Monday, January 31, 2011

Dusting off the cobwebs around here...

Maybe it's been a little too long since my last post, huh? I don't get how all those mommy bloggers do it. I can barely get a few ideas strung together before I'm asked to fix a broken helicopter, read a big trucks book, or replay some scenes from Toy Story or Curious George. For example, this post was actually written over a period of 7 different sessions.

What have we been doing? There was a trip to Mexico in September shortly after my last post. Even though that was many months ago, it's probably a good starting place as I try to get back into the blogging game.

I live for moments like these:






Our visit coincided with Mexico's historic bicentennial independence celebration. Although hysteria over potential cartel violence managed to keep us from going to any public events, we did get to enjoy the festivities from home, and from various small-scale celebrations during the week. Everywhere we went, people were selling flags, horns, and other festive paraphernalia.

Because no celebration of Mexican independence is complete without a tambor (drum) featuring John Cena

When we visited in April, this was what we had to deal with on the way to the airport to return to Chicago:


One thing you learn about Monterrey after living there for a few months is that the place has NO DRAINAGE. Not only does the city struggle with a dense, clay soil that leaves nowhere for rainwater to sink in (thanks to my friend Dorothea for pointing that out to me), but the problem is exacerbated by really bad drainage systems around the city as well. Monterrey is notorious for the situation created in 1988 when Hurricane Gilbert caused the Rio Santa Catarina to overflow, leaving more than 100 people dead. Although strides have been made to create more pathways for water to run off, it's still a bad situation. Within 10 minutes of moderate rainfall, you already have running water in the streets. After 2 hours, small cars dare not venture out there. After a full day of rain, only the largest of vehicles has a fighting chance against the water that is several feet deep at many intersections, and wherever the road crosses a creek, there is a pretty treacherous current.

So this time, in September, we experienced an equally devastating inundation in the days before our departure, but we assumed that with several hours of lead time (for a trip that ordinarily takes 15 minutes), we would be OK. Carlos expertly got through flooded roads and highway entrances that had me closing my eyes and praying for safety. Finally it seemed we were clear of the flooding and just a few minutes from the airport. However, now some unprecedented blockage put an 8-lane highway at a complete standstill for hours, and Lucas and I absolutely missed our flight. So did the hundreds of other air passengers trying to leave the city that morning. Fortunately, we were able to secure a place on another flight and said our dreaded goodbyes.

Evidently Lucas thought he was saying goodbye to me at the airport
Since then, we've been working on a new plan that will hopefully lead to a promising future in a new country/countries. I might blog on that a bit later, but for now, let's just say that we're still in the planning and development phases for that pursuit. We have high hopes that our Destination Paradise on Earth does exist and we'll all get there together.