Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Last night I ordered the most yummicious cheese quesadillas in the hotel restaurant. The TV was on to ESPN to which a group of men was watching an international rodeo. And they were really IN to it! There are a lot of "cowboys" in the area. At the moment I can hear a donkey beying from outside the cyber cafe. (Do donkeys bey? Maybe it's a mule?) Pretty cool stuff.
Tomorrow I catch the great Copper Canyon Railway to the town of Creel.
So far pretty safe, people are nice, and I'm staying in a $15/night spic and span hostel run by a woman from Sacramento---so don't worry, parents!
Pictures are up! (see side)
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
And it's COLD!! Dad and I arrived during the coldest weather they've ever had---mind you to North Dakota standards people would still be wearing shorts. With 40-50 degree (F) temps I have been wearing my one "cold" outfit everyday this week. I am wearing my winter jacket as I type.
Tonight we are in a little pink hotel filled with bikers. There's a courtyard with chirping birds and plants, a cricket hiding somewhere in my room, the beds are covered in poncho blankets and the toilets leak. Dad would usually refuse to stay at a place like this, but the alternatives weren't much better. I like it, it feels like Mexico.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
It was a brown Christmas this year, but I truly enjoyed overdosing on Christmas cookies and pigging out with my family and hanging with the newly extended family! Presents are always a treat! Home is without doubt the best place to spend Christmas!
We got a good 12 inches in a matter of days. It was beautiful, and I actually enjoyed shovelling. I was impressed by the way Mom and Sam and all drive through it, plowing and sliding and spinning without even breaking a sweat. This is normal North Dakota stuff.
A picture of me shovelling from last year
Sis took me out to a few parties and it was fun, but for me the best place to spend New Year's will always be Japan. I missed eating mashed chestnuts and rice cakes with cheese, visiting a temple in the middle of the night, and getting a slew of New Year's postcards on the 1st. Sigh.
Japanese New Year Mashed Chestnuts---YUM!
I crammed to full cerebral capacity. My weakest subject is---and having been an English teacher for so many years this is a little embarassing---English. I studied a panoply of erudite vocabulary which never showed up on the test, but I have since discovered that they appear regularly in crossword puzzles. Thank you, Kaplan Study Guides, for boosting my crossword ability! Much more useful in life than a measly test. I have no regrets.
33 Hour Amtrak Ride
I found a ridiculously cheap ticket to Seattle on Amtrak. I thought I would enjoy the ride, leisurely viewing the mountains and scenery, but it was way, way too much time in a box. The guy next to me was a young east coast environmental studies major who was in awe of the North Dakota landscape. He thoroughly interrogated me on what North Dakotans do for a living, the main cash crops, dont they get lonely out there in the plains? Do they like living here? And everytime we passed a butte jutting unexpectedly from the middle of a flat prairie he would gasp in awe---! So to those of you who think ND is boring, its all a matter of perspective!
Off to Mexico!
I leave to Mexico on Jan. 18th, ¡Olé olé! More on that later!
P.S. Tired of checking for new updates? I can send you an e-mail notice, kind of like a subscription, when I update my blog. Let me know and I will put you on the list! -Shannen