The Yucatan and Arizona
01.03.2018 - 27.03.2018 32 °C
This months blog will cover our last days in the Yucatan as well as our visit to Moorea’s mother-in-law Sharon and her husband Kent, in Phoenix, Arizona.
Well, who says boys don’t like to sew! Ismael was keen to try embroidering when he saw Janna and I at it...that look of concentration says it all.
I spent a morning with Andrea prepping for some Shibori dyeing by stitching fabric into various patterns, using thread, elastics and clothes-pegs. The image below is what her comforter cover “to be” looked like before dyeing. Also is a shot of the cream linen dress I made, ready for the dyeing process.
We took an afternoon to visit the VIP theatres in Merida....fully reclining chairs, meal and drink service...doesn’t get much better than that...95 pesos, which is approximately CAD 6.50. Dara and Andrea getting ready to enjoy The Post....very decent movie.
One afternoon when I returned home the kids were excited to show me a flower pod that had fallen down from one of the coconut trees. They are huge and have a very intricate pattern inside them.
Got together with a few friends one day to do some Shibori dyeing. I had made a cream linen dress earlier this month and wanted to use indigo to create a pattern using one of the Shibori techniques called pole wrapping. The fabric is wrapped around something tubular, in this case I used a piece of pvc piipe. Then, cord or string is wrapped around it and the entire piece is scrunched (a technical term!) down again and wrapped with more cord. This goes into the dye bath for a few minutes and then comes out to dry. Very happy with the end result!
Our friend Linda, who lives year-round in Progreso has a lovely botanical collection including some incredible cacti. One of them produces huge flowers that emit a “”rotten food” smell which attracts flys...once they go in to the centre of the very large flower, they are unable to get back out! Natures fly catcher...see below
Another great thing about Linda’s is that her neighbour, who has worked in many kitchens , opened a tiny restaurant in his home. He focuses on Italian food and homemade pasta. We went for lunch a week after her opened his venture and what a pleasant surprise. I had what was most likely the best spinach and ricotta ravioli in pomodoro sauce that I have ever had. Everyone else agreed, this guy has what it takes and we hope he makes it.
Rochelle and Bryan arrived in Merida on March 10 and as they wanted to experience Merida in the evening they stayed two nights at a lovely boutique hotel in Santa Lucia square...we joined them for one night. They found a sweet little “Speakeasy” called Malahat...a secret place that you have to know to ask for. The staff at the restaurant escort you around back of the establishment, through a dark hallway and into a very dim, mirrored room. The dark walls were lit by candlelight, the bartender was a master mixologist...and could he make a drink! What a sweet find!
We stuffed ourselves with thin crust, pizza from a wood fired oven...topped with local ingredients at Tratto...delicious.
The evening wound down with a wander around Centro for a bit before heading back to Santa Lucia...below, the cathedral at night...
The next morning Andy and I had a Mexican breakfast....he had Juevos Multelenos and I had Chilequiles...both yummy.
R and B had designs on a road trip to Los Colorados (the pink lakes near Rio Lagartos) and invited us to join them...it is quite something to see...all pink.
The region is part of the Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, a protected wetlands area home to animals like flamingos, crocodiles, sea turtles, jaguars, and all kinds of sea birds. The reserve covers some 150,000 acres. Fishing isn’t the only industry here, salt is big business in Las Coloradas. It has been for thousands of years, when the ancient Maya used this area to produce highly valuable salt. How do they do it?
Salty ocean water from the mangroves nearby floods onto hard flat salt plains, creating shallow lagoons. The sun then slowly evaporates this water, leaving fresh sea salt behind. While this “solar salt” production process is a natural one, the large pink lakes of Las Coloradas we see today were constructed by a company who produces salt on a much larger scale (500,000 tons per year).
The vibrant pink color of these lakes is due to red-colored algae, plankton, and brine shrimp that thrive in the salty environment. As the water evaporates, these organisms become more concentrated, glimmering pink in the bright Mexican sunlight.
The reason flamingos are pink is because they eat these pink creatures. Normally their feathers are white, however, they change color after eating these small tidbits!
A quick stop at a beach near Los Colorados....Bryan had a go at flying his drone...and a lunch stop at Rio Lagartos topped off the morning.
We then headed to Valladolid to the Mayapan Agave Distillery eager to check out the “tequila beverage” production...it can’t be called tequila because it is not made in the state of Tequila.
These last ones show the ovens where the Agave “pinas” ar baked and them mashed to a mush by a horse and a stone wheel.
Beach walk one morning produced these pictures including a boat with my name on it...unusual!
Those silly sandpipers!
The fair is back in Chicxulub for Easter...Rochelle and Bryan...well, especially Bryan...were sorry to miss it this year!
Our time is running out here in Progreso but it wouldn’t be a proper blog unless we had pictures of Mexican dogs, which have been fairly scarce this year....so...some puppies down near Dara and Andreas.
These three are actually Canadian dogs down for the winter with their owners...we were out for a beach walk and apparently so were they. The ocean was like glass and they looked like they were enjoying it.
The water was so lovely and calm on the long weekend that some of the ladies floated around for hours...until we realized we were a bit too far out and had to paddle back quickly to avoid a couple of boats! One of the weekend holiday makers had a huge flamingo that looked like a lot of fun, never seen a blow up water toy that huge. In two weeks is beach will be choc-a-block full of people, boats, jet skis etc for the Samana Santa holiday...hard to believe!
We had the usual “clean out the fridge” BBQ....here’s Andy and Andrea’s “piggy” working on bronzing those wings and not burning a pork tenderloin!
We are heading home via Phoenix, stopping for a few days to visit with Sharon and Kent. I am keen to see gigantic cactus and do some crafty type things with Sharon ( who is very artistic) and Andy is ready to go airplane hunting with Kent.
Day one of our Phoenix (well Buckeye really) trip we headed out to the Sonoran desert around Sedona. Gorgeous vistas, a couple of nice hike/walks and lots of traffic! Sedona is popular for a reason...so beautiful in and around there. We managed to find parking and a great lunch just outside of Sedona before heading on to even more incredible views. The day concluded with a visit to see Cathedral Rock in the Coconino National Forest. A small river runs through the area and there is a lovely walking path.
The Botanical Gardens were next on the list of “want to see” places...and what a treat it was. I can’t put into words how beautiful the gardens are, pictures are my only hope!
Day three Andy and Kent were off to an aviation museum to check out planes at the Arizona Wing CAF Museum while Sharon showed me around the adult resort community they live in. They have access to all kinds of workshops...woodworking, pottery and glassworks as well as an unbelievable pool, games rooms, a gym, sports of all kinds...including Pickle Ball....and all on a golf course Never a dull moment is what I think!
The ladies also dabbled with Alcohol Ink painting, something I had heard about but never tried. It was lots of fun and I have a tile to show...or not...my new expertise!
Below is my colourful tile....thinking a backsplash might be fun to do this way...only 100 tiles to go!
In the evening, Sharon and Kent invited us to a concert in the community centre and what a treat. “One of these nights”, an Eagles tribute band played for about 11/2 hours....all the old favourites. These guys were so good that if you closed your eyes....well....it took you back!
At the concert!
On our fourth and last day of visiting we headed (in the Westie) to Luke Airforce Base where Andy and I were vetted” to see if we were suitable people to be on the base...we passed with flying colours. Kent (who was a Captain in the US Military) and Sharon showed us around the base trying to get near to the fighter jets, but alas the areas that used to be open were now closed to non-military personnel.
We snapped images of the planes on display then headed over to a road by the runway to see if the jet fighters were still doing practice runs. The images below show very clearly that they were, and what a thrill. The last one was so loud our chests were vibrating!
F16 fighter jets going right over our heads....and the famous Westie Van that Kent has fine tuned into a miraculous beast!
A few shots from Sharon and Kent’s neighbourhood...the flora is outstanding...and their little casita is adorable...thanks so much guys!!!
Sooooo, who wants to plan a trip to Phoenix now??????????
That’s it for this year folks, hope you enjoyed reading about our winter escape...time to get going and unpack some boxes!