20 November 2009

20 Noviembre

This morning’s plan was to get to the beach early in hopes of finding some seashells and catching a glimpse of some fisherman at work with their nets. Usually I get my best angler shots just when the sun is coming up at around 6am. Although I was up at 5, it was pitch back until closer to 7 so I waited for the sun.

The guys who work at the shore front hotels were busy raking the sand and setting up chairs and tables. Several people were out walking their pooches. Seems a lot of the people here are Canadian retirees, and a good many of them have dogs. I wouldn’t have thought it was so easy to transport animals across country lines.

There is a little pier a ways down the beach and it always seems to be filled with guys fishing, but there wasn’t a net to be seen. And the other bummer is that there weren’t any seashells.
Walking back I stopped at a beachfront café for another cup of the most god-awful coffee I have ever had, even worse than the one I had at a different café two days ago. Sort of tasted like watered-down instant coffee that was made two days ago. And I do know that they have good coffee here. I drank a few gulps, watched the sun sparkle on the water, and left.

I did run across two men seated on the beach, fishing with only lines. A pelican had planted himself 3 feet away, waiting for breakfast. (and I had forgotten my camera at the hotel, but I bet it is a daily routine for said savvy pelican.)
As I walked back home I saw that streets were cordoned off and groups of school kids were lined up for a parade. Then I remembered that today, 20 de Noviembre, is Mexican Independence Day. (no, 5 de Mayo is something else.)

The parade started a few blocks from the hotel at 10am and went all the way to the center of town, a good truck in this heat. Every secondary school in the city, lead by what I assume where PE teachers, must have been there. Many were drum and bugle corps’. I was particularly pleased to see that a the drummers were young women, seeing as when I played drums it was barely allowed for a girl to pick up a set of sticks. Then there were troupes of rather seductive cheerleader types in tiny outfits, gyrating and bumping the hips. One volleyball squad and a boxing group. They stopped every few blocks, did their thing, then moved on.

At the huge construction site along the route, all the workers had stopped to lean out the windows and watch the dancing girls. I’m sure it made their day.

I feared for the beauty queens who sat atop cars with absolutely nothing keeping them from taking a slide off the roof onto the pavement.
I wanted to stay until the end and watch the military band that stood at a corner waiting for their turn, but it was getting a little warm.

I have spent the rest of the afternoon waiting for them to fix the safe in my room. I was told when I arrived, that I could keep anything I wanted in the safe at the front desk, but that if I wanted to use the one in the room, it was a dollar a day. Yesterday I decided that a total of $30 was well worth me not freaking out every time I left the hotel, wondering if my laptop was safe.

As I pulled the key out last night, the whole locking mechanism came out with it. It still worked once the lock was in place, but very difficult to open the door. The hotel fix-it guy took it out, did a bunch of stuff, but now the key is difficult to get in and out. I will try to use it today, and they will get another one tomorrow.

I also broke down and got the remote for the TV, which was just a small deposit. Generally, I don’t watch TV while on vacation, but this is longer than a week so figured I needed to stay abreast of world news.

Yesterday was spent walking the streets again. I’d known that Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton had had a place here, but thought that was ancient history. But on all the maps there is a note; Elizabeth Taylor’s house. Not being far away, I cruised over.

All was going as planned until I realized those last 2 blocks were straight up a hill. I saw another retired Canadian couple, who looked like they knew what they were doing, heading in the same direction. I followed along as they filled me in.

There are actually two houses across the street from each other, connected by a bridge that runs above the street. Whenever Dick would get too drunk, Liz would kick him out, make him walk over the bridge, and sleep it off in the other home. (Which, by the way, could only be entered by the bridge).

They also said that there was a little museum and maybe still a B&B. Unfortunately, it had been totally gutted and was in the process of renovation. I’m not sure if she even still owns it.
OK, this goofy mini netbook is so darn hot my hands are burning, so I guess it is time to quit writing.