Down the hallway

ON THE BIG plaza yesterday, I had a nice café Americano negro with a vanilla muffin that I bought in a pastry shop near the San Juan Church and Hospital.

After the café Americano negro, I walked to the other side of the plaza to buy a little lemon ice. It’s just like they sell in New Orleans but at a lower price here, of course.

About 5:30 p.m. it was, and the plaza was full of happy-looking people. There was no gunfire, no grenades. The air was clear and cool, and the towering ash trees rustled.

The fountains made water sounds, and the pigeons crapped on the heads of long-dead heroes and priests who — being stone — just stood there and took it.

I drove the Honda home. As I walked through the Hacienda’s downstairs hallway toward the closet to slip on my PJs, I noticed the mask that was bathed in light from a large glass brick in the ceiling, which is the terraza floor above.

maskThis is the mask of a viejito, an old man. There are dance troupes in our area who perform for tourists.

dollThis doll would get me kicked out of modish households in the United States. The skull face is cut from metal.

boat
The hull is made of something that sloughed off a palm tree.

We bought this boat on a pier in Zihuatanejo. It brings back memories of happy days in sunshine and blue seas with a beautiful woman who spoke to me in Spanish.

Ice cream stand

helado

WHAT’S BETTER than cool air and ice cream? Hot air and ice cream, of course. But we don’t have that hereabouts, and in 98 percent of circumstances, the cool air is preferable.

Most afternoons, after we’ve done lunch at 2 p.m. at the Hacienda, I head downtown just to get out of the house, sit at a sidewalk table, enjoy a nice espresso and watch the girls go by.

After the espresso and ogling, I sometimes stand up to walk to another side of our broad and beautiful plaza — to purchase ice cream, for which we are famous. There are a number of ice cream stands over there outside City Hall, and they’ve been in business for decades or more.

There, in the photo, is my favorite stand, La Pacanda. Like all the ice cream stands, it sells two styles: milk and water. The milk version, which is closer to standard ice cream, I find a bit unpleasant. It has, to my tongue, an oily consistency. So I always order the water style.

Sometimes I vary, but being a fellow set quite firmly in his ways, I normally order limón, which is a dead ringer for the lemon ices I used to buy many years ago at Angelo Brocato’s in New Orleans.

I get the small cup, 12 pesos, and then I cross the street and do one of two things, sometimes both. I slowly circle the plaza, or I sit on a stone bench, listening to the music softly playing through outdoor speakers.

Then I go home.

* * * *

Unrelated material: A few days back, after getting irked at WordPress, I started a blog on Tumblr, thinking perhaps I would abandon this WP Land, high-tail it. I linked to the Tumblr then, even though it was mostly a casual endeavor. I have since decided to stay put here, but I like it over there too. I have gussied it up considerably, and will run with it.

It will be lighter in tone, and it will have no political polemics. It has a new name, Satellite Moon. Tumblr surprised me. It’s well organized. There are lots of free blog templates and even the ones with price tags are reasonable. I bought one for $19. It absolutely beats the pants off Blogger.

The anniversary

patios

I’VE HAD THREE wives, and yesterday the third and best helped me celebrate our 13th anniversary, which is far longer than I was hitched to the previous two brides, though I actually lived with No. 2 for more time — 19 years — and I’m now striving to crack that record.

To mark the occasion, we had a nice lunch downtown, walked around our 500-year-old Colonial burg, then took a ride out in the countryside. Here are some highlights from the day.

The top shot is self-explanatory. That’s the sort of town in which we live. It’s old.

Then we hopped into the Honda, heading to the countryside. On the outskirts of town, we spotted this ice cream parlor, which is not too far from where we live. It’s a fairly recent addition to the neighborhood. What’s a celebration without ice cream? We stopped and ordered.

nieve

Sitting at an outdoor table by the highway and railroad track, we enjoyed the lovely day. The sky was blue, the air was cool, the company was spectacular, and the ice cream was good.

cupsMine was not actually ice cream. It was lemon ice. My child bride ordered that dark stuff that looks like crap in a cup, but she liked it.

After that, we took a trip along a little-traveled route abutting our high-mountain lake. I should have taken another photo because it’s a spectacular ride, but I didn’t.

Then we came home. We’re not big party people. Thirteenth anniversary has a certain ominous ring to it, which is why some hotels skip the 13th floor. But when you think about it a moment, you realize that the 13th anniversary actually marks the end of the 13th year and the beginning of the 14th. If there was cause for concern, it was a year ago.

ship

Yesterday evening, like most all evenings, we watched a movie on Netflix, supped on a nice salad and went to bed around 11ish. Passing through the living room, I saw this sailing ship that sits on a table. It’s a symbol of my continuing voyage to God knows where.

Little blessings

 

Blessed

PLENTY OF LITTLE gifts come with living on this mountaintop.

1. Roasted chicken. Mexico is associated with tacos, burritos, margaritas, sunsets, severed heads, etc., but what you may not know is the abundance of tasty, roasted chickens. Seems there is a roasted chicken joint on every block. Yum!

2. Shrimp cocktails. Almost as numerous as roasted chicken joints are sidewalk shrimp cocktails. Our little plaza downtown is lined on three sides with stands that sell shrimp cocktails and related stuff. Stupidly, I lived here about five years before I became a believer. I was a nervous nellie. I thought: seafood from a street stand? I finally wised up and grew a pair. Those were five wasted years, amigo.

3. Great shirts. Only about two years ago I started to purchase the used previously enjoyed, name-brand shirts sold in dark corners of the downtown market. Nautica, Hilfiger, Lands End, Chaps, Ralph Lauren, etc. I really don’t know if they are used or new, perhaps unloaded from hijacked semis above the Rio Bravo. No matter. For about $7 each, you can gad about in style.

4. Lemon ice. Just as good as the product from Angelo Brocato’s in New Orleans where my daughter once worked, it’s sold at street stands on our big plaza. I didn’t drag my feet on the lemon ice like I did shrimp cocktails. I’ve been slurping that lemon ice for years.

5. Shoe shines. For just a buck-fifty on the small plaza, you can see your face in those boots, brother.

6. Car washes. Fellows on the big plaza will sparkle your car for $2.75.

7. Cool June air. Okay, it’s not quite June, but almost, and the air will be cool. It will stay that way all summer.

8. Here at home. Orchids blooming in the peach tree and the sweet smell of golden datura sneaking through the bedroom window at night.

Little blessings here on the mountaintop.