Happy New Year. Feliz Año!
Wishing you several moments in 2015 that you can look back on with a smile. My/our selected moments from 2014:
BEST TREE HUGGING MOMENT
In August, we took a day trip down to the Chiapas-Guatemala border to visit the Maya Archaeological Site of Chinkultic. Here I found my favorite tree of the year and enjoyed the silence and mystique of this site that is not commonly visited, but should be.
BEST TETRIS MOVE
I’m never moving back to Denver. Mainly because I never want to deal with my storage unit again. I’ll just keep paying the monthly rent indefinitely for no good reason.
BEST LEARNING EXPERIENCE
When your living space is infested with king size wasps, don’t waste several weeks walking around with a flip-flop in your hand trying to take care of business on your own. Just hire the pros.
BEST SWEET TOOTH SATISFIER
For this one, I’m trusting the sweets expert of the household. This supposedly tasty treat is the Pasta Frola Dulce de Leche from a coffee shop in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay. My husband’s eyes rolled back in his head from the bliss. I don’t like sweets, so I’ll take his word for it.
BEST CULTURAL MOMENT
Lucha Libre in Mexico City. A completely ridiculous way to spend 2 hours. And completely necessary!
BEST SURPRISE VISIT
Nothing warms the heart like a visit to Grandma’s house….even in 20 below zero weather. Late February I made a quick surprise visit to “the Lake”, more formally known as Lake View, IA, to visit my Grandmother. Priceless.
BEST BEEN THERE, DONE THAT
Even though I wasn’t completely enamored by Buenos Aires this time around, I still loved walking the streets of this vibrant city, 7 years later.
BEST NIGHT UNDER THE STARS
One evening back in March or April the Orquestra Sinfonica de Chiapas was offering a free evening concert on the banks of the river in Chiapa de Corzo. A more beautiful evening couldn’t be had.
BEST DOWNTON ABBEY MOMENT
This was the best unintentionally stumbled upon museum of the year. In Montevideo, Uruguay the Museum of Decorative Arts has a boring name, but I’m so glad I decided to walk in anyway. Tell me Mrs Patmore and Daisy aren’t about to make dinner in this kitchen while Lady Mary plays the piano “up above”.
BEST IF YOU MUST GO TO THE BEACH DESTINATION
More of a mountain girl, I don’t usually get too worked up about a visit to the beach. Punta del Diablo in Uruguay was an exception as I loved our short visit during off season to this somewhat hidden pocket of seaside cottages and outdoor barbeques.
BEST SNAP OUT OF A MOVING VEHICLE
On a bus ride from Mexico City to Puebla, we snapped a picture of the Popocatépetl volcano. Maybe it’s not the best picture out of a moving vehicle of the year- but I just like saying Popocatépetl.
Mexico has a fabulous cuisine, but Chiapas doesn’t really have any regional dishes that knock the socks off. So in the absence of local fare, we get really (REALLY!) excited about the botanero scene. A botana is just basically a small plate or snack that is served along with your beverage, usually a beer. This botanero, called Limoncito, in the city of Tapachula was our favorite new find of the year. Even more so because we got to share it with my mother-in-law and a friend visiting from Colorado.
BEST PERSONAL MISSION
To try all of the pozoles (pork and hominy soup) in all of Mexico. I may live here happily for the rest of my life, simply continuing the pursuit.
BEST NIGHT AWAY FROM HOME
We stayed at the cutest B&B in Oaxaca City back in March to celebrate our 5 year anniversary. The owners were beyond pleasant and had thought of every detail. We had the 3-bedroom house to ourselves and it wins the best night away from home award. Night, singular. Because nights 2 & 3 did not go so well as my husband gave himself ecoli with a plate of undercooked sausages.
BEST I’VE DIED AND GONE TO HEAVEN
Biwa. Portland. Go!
BEST MOST UNCOMFORTABLE 2 HOURS OF THE YEAR
Riding a camel sounds like a treat. And it is for about 3 minutes. Thankfully I was on the lite version of the camel safari. Two hours, enough for me!
BEST BIRTH CONTROL
Hanging out with my father-in-law and his 7 children! Ha! Totally kidding. We moved to Mexico to be in the family environment – and have had countless family gatherings since arriving.
BEST STREET ART
I dig Mexico City, like a lot! I love the random things you can find simply by turning the corner or looking the other way. This vertical garden is fun and such a great idea.
Indians and my wide-brimmed sun visor. Several times I was stopped in the street, hotel lobby or on public transportation by someone wanting to know where I got it. I really didn’t think it was anything special….I just hate sunscreen. On one bus ride an older man sat next to me and he spent about an hour studying the visor in great detail. I’m certain there now must be a factory somewhere in India now producing something similar. These boys were the best though – they followed me around the beach for about 20 minutes before working up the courage to ask me if they could borrow my visor for a photo shoot. Um, sure.
BEST NEW OBSESSION
Buying all the textiles in Southern Mexico. Beautiful. Can’t get enough.
BEST GIFT FROM THE PAST
All of the forts and palaces in Rajasthan, India. The Amber (or was it Amer) Fort in Jaipur, specifically. Mind blown.
BEST OVERNIGHT DECISION
Look up how to get an Indian visa. Find tour. Look for available mileage award airfare that coincides with selected tour. Give husband copious amounts of wine and convince him it’s the best idea you’ve ever had in your life – heck, maybe it was his idea to begin with! Sleep on it. Wake up and make it happen!
THE REAL BEE’S KNEES
Hanging with this guy. Period.