Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sun Jan 3 - Two Week Catch Up

Wow - I can't believe that it's been so long since we've updated the site here. More so - I can't believe I haven't re-designed it and cleared out a lot of the old stuff yet!

I've done a TON of studying on different technology from what I've been using for years. I'm looking forward to introducing it all on the new site.

So - what's been happening since we updated last?

1. I climbed the mountain.
2. Jordan and Sara visited for 8 days.
3. We installed Windows 7 and have both computers running again!
4. Christmas came and went.
5. So did New Years.
6. More people moved into the ranch here.
7. We signed up for Spanish lessons

1. The Mountain.
So, there is a Shrine part way up one of the mountains from here. I was talking to a guy who hikes around in the mountains and he invites me out to go with hi. I'm told it's about 20 minute up and 20 minutes down. A great introduction to climbing in the mountains I think.

Well, I've got a lot of catching up to do here so, to make a long story short . . 6 hours later we return from the top of the 8,000' mountain. (We're at 5,000' here) Cuts bruises scraps and legs muscle aches from muscles that I didn't know existed. Holy crap - what an adventure.

The really fun part was when we lost the trail cut through the bush, got all tangled up in vines and then slipped on the loose gravel and slid on my back until I could catch a branch to hold me until Doug came back and tossed me a line.

Yup - mountain climbing - something new to add to the list of somewhat insane things to fill in time doing!

2. Jordan and Sara Visit
We picked up the kids from Guadalajara on the 22nd. It was late in the day so there wasn't much for them to see while we drove the 30 minutes back from the airport.

It was really fun having them here. Sara hadn't traveled at all prior to this so everything was a new adventure for her.

We took them out to all the local, 'way cool' restaurants We did the Wednesday 'Tiengas' local market. The next day we headed off to the Hot springs and the Spa. The hot springs are only about 10k from here. The springs themselves were a bit of a disappointment because the springs now feed manmade pools and hot tubs, but it was great to be able to swim in huge warm pools!

The Spa was a riot. They offer two packages. A 1.5 hour or a 2.5 hour package. It cost 40 or 60 pesos for the packages. 60 pesos is $4.80 Canadian so we figured, 'Go big or go home' and spent the $20.00 for the bunch of us.

Now - I'm not a Spa guy. I'm really not sure about all this laying in hot tubs of with all sorts of minerals, or flowers or teas leaves or whatever sort of plant they can think of. There were signs beside each of the first 6 hot tubs explaining what was in them and what they were good for. All I know is that and hour and a half later, I smelt something like tea and flowers, was wrinkled like crazy, and pretty damn relaxed!

Then we headed over to the other side where we covered ourselves in mud, ad I mean covered. Hair to toes - crazy! Just these little white eyes blinking through all this crap! Then sat in the sun while it caked dry. More hot tubs to wash it off, steam rooms, inhalers and saunas. All in all, quite the adventure. We all fell asleep totally relaxed pretty early that night!

We did the Tonala and Tlaquepaque tour with them. We went to the movies, we spent some time just hanging out, we did Christmas dinner at the local hotel restaurant.

The last day here the kids opted for going back to the hot springs over going and touring the town of Tequila. I guess Lynne and I will go there ourselves again one day and do the tour.

We took them back to the airport on the 30th. They had wanted to be home for New Years. We were both pretty sad and lonely for a couple of days after they left. They're god kids and they were a blast to have around!

3. Windows 7
Yup - It works. It seems pretty stable. It's always such a pain in the butt to reinstall all that software, but it seems like it was worth in. Now if we could only get a solid reliable internet connection, computer life would be perfect!

4. & 5. Christmas and New Years
Christmas pretty much didn't come to Ajijic. I've always wanted to live somewhere that there wasn't all the snow, the cold, the hustle and bustle of running to the mall, shopping for all kinds of stuff and running around like a crazy person. Now I had the experience, I missed all of that frenzy. We both missed all of the people, our friends.

Christmas here is very subdued. Santa doesn't exist in Mexico. Almost every house has a 'Creche', a nativity scene all done up with lights. The one here at the ranch was huge. Not the size of the people and animals, but the ground that it tool over and the number of people and scenes within them. All of these had the flashing colored tiny lights, but you houses aren't lit up like at home.

New Years was quiet for us. We usually don't do much. I did my 5k Resolution run in the morning of the 31st. I thought about that unbelievable cold windy Running Room rn we'd done with a few friends the year before. I missed 'the gang' again then. Oh well, there is a cost of living here with all it has to offer!

6. The invasion of the Other People
The ranch here has 6, one floor buildings. There are a total of 10 rental units within these buildings. Several of the units are duplexes. Ours is a single unit. I think we have the best one on the ranch actually. It's not big, but we face east. We get the morning sun in the front and the afternoon sun in the side. Our front room runs the length of the building and is made totally of patio windows.

We were the 2nd couple to move in. It seems the place is pretty much empty during the summer months.The couple that were here when we came, John and Joan, were quiet but friendly. They seemed a tiny bit stand offish, keeping to themselves, but nice folks. The more we get to know them the more we're enjoying them.

A coupe of weeks ago, Paul sand Kay from Nova Scotia moved in. They have been combing here for years. They have a ton of friends here and seem to be out almost every night. Great folks! Fun. Stereo typical 'down east' folk. We're liking them allot.

The day before yesterday another couple arrived from Toronto. We were eager to meet some folks form 'home'. We don't know them well yet, but, it was a bit disappointing that they seem to be complaining and demanding. Nothing is good. There's problems with everything. they are making lists to 'get things straightened out'.

It's very interesting to see how, slowly our little ranch is acquiring every bit of all of the entities that make up the world.

There's another couple arriving today. The locals at the ranch here have been working furiously at getting their place ready for them. They are moving into the building directly across from us. Paul and Kay know them and say they are nice. I understand he's a photographer. I'm looking forward to learning some stuff from him.

7. Spanish Lessons
It's always bothered me at home when I met people who moved to Canada years ago, but they had no idea of the English language. I felt they were rude in not at least attempting to learn. Well, time to put up or shut up I guess!

Lynne has been doing great with her Spanish. I on the other hand . . . . not so much.

We found a teacher who does 'one-on-one' classes. She's taught people for years and says that "everyone can learn, but we all learn differently". I hope she's right. I feel like such a dummy. I start tomorrow (Monday) going 3 times a week for an hour each time.

Ok - that's it. All caught up. Happy New Year to everyone from Lynne and I. Here's hoping that we all have a great 2010. "Thanks" to everyone who has been keeping in touch. We love hearing about what everyone is doing back home too.

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