2013 The Year That Was

Standard

I have chosen to pay tribute to the year 2013 as my first post of the new year. As I reflect on all the memorable moments, I eagerly await the many new adventures that lie ahead.

January began in Mexico City with my amiga Angie and her family. We stayed with her son Ventura and his wife Liliana, pictured below.

IMG07660-20121231-1446

We visited Liliana’s family first on New Years Eve and I was totally enchanted with their “mascotas.”

IMG07675-20121231-1639

Liliana and her mother, pictured below, prepared a delicious meal for us as well.

IMG07681-20121231-1648

Later in the day we arrived at Angie’s parents’ home. Here they are with Angie in the photo below.

IMG07689-20121231-2118

Many of the extended family members joined us to ring in the new year.

IMG07698-20130101-0029

IMG07693-20130101-0022

The month of January flew by. I began teaching Business English for Ingles Corporativo and I travelled to Tlajomulco and San Juan De Los Lagos with my language partner Isaias.

IMG07996-20130120-1318

February became busier as I taught more hours and also took on private students. Isaias and I continued our Sunday travels and went to Lagos De Moreno, Valle De Guadalupe and San Miguel el Alto.

IMG08276-20130203-1236

IMG08243-20130203-1104

IMG08573-20130217-1126

We continued our Sunday travels in March and went to Atotonilco, Arandas, Jamay and Ocotlan.

IMG09114-20130303-1255

IMG09134-20130303-1310

IMG09009-20130303-1013

IMG09428-20130317-1142

IMG09539-20130317-1436

IMG09554-20130317-1444

I also ventured out to Zapotlanejo to do some clothes shopping. This city has street upon street filled with clothing and shoe stores. And yes, that is a live model in the third picture.

IMG09269-20130310-1226

IMG09283-20130310-1239

IMG09280-20130310-1235

I also visited Zoologica Guadalajara, one of my favorite zoos. I bravely tried out the new skyride and the view was spectacular, especially when it turned at the canyon. And of course I rode the train and went on the safari ride.

IMG09757-20130329-1024

IMG09826-20130329-1155

IMG09789-20130329-1105

April was a delightful yet bittersweet month as it marked the end of my third year in Mexico.

Isaias and I travelled to Sam Martin De Flores, Tepatitlan and Capilla de Guadalupe.

IMG09894-20130330-1049

IMG10162-20130414-0950

IMG10168-20130414-0953

IMG10299-20130414-1150

IMG10226-20130414-1117

IMG10289-20130414-1147

IMG10385-20130414-1550

IMG10386-20130414-1551

And my last night in Tlaquepaque was a final farewell to El Lugar Secreto after I taught my last class. Barbershop Rock Band were playing as usual and the music was great.

IMG10440-20130419-2105

When the bar closed, it was time to pick up my bags and head for the bus station. Next stop Culiacan to visit my family.

IMG10466-20130421-1223

IMG10492-20130421-1343

IMG10530-20130421-1558

IMG10581-20130421-1936

IMG10632-20130423-1936

Next I headed for Puerto Vallarta to relax for a few days on the beach.

IMG10693-20130424-1305

IMG10663-20130424-0956

IMG10680-20130424-1110

IMG10752-20130425-1812

IMG10933-20130426-1959

Snow greeted me upon my arrival back in Winnipeg on April 27th.

IMG10952-20130427-1702

But it did eventually warm up and the blossoms came into view.

IMG_0375

I enjoyed a lovely Mother’s Day brunch at Montana’s with Kyle and Krista.

IMG_0279

My birthday was in May as well, and Kyle and a friend came over for dinner to help me celebrate. It was great to have a kitchen to myself and be able to actually cook rather than just reheat food.

June was another busy month. I continued to enjoy visiting with friends. Carolyn, Brenda and I spent many happy hours at The Forks.

Brenda and Carolyn

Donna and I visited the English Gardens and the Leo Mol Garden in Assiniboine Park.

IMG_0516

Audrey and I often went out for dinner and went shopping together.

Audrey

Glenda and I drank endless cups of coffee and tea and also went shopping.

Glenda (2)

I spent time with David in his garden, and also with Cookies and Creme.

IMG_0470

I also had some great times with Joan, Cheyenna, Sheila, Alice, Nancy, Iris, Rita and Ethel.

Before I knew it the second round of knee surgery arrived. Then began the recovery process which included hours of physiotherapy and hours of watching movies. And I discovered Candy Crush on my iPhone!

A special acknowledgment to my son Kyle. I know how difficult it was for him to visit me in a hospital setting for many reasons. And I enjoyed our walks in the hallway in the evening.

And I am so grateful to Karen and Chad for providing me with such a great home in which to convalesce. The wheelchair ramp and walk-in shower were absolute blessings. And I really enjoyed your visits, especially when Josh came as well.

And I have the greatest friends in the world! Your hospital visits helped pass the hours. And once I was at home my friends continued to visit regularly, shop for me and even cook for me. And when I was well enough, my friends were only too eager to take me out.

And I added a new best friend……Handi-Transit. What a wonderful chauffeur you were! We went to physio, to medical appointments, to shopping malls and to visit friends.

The highlight of the month of July was giving up my walker and graduating to a cane! With my mobility improving, my spirits lifted as well.

In August Kimmy came for a short visit. I was delighted when she tackled her bins that had been in my storage unit for the past three years. Here she is with one of the treasures she discovered.

Kimmy

I spent a relaxing weekend with Rita at her cabin in Lester Beach in September. The weather co-operated for the most part and all the dogs definitely added to the ambiance.

IMG_1046

IMG_1047

IMG_1052

October was a busy month as I finally waded through all the furniture, boxes and bins that had been in my storage unit. And I disposed of it all, mostly in the form of donations.

I also cooked my last Thanksgiving dinner in Winnipeg. Kyle complained loudly that I had prepared way too much food, but I know he enjoyed it just the same.

IMG_1384

IMG_1385

IMG_1392

IMG_1393

And then it was October 29th and I was on my way to Rosarito Beach via Denver and San Diego.

It had already snowed in Winnipeg although it hadn’t stayed on the ground. So the warmth and sunshine in Mexico were most welcome.

IMG_0051

While Rosarito was a quaint place to visit, I decided that as much as I wanted to live near the ocean, this just wasn’t the place for me. So I headed to Tijuana, and then began a long bus trip to Culiacan.

The drive through the mountains was spectacular.

Between Tijuana and Mexicali (6)

We also passed through Mexicali, Caborca, Obregon and Los Mochis.

IMG_0270

I arrived in Culiacan in the wake of hurricane warnings. However the sun shone brightly and it was HOT! There was no rain at all while I was there.

I had a great visit with my family. Jose Agustin had just turned one and was trying to walk.

IMG_0320

Juan Carlos enjoyed giving his brother a ride.

IMG_0313

The time flew by and I found myself back on a bus headed for Guadalajara. And it felt great to be back home on Zalatitan in Tlaquepaque.

IMG_1065

My favorite tiendas, cafes and street stands were still there. It was nice to see the neighbors again. The biggest change was the repaving and widening of the sidewalks. But it was comical when I heard that several buses had to be rerouted as they no longer fit down the streets.

I began teaching part-time and Isaias and I resumed our Sunday travels. We visited Tlajomulco and Acatic.

IMG_0430

IMG_0513

I also went to a communion party. I have no idea which animal’s leg I ate, but it was delicious! There was a bouncer for the kids and karaoke for everyone. Music and laughter filled the party salon. And I got to hold the sweetest little baby!

IMG_0721

December arrived and people began preparing for Christmas. December 12th was marked with music and fireworks in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Stands filled the streets displaying Christmas trees, ornaments and nativity scenes. Work began on the skating rink in Tlaquepaque and the Christmas tree was set up in the plaza.

IMG_1151

Isaias and I travelled to San Ignacio Cerra Gordo and J0cotopec.

IMG_0751

IMG_0763

IMG_1195

IMG_1307

As Christmas drew near, more decorations began to adorn homes and businesses. Pinatas were strung across the streets.

IMG_1124

IMG_1382

IMG_0928

The festive atmosphere was further enhanced by music and laughter. Posadas were held in homes and in party salons. There were loud bangs from fireworks followed by car alarms that were set off by the noise.

I spent Christmas Eve with Isais and his family. But first we posed for a picture by the tree in the plaza.

IMG_1418

There was a flurry of activity in our house as my housemates and I prepared a Christmas lunch together. The menu included baked ham, glazed carrots, mushroom beans, mashed potatoes with gravy, chicken salad, apple enchiladas and chocolate.

IMG_1442

In the evening I went to church, and we all enjoyed a cena together complete with traditional ponche following the service.

IMG_1396

The rain that began on Christmas Eve continued to fall right into the New Year. At times it was quite the torrential downpour, and my plans for visiting museums were put on hold.

Despite the rain, people flocked in the streets on New Years Eve setting off fireworks. And shortly after midnight children began swinging at pinatas. The festivities continued until 3 am when the music finally ended.

IMG_1181

Happy New Year Everyone! I hope that 2014 is a great year filled with love and laughter! May all your wishes and dreams come true!

Happy-New-Year6 

 


About iamkaren23

I am a Canadian writer currently living in Leavenworth, Washington. I published When Glad Becomes Sad in 2009. My second book, Alive Again, was published in March of 2015. Both are self-help books. I am currently working on a third book, this time a work of fiction.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s