Saturday, January 22, 2011

January - February Doldrums

Just sitting in my old chair drinking hot coffee and eating oat meal for breakfast, we haven't done much since we got back from our trip. Traveling home was uneventful. No plane delays. No missed flights. I got my share of pat downs at the TSA areas, but I have got it through my head now that the searches are going to happen so let them have their fun.

Since we returned, the most asked question I have gotten from the people at work or who know we go to Mexico is "do you feel safe down there?" I hope our posts of the night life in Melaque answers that for our readers. I always reply "It's like walking around in Hayden Lake or Post Falls in the 60's."

We don't go places that look like we should not be there. We are never our with the drunk crowd late at night. We don't frequent large town party areas. We never walk the beaches at night. So we have never had any problems in Mexico.

I am a faith full reader of a on-line forum that deals with truck campers and their issues. It is called NATCOA (North American Truck Campers Owners Association). Lately they have been talking about Mexico and how dangerous it is to travel there. One of the posters is an avid Mexico traveler and outspoken member of the forum. He spends a lot of energy defending travel in Mexico saying that it is safe, but very few listen to him. I believe that the nay sayers are the ones who have never traveled down that way and get their opinions based on news about deaths in the Mexican drug wars or have heard from a friend of a friend who got in trouble across the border. They don't see the demographics of the mass deaths when the news focuses on them. Young Mexicans in their 20's, heavy into the drug industry. We are never anywhere near that demographic. Our demographic is Mexican families, taco vendors, rug makers, pool cleaners and house cleaners. These are the people that we have gotten to know and love.

I read the posts like looking at a bad accident. I can't help my self. Yes we have never driven down to Melaque, but our friends have and we listen to their stories of how wonderful the people are and how sad it is that tourism is down due to the economy. John and Loretta Sutherland recently traveled down to their place on Baha and had no problems on their trip. Larry and Maggie did the same, only down to Melaque.

I just think that traveling in Mexico is like traveling anywhere. You have to be careful, you don't put yourself in situations that you are not comfortable in, you stay out of big city areas where trouble might be, you don't frequent bars and nightclubs and walk home drunk late at night, you stay away from drug areas, and you keep to the places that local families go. Sounds like what you do in the big cities up in the United States doesn't it? I'm not saying that sh*# won't happen. It does and there is no stopping that, but minimize the possibilities and it may not happen to you.

Enough with the rant. I have to go walk the dog in the 20 degree weather of north Idaho.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

The Eve of New Years Eve

Our family of friends gathered at Bigote's on the final night we were together to celebrate Don's 69th birthday. This small group has grown close over the years. It was great to celebrate, yet we all knew that within a day we would be back in our homes, not seeing each other for another year. This mixture made the night special. Don and Caroline created a wonderful dinner of coconut shrimp and we talked into the night.

The drinks and conversation prior to dinner covered many topics. All of our roots go back to the place where Don and Caroline are staying, La Paloma. We met Don and Caroline there in 2003 when we were drawn together by the parallels in our careers.

Grant and Jackie became friends with Don and Caroline who introduced them to us about two years ago. Though we are separated in our daily lives by many miles and in the case of Grant and Jackie, a country; we have many common interests and feel very comfortable together.

We have a lot to be thankful for: the trips to Melaque, the friends we have met, and the special friends we keep coming together with. It makes these trips special in many ways. We probably would not be drawn to return each year if we didn't have our friends meeting us in this small town.

I don't know how many necklaces that our three lovely companions have purchased from Gaston, but I think we keep him and his family in business for most of the year. He is a very good looking man, and his wife isn't hard on the eyes either. Our women gather around him and his artwork like flies to food on the 4th of July. They touch each necklaces and listen to the stories of where each stone was found. Gaston's descriptions, all spoken in an almost musical Argentinian accent. I think he sold most of his jewelry because of his looks, voice and stories. Grant, Don and I kidded constantly about how our significant others swooned over him.