Sipping a Be Light, crunching on Sabritas and nibbling on Oaxaca cheese. I am back home in Mexico after a whirlwind five weeks in Winnipeg. The temperature is a comfortable 29 degrees Celsius.
When I left Winnipeg yesterday it was 2 degrees when Donna drove me to the airport at 5 am.
Westjet did well yesterday. I arrived in Calgary five minutes early and then arrived in Puerto Vallarta ten minutes early. Then a TAP bus to Mazatlan and a taxi to Angie’s house, where I’m staying right now until I find a place of my own. Angie is a friend of the director of the school where I start teaching this week.
The school is called World Class English. My classes for the month of June are varied and interesting. I will be teaching English to hotel staff, have one private student and will also run a conversation club. I’ve had two months off and am raring to go.
I am extremely excited about being back in Mazatlan. When I taught in Culiacan almost five years ago, I discovered this magical city and dreamed of someday living here. Dreams come true when they are pursued, and here I am!
I find the water very relaxing. The malecon and the ocean are mere minutes away from where I’m staying. And that is where I will be tomorrow.
Sunday the weather changed drastically. The temperature plummeted and howling winds soon changed rain into freezing rain into snow. And I moved from Carolyn’s back into my son Kyle’s home. I awoke early Monday morning to find snow on the ground and below zero temperatures. I dove back beneath the covers and slept until after noon. I was quite content to hibernate indoors and check out family photographs and do some writing.
Tuesday dawned bright and sunny. Laura. my computer guru, picked me up and we headed to Best Buy to buy me a new computer. It was absolutely awesome to shop with someone so knowledgeable and computer savvy. Laura has the patience of a saint. She gave me a crash course in using my new technology. And I have begun diligently practicing using my new ASUS transformer book. I love the touch screen and have become quite adept at navigating without a mouse, although I did purchase a cute new blue one. I now have this nifty Seagate Slim for backup and to use to transfer my files from my old computer. Now if only I can figure this one out! SOS Laura!
Wednesday was a hectic day. First stop was Passport Canada. I have to get my passport certified to get an ITIN number from the IRS as my books have been published in the USA and I am a Canadian author. Then it was finally time to book a flight to Mexico for next week, no easy feat with snowbird flights non-existent now until the fall. The evening began with an interesting tour of The Manitoba Legislative Building. The ideas behind the architecture were fascinating and thought-provoking.
My birthday celebrations began on Thursday when Donna treated me to a delicious lunch at McLeod Tea House in Stonewall. The drive in the country was most enjoyable and the weather was sunny and warm.
As relaxing as Thursday was, Friday was hectic. Some shopping, a medical appointment, a visit with my friend Joan and dinner with my friend Rita. The texts were flying back and forth and I now had a place to stay when I arrive back in Mexico, as well as the beginnings of a teaching schedule.
Saturday was my birthday and it was extra-special as I was together with my son. We had an appointment at the bank in the morning. I then spent the afternoon going through family photographs. Kyle barbecued dinner for us. Then we settled down to watch a movie and we both fell asleep and never did see the end of the movie.
Sunday morning we sat out on the deck with our coffee. Then he cooked us a delicious breakfast. We finally got around to eating the birthday cheesecake in the afternoon. I then packed my bags and my friend Audrey picked me up. Week Four was now over.
Mother’s Day is celebrated in Mexico on May 10th, so this year it coincided with the second Sunday in May which marks Mother’s Day in Canada. Kyle, Krista and I went out for a lovely brunch at Club Regent Casino. It was so nice to be with my kids again.
I spent the week at my friend Carolyn’s. She lives out on North Kildonan, an area where I lived when I was first married some forty odd years ago. It was interesting to see how the city has grown. This community has new housing developments, shopping malls and restaurants now. This is the beautiful view at sunset from the balcony of her apartment.
The weather this week has been cold and rainy. But that didn’t stop us from checking out a couple of malls, one in North Kildonan on Monday and one in St. Vital on Thursday.
Late on Monday I had an unexpected surprise when my friend Lise took me to the cemetery to visit my parents. We then went out for coffee to Mountain Bean.
On Wednesday I had a medical appointment in the morning and then Donna took me to pick up my new eyeglasses. Yay! I can see again!
Friday dawned sunny although cool. I had one last medical appointment and then spent the afternoon with David. He has a huge garden in his backyard, although at this time of year there is not much activity yet. And it was just a tad too cool to walk barefoot in the grass. But we enjoyed several backgammon games and then picked up Chinese food from one of our favorite restaurants.
Friday was also Teachers’ Day in Mexico, and it felt strange being here in Canada. I miss my students. I am so very grateful for the opportunity to teach in Mexico, and I have also learned so much from my students.
It’s a cloudy Saturday today. Carolyn and I are watching TV and will meet another friend for dinner later on. And that will conclude week three in The Peg.
After a relaxing weekend, the pace picked up. Monday meant two medical appointments.
And then it was cinco de mayo. My second book, Alive Again, was launched at McNally Robinson Booksellers. Since I’ve been away from Winnipeg for so long, and I knew that several of my close friends were not able to attend, I was most gratified by the turnout. Sales are going well in Winnipeg and on the internet which is also encouraging. But I am determined that my next book will be fiction. Two self-help books are more than enough for this writer.
I moved in to my son Kyle’s that night after the book launch. I was exhausted and basically vegged on Wednesday. On Thursday Laura and I went out computer shopping and then enjoyed a delicious lunch at Fionn MacCalls. I spent a lovely day with Donna and Eleanor on Friday. A highlight was going to the Conservatory at Assiniboine Park.
I spent the night at Donna’s and in the morning we went to some local craft sales. Then Glenda picked me up and we had a great visit over lunch at Montana’s.
Now I’m back at Kyle’s and catching up on my writing. I can’t believe that the time has flown by so quickly. Hard to imagine that two weeks ago at this time I was sitting in the airport in Puerto Vallarta awaiting a flight.
Monday dawned dark and dreary. The cool temperature of 7 degrees soon were accompanied by rain. How I long for the sun and the heat of Mexico! But it was time to venture out in this depressing weather.
My first appointment was a medical one. Then there was a break for some shopping. And then off to see my financial planner. And then another quick break for shopping.
It was nice to relax at Donna’s home afterwards. The weather had improved and the sun shone brightly. It had been a full day and a lot had been accomplished.
Tuesday morning rewarded us with sunshine and warmer temperatures, although frost was visible on windshields. Another medical appointment in the morning and coffee at Tim Horton’s. A lovely afternoon visiting with Donna and Glenda was most enjoyable.
On Wednesday Donna and I went to McNally Robinson to check out the display for my book launch.
Then it was off to the dentist. Audrey picked me up from that appointment and we went back to Donna’s to get my suitcase. We had a delicious dinner afterwards at Nikos, my favorite Greek restaurant on the Corydon strip.
On Thursday Audrey drove me to my next medical appointment and then Nancy picked me up. On Friday I saw my optometrist and ordered new glasses. Then Nancy and I had a fabulous lunch at Clay Oven, another favorite restaurant.
Saturday was partly cloudy, but we ventured out for a lovely drive to Lockport and along River Road. I captured this little guy when we stopped to look at the locks.
These are just some of the highlights of my first week back. Way too many appointments, but I guess that’s what I get for staying away for so long. It has been wonderful seeing my friends again and catching up on what has been going on in their lives. And I look forward to seeing more friends in the next couple of weeks.