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Semana de Amigos y Amigas

Semana de Amigos y Amigas

The week of April 15, the week of friends

I have great faith in fools – my friends call it self-confidence.
~Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)

Rejoicing in our joy, not suffering over our suffering, makes someone a friend.
~Friedrich Nietzsche (German philosopher, poet, composer, etc.  1844-1900

Fully aware this is the third post using a title that begins with the word Semana, and that I have overstayed my Semana welcome; I promise to attempt a more creative title next time.  I may never even use the word Semana in a title again. But really, how I could not name this post Week of Friends when it was truly the week of friends.  Well, one of the weeks of friends, and an indubitably fun one.

Besides our usual comings and goings into town where we invariably stop to chat with a current or new friend for a few minutes, we also had our second delicious **vegan** dinner at Val and Doug’s place, which is really Gary’s place.  Once again, Val and Doug exceeded our expectations with an oh-so-delicious vegan meal that was prepared with mucho amor, color, y creativitidad.

Vegan Sushi

Val's Famous Vegan Sushi
Look at all this veggie sushi. Accompanied by peanut sauce. Yum.
Avocado, mushroom salad
Doug’s salads are a work of art.
Vegan friends Sayulita
Scott and Val solving the world’s problems
Vegan friends Sayulita
Gary and Doug watching Scott and Val solve the world’s problems…smiling because they realize the virtual impossibility of such.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The real test of friendship is: can you literally do nothing with the other person? Can you enjoy those moments of life that are utterly simple?
~Eugene Kennedy (psychologist 1928-present)

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

And along came the girls.  This is a friendship that began in 1996 in a psychology class called Abnormal Psychology. That about sums it up.  During the past 17 years, we’ve taken a number of awesome get-aways ranging from hanging out locally in San Francisco or Half Moon Bay to a place called Sheep Dung in Grass Valley.  Come to think of it, we’ve never gone outside of California if my memory serves me well, which is a long-shot as my memory neither serves me nor is well.  Mexico was our first international Mate-cation and surely the greatest distance we’ve ever been together.

I awaited their arrival with the enthusiasm of a dog in morning.  And that’s in the morning not in mourning.  For those of you who have dogs, you can relate to this.   The startling awakening with a wet nose in our faces as she eagerly anticipates our first words marinated in rancid breath that had been soaking in leftovers all night.  To dogs, this is like the scent that accompanies the air after the first rain of spring.  It’s inviting, refreshing, and enlivening.  I love how Stella jams her nose in our faces to get as close as possibly to this heavenly thing emerging from our innards.

Then there’s the great anticipation for the first walk of the day, because each day is like the very first time ever. Despite finding the exact same spot to poop, she hunts for the perfect spot. Each walk on each day is like discovering a new treasure chest filled with the riches of life’s mysteries. “Seriously?  We’re going outside?  Together?  You and me?  Let’s do this thing!  I’m really really ready!”

Okay, I got off track again.  Anyway, you, dear readers, probably now understand the level of my enthusiasm sans the whole nasty breath part.  The girls arrived Thursday afternoon.  I was checking us into the Villa Amor, our 2-day home away from home, as they pulled up in the taxi.  Given our mosquito-ridden, dirt-driven, and potentially asthma-inducing home for Colette, we had to place our heads on pillows elsewhere.  And what a joyful reunion it was.

Coco, Kenda, Ann Sayulita 2
Coletta y Annie B hanging at Tranquilita – Villa Amor
Coco, Kenda, Ann Sayulita
Dinner at Don Pedro’s

Bombers in Boston
Friday, April 19, 2013

Cherish your human connections: your relationships with friends and family.
~Joseph Brodsky (Russian poet and essayist 1940-1996)

This day turned out nothing like I would have intended or ever imagined.  I awoke to learn that the Boston Marathon Bombers were on the run from the police and surfaced in Jaime’s immediate neighborhood. 

What?  Having not seen or heard any new news, this was an unpleasant surprise.  Shocking.  The marathon bombers were in a car chase that ended in the oldest brother being shot only blocks from Jaime’s home in Watertown.  The day turned into one, long, harrowing, Facebook message as Jaime was unable to use her cell phone (per police).

And just when the all-clear (the Boston lockdown being lifted) was given at some point early evening, I walked back home to gather some things for the next couple of days.  Arms full, I was walking out the door, and my mother called – frantically.

Doesn’t Jaime live on Franklin Street?!

, I answer, bewildered by her tone of voice.  Why?

The bomber is on Franklin Street!
she replies then adds, Oh I am just so sick over this!!


This was like friggin’ Cujo, Jason, Freddy Krueger, and Chucky all wrapped into one horrendous reality show. Just when you think the bad guy is dead or gone and everyone is safe, he reemerges, threatening mankind.  It’s worse then when Bush got elected the second time.

There were messages all over her facebook page, and fortunately we were able to talk with her using the phone (thankful for Ooma).  Koren, Jaime’s mom conferenced us all in.  We were on the phone for what seemed like 3 hours. Jaime, hiding in her basement with James, Hunter (their dog), and her landlord.  We in Mexico and Koren in NJ.  It is an incredible testament to the virtues of technology. I know I gripe a lot about technology, but on this day, I felt – wholehearted – gratitude for the myriad of ways we could all stay connected: phone, facebook, Skype.

Despite the horror, Jaime managed to keep her humor in tact. Hours later and now the darkness of night eerily encroaching into what has already been an intensely long day for Jaime and James, we were all growing impatient for this 19 year old terrorist to be taken into custody.  Kudos to all the officers for keeping civilians safe during the hunting and gathering of this young and clearly delusional perpetrator.

And thank God Jaime and James came out physically unscathed and outside of some potential, minor, and hopefully easily resolved, PTSD, otherwise unharmed.  For this we are very grateful.  This has clearly hit way too close to home.  I often reflect on how much safer I feel living in Mexico.  Many in the US would find that odd, but since we have been living here (8 months now) I have heard of only one (one is enough) violent crime.  There was no gun, but tragically, it did involve an adult killing a small child.

But now, in the US, one simply turns on the news and learns about some shooting somewhere. And on too many instances, a mass shooting.  Another violent death to which we’ve grown so accustomed. I’m fatigued when hearing US citizens drone on about their 2nd Amendment rights when the rights of the rest of us who choose peace over violence are being violated.  God forbid we strengthen gun laws to help weed out the unsavories who have no functional reason to own a gun.  Anyway, again, I digress.  This isn’t the forum for my political rants.  I do feel a little better tho, so thanks for listening.

Boston Bomber on Franklin Street
This photo taken by Jaime with a caption: I’m relieved to say my street is now probably the safest place in Boston.

After this ordeal, Scott walked me back downtown.  I was too tired to eat or even think clearly.  The girls bought some dinner and gave it to Scott.  The night ended with me in a stream of conscious thought processing to my friends who came to have a relaxing vacation not a therapy session! Fortunately they are tolerant and loving…and trained.

Some people go to priests; others to poetry; I to my friends.
~Virginia Woolf(1882-1941)

With that trauma reasonably behind us, we used the next three days to have a lot of funBelow is a photo montage of those three days together…it went way too fast of course.

Saturday April 20, 2013

The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four people is suffering from a mental illness. Look at your 3 best friends.  If they’re okay, then it’s you.
~Rita Mae Brown (1944-present)

View from Villa Amor - Coco
View from Tranquilita – photo courtesy of Colette
View from Villa Amor, Sayulita Mexico
View from Tranquilita – photo courtesy of Colette

And then we went to Punta de Mita or La Cruz or one of those places.  The confusion lies with the address of Casa Risco, our new, temporary, home (thanks to the uber generosity of the Stockies) for two days.  Aye Dios Mio, it was maravilloso.

My latest favorite words are Mucho Calor!  This is now my catch-all phrase when encountering new people.  It’s hot!

Sunday April 21, 2013

My mother used to say that there are no strangers, only friends you haven’t met yet.  She’s now in a maximum security old-age home in Australia.
~Dame Edna Everage (character of comedian Barry Humphries)

I’m not sure what part of today I loved the most.  The morning whales splashing and breaching off on the horizon?  Seeing the sunrise with utter enthusiasm despite a grave lack of sleep. No discredit to the most amazing bed and bedding I’ve had in months (and that I didn’t have to share with anyone). The bedding was so soft, it felt like I had been dropped into a vat of Reddi-wip. I rolled around in it trying to get the scent of it all over me.Perhaps what I loved most was the tropical fruit salad and granola I feasted on for breakfast. It might have been just hanging out in the pool with my girlfriends chattering away identifying and solving the world’s problems. Pelicans flew by us at eye level while we sat on the deck, in the pool, or on the hammock.

Risco = Cliff
Casa Risco
I awoke to this…sigh…

We spent a few hours in PV touring and shopping.  And yet ANOTHER synchronistic Mexican moment, we stood outside a shop that Annie wanted to check out. It was closed.  Within 30 seconds, the shopkeepers pulled up in their car and opened the place up for us.  Turns out it was the wrong shop but had some cool stuff nonetheless.

I think the bus ride to PV was a true competitor racing for the finish and winning highlight of the day.  We first took a Vallarta colectivo. Sitting in the back (where all the bad kids go) and feeling every bump in the road like we were in a horse and buggy while the wind whipped through our hair. The driver, a 50-something with a mariachi-style mustache was on a mission to get us someplace as quickly as possible not minding the scooter, other vans, and cars he came within inches of slamming. We arrived at el Centro simultaneously with El Centro bus.  One of many synchronistic Mexican moments. Paid 50 pesos for the three of us (give a 2 peso tip to the driver), hopped off and back on the other bus. Another 20 pesos for the 3 of us to El Centro.  All told, it was 70 pesos for our transportation.  Granted, the bus took an additional 15 or 20 minutos, but we saved about 400 or maybe even 500 pesos.  Close to 40 bucks.  And we certainly would have never had that much fun and laughter in a taxi…so we THOUGHT.  This was until we met Angel Allejandro, our taxi driver back to La Cruz. He might have been stoned, but I think he was simply a happy guy.  Laughing and smiling with us.  Mucho agua says he as we drove by the ocean.  Funny.

Bus to Puerto Vallarta
The girls on a bus to Puerto Vallarta
On a bus in Mexico
Fun on the bus

On the colectivo from La Cruz to Puerto Vallarta – for only 16 pesos we put our lives in the hands of a maniacal driver who had at least 3 (that we could see) near misses almost hitting a scooter, a van, and a car.

Children in the river near Old Town Puerto Vallarta
Children in the river near Old Town Puerto Vallarta

Monday April 22, 2013

There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.
~Charles Dickens (writer and social critic 1812-1870)

Tres amigas en la sofá roja
Four feet above water with waves – Photograph by Annie B

Such a sad moment when we all parted ways on Monday, April 22.  They in a cab to the airport, and I in search of the Compostela, the green and while bus, back to Sayulita.  I was feeling tense about taking the bus.  The notion of not having a seat while holding all my crap was unnerving, yet the bus was less than one third full.  It was all good and only cost 13 pesos!  I even took a short video clip to share with you the flavor of riding a local bus in Mexico.  I was sitting in the front behind the driver.  You can see or hear, rather, the clip here.

So long as the memory of certain beloved friends lives in my heart, I shall say that life is good.
~Helen Keller (1880-1968)

Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is far the best ending for one. ~Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

It is one of the severest tests of friendship to tell your friend his faults. So to love a man that you cannot bear to see a stain upon him, and to speak painful truth through loving words, that is friendship.
~Henry Ward Beecher  (Social reformer, abolitionist, 1813-1887)


*Photos and stuff*  Please contact me for permission to use images and text for commercial or private use.

This is Mexico Post #13, to see the other Mexico posts, click click click away

Mexico Post #1, Me and My Trimalleolar go to Mexico with my Husband and our Pooch
Mexico Post #2, Dos Americanos y Su Perro en Mexico
Mexico Post #3, Feliz Ano Nuevo 2013
Mexico Post #4, Ballenas, Ballenas Hermosas
Mexico Post #5, Una Visita Morelia
Mexico Post #6, Mariposas Monarcas!
Mexico Post #7, Los Pueblos de Patzcuaro, Paracho, y Tzintzuntzan
Mexico Post #8, La pintoresca ciudad de San Miguel de Allende
Mexico Post #9, Guanajuato, Guanajuato
Mexico Post #10, Back to Sayulita and Jaime Visits!
Mexico Post #11, Semana Santa y Semana Pasqua
Mexico Post #12, Semana de Animales
Mexico Post #13, Semana de Amigos y Amigas
Mexico Post #14, Frida y Diego
Mexico Post #15, Adiós Sayulita
Mexico Post #16, Living and Grinning in San Miguel de Allende
Mexico Post #17, Puddle Jumping in San Miguel de Allende
Mexico Post #18, Guanajuato International Film Festival
Mexico Post #19, Ciudad de Mexico/Mexico City: Colonia Condesa, Colonia Coyoacán, y La Casa Azul
Mexico Post #20, Ciudad de Mexico/Mexico City: Chapultapec y Centro Historico
Mexico Post #21, Ciudad de Mexico/Mexico City: Museo Nacional de Antropologia y Templo Mayor
Mexico Post #22, Living the Dream in San Miguel de Allende
Mexico Post #23,  Viva la Independencia! 
Mexico Post #24,  Adios San Miguel
Mexico Post #25,  Valle de Bravo y Teploztlán
Mexico Post #26,  Ciudad de Oaxaca
Mexico Post #27,  50 Shades of Green: On the road from Oaxaca to Chiapas
Mexico Post #28,  San Cristóbal de las Casas
Mexico Post #29,  Almost Halloween Ed.: Dark Mountains,  Foggy Cliffs, Witches, Jungles & Shamans
Mexico Post #30, Veracruz, Tampico y Estados Unidos


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