Tag Archives: oceans

An Even Pelican Kind of Day

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Sunday, October 8, 2017

I am in Mexico.

I’m grateful to have two days off for our school’s Fall Break, which gives Hubby and me FOUR WHOLE DAYS at the beach. I have grown so attached to my young students and just when I was starting to miss them, I ran into one of them in a restaurant in town!  How fun to compare stories of our day at the beach! (Over the years I have come to believe that many times the Universe gives you what you need.)

One of the favorite books in our class of three year olds is about Pete the Cat. When he has problems (like stepping in mud in his new white shoes) the book asks us, “Does Pete mind? Goodness no!” and then a picture shows Pete saying “Groovy!” or “Rock and Roll!” or “It’s all good!” This weekend I’ve been channeling our friend Pete the Cat.  The wifi in our condo is down and at first I was anxious about not having 24/7 access to the world, but it’s turned out to be a really good thing.  I’ve read half a novel, four magazines, and taken two really great naps. Rock and Roll! Groovy!

We made great time on the road and arrived at our beach condo Saturday at 2pm. We’d anticipated huge crowds of folks on Fall Break at the border, but for whatever reason, there was no line at all and very little traffic. We arrived to see a very pleasant group on the beach—nobody blasting stereos and everyone cleaning up after themselves.  We’re always disappointed to see a large group set up on the beach RIGHT IN FRONT of our place, and sure enough:  There was a large group of guys with umbrellas and a big pop-up shade.  I took a deep breath and channeled Pete the Cat and shrugged to Hubby, “It’s groovy.”  And it was–it turned out the the group of 14 guys were very quiet. In fact, they seemed downright bored!  I know if it were a group of women, Hubby would dub them a “Hen Party” so I searched my brain for a male equivalent. I settled on “Buddy Fest.” Bachelor party?  Church group?  Gay choir vacation?  Fraternity reunion? They politely sipped their canned beers, standing and chatting in the tide. One man flew a kite.  They packed up at sunset, and we never saw them again. (I love to make up stories about strangers, don’t you?)

If you’ve read this blog before, you know one of my favorite things to do at the beach is count pelicans. Over the many years of vacationing at this beach, I’ve come to believe that the Puerto Penasco pelicans travel in groups of odd numbers most of the time.  Well.  Yesterday ALL the groups of pelicans flying overhead were in groups of EVEN numbers.  I tried to skew the data by counting 18 pelicans, then adding the one guy flying solo about 30 seconds behind. This happened over and over again, until Hubby stated (in a wise voice), “I guess it’s just an Even-Pelican Kind of Day!”  All I know is I think I saw more pelicans Saturday than I have during the whole rest of the year!  We literally saw thousands that afternoon. Where are they going?  What will they do there?  Why are they in such a hurry?

Ruby the Wonder Spaniel is not at the beach with us.  Her hips have grown too painful for her to easily come up and down the stairs to our tiny beach condo.  She loves the beach so much that I’m thinking we will bring her next time, perhaps dragging her down on a blanket and at the end of the day, Hubby could carry her back up the stairs. I am missing Ruby and our cats, but how lovely for the two of us to have a short respite in this beautiful place where the sound of the ocean lulls us to sleep, and there is nothing much to do but enjoy each other’s company, read a good book, and appreciate the fantastic beauty of this Sea of Cortez.

Cheers,
Mary

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Waiting for the Mango Man

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I’m in Mexico.

All day I’ve been watching for the mango man.  He wears a huge straw hat and pulls a small cart through the sand. In his cart are ripe, juicy mangoes, which for only $3 he carves into a flower and hands it to you with a smile.  This treat is so pretty you almost don’t want to eat it . . . but you do, and soon your hands and chin are dripping with mango juice and sweet tamarind syrup.

Hubby and I had a smooth drive down to Puerto Penasco yesterday with only a short wait to enter Mexico.  We got the green light so got to drive on through without having our car searched or Ruby’s dog papers examined.  This was a HUGE relief, since I’d worked myself into a minor frenzy after reading tourists’ bad border experiences on FB pages devoted to tourism in Puerto Penasco.  I was believing every car was being searched from top to bottom.  I believed the line to get in was always two hours long, and that they were harassing people with dogs.  I heard the border guards were taking all meat, fruit, and vegetables.  I emptied a corn flakes box and stowed my tomatoes, oranges, and limes in it, then put the plastic sleeve with the cereal back on top.  I asked Hubby to pretend he was searching the car.  He picked up the now three-pound box and said, “Dios Mios, what heavy cornflakes!”  I’d frozen our deli meat and hidden it under the carpet in the trunk, along with Ruby’s prescription dog food.  The reason the Mexican people are not as welcoming to the American tourists as of late is quite obvious and will not be given any explanation here except to say these three words,  “Build a wall.”

So here we are, on a practically deserted stretch of beach, with the sun shining above us, a light breeze blowing over the blue ocean waves.  It is 75 degrees on our patio–just right not to be too cold or too hot in our swimsuits.  I’m reading the witty Lauren Graham’s book called Talking as Fast As I Can which, being a huge Gilmore Girls fan, is very enjoyable, but if you aren’t a Gilmore Girls fan, I can’t imagine finding it appealing.  I’ll be ready by tomorrow to finish Known and Strange Things by Teju Cole.  I’m reading it for my art book group, and I’m not yet seeing the connection to art.  Because the author is black, there may be a tie in with the Kehinde Wiley paintings we have at Phoenix Art Museum.  It’s a collection of 50 essays on politics, photography, travel, history, and while some of them are interesting, I’m glossing over some of the more ponderous essays.

But where is the mango man?  A few minutes ago I heard the tingaling of a bell and grabbed a of handful of pesos, but alas, it was only the helado guy.  I honestly don’t know how they pull that heavy cart through the sand.  I am not a popsicle person, though now I’m remembering the joy of hearing the ice cream truck when I was a young girl in Illinois.  A shiny dime could buy you almost anything on that little truck, and I always asked for a banana popsicle.

I packed for carefully for this three-day trip, which I usually don’t have time to do.  I brought cute hats and swim suit cover ups and actually held my swimsuits up to the light to make sure I didn’t pack any that had the derriere portion dissolved by pool chlorine–NOBODY wants to see that!  But there is nobody here except Hubby and me, so I’m still wearing leggings with a pair of Hubby’s socks and an old tshirt that used to be Patrick’s and is very soft for sleeping in which has these words on the front:

They lied to us.
This was supposed to be the future.
Where is my jetpack,
Where is my robotic companion
Where is my dinner in pill form, where is my hydrogen fueled automobile
Where is my nuclear powered house
Where is my cure for this disease?

Pretty dark right? (I love it.)  I look a mess.  I’d better change into my cute beach attire. Because the mango man might be here any minute.

Cheers,

Mary

Exposed

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I am in Mexico.

It’s perfect.  It’s exactly what both Hubby and I needed after that crazy month of May in which our youngest son graduated from high school and  we had a huge grad party, Hubby traveled on business to India and China, our daughter studied and passed her EMT certs, a family member was anticipating a big surgery, and I finished up my school semester working as a Kindergarten assistant.  As they say, all’s well that ends well.  But it was very stressful, and being here at the beach is the complete opposite.  We are being so lazy. This morning I took a long walk but other than that I can count my activities on one hand: read a novel, played Words with Friends, sipped cold Pacificos, snacked, and swam in the ocean.

The ocean has been rough for the past two days.  I prefer it when it is calm and fish are hopping out and you can see the dolphins glide by . . .  and no sea spray jumps into your beer. So instead of floating until I am pruny as I do with a calm sea, today I braved the waves for ten minutes at a time until I grew tired of the ocean flinging salty water into my eyes, splashing my hair, stealing my sunglasses, and generally acting like a school yard bully. And after that brief ten minutes, my suit would be completely filled with sand. Every time.  Under my suit, my body looked like a finely breaded chicken nugget.

A large Mexican family is staying in the large rental house behind ours.  They erected a shade structure on the beach in front of us and have happily lounged there all day, listening to banda musica (love) but shouting a lot (hate).  Actually there is only ONE man who is shouting.  ALL THE TIME.  And when he goes for a swim in the ocean, he whistles a loud, repeating  call to his friends on the beach.  I’m certain he must have been dropped on his head as a baby, so I’m trying to be sweet and not imagine him buried in sand up to his neck and being pecked by seagulls.  Because that would be unkind.

So about that walk:  This morning I woke up at the crack of 7:30, made the coffee, then excitedly took a long, brisk walk down the beach to visit my new friend, Leslie, who is staying about 3/4 of a mile to the south.  I happily had the beach to myself and was amazed again at the lovely temperatures and abundance of sea shells brought up by last night’s high tide.  It was then I noticed a seedy looking young American guy over by a sea wall in front of a large house.  I looked back and YIKES, he had pulled his pants down and was smiling at me!  I’d been FLASHED!   I quickly looked away, shook my head, and continued my walk.  So here was ANOTHER person who’d been dropped on their head as a child!  I have read about Peeping Toms and men who like to expose themselves and know they are not dangerous—just weird.  I was happy to see a beach patrol security guy and told him about it.  We both laughed when he asked me, “What was he wearing?” and I replied, Nothing!” On my walk back home, I looked suspiciously at every thin young man I saw, but shoot, I have no idea whether or not I saw him again or not.  Leslie and I thought up a bunch of funny one-liners I could’ve said to him, but we concluded it’s probably best not to engage the crazies.

And now?  A pod of dolphins just swam by.  Hubby took a quick snorkel swim and saw many sargeant major fish and a nice-sized ray. I have found only one jelly fish on the beach (yay). We are trying to decide where to have dinner.  Our favorite place, Flavio’s, served us soggy tacos last night, and sitting on the swings at Boo Bar wasn’t as much fun as last time because the music was too loud and we were just tired.  But these are small problems.  I am trying to talk Hubby into “working from beach” on Tuesday so we can have one more day in Paradise.

Life is good.

Cheers,

Mary

 

Lazy as Pie

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I am in Mexico.

Our journey here was an easy four-hour drive.  We set out early expecting crowds at the border due to the Roger Clyne concert happening in Rocky Point this weekend (which I’ve been referring to as Clynapalooza–I’m not a fan).   But the roads were empty and we rolled through the border, got the green light, and didn’t have even one angry truck trying to mow us over in their rush to get to the beach.

We’re feeling golden.

I’ve successfully completed my second  nap of the day, and for that I blame the unusually loud ocean and accompanying winds.  The waves are roiling and crashing and the resulting sound is so hypnotic that truly, the napping was out of my control.  In my swim suit with my feet up on the beach patio, I’m reading To Kill A Mockingbird for the second time (the first being 30 years ago) and am quickly being sucked into Scout and Jem’s world.  Hubby is working a Sudoku puzzle and helping me count pelicans (I believe they fly in odd-numbered groups and am constantly trying to prove this theory).  A cool breeze wafts over us, and I’m feeling glad I packed a pair of jeans and a jacket at the last minute.  At home, it is hot hot hot, but our favorite beach here in Mexico has not heated up yet.  The ocean is warm, though the huge waves prevented us from doing much more than “wallowing” in the low tide pools. I can’t wait to swim in the morning when the waves will be calm!

In other words, we are being lazy as pie.  (“If pie is lazy, then what is cake?” Hubby asks.)

We thought our children would join us here at our favorite place, but in the end, they did not want to.  This is the story of my life.  Fine.  I can wait patiently until there are grandchildren, when our offspring will be happy to join us so we can help watch their small children.  It truly seems like just last year that Patrick was a baby not wanting to put his feet in the sand, that Eve was afraid of the “big byack fyies” buzzing about, and William crawled down the hill to the ocean so quickly it scared me half to death.  We are so blessed.

Wednesday was my last day assisting in our Kindergarten class for the semester.  Job well done, all of us.  While my teacher friends at public school finished weeks ago,  I cannot complain about having to go two weeks longer since I simply love my new school, the teachers, the parents, and of course, the children.  I will miss everyone over the summer, but I plan to make the most of my six weeks off so I will be fresh and bright when the new semester begins.

Life is good.

Cheers,

Mary