Tag Archives: travel

Coming Up

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Coming Up

I looked at the date on the calendar last night and wondered how come I have only two months left until I head back up north. The time is flying by way too fast. And the older I get the faster it goes.

I fly out of Guadalajara and will be back in East Wenatchee two months from today. Other than my trip to Culiacan, I haven’t done any other traveling this winter. I hope to go to Puerto Vallarta next month but that’s about it. I’ve focused on writing this winter and I’ve taken some courses online. So travel has pretty much been on the backburner this winter.

Tonight I’m doing a library program online from Washington. It’s about Mount St Helens 40 years after the blast. It should be interesting. And I’ll be participating in a Women’s study with Church of the Rock in Winnipeg for the next six weeks. Whatever did we do before we had Zoom?

I’m also going to be taking another psychology course but I haven’t registered for that one yet. I’m still trying to decide. There are so many available and they all appeal.

Duolingo……. I haven’t forgotten you either. I’ve actually come out of retirement and have referred you to a new student who is anxious to learn English. Such a fun place to learn a language!

But I do find time for friends too. I’m meeting a friend from Portland for lunch today. We haven’t seen each other since King’s Day and that was earlier in the month before I went to Culiacan.

Happy Humpday!

Happy Sunday

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Happy Sunday

It’s been a good week. No crazy emails from Canadians abroad. The trip back from Culiacan was uneventful. Even the internet connection has been behaving itself.

One of my friends went back to Toronto this week so we had one last lunch together. She’s thinking of heading off to Europe. Meanwhile she sent me a photo of a Chinese New Years celebration. That brought back some memories. I haven’t seen that anywhere I’ve lived in Mexico.

I’ve been terrible about phone calls this year. I do have a long distance plan but somehow have been doing a lot more texting this year. But I did call a friend in Leavenworth and a friend in East Wenatchee this week. And it was great to hear their voices and catch up on the news although unfortunately it wasn’t all good.

Yesterday I got together with another friend from Calgary. We hadn’t seen each other in quite a while so we had a lot to catch up on. We were in the Jardin De San Marcos and somehow three hours flew by.

I’ve still been spending a lot of time writing. And at crazy hours and times. The other night at 3:30 am I found myself eating a salad and drinking coffee. I just lose track of time. Good thing I put alarms in my phone to remind me to eat!

The only routine thing I do is online church on Sundays. I haven’t decided which college course to take yet this month but I’m going to look for one with some flexible times. Thankfully Duolingo is around 24/7.

Have a great Sunday!

An Interesting Week

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An Interesting Week

Coffee revives me in the morning when I get up. It prepares me for the day that lies ahead, whatever that may happen to be. I don’t have regular structured activities when I’m in Mexico. My life is very different from when I’m back in East Wenatchee. There are lots of white spaces on my calendar that hangs on the wall. And that leaves me more time for writing.

Then Thursday morning happened. I admit I don’t always check the newscasts first thing in the morning. So it wasn’t until later on that I found out about the violence in Culiacan. My initial reaction was an emotional one. My Mexican family live there. Culiacan is a pretty wild city at the best of times and I must admit that I’m always concerned about their safety. But on Thursday the concern became fear as I saw the video footage of the the city under siege.

Shelter in place. I lived in Culiacan the first year I came to Mexico so that phrase is familiar. But when I heard that the entire state of Sinaloa was shutting down, that really bothered me. Highways and airports were closed. The military were firing at the cartel from the air. I had lived in Mazatlan for four years and had never experienced anything like this. Hurricanes suddenly don’t seem like such a threat anymore. I can only imagine the terror tourists felt trapped in their hotel rooms.

Thankfully I was able to reach Juan by phone and found out that my family was safe at home. The entire city was shut down. The only ones roaming the streets were Cartel members seeking revenge because one of their leaders had been captured. Culiacan was littered with burning vehicles and the sound of gunfire echoed throughout the city. An Aeromexico jet sitting on the tarmac was riddled with bullet holes. A cloud of black smoke filled the air.

I was supposed to go to Culiacan on Friday. My family had invited me to come celebrate King’s Day with them. I’m not sure just why, but I had decided to postpone my trip and come the following week. I believe someone up there was looking out for me and it wasn’t just a go with your gut feeling.

The airport is back open, public transit is moving, kids are going back to school tomorrow……………………typical normal daily life in Culiacan. I have my tickets and I do plan to go to Culiacan this Friday. Unless something astronomically crazy happens again.

Bienvenido 2023

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Bienvenido 2023

Happy New Year! I hope you had an enjoyable holiday and are now embracing the new year with open arms. I know I am and can’t wait to see what’s in store for me in 2023.

Have you thought about new year’s resolutions? I have and am sure not going to make any. I’ve talked to friends who are eagerly writing some down. The way I see it, no matter how realistic they look on paper, they never seem to pan out the way they were planned.

The only resolution that makes any sense to me is to be a better person than I was last year. And that is something I need to keep in my heart rather than write down on a piece of paper.

I keep seeing on Facebook pics of all the snow in Washington state. The mountain passes seem to be closed more often than they’re open. Keep safe up there people!

I’m headed for the bus station later today to buy tickets. I’m planning on going to Culiacan to visit my family later this month. I can’t wait to hug my grandkids! I saw them last February before I headed back to the USA. I’m sure that two of my four grandsons are now taller than me.

Friday is King’s Day. My Mexican friend Angie told me the story behind it. There’s a lot more to this day than looking for the baby Jesus hidden in the bread. Catholics believe that the Three Wise Men were looking for the baby Jesus to protect him. Pilate was afraid that Jesus would take over his kingdom so he ordered that all children under the age of two were to be killed.

That’s it for week one in January.

Have a great Wednesday!

2022 Part 2

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2022 Part 2

I spent the entire month of July in Winnipeg. I’ve written about it in other blog posts so I’ll just touch on this month briefly. July 4th I found myself out at a cabin rather than celebrating with parades or fireworks as I usually do in the USA. It was nice to get out of the city. I enjoyed spending time with my son and my friends but on a more sad note I attended a funeral. I also replaced my laptop finally. The old one had died during Covid back in 2020 and my tablet had become my best friend.

The first week in August I was back out at the cabin and the following week I flew back to Washington. Leavenworth Summer Theater was in full swing and I enjoyed The Music Man and The Sound of Music. The latter production is a favorite and I try to see it every year. The mountain setting makes this show even more spectacular. I also began teaching four SAIL classes a week instead of the usual two in Leavenworth. The two new ones were in East Wenatchee.

The September long weekend this year was really special as my daughter and granddaughter came from Kelowna. I enjoyed showing them some of my favorite places in Leavenworth and Cashmere. The County Fair began right after they left and I hadn’t been to one in three years due to Covid. September was also the 9/11 Ceremony in Cashmere and Autumn Leaf Festival in Leavenworth. Sadly it was also time to start thinking about returning to Mexico for the winter. Every year it gets harder to say goodbye to friends for six months of the year.

Three flights and a short bus trip and I was back in Aguascalientes. I love my neighborhood. Las Flores doesn’t change much even though I leave for several months every year. It was nice seeing friends again and catching up. I really dived into my writing too. The lure of the new laptop was definitely a factor. My characters were also quite talkative and that certainly helped as well. The internet has also been much better this year too.

November began with the celebration of Day of the Dead. This is one of my favorite holidays in Mexico. The catrinas are always outstanding and even the tiniest shops have colorful decorations. The alters in remembrance of loved ones are also prominent. This year I opted not to go to a cemetery but merely admired everything as I strolled through the streets. The entertainment was amazing and venues were set up throughout the city.

Suddenly it was December and the last month of the year. Festivities were now geared towards Christmas and the Centro area turned into a magical fairyland of colorful lights. Music was an integral part of this celebration and I saw dancers, heard bands and watched children performing. The tienguis was larger than usual with more vendors. I didn’t trim a tree this year. Just didn’t get around to it. Writing occupied much of my time instead. I went to Christmas posadas and Christmas Eve was spent in church. The inevitable fireworks lit up the sky in Mexico as well.

A new year is just around the corner. Here’s to a fabulous one filled with Health and Happiness for all.

HAPPY 2023!

2022 Part 1

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2022 Part 1

I have decided to divide the year end review into two parts. Part 1 will cover the first six months of the year.

I woke up January 1st in Jilotsingo where I had celebrated New Years Eve with fifty-nine others. The next day I went back to Angie’s home in Pachuca. I returned to Aguascalientes after King’s Day. The rest of the month was spent getting together with friends and writing blog posts. I also had a SAIL training session on Zoom.

February was an exciting month. My characters started talking to me again and I was finally inspired to continue working on my book of fiction. My granddaughter in Kelowna also celebrated her fourth birthday. And I went to Culiacan to spend time with my Mexican family before heading back up north for the warmer months.

On March 1st I crossed the border at Nogales and headed for Tucson, where I spent a few relaxing days by a pool at a hotel. Then came the rather unusual but interesting Greyhound bus trip to Seattle where I was finally able to pick up an Amtrak into Leavenworth. One of the first things I did was get a Covid booster. I moved around a lot staying in Leavenworth and Dryden and did some pet sitting before finally settling down in East Wenatchee. It was wonderful to be at Sage Hills in person again and to resume teaching SAIL classes.

April was a fun month of garage sales, different from the usual tienguis in Mexico. Life Group resumed and a series of library programs began on Zoom. My characters continued to chatter so it was also a great writing month.

May was a little on the stressful side. The results of a biopsy were not what I’d hoped for and I needed to have a growth removed. On a more positive note I celebrated a birthday and had a delightful day in Lake Chelan. And I also received great news that while the growth indeed had been malignant, there was only healthy tissue left and no further sign of cancer. So no need for more treatment.

I had training in the A Matter Of Balance program during the month of June and I’m looking forward to coaching it when I return to Washington in the spring. And towards the end of the month I found myself on a plane headed for Winnipeg for the first time in five years.

I’m taking a break from blogging so no post this coming Sunday. 2022 Part 2 will be on December 28th.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday Sunday

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Sunday Sunday

Now that I’m back in Mexico, every day feels like a Sunday. There are no scheduled classes to teach and no regular activities to attend. The only routine in my life is how I start my day. With Christian Gospel music in the background, I check emails and texts and play Candy Crush. Yes, I’m still hooked on that game after ten plus years. And of course I’m sipping coffee throughout all this.

Sundays in Washington. Church and brunch with friends and hanging out together in the afternoon. Yard sales, frozen yogurt, shopping, perogies……………….I’ve left that all behind until next spring. I haven’t found a Christian church that I like near where I live. So I do two things. The first is that I tune in to Sage Hills Church in Wenatchee online on Sunday mornings. The second thing I do is go to a Catholic church close by for mass. No, I’m not Catholic. But I figure God hears me no matter where I am. Of course I get rather strange looks from other attendees because I don’t kneel or go up for communion.

Now for the other six Sundays of the week. Routine is totally out the window other than the morning one mentioned above. I didn’t have my first cup of coffee until 12:30 pm on Friday. That’s what happens when you stay up all night writing. One minute it’s 11 pm at night and then suddenly it’s 4:45 am the next day. Yesterday was a little better. I actually was on my second cup of coffee by 12:30.

I’m trying to get back in the groove of immersing myself completely in Spanish again. This results in some interesting conversations with some of the locals. Next door to me, this elderly couple are always sitting outside with all kinds of clothes hanging from their front fence. The other day the lady was trying to convince me that I needed to add to my wardrobe with some of the stuff they sell. She opened the door to their home and I saw a front room that rivals the stock at Macy’s……packed with clothes. Of course, everything is very used and polyester and definitely not what I’d ever even consider wearing. So far no one has successfully talked me into buying a dress and my neighbor sure isn’t going to either.

My neighbor on the other side makes potato chips, the really greasy ones that taste so amazing. I first discovered those when I was up in the Copper Canyon on El Chepe. The guy himself is really nice and great to talk to, but I’m really going to have to watch myself with those chips. I’ve decided one bag a month is probably more than enough. Of course one a month is only the goal.

I was looking for a bottle of antibacterial gel to keep in my room. I have the small purse ones I buy at Bath and Body works in the USA. And I’m not interested in the industrial size that can be found everywhere here. That was one entertaining conversation with the lady in the farmicia. She was super impressed with my Warm Vanilla Sugar small ones. It took three visits, but she finally came up with just the size I wanted for my room. She has connections with other vendors.

There’s a new chicken place nearby. Chicken is a huge of my diet as I seldom eat red meat. Rotisserie chicken is one of my favorites so I was delighted to discover that I now have one close to where I live. I struck up a conversation with the owners. One of them gave me a card and explained to me that they will sign the card after every purchase. When the card is full, (I think it’s four), the next one is free. That will definitely be an easy one for me.

I also checked out a breakfast place this week as I was craving a bolillo. So many fillings to choose from! I told the guy that I’m not into spicy anymore and he let me try samples to make sure the heat wasn’t too high. Naturally he asked me where I was from. And naturally I answered Washington State. Canada wasn’t even close to being on the radar.

That’s my Sunday. Hope yours is a good one.

I’m Back in AGS!

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I’m Back in AGS!

On Saturday afternoon I flew out of Pangborn on the first of three flights to get to Aguascalientes. A layover at Sea-Tac, another at LAX and I arrived in Guadalajara Sunday afternoon right on time. Breezed through INM and my bag was one of the first off the conveyor. Grabbed a taxi to Central Nueva. Waited all of five minutes and was on a bus to Aguascalientes.

Needless to say I spent Sunday night and Monday morning sleeping. It’s great to be back in Las Flores. The neighborhood hasn’t changed much. I went to one of my favorite hamburger stands Monday night and visited with the owner. Tuesday morning I went to the gordita stand and was welcomed back. Yes, the English teacher is back. Somehow no one around here grasps the fact that I’m retired, although I’ve been telling them this since I first came to Aguascalientes back in 2019.

I finally got internet yesterday afternoon. And I feel like my right arm has been reattached. I haven’t changed over my American chip for my Mexican one on my phone yet, so that didn’t help either. It’s so nice to have Spotify back so I have music again while I’m writing. I’ve missed my music. Okay, I’ve missed Facebook too. Very happy that there is a new modem where I’m living.

To my friends back in Washington……………the air here is so clear. Not smokey at all. I sure hope that smoke vanishes soon up north. It was definitely maskworthy when I left. Speaking of masks, some places here in Aguascalientes still require them. I did bring a couple back with me and glad I did although I am not a fan of masks. People here are amazed that I’m both double vaxxed and double boosted.

Got to the ATM yesterday just as the bank was locking up. ATMs are shutting down early due to the homeless problem here. No longer available 24/7. That’s okay. I had my bodyguard Raul with me and he convinced them to let me in and use the ATM.

Temperatures here are similar to East Wenatchee when I left. 80s. I haven’t switched over to Celsius mode yet. Still in American Fahrenheit mindset.

Yesterday it felt really strange not to be on my way to Leavenworth to teach a fitness class. I must remember to take that reminder out of my phone. I won’t need it again for a few months.

Happy Humpday!

It’s Smoky Out There

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It’s Smoky Out There

The featured image for this post is a photo my daughter sent me from Kelowna last year when they were evacuated. But there are areas in Washington state that look like that today. Highway 2 is closed due to the fires raging at Stevens Pass. That’s about one hundred miles away from where I live, but the smoke is thick here in East Wenatchee. The mountains have all but vanished. And it may be time to once again start using a mask.

In Cashmere on Sunday the turnout for the 9/11 service at Spirit of America was much lower than in past years. The air was thick with smoke. Combine that with the extreme heat warnings and it was definitely not a good day to be sitting outside. But it was a very moving experience for those of us who did attend.

I still haven’t booked my flights yet. I know that I’m going back to Aguascalientes for the winter. But right now I need to decide which airport to fly into. Last year I flew into Guadalajara and was happy I did. It’s hurricane season now on the west coast and flying into Puerto Vallarta could be tricky. I’ve flown in there before in the aftermath of a hurricane and it was not a good experience. Likewise for Mazatlan. Flying directly to Aguascalientes means going through Dallas, not one of my favorite airports. Okay, Alaska Airlines. You’re my favorite airline so I’ll check out the connections through LAX.

Tomorrow is Thursday and it’s our last binge with Virgin River to finish off the season. When I’m in Mexico I only watch TV in Spanish. English is reserved for my time here in Washington. Speaking of Spanish, time to get back to Duolingo. I’ve taken a break over the summer.

Interesting the impact of Queen Elizabeth’s death on some of my American friends. In all honesty, it had more of an impact on some of them than it did on me. And I’m Canadian. I still have haunting memories of singing God Save The Queen back in elementary school. But her death marks the end of an era. And she has definitely left her mark in history.

That’s it for humpday today. Hope you have a good one.

And I’m Still Here

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And I’m Still Here

We came out to the lake and I do have Wi-Fi this time. So I am able to post today after all.

It’s official. Photo day is August 10th. Then I can finally head home to East Wenatchee. Calgary and Kelowna just aren’t happening on this trip.

I went to Old Navy, not the one I usually go to at Valley North in Wenatchee. It’s interesting shopping in Canadian dollars again. I haven’t done that in years.

We took Cooper for a run along the floodway the other day. I think I appreciated the walk more than the dog. Walking in downtown Winnipeg is a dangerous place and not conducive to the long walks I usually take. So it’s nice to be out in the burbs again. Saw lots of hay bales and canola fields on our walk.

I spent an hour with my computer guru familiarizing myself with my new laptop and Windows 11. But I have close to 3000 photos to organize on my Seagate and Passport. And I need to get my WIP onto my laptop from my tablet. Laura has the patience of a saint which is greatly appreciated.

Tornado warning out last night for a change. It missed us here in Lester Beach. Decided to touch down elsewhere. Got to love Manitoba summers.

Happy Humpday!