Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Privilege of a Lifetime...

“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” - Joseph Campbell

Friday, July 27, 2012

Oh Soul...

by Rumi

Oh soul,
you worry too much.
You have seen your own strength.
You have seen your own beauty.
You have seen your golden wings.
Of anything less,
why do you worry?
You are in truth
the soul, of the soul, of the soul.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

On the go: Buenos Aires - San Francisco

July 17, 2012 @ 1:30pm on the way to BA's Ezeiza international airport. Our flight is actually at 9:30pm but the dog's check-in is a lot earlier at 3pm. This is a beautiful cargo van, the biggest and best, Cedric has arranged for the family to carry all our luggage and doggie crates. The driver offers us some raspberry menthol candy and apologizes because he normally only carries cargo and not passengers...


At the airport, the van drops me off first with all the luggage. Then the dogs and Cedric get taken into another section of the airport - the special cargo area. As I step off, I thank the driver and plant a deep kiss on each of my doggies soft heads. I send a prayer out into the universe for their well being and safe passage. I leave Cedric a piece of bologna I've been holding onto as a final treat.

After the dogs, are taken care of, Cedric rejoins me and it's then the long 8 hr wait. We find a quiet place upstairs with wifi. Then the refueling of liquids. Salud to the flight home. An amazing road trip, 1 year and 2 weeks ago - we set set off July 2, 2011 with only a couple days planned. No expectations. Open hearts. We can't believe we've arrived at this moment. SF, here we come!

On the news: trash collection resuming in BA! Right as we're leaving. Cedric and I are chuckling because trash was a constant topic of ours every time we walked the dogs twice a day in our Palermo neighborhood. I mean constant! Bags full of garage strewn alongside the street like a broken necklace. As every weekend approached, the city got messier and messier. Granted, it has improved, we remembered an even dirtier version of BA - 3 yrs ago. (Not to say that we encountered the same experience in other parts in Argentina. No, just BA.) Luckily, we started to look beyond the trash to make the most of our 2 1/2 week stay in the mega city.

6pm, as the sun starts to set, it's time for the humans to check-in...


Next day, 6:30am. Houston Airport (George Bush Intercontinental Airport) - 7hr layover (incl. 2 hour delay). I was little hesitant about returning by way of Don't Mess With Texas. But by the time, we're in the immigration line, I start getting teary eyed when the "Welcome to the US" is announced in different languages, spanish, chinese, english, german. I take a step back and look at everyone around me, we're from all walks of life, different parts of the planet, different colors, converging in one undulating wave length. It's good to be home. Welcome home!

A couple minutes before we board, a petsafe van whips by and deposits 2 crates next to the plane. Both doggies have been crated now for 17+ hours. Have you ever tried to hold it in that long? Cedric and I are in panic mode at the sight of a blue crate! Both dogs were in grey crates (in the first pic). We put the zoom feature on the camera to the test...

Fur_white. Eyes_brown. Match complete. Señora Biela Brehaut.

Fur_chestnut.Snout_brown. Match affirmative. Señor Manly Brehaut. (We're hoping Manly will one day spill the beans and finally tell us the story).

Home, sweet home!! At least for now temporarily. We have this cool cottage rental until Aug 1. This is the same, yes, peppy pink cottage we made our nest after we sold our home on Roosevelt, over a year ago before we set off on the road trip. Full circle. So, in the picture, I'm kinda stuck on the doorstep. No keys to the cottage! (The lock box doesn't work; I need to go to the leasing office). No money. No ride. No way to reach Cedric who is out buying supplies for the dogs and humans. Our friend Lee (who lived with us in Costa Rica for a month), has just and I mean, just entered his house from a work trip in Nebraska, when he gets a frantic text from me. "It's ok" I tell Lee on the phone. "I'll wait for Cedric. It's no big deal, really.""Mai, will you just tell me how I can help??" Lee says. Remember, when I was  working on my receiving and asking for help issues (I wrote about it in God as a Maid and How to Ask)? Well, I think I'm making progress. Lee and his lady friend arrive to the rescue keys in hand - almost 10 - 15 minutes after Cedric arrives (finding me still on the doorstep). By 7pm, we're toasting champagne glasses with a gorgeous view of San Francisco. The perfect homecoming all around.  So, glad I reached out. Muchismas gracias, Lee and Kerri :x

9pm. Cedric is in the kitchen, making final preparations for bedtime. He's calling me. "Baby ready for bed? Baby?" ZZzzzzzzzzzz....snore, snarf....zzzzzzzzzzzz. See you in the morning.

The Fire of Friendship

A man called Ali is in need of money and asks his boss to help him out. His boss sets him a challenge: if he can spend all night on the top of a mountain, he will receive a great reward; if he fails, he will have to work for free. The story continues:
When he left the shop, Ali noticed that an icy wind was blowing. He felt afraid and decided to ask his best friend, Aydi, if he thought he was mad to accept the wager.
After considering the matter for a moment, Aydi answered:
‘Don’t worry, I’ll help you. Tomorrow night, when you’re sitting on top of the mountain, look straight ahead.
‘I’ll be on the top of the mountain opposite, where I’ll keep a fire burning all night for you.

‘Look at the fire and think of our friendship; and that will keep you warm.
‘You’ll make it through the night, and afterwards, I’ll ask you for something in return.’
Ali won the wager, got the money, and went to his friend’s house.
‘You said you wanted some sort of payment in return.’

Aydi said, ‘Yes, but it isn’t money. Promise that if ever a cold wind blows through my life, you will light the fire of friendship for me.’
in “The Aleph”, Paulo Coelho Book)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

What We've Eaten: A Look Back

A tasty look back of some of the foods we've sampled - 1 year on the road from San Francisco to Fin del Mundo (Ushuaia, Argentina). From guinea pig (cuy), grasshoppers, lamb tongue soup, arepas, gigantic hot dogs, lama steaks to homemade latkas. 

Sometimes, a little risqué, we've enjoyed every bite.

cuy - quito, ecuador
fried chicken - lake atitlan, guatemala
raisin and cinnamon tamale - oaxaca, mexico
chipolines - oaxaca, mexico
mole coloradito - oaxaca, mexico
agua con chocolate - oaxaca, mexico
homemade, hand crafted latkas - santa teresa, costa rica
chicken and pork tamale - medellin, colombia
arepas - popayan, colombia
home made tortilla soup - puerto vallarta, mexico
corn and cheese empanadas - ingapirca, ecuador
ceviche - mancora, peru
torta ahogada - tlaquepaque, mexico
lama steak - ollantaytambo (sacred valley), peru
coca tea - ollantaytambo (sacred valley), peru
cochinita - cusco, peru
lamb tongue soup - cusco, peru
not sure what this is ??!!
completo gigante - vina del mar, chile
amazing black beans, fried banana, cheese and eggs - el tunco, el salvador
bife de chorizo - bariloche, argentina

He Had Reached That Interval of Sanity

"He had reached that interval of sanity suchas the mad know, just as the sane have intervals of madness to keep them aware that they are sane." - William Faulkner

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tango Nights: La Viruta

Located inside the Armenian cultural center, La Viruta is a dance hall that offers salsa, rock (bebop) and tango lessons in our neighborhood - Palermo Soho. We go on a Sunday night and grab the last available table for dinner. It is packed! And luckily we have prime seats at a table right alongside the dance floor. There's a full dinner menu and bar; we order steaks and vino tinto (why not?), and watch Sunday night's dance lessons followed by the bewitching tango hour at 11:30pm. The crowd is diverse - much younger and casual. It doesn't have the old school feel of Salon Canning - but watching the dancers - we can't help but smile ear to ear - the fun, infectious and inspiring energy gives us a tremendous vibration - making us want to sign up for lessons as soon as we're back home.

Hope you are also inspired to dance. Enjoy the photos, chicos.

Line dancing warm up...

All sizes and ages gather round for the bebop lesson (room is split into groups - which to choose?)

Bebop lesson in progress

Tango time


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