Lo de Marcos Plaza at Night

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Great Family Time...

Bill and I have 4 kids...  biologically speaking, 2 daughters are Bill's and I have a son and a daughter.  But they are all "our" kids and have been for... oh my gosh...  I just looked at the date and today is our 35th anniversary.  Our kids live in New York, Ohio, Louisiana and Texas...  our grandkids live in Michigan, California, New York and Texas...  and there are great-grandkids as well.  Our "extended" family are all over the USA.

Last week, when our daughter and son-in-law who live in New York came here to Mexico for a short visit we were thrilled.

They were supposed to have a direct flight from NY, but as it happened, the Puerta Vallarta airport closed for several hours and their flight was diverted to Houston to wait for the fuel spill here to be cleaned up.  So despite the 3 hour delay, they did arrive safely and we happily began our visit.

Glenn and Donna 
We wanted them to see our new home, but we also wanted them to see the things that we like here so much.  Walking to the beach in the sun and wading in the Pacific Ocean is part of what we like so much.

Here's Bill, taking a photo...  

My Leica camera broke a month or so ago.  I ordered a new Nikon on Amazon, had it sent to Donna, and she brought it along with her this trip.  Donna took this picture of a whale, rising out of the water way off in the distance.  We stood on the beach and watched the whales coming out of the water and of them blowing water way high in the air.  

We went to the Tianguis (street market) both in the nearby town of Sayulita and in our own town of Lo de Marcos.  Donna bought several gifts at the market to take back with her.

The town just comes alive at dark...  at the plaza these folks were selling Churros (think of a long, skinny funnel cake).  There was a long line waiting for them to be made, but it was worth the wait.

This is the beach at Sayulita, which is much more popular than Lo de Marcos...  the surfing is better and it's more suited for folks who want to be around the tourist attractions.  While Bill and I seldom visit this beach, it's a "must see at least once" and of course we took the kids there.

January 6 is the "Three Kings" Day...  the day the 3 kings finally got to Jerusalem.  It's a religious holiday here in Mexico, celebrated by a Rosca de Reyes cake, which has a small plastic "baby Jesus" embedded in it.  Our King's Cake had THREE little baby Jesus's.  Tradition has it that whoever finds the infant has to buy the tamales on February 2nd.  (Dia de la Candeleria).  Donna told us that Evie, our great-granddaughter loves these kind of things, so not only did she take the 3 little figures home to Evie, she also bought her a miniature cake so Evie can find her own.

Of course we ate out a lot...  traditional Mexican foods, but also...
A great meal at an Italian restaurant just outside of town.
The guys that have the restaurant are only here during the winter months... during the summer they go back to Italy for their business there.  The food was excellent!

Here's Glenn with my favorite dog.  Pirate lives up near the plaza and frequently hangs out with us at the bus stop or goes on our Monday walks.  Around Thanksgiving he was hit by a car...  lost a lot of weight and looked like he was a death's door.  His owners feed and take care of him, but I thought he needed something extra so often give him chicken and rice.  Of course he made right up with the kids...  he's everyone's friend. 

Here's my kid!
Isn't it great to see that your kids can enjoy life!
(and, yes, she's a Grandmother... but a kid at heart!)

Too soon it was time for them to go back to New York...
We had 3 full days together, and we really made the most of it.
Spent most of the time in our own little town and still didn't see and do all the things we wanted to.  One thing...  Bill & I are taking Spanish lessons, and the kids went with us to class on Friday.  Truth is, Glenn conversed in Spanish better than us!  His high school Spanish came right back.

We did have a wonderful time...  it just passed all too quickly.
They are back in NY now...  maybe the other kids and their families will be next!

That's All For Today!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Last Post of the Year....

We've lived here in our house at Lo de Marcos, Nayarit, Mexico almost 3 months already and the days just fly by.  I don't think I mentioned in a previous post that my Leica camera broke last month and I've been using my "back-up" Canon Powershot.  It's a good camera but is difficult for me to use because it doesn't have a view finder....  locating anything in that flat screen thingy is just by chance.  So I don't take very many photos these days.  Well... I take photos but I'm lucky if I even get my subject in the shot.  But that will all change...  next week our daughter and son-in-law from New York will arrive for a visit...  and they are bringing a new camera for me.  I'm thrilled they are coming to visit and the camera will be a bit of icing on the cake!

The contractor and his crew left a few weeks ago, but there's still work to be done.  Bill works some each day on things...  like installing a light above the place I use my laptop, painting things, organizing his workshop, and stuff I don't even know about.  We go to Spanish lessons twice a week.  We both spend a lot of time studying...  Bill's much further along than me, but I love it when I actually understand parts of a conversation and can say a few words.

Enough of that...  let's get on to a few photos ...
Isn't he beautiful?  This young Broad-billed Hummingbird comes to our feeders several times a day.  I keep trying to capture the iridescent colors on his breast.  A mature male will have a totally green/blue front.

 Can you guess what species this guy is?  He's a Cinnamon Hummingbird.  He arrived before any other species and has already claimed all 5 feeders in the yard.  When not chasing any interlopers away he can usually be seen on this tiny perch in a tree just in front of the veranda.

 We have 2 red hibiscus plants...  one fairly large and one we just bought.  The blooms open up in the morning, close in the evening... then drop off...  only bloom for 1 day.  The flowers are quite large...  6"or more across.

When walking along the River Road the other day I saw some  splashing going on across the river.  I could see color,  and thought these were Painted Buntings.  I couldn't see well enough what the camera was catching, but when I got home and downloaded my memory card, I saw that these were about a half dozen Striped-back Orioles taking a bath.  While not a very good photo, I really liked it because it looks almost like a watercolor painting.

I've been hoping that the fountain we put in our yard would attract birds...  and finally this beautiful female Bunting flew in and spent about a half hour at the fountain one day last week.  

 I believe this is one of the "Sisters", but those spots are definitely yellow-orange with not even a hint of red.  I'll look it up later...

 These guys are harvesting coconuts.  There really is a man way up in that tree using his machete to hack loose bunches of coconuts.  Coconut milk is a very popular drink at roadside markets, on the beach and from street vendors.  They just slice off one end, insert a straw and there you are!  A drink with it's own disposable container.

 The Malachite butterfly was on my "must see" list for years.  They don't live in the USA (maybe sometimes wander into the very south of Texas) and I finally saw them in Mexico over 10 years ago.  We had them in our yard when we stayed in Costa Rica, and now they visit us here in Lo de Marcos.  I find it interesting that butterflies, as beautiful as they are, love things like old fruit, piles of horse manure, yucky mud puddles and other really gross things.

 Speaking of liking old fruit....  this Casique is having lunch on a banana from one of our trees.  As we expected (but hoped wouldn't happen)...  the whole bunch (50+) of bananas all ripened the same day.  And, as I wrote, I totally dislike bananas, Bill ate his fill, and we gave away all we could.  So, even the birds and butterflies enjoyed our crop.

We closed on our house back in July.  But, as is the norm in Mexico, we didn't get our deed and title then.  Finally, December 24th, Armando (left) and Robert (right) were contacted by the Notario (lawyer) that our paperwork was complete.  They picked it up and I just had to take this photo of them presenting it to Bill.  Yeah!  Now we're the official owners!

Right now our quiet little town is hoppin'!  While we're not the resort towns that Puerto Vallarta and Sayulita are, (I counted 12 tour buses waiting on the road leading up to Sayulita the other day), the beach and hotels here are crowded with folks from Christmas through New Years.  Most of the tourists here are Mexicans who live in big cities like Guadalajara and the like...  some actually have homes here that they only stay in a couple times a year...  some just take their vacation and rent hotel rooms or bungalows.  But come this coming Monday it will all be quiet again.

 This man probably has a trail ride lined up...  maybe a ride along the beach or up into the jungle into the mountains.  We might do that one of these days...   But for now...  this is...
The End

That's All For Today!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Everyone Loves A Parade!

The annual Christmas Parade here in Lo de Marcos, Nayarit, Mexico, is a highlight of the year.  It is organized by the Lo de Marcos Amigos, a group comprised of Snowbirds (winter residents), year-round Canadian and US residents, and local Mexican residents.  The parade was this past Thursday....  it started at the Oxxo station at the edge of town on Rt 200, traveled up the main street and ended at the plaza.  Lots of photos...  with short explanations below each...
The Parade Begins!
Lots of music...  lots of colorful clothing and decorations!
If you didn't already have the Christmas Spirit, this will certainly give it to you.

This group of children danced and sang all the way down the street.
A lot of the floats further back had folks throwing candy to the crowds.  I bet these kids were happy they were the first group so they could run back and get candy after they finished at the plaza!

This little cowboy is riding his Shetland Pony along side the kids dancing.

In the back of the cab, it looks like a Princess and Prince....  along with the teen controlling the music and the elf throwing candy.

Ah Yes...  the dancers!
They sure could rock to the Christmas Music!

More of the kids...

Lots of folks here have golf carts to get around town.  They really decorate them great for the Christmas parade!

The kids on the left are picking up wrapped candy...

Everything here is so colorful!
The parade started around 4:00 pm....  you can tell White Christmases are never gonna happen here!

That looks like a parrot to me...
And that little kid looks like he's having a fun chat...

That's Merlin on the left.  
He had a good time teasing the kids and pretending to perform magic.

I think that might be a Christmas tree?  Or maybe a birthday cake?  I really don't know, but it was colorful and fit right in with the festivities!

That's Frank, the guy who rented our house last year before we bought it.  I told him later that he'd be just perfect for the Rose Bowl Parade.  

Another golf cart...  I believe that that's the Queen he's got in the back.

Ah....  the horses 
There'll be more as the parade progresses.
But I'll tell you...  the saddles these guys have are something else!
Hand tooled leather...  lots (and I mean LOTS) of silver....  really beautiful!

Yes...  that's the queen of the parade...

And some little princesses!

Some balloons got loose from a float..
But they won't go to waste....  these little guys will grab them.

A really lovely Christmas Tree!

I don't know what make this vintage automobile is, but it's all decked out for Christmas.

Don't you just love the expression on this little girl's face?

This one's for my son, Dan.
He has one of these 3 wheelers back in Ohio.  

The band!
I don't have any information about who they all are or anything else...  just know that they play great music...  and the horses will start dancing when these guys play the first notes.

The horses and riders...
These are the Dancing Horses...  
We've seen them before, but I never tire of watching them perform.  And...  they never seem to tire of dancing!

Look at the mane on that horse!
A lovely braid that must take real skill to fix.

And, like all Christmas Parades...
Santa Claus and Mrs Claus at the end!

We followed the parade down the street...  stopped to watch the horses dance some more...

Got a sweet smile from this young lady...
She's carrying her "goody bag" to keep the candy in that she collected from the floats.

We walked around the Plaza...  more festivities there...

These ladies were in the parade...  all decked out in traditional folkloric clothing.

Well..  what's this?
The Amigos had bought and wrapped 600 gifts for the kids!
They were age and sex appropriate...  and there was one for every kid there!

I'm not sure what these 2 little guys got, but they were happy!

I saw a lot of Barbie Dolls...  
And a lot of happy kids!

We walked around for a while - did a lot of "people watching", listened to the holiday music and just kind of soaked in the Holiday Spirit!
I think I can honestly say...  A Good Time Was Had By All!

That's All for Today!