"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." ~George Bernard Shaw

"Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time." ~Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Tah-dah we're baaaaaaack!

Home Sweet Home
No pics to post-but need to let folks know we are home and just buried in unopened mail, unpaid bills, dirty laundry reaching the ceiling, a back yard that needs to be weeded, groceries that need to be bought and a veggie garden begging to be planted! So- give us a few days and we'll give you the low down on our trip home and our last recollections and good memories of Oaxaca. love and kisses! Kathe and Russell

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Day 15-a quiet day in Oaxaca

Well today was rather interesting….or I should say very irritating.
I received an email from Alaska Airlines mid way through Sunday
advising us about our gates for departure. Huh? I looked in the email
and somehow Continental had cancelled our Tuesday flight and put
us on a flight leaving Sunday. By the time I got this advisory email the
plane had already left Oaxaca. Huh?? Grr.
It took me HOURS on hold and talking many times to Alaska Airlines.
(we got our First Class Continental tickets with Alaska miles)
I also had to spend time on hold and talking to Continental Airlines as
I could not get seat assignments online. Visions of overbooking and getting
cancelled again were going through my imaginative brain.
Bottom line? We do have seats-but not together. Hopefully folks will
switch with us. So we are here for a couple of more days-nice but actually
inconvenient as we had appointments etc that I had to ask our friends at
home to handle and cancel for us. I am still not sure how this mishap
happened, but I think Alaska dropped the ball. They owe us big time.
Meanwhile yesterday after all the phone calls we wandered and had a
few brewskis and a nice day once I had finished with all the plane nonsense.
Here are a few pics and a movie from yesterdays bus ride!

View from the top of the Fortin Steps
there must be over 200 steps up to the top!
Joggers were passing us....
More graffiti than our last visit
A lot of it depicts hammer and sickles (sp?)
and Anarchy symbols....
Some sidewalks end abruptly!

Panorama of the city

Monday, May 18, 2009

Day 14-a trip to Mitla

This morning we decided to go to Mitla. Russell got us to the
bus stop and off we went. This was after I got us going in the
wrong direction!
Mitla is different from Monte Alban. A lot of the ruins in Mitla
were destroyed by the Spanish to construct a church. Figures.
I could say more, but I’ll keep my mouth shut .
Anyhow, as you can see from the photos it is quite different.
There wasn’t a lot of information about the structures nor was
there a museum-so if one only has a short amount of time we
would recommend Monte Alban as the place to go. There is
a museum there and more information for the visitor.
I did enjoy the bus ride-the countryside is very dramatic and
the mountains are beautiful.
We discovered a tasty restaurant not too far from our B and B.
Russell had 7! lamb chops for $22 and I had a steak with au
gratin sweet potatoes garnished with crispy red onion slices.

Jesus and Bugs Bunny will protect us

The altar of missed accidents

Dramatic landscape

On the way to Mitla

The bus dropped us off maybe 1/2 mile
from the Mitla ruins. These "cars"
are from India and are used
exclusively for transportation
within the city limits.

The conductor takes the money
and helps the driver back up
in tight situations

Church built on Zapotec buildings

Mitla ruins

Column for past roof

Close up of ornamental facade

Entry to interior rooms

More colomns
We had to walk up a steep staircase
to get here

Interior of room
I want to use this design for the
next quilt I make

Another room

Interior showing doorways to rooms

Another close up of facade

Exterior shot of ruins

This mother wanted me to talk English to
the young boy who is learning...he said
he was "too nervous" I told him nervous was a
great word to use!

Another interior shot-we had to practically
get on our hands and knees to get inside

Another exterior shot

We walked back to the bus stop
Mitla is very touristy

Abandoned church on top of ruins

Back on the bus-going past a cement factory

Had to stop for gas

Siesta time for La Senora

Las Dazantes Restaurante
tasty bites!

Wending our way home

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Day 13-We actually go to museums!

Today we actually went to several museums. The days seem to
fly by and we aren’t seeing everything we should. So, today we
went to the Rufino Tamayo Museum of Prehispanic Art,
the Textile Museum of Oaxaca, and the Museum of Oaxacan Painters.
It was great and a visual delight! Here are a few photos from today…

The ancient aquaduct of Oaxaca
Entryway to a business plaza

Within the Oaxacan Painter Gallery
Contemporary sculpture

Contemporary sculpture

Goddess of Corn
seen in Contemporary Gallery

Ancient dog-they used to raise dogs for food

From the Rufino Tamayo Museum of Prehispanic Art

From the Rufino Tamayo Museum of Prehispanic Art

From the Rufino Tamayo Museum of Prehispanic Art

From the Rufino Tamayo Museum of Prehispanic Art

From the Rufino Tamayo Museum of Prehispanic Art

From the Rufino Tamayo Museum of Prehispanic Art

From the Rufino Tamayo Museum of Prehispanic Art
I apologize for not having made notes on
each individual piece I photographed.
We were amazed at the collection
Rufino Tamayo donated to his beloved
state of Oaxaca.

Dinner at La Olla

Day 12- a walk to San Felipe de Agua

Today since it wasn’t too hot we decided to take a walk up
to the little town of San Felipe del Agua.
It’s north of Oaxaca and about a 5 mile walk. Not arduous,
just a nice walk. We walked up past the remnants of the old
aqueduct up to the highway. After crossing the highway we
just followed the signs to the town.
We stopped partway up at a children’s library. It was very
quiet and peaceful. The grounds outside were landscaped
with different colors of dirt-very subtle and very pleasing.
There were also some paper mache sculptures of imaginary
animals-a quasi sculpture garden that only works where there
isn‘t too much rain.
After getting up to San Felipe we had a nice little lunch at
the Hotel Hacienda Los Laureles. Tasty bites and some cervesa.
We took the bus back down to Oaxaca for 9 pesos total
-such a deal!
Once back in downtown Oaxaca we went to the market and spent
an hour searching for and finding a comal and some “piedra de cal”.
A comal is a metal rimmed cooking plate for roasting vegetables
for salsas and other Mexican dishes. Piedra de cal is limestone used
in making tortillas. It took us an hour to actually find the correct
places for these two items. Part of the problem was my lame
Spanish and part of the problem was our not knowing exactly where
these items were sold. It’s an adventure to shop.

Another beautiful breakfast

Paper mache sculpture outside the library

Looks like this is from "Where the Wild Things Are"

Cactus growing up wall

Water feature that works with rain

Handyman's delight for sale

There I am walking up to San Felipe

My Ensalada Exotica
Grapefruit with avacado and roasted almonds

Russell's 3 beef tacos with avacado, tomatoes
and queso fresco

Lunch al fresco at the
Hotel Hacienda Los Laureles

Looking towards the back of the hotel

On the bus-
I have attached a video link to this blog
of our bus ride

An unusaully equipped motorcycle

On Friday's the Zocolo is packed with vendors
who come from all over the region

Reflection shot of window filled corn husks
and Zocolo activity

Rare flora and fauna in the Zocolo

video of bus ride