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'18 Feb: Puebla City, Mexico
Six hours a day five days a week for three weeks: Spanish Class, total elapsed time 9am-4:30pm. Then excursions, parties, homework. Yikes is right.
'18 Mar: Puebla City Excursions
1) HoHo City Tour on the Turibus.
2) Monarch Migration and surrounding area

'13 Apr: The Dominican Republic
Mostly Santo Domingo with a swing by Boca Chica during a first visit in a long time to a Caribbean island.
'13 Apr: Cuba - Havana
Big Old American Cars and so much more.
'13 Apr: Cuba - the Countryside
Visiting Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Playa de Guanabo, and Viñales, and dancing salsa with fine Cuban gentlemen.
'13 May: Cuba - whooo Big Old American Cars
Name That Car!
'07 Sep: GUANAJUATO, México
The first week of classes, the Alhóndiga de Granaditas, Pipila, and a SpecTacular 28 Septembre Independence Day Parade.
'07 Sep: a Second Week in Guanajuato
Don't miss Me and Mr Salsa himself, the Cervantino Festival, the Museo de las Momias and the Diego Rivera Museum.
'07 Oct: PÁTZCUARO in Michoacán, México
Dia de La Raza, CELEP, Restaurant Cha Cha Cha, Churches, Plaza Grande and Plaza Chica, more around lovely Pátzcuaro.
'07 Oct: a Second Week in Pátzcuaro
Janitzio, which means 'where it rains', Tzintzuntzan, Santa Fe de La Laguna, Santa Clara, Gringo Gultch, and Ice Cream.
'04 Jan: Baja Coastal and Inland
Last update: Mar 3 2004.
'03 Mar: Yucatan
Leigh and me and the ancient Mayans with a quick stop in Mexico City.




Click HERE and all the pictures in this chapter will get big.

A view from inside the stables at the glorious Adobe Guadalupe winery and hotel, looking out to the magnificently designed and decorated cooling ring.

Now, to the beginning...

Leslie and Julie have left NY, NY the morning of January 15 in a howling blizzard where for days the temperature had not risen above freezing.

By late afternoon we are lounging around a lovely hotel in Ensenada, enjoying the welcome Margarita and wonderfully satisfying chips and guacamole. Notice the man in the pool.

Pointing out the sights.

Sunset on the Pacific.

Another hook-up with one of the Dave Casey connections. The chef is the brother of one of Hector's partners, or some such relationship...

Morning coffee on the balcony. Definitely Not NY, NY.

Our arrival at the Adobe Guadalupe found us with great sucking in of breath. The place is spectacular. Chugging along for half an hour on the rutted dirt road only added to the amazement.

I am going to copy in italics the Story of the Adobe Guadalupe from material we found in our room.

'The story of this valley resort began with a young man named Arlo who died in a tragic automobile accident. Arlo was fascinated throughout his life with certain aspects of Mexican culture, from vineyards and serapes to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Another view. Many many more views to follow. Here we are standing in the entry hall. Behind me is the formal living room. To the right are the owner's rooms including a semi-public lounge with cushy sofas and chairs and a wide screen giga-channel tv. To the left is the formal dining room and the massive kitchen. Opposite are the six guest rooms.

'Perhaps even then, the call of the Adobe was heard although it was years away from being built...

One of the colonnades leading from the main house to the guest rooms.

'On a trip to Paris after Arlo's death, his mother, Tru, believed that she had received a special sign during a visit to Notre Dame. Just inside the doorway of the cathedral, she saw an anomalous Mexican chair with a serape draped over it...

We went off for a morning walk and this shot is looking back towards the property.

'It was seemingly out of place and this image stayed with her - the first seed of the Adobe had started to grow...

The gate to the shrine built by Tru and Donald in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

'Two years later, Tru and her husband Donald returned to Paris, in search of a place to lay Arlo's ashes to rest along with Tru's father's...

Our Lady of Guadalupe. There's the radiating spokes and the boy holding her cape in one hand and her dress in the other.

'Still remembering the strange cooincidence, she returned to Notre Dame and found that not only were the Mexican chair and serape still there but that they were now part of a side altar - dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe...

As well as the vineyards, the area is cultivated with olives and citrus. This is handsome - olives on the left, citrus on the right.

'At that moment, the call of the Adobe was finally heard and Tru had a clear vision that she would end her days in Mexico...

We're now going to town so stay tuned for more of the Story of the Adobe Guadalupe!

In search of some street-food food, we drive back over the dirt road into the town of a few thousand, and find the perfect toqueria.

We couldn't get in. What's with that star of David?

Shrines are everywhere along the road but this one is particularly fab. Viva Mexico!

Notice the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. There's the radiating spokes and the boy holding her cape in one hand and her dress in the other.

Here's a colorful write up of Our Lady

The butt rocks.

It's a museum, ok. So we go in. There are a few dusty, rusty, musty artifacts from when the first Russians settled in the area.

We are soon shepherded into a back room where really the oddest items are on offer. Like 18 years ago they had bought some hair clips and string bracelets from the Five and Dime that was going out of business. They fed us undrinkable wine and the world’s saltiest cheese. And these olives, which were quite good (in comparison?) so Leslie bought a bottle. It seemed the right thing to do.

The gate leading to the pool and jacuzzi.

'This feeling of peace and destiny told Tru that Arlo did not want to be separated from her, even in death, and that he would much rather be buried in a warm place - like Mexico...

Standing on one of the back patios.

'All of these synchronistic 'proofs of Grace' came together when Tru and Donald were researching the origins of a Mexican wine from the Valley of Guadalupe...

'They ventured to the valley and to the site that would one day be the Adobe. There, Tru says it was as if everything 'clicked together'. and she know that she belonged in this place...

We go out for a sundown drive. Notice how the clouds have filled in the valley.

The ever changing views of this mountain range remind me so much of when I was watching the river back in Peru.

I can generalize now - take a mountain range or a river or maybe even a tree would do it, or a building(?) - and if you can always glance up and see 'it' and if throughout the hours and days the object changes with the life of the passage of time, then this experience anchors your consciousness to the physical world. The ocean is certainly one of these but it has to be a promonent feature of your daily landscape to work. It's this whole concept that needs some work!

Doesn't Fung Shui say have a mountain behind you and a river in front?

A break in the story for dinner!

This is in a niche in the dining room. There she is again, and the boy too.

I was particularly a-ga-ga over the many pottery collections displayed around the public rooms. Tru said she was the last in a large Dutch family and she had all this stuff and why not put it out. Exactly, why not.

The dining tables were set with beautiful linen, plates and silver and wine glasses and fresh candles lit everywhere. The food was delicious, fresh, in modest yet appropriate portions. We did have to request that second pour of wine.

Sweet.

Now back to the story.

'Donald was likewise inspired with a strange clarity and a vision of what he wanted to build there...

The water tower, winged, thematically in keeping.

'With this in mind, they went about buying the deed and corporation for the land and its vineyards. She even sought out a lawyer to ascertain the rights to the name 'Adobe Guadalupe'...

Every detail worth noting.

'Their lawyer warned that it was likely such a name already existed. However, to Tru, it seemed that the Adobe had already been named and she was only responsible for bringing that name to life...

Every family's dream kitchen.

'As fate would have it, 'Adobe Guadalupe' was the only combination of these two elements that was not taken...

'Upon receiving the paperwork she could see that the Adobe Guadalupe was indeed destined to be, as the dedication date on the deed was the very day of her son's death...

Now, the winds blow through the pillars of the Adobe, cooling it with a technique from ancient Persia, and a person can look down over the vineyards of cabernet sauvignon and merlot. There is a sense of home here, an ineffable aura of serenity and spiritual peace that comes from a dream finally fulfilled. Come - feel it for yourself.'

So here we are now in this amazing story. Do! Come - feel it for yourself! You'll be amazed too.

From where the cars park looking out onto the road. Notice the sculpture of horses in the distance.

Across the road, now you can see in the far distance, the stables around which are all the other structures built up for the pleasure and entertainment of the entire valley. These horse are here for decoration. That's the amazing thing - art right here by the side of the road.

From inside the stables. The walking ring you can see just outside the door took more than a year to build. The decorations around the top, both on the inside and outside, are extensive representations of some mythic story - I forget which ones - but the pillars and this encircling ring are just amazing.

The front of the stables - or is it the back?

This looked like some fabulous outdoor arena set up for evening performance of Greek tragedy, lit by torches, with drummers and flute players to carry the story.

It is the desert.

We are here only one night - hard to believe. The previous night Tru and Donald say we are welcome to hang around for the day's activities which include the arrival of Brad Pitt's Legs.

That is correct. Brad Pitt was in a movie doing some horse riding and what with his scrawny legs and all, the director used our friend here for all the shots of Brad Pitt's legs.

He is a champion trainer and rider of dancing Andalusian horses and Tru along with some of their friends were having lessons, a bit of riding around, exhibitions and food and wine and lively music.

Fiesta!

Tru! Lookin' smart.

Brad Pitt's Legs. On this note we had to leave. I'd bet a buck we'll all be back.

Wanting L&J to experience the full spectrum of Baja tourista life, we spent the last night at the classic and ever popular La Fonda.

Generations of teenagers have barfed their guts right here along this very coast in front of La Fonda.

Same spot, different shot.

La Fonda, down the mountain side, the colors and styles reflecting its age and style of refurbishments.

Heading back up north we take a quick look-around stop at The Rosarito Beach Hotel. If it wasn't La Fonda, it was going to be Roasarito. Rosarito was just a little too nice for the purpose...

In front of The Rosarito Beach Hotel. Note the horses which you can rent to ride up and down the beach. Horses, and lots of them, doing their thing. It's been like this forever.

One has always been and continues to be disinclined to swim in the ocean here.

So we're doing that whole confusing getting-in-line bit to cross the border and we have a set-to with the guy in this truck. Actually, Leslie advises him to perform some rather unnatural acts. Whoooow, was he M-A-D.

He threatens us. I take this picture in case our broken and bleached bones are found abandoned in the Sonora desert. The guy gets the Federales to pull us over. Leslie explains that 'there must be some misunderstanding, sir' and the cop just rolls his eyes and waves us on.

Julie suggests that Leslie make no further conversation with passing motorists.

We take a side drive through La Jolla to try and get into Scripts to admire the buildings, failing to get inside but walking around anyway. Then it's into Long Beach, hugs and kisses and See Ya Laters. Adios!
Click HERE and all the pictures in this chapter will get big.


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