Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Over the border
The peaceful La Paz malecon
Chris and I have spent the last few weeks in La Paz preparing for our big sail north to explore the Sea of Cortez this summer. But in between all of the cleaning, provisioning, fixing and scrubbing, there's been some fun as well.
We both bought matching unisex hiking sandals (18 US at Mega) and Chris came up with a novel way to quickly tell whose shoe is whose:
Typical morning in La Paz
paddleboards and cactus
La Paz is the state capital of Baja California Sur, and for some reason they have these cardboard goats on the sidewalk in front of the governor's building. Meaning? (Too deep for me to understand, I guess)...
A local child showed me her play-money "Frozen" pesos
The TV in "Super Burro," our favorite local hangout, was playing an episode of Friends the other day. The subtitles of Joey's words translate as: "Where the hell have you been?" I think this is the one where the gang is in London for a wedding. Anyway -- everyone around the world loves Friends, apparently.
Marina La Paz, where we moored Espiritu during our
short flight north to renew our Mexican visas
Weekly music jam at Club Cruceros at Marina La Paz
This fellow cruiser's t-shirt says "I never though I'd miss Nixon." As with the goats in front of the governor's mansion, I'm confused by this message as well. I'm not sure if he's a disgruntled Republican, disgruntled Democrat...or simply disgruntled. Anyway, this photo shows the amazing selection of books and DVDs for exchange -- all four walls are covered floor to ceiling.
Color me dazzled. :-)
Speaking of politics, check this out. Now that Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee for president, well, he's certainly the hot topic of the day, to say the least.
Someone, apparently anonymously and under the cloak of darkness, pinned up a celebratory photo of Donald Trump on the Club Cruceros bulletin board.
The next morning, someone rearranged the push pins, leaving the photo like this:
Donald Trump, muzzled
If I ever look like this lady on the left, you have my permission to put me out of my misery
8yo Oliver of s/v Alert mans the outboard
Major provisioning for sailing north means stocking up on those little things you love that you probably won't find in the tiny tiendas, like canned chicken,
black olives, green tea, and sugar-free jelly.
Bret and Marne of s/v LeaHona relax with Chris during our one big splurge of the last couple of weeks: $4.50 US to go to the super-fancy recliner movie theater in La Paz. A waiter comes and takes your order. Wow. Life is good in Mexico, I'm telling you...
We saw "Eye in the Sky" starring Helen Mirren, which I strongly recommend.
It's been awhile since I've found a good candidate for my ongoing series: "Mexicans unknowingly wearing inappropriate donated English t-shirts."
My question about this t-shirt which says: "Single and Disease Free!" is -- what is the possible scenario where this t-shirt was printed? Who would wear it? Once again, as with the goats and the Nixon t-shirt, I'm purplexed. Me being confused is, apparently, the theme of the week.
La Paz worker takes a smoke break
5yo Emily of s/v Alert. Note the tiara on top of her little hat
Our 6 month Mexican visa expires this month, so Chris and I had to "step over the border" in order to obtain a new one. (Don't ask me why they do this -- once again, I am (surprise, surprise)...confused).
We took a $96 US flight from La Paz to Tijuana, just south of the US border.
Volaris gives every jet in their fleet a name. Charming, I think -- just like boats!
Our flight north was aboard flying vessel "Felipe."
The view from "Felipe" flying over the La Paz anchorage. Espiritu is down there somewhere.
Flying a Mexican airline in Mexico was pretty much exactly the same as flying a US airline in the states. Except...
...immediately after take-off this stewardess instantly went to sleep. It's a 90 minutes flight -- we weren't exactly flying over the north pole to Minsk (where the staff of course needs to take naps). Anyway, I'm pretty sure she was violating Volaris policy. As long as the pilot is awake...
After renewing our Visas at the airport in TJ, Chris jumped back on a plane south to return to Espiritu while I crossed the border to spend a few days with my family.
The overcrowded shanty-shacks cover the hills at the TJ border
Graffiti at TJ border
I passed the words "Fuck you, Donald Trump" written in spray paint.
Someone died when they plowed down this TJ lightpost
I took two trains north to visit my family in the OC.
A group of Amish boarded the train in San Diego
Super-excited preteen girls skip past the Amish at the train station. Perhaps they were anticipating their upcoming visit to Sea World?
The "Novelties" sign at the old San Diego train station is itself a novelty
First stop, my Dad's house in the OC with his lovely wife Michele
Dad and his sign by his desk which says:
"I'm at that awkward stage between birth and death."
He's an existentialist. I remember him reading Sarte
when I was a little girl. Pretty cool dad, huh?
It felt like old times reading the morning Los Angeles Times with my 82 year old dad. He's a traditionalist and continues kickin' it old school subscribing to the news-PAPER.
After reading the paper and discussing the issues (especially the sad state of the Angels baseball team), dad and I went for a walk.
He keeps quite the pace.
As I stopped to take a photo, Dad waves his hand
impatiently and charges on
This sign was posted in front of a million dollar home in Dad's OC neighborhood.
The OC is traditionally one of the most conservative counties in the country.
Later on our walk we passed this old tin mine.
Weird, I know -- old mines in the OC!
After our walk, we looked through some old photos. Here are some of my favorites:
Grampa Ralph feeding baby Gerry (my dad) a bottle.
North Dakota, 1934
My dad in his letterman's jacket with his sister Barb.
North Dakota, 1951
My sisters Kirsten and JoAnna
Newport Beach, CA 1975
My sister Devon, her daughter Grace and our niece Emily
Grampa Ralph with (L-R) my sisters JoAnna and Kirsten, my cousin Julie and me
North Dakota, 1967
The next day, Michele babysat my 6yo niece Emily for the afternoon.
Emily and I swam together for 2 hours! I taught her how to blow air from her nose when underwater -- obviously a skill of major importance in adulthood when you grow up in California.
After swimming, Michele and I did some yoga. Dad supervised.
After two amazing days catching up with Dad and Michele (thanks, guys!), it was on to my Mom's apartment in Costa Mesa (also the OC).
Mom is also old school, also subscribes to the daily LA Times newspaper, and we also discussed the issues of the day, including (again) the sorry state of the Angels. (Both Mom and Dad are ardent fans)
She bought me a beautiful birthday cake -- from world famous "French's Bakery," no less.
She also threw me a little birthday party. I'm a lucky girl.
But don't let the birthday cake fool you. My 81 year old mom hasn't been to the doctor in years and is as healthy as a horse.
Mom: "Here, have some seaweed to help counteract that birthday cake!"
Me: (cringing) "No, thanks."
Mom: (gleefully) "More for me!"
She's run the LA Marathon like 30 times and was in the top 10 in the senior category several times.
She also famously does not eat after 3PM. "Just like the Dalai Lama," Mom says. Hmmm. So she watched me while I whipped up a salmon filet for myself for dinner. That's my mom. Ya just gotta bow before her greatness and know that you will never be at her level.
Mom's very proud of her cool new finch feeder.
Just watching them happily eat and flit about joyfully
really is a sweet thing -- #tweet
My niece Lauren came to the party. She's 8 month pregnant, so I figured the
best gift I could give her is a good foot massage. She's gorgeous, healthy and calm.
I could not be prouder or happier for her.
My baby sister JoJo and her new husband Alan also popped by.
Thanks so much, Mom, for your amazing hospitality. As always, just basking in your glow is a joy and privilege.
It was an amazing trip. Literally everyone in the family is happy and doing well. Sigh. You know what that means...just waiting for the other shoe to drop.
We all have good times and tough times, so ya just gotta be grateful when the good times are rolling.
We're back in La Paz, and the plan is to sail north tomorrow morning to begin our summer in the Sea of Cortez. What will the summer bring? For you -- for me -- for any of us?
Time will tell...meanwhile, make hay while the sun shines!