Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I Could Eat Salsa Forever...Forever Ever? Issue #95

It's strange to think that up until last week I had never left the country. Yes, Canada is a different land but I'm talking about the experience of getting off the plane and realizing that you're not in Kansas anymore...well, or Shoreline. Planned for the past year, last week the Wifey and I spent 10 days in Mexico visiting her aunt in their new place post-retirement. Retirement indeed, the house is a castle and we were treated like special guests as she and her husband went out of their way to welcome us, show us around, and teach us about their newly adopted homeland (6 months out of the year).

Here's a few of the highlights...

It had been a while since I had gone on a nice long hike. Having spent most of my youth in the Boy Scouts (that's a whole other blog entry), I rarely find myself wanting to head out and hike for hours but was rewarded with a visit to the Nakapuli range. Kind of a desert-like rain forest seemingly out in the middle of nowhere, Nakapuli is kind of a go-to hike destination for tourists and locals alike. We're talking about cut your arm off with a pocket-knife to get free stuff here people. The hike wasn't easy, and many times we found ourselves having to make our own trails as we would in-and-out of boulder formations and making sure we didn't find sure-footing on a scorpion or worse. Still, if getting stung by a scorpion gave me superpowers it would be totally worth it...

The small side markets of Mexico were really interesting to me due to the fact that few seemed very busy except for a those that our hosts informed us were "trusted by the Americans". Made sense, get a good rep of no food poisoning and word of mouth will spread. Almost everyday we would go to "Tony's Market" which was literally a back of a truck filled with vegetables, fruits, nuts, and coolers stacked full with meats and dairy products. This is where I embarrassingly made myself proud by using my extremely elementary Spanish to communicate with the locals who probably thought I was mentally disabled.

On one of our final nights in Mexico, our hosts hired a local woman and her assistant to cater a 17-person party with some of the best Mexican food I've ever had. The salsa soared with fragrant cilantro, the guacamole was just soft enough, and the chimichangas were literally the best I've had the pleasure of devouring. On top of the wonderful local-flavored meal, a local guitarist came to perform at the dinner. His name was Ramon, and though he didn't speak much English, he and I communicated to each other what we could about our love of music. For two hours he played beautiful Spanish instrumental guitar arrangements and stamped his foot after the end of every song. He was literally beaming as he soaked in the applause with a wide screen grin that gave you a glimpse into exactly what he looked like as a little kid. Afterward, I told him I enjoyed his playing immensely and he simply said, "I like Rock N Roll". Nuff said.

I hope you enjoy the pictures and get a sense of what it was like there. I never thought I would go to Mexico but found it's scenery beautiful, it's food amazing, and at the same time felt very thankful I was born where I was. It in many ways seems to be a hard, hard life for many of it's citizens and I did develop a slight case of "class-guilt" during my stay. Be thankful for what you have, and that you even have anything at all. Hard to remember all the time, but I did get a reminder.

Let's talk about the cool stuff coming up this weekend! If you've been reading the past few months, you know that the KIRBY KRACKLE record is getting some good energy surrounding it and we hope to further that this weekend at the EMERALD CITY COMIC CON. Held at the Washington State Convention Center, KK will be performing as a special guest on Sunday, April 5th @ 12:30. As usual at these kinds of things, I'll be selling albums at the KK booth (with a certain little bro helping out) and the show will mark the first time we'll be selling the shirts. I'll have them for sale via my site/KK site soon as well.

Have a good weekend and if you're at the convention come by and say Hi!



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