Tag Archives: Happy New Year

Adios 2018!

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Adios 2018!

The older we get the faster the time flies by. 2019 is fast approaching and promises to be another exciting fun-filled year with more amazing adventures. As I reflect on 2018,  I see a strengthening of several relationships as well as a fair amount of travel.

I rang in the New Year in Culiacan with my family. I returned to Mazatlan in January and soon got caught up in art walks, concerts, movies and luncheons.

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February is synonymous with Carnaval where parades and music abound. I also managed a quick weekend trip to Culiacan as there was an event at my grandson’s school. I took a day trip to with the Solo Snowbirds to El Qelite, a pueblos magico. But the true highlight of the month was the birth of my granddaughter, Madeline Annette, in Canada.

March was dominated with music and ballet performances. My friends Elly and Dwayne from Leavenworth were visiting Mazatlan and we had a delightful Sunday brunch together along with an afternoon by the pool at their hotel.

On April 1st, Easter dinner was at Al Chile with my friends Peggy, Delmar and Barry. Motorcycle Week roared in and I had a whirlwind trip to Culiacan to see my family before heading to Ontario. It was exciting to finally meet Maddie and my week with her flew by all too quickly.

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Then I was off to Toronto to spend time with Deborah, one of my best friends who also used to live in Winnipeg. On April 30th I was up in the air again on my way to Leavenworth via Seattle.

May was a busy month with activities at the Senior Center, SAIL classes, Church, book club and of course renewing the friendships I had made during the previous two summers I’d been in Leavenworth. The music and dancing at Maifest was most enjoyable. Laurel and I bravely hiked the difficult trails at Ohme Gardens as we had misread the signs. Knee replacements work!

Things got even busier in June as Linda and I prepared our classroom for VBS (Vacation Bible School.) Perfecting the crafts provided a bit of a challenge. Decorating the room was really a blast as well. The Accordion Festival in Leavenworth and Founders Day in Cashmere were held on the same weekend, and that made it rather hectic. I also started a course in memoir writing at the end of the month.

July 4th is synonymous with Kinderfest in Leavenworth. More preparing for VBS and then an amazing week with the kids at VBS, truly the highlight of my stay in Leavenworth. I also attended two performances of Leavenworth Summer Theater……Sound of Music and My Fair Lady. Christmas in July was held at Upper Valley Museum as well.

In August Ann and I did a whirlwind trip through the San Juan Islands and Whidbey Island. I attended another production of Leavenworth Summer Theater…Little Women. Next came Midsummer Night’s Dream in Wenatchee, Bell Ringers, and the Village Voices Picnic at Lions Park that was moved indoors due to the smoke.

September began with the County Fair in Cashmere where friends introduced me to funnel cake. I also went to Elder Speak at Snowy Owl. Ann and I took a day trip to Ellensburg and Cle Ulm. Wednesday night children’s ministry at LCN started again. I went to a children’s ministry workshop in Auburn and went to a meeting of the Autoimmune Society in Wenatchee. But the highlight of this month was the 9/11 ceremony held in Cashmere at Spirit of America.

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October was a bittersweet month. The leaves were in their glory but it was time for me to prepare to leave. Fond farewells filled the month and I was soon up in the air again headed for Guadalajara via L.A. I had a wonderful time revisiting San Pedro, an area I lived in for almost four years. It was nice to see old friends again, and to sit in the Jardin Hidalgo and stroll down Calle Independencia. Naturally I had to trek out to my favorite place via the Macrobus…..Parque Mirador.

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November was an interesting month. Day of the Dead in Tlaquepaque was spectacular. I enjoyed viewing the altars along Juarez as well as visiting the cemetery. Then I was off to Culiacan to spend a week with my family. My grandsons have all grown so much since I last saw them in April.

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Next I found myself on a bus headed for San Luis Potosi. I met Bonnie on a Facebook group and decided to check out San Ciro de Acosta. This pueblo is everything she said it would be and more. I had intended to stay for one month, but I am now into my second month. As well as exploring the town itself, I went out to Aquismon with Bonnie and her family for Thanksgiving.

In December I went out to Jalpan, Queratero for the day. This is another of the magical towns here in Mexico and it did not disappoint. I also discovered two museums in Rio Verde. I went with Bonnie up to the chapel of the Virgin of Guadalupe. There was a Christmas Posada at the Club de Leones and then on December 20th in the evening was the Migrant Parade. Mexicans returning home from working up north came ina caravan from Laredo. They tossed candies to the children and the locals brough tamales and atole to them in their vehicles. There was a huge Christmas posada in the plaza for the children that went on for hours. It began with the traditional procession through the town with Joseph and Mary seeking shelter and culminated with music, games and dancing for all the children. The fare for Christmas Eve was tostadas and ponche along with Christmas movies on Netflix. Connie and I also baked some cookies for the kids.

Adios 2018! It’s been another great year.

I wish all my readers a fantastic 2019 filled with love, peace and good health.

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I’ve been living in the quaint little town of San Ciro for just over a month now. There is no bank or mall or movie theater here. There isn’t even a restaurant although there are numerous taquerias and loncherias. There isn’t even a bar here. So just what is the big attraction here for me?

I’ve gotten used to living in smaller towns. I’ve spent a fair amount of time in Leavenworth in the past three years. And I prefer the small town life. It was nice to spend the first month back in Mexico this winter in Guadalajara, Mazatlán and Culiacan. But it’s much more tranquil here in San Ciro.

I saunter down to the gordita stand in front of the hotel in the morning and sit down at one of the two tables with the locals. People are friendly and of course are curious about this gringa who really stands out in the crowd. It’s also a great opportunity for me to practice my Spanish. I’ll add that nothing beats a fresh handmade gordita along with a cup of café olla.

My days are mine. There is no agenda. If I’m in the mood, I write. There are no distractions here like in the bigger cities. I’m currently working on a book of fiction as well as a collection of memoirs for my granddaughter. Blog posts have become more of a challenge as I don’t have WiFi in my room at the hotel. I tend to write the posts and then add pics and upload to WordPress when I go down to the office and sit close to the modem.

I go into Rio Verde once a week or so. There are banks there. I discovered two museums there as well as a gorgeous cathedral. I stand at the side of the highway and flag down a collective to make the trip. I find it interesting that many of the other passengers seem to get off in the middle of nowhere along the way. But there are a number of tiny towns tucked away, often a few kilometers off the highway.

Because I have no kitchen facilities in my room, I eat out a lot. What I really enjoy is having food delivered for a mere 25-50 pesos. I have a favorite taqueria that has awesome tortas, gringas and papas locas. There is a place that makes pizza and delicious baguettes. Roasted chicken and hamburgers are also favorites. On my walk last week I found a man who makes Chinese food. All these places deliver with a 5 peso tip to the driver of the bicycle or motorcycle.

Last Sunday I went to the mass at the Catholic Church and to my delight there was a wedding going on. I strolled through the tienguis afterwards, engaging in conversations with various vendors. On Monday I attended a children’s posada at a friend’s taqueria.

Thursday night was quite the interesting celebration featuring the Migrant Parade. Over a hundred vehicles began their trek south from the border at Laredo. These are all Mexicans who work up in the USA and then head back down to Mexico for the Christmas holidays. They throw candy out their windows to the children. The people in the town bring them atole and tamales in return. A band was set up and the mood was quite festive.

On Friday I went into Rio Verde and checked out the tienguis outside the church. There were lots of Christmas items in these stalls and it reminded me of the ones in Centro in Guadalajara. I couldn’t resist the heavenly fresh churros either.

Saturday the plaza in San Ciro was packed with people for a traditional Christmas posada. A crowd of people followed Joseph along with Mary riding a donkey singing the traditional song, stopping along the way to seek shelter, and finally ending at the church. The children batted away at piñatas and then scrambled to collect candies. There were games and prizes for the children. A guesstimate of 1200 children were in attendance. Lots of dancing and music. I left before the food as I’d had my limit of noisy crowds of people and loud music. But it was really an amazing event for such a small town.

I can’t say I’m bored here. As a matter of fact, I’ve now decided that when I move on next month I want to seek out another small town rather than a larger city as I had first anticipated. Small town life appeals to me here. I am experiencing the “real” Mexico and I highly recommend it. I’m glad I made the decision to stay here for Christmas.

Thank you to all my followers for your continued support of my blog. Merry Christmas to all and all the best for an amazing 2019!

 

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Last Thoughts For 2017

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Last Thoughts For 2017

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2017 has been an incredible year of growth and adventure. Cataract surgery greatly improved my eyesight. Easter was celebrated with my family in Culiacan. I treasure the memory of spending Mother’s Day with my son in Winnipeg. I discovered the Senior Center in Leavenworth. And I discovered a whole new world in Centro upon my return to Mazatlan in the fall.

And the friendships renewed and the new friendships I have made in my travels as well as in time spent in three countries……………there just are no words to describe how precious these are to me. Many people who read my blog I have not yet met in person, and perhaps never will, but you are all special to me too.

This afternoon I went for my final walk along the malecon for this year as tomorrow I am off to Culiacan to ring in the new year with my Mexican family. That means my next walk along the malecon will be next year, in 2018.

As I passed the cliff divers, the statues, the salt water pool, the food trucks and the vendors, I marveled at how blessed I am to spend the winter months in this amazing city. I can even hear the sound of ocean waves through my opened bedroom windows.  I am living the life I once only imagined as I gazed at the photos in travel brochures.

Friends often commend me for following my dreams. However I feel that I have surpassed that point of following my dreams. Excitement and adventure abound in my life in ways that I had never ever contemplated before. Indeed I often have a difficult time realizing that this is actually my life now even though I am experiencing it for real.

For me the key lies in accepting that life does not always go as planned and that change is inevitable. Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint those exact moments that will have the greatest impact on our lives. Nonetheless it is important to view change of any kind as a positive experience that may lead us on an unfamiliar path with wonderful things yet to come. While we can’t change the past, we can live in the present and influence our future.

In the fall of 2010 I came to Mexico to teach for one year. I am into my eighth year here although I am now retired. In the summer of 2016 I went to Leavenworth for two weeks and stayed for four months. In 2017 I stayed for six months. I wonder what is in store for me in 2018.

Here are some photos taken this afternoon on my walk. I hope you enjoy them. Better yet, I hope that if you have not already done so, you will be able to come here and experience them for yourselves. Even on a cloudy day, this is a beautiful place to be.

Happy New Year! I hope that 2018 brings you health, happiness, peace and love.

Christmas And The Beach

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Christmas And The Beach

December has been a hectic month with an abundance of Christmas celebrations and posadas. I especially enjoy the festive lights and trees so I headed out to Galerias and Gran Plaza, the two major shopping malls here, to check out their decorations and displays.

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On Christmas Day my friends and I enjoyed a fabulous traditional turkey dinner at Twisted Mamas, a popular restaurant in the Zona Dorada.

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This week has been relatively quiet and I found time to see a movie, play cards, meet friends for coffee and even do some grocery shopping. And I have set aside time to enjoy the beach.

I love the beach. The sand is a cushion beneath my feet. I breathe in the salty air and it tantalizes my nostrils. I gaze out at the waves and a feeling of peace and tranquility washes over my body. This is why I live here now.

Mazatlan boasts several beaches. I have not been to all of them, but I do have some favorites. Although I prefer the more secluded beach areas, I do frequent those in the Zona Dorada and Olas Altas. These areas are usually filled with hawkers who sell everything from jewelry to hammocks and everything in between. But I am a people watcher, and I do enjoy observing the interchanges with tourists.

This morning I was out at Playa Brujas. It was bustling with activity as it’s holiday time. Usually it isn’t crowded and there aren’t as many hawkers are around to harass you. The waves here are a surfer’s heaven.

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Another favorite beach is in Sabalo Country, where I often sit out on the rocks gazing at the sea and ponder what is happening in my life. Occasionally I sit at a table beneath an umbrella while sipping an ice cold cerveza.

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As this will be my last post for 2016, I’d like to wish my readers a Happy New Year. I pray that it will be a year of happiness and good health for everyone. May all your wishes and dreams come true in 2017.