Saturday, July 30, 2011

Wrapping Up Our Trip

We are wrapping up our trip north this week, returning to Ajijic on Tuesday.  While in Kennebunk, we hosted a dinner for Pixie's brothers (from left) Rick, Tex, and Vance.  It was 100 degrees F that day, so we served a cold pasta dinner.  It was a fun evening and good to reconnect.   

Before leaving Maine, we had a wonderful visit with our friends who spend the winter in Ajijic and the summers in Kennebunk, Ron and Jean.  They recently rebuilt their camp on Long Lake in Belgrade Lakes.  Here are Pixie and Ron and Jean posing outside their new camp:

We spent a weekend in Gloucester, Mass. with both of my brothers' families, and saw some extended family members too.  Here are some more photos from Gloucester.  

Here are my brothers Brackley and Fred posing for our annual "relaxing and drinking beer" shot.  Here is Pixie with Fred's wife, Heidi:

...and Brackley with his wife, Happy:

Brackley's daughter, Ariana (right) with her friend, Lauren:

Ariana and Fred's son, Alex, and Fred's daughter, Nora: 

My cousin Sally, and my cousin Lee, with her partner, Chris, hamming it up: 

It was great to see everyone and catch up on all the family news, of course.  The weather was hot, the ocean was cold, and the camaraderie nice and warm!  

Now we are in Philadelphia spending a few days with my Dad and Step-mom, Joy.  Here are Dad and I and Pixie and Joy:

It is good to come back and visit my hometown and get caught up on the Phillies, in preparation for the dream World Series (maybe this year)  Red Sox-Phils.  Well, we'll see about that!  

We are anxious to get home to Mexico and our regular lives next week.  We will be doing some dog-watching for friends and will be getting ready for our Mexico City trip later in August.  It's always good to be back in the northeast connecting with our family and friends, but it's always wonderful to get back to our own home, and, of course, it will be good to see Chuy again!    

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mexico to Maine...

We have been back in Maine since June 29th, enjoying spectacular Maine weather with just a bit of hot and humid weather.  We’ve had the opportunity to spend time with all our children, catching up on the news and the challenges, and, this week, we had our three year-old granddaughter, Isabelle, who brought her parents with her from Indiana.  We took them back to the Portland airport this morning at 5AM. 

One our favorite things to do when we’re back in Maine is to go to the ocean.  Something about the sea air is rejuvenating, and spending a day at the beach is almost always a satisfying feeling.  We first visited Reid State Park with Wendy and Troy.  We hung out on the beach for most of the day, then found some pizza in Brunswick and checked out the new Woody Allen movie, Midnight in Paris.  Sticker shock here, of course.  Movies in Mexico are about $2.00US with less than a dollar for popcorn.  We paid our $8 for the movie here and the popcorn…well, we skipped it. 
 We went to Mother’s Beach here in Kennebunk with Eric and Crystal, and, as you can see from the photos below, Isabelle is an exuberant beach person.   She did not stop running from the moment she stepped onto the sand. 


We also spent a day at Maine’s Coney Island, Old Orchard Beach.  It was tacky, expensive, and a lot of fun.  We checked out the arcade, the rides, and some of the famous OOB pizza. 
Once back in Kennebunk, we hosted a lobster/clam dinner for all our children and their partners.  Although the price of lobsters isn’t quite as cheap as it was last year, we had plenty to eat.  The seafood was complemented by sweet corn, salad from Wendy and Troy, Crystal’s deviled eggs, and strawberry shortcake from Alana. After dinner we posed for our annual group photo. 

 Top Row: me, Pixie, Wendy and Troy, Front Row: Alana, Cassie, Eric and Isabelle, Crystal.

We spent a day in Portland visiting the famous Portland Head Light lighthouse and walked around the old port to look at the boats and enjoy some pizza. 

Yesterday we visited the Maine Wildlife Park where Isabelle got to feed a deer and meet Mr. Moose in an up close and personal way!

Coming back to Maine is enjoyable in many other ways as well.  I can enjoy the vast collection of microbrew beers here, read the Sunday New York Times each week, enjoy a variety of seafood (Pixie has her annual fried clam dinner), and see many old friends.  We met our old gourmet group friends in Portland for dinner (below) and attended a service at our old UU church.
  We spent the night at Curt and Judy’s house, where we stayed on our unexpectedly long visit two years ago. 

Here are Cassie and Alana (with Pixie) outside their East End home in Portland with their dog, Yote, and their good friends Lauren and Katie who will be getting married next summer: 

Peter, our house sitter, reports that everything is well in Ajijic.  He has been socializing with lots of our friends there and is enjoying spending time with Chuy.  He sent this photo of the little guy so we could see for ourselves how well he is doing.  

There’s a little black and white shi-tzu here at the condos in Kennebunk who looks much like Chuy.  I can play with him and get my “Chuy fix.”

Our time here is going by rapidly.  This week we are going up to Belgrade Lakes to visit Ron and Jean (from Kennebunk and Ajijic) who completely rebuilt their camp at the lake.  Then, next weekend, we head down to Gloucester, Massachusetts to visit my brothers who will both be vacationing there, before leaving Maine to visit my dad and stepmom in Philadelphia on July 26.  We will return to Ajijic on August 2nd

Here are a few scenes from Reid State Park and from the Portland Symphony Orchestra concert on July 4th.