Tag Archives: Aguascalientes

Las Flores

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Las Flores

I spent 3 months in Aguascalientes last winter and never saw one raindrop. This morning I ventured out to my favorite gordita stand for breakfast and noted the gloomy skies. I made it home just before it poured.


I decided that it’s a good day for writing. But before I dive into my WIP, I thought a blog post might be in order. In Leavenworth I didn’t spend much time at home so the blog posts were few and far between. But here in Mexico I am determined to spend more time writing this winter.
These containers are found everywhere in the neighborhood. There is absolutely no excuse to litter. The trash is emptied daily.


May God forgive me for taking this photo. A funeral procession came by and I couldn’t resist at least one photo. The mariachi follow the casket. The mourners in turn follow the mariachi as they walk through the streets from the church to the cemetery.


In the area where I live, clothes dryers are rare. Many people wash their clothes by hand and hang them out to dry in the sun. They are quite creative and merely string a line across the sidewalk or put items out on a chair.


As for myself, I prefer the lavenderia. I drop my clothes off in the morning and pick them up later in the day, neatly folded in a bag. I just picked up two weeks worth of laundry and the cost was a mere 69 pesos. Well worth it.


Minutes away from where I’m staying is Expoplaza. I often walk to the park there and color.


In the evenings, especially on the weekends, the playground here is very popular. also on the weekends, bordering the park are various vendors selling everything from sunglasses to churros. There is a cinema in the expoplaza itself which I frequent. I like to watch movies in Spanish, without subtitles. I get braver as the years go by.
Tomorrow I am looking forward to the tienguis. There is also no rain in the forecast.

I Live Where???

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I Live Where???

This winter my home base is in Las Flores, Aguascalientes. I discovered this neighborhood last winter and love its proximity to the historical center and several museums, all within walking distance.

The name of my street is Begonias. All the names of the streets are flowers. (Las Flores is Spanish for “flowers.”)

This is a photo of the hotel where I live. You won’t see a Hyatt sign here. It’s an old house that’s been renovated into a hotel. Each room has its own bathroom. Common areas include the kitchen and laundry area.

Raul is the owner and takes good care of his properties. He is currently renovating a house where I first stayed for a week when I arrived. Not only did he move me and my luggage from place to place, but also a fridge and a microwave. I guess you could say that my room has now been transformed into an executive suite. None of the other rooms here have these appliances.

The following photo is the bull ring at the end of my street. It sees a lot of action during the Feria in the spring, but otherwise sits empty.

On my morning walk I encountered this neighbor across the street from my hotel. Cute, isn’t he?

There is no shortage of tiendas (corner stores). These two are at the other end of my street.

Two blocks away is the church I attend. It occupies the main floor of an apartment building.

Today is Thursday which means the tianguis (flea market) occupies a street a block away from where I live.

There is also an abundance of food available in this area, but I will save that as well as some other places in my neighborhood for another blog post.

A Shuttle, Two Planes And A Bus

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A Shuttle, Two Planes And A Bus

Last week was a week of goodbyes and last times for 6 months. This was intended to be my last post from Leavenworth but has turned out to be my first post from Aguascalientes.

Saturday night was the last music night at the senior center. I will miss my group of friends there and the music we enjoyed throughout the season.

I went to church on Sunday and had one last brunch at the golf course with friends.

Monday night was my last life group for a while. This is the fourth year I’ve been in the group and will really miss our weekly times spent together.

Tuesday was farewell day to Wenatchee. Karen and I spent the day there and on our way back we hit the drive-thru at Wendy’s for one last frosty. We also had one last apple fritter from the bakery in Cashmere that day.

Wednesday was my last lunch at the senior center and my last bridge game with Hilda, Karen and Betsy.

Thursday Linda and I had one last lunch in Cashmere at Agave Azul. And I said goodbye to my tree, which has lost so many leaves.

On Friday I finished packing and went for one last walk with Joyce and Coco. I will miss our evening walks when I am back in Mexico.

On Saturday Ann took me to Peshastin to get the shuttle to Sea-Tac. Then a flight to LAX and then a flight to Guadalajara. The last leg was a bus ride to Aguascalientes.

It’s now Monday afternoon here in Aguascalientes, temperature in low 80s, bright and sunny.

I had breakfast at my favorite gordita stand. The lady who runs it welcomed me back. A 96 year old neighbor was there and we enjoyed a lively conversation. Apparently I haven’t forgotten my Spanish.

Tomorrow I look forward to spending the day with my friend Iracema and her one year old son.

Time for a siesta now.

Adios Aguascalientes Hola Leavenworth

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Adios Aguascalientes Hola Leavenworth

The three months in Aguascalientes flew by. The Feria had just begun when I found myself on an overnight bus bound for Puerto Vallarta, home of my favorite airport in Mexico. Interesting how I now consider this city to be a commute to an airport rather than a beach destination.

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My direct flight to Seattle was uneventful other than we arrived an hour early, I breezed through Immigration and my bag was the first off the carousel. The drive through the pass to Leavenworth was snow-free with minimal fog.

Wednesday was my first day back. My friend Ann and I ventured into Wenatchee to do some shopping. We stopped back at her home on the river where I snagged this photo of the view from her deck.

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After a fitness class and lunch at the senior center on Thursday, my friend Karen and I spent the afternoon together. First stop was the Sure To Rise Bakery in Cashmere for an apple fritter. J C Penney in Wenatchee was next where I found a new pair of New Balance track shoes. Then off to AT&T to get a phone chip.

On Friday Jessie picked me up and we drove out to Ingalls Creek Enrichment Centre for Camp Heartbeat. 31 4th-6th graders attended this event hosted by Leavenworth Church of the Nazarene. It was an amazing weekend bustling with activity. In addition to the chapel sessions, the kids did everything from zip line to cookie decorating. The first photo is the group of girls who were in my cabin. The second photo gives you an idea of the beauty that surrounded us. The third photo is the chalet where we stayed.

My friend Christina and I went out for dinner on Sunday when I returned from camp. Monday morning Karen and I were back in Wenatchee doing a CPR refresher course. This morning I taught a fitness class and had lunch after at the senior center. Then I was off to the library to pick up a book for book club.

Here are some photos of the trees in their spring glory.

Of course there is still snow up on the mountains………

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One Church Aguascalientes

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One Church Aguascalientes

Finding a Christian church in Mexico is difficult enough as this is definitely Catholic country. Finding a Christian church where I feel comfortable and welcome is another hurdle. Finding a church where I am able to become involved is a blessing. I’ve lived in several places in Mexico and have attended a few Christian churches. The gringo churches were not my favorites. While I am still not completely fluent in Spanish, I still prefer the Mexican churches over the gringo churches.

Here in Aguascalientes I have discovered a gem of a church, and it’s only two blocks away from where I am staying. One Church is only two years old and has only fifty congregants. A husband and wife, both pastors, not only spearhead this church but they also financially support this church with outside jobs. Although One Church is affiliated with Redime (Redeemed Church), it receives no funding from this organization. Additional funding is provided by contributions from the congregants at the services. Tax receipts? Not in Mexico.

Services are held Sunday mornings at 11 am and Thursday evenings at 7 pm. The worship team lead the congregation in prayer and praise followed by a short coffee break. A nursery as well as a children’s program are available when the pastor next gives a sermon. The service concludes with more prayer and praise.

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The church has an active group for young adults that meets on Saturday afternoons. A time of prayer and bible study is often augmented by going out into the community and evangelizing. The church also sponsors a radio program on Saturday afternoons where the pastors and congregants participate. The pastors were also instrumental in establishing a drug rehabilitation center in Aguascalientes. Many of the congregants volunteer their time at this facility.

The pastors themselves come from very different backgrounds. Martin attended Ana Sanders Seminary in Mexico City and received a doctorate from Vida Nueva Para El Mundo. Elizabeth had traveled around the world with profeta Yalile Diaz, Interestingly enough, Martin and Elizabeth met on Facebook. They have been married for three years and have an adorable two-year-old son.

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If you ever find yourself in Aguascalientes, I highly encourage you to seek out this church in Las Flores. I’ve been in Aguascalientes for only three months, and I truly feel that I belong to this church family. The pastors and the congregants have been most welcoming to this gringa, and I know that I will miss them when I head back up north in a couple of weeks.

Into The Home Stretch

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Into The Home Stretch

Today is April 4th. In three weeks time I will be back in Washington. I’m now into crunch time with several last minute things to do.

Here in Aguascalientes I still have one museum and one church on my list. A day trip to San Jose de Gracia is still on my list. My one month stay turned into three months and even that isn’t long enough.

The Feria San Marcos is coming up and it is the largest fair in all of Mexico and goes on for more than two weeks. Some of the events are happening right at the end of my street. Friends have warned me of the 24 hour loud music and the millions of visitors who come here to Aguascalientes for this fair. My dilemma is do I stay here for that extra day or do I leave a day early and spend a day in Puerto Vallarta before getting my flight to Seattle.

I have also begun investigating in earnest the joys of travel health insurance plans. Not all plans cover the USA and apparently not all plans cover the state of Washington either.

I just returned from a whirlwind weekend in Culiacan with my family. My new grandson is a month old today and I met him for the first time last weekend. There is also nothing like having your six-year-old grandson crawl into bed to cuddle with you at 6:30 am on a Sunday with a Mamut (chocolate-covered marshmallow cookie). Or playing Spanish card games with him and his two brothers. The weekend flew by all too quickly.

I’m off to explore the Thursday tienguis in my neighborhood now. I enjoy engaging the vendors in conversation and always find something to buy.

 

 

Traveling Solo This Winter

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Traveling Solo This Winter

This has been a very different winter for me here in Mexico. When I left Culiacan back in November, I was determined to explore parts of Mexico that I had never seen before. When I lived in Guadalajara, I traveled to various pueblos on the weekends. I visited friends in Mexico City. I lived in Irapuato for a few months and checked out Guanajuato. But there was still lots of new territory left to explore in central Mexico.

Many of my friends back in Washington were skeptical about my plans. You’re going to travel alone? You’re going to take overnight buses? You’re going to a place where you know no-one? You’re not sure where you will wind up or for how long? But that’s exactly what I have been doing for the past few months and I have enjoyed every minute of it.

When I first arrived in San Ciro de Acosta, I marveled at the quaintness and the simplicity of life there. The town didn’t even have a bank. You couldn’t use a credit card here if your life depended on it. It was like stepping back several decades in time. And I thought that a couple of weeks here would suffice.

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But I was mistaken. I spent two of the most relaxing months of my life in San Ciro. I had time to work on my book without interruption. More importantly, for the first time in a decade, I had time for ME. I had time to contemplate life, time to process all the changes, time to reflect on my experiences and time to think about what lies ahead.

When I felt ready to leave, my destination was the city of Aguascalientes. Former students had raved about the beauty of this city and I was eager to see it for myself. And I have not been disappointed. The museums, churches and parks are amazing. It is such a clean city and is right up there with the Yucatan in terms of safety. Initially I planned on a one month stay.

But as the one month mark drew near, I knew that a second month was definitely in the wings. And when the second month drew near, I knew that a third month was indicated. And as the third month is drawing near, I am seriously considering returning here next winter for several months.

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Years ago my therapist remarked to me that I was fortunate that I made friends easily and adapted well to new situations. Sometimes this blessing is also a curse. While the transient lifestyle has its appeal, it also has its downside.The older I get, the harder it is to say good-bye to people I meet on my journey. However the friendships I have made are priceless and the growth I have experienced has been incredible.

Image may contain: text that says 'you get a strange feeling when you're about to leave a place like you'l1 not only miss the people you love but you'll misg the person you are now at this time and place becau se you'll never be this way ever again,'

                                                     And that’s OK.