two of a kind

It looks like there will be blueberry pancakes in our future soon... even if we have to ration 1 berry per pancake I will make it happen!

back in the saddle

After a rather long hiatus from the political ring, Dave and I have decided to get back in the action (while the action is good). This Saturday, TOMORROW!, we are hosting a bake sale, Highland Park is Hungry for Change (I'm also a little hungry for tacos but that's another blog). We'll be out on the corner of York Blvd. and 50th Ave. hawking yummy baked goods for's campaign to put Obama in the White House. If your in the neighborhood or your just hungry please stop by and say hello.

just above level orange

Despite my efforts to avoid the situation, yesterday at the vet Cash decided to unload his breakfast and quite possibly his dinner from the day before in the lobby of the building. Good times. Especially so when the receptionist got on the loud speaker and said:

"We have a CODE BROWN in the front lobby, CODE BROWN!"

in other news...

Cash got big! Soon he'll be wanting to borrow the keys to our car....

the last of it

Day 4!
also known as the day we go home or the day we saw as much architecture as humanly possible courtesy of Micky. Some interesting facts to go along with the visual imagery:

1. UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico) is the largest university in latin american at roughly 300, ooo students!
2. UNAM tuition is a donation only.
3. The Sculpture Space located in the UNAM ecoological reserve is constructed of concrete triangles with lava rock filled in the middle. Micky hadn't been there since he was in 5th grade!

p.s. pictobrowser insists on mixing up the photos despite my efforts to organize them. boooo

beginning and ending in pink

Day 3!

Is everyone still with me? After Day 2, I'll keep this one short.

The important factor of this day is we changed hotels and scenery to the Condesa Hotel. It was with great delight that we discovered the hotel had free bikes for its guests! We decided to tackle day 3 via peddling and experience a few of the city parks. We had a late afternoon reservation at Casa Barragan which we thought would allow for a leisurely ride. Warning! Nothing about biking in Mexico City is leisurely. Sidewalks are narrow, streets are narrower, and the terrain is like being on the cyclone coaster at a barbie doll scale. Imagine an American city sidewalk and curb cut and shrink that down so its pretty much vertical. Everything went up and down and up and up and down and up and down and... Anyhow our tushes were not as delighted with the bike discovery by the end of the day. BUT we did see some great things on day 3, starting with the pink market a few blocks from our hotel and ending with the pink on the Casa Barragan terrace...and a majority of the other colorful subjects in the middle.

where men (and women) become gods

Day 2!

We had decided on Sunday that we would venture out of the city on Monday to Teotihuacan (which I still can't pronounce) aka the Temple of the sun and moon. After some debate, we decided to get a driver from the hotel to take us there as we were hoping to do a bit more exploring than the typical tour bus allowed. Mickey, as he wished to be called, was quite the tour guide and we were immediately excited about having him along.

Mickey was full of MANY stories the first of which concerned the median outside our hotel. I had mentioned it to him because Dave and I both were enamored with its shape. According to Mickey...the mayor at the time it was built was thought to look like a crocodile? and this median, which ran for quite some distance in the city, was shaped in honor of him as a croc's tail.

And so our journey continued with stories and history of the Mexican people and the Aztecs until we arrived at the Basilica of Guadalupe. This was the locale where the Virgin of Guadalupe was revealed to the Aztecs (and Spanish priests) and thus is a big destination for most Mexicans. Actually I just read in Wikipedia that it is the second only to the Vatican in most visited Catholic shrines. So. When the crowds outgrew the original Basilica, a new cathedral was built in 1976. Several interesting things to note about this structure:

1. A majority of the materials and labor were donated as it was good to be in good favor with the Virgin of Guadalupe. This includes the ENTIRE wood ceiling all donated by a company in Canada.
2. To accommodate the masses who wish to pray before the Virgin, the architect installed two people movers that are a level below the altar. This allows mass to take place without any interruption. Also according to Mickey the speed of the movers was set such that you can complete one hail Mary on each pass.
3. The ceiling above the altar is open to the sky but designed such that rain doesn't get in or on anyone. This allows heat to escape as the structure has NO A/C.
4. Does there really need to be a 4? Ok. The Virgin in the new Cathedral (and our photo) is the ORIGINAL Virgin revealed in 1531 through (now Saint) Juan Diego. She. Is. Old.
After the brief stop, we traveled onto tetechhuanca (my pronunciation). I suggest following this link which covers most of the history and interesting facts...some of which I cover below.... Mickey drove us first to the southern edge and the citadel, which is a large square in plan with several temple bases in the center. All the walls were composed of lava rock and would have been plastered until they were crisp and smooth they painted vibrant colors. This plaster and paint would have covered not only the walls and steps, but the floor as well. There are still bits and pieces of it found throughout the complex. From the citadel we traveled north to the temple of the moon and then back south the the temple of the sun... which we climbed. Some more Mickey facts for your reading pleasure.
1. The temples were never lost merely left to decay. In the early 1900's to celebrate the Mexican Independence an Archaeologist was commissioned to restore them. He apparently was hoping to find gold and dynamited the tops off a few.
2. The mortar and small rocks between the large lava rocks are not original but are part of the restoration process.
3. Each pyramid or temple consists of several temples, similar to a russian doll they get smaller as you get to the center, as temples were built atop older ones.
After the trek up the temple of the sun, Dave and I were in need of some was Mickey. He suggested Pyramid Charlie's, which according to their slogan 'served the food the Aztec God's ate.' Tempting. But we decided to pass and convinced Mickey to drive us to a local market in a nearby village. Luckily Montezuma didn't take out his revenge.

on tape in Mexico

Day 1!
Dave and I arrived in Mexico late Saturday night and after eating an amazing dinner at Izote (I had lamb cooked in not 1 BUT 2! different kinds of banana leaves) we turned in for the night prepared to take on the city in the Sunday is where the photos start.

We started the day in the historic city center, specifically the Zocolo as it is commonly known. We wondered around a bit from there, not too far really because we couldn't find the museum we were looking for at the time. This area of the city was built atop the lake so most of the old structures are leaning right or left or even forward... think tower of Pisa meets the Vatican... really crazy. Also Sunday, we learned, was the celebration of the corn goddess (rough translation) so many families had brought their children dressed in traditional clothes (see boy with mustache) which signified the new crop coming (again rough translation).

We walked this area from 10am to around 3pm and during this time a handful of Mexican youths came up to us to practice their English. Several had specific school assignments/requirements to fill and went through a list of questions with us while proud parents video taped the whole thing:

Do you like Mexico - Yes!
Do you like Mexican food - Oh yes!
What type of Mexican food - Ferris truck stop?
The questioning went on... and on and I'm quite sure there is a classroom in Mexico laughing right now... perhaps we will even make YouTube.

but first... he was runnin

I'm going to follow this post with some delightful details about our Mexico city trip, but I had to share my experience from this past Saturday. Whoa was it a doozie.

Sooo.o Saturday my uncle Allan and cousin John came down from Fresno to attend the California State High School Track Meet and I happily tagged along. To quote the Los Angeles times

"In what likely will be remembered for years to come, four runners combined for the greatest distance performances in the history of the meet."
Seriously, they did! I witnessed Christine Babcock, a senior run a mile is 4:33! Jordon Hassay, a junior, run a two mile is 9:52! and then German Fernandez a senior (and the meet heartthrob) run a mile in 4:00:29 AND THEN a two mile (a mere two hours later) in 8:34...

All Spectacular! So get out there and attend some high school events.

ok i'm done.