Monday, January 26, 2009

Ask and You Shall Receive

So I've been having this obsession with the coconut trees around my house.  I really want to get the coconuts down and make my own coconut milk out of them.  I even sort of half way attempted to put a knife in between my teeth a climb up my landlords tree like a jungle native.  I got my legs wrapped around the base but then had visions of me lopping off part of my tongue and thought better of it.  But I did have the knife (a little serrated knife) between my teeth, shoes off and assumed the position to climb before I thought better of it.  Why does it take so long, the mere thought should have crossed my mind and then passed without mention.  With obsession in full bloom, I am on the look out for how to get me one of those coconuts.  I don't want to buy it from the coco's frios guy and I sure as hell am not going to the store.  I know I can get them.  They are everywhere,  but how.....  I have some new neighbors right next door to the glass factory and low and behold they are doing a wee face lift to the premises trimming coconut trees in the process.  I was stopping by to grab a couple of torta's for O and my day at Chileno and thought I would ask if we could have some.  The mexican lady who makes the torta's has three little girls and used to live in Eagan of all things.  Well when they heard I wanted coconuts they piled them all at my feet.  About 18 of them, all I wanted was three.  I wasn't really sure what or how to deal with them.  When I asked the guy who was helping me procure my coconuts how best to handle them, he suggested a machete.  Um yes.  I know that that is a house hold item in these parts but I haven't quite gotten around to buying one.  But the other day I was helping my friend/yoga instructor and his girlfriend Natalie with their car and we stopped at a place that just might sell machetes.  Lee was in finding car parts and I don't know how Natalie and I got on the subject but when Lee got back I asked if they might sell machetes.   They did.  All sorts of them one foot, two foot, serrated with a hook.  I think that serrated with a hook may have been my best bet for climbing up the palm and hooking my self a coconut but thought it might also be the best way to loose an eyeball or some other lovely part of my body that I am attached too.  So I opted for the low key one foot machete.  It is still in may car as the coconuts that I had gotten a few weeks earlier were being stored on the sidewalk next to my house and I'm pretty sure the guys who came to change my flat tire assumed they were a tip and chopped them open on site.  I saw remnants of destroyed coconut.  Which is fine I didn't want them to go to waste but I did want to see how they did it.  I might need a lesson.  I did however see a technique at a local place in which you take the back side of the machete and smack the cleaned coconut.  I just have to figure out the best way to chop through the super tough first layer without loosing digits,  Lee suggested putting the coconut between two bricks.  Now that sounds like a fun project.  Now all I have to do is find the coconuts again, I mean to say they are everywhere, so I need to find someone to get them for me.  

One other little tid bit and a photo to match.  The other day O and I were driving home at night and there were about 6 cows at my turn around.  A few of them were dark brown.  So O says to me, the li
ttle smarty that she is, " Momma? Tomorrow can we get chocolate milk out of those cows butts?" It might be time for a trip to the state fair.  

Some other pics of climbing rocks at Chileno.  

Monday, January 19, 2009


In anticipation for Santa O set out the gingerbread house that Sue and Kate helped her make and some slightly burnt brownies, because it's not uncommon here for the oven to not have the temp but high/low and in between).  I actually set out the Santa fare because truthfully, O just did not care.  All she wanted was a Barbie for Christmas.  She didn't care who gave it to her or how it got there Santa schmanta, bring on the Barbie.  She knew she was getting one.  The girl cleaned up.  I guess in my anticpation of a fairly lonely Christmas and a weee bit of guilt for making her (and me) spend our Christmas away from the family I pretty much got her everything she pointed out.  Plus she was the only person I had to buy for so I did.  She got two barbies.  One was a mermaid to be friends with Ariel and the other was the pinkest princess I could find sleeping beauty. I also got here a princess puzzle, which turned out to be 700 pieces and was wayyyy to advanced for her, but I did the whole thing over a series of days around New Years.   If that says anything about my New Years.  Christmas was wonderful.  I was surrounded by family and familiarity,  had some adventures in Zacatitos, Santa came, Sue's side of Santa brought stockings filled with goodies and Tim made an awesome breakfast of Chorizo in a tomato sauce, scrambled eggs, and fresh fried tortillas on top.  Muy rico.  It was a truly wonderful way to spend Christmas, filled with family and familiarity and quite a bit of adventure.  Big love and hugs to the Schmuck family for taking us in on Christmas, it'll be one to remember.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Skunked on a very Donkey Christmas Eve

Ok I'm going to make this quick because Christmas was almost a month ago now and I still haven't written about the actual day and now there are new stories to be told. For the most part I just wanted to show you the pictures of our fabulous Christmas Eve. The morning of Christmas Eve. Uncle Tim, Nick, Cora and I all planned to go fishing on the Panga's in La Playita. My fave way to fish. We always catch lots...hmmmm....did I say that out loud? I must've been bragging cuz our day didn't quite turn out like that. I should've seen the signs. See the picture of the Cactus with the moon in the background? How serine is that? Moon, Cactus, structure, a beautiful way to start the day, but now that I look at that photo it sends a different message. Now it kind of looks like the cactus is flipping me off saying, good luck sucker, you're not catching anything. The only thing we caught that day was 20$ worth of bait, some good conversation, sight of a whale on the horizon, and at the end of the day one of the two pelicans scavaging on our boat hit me in the head when a little boy shooed him off and towards me. I kind of wanted to walk past the kid and sneakily push him off the dock into the harbor...but I didn't. I was just pissed. No fish for our Christmas Eve fishing extravaganza and I was even more dissapointed that I couldn't show my family how much fun this is. They were positive, saying how nice it was to be out on the water anyway and that the whale was pretty neat. And I guess I always said that in the early days when I would go fishing and never catch anything, but now that I know how much better and awesome it is to actually catch something, I sort of expect it. Leave it to the universe to put me in my place. I do feel like the pelican was an unnecessary touch, sort of like God gave me a spanking. "Get in line, appreciate what you have" Oh alright. So I didn't push the kid in but I didn't talk much until we got to Buzzards and ordered a beer and a margarita. Talk about bad sportsman ship who was I anyway????? Oh but I quickly returned with a beer and margarita and we all know what it takes to make me happy. So easy. Even though we caught nothing we still managed to tell fish stories. Sue and Kate made a gingerbread house with O and they had stories of their own.

Since we were Skunked, part of the group had to go to the grocery store to get fish. The rest of us went back to Casa Jubelio. Have to house crew took a nap the other, Ophelia and I did not, but relaxed a little. The suddenly from behind the house came the most jarring baying noise. Hewwwwyahhhhh oooooohhhh yahhhhhh herherherher. WTF was that. Donkey's two of them behind the house. We'd heard about the wild burros but I was so not expecting that noise to come out of them. Then from the front of the house an answer. Well that got everyone up. O, Sara and I ran out front to be greeted by the cutest little donkey just outside the fence. We didn't really know what wild burro meant so we proceeded with caution. Do they bite? Man they are cute. It was obvious the little guy wanted food. When we turned to go back inside there were two more donkey's in the garden eating the plants and another one trying to get into the garbage. Donkey infestation. O was obsessed with the donkey that was messing about with the garbage. I took it slowly but they were so cute I couldn't imagine that they would hurt anybody. Stayed away from his behind just in case he kicked and rubbed his little ears and chin and well needless to say we fell in love. But being in the gates was a biiiiiigggg no no. So Kate got me some carrots to entice the little guy out the gates. I offically became the donkey Whisperer. I reallllly want a donkey someday (think hobby farm with chickens a goat and a yak, I've always wanted a yak). Little lovers those Donkey's are. But alas I had to set him and his buddy free to go dig in someone else's garbage.

That night we had a delightful grilled fish dinner and mango margaritas that Kate made and were in bed around 9. We wanted to be ready to wake up early and see what santa had to bring.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Adventure in the MIddle

When we woke up the next morning from our adventurous ride in, things looked quite the same, but that’s only because O thinks it’s fun to get up well before the sunrise. I made coffee and eggs in our cozy abode that I was now even getting comfortable in and it wasn’t even my place. But O and I stayed in the master bedroom as the master’s had not yet quite arrived, and O and I tend to think we’re the masters of everything. Nick and Cora weren’t quite awake yet, O and I watched the morning come in, as the sun arose Zacatitos revealed its self. Sure enough with the stars erased by the true light of day there right in front of us lie the ocean. How we missed it I do not know. Casa Jubelio isn’t right on the ocean it takes about five minutes walk to get there but an unobstructed view, and we could see so clearly the road that led towards the ocean but in the darkness there was no way. As Nick and Cora began to stir O and I did some exploring to see what really things looked so different in the dark. Close to home (Casa Jubelio for this story) things were pretty much as they were in the blackness, but I can tell you this. That cactus planted round-about that was referred to in the directions, was definitely a triangle-about and the only cactus on it was a barrel cactus that stands about 8 inches high, and there was one, no wonder we couldn’t see it. But the rest seemed almost the same. Anxious to get on with our day and traverse the road that we had come entered in on not even 10 hours ago in totally different circumstances, we were ready to head back into town to the San Jose farmers market.

This time the drive only took us 30 minutes to go lets say, 5 miles, I always forgot to check but definitely somewhere between 4 and 6 this part of the directions was true. And from that point on it was a breeze until the very end just before the pavement where six cows decided it was time for an early morning siesta tired from sticking their butts out on the road the night before. Dude you guys know this is a bad idea right? And I should tell you that these aren’t wild cows like the fabled wild burro. These cows belong to someone and if you hit one not only is your car totaled but you’ve now just hit some ranchero’s most beloved and prized cow and need to pay a hefty price to make it right. We drive carefully though them. They are so cute I wish we would’ve taken pictures it was like the ladies gossip hour and these pesky cars kept interrupting. This pesky jeep was trying to make it to the market.

Rumor has it that San Jose has two markets, one on Sat and one on Sun. The one on Sunday is behind the Tropicana and is open until 3:00 pm. That was the one we wanted, but we couldn’t find it. It was only 10:30 so we knew that even if I screwed up the 3:00 closing time and it closed at noon instead we still didn’t miss it. But as things often go in my world, with no explanation it just was not there. Unwilling to undergo another epic car trip even if it wasn’t in the dark, we looked around a bit and found a Cocos Frio's stand which sufficed our need for some authentic food and a Mexican experience. Plus Coconut water is good for a hangover and we could've used a little coconut water that day. Somewhat satisfied that we'd still done some thing cool and out of the ordinary we headed to the Mega to get groceries and meet the rest of our crew.

At this point I was going to attempt to go home and back to my real life. But I really saw no point in that and we figured that with groceries, luggage and people there was no way the car that my aunt Susan had rented was going to fit it all. So I offered to drive the crew back out to Zacatitos if I could swing by my place, take a shower brush my teeth and refill some supplies. Again I packed a bag without a toothbrush but did bring suits and a pull up just in case. I really should just have a travel toothbrush for any occasion cuz ya just never know, but ever the noncommittal I left it at home. And that was dumb because Nick was making fish and chorizo tacos and I made my new famous recipe of guava mojitos. I make a guava simple syrup from guavas from my guava tree and the mint comes from the garden in front of my house. Yah. Yum city. I wasn’t going home. Not in that dark. Not with fish tacos and mojito’s in my belly and a family I hadn’t seen in ages. The only problem was that now that the masters of the house were now here, at Casa Jublieo we the master imposters were no longer staying in that room. This did not go over well with Ophelia who really wanted to spend most of her time playing and nesting (she likes to make nests) in that room. We worked it out though and made a cozy little bed for ourselves out of cushions from the outdoor furniture and crashed there.

The next day we spent hanging out and kickin’ it on the beach in the morning and I had a sitter set up in the afternoon so that I could go out to dinner with the fam. Funny this was supposed to be my first night spending with them and I’d already slept over at their place twice. But this was fun cuz we got to get all dressed up and go to a fancy restaurant which ever since my mom left I haven’t been doing, in fact it’s mostly Chez Anni, which ain’t so bad but getting out is fun. And this is the next point in which Nick and I really bonded. So after we are seated at Don Emiliano’s and I kindly ask that they turn the music down, Nick asks everyone, “So, how should we do this.” Good Man, a strategic eater just like me. It would be a straight up tragedy if we did not plan this well and end up ordering the same thing. Something you should know. If you are going to eat out with me, we don’t order the same thing and we share. Then the chef herself came out. She was lovely and very chatty and she too had some rules. 1. Do not order a coke with your food. (like it) 2. Try lots of things. (yup like it).

I was a little nervous about this place because Sue had looked it up and I thought my mom said that she had something so delicious there that she didn’t even want to share it. But when I brought it up to my mom that we were going to eat there and we were so excited, she didn’t remember the name or anything about it. Ah, but I must remember, my mother doesn’t remember her experiences by food she at but by what she wore, so if I would have caught the out fit when she first told me about the place the rest might have come back to her. I on the other hand remember nearly any experience but what I ate, the smell and what I was listening too. This was a night to remember. But it’s funny because we all weren’t supposed to order the same thing but in stead we all order the tasting menu. Which is in essence the same thing, but there were a few variations in choices and really no one wanted to miss the shaved octopus Carpaccio, or the OUTSTANDING black bean soup, paired with Negra Modelo. Nick, Cora and I did the wine flight what a fun surprise to get beer served in a champagne flute half way through. We had two mole options to choose from and scallop in white mole or an enchilada filled with local panela cheese in a black mole. I had the enchilada because I looooove black mole but the scallop in white mole was like nothing I’ve ever tasted. The mole was light and the flavors were spot on. Ohhh I’m still craving it luckily there was more than one person who ordered it so I could have more than one taste. My main course was seared ahi tuna on a huitloche tamale rowerrrr, this was my third favorite thing, but on a very high standing list. The funnest thing is that my cousin Kate took pictures of all the food. The saddest thing is that I can’t seem to download them here so you can all see them. But, nice work Kate, send out the props on that one.

I’m also going to send out the party props to Kate who ripped her skirt while dancing on a table in El Squid Row that night and had the lady in the bathroom sew it up and then kept right on a dancin’. I guess the real props goes out to the bathroom attendant with the needle and thread. That Squid Row is one classy joint I tell you. The cousins all slept over at my place after we decided that Don Emeliano’s hadn’t quite filled us up, and I took em’ to my fave taco joint right on the side of the road out side El Squid and they ate the best taco of their lives. Good God why does all the really good food have to come out after midnight?????

The plan had been to take them all to Todo Santos but when the next morning arrived I realized, I had to be Santa and I hadn’t wrapped one present and I had to pack (I was bringing a toothbrush this time) and the place was a pit because all I’d been doing was running home grabbing things, dropping things off and I was in charge of Chilies en Nogada that night. I scurried around while the others tried to sleep so that I could get all of these things done and still be the greatest hostess on the planet and not let these kids miss out on a thing. To my relief with the night prior their desire for Todos Santos had faded. It was a good thing too because there was no way I was getting all that done. So the poor kids had to travel around with me to pick up O and to multiple grocery stories so I could find Sherry, not to be confused with Cherries, which everyone around here says with a Sh and always sends me towards the Boons Farm. La Europea has Sherry just in case you were wondering.

Anyway we made it back to Casa Jubelio just in the nick of time. My Aunt and Uncle were getting a little too comfy in the tranquility of Zacatitos with the kids gone. We rolled up just as Sue was about to take a skinny dip in the pool. Luckily not too many cars pull up into that drive way and she was able to reclothe before we caught her in the act. I don’t blame her though, had I had the opportunity I would have been skinny dippin’ in that ocean under a starlit sky. Knowing if I couldn’t see the ocean from our place nobody would see my white buns swimming. But no we needed a good night sleep for fishing the next morning.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Deliverance in Zacatitios

My cousin’s came to town for Christmas. Oh thank goodness. Aunt Susan and Uncle Tim too. Wew Whoo!! It’s almost the beginning of a song and if I had any sense of tune I might just attempt a song. But since I don’t, I shall share spare us all. But I can’t tell you how great it was to have family with which to celebrate. There are so many parts to this story and since my blog won’t let me move pictures around suddenly I’ve decided to break it up into parts. So here is the first part.

My Cousin Nick and his girlfriend Cora arrived on the Saturday before Christmas. They were supposed to come in around noon, I was going to pick them up and head to the farmers market to get them some goods and then to the store for the rest and grab a little dinner and drive them into Zacatito’s. Even as I write this now I see that our (my) plan was flawed from the start. I had heard that the road to Zacatito’s was bad and should not be driven at night, but I had also heard the same thing about the road to Cabo Pulmo. I drove the road to, well actually from Cabo Pulmo and didn’t think it was all that bad, in fact there was less really really slow rickety-almost- broken-down-pick-up-truck traffic that I found the drive to go quite smoothly. Though I did realize that to be completely on the safe side driving with my brights on was a must and at a moderate speed for fear of the lone cow or donkey butt, that doesn’t have the tell tale reflective eye hanging out on the side of the road, and there still was the possibility of the slow rickety-almost-broken-down-pickup with no tail lights to be aware of. But, still not scary at all and would totally drive that road again in the dark. So with that in mind I wasn’t toooo worried about driving to Zacititos in the dark especially since Nick and Cora were with me and Zacititos is on the ocean. I’ve seen it a hundred times from the Sea of Cortez while panga fishing (ok more like 6 but more that you have so there except for uncle tom) and it all seemed pretty manageable from there. Just show me where it is in relation to the house with the tipi. I can find it. But I took down directions just in case. Susan my aunt sent very specific directions, stuff like go 4 to 6 miles past where the road ends, turn left onto narrow jeep track, take right at cactus corner, go left at shack with palapa roof there is a construction sign next to it, go left at cactus planted round about, I am the third house in, with a stick and barb wire fence, Make sure you close the gate so the donkey’s don’t get in! I of course did not print those specific directions, as my printer wasn’t working, duh. So I jotted down a few notes and figured that’ll do’er.

Ahhh but even the best laid plans of mice and men oft’ go awry and this was not even the best of plans. Even if Nick and Cora’s plane hadn’t gotten delayed two hours in Minneapolis we still would have traversed the road to Zacatito’s a la noche. I’d squeezed one too many food-based experiences into the plan. When they arrived finally at around 3:30 they were starving. So I took them to the place that O and I had just had lunch killing time waiting for them to get in, and owed the waiter money anyway since I didn’t have enough cash on me and they didn’t take cards. Plus it’s been a few hours since we last ate and I was feeling a bit peckish anyway, so I took them to Cynthia’s a yummy little outdoor patio right next to Villa Valentina owned by my mom’s designer friend Julietta who I always like to stop and see, but missed, you know, that’s how it goes. We got done around 4:30, attempted the Mega, and skipped the farmers market entirely. I assured them that there was another market the next day and I didn’t have plans so I could pick them up in Zacatitos and take them, since I’d never been, I was looking forward to it. They could get a few supplies at Mega and come in for the rest tomorrow. Oh Manana how I love thee. As we shopped the fact that darkness was impending, I suggested to Nick that he might want to grab another 6 pack of Modelo Especial (my ghetto fave of the moment) as I for saw my night unfolding and just in case, I wanted enough beer for all of us, unfortunately I forgot the tequila. With a little food and a little more beer we head out through San Jose (road easy) past La Playita (road easy), out too Laguana Hills, to the round about just before Buzzards (road potholey). As soon as you pass the round about to Buzzards begins the dirt road to Zacatitos (road tretcherous). Not 1 mile or 20 minutes, into our drive Nick say’s to me, “So ya sleepin’ over then?” I say, white knuckled, “yup”. By now I’ve sort of figured out this Cabo thing, only sort of, but I’ve learned to bring supplies “just in case”, hence the extra beer. So I packed an bag with some stuff including a pull up for O, (who’s potty trained now, whoopee, but still needs one for night) minus a toothbrush and pj’s because that equals commitment and this was just in case, glad to have pull up though and some extra clothes, no suit, damn always bring a suit. I don’t know if you picked up on the 1 mile or 20 minutes thing but I am not kidding you. We were averaging about a mile every 20 minutes; makes those 4 to 6 miles really mean something when it’s a matter of 80 or 120 minutes. Yah I’m pretty sure it was the 6-mile option. We may have been going extra slow because I forgot to look at my odometer and my pencil scribble was extremely difficult to read in the dark so we had to do a pull over to get the Nicks directions out of the back, mine were so insuffient. Turns out so were nicks. It all seems so good and easy in theory. But here is the thing; it’s dark out there like dark. Like the moon wasn’t even out, just stars, every single one of them, shining as brightly as they could and even skipping across the sky, but no shooting star was going to show us the way to that jeep track. We opened the sunroof to take it all in as my jeep dips down into the bolder laden ravine washed out from last October’s rain.

Luckily O’s asleep and Nick, Cora and I take these moments to get to know each other. The last time I saw Nick he was like a thirteen year old camper, at Wolf Ridge, who I associated with as being a tween twit only because he was my brothers’ age and hung out with them. Now he’s all growed up, got himself a fantastic girlfriend and is a chef in Indiana. Turns out we had lots to talk about while we passed the time. Finally we got to Zac’s a bar I didn’t even know existed in Zacatito’s , figuring by the looks of things it must be like 10:00 pm and I was super impressed they were still open. Upon further research, it was a little more like 6:00 pm, and as I learned later, that of course Zac’s was open because as the sign stated, and I love this, “Open noon to 8:30ish), I knew 10:00 woulda’ been pushin’ it. Ok we’re at Zac’s which must mean were in Zacatitio’s but it wasn’t in the directions but we’re pretty smart so we figured that out. No we are supposed to look for cactus corner. Um yahhhh there like a cactus on just about every corner, I’m not exactly sure what would make this one so specific. But we got to a point where there were some signs and a fork in the road with what looked to be a cornerish spot and there were some signs. Nick got out to check the signs, since he was the one with the pen light on his key chain, note to self gotta get one of those. The signs were fun but not helpful, they just said, East Cape and San Jose and were covered in surf stickers. I really like the sticker touch. We decide that that corner looks pretty defined as a cactus corner and go right, into a mess of boldery dirt roads leading only into darkness and this is where we got really lost.

Turns out there are quite a few shacks with palapa roofs, on them and Zacatitos must be on the boom because there was more than one construction sign. We did see one shack with palapa roof, and a construction sign in conjunction with each other, though both were debatable as to weather the were shack or palapaiey enough, or if that Spanish sign even was in fact referring to construction. We chanced it and took that left. Only to get about 30 seconds in and come upon what Nick called, “a creepy molester van” he took the words right outta my mouth, that is only the vehicle of a predatory pedophile, eeeeppppp, the darkness and the drive were getting to us, things were starting to make strange shapes in the night, your average thing, distorted, we were of there!!!! We made a u’ey and head back to the main road. Took a left at what looked like it another shack with Palapa roof and came upon a little sketchy looking party and a big black dog passed out in the middle of the road either unable or on willing to move. We all concluded that he must’ve gotten into the pot brownies that were left over from the sketchy party. Pretty sure that wasn’t right either. Though I have decided that the village of Zacatitos has a little puff of smoke over it. This was further confirmed when I talked to the property manager of Casa Jubelio in the morning after we made it and he invited us to a party where there was going to be a laser light show over at the purple domed house. My suspicions confirmed pot and lots of it.

But we weren’t there yet, not even close. Turned around again and drove further on. Quite a ways actually up to a sort of mountainside cliff road, littered with crosses to mark the accidents, all this and we had a water truck hot on our tail. What was he doing there? It’s midnight? Oh yah right I forgot its like 7 it only feels like midnight. We pull over to let the truck pass and Cora has to pee anyways. We find a turn around that seems suitable until I blink the brights out of our eyes, and then we see the a creepiest camp I’ve ever come across. Craggy driftwood marks their entrance with helmets hanging on them, but in the dark we could only in vision the helmets to still have heads in them. As we pull through camp which consists of two semi trailers with hammocks swinging from them. We decide that Cora needed to wait to pee. This was only solidified my the two dogs that apparently were not knocked out by pot brownies they were a little more jacked up than that. Yah that had a “Deliverance” written all over it, run as fast as you can!

We decided that we had gone too far anyway we were past the Zacatito’s city limits and needed to return. We made a few more wrong turns, one into this strange little neighborhood that was all ‘70’s architecture and seemed so out of place here in the desert, but safe enough for a pee stop. At this point we decided that the first palapa roof, shack and construction sign was our best bet and went back. Not to be thwarted by the molester van we pushed on. But even here nothing seemed to jive with the directions, we’re supposed to be very close to the ocean but the ocean is nowhere in site. And there are seriously no round-abouts. We’ve seen lots of triangle-abouts but not one round one. But lets assume that the directions say round-about and mean triangle-about, which is very possible there aren’t even cactuses on them there are boulder and trees. But we took one and headed the direction we were supposed too and we actually found a house that might be Casa Jubelio with a barbed wire and stick fence. But this house was for sale and they said nothing about the house being for sale. We turn around again and look on but come back to this place and decide that it simply must be it. There was only one other home aside from the stoned black dog house that seemed to have lights on and this guy could tell we were searching. We didn’t even have to go knock on the door. He came out and told us that we were in the right spot. Yay! Tequila. I just felt like we earned tequila.

We open the barbed wire and stick fence gate and drive through to the prettiest little entryway. We all unpack and get acclimated. I put O to bed and we search for tequila. The beers had already been cracked and we found some very generic looking tequila where all that the bottle said was 100% Agave Tequila. But hey at that point we didn’t care we would’ve drank Cuervo at that moment. The tequila turned out to not be half bad and we sipped on tequila and Modelo Especial under the starlight and played some serious catch up. What a way to start a vacation aye? And what a way to get to know each other again? I told Nick and Cora we are forever bonded now after that experience. And what is so funny that the next morning in the sunlight everything seemed so very normal, ooh and the ocean was right there the whole time. We joked wondering if the creepy molester van would in fact be a fully decked hummer, but when we checked it out it still looked like a creepy molester van but there were two very non-molester looking Mexican guys working on it and made it seem much less creepy that way. As we drove out of town that morning on our way to San Jose for the farmers market we drove past a painted sign that said Cactus Corner. Yah there was pretty much no way we were going to see that in the pitch of night, but I’ll give the directions credit, had it been light we mighta seen it at some point. We kept thinking to go and see the “Deliverance” camp in the light of day but were too scared that it would still look the same.

Friday, January 2, 2009


They have a word in Spanish for Christmas Party, Posada. I think that just goes to show how Mexican's feel about the ole holiday party, it's so awesome it gets it's own word. Not like Birthday party, or going away party, they don't get their own word (or maybe they do and I just haven't learned it yet. Anyway Posada's here start around Dec 12 day of the Virgin de Guadalupe (the one you see posted up on the windows of half the cars on lake street, she's important). Apparently her story is that a dark faced virgin showed herself to a boy up on a mountain side and no one believed that he saw her until on the third day her face became imprinted in the fabric of his pancho. That's when all the peeps believed him. The fact that her face was dark helped convert all of the heathen indian tribes to Christianity thefore even further spreading catholisisim deep into the core of nearly every Mexican tradition. December 12th is the day and here in begins the holiday season. I have learned a few little interesting tid bits about Mexican traditions for the holidays here in Mx. The other one that I found so interesting is that they have a seven pointed star ornament that they sell on nearly every corner of the street during this time of year. The seven tips of the star are supposed to symbolize the seven original sins....which I guess I don't even know what those are supposed to be...Oh wait, nope I got it that's the Brad Pitt movie "Seven" right, anyway there are seven I guess that are somehow even worse than than Moses's ten. Anyhow it's a real pretty little thing, or sometimes big thing, and sometimes it's even a pinata. I am regretting a little that I did not get one. They also decorate their cars here like reindeer and I really wanted to decorate 68' but the timing to buy never seemed right and I just never felt flush enough to justify it...maybe next year.

Going back to the Posada. Ophelia had her school posada on the 18th, marking the last day of school. Another parental event. This one had the same sort of anxiety as far as costume and accoutraments go but at least I was pretty sure after talking with the teach she was going to dance for us. I just had to get the little mexicana outfit that looks so streight outta ole Mexico it shouldn't be that hard to find. I showed people the picture and asked them to point me in the right direction. Betty was the first. She sent me to a fabric store....pause....again pause.... bolts and bolts of fabric. This is me. I do not sew. We've discussed this in earlier posts. There are so many ways that I am willing to extend myself to make this experience work. I put myself in mildly uncomfortable postions that I would never have forced myself to do in the states. I've attempted the weird little craft project they suggest at school, I go to every little event, I try to make parent friends (and we know I have a fear of parents) and fumble through my spanish, I've even tried having our main meal at 2 instead of 6. These are things that I am willing to try to make this school experience all that it should be, but I draw the line at sewing. I took Home Ec. in highschool. Did great at the cooking part but failed miserably at the apron that we were supposed to make. I broke two needles on the thing and I can't tell you how many rats nests...kinda like me and fishing actually...but I like fishing. Bolts and Bolts, Reems and Reems trinkets and mexican ladies galore. I call my mom in a panic. She's in the middle of something but thinks there's actually something wrong. Which puts me in my place a little. Ok it's not that bad. Just walk out the door you'll find something else. Now you know where the fabric store is and you never ever have to go back. I was then sent two 2 other costume stores. Now mind you people, this ain't like going to Southdale. I'm carting my ass all over cabo, searching for parking, no one ever uses street signs to give you directions, you just gotta get a little lucky, have a little savvy and don't drive the suburban that day. Neither costume shop had them. By this time I'm thinking I will go back to the fabric store buy the right fabric, some glue and some safety pins and just slap it on another skirt and because she's young enough she'll never know better, to never forgive me for sending her out in public looking like a tossed out rag doll. Luckily it didn't have to come to that. O was headed to Alex and Letty's that day and Alex was actually coming to visit the school just in case one day I could not get there in time Alex could pick her up. Alex said that she had an outfit that might just work. She cleared it with the school and also informed me that they will be performing for orphans the next day. I'm like DUDE how was I supposed to know that (and awww Orphans???). Apparently they were sending me home a note that day, which for me wouldn't been read until the next week because that's about how long it takes me to translate anything. Thank Goodness for Alex. Always thank goodness for Alex.

Also for this deal we were supposed to fashion a golden drum out of recycled products. I'm not shitting you. I know that they are trying to teach a conciencousness and save everyone money by getting creative. I'm getting the feeling that every native born Mexican could take Martha Stuart in a show down any day. I'm thinking, where is Target? Why don't you all just show us a picture and have us get it at Target, or even better yet, why doesn't the school just let us order everything from them???? Oh but that would be no fun. If I didn't have that to do how would I fill my day, getting fat on bon bons no doubt. I did the damned drum to specification...or at least it sort of looked like the hand drawn picture that they gave me but since I skipped the instructions, I forgot to add the neck band and drum sticks. So she was unable to play her drum in the performance anyway. I almost cared but sinced I was too pissed about having to make the thing I put minimal effort into it and really barely gave a rip, just wished I hadn't made the effort to got to two papelaria's. Luckily for me my kid is 3 she just doesn't care that much. She'd been practicing without a drum all week she didn't care. She performed that "Little Drummer Boy" remix like a champ. It was awesome!!!!! To see my kid actually perform at one of these things. Usually she throws a mini-fit and just hangs out in my arms and I've let her cuz it's all so new. But this time I knew she could do it. She looked so cute and she did great. She still sings and does the song. I'm posting video of this all I hope. Otherwise enjoy the pics.

Our Donkey Christmas is coming soon.