Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Mexico to Canada to England

In my Winter in Bucerias 2014/15 post I mentioned how incredible 2015 was. I've had many great times in my life, but never an entire year that stood out as 2015 did.  I saw exotic creatures and historical sites I'd only ever seen on TV. I met wonderful people.

Bucerias



San Sebastian




After six months of blissful existence in Bucerias, Nayarit, we returned to Canada via Vancouver. Every time I see Vancouver, I'm awestruck by how stunning it is. We live 700 km north and don't visit enough.

City of Vancouver

The next day we caught a connecting flight to Prince George. Very soon the ice was gone from the lake and the loons, bears, fox, beavers, ducks, birds, and the occasionally cougar were back.


Yay, garage spread everywhere. 

Cluculz Lake, home

I am eight generation Canadian, a small-town girl from Maple Ridge with big dreams, who loves her country. I've had the honour of visiting eight out of ten provinces and one out of three territories. For the last 25 years, we've lived on quiet and beautiful Cluculz Lake in central British Columbia, 700 kms north of Vancouver.

Though I dreamed about leaving the continent, I never truly believed I would. Thanks to our youngest, who was stationed in Larkhill for one year, I flew to London in June. The United Kingdom is  ... well, there aren't adequate words to describe it.




Our son, my daughter-in-law, and my grandchildren were living in PMQ, military housing within walking distance to Stonehenge. I know! I visited STONEHENGE!


This is me in awe of where I am. Stonehenge behind me. 


Stonehenge was sacred, MASSIVE, an enigma. I stood and listened to the silence, yet I heard the distinct murmurs of every soul who'd stood there before me.


Archaeologists believe Stonehenge was constructed 4000 to 5000 years ago. The big stones are called sarsens and are as tall as 30'. There are various theories as to how they arrived from Wales. Some archaeologist believe they were moved by the advancing ice-age. But most of the truths of Stonehenge are shrouded in mystery. I'm so glad I was able to see it.




Roman Bath in Somerset
While in England, I visited my paternal grandmother's birthplace in Bath, Somerset. Had a plate of authentic fish and chips. Saw the Roman bathhouse. Toured Jane Austen's residence. People-watched from the window of a nearby pub with my son. Stood outside Jack's and listened to a man playing the trumpet solo of The Very Thought of You.






At the Cathedra in Bath I found myself overwhelmed and had to swallow the lump in the throat. On the walls and floors are tombstones and plagues of residents who passed between the 12th century all the way to the 19th century. Among them were babies, soldiers, women who died in childbirth. 

My great-grandparents attended Sunday service here







I visited Old Wardour Castle and felt the ground move with the activity of the people who had lived and worked on the land centuries ago. For a moment, I was back there, in the midst of the bustle. My senses experienced it as once a vibrant and happy place.






There is so much I could say about England, but it would take forever. I hope the photos speak for themselves. England is truly a magnificent place.

Salisbury







Wiltshire



River Thames

London's Eye

Big Ben in the distance



Waterloo Station


If you visit England, prepare to see something new and fascinating every single day, and still only get a glimpse.

London Bridge




Buckingham Palace

If you can bare with me, next time I'd like to share photos of the Salisbury Cathedra and the Magna Carta.


Happy New Year. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Winter in Bucerias 2014/15

2015 was an incredible year. Unique in its uniqueness. With our two cats Marbles and Shasta in hand, we flew down to Mexico after Halloween. Hubby constructed a chicken wire fence around our casa to protect our cats the tiny little geckos from harm. Later, we welcomed the New Year at a poolside fiesta in Los Arroyos Verdes, a botanic garden compound east of Bucerias.



We met wonderful people in 2015; friends for life, I suspect.












We visited the historical and enchanting village of San Sebastian Oeste deep in the Sierra Madre Occidental in Jalisco. Their beautiful church is dedicated to the town's patron, San Sebastian. It was built in the 1660 and renovated in 1868 after an earthquake.







Three of my amigas and I spent two days in Guadalajara.








Shopped 'til we dropped!




Bucerias, Nayarit, a small town north of Puerto Vallarta, is heaven on earth.

Exotic foods

Melacon twenty minutes away



Heated pool


People say, "Must be nice," then give me that look when I tell them we spend our winters in Mexico. I know how opulent it sounds to them, but honestly, it's more economical than wintering in Canada. Especial for retirees.

That must make BC Hydro very sad.


The Mexican people are generous, kind, and welcoming. Nothing is more important than family.

Christmas Party

They have their Arts



Ocean
The view from Breakers, a beachfront restaurant/bar owned by a fellow Manitoban. 



Beach



How many of us could paint our house pink without drugs meds provocation?






Sunset over Banderas Bay

Punta Mita







Feel very blessed spending my winters in this beautiful country.



 ... ended the first 6 months of 2015 by jumping the pond and visiting our youngest and his family in the UK. More on that later ...



Feliz Navidad, mis amigos!