Thursday, November 26, 2015

Humbug And I Liked It Better When I Wasn't Working

Okay great, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.   I practically forgot about it until I left for the airport this morning.  In the car it hit me, it's Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. and the airport will be full.  But then reality sets in and I remember the airport is in Mexico.  I got to the airport 45 minutes before my flight and had lots of free time.   A mechanical failure left us behind for over three hours but they gave us a great breakfast voucher at any airport restaurant.  I chose Wings my favorite and ordered an egg white omelet with spinach and a couple of cups of coffee.   Needless to say, I missed all but one of my appointments today and tomorrow will be as scheduled.

So Thanksgiving!   Well, after living here for so long, traveling to many other American countries and last year's trip to Canada I realize now there is nothing to celebrate.   Christopher Columbus didn't discover the Americas they discovered him.   The British from the north and the Spanish from the south pretty much took over what were once great civilizations, killed most the people with weapons and disease and stripped them of their rights, liberties and freedom.   For a good glimpse of that just visit a residential school in Canada and you'll get a head full of information. 

Yep, it's been about two years since I decided that we weren't going to sell the house for awhile and Juan would keep working and that I should find something to do.   I love what I do but this year has been pretty scary.   Family members infirm, sudden deaths of friends and acquaintances and some we didn't know but were friends of friends have got me on the run.

I've been working on my Mexican pension and waiting for our accountant in the U.S. to get my 2015 taxes filed (an extension plus I have until June as a foreigner every year to file) so I can update my social security account.  I say, "sell off the ranch quick, get in the rv and head for all points south".  After our four-month journey last year to Canada I was a bit worn out but now have all my spit and vinegar back to do something like that again but in Mexico and Central America.   After all, how much money do you really need?

In the end, for those who believe, Happy Thanksgiving!   I have one more trip next week to Palestine, Texas and it's a marathon trip.  I tried to cancel but they wouldn't let me out of it.   Shucks!   Then I'm free and I can spend some of this hard-earned money on the rv.   After that, I'm outta here! 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Canadians Heading South Stop By For a Visit

We had received a couple of emails in the last months asking about stopping by for a visit.   Majorie and Bob, Sue and Jerry are couples we met last winter while in Mazatlan.   We kept in touch and here they are.   Actually they arrived on Saturday and left early this morning.   We offered them posada at the resort we belong to in Montemorelos.   The manager loves rvers and was very happy to see two huge rigs lined up along side the pool area.  

They beat us to the resort.   Most people drive like snails and take a day to arrive.  Bob was in the lead and his GPS and my maps got them here in record time.  We had some wine and conversation and then headed home for the evening.   

The call was early up on Sunday and out for a tour of Monterrey at 9 a.m.  We arrived, they were ready and off we went.  This is a holiday weekend for us, three-day and also Buen Fin where Mexican merchants attempt to compete with the U.S. and Black Friday.   However, the weather this year may be against them.   It has been drippy, cloudy and foggy since our guests arrived but we wouldn´t let it stop us.

We went for a walk on the Paseo Santa Lucia.   There was a line of at least 100 people waiting to take a boat so we opted to walk the river.   Lots of conversation and I think they are impressed with our great city.   

We had lunch at the famous Taqueria Juarez downtown before heading home.   

We dropped everyone off for a nap and headed home only to return to a fantastic steak dinner with great salad, wine and bread.   Thou was seated next to me.   Great fun had by all and we just sorry that the weather wasn´t on our side and that they couldn´t stay longer.  But hey, I don´t blame them, their headed to the beach!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Convention In Cancun

Little Bit was interested in going and hopped in the suitcase right away.  As we pulled out of the driveway Wednesday morning he sat on the porch with his head down.  I felt bad, still do.

I'll be short with some pictures.   The weather stinks.  It has rained in downpours everyday and the humidity is the worst I have ever experienced in my life.

I posted this on Facebook and it wasn't a shot that was planned.  As a side note I said, "and mine are real".

The hotel is right across from the beach.   It's one of the less-expensive places here.  It had been closed for a few years and recently reopened.   Mediterranean style, you enter through what appears to be a series of boutiques.  They are mostly empty.   There are 20 suites in total.   The room is huge, all marble floors and bathrooms with columns and arches.   A living room is on a lower level and the bedroom 6 by 6 meters.  Very comfortable but as for the rest of the hotel it needs updating.   We always book a room for the convention and arrive a day early to search in person.   Sorry, but who would pay $450 U.S. for a hotel room?  Not me.  Cancun has never impressed me.

My publisher's stand in the exhibition hall, University of Dayton.

The convention is a success with 3000 teachers in attendance.   The convention center is one of the better layouts in the country and can accommodate our large group easily.   BTW, the best part of our hotel room is the two-block distance from the convention center.   

In between is a huge three-story Chedraui super store that has incredible food to go or eat in.  High class and all prepared on-site and at the moment; pasta dishes, pizzas, sirloin burgers, vegetarian, oriental and more.   There is a huge wine selection that takes up one third of the second floor.   One thing I've never seen is a wine dispensing machine.   A stainless steel wheel with a ten bottle wine selection inside.   Crystal wine glasses sit on white cloth napkins.   You insert your credit card, make your wine selection and choose 1/4, 1/2 or full glass.   Meals are served with dinnerware and silverware.  We've eaten there all week and have yet to spend over 150 pesos for the two of us.  Yesterday Juan had four-cheese penne that was incredibly good and I had oriental rice and chicken. 

I had my workshop yesterday with over 100 teachers in attendance.  Staff from the University of Dayton in Ohio attended to see how I work.  They are offering me a contract of some kind in the next few weeks.  I'm still in the dark so that is up in the air.   Anyway, my talk was a success and everyone was happy.   

I had dinner with the authors, Mexico City staff and people from Ohio last night. 

Good fun, people and drinks.  Juan has his presentation today and that will be my focus.   We don't recognize many folks here anymore.   They're all retired and now we're the old folks.   

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Cancun Here We Come!

Cancun!  Sounds great, doesn't it?  It is great but we both will be working at the national convention.  We are both speakers at the event where we expect 3,500 teachers.  

I'm sure we'll have some time to be tourists.   We leave tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. and come back Sunday afternoon.