Friday, June 27, 2008

Day Seven

Let me share yet one more of our vacation days. This is already day seven and it's a Sunday. We wake up and get ready as we will be attending mass. It's supposed to be a special day since my uncle is taking us to this little town call Agualuco.

Notice the circular shape of the church. The architecture is conservative, but I wouldn't know what style architecture it is.

The plan was to attend this small church in Agualulco a very small town between Santa Maria and Tetipac. We all got ready and again got in the truck and the bed of the truck and headed for church. Sadly there was no scheduled mass for this particular Sunday so when we got there it was empty.

The interior is beautiful too. It's kept pretty clean and while we were there some ladies were changing old flowers for some fresh ones.

At least it was open, so we all went in to see it. See, my grandfather on my dad's side raised a lot of the money used to build it, he did this during his last years of life and that is the reason that this particular church is special to us. I remember my dad asking us to donate a few dollars so he could send them to my grandfather in Mexico.

A couple more scenes from the church in Agualulco.

This is a very pretty church that is totally different from the rest. As this is not an old historical church but a new temple with a new design. The church is round and modern and in it's own way very pretty too. I know my grandfather was very proud. I had seen pictures from when it was being built so it was nice to actually see it finished and in person.

So, after a short visit we decided to keep going all the way to Tetipac. We got there in time to hear mass there. After mass we did some shopping and then we all went to eat to a small restaurant where two of my cosing work. If you are wondering what we ate, wonder no more, yes we ate tacos. Ummmmmm que rico!

My mom and tia going crazy shopping at the mercadito.

After we ate, we went to the mercado and bought more food, more gifts, and some miscellaneous items.

On a side note, did I mention that on day four we ate... drum roll please!!! Ready, yeap believe it or not but we ate SKUNK! Peuwww! We ate a little piece of skunk meat for medicinal purposes. Skunk meat acts as a mosquito repelent, and help for the skin not to get irritated when bitten.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Something other than...

I decided to give you all a break from my trip, it is starting to look like every day we did the same thing. Instead today I'll just post about what's going on with my TV shows.

Hell's Kitchen -- How great is that, Christina made it to the top two. I for one am rooting for her to take the whole thing. Petrozza is cool and the one with a lot more experience but Christina is new blood and week after week she kicked butt. I am totally looking forward to next weeks finale. Go Christina!

So You Think You Can Dance -- Boy, the dancers this year are awesome. Last season was exciting but predictable. This season the couples are bringing it and it could be any body's win. Of course I have my favorites. Katee and Joshua, definitely the couple to beat right now.

Nashville Star -- Rooting for Gabe Garcia but loving the way Melissa stole the show. I can do without Billy Ray Cyrus as host but I'll get used to him. I still like this show but it lacks the excitement and anticipation American Idol brings. Even "Can You Duet" was more exciting. I hope Nashville Star gets better as it goes.

Randy Jackson's America's Best Dance Crew -- You know that anything related to dancing is a favorite show of mine. (Excluding Dancing with the Stars) This season of America's Best Dance Crew will be an exciting one. I can already tell it will be though as the dance crews can really dance.

ChrisJ -- Doorways #3

I took over a thousand images during our trip to Mexico. Many of these pictures are from places we visited. A huge amount of these images are from landscapes, some from interesting things I saw including many churches.

The following picture shows the entrance to the church in Santa Maria, Guerrero.

The church is there ready to be used, unfortunately Santa Maria doesn't have an assigned priest. When someone requires a mass they have to bring a priest from a neighboring town.

Well, my friend ChrisJ from FLAMBLOG is a regular visitor to my Arizona... But it's a dry heat! blog and she asked me if she could copy this image. She does miniature drawings and she just started a series called "Doorways".

Below is her rendition of the image I took of the church.

This church is taken from one of Jose's posts on his blog "Arizona... But it's a Dry Heat". It wasn't easy to do as my white Prisma-color does not show up at all well and the church is mostly white.

It is now part of my series "Doorways " and it is #3.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Day 6

So far there has not been a day where we don't go somewhere. Well on Saturday I was going to finally visit a place I had always wanted to visit. The city of Taxco had always been in my must visit list. For this outing we decided to leave my mom at home, at first she agreed then she wanted to change her mind and wanted to go but finally reason won and she stayed. There just was no way she would withstand walking up the heavy upgrades and the endless amount of stairs.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Taxco de Alarcón

Mexican State Guerrero
Elevation 1,778 m (5,833 ft)
Population (2005)
- Total 50,415 city
Taxco de Alarcón (Taxco) is a former colonial silver-mining center in the northern part of the Mexican state of Guerrero on the western arm of the Sierra Madre del Sur. It is located 200 km southwest of Mexico City along the old highway to Acapulco at an elevation of 1,800 m (5,900 ft). The city serves as the administrative center of the municipality of the same name, which covers a total area of 347 km² (134 sq mi) of the surrounding territory. With a population of 50,415,[1] Taxco is the fifth-largest in the state.[2] The municipality has a population of 98,854,[1] which also includes the cities of Tlamacazapa and Acamixtla.

The city is built on the side of a mountain, with very steep narrow cobblestone streets lined by whitewashed houses with red-tiled roofs.

Taxco was incorporated in 1532. The books in the Court of Letters, Taxco's first-known public registry, go back to 1529. In 1542 the Mayor, Don Luis de Castilla, was the first Spaniard to make his fortune from the mines of Taxco.

Two hundred years later, French prospector Joseph de la Borda discovered a rich silver deposit. Taxco is the world's capital of silver, with over 200 shops and dozens of renowned silver jewelers. Silver is still the most important aspect of Taxco's economy.

The parish church of Santa Prisca, a 250-year-old baroque-style church, is found in Taxco.

Taxco was named a "Pueblo Mágico" in 2002.

Taxco is about two hours away from Santa Maria. We were supposed to catch a "convy" all the way but my uncle later decided that he would drive to Tetipac and we would taxi the rest of the way.

A good hour after we left we were in Tetipac where once again we found more family. We visited the church in Tetipac which up to that moment was the prettiest of all the churches we had visited. This church had been havily remodeled and the gardens were very beautiful. No other church up to this point was so well taken care of. The inside was just as beautiful as the outside and the birds flew freely inside the temple.

As you can see from these images, Tetipac has one of the most beautiful and well taken care Churches. The Mexican government is not allowing for these churches to be remodeled as they are a huge part of history, they can only be restored. However this one seemed to have gone extensive changes as everything in it looked new.

We boarded the "convy" and an hour and a half later we were in Taxco. The streets of Taxco leading to the zocalo are being fixed so cars couldn't go up. The "convy" only goes to the foot of the hill so we had a lot of walking ahead of us.

Taxco is a city of romance and beauty, the very narrow streets only allow very small cars to through them, VW Beatles are the car of choice there, although there are many Nissan and Ford and Chevrolet mini cars no car will go up the very steep upgrades than the VW.

The cars are parked only about an inch and a half away from the wall, I would be worried about scratching the paint.

After the first few steps up the small walkways I was already puffing very hard, I saw no fat people there, it didn't take me long to figure out why. The locals walk up the streets like if it's just a walk in the park.

Half hour later we were up by the zocalo and by this time very hungry. Mi tio took us to the mercado and to a restaurant where we ate a good tasting menudo, my niece opted for a chicken platter that was very tasty as well.

Now on a full stomach we were ready to go visit yet another church. Santa Prisca is the pride of Taxco, no have not seen beauty until you see this church. It's baroque style and gold plated ornaments inside the church along with some 35 original paintings and many other unique things to see really make this a jewel to be visited and seen. We stayed there for about an hour touring it's chapels and taking an endless amount of pictures, but finally we had to leave.

This is the front of the church. This church is so pretty that I will have to do a slide show on it.

The Zocalo is being worked on therefore it was closed, that didn't mean there was no action there, it was Saturday and it was busy, and the tourists were there in full force. Taxco is not only a place visited by tourist from the U.S. but from Europe and South America as well. As we were walking we saw many group of American and English visitors.

An estudiantina had just been playing and were getting ready to leave. This students were nice enough to pose with my sister and niece.

Taxco is home to many wealthy Americans that choose to live in Mexico. I didn't see them but I hear that their homes as as big as those in Beverly Hills.

It was getting late and we had to do a very important last thing while there, yeap you guessed it, we had to shop. We did 90% of our gift shopping there, from a pair of rebosos that mi chica wanted, to huaraches for the whole family, and a few silver items too. Taxco is the silver capital of world, you can find an array of products made out of silver.

If we go back to Mexico next year, I will definitely shoot to make our Taxco visit at least an overnight experience. Four hours just were not enough.

While in Taxco, a kid that couldn't be more than eight years old was selling hats, he approached me and asked me to buy one. Seeing such a young boy work for a living I couldn't say no. I was hoping that after buying the hat I would blend in a bit more with the locals. What do you think, did I succeed?

Back in Tetipac we decided it was time to eat again. I wanted tacos, mi tio wanted to take us to this little restaurant where two of my cousins worked, fortunately it was closed. I say fortunately because right next to the church I had seen a tacos al pastor stand. They looked so good that we drove back up and let me tell you, they did not dissapoint. These tacos had to be the best tacos al pastor we ate during the whole trip. They served them with pumking seeds and a slice of pinneapple. Indeed the most delicious tacos, this was the flavor I had been expecting for a taco al pastor in a long long time.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Day 5

Many of these little towns feed on tradition. We were lucky enough to participate in one of the most important days for the people of El Ranchito (The Little Ranch) if not the most important. On Friday, the fifth day into our vacation my uncle told us to get ready and that we would be leaving soon.

As I went outside I noticed that a few people were there. Most of them were my relatives which we had previously visited but there were a few unfamiliar faces too. Again, a full size pick up truck became a mass transportation vehicle. We started on our way to El Ranchito which was about 35 minutes away and picked up some more people along the way.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus is El Ranchito's patron and on this Friday they had their yearly celebration to honor him. El Ranchito is a very small place with a very small population, but people came from near and far as these kinds of religious events are very important to the people there.

The old lady facing my godfather is nearing 90 years in age, we picked her up by the side of the road as she was waiting for some sort of transportation to take her to El Ranchito. I offered to help her get on the bed of the truck but she politely declined and all by herself in about four seconds she was on top of the trucks bed ready to go. Needless to say, I was amazed.

Upon entering the street leading to the church we noticed how beautifully it had been decorated. The bells were tolling and the fireworks started burning. In a celebration like this they must burn close to a hundred fireworks. I noticed that they were setting up the altar outside the church, as they knew that the interior would not be sufficient for the amount of people that would be attending.

Again, I kept being introduced to a lot of people that in one way or another were related to me. More cousins and uncles just kept popping up from nowhere. The mass was long and beautiful, this was the day some kids would be doing their first communion and they just looked great in their white outfits. The Chinelos danced and the banda played as the people prepared to carry their patron all over town.

The walk could not have been more emotional. It was probably a 2-mile walk but at a slow pace that took us around the little town, up the hill, through the fields and back to the church it took about an hour. It was an endless line of people, I was amazed at how much their faith means to them. There were very old people that waked the distance without complaining. All the while three guys at the end of the line kept releasing fireworks that echoed loud and could be heard as far away as Pilcaya.

Every five minutes different people took turns in carrying the image of The Sacred Heart of Jesus, the bells only stopped ringing when the saint was brought back to the church. As for the fireworks, they went on and on for most of the day.

As is their custom, after the procession, we all gathered in the back of the church's atrium and were treated to the best mole Verde I have ever eaten. At first I was apprehensive as I can't stand green mole but this was no Mole de Dona Maria, this was home made mole and I liked it so much I had to go for seconds.

After dinner and what seemed like an endless amount of good bye exchanges, we headed back to Santa Maria. We once again went to visit my godfather for an hour or two and then from there we went to visit yet another tio. Tio Aurelio, another of my dad's brothers is quite the character, he is a shy and quiet person until you give him something to drink, then the sky is the limit.

The truck is loaded with people ready to go back to Santa Maria. Oh wait, leave some room, I have to go up there too!

Unfortunately on this occasion he was just overcoming a scorpion sting. Apparently the first we were in Santa Maria they drove right by us on their way to town to take him to the doctor. During our visit on Friday, he was feeling a lot better but said he was still very numb. Mi tio and his wife have fourteen kids and most of them are still at home. After that day, they would go and visit almost every afternoon and kept my niece Maryita occupied by showing her the sights.

These are my tios. A couple of days before I took this picture, tio Aurelio had been stung by a scorpion and was still very numb. He was getting better though.

They walked us home when it got dark, and by this time we were ready to lay down and rest. It had been a very busy day.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Day Four

This is the house where my dad grew up. As you can see, it sits at the top of the hill where the vistas are a treat to the eyes and the air is so clean as there is no smog.

On day three while at the town we visited my mom's sister. Tia Emma is quite a character, she is a smart hard working woman that many years ago created her own world. We would ask her questions which she immediately answered and then she goes back to her world again. Miguel, her son is four years younger than I am and when I lived in Mexico him and I were like brothers. Seeing Miguel again after forty years was a highlight for me.

Migue was happy to see us too, that afternoon he drove his family to Santa Maria for an afternoon of drinking and some good ole reminiscing. We talked and drank for hours, it was already dark when he asked me to go with him to visit an uncle of ours that makes mescal at home. My uncle said hi to me and when Migue asked him if he could guess who I was his immediate reply was "Don't tell me this is Fidelito". Again, I was totally surprised to hear how this humble people don't forget.

During the next two hours I got a tour of his operation and got to sample some of the best mescal I have tasted to date, including one that tasted like pure fire. We said goodnight and headed for my uncles house, we were walking in the dark when the search party approached. Yes, my mom was so worried that I would get totally wasted as I normally don't drink that she sent my cousins to pick us up.

So, day four I thought would start with a huge hangover but as much as I drank the previous night I never felt or acted drunk, and there was absolutely no trace of me drinking, no headache, no upset stomach, nothing I was fine as a fiddle and ready to go visit my aunt Ofelia.

The anticipation of going to tia Ofelia's house was too great. This is the house where my grandparents lived most of their lives and this is the house where they died. This is also the house my father grew up in and the one we would stay on our yearly 1-week vacation. The house sits at the top of the hill and is located on the best land, it also has the best view imaginable, it's truly breath taking.

Seeing her after so many years was such a wonderful event, all of a sudden I felt as if I was nine again as again not much changed. My uncle changed the house a little but for the most part it was the same and the things they had back when I was a kid where all still there, it was as if time stood still. The only sign of evolution was the fact that there is electricity now, but everything else remained the same.

Another view from my tia's house. This one is truly breath taking. There are over 3000 maguey plants that my uncle planted that eventually will be turned into either tequila or mescal.

My tio took this opportunity to take us on a tour to see our land. My grandfather was owner of many acres of land which got divided amongst all the brothers and sisters. My grandfather willed this land to them while he was still alive and it was my dad that decided who would get what location wise. My dad's land is on the hill, it's acres and acres of land rich in wood and good for farming. It is now our land, but when you live so far away from it, it's hard to know what to do with it. Selling it is out of the question unless you sell to the family so for now it just sits there beautiful and untouched.

Going to the restroom at tia Ofelia's is something you do al fresco. My tio disappeared the whole day on day three and the reason was that he built this masterpiece of a restroom for us. My mom, my sister, and my niece are not used to not having one and this provided them with much needed privacy. Me, nah, I didn't need it.

To get water they must go to a nearby hole. I remember as a kid that it was far but it's only a good 2-mile hike down the hill and through a prairie. My sister, my niece, and I decided to go see it again so we asked my cousin Hector to take us there. To go to the water hole we had to pass through tia Amparo's house and tio Nacho's house too. They were so happy to see us and kept feeding us all kinds of freshly cut fruits. They really made us feel welcome.

Inside that little hole sits water that to me looked dirty and yet it is the good water that is used to drink. Some of the wells have gone dry but not this one.

Leaving the water hole. I wanted to go there because it is in a secluded area covered with tall trees. The sun doesn't come in much here, and as kids we loved going there to bathe.

Soon it was getting dark and the walk back to tio Eliseo's house was a long one, so we headed back and walked most of it but then my tio picked us up in the truck and drove us the rest of the way.

This was an easy and relaxing day, which was nice to have as the next day would be a busy one as the nearby town of Tetipac was having their patron's big fiesta and we would be attending.

My tia Ofelia and my niece. This is the way my tia still cooks. Her home made tortillas are the best. They grow their own corn and make their own maze. My niece attempted to make a few, after a few tries she had it down.

Here's me enjoying my day with tia Ofelia. Definitely a highlight of our trip.
Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Top Web Hosting | manhattan lasik | websites for accountants