While many of you are pulling out fleecy shirts and watching fall colors change the landscape, those of us in paradise have steamed our way through some mighty hot days. I think it was 97° with equal humidity one recent day. Cold showers are actually appealing. But all it takes is a gorgeous thunderstorm in the evening and cool breezes nearly wipe out the memory. In another month or so, when you are contemplating the arrival of snow, we will be basking in 75 to 80° days once again with perfect, fresh evenings.
It was a stellar summer for me with six weeks of travel. At the end of June, I joined 8 of my fellow Tango Vallarta members in San Francisco for Nora’s Tango Week. Our days were filled with classes taught by Argentina’s best, and the evenings found us dancing to a live orchestra practicing all our new moves. One of my favorite parts of the day was a chat (chamuyo) with one or more of our teachers. It seemed like no question was too probing…how did you fall in love? when did you start dancing? what do you eat? If only all we had to do to look like they do on the floor was eat the same diet!!
The next scheduled adventure took my daughter Tamara and I to Norway for three weeks, exploring our roots and a fascinating country. We traveled by every means (almost) but camels…the coastal cruise Hurtigruten, train, bus, car, canal boat, and our own feet from Tromso in the far north to Oslo. The big challenge was a 3-1/2 day hike in alpine mountains. We were on our own traveling from lodge-to-lodge…which meant there was no stopping until we arrived. The trail was a series of stones with a painted red “T.” The stones went through huge fields of boulders, streams, waterfalls, snow fields, and bogs…and so did we. What was supposed to take us 7 hours turned into 11. I’m sure that Tamara could have managed much faster, but she stayed with me. And I thought I was in good shape! I kept telling her that it was only because all of the Norwegians were so tall…they got more distance with each step. At the end of the day, the reward of a gourmet dinner, friendly chatter around the table, and a comfortable bed made it worth the effort to get up the next day and do it all again. The highlight and reason for this trip was meeting family (nearly 20 cousins) and seeing the land and homes our ancestors left behind 165 to 143 years ago.
Back in PV, things are beginning to happen in my studio at last. Painting!! I finished a piece that has a personal message. Being guests in Mexico we are discouraged from being political, but the destruction of all but one of our inner city parks to build parking garages broke my heart. I felt helpless to do anything to change that tragic course of events, but to make a painting. Last Grass in Centro simply depicts my feet enjoying the feel of grass between my toes…cool and fresh on a hot, sunny day. My friend Anneke was here for a visit before it was finished and shot this photo in my studio.
Southern Cross has found a perfect new owner. Katrin flew down from New York to see her and they found a great match. She will have a new flag…so watch in far flung ports for Southern Cross with an Estonian flag on her stern. Katrin has plans for some long-distance passages to see the world. After 19 years together, it was a bit like sending one of your kids off to college. So much good time together, but now she needs to go sailing again, and her new captain is anxious to take her.
Every Monday and Thursday I am now teaching Wallace Method classes in my studio. I have enjoyed and gained so much in my own practice that it was time to share what I’ve learned with others. I love listening to all the “ahhhhh’s” and “ohhhhh’s” as creaky things begin to let go with Heather Wallace’s freeform multi-dimensional stretching system. Heather returns to Puerto Vallarta for November through March and has planned a series of three Wallace Method Workshops. These are five busy but enjoyable days spent learning the techniques and principles of the Wallace Method…valuable for both the practitioner and the individual doing their own personal work.
I know many of you are busy planning your next visit to PV for this winter, and I have a few tips and recommendations to share. My website “links page” lists many informational sites including Gary Beck’s two excellent yahoo groups that provide forums for announcements, questions and answers beneficial for resident and visitor alike. Gary has also written a terrific—and the most comprehensive—restaurant guide for over 300 establishments here. With his long background in the industry he brings an astute eye and palette to the project. Gary keeps his publication up-to date-with several trips each year.
Santa Barbara Theater has a new website allowing you to plan and purchase tickets even before you arrive. They have a great new season ahead repeating some of the most popular shows and adding many new ones. There are other theater projects in the wings also as the cultural scene here grows with the community.
I’ve written often in the past about New Life Mexico, the program that is providing shelter and a new life to as many street boys as possible. Phillipa Vernon Powell has accomplished incredible things to change these young lives…school, health care, clothing, a “home” and caring support. She has a wish list at all times for things they need for the boys. Be part of changing someone’s life by filling the extra corners of your suitcase with something on her list. The number of boys she is caring for has doubled since January!
Another follow up report on someone I’ve written about before…herbalist Adrian de Landa has been very involved with AutismO2, the new autism clinic in Puerto Vallarta. Recent reports show that autism now affects 1 in every 150 children! This is epidemic level and in a large part traceable to mercury (often from vaccinations which use a mercury-based preservative). The visible results of their success is thrilling. Puerto Vallarta’s clinic includes a hyperbaric chamber, used once heavy metals have been removed from the patients. Many of their clients are poor or very poor, and the DAN protocol they are using is expensive. You might consider helping one child through a portion of this process. The gift of a life. Their phone number in Puerto Vallarta is 2232006, and the address is Avenida Mexico1068, Colonia 5 de Diciembre.
Exciting news from sailor/friend Dan Russell who has just launched a new website business BoatMexico.Com. After bringing his boat south a few years ago…and subsequently falling in love with PV and falling in love in PV…he saw the need for an online service for the boating community on the Mexican West Coast. BoatMexico.Com combines the experience and contacts of sailors who have made Mexico their home with membership feedback to create a centralized information and communication website. They will provide the latest information, including articles in their Medical Loft presented by their physician specialist in Travelers Medicine. Other features include Members Message Center, Swap & Shop, Radio, Maintenance, Crew, Fun & Foto Lofts, while their Trip Tracker Loft offers the long awaited filing of a boater's travel plan with automatic alert and emergency notifications. Website memberships will be available soon at BoatMexico.Com.
Have a beautiful fall and enjoy the holidays wherever you are.
Cousin Terje, our host in Tromso
Tamara enjoying her favorite...Norwegian waffles with cream and jam
Pat in Tinn, Norway, with the famous stone only her great-great-grandfather could lift
Meeting long lost cousins in Oslo
A break on the "trail" for weary feet
Last Grass in Centro...work in process