Monthly Archives: July 2010

It’s A Small World After All

July 30, 2010

This is our little breakfast nook with a view!

 

Many thanks to everyone who has written comments and has e-mailed to say they are enjoying these postings from Canada. It’s nice to be sharing this holiday with all of you via the blog. We’ve had such a lovely time but we do miss home. Your messages make us feel so good!

Today “our chauffer” picked us up promptly at 9 am. I’m actually referring to a West Vancouver Transit driver who by some serendipitous happening seems to always be the guy operating the big blue bus whenever we board it… Check out this link to read more about him: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/27188/ )  “Off to Horseshoe Bay again?” he asked. Yes indeed we were taking the ferry to Vancouver Island to see more old friends…  

Those readers who have never made the crossing on BC Ferries to Vancouver Island should add the trip to their Bucket List. It’s like going on a short Gulf Islands cruise for just $13.00 and if you’re lucky enough to be on a new boat, the appointments (restaurant, lounge-bar, shops and business center) make you believe you’re on Princess Lines. Whales and other sea animals are sometimes spotted during the trip – quite exciting!

Heather and Brent picked us up and off to their lovely home we sped. Jorge and I prepared margaritas and guacamole which were followed by champagne, salmon, salad, cheeses and chocolate. I’m afraid the road to rolly-polliness continues to be long, wide and full of temptation.

Friends since high school days, Heather and I have seen one another through some of the best and some of the worst times in our lives. She’s always had a few choice words just when I have really needed them… Our relationship is also a lot of FUN and today was no exception. We laughed until our sides ached!

Backing up a few days, my sister Barb and great friend Mary stayed for two nights at the beginning of the week and Merida’s symphony conductor Juan Carlos Lomonaco’s sister and a friend also visited us in our West Vancouver digs.  Harry and Pilar are in the magazine publishing business and it was interesting to hear their take on the future for writers in Canada. Apparently it’s no easier than anywhere else. But as Harry said, “People aren’t going to stop reading and new authors do get lucky on a regular basis.” Hope springs eternal, I guess.  

Monday will see us leave Vancouver and fly to Calgary where we’ll spend a few days with Vanda and Ali, good friends from Merida. It’s odd how my two worlds are now converging. In Mexico we see many friends from Canada and here in Canada, we meet up with lots of people we’ve gotten to know in Mexico!

Indeed… it’s a small world after all.

PS. For Colleen… If you read this “Happy Birthday”. Jorge and I thought of you when we drank today’s champagne!

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Team Mexico’s fireworks display dazzles Vancouver crowd

July 29, 2010

Hey! Have a look at how Team Mexico dazzled Vancouver last night!

Jorge and I enjoyed the wonderful fireworks display in the company of about 15 family members, friends and neighbors… sitting on the logs of a the West Vancouver beach.  Marvelous!

Ah… here are another couple of photos of the Rosado-Brown reunion at Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver

See more fireworks pictures by checking out this link:

 Team Mexico’s fireworks display dazzles Vancouver crowd.

¡Viva México!

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I could get so used to this…

July 27, 2010

Joanna and her sisters

 

Jorge and I are still in Canada enjoying the west coast Canadian summer at its best! We’ve not had a drop of rain but have been showered with kindness by many good friends.

My long-time friend Mary has chauffeured us from one lovely event to another. She’s planning to join us on our Life Long Learning trips this winter and will perhaps spend a few weeks in Merida as well.

Those of you who live in Merida will be thrilled to see this photograph of Jan and Tony Brown. They both look fantastic and are looking forward to returning to their La Ceiba home in early October.  (J.K. if you are reading this, Jan absolutely loved her Frida necklace!)

The family have also deluged us with invitations to dinners and picnics and we are beginning to feel like roly-poly piglets!

We corresponded with an invitation to all my brothers, sisters and significant others to join us for mole and margaritas. They tucked in as though they were the Mexican relatives… not the Canadian ones!

Hikes in the parks and along the little beach in front of “our” house are helping to keep the zippers from completely popping…

The sales are at their peak in the city’s department stores and boutiques. The bargains are hard to resist but the weight restrictions are keeping the spending in check.

 

However, the best part of this holiday is waking up each morning and knowing that

I don’t HAVE to do anything. Stress level is down to almost zero. My only responsibility is keeping the ten plants watered – I could get so used to this!

(Yes these pithaya-looking flowers are growing in a West Vancouver home… here they are called “Moon Flowers”)

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Mellow Memory Lane is fine indeed…

July 25, 2010

This is a photograph of a poster at “Legacy Square” in Whistler. The image was taken during the 2010 Winter Olympics

Today’s posting could be interpreted as a “Rah-rah-rah west coast Canada!” promotional blurb but hey – if the shoe fits, wear it!

My annual trips to western Canada are usually taken on my own and do not involve a lot of sightseeing. After all, I’ve “been there… done that” many times. I most often spend my days in company of my sisters and friends and we do what women do best… talk, talk, talk and shop, shop, shop. But on this particular sojourn, Jorge is with me and he isn’t really into the hours of sitting in the shade and maxing out the credit cards. No, no, no… my family understands that he wants to have a good look at all there is to offer and they have happily obliged. For me, this has been an unexpected bonus; revisiting all these attractions takes me back to my girlhood when I went everywhere for the first time… a real trip down Memory Lane. Yesterday we drove to Whistler… another “blast from the past.” My first memories of the spectacular coastal mountains are of biting cold and long treks… My dad John and his brother Lewis had been mountaineers in their youth and believed that their delicate tenderfoot city-bred offspring should also experience the wilds in winter. They were a little lenient in that we partook of the camping in the springtime but the lakes were still frozen solid and snow was deeper than we were tall. We had hiking and sleeping gear left-over from an Antarctic expedition my grandfather had been on in 1912! Can you imagine? The sleeping bags were made of shrunken wool and so itchy we could hardly stay in them… and the smell! I can still vividly recall the all-pervasive odor of wet canvas tarps – ugh!

Contrast these memories with the Whistler complex of 2010. The best way to describe this world famous resort is to think Cancun (which as you know consists of multiple shopping venues, hotels, restaurants, throngs of beautiful half-naked people, drinking, parachute gliding and wave running… all set smack dab on the beautiful Caribbean beaches) Whistler today is a similar over-the-top commercialized “village” set amidst year ‘round covered snow peaks. The British Columbia scenery is as breathtaking as our Quintano Roo seashore…We found ourselves overlooking the garishness and looking for the sublime.

We certainly found it and we had FUN! We watched buff young guys (and a few girls too) riding their dirt bikes along absolutely treacherous trails… thundering down and then sliding to a dust plumed finale.

We enjoyed a fabulous meal and a refreshing drink at a flower-enclosed bistro and we strolled through the shopping Mecca that offering everything from trendy Guess, Gap and Zara creations to Armani, Saks and Gucci.

 

Driving back to Vancouver we couldn’t stop exclaiming over the the towering mountains that rise literally out of the Safire-blue Pacific. It is with justifiable pride that B.C. car plates read: “Beautiful British Columbia.”  

Back in our cozy little West Van nest, Jorge took us back to Mexico dreaming with his deadly delicious margaritas and yes, we accompanied them with guacamole and tostadas. After only ONE, we wove our way down to the beach (right in front of the house), sat down on a log and watched the Vancouver Fireworks Festival. Spain was the featured country and what a show! It was certainly up to the caliber of their World Cup performance… Los Gachupines are on a roll…

As I sit here this morning, the rest of the household is still snoring softly and I’m feeling mellow indeed. As I said a few posts ago, “Travel is good for the soul!”

***Images are mine except for the two of the fireworks that were taken from Google Images.

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A Day To Remember…

 July 21, 2010

B.C. Ferries in Horseshoe Bay

This morning the sun had barely risen over the mountains when Jorge and I set off to visit Vancouver Island and our family living there. We managed to score window seating right at the front of the ferry and happily tucked into the “West Coast Cholesterol Special” – the kind of breakfast that my dad used to say “will put hair on your chest!” Eggs, sausages, bacon and buttered toast… getting through all that food and exclaiming over the spectacular Pacific ocean scenery took up every minute of the one and a half hour crossing time.

Maple Bay

Met by our aunts Dot and Alice, we drove up the Island Highway to Maple Bay, my mother’s childhood home. How many times had all of us been to this unique beach with her? Clambering along  the rocky shoreline was her all-time favorite way to spend a day! The fact that she’s no longer with us in bodily form didn’t diminish her presence in the least… today would have been her 85th birthday.

A birthday bouquet for Mom

Genoa Bay, another of Mom’s haunts was next on the itinerary. Jorge had a blast, camping-it-up for my new camera.

Back in Nanaimo, we visited more family, including “Tio Doug” who is now 98 years old. He wintered in Yucatan for more than twenty years and endeared himself to all our friends and family. He charmed the ladies too. He told us that on one memorable day, three of Merida’s most eligible ladies “of a certain age” came calling at the same time. They considered him to be a “three timer” and let him have it with both barrels. “But Ladies,” he reportedly said, “there’s plenty of me for you all!”  

Lots of reminiscing, looking at photographs and promises ”to do this more often” ensued and I just know that Mom was happy with her birthday celebration…

Jorge and I headed home to our lovely little nest… And ah, in case you can’t tell, “We’re haing a wonderful time!”

Our home for three weeks!

 *** All photos taken today on my new Fuji XP camera

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But Jorge, I forget that sometimes…

July 19, 2010

But Jorge… I forget that sometimes.

My most recent posting appeared last Thursday… “Leaving on a Jet Plane”. Well Jorge and I did indeed get away and the flights proceeded smoothly. The one snag occurred at the Houston airport…

Although we had not left the “secure zone”, we needed to get from Terminal E to C which involved passing through another “checkpoint.” After being (literally) herded through a maze… removing shoes, belts, silver bangles, watch and all contents from the pockets… then placing everything we had taken off into separate plastic trays (NOTHING on top of anything else)… we were asked did we have any liquid substance over 3 ounces. “No,” said I… “Wait!” interjected Jorge, “How much cologne did we buy?”

A gleam appeared in the eyes of the “inspector” and she carefully read (through the still-sealed and taped Cancun duty free shopping bag)  3.4 ounces. “This must be destroyed.” No arguing from us… rules are rules, right? But as she prepared to hurl the illegal substance into the bottomless pit, a cooler head said, “It is just .4 ounces over.”  The rather substantial female holding the Guerlain glared and boomed, “See the supervisor!” She passed over the potentially lethal little flask (in a plastic tray) and he carried it to a raised cubical where the Super’ sat. She looked closely at him; words were exchanged of which we only heard, “Are you willing to take responsibility for this?” He solemnly nodded and after waving some kind of (magic?) wand over the bag; he returned to us with a smile, saying “Take it along…” I looked him right in the eyes and thanked him for his kindness. We were grateful but I worry about that young man’s next performance assessment. Maybe he will be deemed as not having the right attitude for the job there at “Checkpoint Charlie”?

After flying diagonally across the USA, we began our descent into Vancouver International.  Looking out at the majestic mountains on one side of the aircraft and the 1,000s of tiny islands on the other… my heart began to pitter-patter. Sighing deeply, I took Jorge’s hand and said, “This is  incredibly beautiful.” “Of course it is and Joanna, it is your home.” I closed my eyes to keep the little tear in place and I answered,

“Yes, it is… but Jorge I forget that sometimes.”

I live in beautiful Merida… it is my home. But so is magnificent Vancouver. How blessed I am to be able to say this. 

 

*** Photos from Google Images (except the one of Jorge and I…

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Leaving on a jet plane…

July 15, 2010

 

Remember that song, “I’m Leaving On A Jet Plane”

The next line was, “Don’t know when I’ll be back again…”

But I do though, August 10th is the day

That Writing From Merida will once again play –

Across your PCs, Macs or laptops

With tales about writing, Merida and whatnot.

If there’s a chance in the next four short weeks

I’ll post from Vancouver, but not from Wreck Beach!

Victoria is famous for Parliament and flowers

On BC Ferries we’ll arrive in two hours.

Whistler would be a very fine place

To take some great pictures of beautiful space.

We’ll also be going, near Calgary

And on our way there, we’ll see great scenery

In the tall Rocky mountains, green fields and fast streams

We’ve been there before, it’s the stuff of dreams.

Yet all the beauty we’ll see won’t compare

To being with loved ones with whom we’ll share

Coffee in the morning and wine in the night

 Pacific barbequed oysters will be a delight!

The summer is young, there’s still some time

To plan a vacation to a place that’s divine

Near or far, in fine company or alone

It’s good for the soul to get out and roam

*** All photos, except the one of Jorge and I are from Google Images

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