Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Mexico Chronicles: Bucerias Days

On Sunday morning we drove north to La Cruz for another visit to the farmer's market. I was happy to buy some more produce, fresh chorizo, peanut butter, hummus, and more. I bought a small key lime pie from a woman selling baked goods, and it was seriously one of the most delicious things I've ever had. While I shopped the kids sat under the shade of a huge sprawling tree and joined in with activities for children. A couple of Mexican families bring recyclable items like pieces of cardboard, pictures cut out of magazines, etc, and craft supplies, and it's neat to see the creativity taking place there! I enjoyed watching our kids blend right in, not hindered by language or culture, and taking part in this little community event. They even had a story time, and the woman who was reading was kind enough to translate the stories into English as well.
We left the market and sat down at a little open air restaurant for some tacos. Nearby was another massive tree, and while we were waiting for our food, Peregrine started yelling that he saw an iguana in the tree! Of course we got up and looked, but couldn't see anything. He kept insisting that there really was an iguana, and then Poppy said she could see it too. They were trying to point to where it was, but still I couldn't make it out. Poppy said that part of it looked like some leaves hanging down, and I could see the "leaves" but still couldn't see how that was part of an iguana. They also said they could see a striped tail and that part of the iguana looked like a spider. Our kids have really, uh, vivid, imaginations, and I was beginning to wonder if this was just another fancy of theirs. And then I realized that the "leaves" I'd seen was really the large flap of skin hanging down from the neck of a big iguana, who was sitting high on a tree branch in the sun. The "spider" part was his forelegs and claws, and sure enough, he had a very long striped tail. He was kind of peach color with some green, and I'd guess maybe five feet long. We then realized he wasn't alone and that there were probably three or four smaller iguanas in the tree as well. I haven't seen iguanas before in this part of Mexico, so it was fun to see them.
We had dinner at home on Sunday, then walked into town as the sun set over the ocean. At dusk there are birds in the trees around the square, and they squawk like it's the end of the world! Sunday evening is when a lot of Mexican families go to the square together, and there are more food vendors set up. We saw a girl sitting on the edge of the empty fountain holding what appeared to be a dog with a blanket around it. Erik gestured to me and pointed out that it wasn't a dog after all, but a baby goat! I took Raphael and sat down next to her where we could see it better. She was a sweet girl of about 10 or 11, and she said the goat was only one month old and is her pet, Blackie. She let Raphael pet it, and he was quite excited about that. One just never knows what one will see here! One night while waiting in line for fried bananas some girls came by with a little bird. It was a baby parrot, one month old, and they let the kids pet it as well.
Yesterday we'd planned to go to the beach, but it felt like we needed to have a little more of a "down" day, so we stayed around here until late afternoon. The kids got in the pool around 9 in the morning and I think it was close to 1 before they were done swimming. Somewhere in there was breakfast, and once I could I got in with them. We all had a great relaxing time floating and splashing and paddling and wading around the pool. After siesta, we walked into town and gave the kids a little money so they could buy a few things to take home. Peregrine picked out a model ship and a slingshot, and Poppy bought a wind chime and a bracelet for her friend.
We'd had our eye on a certain taco stand we've walked by, but ended up eating at another place on the square. They had a handwritten sign advertising fish tacos, which isn't something you normally see here. It was the kind of makeshift restaurant operating out of the back of a truck; out come the tables and chairs, a canopy, a portable stove, a crate full of ice and glass soda bottles, and voila, a restaurant! We took our seats, the plastic kind advertising Corona (or Pepsi, or Sol, or Coca Cola) and waited for our fish tacos. We were facing the church, and I noticed in its yard the type of palm that instead of large coconuts has a spray of olive sized fruits growing beneath the fronds. Some of them were turning red, giving them the appearance of berries. We learned that they are actually a type of coconut, and one man told us this is the kind used to make coconut oil. Our fish tacos arrived on plastic plates covered with a thin plastic bag. This solves the problem of where to do the dishes, as they just throw the bag away, put on a clean one and serve the next customer. We enjoyed our dinner and Erik bought fried bananas for the kids "one last time". I often buy a few produce items near the taxi stand, and last night I picked up two huge mangoes, some small zucchini like squash, and several guava, which we've discovered we really like. We took a taxi home and were glad to call it a night.
Our time here is going by too quickly. Already I'm counting down the days until we leave instead of how many days we've been here. I'm so thankful for this time we have, making memories together with our kids and sharing this great place that is Mexico.

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