Sunday, January 30, 2011

Egypt on the Beach

Artisans in Puerto Vallarta create ultimate eco-art on the beach. Each day they work on new sand sculptures, carrying water from the Bay to dampen and stabilize their creations. Water tanks, loaded with water, are attached to mechanisms that allow them to apply a fine spray of salt water over the sculptures.
Images of Egypt are spaced along the beach adjacent to the Malecon. Signs requesting donations for the artists are attached to donations boxes. This is their only source of income. At the end of the tourist season, the sculptures slowly crumble, returning to their natural state.

January 30th

We aren't ready to leave this little piece of paradise!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The best sunset

The best sunset reflected in the neighbour's infinity pool!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Gathering of the Card Sharks

It was a raucous night of UNO with the imported card sharks!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Busy Day

It hasn't been warm enough for most of us!

The new water cistern was finally moved into place in its cement block underground room!

The wires that sparked a fire on the new palapa were moved today.
We had no electricity or water from 8am-4pm.
No toilet flushing, no TV, no computers, no coffee maker
and very little evidence of sun as the day progressed. 
The senior members of our group(aged 89 and 92) chose to swaddle
in bed for the day. The rest of us kept warm as best we could!
When the power was restored, the sky flipped a switch
and the sun appeared from behind clouds!

Monday, January 24, 2011

The passage of time through 92 years

The passage of time through 92 years
with stories told in wrinkles and folds

Irene's dinner

Irene, Doug's cousin, arrived with a collection of recipes to delight our palates. Last night she prepared Vietnamese pork...absolutely delicious! She assured us that there wasn't a calorie in the entire meal. Hard to believe that the apple pie was low calorie!!

We are shopping at local butchers, produce markets and the Saturday market in PV. Produce is fresh and much cheaper than at the mega stores, meat is freshly cut and prepared when you order it and the Saturday market offers amazing freshly baked goods, like our apple pie dessert. Life is tough!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Joelle Rabu, Aunt Joanne and The Fag Hag

Last night we attended the finale concert of Joelle Rabu at The Palm Cabaret in Puerto Vallarta. She sang a combination of Edith Piaf songs and numerous other tunes in English and French. What a voice!! Joelle became renowned in 1983 after agreeing to do a two week show of Piaf's songs at City Stage in Vancouver. The show ran for one year and ever since that time she has been in demand on stages around the world. We were lucky enough to catch the finale show along with over 100 other fans.

A variety of beach chairs was jammed into the small cabaret between the regular seating. A single waitress served drinks, never mixing the orders! I didn't notice that the margaritas were quite strong until it was too late!

Joelle's son played piano accompaniment and she invited a young Mexican man from the audience to sing La Paloma, a favourite Mexican song. Two of the band members from The Big Mess, a B.C. group, provided background instrumentals for another number. All of this talent in a two hour show for just $8.00 each!! It was great!

Following Joelle's show, the cabaret emptied to a comfortable level and we decided to stay for Aunt Joanne, a female impersonator. She was sweetly funny and could impersonate both male and female singers including Patsy Cline, Elvis Presley, Tina Turner, Johnny Cash. When she did k.d. lang's version of Allelujah, I cried. Maybe it was the third margarita! And when audience members started depositing money in her bra and under her g-string, I couldn't resist! Of course, she gave me the opportunity to peek into both bra cups and was shocked that there was a straight woman in the audience! That's when my ex-husband informed me that I was probably being labelled as a "Fag Hag" and that he and John were being viewed as a gay couple!!

It was a great night of entertainment and I remember most of it!! I suspect that my two Johns will embellish the events of the evening in future stories.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Non-stop traffic at my back
cups of Starbucks striding by
canvases filled with light
unseen by fervid joggers
pissed on by passing pets.

They walk with purpose
to forestall the inevitable
missing the sky's colour
and the gaggle of gulls
dipping and diving.

Oblivious to the brushstrokes
the crash of waves
the pelican's snatch
the sculpture's lines
the here and now.

Una pagina en el sol

A page in the sun
filled with expats
at the outdoor tables
and lined with novels
on the inside shelves.

A mariachi girl
with silver heels
stands in line
for morning coffee
in Puerto Vallarta.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New cistern

Early yesterday morning, we were woken by the dust and fumes of a backhoe and dump truck! Is there ever a dull moment here?..ever an entire week without some construction or destruction taking place??

A hole was being carved out of the ground between the neighbour's house and ours to accommodate a new cistern to hold city water. It seems that the previous cistern had to be abandoned because thieves kept stealing the copper wiring that connected the cistern to the pump!

Several workers were contributing to ensure that the size of the hole was accurate. It had to be 10' deep
and rectangular in shape. Why would they require a rectangular hole to hold a round cistern?? We have to hope that this hole has not undermined the foundations of either house!! Anything is possible!!

St. Anthony's Day

Yesterday, on St. Anthony's Day, we attended the Blessing of the Animals. Fortunately there were no felines in attendance, only noisy, yappy canines. The presence of one cat could have tipped the delicate balance of tolerance between a shaggy wolfhound and a precocious poodle! This ceremony is held annually in the beautiful chapel of Hacienda San Angel and attracts furry critters of all sizes. Their doting owners accompany them while the priest blesses each one with holy water.

Afterwards, everyone is invited to the Hacienda for refreshments. Classified as a luxury boutique hotel, the Hacienda is a merging of five villas, one previously owned by Richard Burton. Fourteen elegant suites, surrounded by gardens and set high above Banderas Bay, range in price from $450-850 per night. Dogs are welcome!!

Friday, January 14, 2011


Frida is memorialized everywhere.
"I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality."

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Glass plates from Tonala

John & Doug arranging the plates.

 The final arrangement that will be hung on a wall
in this horizontal pattern near the palapa. 
The colours are applied on the underside of each glass plate.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Born in Mexico

Coming alive in my hands
sprouting heels and toes
winter socks
born in Mexico!

This is Mexico

John and Jean were both napping. Isabelle and Margarita were sunning. Betto was drilling into a rock wall about 5 feet away from my feet while Jesus chipped away at the mortar around tiles in one of the fountains. The pool was cloudy with experimental new chemicals, rock dust filled my nostrils and drilling assaulted my ears.

Our hosts were visiting the local police headquarters to retrieve a confiscated driver's license after receiving a speeding ticket yesterday. They refused to pay the usual "gift" to the cop!!

They returned, frustrated, and we learned that the ticket cost more than the "gift". Not only that, the office that held the driver's license was closed for the day by the time they got there.

I looked at the blue sky, felt the sun on my skin and thought "This is Mexico!"

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sitting in the palapa
looking at the sky
waiting to see Isabella
floating way up high.

Is that her under the canopy
screaming with all her might
white teeth flashing a signal
that she will be all right?

The boat turns toward me
pulling her to shore
I wonder if her feet will touch
lightly to the floor

or if she'll crash onto the sand
landing bottoms first
snaggled in the harness
with a french deletive curse!

Margarita records the safe landing!! Bravo!!

Friday, January 7, 2011


Last night we celebrated Epiphany with the neighbours and a family of Mexican friends. This day is also known as "Day of the Kings". The highlight is when the "Rosca de Reyes" or Three Kings cake is brought out after dinner. Everyone gathers around to see who will discover a tiny, plastic "Baby Jesus" in their piece of cake. Taking turns, we each sliced into the circle of breadlike cake, carefully exposing the centre to reveal(or not) the little naked body. Whoever finds this figure is responsible for hosting Candelaria Day on February 2nd with tamales and atole(a hot sweet drink that is thickened with corn flour). Jean, Doug's mother, found one little guy hiding in her piece of cake!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A symphony of friendship

A dinosaur watches as backgammon is played on an ipad!

A cross-generational happy hour!

The house is overflowing
swimming in bodies
languages swirl 
throughout the day
we hear the music
of songs in German
harmonica tunes from the past
French love handles in the air
a symphony of friendship.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Back in Puerto Vallarta

Jean and John enjoy the warmth of morning sun on our first day in Puerto Vallarta

Christmas Fun!

Augie with Uncle Adrian
reading the story of "Chuck the Truck"

The most fun!!

Wow!!...a digger!!

Burnt turkey with cement gravy 
didn't put a damper on the dinner celebration!
It was a wonderful Christmas with visits 
from three reindeer, Santa, family and friends.