Friday, September 21, 2007

What we did on our vacation...

Skippy and I had a nice, quiet week in central Vermont. We traded a week at our timeshare in Puerto Vallarta for a week at a little place near Killington.


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Day of the Dead in Patzcuaro, Michoacan

From 10/30 to 11/2 we visited friends Lee and Judy Parker, who have a house in the center of Patzcuaro. It's an oasis behind walls, carefully restored, and decorated with fine examples of area folk art.

The city is in an area where people follow the traditional, indigenous practice of building altars of flowers on the graves of dead family members, and placing the person's favorite belongings at the grave.

We made many visits to the central plaza, which is a madhouse of activity. Vendors sell traditional foods, like sugar skulls; artisans display their works all around the perimeter; and there are crowds--teenagers, tourists from Mexico City, locals from the country around Patzcuaro. Every year there is an exposition of the best work of Michoacan's artisans, and you can buy excellent folk art for great prices. One of our favorite purchases was a clay pot made in the nearby pueblo of Cocucho by Juana Alonzo Hernandez, shown here with her pots. We also got some jugs (we may convert them into lamps) from the pueblo of Huancito.


Joaquina in her golf cart

Joaquina loves the golf cart she got last spring. She took me for a ride, a hair-raising experience. She wants to make a sign for it that says (in Spanish) "Caution, vehicle makes continuous stops," like on mail trucks in the U.S. This makes sense, since she delivers the mail using the cart.

Monday, March 20, 2006

a day at the beach

We explored a new beach yesterday: Playa de las Naranjas, north of LaPenita and about three miles off the highway. After leaving the highway, we drove through an area with lots of tobacco fields and mango orchards. Nayarit is a big tobacco state. We saw a tree with unreal-looking blossoms shaped like bunches of vibrantly pink strands. They look like something you might dust with.

There are many palapa seafood restaurants along the beach, and we settled into one, ordered huachinango sarendeado, and took a stroll along the beach. Big Mexican families were coming in by the carload. Everyone brings supersize bottles of soda, coolers, and big bags of chips. And there are always several generations of family members. I think we were the only twosome in about 1/2 mile of beachfront.

On the way home we stopped Lima de Abajo, a pueblito near the highway, because I wanted to find out about the statue of the man's head in the center of town. There were fresh flowers at the the base of the statue. I should have known--it was Lazaro Cardenas, expropriator of petroleum.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

el dia de expropiacion petrolera in San Pancho

Today is sort of a holiday here because we are observing the expropriation of the petroleum industry by Lazaro Cardenas. All we have done so far to celebrate is have a tank of propane gas delivered. (Propane is derived from petroleum, right?) I'm not sure what else we could do that is petroleum-related to mark the occasion. We had a burner on the stove fixed last week, but if I had know today was the big day, I would have waited. Maybe we could have a party...hmmm....having trouble thinking of how to work petroleum into a party theme. Any ideas?