Friday, March 30, 2007

Hamacas mean STOP

I think this is my most favorite spot in the whole house. As I look back at one of the first posts on this blog, I realize how much our atrium and verandah have evolved....and how much I have evolved in the process. Evidently my friend thinks so, too. "You look so different!" she said when she saw me. "A whole new you!"

We've got our first houseguests from Orange County, Cynthia and Jerry. Cynthia and I talked Tuesday night before we were to pick them up Wednesday. "You were really wound tight," I said to her when we saw each other face to face. "Tight?" she said, "Tight!!! That was me relaxed! I was finally relaxed. You have no idea! That was me RELAXED!!!!"

OK. I believe that. Good start. I'm hearing echoes of my own voice just a short while ago.

Cynthia has a full time high pressure job selling long distance truck space, plus she does pet sitting for a whole raft of clients, PLUS she's got wonderful, patient Jerry waiting to marry her when she has a space on her calendar. (She's got that scheduled for next December). Cynthia makes Teresa look like a lazy lay-about. Teresa loved it here, "But," she said, "I'd be bored. This place is for retired people. I don't know what you DO all day."

Well, as a friend pointed out when we were instant messaging yesterday (I had mentioned that I thought Jerry and Cynthia had already gone just about everywhere there was to go, and done just about everything there was to do around here -- on foot, twice), Mexico isn't what you DO, it's what you BE. I may need to inscribe that into the concrete walls of our guestroom.

I find myself mentally getting defensive and verbally self-justifying. After almost a decade of racking up over 100,000 miles a year on American Airlines and moving through life with a cell phone attached to one ear, and the past year divesting ourselves of about three-fourths of our worldly possessions, establishing a new home, dealing with some major transitions for Mom and Dad, a few personal health crises thrown in, as well as adjusting to new neighbors, environment and culture....I honestly don't want to DO anything for a while.

Right now the high season is shutting down. During April we'll see most of our neighbors headed north. We've got a little social whirl going on with goodbye get togethers and such. It's not exactly a social whirl -- more like a gentle eddy. We'll be sorry to see them go, but I'm looking forward to seeing just how slow things can get. I've been saving up a few projects for doing while holed up in an air conditioned room out of the sun.

But most of all I plan on following the directions that come with each hammock our friend Hala at Hamaca Maya sells: "Swing. Sleep. Repeat." Let's see if Cynthia can get the hang of that.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

CAKE as a rite of passage

Cobbo has officially reached "la tercera edad." That's the Mexican way of referring to people 60 and over. You see centros de la tercera edad -- senior citizens centers -- but rarely have I seen anyone in them. It looks like all the senior citizens are still out on the job! See Jeanette's blog for moreabout this and some rather poignant pictures.

Actually Larry and I have never made a big deal about birthdays, but since his "special day" falls so close to my mom's, and since Mom was right here with us, it was a good excuse to have several parties and invite new neighbors and friends over. So that's what we did -- and it was a lot of fun.

But Larry also had another milestone going on his life. He was saying goodbye to his beloved surf mobile the very same day his personal odometer was rolling over two digits. I suggested to our neighbors, Jeanette and Bruce, that we take a lunch up to the petroglyphs and do some sort of rite of passage in the presence of VERY OLD stones to usher Cobbo into a new phase. They had a better idea, and it involved good food and cake. Sweet inspiration!

So last night, after we got back from taking Mom and Teresa to the airport, Jeanette came over to invite us to watch the sunset from their beach area. Little did Larry know what a great FEAST awaited him. Jeanette had asked about his favorite foods, and then improvised from there. We had heartbreakingly tender steak which didn't challenge Larry's dental work in progress, mashed potatoes and gravy, broccoli with "special sauce" like his mother used to make (a combo of catsup and mayonnaise -- that's all), corn pudding, finely chopped cole slaw, and really soft bread. And for dessert white cake with white frosting crowned with six candles.

But this was not just any white cake. This was a tres leches cake, a many-layered confection more than a foot in diameter. The four of us barely made a dent in it. So early this morning, Bruce and Jeanette arrived on the front doorstep, with the cake cut in huge pieces, frozen, ready to transfer to our freezer in the basement. It's there ready for the onslaught of houseguests we're preparing for over the next several weeks.

Tres leches para la tercera edad: A three milk cake to celebrate passage to "the third age." There's nothing like white cake to mark life's important moments!

Saturday, March 24, 2007


Teresa at rest. It’s like capturing the image of a hummingbird at a flower. This is my mom’s friend – her housekeeper and all-round helper for about 15 years now. She’s here to accompany Mom when she heads back to Lubbock on Monday.

Teresa moves through life at about mach 2, supporting a husband and extended family by cleaning houses and office buildings and doing laundry every evening for a sleep disorder clinic. This is supposed to be a sort of vacation for her. That was our intention. But Teresa doesn’t really know how to be still. So we find her in the laundry, or behind the ironing board, or in the kitchen just wiping down the counters. Last night I made chiles rellenos, a process-intensive project to say the least, involving frying pans, egg beaters, mixing bowls, food processor, lots of fiddly stuff. Teresa was at my side, and when everything was ready to serve, the kitchen was already sparkling. And when we had eaten….those dishes were gone.

I wish Teresa knew just how valuable her existence is, how we would enjoy her for her companionship alone. She is third generation Texan, but pure mexicana, as she told Chano the other day. She has a heritage of patience, forbearance and hard work. She also has a son in prison, put there by the spiteful and hardly credulous accusations of a fifteen year old girl. But credulous, evidently, to a West Texas judge. When Teresa asked her son if she should go to court with him that morning, should they get a lawyer, he told her, “No, Mom. It’s all a misunderstanding. I’ll get it cleared up and be home for lunch.” She goes to see him every other weekend.

The word respect comes from two latin roots which mean “to look again.” The more I “look again” at Teresa, at Chano painting our house detail by detail, Hilda with her bucket of Fabuloso, Maria across the street washing down the cobblestones and the driveway, the more my respect for them deepens. Precious dear faces, each with a story. I’m so grateful they are here and a part of our story.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

It's ART, already

Just a heads up to friends and family before you visit. I've kind of gone nuts over the Virgin of Guadalupe. The interest has been lying dormant for a long time....and I'll write more about how it's sort of blossomed out now in a future blog. I think it has to do with my longstanding affection for Latin America and its people. Lupita and what she stands for just seem intrinsically woven into the fabric of life down here. The celebration we shared with Chano and Hilda last December (see that post and wade through it if you have the time) meant a whole lot to me. It was a real welcome to Mexico. So when you visit you're going to see her, and maybe a whole lot more "sacred" objects.

I was doing some research the last few days, seeing if I could find any of those petroglyph symbols at Alta Vista in my copy of The Woman's Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects. The compiler and author is Barbara Walker, and she sums it up nicely: “The study of sacred objects, past and present, provides insight into the minds that create them and respond to them. Such a study expands the horizons of thought, which may lead to better understanding of the self as well as the rest of humanity.”

Speaking of sacred objects, Larry is selling his surf van this weekend. More on THAT later. It's market day today, and I've got Mom and her friend Teresa rarin' to go shop!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Who ya gonna call? Nobody!

We did it ourselves! On the way to the petroglyphs, Mona's truck got stuck when we tried to be nice and get over far enough to let that GUY get by. Even when he knew we were stuck, he just kept on going. Mona dug like a little puppy dog and Sister Maggie from Portland and I gathered sticks and stones to give traction to the back right wheel. Then we pushed on the front bumper like crazy while Mona put it in reverse and gunned the engine. Rocking, pushing, one final shove and VICTORY!

Hey, and Mona and I handled those barbed wire gates pretty well -- except for that time when after a LOT of hard core struggle to get the loop of wire back over the post, we found ourselves finally looking at each other.....from opposite sides of the fence. Glad Sister Maggie didn't hear what I had to say.

Sticks and stones at a sacred site

Yesterday my neighbor Mona introduced me and one of her B&B guests to a really special place. It's the archealogical site just up the road from us called Alta Vista. There are petroglyphs there which date back about 2,000 years. You find them all along a rocky path about a mile long which leads to a large amphitheater formed by basaltic columns. There is a stream alongside the walk, which flows (in the rainy season, which this is not) out of a series of pools at the head of the amphitheater. But scattered throughout the experience are altars and devotionals, put there by visitors to the site. I saw feathers, baskets, shells, candle stubs, heart shaped lollipops and a pair of sunglasses. (I wonder if someone dropped those by accident, and then everyone else was afraid to pick them up!)

The site is not officially open to the public, but there is a series of informational signs along the trail, and a large sign posted in the parking lot inviting whoever reads it to a celebration of the vernal equinox tomorrow. Can't make it. I'm meeting an airplane in PV. Too bad. I feel like beating a drum and howling at the moon these days. At least that's what I'd expect to do! Maybe it's just as well that I don't go.....

Anyway, I took a lot of photos yesterday, and I posted them in an album on Watch for the link when I get it ready. Some time. Maybe its a vernal equinoxical conversion or something, but the internet around here is working ... barely. It is s.....l......o.......w. Howling has NOT helped. If this keeps up, I may be offering this high speed internet do-hickey thing sitting here on my desk to the ancient spirits at an altar in Alta Vista. Anybody got a match?
OK -- the album re Alta Vista is done. Click on the link to the left: "Susan's Photo Albums." SO EASY!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The best amigo ever

Kody and Larry are sharing some quality time this morning. What sort of quality is highly debatable depending on your point of view. I for one think the quality of life in the house is greatly improved when Kody doesn't smell so much like.....well, a dog.

Kody is a keeshond (pronounced for the most part "quiche hound") and he's pretty much an indoor doggie. He used to go with us lots of different places, but now he has a job, and he takes it very seriously. It is to bark furiously at every stranger who passes by when we're not home, and let them know that the house is protected by a ferocious beast who will tear any would be trespasser limb from limb and toss the remaining pieces to the seagulls and pelicans. He is very good at it. Except with girls. He LOVES girls, and makes an absolute idiot of himself to get an approving pat or scratch between the ears.

I met Kody about three years ago in January. He was walking on the beach near San Clemente with his owner, Janet. When I saw them approaching I fell to my knees and held out my arms. He was an absolute clone of a dog we'd had quite a few years back -- Rascal. At that time I thought I was special when he started doing his oh-you're-a-girl-let-me-please-you-and-delight-you routine. Little did I know! But he also took a shine to Larry when they were later introduced -- this MUCH to Janet's surprise. Kody and Janet and I met quite a few times to share walks on the beach.

So along about March of that same year Janet gave us a call. She had just moved to California when we'd first met. She'd come there to start a singing career, and caring for Kody was getting to be a bigger responsibility than she'd planned on. She'd been walking on the beach praying for a solution when I showed up in her path, literally on my knees. She'd scoped us out pretty well over the next several weeks, and finally decided that Larry and I could provide a good home for her friend, if we were willing. Were we ever! It's been pretty much a love fest ever since.
Kody is happy as a little clam in Mexico, even though the culture here isn't as welcoming to "mascotas" as say, in Europe. There he'd get an honored place under the table at the restaurant, and the waiter would bring him a dish of water! But he gets a walk every morning on the beach, and he's friendly with the children who aren't snatched away in terror by their parents. And just for the record -- the bath photo proves it: our dog is NOT gorda (fat). He's furry!

By the way: Here's a link to Janet's website. Click the music part, hear a sample of her singing, and understand why Kody gets a pained expression on his face when I serenade him. He was raised with a much higher standard.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Something there is that doesn't love a wall…

This lot is my lot.
That lot is your lot
Except for that spot,
And the federal zone plot….

I have avoided talking about the situation across the street, but with a little help from Woody Guthrie and Robert Frost, perhaps I can find the words. Two lots, two owners, a number of disputed property lines, several lawsuits finally resolved. One big wall, just to prove the point. Thanks, “Winner.” We think of you every morning at breakfast. Where we should be looking at blue water, we see gray brick. Everyone gets it. That lot on the end is YOURS!

It is now for sale. Winner says she doesn’t want to build on it anymore. Won’t somebody we know and love PLEASE buy it, take down that wall and build a pretty house with a knock your socks off view? Buy that other little one in the middle, as well! It’s not so VERY little… could split it with Bruce and Jeanette and make a wonderful seaside garden. And we would raise our juice glasses in gratitude every morning.

“Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down.' I could say 'Elves' to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me~
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."

Yeah. Right.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Jeanette's murals

Jeanette, on her blog, has been treating us to scenes all around this part of Mexico, but what some people have asked to see is the completed scenes in her very own house. Quite a few blogs back -- the one labeled "Creative Impulses," -- I talked about the artist from Guaymas she hired to decorate her entrance wall. She liked his work so much, that she had him do another one in her big main room. It's been a long time since he's finished, and I'm finally fulfilling the promise to show the final product. Here they are! The one of the village fountain is the one he spent the most time on....maybe because the view from her great room is so phenomenal and because she kept plying him with things she was cooking. Everytime she'd start a new dish, I think he began adding more color to those cobblestones.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The sweet spot

Our neighbor down the street, gave me a tour of the house he’s building. The woman architect they engaged from Tepic arranged the house on the lot so that every window frames a spectacular view. The island in our bay sits dead center in their wake-up view and over their kitchen sink. Less distracting is the view of tile roofs and mountains from the study. But the view I love most, the one that greets me each dawn from our own bedroom, verandah, and from our rooftop terrace in back, is the one he’s reserved for a special place in their home. Sunrise over the mountains.

“This is the meditation room,” he told me, “a place to have a cup of coffee and read from the good book in the morning.” “You do that, too?” I asked. “Every chance I get,” he nods.

He’s an airline pilot. I do like pilots who pray.

“Here’s the heart of the watermelon,” I found myself saying. It’s a phrase that’s been running through my head for years. For me it’s a mental place, but often I see it physically, usually where someone has provided a spot for meditation, worship, or contemplation. It’s a place reserved from seedy distractions, the best place to be, the sweet spot where the notes are clear and static-free. And because, contrary to what some people might say, I DO know one end of a tennis racquet from the other, I know that the “sweet spot” is where you want to hit the ball from. That’s the spot that gives the best response.

Responding. Giving back. Engaging. I’ve never been comfortable with that image of going off somewhere to “leave it all behind” and live a “spiritual life” away from everyone else in the world. God knows (and I mean that literally) we all need our alone times. There’s not a spiritual leader of any stripe who hasn’t been sent to or longed for a solitary place to search the soul. But we know and remember those people for what they did when they came back. Buddha from the Bodhi tree, Moses from the mountain, Jonah from his gourd, Elijah from the cave, Jesus from the wilderness or even from his nap in the bow of a ship. They all bounced back and responded: comforting the needy, teaching the receptive, and dealing with the dodos without going crazy.

Speaking for myself, there’s something that goes on in that heart-of-the-watermelon place that makes me a better person. Perhaps it’s a sense of being part of something much larger than just being Susan. Touching even for a moment the sweet consciousness of being conceived and supported by an unconditionally loving Creator is like hitting the middle of the trampoline. I can’t help but bounce back and reach out to others.

And I see that going on all around me here. There is so much love in this place! The people around here respond when there’s a need.

Good coffee and daybreak over the mountains. Watermelon places in the heart at Chuck’s house and up and down these cobblestone streets. I have a feeling I’m in a neighborhood filled with sweet spots. It just has that bouncy feeling.

Does anybody know what time it is?

Larry diligently changed all the clocks last Saturday, springing ahead an hour to conform with time in the States. It was all part of NAFTA, we were told. Mexico would change time along with the U.S.

But evidently they didn’t. And won’t for another three weeks. We think. At least that’s what we were told at the fundraising pancake breakfast we showed up for Sunday morning – not so late as we thought we’d be.

It’s already confusing enough around here, being an hour behind Puerto Vallarta. (PV is in Central, Nayarit is in Mountain.) Factor that into catching or meeting a plane from the States, along with whether or not PV changed times or not, and you’ve got a few more stress factors to add to the joy of travel.

Colin and Sabina, our friends with the surf shop on Vancouver Island who own the house down here in La Colonia, are up north these days. They are NOT happy with the earlier switch to DST. Canada DID change with the U.S., but being much further north, it’s way later there when the sun comes up. Their kids now catch the school bus at o’dark thirty.

The point of bringing all this up? What is done in the States usually has an effect beyond its borders, something Americans rarely think about. I keep thinking of the big Labrador who used to crawl in bed between Larry and me. Inevitably she’d poke one of us in the ribs while shoving the other to the edge. It would have helped – some – if she’d at least looked a little sorry.

Hope Bush and Calderon get their watches in sync for today’s meeting in Mérida.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Not exactly the cover of The Rolling Stone.....

But this way I don't have to buy five copies for my mother. She's in the picture with us -- along with Jeanette (of Jeanette's blog). The four of us were having breakfast at the only really good Italian restaurant in La Peñita -- Soley's, which is open for breakfast only on market days, since it sits right on the square and is an excellent place to "people watch." Evidently Bill Bell thought so, too. He's the publisher of the Jaltemba Express, and he was out taking photos of the market-day crowd.

Adventures in dentistry

This morning I'm taking Mom back over to La Peñita to yet another dental appointment. This, incidentally, is not a picture of my mother. It's one of the aquaintances we made at the crocodile farm south of San Blas. Crocs sleep with their mouths open, because they're cold-blooded and this way they keep warm.
Larry is also launched on a major project to bring him back to the movie-star good looks I married him for. Smile-wise at any rate. I've been sitting here thinking of some cute way to tie this picture in with his current adventure.
I'm up to six possibilities and none of them are truly creative. So, how about this. Let's have a contest. YOU do it. I'll be the judge. And the winner gets an all-expense paid (after you get here) jungle boat ride to see more of these beauties. can get your teeth done while you're down here! Randy, you up for a $1,000 peso root canal?

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Shall we gather at the river?

With a little help from some big machinery, the estero behind our house is finally draining. (Check Jeanette's blog for pictures). Larry and I are very close to the ocean shore, and the estuary is relatively wide and deep this far downstream. But the stagnant water was getting to be just a tad distressing to our neighbors farther upstream. The machine-made channel may last just a few more days, but having the tide flush in and out has made things a lot more pleasant for those folks with clothes pins on their noses.
I've sort of been caught up in this estero draining experience, because river as metaphor has been occupying my thoughts for well over a year now. Frankly, for a lot of that time, I've felt, both physically and mentally, stagnant and polluted. When I stumbled across the history of the biblical River Gihon, I was intrigued. The name comes from a Hebrew root meaning "to burst forth," and refers to the fact that the Gihon came out of a virgin spring which in really ancient times, was the principal water-source for the city of Jerusalem. But the super-macho king Hezekiah, in an effort to "protect" the water supply, dammed it up, and diverted it in a 1700 foot serpentine aqueduct around the city. It eventually emerged at the Pool of Siloam, which was essentially a brackish cesspool, the water ultimately fit only for watering some gardens in the area.
I identified with Gihon. In a number of areas in my personal and professional life, I was feeling blocked, bottled up, diverted and sent underground. I was also extremely pissed off at the U. S. administration for bogging the country down in a cesspool of a situation.
The whole change of scene when we came down here was fresh --including the estero behind us. The heavy rains kept the channel free and the river flowing. I felt myself free to "let loose" and "burst forth." On our first visit to Rincon del Cielo (see previous post), I was immediately drawn to the prayer flag that Juan and Maria have pinned to one wall in their "corner of heaven." Click on the image, make it bigger, and read the words.
I know, I know. Mexico has longstanding stagnant pools of corruption and vice. But there aren't too many places these days that don't. The cesspools of the world need our prayers. So the petition on the flag is for all places, including the country to the north, and the country here around me. The prayer is for me....and for Mexico.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Toes on the nose around the Pacific Rim

The way Larry got to know the Nayarit coast was surfing down here over the last few years with his Japanese friends. Larry "Cobbo" Cobb shaped boards for Infinity Surfboards in Dana Point for...well a LOT of years, and acquired quite a following of Japanese surfers who bought his boards through Ted Suzuki's Infinity shop an hour's drive from Tokyo. About once a year a group of Japanese surfers would come over to California and we'd put them up at our house in San Clemente for a week or so, and then they'd head south to Mexico with Cobbo and other Southern California surfers. Often the best way for all of them to communicate was in Spanish.

I just found out that two of those Japanese friends are following this blog, dictionary in hand. Nobby is an apprentice surfboard shaper. His long time surfer friend and brand new wife, Asako, provides all kinds of support for him in his chosen field. Much like someone else I know who did the same for HER husband.....ME!!!
But these surfboard shaper guys have a lot of "soul," and are generally pretty easy to live with. I haven't regretted one moment of Larry's career path. It's always made him so happy. So here's a picture of Asako, and a picture of a board Nobby shaped. I think with Nobby's choice of colors, he'd be right at home in La Peñita! I hope they come to see us soon.

Friday, March 2, 2007

A plug for our local newspaper and healthcare in Mexico

Today's issue of the Jaltemba Express is jam-packed with loads of information. If you're reading this later than March 2 (of which there is less than an hour left as I write this, so you probably are) click on my link to them over there on the left of the page, and then find their link to back issues.

Today they've got maps of the Fonatur development that will be surrounding us during the next fourteen years, and an account of the big new dam that will straddle the states of Nayarit (where we live) and Jalisco (where Puerto Vallarta and the airport are).

There's also information about dealing with health issues and buying health insurance down here.

The health issue I believe, is one of the main reasons so many Americans (particularly aging boomers) are moving south of the border. Or at least taking long vacations here. Just before she left, Mom cracked a tooth on a tostada chip at a Mexican restaurant in Lubbock. Her dentist told her that she needed an implant -- USD$3,000, and a crown --USD$800. So she decided to wait until she got down here. For the implant she'll pay $8,000 pesos, and $1,000 for the crown. Those are pesos, and at this writing the exchange rate is 11.7 pesos to the dollar. Do the math. Worth the trip!

But before she sees the surgeon at Oral Care here in La Peñita, she needed a full set of mouth x-rays. They don't do that here, so that was the reason for the trip to PV today. We did it for both her and for Larry, who has decided to quit looking like a snaggle-toothed old hippy. We went to a spotless, very modern facility, gave them name and money -- $240 pesos for a full set of x-rays -- and took the x-rays. No appointment necessary. We were in and out in under fifteen minutes. Larry carried his set of x-rays to his Oral Care appointment this evening at 7:00. (interesting hours for dental work, as well as for meal times!)

Concerns about "quality" health care are what most people bring up when we're back in the States and we're asked about our decision to move down here. We can speak from experience. Three days after moving here, I spent three days and two nights in Amerimed Hospital in PV. The hospital was pristine, modern, comfortable, and I had a large private room -- one of six available at that particular facility. Most of the staff of 40 spoke English. All were courteous, competent, and extremely professional. And gentle.

Part of my time there was spent in several hours of surgery. I was out of it, but Larry said there were six physicians, an anesthesiologist and several nurses in attendance. Among numerous other services, I received four units of blood. Total bill at check out time: a little over $80,000 pesos. We put it on VISA and counted our blessings.
The topper: a week or so later, we had a question and called the head surgeon directly. He had provided us with his personal cell phone number. He answered himself, and quickly dealt with our concern. I don't hear of that happening much in the States.

Changing tummy time

The people in the middle photograph are not limiting themselves to coffee. They have already scarfed down a number of freshly baked pastries drizzled with honey. That's my husband Larry sitting with our friends Chris and Ken mid-morning, mid-wander, in La Peñita.

There's something so civilized about being able to just sit and talk around a table without someone hovering over you or slapping down a ticket, or having to rush back to work. The Spanish word is sobremesa. It literally means "over the table," and it's practiced religiously by a large portion of the world's population which actually put their legs under a table rather than a TV tray on their lap. (Guilty as charged. Larry and I are usually found taking the evening meal in front of reruns of Law and Order or Without a Trace.)

But I've been making a conscious effort to have the main meal mid-day -- at a table. When in La Peñita, do as the La Peñitans do: early morning breakfast (we've smelled bacon wafting in the windows sometimes as early as 4:30 in the morning), a little "something" around 11:00, main meal and siesta from 2 - 4, and maybe -- if the tummy's growling -- some fruit or something light before bed. If you don't believe that late lunch thing, try to find a good sit-down restaurant in Puerto Vallarta open at 12:00 -- like we did today. Even Outback Steakhouse doesn't put out the abierto sign until 1:30. We were too starved to wait, so we settled for the new Chili's -- and had the place to ourselves. As we were finally leaving to head back to Guayabitos, a few people were showing up for the "noon" meal. Upside: driving home at that time, it was clear all the way!

Thursday, March 1, 2007

A blue collar town with lime green walls

I’m going to do a few entries on the wonders of La Peñita. That’s the market town just over the river from us. It’s an easy walk over the “bridge of life,” a suspension bridge a short distance away (rats! I don’t have a picture right now) which members of our homeowners’ association built a few years back. It provides a link between the mainly tourist town of Guayabitos where tourists play and Mexicans work, and La Peñita where everyone goes for the serious stuff: dental work (more on that later), banking, getting keys made, ordering building supplies, buying hardware.

It’s a blue-collar town with walls to match. Or at least in colors that coordinate. Or maybe not. You be the judge. Here are a few shots I took the other day when we wandered around with our houseguests, Chris and Ken. I included the long shot of the fruit truck under the purple wall with lime green windows, just so you can see that you don't find the bright color spots on each and every block. But there definitely are enough of them to make your walk interesting.

Incidentally, my friend across the street, Jeanette, has become a blogging FIEND. She’s much more prolific than I am right now. I threatened the other day just to sign on to my blog each day and say “Go to . If you want to see a photo of my latest haircut – and Larry’s lack of one – check out her entry for today.

Hasta mañana. We’re off to PV in the morning to get full mouth x-rays for Mom and Larry. Told you I’d talk about the dentist later…….