The Whole Christmas Story (from Florida to Mexico)

I don’t have many memories of traveling during the Christmas season.  It’s nice to not join the herd and crush of travelers if it’s not necessary.  This year was an exception, but at least on Christmas Eve I was flying home.

Despite the AeroMexico check-in desk not being open until about an hour after I arrived at the airport, the direct flight was uneventful and even immigration and customs in Mexico City was as quick and as smooth as it could possibly have been.  I arrived about 20 minutes too late to take the direct bus to San Juan del Río.  So about an hour later I took a direct bus to Querétaro (about 30 minutes further from home).  Due to the unlimited traffic of Mexico City and a heavy rain that created canals where streets had been before, it took almost twice as long to get to Querétaro as expected, but when traveling to or from or through Mexico City the word “expected” basically means “high hopes and low chances.”

Beth and the boys came to pick me up, but it’s a tricky bus station to get to from San Juan and she wandered around at midnight for about 20 minutes before finally figuring out how to get to the terminal.  Not something you want to do at midnight, but all was calm and traffic was silent on this night.

Got home and unpacked and presents packaged and off to bed by 3 a.m. up again at 8 a.m. to enjoy a few hours of home life on Christmas morning before heading off to the birthday party for a niece of Jason, Emmanuel, Mari Cruz, and Lupe’s clan.  Lupe cooked carnitas (deep fried pork) in a large vat and we enjoyed an artery-clogging Christmas lunch that really was tasty.  To prove my manhood, I ate a jalapeño pepper along with all the other Mexican men, women, and children.

We slept-in today for almost too long as tables and chairs that we had loaned for the party arrived late this morning.  Fortunately, I had gotten up and heard the bell at the front gate.  The phone rang at the same time – expecting another brief visit in about half an hour.

Well, it’s supposed to be a staycation soon!  Oh well.  We’re home, we’re together, we’re alive and well (and a little groggy), but Christmas has come and gone, and we are relaxing today…and answering the door.

Oh and one of our house church members is having an emergency C-section today (pray for Eva), and the father of Maricruz had an accident and is to have surgery in 2 hours for a fractured knee.  He doesn’t live nearby, but we should have a new mother and baby visit to make one of these days soon.

UPDATE: Before finishing this post I got word the C-section is being put off until Monday so some more “blood tests” can be run.  No telling what that really means.  Our understanding is that the cord was wrapped around the baby, but we really don’t know if we know what we think we know.  You know?

 

Dayton is enjoying his new K’nex set that he got for Christmas.

 

IMG_4142IMG_4140Great view of  La Peña de Bernal...about 30 miles away.Great view of La Peña de Bernal…about 30 miles away.

 

IMG_4146IMG_4144Lupe’s dad smoked this cactus hive to pull out the honey. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any honey as the bees had eaten it all for the winter (I guess) and so now there was just an exposed hive. Beautifully creepy.

 IMG_4143Lupe's dad smoked this cactus hive to pull out the honey.  Unfortunately, there wasn't any honey as the bees had eaten it all for the winter (I guess) and so now there was just an exposed hive.  Beautifully creepy.IMG_4149Jason and Kristin and Kristin's daughter, Larissa.Jason and Kristin and Kristin’s daughter, Larissa.

 

A Mexican tradition is to fill empty eggs with confetti and smash them on each others heads. It may seem like a strange tradition but having lived here for 10 years I’ve discovered that having a confetti egg smashed on your head signifies that you’re too slow to avoid having a confetti egg smashed on your head.

 

eggcracked2Isaac is in the “too slow to avoid getting a confetti egg smashed on your head” category.

 

lunch4Lupe frying up the pig. He said they used 20 liters of oil in the vat. I was able to relieve the vat of about 1/2 liter of oil. The thing you have to keep in mind when eating a cultural delicacy that goes out of the bounds of healthy dietary choices is that there is no sense in getting out of this world alive.

 

lunch1Are they hot?  No...they're not hot at all.  Riiight.  Actually, it wasn't too spicy and I managed to get it all down except for the stem.  A proud accomplishment on the day.Are they hot? No…they’re not hot at all. Riiight. Actually, it wasn’t too spicy and I managed to get it all down except for the stem. A proud accomplishment on the day.

 

lunch3lunch5IMG_4169 IMG_4167 IMG_4164 IMG_4161 IMG_4160 IMG_4158 IMG_4157 IMG_4156 IMG_4155 IMG_4154 IMG_4153 IMG_4152 IMG_4151 IMG_4150Birthday girl singing the Frozen song.  Speaking of Frozen, it was a nice day but as the wind picked up and the sun dropped, we were all wearing layers of clothing to keep us from becoming a bit frozen ourselves.  We had a nice time.  There's nothing like a tres leches with rum birthday cake for the enjoyment and warmth of all the children!Birthday girl singing the Frozen song (in Spanish, of course). Speaking of Frozen, it was a nice day but as the wind picked up and the sun dropped, we were all wearing layers of clothing to keep us from becoming a bit frozen ourselves.

 

We had a nice time. There’s nothing like a tres leches with rum birthday cake for the enjoyment and warmth of all the children!

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