Thursday I fly to Guadalajara and grab a bus to Aguascalientes. I’ve done it before but that was before Covid. My masks are ready.

I said goodbye to my life group on Wednesday at a barbecue. Last night I had intended to bid farewell to my friends at the Senior Center, but the activity was canceled due to the rising number of Covid cases here in Chelan County. On Friday Joyce and I had spent the day together in Wenatchee and had one last lunch at Olive Garden. Joyce and I also taught our last fitness class together on Tuesday.

This afternoon Linda and I will have one last movie afternoon. We’ve been hibernating indoors on Sundays due to the smoke. Her husband Gene is an amazing chef and pampers us with a variety of tantalizing dishes.

There will be more goodbyes to more friends in the next couple of days. Each fall it gets harder to leave here as relationships grow. And I have been especially blessed this year as Debbie and Paul have provided me with a wonderful home for the last few months.

Although I am excited about a winter without snow again this year, I do look forward to returning to the mountains in the spring. This prairie girl will always be enamored by the beauty of the Cascades.

A Week From Now

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A Week From Now

A week from now at this time I will be landing in Guadalajara. I usually make this trip in late October, but nothing about this year has been usual.

When I booked my flights just over a week ago, my initial thought was to fly to Puerto Vallarta and spend some time on the beach. Thanks to Covid beach time has become more of a distant memory. But I opted to fly inland instead.

Flying inland seems to have been the wisest choice. Hurricane Nora tore into Puerto Vallarta this week, collapsing hotels and damaging bridges. Nora then made her way up the coast and caused extensive flooding in Mazatlan. It appears that once again my beach time has been put on hold.

That’s okay. I’m looking forward to getting back to Aguascalientes and seeing my friends. It’s been just shy of a year instead of the usual six months.

There has been so much talk of the new normal since Covid invaded our world. I’m trying to view it as the new usual. That seems a bit more positive.