Category Archives: Destinations

Trips I have taken, current trips, Trips I want to take

Check this out!

I have added a new link to my blogroll… Be sure to have a good, long look! “And Then They Were Gone” chronicles the travels (both physical and emotional) of Brian and Deya from Vancouver, BC, Canada who set out on their motorcycles two years ago. Destination: “Parts Unknown…”

What I’ve seen on the blog so far has caused the colors in my mind to shine with new verve and I feel like I too, am on the road again…   Their chronicle takes me back more than 40 years to my own South American adventure. I can still recall entire days: what I wore, who I was with, what we did, what we ate…

What fun! Reading “And Then They Were Gone” has sparked the spontaneous escape of so many fantastic feelings and    memories… of when I was too young to have any fear of the unknown and was not old enough to be concerned about anything other than my own freedom and self discovery.

In his latest post Brian expresses concern that their imminent arrival back to Vancouver will cause them to lose the sense of adventure they have lived these past two years… and his fears are well founded. But, even though we need to make concessions from time to time, our minds can remain free… we can shape our own destiny.

Many of you who are reading this post have done a similar thing. You left your homes wherever, and started new lives in Merida. You are living your own (albeit older) version of “And Then They Were Gone.” Experiencing life in another country opens a person’s eyes to new sights and opens the heart to new passion. I feel so fortunate that my life has remained an open road…

When Brian and Deya came through Merida they bought a house. So sometime in the near future they’ll be back… I look forward to seeing them again and in the meantime, I’ll be reading the follow-up chapters of their amazing journey.

Photo Credits: All images are from Brian and Deya’s blog

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A weekend in Mexico City

Before attending last Saturday’s Bob Dylan concert, Colleen and I visited the “Museo de Arte Popular” – the Folk Art Museum of Mexico. Housed in a magnificent art deco building (the city’s former fire hall) the museum boasts one of the most extensive collections of this type of art.

The folk art of Mexico is among the world’s most varied. Some is whimsical and some is somber. There are pieces with more colors than the rainbow and others are monochrome. There are miniatures and gigantic works; ornate intricate designs are found alongside rustic plain ones.

But whatever the particular style, the pieces are always creative and unique… like the people who design and craft them.

Sunday, the day after the concert, we took a peribus to “Parque Sulivan,” a weekly art fair held near the “Monument to Motherhood”. The park is shaded by amazing palm trees, a lovely backdrop for the paintings and sculptures. I bought one unconventional piece with a violin theme… but not too many artists seemed to be selling. “Few people can afford to buy art during these tough economic times,” one of the artists said, “But we enjoy one another’s company and the pleasure of being outside on a warm day.”

Next we made our way via metrobus and pesero (two more of the capital city’s public transport systems) to Coyoacán to see “La Casa Azul” the home of Frida Kahlo. Many criticize the way this artist has been exploited and I would agree with them. Nonetheless, she has been a favorite of mine ever since being introduced to her art when I was a high school student.  The home she lived in off and on throughout her whole life reflects her personality and tempestuous character.

We delighted in walking the streets and doing a wee bit of shopping in the market of Coyoacán. At one point we were approached by a stooped-over Mexico City matron who with arms spread wide cried out, “Look at this marvel of God’s mercy!”  She then directed our sights to a lone amaryllis lily that had forced its way up through the dry hard-packed earth on the side of the road. The magnificent scarlet flower was certainly a “marvel of God’s mercy,”  and I felt touched that this delightful stranger had pointed it out to us.

By this time, it seemed “not quite dark but it was getting there…” and we returned to the downtown area to see the Botero sculptures outside the “Bellas Artes” theater. Massive, curvaceous, sensual… so different from Frida’s phantasmagorical yet tortured canvases.

And to finish our day, we dined at “Sirenas,” one of Mexico City’s marvelous restaurants.

I will long remember the 48 hours full of music, art, and the eclectic energy that one can only find in place like Mexico City a one of the world’s great capitals.

Thank you Jorge… this was the BEST birthday present you could have given me: a BIG gift box stuffed to overflowing with Bob Dylan, Frida Kahlo, Botero, a host of other amazing artisans, and delicious food…

And if all this wasn’t enough, “thanks to God’s mercy,” I also saw that lone marvelous scarlet Amaryllis lily.

I don’t have the technical expertise to get the following slide show into proper order but I hope you enjoy the photos regardless…  the best ones are Colleen’s shots, the others are mine.

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Delighted by Bob Dylan

“How does it feel? Tell me how does it feel?”

It’s hard to put into words how I feel in the afterglow of the Bob Dylan concert: “Like a Rolling Stone” … “Just Like a Woman”… “Forever Young” … “It’s All Good” … “Positively 4th Street” … “Tangled Up in Blue” … all those things and then some…

Last Saturday night my friend Colleen and I had reserved spots in what we feared would be like the mosh pits we’ve seen on MTV. We figured we’d better arrive early in order to secure our places. But the “Pepsi Center,” part of Mexico City’s WTC, pleasantly surprised us. Coming through the big glass doors, cute-as-can-be “Indio Beer” girls greeted us, and after accepting their plastic cups of ale, we headed for the real bar. Great 60s & 70s music (Stones, Doors, Queen, Hendrixs and Dylan of course …) blared from huge speakers and I felt transported back in time (many decades of time…)

Holding different plastic cups, containing liberal sloshes of tequila, we located “Zona B” and plunked ourselves down… right along the wrought iron line that divided those who had (comfy seats) from those who had not (any seats at all) We quickly struck up conversation with the diverse group of Dylan fans surrounding us. Old, young and in between, we smiled … thrilled to be in one another’s fine company. All were suitably impressed that Colleen and I had come from so far to hear our guy play.

The “Pepsi Center” venue is not huge and we could see the stage very clearly. We felt as happy as two aging girls with bum knees sitting cross-legged on the floor could possibly feel. The tequila helped a lot… and with the medicinal benefits in mind, we went and got more. We were feeling no pain at all when at 9:00 pm – sharp, Bob Dylan strode out on stage. Like gazelles, Colleen and I sprang to our feet… jumping and jiving with the best of ‘em.

I hoped I’d hear my very favorite song, and Colleen wanted to hear one of hers, but if that wasn’t in the cards, it didn’t matter, it was enough to be in the same room with the man whose music had accompanied both of us through so many good and not-good-at-all times. And Bobby D. did not disappoint…

His voice has always been gravelly, and now at almost 74, it sounds like a sack of jagged boulders being dragged across the floor. His playing twangs and bangs more than it strums and soothes, and his moves hardly exude the energy they once did, but: “Don’t think twice it’s alright.”  To us, Bob Dylan looked and sounded better than ever. I won’t detail the play list in this post, but if you want to read what some other fans had to say and the get the blow-by-blow, click on this link.

We felt ecstatic to be at Saturday night’s concert. I will never forget it. But our 48 hours in Mexico City included many other fun and funny moments. I’ll write more tomorrow…

Image: The credit for the one photo I have of the concert goes to Colleen. We were asked not to bring cameras and we complied with that… but one little snap taken with the cell phone was too hard to resist. Blurry and teeny it may be, but really… by the end of the evening, our vision was of about the same clarity. A good time was had by all… Thank you Mr. Tambourine Man!

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Bob Dylan in Mexico City

I hope you’re in a comfy spot… link to this Bob Dylan song

Put on your earphones… and enjoy the music…

***

This ballad will always be special to me…

I heard it for the first time while waiting for a train in Cuzco, Peru:
Lay, lady, lay, lay across my big brass bed

I was way too young to be so far from home.

The strumming guitar and the sensuous lyrics

seemed like the most soothing sounds I’d ever heard…

Whatever colors you have in your mind

I’ll show them to you and you’ll see them shine

A dude sat down next to me.

He showed me the ultimate technology – a cassette player,

and he offered to let me hear the whole Nashville Skyline recording.

I fell totally in love – but with the song, not the dude.

Unfortunately the man and the music came as a package deal.

So I had to take to pass.

Lay Lady Lay, Lay across my big brass bed

***

Six weeks later, in a chic outdoor café on Buenos Aires’ Calle Florida,

A charming Porteño lowered his eyes, then looked up at me

and I heard it again – that song!

Stay, lady, stay, stay with your man awhile
Until the break of day, let me see you make him smile

***

Most tempting,

but I spotted a faint white line around the fourth finger of his left hand,

and my delicious desire dissipated.

***

A few years later, in another lovely Latin city…

An intoxicating Meridano and I had begun dancing around one another…

It all fell into place when I heard:

Why wait any longer for the one you love

When he’s standing in front of you

***

I’ve spent the ensuing 36 years in that man’s fine company

Stay, lady, stay, stay while the night is still ahead

***

Bob Dylan’s lyrics are like pearls on a linen thread,

and tomorrow, May 12th,  I’ll fly to Mexico City

to hear him sing them live… for the first time in my life.

***

I hope my favourite will be on the play list

But even if it isn’t, I’ll be hearing

Lay, lady, lay, lay across my big brass bed

***

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Bob Dylan in Mexico City

We all have dreams, don’t we? Some of them come true… others remain unrequited fantasies. One of mine has always been to see Bob Dylan perform live. As I live in Mérida, Yucatán, México… it didn’t seem too likely that this would ever become a checked-off item on my personal bucket list. I couldn’t see the local booking agency managing to talk him into a gig at Siglo XXI or Estadio Kukulkan

But miracle of miracles…  I am headed to Mexico City to see Bob Dylan at the Pepsi Center on May 12th. When I learned about the upcoming concert, Jorge said, “You could go for your birthday…” I threw myself into his arms. “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” was all I could say; then I called a friend who is also a Dylan fan from way back when and she and I are OK to go!

There’s no point playing like I’m cool… like I’m taking this in stride… I am over-the-top excited. I have searched every website on the web and have yet to find the playlist. I am hoping that Lay Lady Lay or Just Like a Woman will be included. I have  great m-e-m-o-r-i-e-s attached to those two, let me tell you. The icing on the cake would be to actually get backstage and meet Mr. Dylan. Yes (ever the optimist) I have sent in a request to the official website…Yes, I know it’s a super long shot… but why not try?

Obsessed about this as I am… I promise not to blog every day about the upcoming concert … but be sure you will hear all about it post-event. Are any other readers going?

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Watching our garden grow…

Our garden is so lovely at this time of year. We water it… we watch it grow… it’s better than a TV show!

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A Slow Start…

I am about fifteen days behind. By mid January, I have usually broken the diet I started on January 1st… this year the starting date has been postponed until all the our company is gone.

I did manage to get the Christmas tree down and I packed away the decorations but not by January 3rd… I think that happened about the 10th

I still haven’t returned the trays that the florist lent me… and two Tupperware containers (with lids) have been riding around in my car for more than a month. There is a dress that I have not picked up (sorry, sorry, sorry Alex… I’ll get there!)

My mother-of-the-bride dress must be taken to the cleaners… and my poor old 12 year old cat hasn’t had his little liver treats because I haven’t been to the butcher to buy them.

I’ve been taking leftovers out of the freezer for lunch almost every day, which is fine… but the fridge harbors many little plastic containers with contents that time forgot.

My hair needs coloring and I am desperate for a mani and pedi. My dear husband is a little more on-the-bit than I am, but not by much…

Yes indeed, there is concern that we will never resume our normal activities. And why might that be? Well, to start with, between December 2nd and today we had over seventy visitors from out-of-country. The last (my son Carlos) will leave this afternoon. We enjoyed seeing everyone, dancing with them at the wedding and wining and dining together at our house. I wish we could do it all over again.

But everything changes sooner or later… local friends are starting to call and last Tuesday, I did go to the IWC monthly tea. Jorge and I thank our Merida friends who lent us cars, hosted our guests, and especially my great friend who allowed me to hold Maggie’s bridal shower in her garden.

2011 with our two children’s marriages, a long stay in Italy, lots of social whirling and the never ending editing of my book was one of the busiest years that Jorge and I have ever had.

And that’s why we’re about 2 weeks behind… we’re resting up. We were so tired last week that I was taking a morning siesta, as well as my regular afternoon one, and sleeping well at night!

But we are almost recovered… we’re looking seriously at our Yoga mats and I have made a shopping list that includes lots of lovely fruits and veggies… No more butter tarts and shortbread for us!

A belated Happy New Year to all…

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