Saturday, December 29, 2007

The road to Guanajuato

I love Guanajuato. I had forgotten how much until I stepped off the bus yesterday morning and on to its busy streets. After over 24 hours of bus riding madness, from Houston to McAllen to Leon, I finally made it back to my favorite Mexican city.
It´s a city unlike many others in this country. As a UNESCO World Heritage site, regular traffic is kept to a minimum and only cars and smaller buses can navigate its narrow, winding streets. Roaming about as a pedestrian is quite an adventure.
We arrived only yesterday morning and already it feels like we´ve been here a week. The food is sooo tasty and sooo cheap, as are the cervezas. After a relaxing first day, we hopped a bus this morning to Cristo Rey, a monument to (who else) Jesus at the top of a mountain. It was a long, very bumping and hair-raising bus ride but we got to see the giant statue. It was worth it, as the view from the top was amazing.
I´m not sure what the plan is for the next few days. We´re just sort of playing it by ear. But odds are they will include 1) good picture opportunities 2) tasty yet cheap meals and 3) siestas on the rooftop terrace of our hostel, with cervezas in hand. What more could a girl as for?

Sunday, December 23, 2007


I've had quite a bit of fun these past few days. After a couple of days with Grandma Glenna and Grandpa P.D. in Glen Rose, I finally made it to Austin on Thursday night, just in time for dollar night at the Library (yes, there is a bar called the Library - and here you were thinking I was a giant nerd). The plans I had made to meet up with some friends for said dollar night didn't pan out, but as luck would have it, I had a wonderful alternative. The day before I received an email out of the blue from a good friend of mine who I hadn't heard from in quite a while.
I hadn't seen my e-club buddy Chad in a couple of years at least (we tried and couldn't remember when the last time was). He's been down in the Caribbean for awhile helping the Bach's rebuild their sailboat (check out if you want to know what I'm talking about). He's in town for a couple of months right now before he heads to Prague for at least 6 months and possibly 4 years if things go as planned. So of course I had to see him! I drove down to his neck of the woods as soon as I got into Austin.
A few rounds of pool and a couple of beers later, at about 1 in the morning on Friday, we came up with a brilliant plan (or at least what we thought was a brilliant plan at the time). Desiring to get away from the traffic that was sure to come from the hoards of holiday shoppers on the Saturday before Christmas, we decided that a roadtrip to Enchanted Rock was in order. And you can't just drive out there for the day. Well, I guess technically you could, but that would just be lame. By the end of the evening we had decided to head out early on Saturday and camp out at the base of the rock (since they won't let you camp on top of it :-D) until Sunday morning.
What we didn't realize at that time was the weather forecast for Saturday night wasn't quite ideal for camping. But Mavericks that we are, we couldn't be swayed. While Saturday would prove to be sunny and beautiful, the solstice sunset brought with it frigid temperatures, just as the weatherman predicted. Instead of the nice 65 we had seen during the day, we were subjected to a low of 28, according to the ranger lady I asked before we left. We had a good time though. The hiking in the daytime was fabulous, I had a chance to get a growler of ale from the Frederickburg Brewery as we passed through on the way to Enchanted Rock (even if it was too cold to drink any of it while we were there), and I had a wonderful time catching up with a good friend.
I would however like to take this moment to pause and say thank you to the powers that be for the wonderful gift we has a people have in woolly socks. In the words of Pablo Neruda,
"Beauty is twice beauty
and what is good is doubly good
when it is a matter of two socks
made of wool in winter." (From "Ode to My Socks")
And on that note, I'll say goodbye with some words once sung by Robert Earl Keen,
"Merry Christmas everybody. Happy Holidays, yall"
(You'll want to download and listen to "Merry Christmas from the Family" at this point, as it's the only Christmas song I can listen to over and over again and not go crazy).