Friday, September 13, 2013

Before Europe September 2013

We had 12 days of September before flying off to Europe.  And lots to do.

We stayed in Edinburg the first few days - visiting with friends, and making arrangements for the repair of the front door.

Most of our energy went into the garden.  With all the rain we've had there, the drought loving plants had experienced an explosion of growth.

The garden looked much better after a radical haircut.

Then it was back to Mexico for a very quick visit.  We had a loooong list of things to accomplish.

First, a visit with Ernesto and Alida in Monterrey.  Like all events on this trip, the visit was quick, but ever so enjoyable.

Their home is a little piece of natural paradise in the middle of a huge city.  A bubbling brook flows between the street and the house.  You approach the front door very carefully on rocks set in the stream.  The house itself is a wonder and the back yard is full of plants, hidden walk ways and trees.  Add to that a full compliment of tropical fish, birds - caged and wild - several dogs and cats and two beautiful daughters.  They have quite a life.

Ernesto picked us up at the bus station and took us to the house where Alida had prepared a delicious lunch for us.  Later that afternoon we toured the neighborhood including a grocery store very close to the house.  I can visualize several lists I might give Alida in the future of things I need from Monterrey.  

 Our hosts were committed to attend events at Monterrey Tec that evening but we enjoyed our time at the hotel.  

Built in the old foundry district of the city, many of the old pieces of equipment were left in place and incorporated into the landscaping.

From our window, we had a great view of one of Monterrey's famous mountains.  That view was one of the highlights of the visit.  Not that particular view, but the general clear sky which is certainly not always that blue.

The following day we traveled on to Parras with Ernesto.  The next two and a half days were packed.

Solo Vino had to be vaccinated.

The garden had to be cleared of all the weeds springing up with reckless abandon from all the rain.

There was still wine that had to be bottled and barrels to check on.

And much, much, more.

It is the season for poblano peppers.  I incorporated them into all five meals that I cooked while we were there.

There are several construction projects going on at the hacienda.  

Stairs are being built to provide better access to some of the cabanas.

A new roof is going up on the old bodega.

The grand entrance is almost finished.

One of my cacti decided it would go with three blooms instead of the usual single.

Pecan season is in full swing.

And, we had our first barrel tasting of the 2013 harvest.  If the first taste is a good indicator, this promises to be the best so far.

On Sunday the 8th, we were back on the bus to Edinburg.  

The trip was uneventful as usual, but the army did strop us for an X-ray of all baggage.  That was a new experience.

Back in Edinburg, the first thing we noticed was the new storm door.  What a relief!  David's men came back while we were there to finish the details.  It's beautiful!

The next two days flew by.  

We made a couple of trips to town for traveling supplies, and packed for the big trip.  

Basically, we worked in the garden.

I only made one dinner - a big pulled pork feast with all the trimmings.  Tom and Ellen had supper for us on Sunday night and Charlie and Peggy had supper for us on Tuesday.  Aren't friends wonderful?!?

Three rain related reports:

The front door did not leak one drop while we were there!

We had a big double rainbow one evening.

And a lovely sunrise the next morning.

Back in San Antonio Wednesday night there were only a few details to work out and then dinner with Sarah, David and the kids Thursday night.  Always a pleasure!

Friday morning, we were at the airport ready for an on-time departure.  Here we go!