RSS Feed

Not All Things End As They Start

Not all things necessarily end up as they began. Take a work week, for example: it begins with a Monday – and who on earth likes those? – and ends with Friday. Everyone loves Friday.

Or how about March in Minnesota? The saying is "in like a lion, out like a lamb." Or vice versa, as we born-and-raised Minnesotans know. And it's generally true that the month never ends like it begins. Especially this March.

First of all, we got a butt-ton of snow this winter (ps: that's MUCH more than a mere metric ton) and we still had it all coming into the beginning of this month. The past week has changed that, however – the warm(er) weather and now sluicing rains are melting that icky snow right before our eyes. So that's good. I'm done with winter.

And then there's the ever-increasing temperature...I believe we've been in the 50s (above!) several times in the past week. This is a joyous time. And this week is the best of all – right now, it's Sunday, cool and rainy. But, the upcoming forecast is VERY promising. In fact, there's going to be a drastic upswing in the temperature! Take a look...

Sunday–Wednesday's Forecast:

And Thursday–next Sunday's Forecast:

So you see, things can change drastically from the way they've started and end up being...well, something entirely different. And that's okay. In fact, it's great.

Can't wait 'til Thursday!

Sometimes It's Good to Go Back

I've heard people say, "if only I could go back and do that over..." but I try to live without regrets. In fact, historically I've always looked forward to the future and what it holds instead of dwelling on all the has-beens in the past.

I couldn't WAIT to get out of high school and into college. After a couple years of that, I couldn't wait to get out of college and into the real world...but what I realized (after some maturity) was that I was looking so forward to what could/might come that I wasn't really living in the moment to enjoy it for what it was. Not that I regret that – that was then and, as I'm so fond of saying, "it is what it is."

Older, more mature and possibly a tad wiser, these days I'm still excited and curious about what the future holds, but I'm also living in – and enjoying – the "now." AND I can still look back on the ago and think all the things I've done, seen and experienced have made me who I am today.

While we might not be able to physically go back in time – or leap ahead into the future, for that matter – we CAN reflect back on what's happened. Not to worry about regrets or wish we could do it over, but just to enjoy it for what it was and perhaps even re-remember some other things.

For me, photography has always been my favorite way to preserve memories – I'm not great with remembering details, as many of my old friends can attest :) – and every once in a while I like to go back and re-live the snapshots I've taken the past year.

This morning while doing just that I came across a shot I took on a whim last year. I'd forgotten all about it – it was tucked away in a folder from the summer months – and realized I'd never so much as edited it.

It was after a day of horse showing in Aitkin, Minnesota and we were driving home trying to beat the threatening storm clouds. As I came around a turn in the road I saw this vista: a field of sunflowers set against a backdrop of ominous, slate-blue clouds.

I pulled over, grabbed my camera, zipped across the road and started shooting. The lighting was less than ideal but it was beautiful anyway. I'm so glad I decided to take a stroll through my (recent) past and re-remember this lovely scene.

I look forward to driving past this field again next summer – we'll most likely be attending the same horse show this year – and see what this field of sunflowers has in store for me! After all, I have a new camera now and could even take the time to try out some different lenses...

But, I won't spend any more time thinking about that. After all, it's several months away and I have the here and now to live :)

Girls' Week in Puerto Vallarta (v.2011)

It's been a little over a week since Phoebe and I returned from yet another stint – this time for a week – in sunny, warm Puerto Vallarta. This year's Girls' Week included Mom, Aunt Lynne and us. Well, and technically Dad, since we arrived on Thursday and he didn't head home 'til Saturday. We were extremely excited for our second trist together, especially since our short little trip last year only whet our appetite for more.

We caught the earliest flight down there – they've changed the wheels-up time from 7:05 to o-six-hundred – so by 11:30am we were on the beach and ordering our first drink from Juan at Coco Tropical. Since we both got up at 2:30am (yes, there is such a time) to leave for the airport by 3:30 (thanks to my wonderful husband for waking up enough to drive us there!), we were ready to relax, read and take a nap. Of course, there was also a considerable amount of chit-chat.

The week was same-ol'-same-ol': power-walks in the morning followed by coffee and chatting on the balcony; walking around old-town PV 'til about noonish, then on to the beach for afternoons filled with chatting, napping, drinking and reading; up to the condo for showers and the oh-so-stressful decision ("Where are we going to eat tonight?"); finally a stroll along the Malecón for dessert. Go to bed, rinse, repeat. Hello, vacation.

Of course, don't get me wrong – there was nothing hum-drum about this trip. You'd think, with how many times I've been to PV, I'd eventually get sick of it. Nope. On the contrary! I find somewhere or something new every time I'm there. Case in point this trip: there's a catwalk at Los Arbolitos. Who knew? An old family friend took Phoebe and I up there to show us our first night...I was at first surprised it was even there (Dad never ONCE mentioned that in all the times I've been there), but then I was even more surprised at the view. You know, looking over the rooftops and trees of PV, seeing a few shimmery stars poking through the cloud cover, the extremely good-looking man (wearing only underoos) walking in front of his window (backlit against the soft amber glow of candlelight) and then very sexily putting on a pair of jeans. Whoa.

Anyway. I digress.

Then there was the day of hanging out with Dad. Phoebe and I had a BLAST! We ate breakfast at Tizoc's (Roberto – my very own personal waiter and a spry 74 years old – was extremely happy to see me there without Clint) and then followed Dad on a shopping spree. He needed to get silver bracelets for some of his nurses so we went to the silver shop on the Malecón. Upon paying for our finds, Dad and I ended up yakking with the store owner (en español, claro) and then all of a sudden he's pulling out old black-and-white photos of the area from the '20s and '30s. SUPER-cool! We got a little history lesson and made a new BFF.

After that it was on to the hardware store: my new, favorite place to shop in PV. Dad needed some random tools (axe heads or something?) and Phoebe was delighted to find authentic, real McCoy tortilla presses. She got one of those, we both got juicers, I got cool wooden spoons (and a pair of shoelaces – why not?)...I ended up heading back a different day for cool clay pots. It's a veritable pu pu platter of cool Mexican stuff.

Oh, and then there was our "Photography Walk-about." Phoebe and I decided to grab our cameras and head off the beaten path to see what kind of photo opps we could find. Well, we took photos and then we got a little farther off the beaten path than we'd in, we were on a dirty, dusty dirt road heading in the wrong direction. I sort of knew where we were and where we needed to be – problem was, we couldn't GET there due to the fences on either side of the road.

Finally, after traversing an ancient "bridge," deciding not to rescue the neglected skinny stallion, and fording the icy cold water of the Rio Cuale in our bare (and I might add, sore) feet, we ended up at last on the correct side of the river. From there it was just a hop, skip, and a jumpy 10 minutes past some rather shady-looking natives until we finally saw another gringo and then we ended up on a sidewalk that led us right the hardware store. It was a sight for sore eyes!

Our trip to Yelapa was fun (of course), too. We saw dolphins in the boat on the way there, and whales in the bay once we got back from our waterfall tour. We also got to see a bunch of people paragliding over the bay (different than parasailing in that eventually they disconnect from the boat and free-fly) and met a couple of colorful, typical Yelapa-type squatters. There was a poem, some pictures and a hasty fare-thee-well getting into the boat to head back to PV.

We relaxed, we sunbathed, we enjoyed great food, we laughed.

All in all, another great trip to my favorite home-away-from-home: Puerto Vallarta.

Puerto Vallarta, How I Miss Thee

It takes me as long as I was on vacation to get over NOT being on vacation anymore. And Mexico, I'm just not quite over you yet...