Sunday, July 31, 2011

Julian, Ca

On Saturday night we hung out up in Julain with some old friends that we have known since the boys were in diapers.  There is nothing better than old friends!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Camping with the in-laws

I haven't written a real blog post in ages.  I don't even know where to begin!?  So many different events have occurred this summer that I am unsure where to start.   I guess I could begin with our camping trip up to Mexico in early July, the one that I didn't pack for until the day of because I thought that maybe, just maybe if I avoided any sort of preparation for it Aaron would call the trip off. Hilariously he was hoping the exact same thing from me.  So we ended up doing lots of last minute running around coupled with bickering while we packed the car for our three day trip. 

It took us a little over an hour to cross the border and drive down numerous pebbled roads to get to Conrad's house.  When we got there they weren't even home.  The only one around was an employee of Conrad's, an ex-pat that got deported for smuggling illegals across the border.  Over an hour later they arrived, Conrad first on motorcycle followed by Eunice and the kids in their mini van.

They had not packed either but not for the same reasons we hadn't. That's just how they roll. Conrad calls it "living on Mexican time."  For the next few hours we watched them frantically stuff camping supplies in their car while their four dogs jumped all over us.  For a cooler they used a white plastic trash can sans ice that they filled with slabs of packaged clearance meat Conrad had bought during his last trip the U.S.

Finally we hit the road.  We followed Conrad who was on his motorcycle with Brian on the back.  Have I mentioned Brian yet?  He is Conrad and Eunice's adopted son.  I use the word adopted lightly because it's not official yet.  He is 13.  When I meet him in April he did not speak English.  He is pretty much fluent now. He speaks far better than Eunice or any of the other children.  He is a pretty amazing little person and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him.  Him and Jacob hit it off extremely well. 

Anyway our mistake was following Conrad who thinks it's cool to drive really fast.  I'm surprised he didn't kick it up a notch and do wheelies.  We lost him and after listening to Aaron have a total freak out festival for nearly 30 minutes magically we arrived at Las Canitas.

Las Canitas is surrounded by total poverty.  In the mountains and dusty valleys that are it's backdrop are countless shacks.  It was like nothing I had ever seen.  When you drive into the resort everything is vivid green, there are old fashioned looking log cabins in the midst of zip lines , upscale swimming pools with Disneyland style water slides. the grass we set our tents up on was so bright that it was like camping on a golf course.  Everything seemed so garishly out of place and absurd.  I felt weird about it.

That night Conrad unpacked his meat cooler aka garbage can onto the picnic table that we were supposed to eat our meals on.  It kind of looked like a horror film.  Next he started placing an obscene amount of meat on the grill and in pots to cook reminding me that, "Whoever cooks doesn't need to clean up."   Aaron I both agreed that it would be best to stay away from the mystery meat.  Our family ate grilled cheeses instead which made us feel like we were at Mexican Grateful Dead show. "My dad is just like one of those old creepy hippies that you'd see lurking around the parking lot."  For the rest of the night we only listened to the dead on Andrew's ipod.

The remainder of our weekend consisted of fishing, paddle boat rides and lots of swimming.   It  wasn't really the way we normally camp but the kids thoroughly enjoyed it.  It was nice getting to know Eunice's children better.  Her youngest David, spent most of the weekend following me around, which was pretty adorable.   Alonso, Eunice's 7 year-old kind of got lost in the shuffle.  Brian has such a big personality and David is so tiny and cute that sometimes the other kids didn't spend as much time with Alonso.  Next time we visit, which will be the first week of September, I will be sure to make a better effort at getting to know him. 

When all is said and done, I'm really happy that my father in law has found someone to love and be loved by.

David who is cute as can be

Brian Fishing with Conrad and the kids on the paddle boat in the distance

Mexican playground equipment is awesome!

Amelia and David enjoying the pool

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

At the Pocket, Ocean Beach: California

I took the kids to the beach yesterday for what to me felt like thirty minutes. After dusting the sand off their feet and piling all our ocean going gear into the back of my truck I noticed that my clock read 2pm. We were there for three hours! That’s what ocean Beach does to people—distorts time.

Pocket beach is my favorite local beach because it’s beautiful but more importantly it’s always empty. However, the few people we do share the beach with are always unique. For instance there was a woman frolicking in the water that appeared to be wearing an adult diaper inside her bikini bottom. Behind where our beach towel was laid out, a man in moon boots had a hoodie zipped over his face and was sound asleep. Also I may or may not have witnessed a teenage drug exchange. But hey, that’s the price we have to pay for the luxury of hanging out at a nearly deserted, beautiful beach.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dress Lust

I have a little obsession with online window shopping.  I am in love with these dresses:

The first one is from Anthropologie, the second two are J.Crew, the shirt is from Urban Outfitters, and the last dress is Free People

Monday, July 4, 2011


This weekend, for the first time I was able to visit Zorillo, the little village in Mexico that Eunice, my Father-in-Laws soon to be wife used to live.  I don't know if I can accurately describe what it was like.  I don't think photos do Zorillo justice.  You have to see it for yourself. 

The only way I can describe it is to say that it was like being in a Steinbeck novel, think Grapes of Wrath or Cannery Row, where everything is dusty and run down and homes are built with whatever is available.  The poverty is so thick in Zorillo that I felt shame over all the material items we own. There are stray dogs everywhere and weather worn storefronts.  Down a dirt road just past Eunice's mom's home there was the half eaten carcass of a goat  lying in the sun. 

Eunice standing in front of the home she built.

Neighbor kids watching our kids shoot off fireworks.  The homes in the background with triangular roofs are one room houses built by Christian missionaries.