Friday, June 24, 2016

A painful departure

For our last days in Mexico we explored the waterfront and pondered riding the horses that walked up and down the beach by our house. No one could agree when to go, and in the end we didn't do it... ( I know lame).

Checking out one of many vendors by the port. Probably one the only pictures of all three girls in one place I've seen in a long time!

The skulls on the sidewalk. These were so cool when I first saw them in a window, but then like many things for sale in these markets they lost their charm after seeing the same ones carried at five or six shops. At least in Argentina in the "mercado artesanal " the products were of a similar vein but they were handcrafted by each artist at the stalls.

The port was a busy place even when a cruise ship wasn't in town especially on the weekends. Families from all over the city came down to walk near the water and get dinner.

After walking in the sun for a few blocks we decided to duck into alley and found the fish market..

Mike and Oscar by the fish. Mexico is actually very dog friendly. Dogs can go on beaches, in restaurants and shops, as long as they stay leashed. We found this to be true here, in Puerto Peñasco, and in Juarez.

In the square a market had sprung up over night.

We milled around the market buying tamales and studying various crafts and products (mostly the same ones from the downtown area, but now in tents). There was also a little train going around for children, and these odd giant plush toys with wheels for children to ride.

Shopping in foreign supermarkets is something I actually enjoy doing a lot. It's surprising because I hate going to my regular supermarket.  Anyway we discovered that the banana code we punch in at our local Safeway is the same as the one the guy at the local market in Ensenada punched in to his register when we purchased bananas ... 4011. It turns out this is the international banana code for all supermarkets everywhere! 

In the supermarket I also came across these.... Chocolate surprise eggs!! My kids had an ongoing relationship with these when we lived in Argentina. They loved them! I insisted on buying a few as they are contraband in the US. Mike was sure the girls are too old and don't care anymore. Boy was he wrong -they were thrilled! They even liked the kiddie prizes inside.

Finally the moment came that we had to pack up and leave the house we'd been renting. Our cat vanished in the first 10 minutes of arriving the week before and we'd waited, and waited for her to return like she always did. She's a traveling cat and has been for a long time. We adopted her as a kitten when we lived in Bariloche, Argentina. She's slipped away on road trips before, in Sedona, the Grand Canyon and once right out of the car into the woods in Wisconsin, but Isabella always came back. Usually with a dead mole or a lizard. Anyway, we had to go and take solace in the fact that she's been micro chipped. Hopefully she's found a nice family in Mexico.

The ride out of town alternated between stunningly beautiful with views of the ocean and the mountains, and complete horror. At one point traffic slowed down as cars crept past an accident. There on the pavement was a motorcycle on it's side next to a body covered with a bloody sheet.
Then more miles of the beautiful coastline, till we cruised into Tijuana and saw an impoverished man in the street missing most of both his arms.

After getting lost in Tijuana on the way in I studied and studied the directions and even insisted we buy a map. Then of course everything was well marked and went completely smoothly. In no time we were waiting at "la linea" to get across the border. The man in the photo is a hat seller working the line.

Vendors walk up and down the line of cars while we wait. At first you groan, because you want to just cross and not be bothered, but then the hours tick by and you find yourself buying ice cream, and churros, and running out of pesos! In the end you're glad they are there to distract you from the crazy wait for crossing one of the busiest borders in the world.

After getting through to San Diego we met up with Mike's "step mother" Claudia. The plan had been to see his father Russ too, but Russ passed away earlier this month, so it was a very melancholy visit.

Then we dropped off Chloe at the house of an old friend from middle school. Heidi's high school graduation was the next day and Chloe was invited to go and stay for a visit.  From there we began the epic drive back to Phoenix. We rolled in to 108º heat at around midnight. Gotta love returning to Phoenix in the summertime!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Wandering through museums and a "Fun run"

Cruise ships come in pretty regularly here, increasing the population in a sudden swoop!

This one swooped in early yesterday morning. I took this from our patio as I sipped my coffee.

After some pretty intense sunburns at La Bufadora we decided to stay inside and see some local museums. This giant torso is outside the local art center in town.

Mike and I by the massive mural at the art center.

This metal sculpture also decorates the courtyard.

They're huge and quite striking.

This wonderful mermaid adorns the lobby.

Chloe looking at art in the main gallery. Chloe's the only one of our kids who came with us the see the museums.

Honestly it was a very good show and I think they missed out, but Phoebe's not feeling well and is permanently connected to her ipad since we've arrived.

Nude with dove.

The artist was very surreal with some of his work.

I like the show quite a lot.

From here we walked over to the Cultural Center and the History Museum.

The grounds outside were quite pretty.

The history museum was full of twists and turns and had little peepholes in hidden corners that peered into a mysterious ballroom.

It of course had many historical exhibits.

Like this model of the "Santa Maria".

After spending time spying on people in the ballroom we headed back outside to see if it was part of the cultural center.

This building also had a collection of interesting sculptures out front.

Eventually we found the ballroom.

The art on the walls was unusual....

...But the ceiling was stunning!!! All in all a pretty successful outing. 

             Days on the beach have cause some crisis here and there. A few days ago Naomi went wave jumping near sunset and had her glasses knocked off her face and swept out to sea. Yesterday Oscar was stung by fire ants while walking on the beach and had to be carried home and the to the veterinaria. Fortunately that only cost a few pesos. 

 Mike and I are really enjoying our mornings in town. The kids sleep in every morning and we usually head out to a coffee shop. Early one morning we found this amazing doorway.

This morning we sipped our lattes and watched a marathon pass us by. It was a very flexible marathon as some people were wearing roller blades, walking dogs and pushing strollers or maybe they all do that (I don't watch marathons very much.)

Every morning we keep an eye and an ear out for our missing cat. Where are you Isabella?

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Vanishing Cat and a Marine Blowhole

So our cat is still gone. We've searched this little neighborhood, put up signs and spoken to the neighbors. She's not in the walls or ceiling as the walls and ceiling are very thin and we can hear traffic and people talking and everything else, so the cat meowing would be very loud. The kids are very sad, Mike and I are pretty bummed about it and the dog could care less (in fact I'm not sure he noticed).

 On Wednesday we explored the tourist district of this seaside city.

Everywhere I look is "Super Viagra Man" with the bulging pants. 

Chloe and Mike in town by a massive Aztec calendar.

We found parrots out on the street near the art supply store.

This one really liked me, or at least he liked being called "Pretty Bird".

Yesterday, to make us all feel better I thought a day trip over to "La Bufadora" was in order. The city was quiet anyway with no cruise ships in town and the people who rent horses on the beach took the day off. So we drove down the coast and out the peninsula to the only marine geyser in North America and the second largest one in the world.

Mike by the many vendors that line the little street as we approached "La Bufadora".

Finding the Blowhole store.

The ocean reaching inland near the water spout.

Approaching "La Bufadora".

Naomi rushed over.

And got drenched instantly.

Mike and I by "La Bufadora" (even soaking wet Naomi's pretty good with the camera!)

Mike, Chloe, Phoebe (and some guy who wouldn't step away for the photo) at the Ensenada sign.

Looking down over the edge when the water receded.

Everyone liked Oscar-including the local dogs.

The water just kept coming.

And Naomi just kept getting wetter and wetter, (too bad I loaned her my sweater).

Mike and Naomi.

From here we decided to head to the overlook spot.

From above you can see how high the water reaches. It's like an explosion.

The view was stunning.

The ocean from above.

On our way back down the girls found a creepy little troll. Naomi shook his hand and it fell off!

After getting drenched and walking around we found ourselves buying snacks ( Por supuesto!).

It was good to take a day out of town.

 Today the horses are back, and a big cruise ship pulled into town early this morning.

Maybe we'll finally take a ride on the beach.

“As my artist’s statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance”-Calvin (Calvin and Hobbs)


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