Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Mis Hermanos y Yo

The Mariachi band was awesome. They played at Meri's house while she got ready and then followed her through the streets to the church. They even played in the church at times when the priest wasn't speaking.

Mateo and Meri at the alter.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Learning Spanish in Colima

The wedding is over and we're back down in Colima trying to recover ;-) It was by far the best and most unusual wedding I have ever been a part of. I normally hate weddings...don't know why, I guess I just always question whether both of the two people involved really want to be jumping in. Mateo and Meredith sure seemed like they did. It was sweet and fun and hilarious to see the whole thing. Meri was gorgeous walking through the cobblestone streets of this tiny town with everyone following. The ceremony was long and Catholic, but it was fun to try to understand what was going on. Afterwards, we hosted a party of at least 500 - 600 people. I say "we" because I was the Padrina of the hooch ;-)...well, not all the hooch, just the tequila. Funny for a girl that doesn't drink.

Mateo and Meri are off on their honeymoon now and I get their house to myself while they're gone. Mark, Myshel and Maxie left Monday morning to head back to Charleston and Mom and Dad left yesterday tomorrow morning. It's quiet, but a good atmosphere for me to work and study. I'm taking Spanish lessons each morning for the next few weeks. I decided there was no reason to rush home when there was such a great opportunity to learn some Spanish.

Interesting story - The wedding started at 5pm on Saturday. We drove up that afternoon from Colima. We had planned to get an early start to have time for visiting before the wedding, but as usual, we didn't get out of Colima till about 1pm for the 2 hour drive. Mateo thought we were coming earlier and began to worry so he sent a truck with two Mexicans and 2 M16s looking for us. We though he was overreacting in a huge way, of course, until we got the full story at the reception. Apparently the drug cartel of that area had decided they weren't going to allow any out of towners to come up the hill to the wedding. But in the end they decided two car loads of gringos were ok ;-)

The upload speeds here are ridiculously slow, so I can only get one picture up. I will try more later.

This is the main cobblestone street heading up to the church in Trojes.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Oh Mexico....I've never really been but I'd sure like to go

On Tuesday I flew down to Mexico with Mom and Dad. We're here for my brother Mathew's wedding on Saturday and, as always, it has been an adventure. We arrived in Guadalajara in the afternoon and got to meet Mathew's fiance Meredith for the first time. Mom has spoken with her on the phone, but none of the rest of us are confident enough in our Spanish to even give that a try. It's funny, but I don't recall ever being so excited to see someone I have never even met or spoken too. But, Medi is a very special person in our family, I don't know precisely why - maybe just because we are all so happy to see Mathew so happy. Like me, we kind of all thought he would never get married.

Mark, Myshel and Max arrived Tuesday night and we had another giant renunion. No one in the family gets to see Max as much as we would like and of course, he's always the center of our universe.

Mathew arranged for us to stay in this old converted hacienda in the old colonial section of Guadalajara. Our room had 20 foot ceilings, beautiful Mexican tiles and a giant private veranda overlooking the hotel courtyard. The city is cool and reminds me a lot of Havana except that there are cars and you can actually buy things if you want to.

We spent just one day in Guadalara, then made a 2 hour trek to Colima where we had rented a house for the whole gang. Max loves Mexico and picks up Spanish so easily.

Last night Mathew and I headed up to Troces, the tiny village where Meri lives to take care of a few last minute wedding arrangements. The village is up in the hills south of Colima not more than 70 or 80 kilometers, but a good part of it is dirt road which would be reasonably passable except that some American mining company trucks abused it during the rainy season and left giant ruts and holes everywhere. You can't drive much more than about 5 miles per hour on the dirt portion. The village is well worth the trip though. This morning for breakfast we had Starbucks on the range....the men get out and milk the cows...a little for the bucket, a little for their glass that has been prepared with a bit of sugar and sugar cane alcohol (to keep the unpasturized milk from upsetting the stomach ;-). Just the right amount of foam on top and surprising hot for having just come out of the cow! After a fresh glass of hot milk, the girls let me help with the tortilla making....big mistake of course, mine looked pitiful. But, it was great fun and corn tortillas with fresh home made queso makes a spectacularly fattening breakfast!

Here are two famous Mexican volcanos (can't remember their names). One is the most active volcano in Mexico. The cactus in the foreground are they ones the make tequila from. Did I mention, I'm the Madrina of tequila for the wedding ;-)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Dune Soaring??

The boys came over from Quest a few days before I left on vacation. The wind was 15-20 straight in all afternoon....of course, they dilly-dallied until late afternoon when it had switched very southy. That meant we couldn't launch from my patio. But, we went north up the beach where it curves into the wind hoping to find something soarable.

Had a great time, but the best we could do was to man tow or just take turns hopping off the 2 foot dune edge. Hopefully sometime soon I'll get to fly in front on my own house....I've always wanted to do that!