Amazingly Simple

I am amazed at how easy my flight from Madison to Mexico City went.  Starting at the Madison airport where very pleasant Delta employees checked in some very groggy passengers, then I was fast tracked into a “pre-checked” security line where I did not have to wait with 50 other folks, take off my shoes, take out my computer, and all that jazz. I waited behind 3 or 4 people, showed the TSA folks my frozen protein drink, ran the bags and me through the scanner and the whole procedure was done and I was on my way in a matter of just a few minutes. I liked that.

I had a short turn around in Detroit  but unlike Chicago where you seem to hussle miles and miles, I deboarded, walked around the corner and rode an escalator to the top of the building where I boarded a tram which silently whisked me away and deposited me in the middle of the terminal just above the gate for my outgoing flight. Quick and easy.

Things went so quickly and smoothly at Mexico City — off the plane, a short walk to customs, and a quick document check  (again instead of walking a mile and a half, or so it seems) — that I and my hosts were caught off guard.  So I had to wait a little. After being cooped up in a flying tin can, filled to the brim with Mexicans (no habla ingles), it was nice to stretch out, relax a little, and just read awhile — good preparation for traveling across town in Mexico City traffic — a cross between the gran prix and bumper cars (without quite bumping), zigzagging through curb to curb traffic, from break neck speed to dead stop in seconds, all while everyone makes their own lanes (if you can squeeze through the space it must be legal.) As my hosts said, “If you can drive safely in Mexico City, you can drive anywhere.” I believe it.

May the rest of this trip go so well.

Off We Go Into The Wild Blue Yonder

ImageMexico City here I come. I am looking forward to warmer weather and being with good friends in a fabulous  place filled with beautiful colonial architecture , history, and culture. I will spend a few days with friends in Mexico City before taking a two hour bus ride to Taxco, The Silver Capital of the World, where I will be based for the next 2.5 months.

BB-Strapped in-qprI was really pleased when I got to the airport and the $40 domestic baggage charge the computer said would apply was waived by a very pleasant human being. So I take back all the bad things I was saying about airline fees.

It’s time to buckle up!

Leaving on a Jet Plane — and just in time too!

I head South for several months in the winter but not just to trade snow, ice, and cold for sunny and warm. Really, as we used to tell my mother-in-law who complained that we did not visit her in Florida over the winter, “You can’t ski on gravel!”

bb_cable_car-qprI love snow  — skiing, snowshoeing, building snowmen, snowball fights, even shoveling — yes really, it is invigorating! (As long as there is not too much at one time.) What I don’t like or perhaps what doesn’t like me is forced air heat.

So here it is December, in Wisconsin, cool (some say cold) days and even cooler nights, and I still have my windows open. I don’t mean just cracked either — OPEN to let the fresh air in and the heated forced air out.  You cannot do that all winter, thus, I escape to a warmer clime.

In winters past, the heat would come on in the fall, I would leave my windows open as long as I could stand it, but about mid-December the snow would come and the temperatures drop and eventually I had to close up and deal with the fumes from the  furnace and the dust from the vents filling my living space with a large dose of unhealthiness.

After one particularly long, cold winter, I decided to leave the heated living space behind and headed to Florida, where I lived in my van in a state park during the coldest winter in Florida history. It may have been colder than usual, but the air was fresh and unheated. That winter was the healthiest I had felt in years and the beginning of my annual “Escape from Wisconsin.”

I just saw the weather report and I am leaving just in time. Today is an above average 50 degrees, perfect for cleaning out the car for storage and loading in my suitcases. Travel day will be a more seasonable mid-20s, and the day after I leave the deep freeze arrives with wind chills by the end of the weekend expected to hit 30 below!

It’s time to go.


Countdown to Take Off

The frig is almost empty. The bags almost packed. Lift off is in about 36 hours – almost. I am almost ready to go and with nearly 36 hours to go that feels good.

When you leave home for any period of time you must decide what to take with you and what you can get there or live without. Some things are easy — warm weather location means warm weather clothes. Throw in the sandals, a hat, and perhaps a swimsuit, and you are set right? Well, almost.

When you have multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS) and are highly sensitive to everything from food to fabrics,  laundry detergent to fragrances, additives, and ingredients packing is not always that simple. Travel to a foreign country, like Mexico, usually means that you need to take things with you that you will not be able to get at your destination; sunscreen for example,  the natural kind without a long list of unpronounceable ingredients, soap, laundry detergent,  food to eat as I travel, even my own sheets — get the picture?

Bear with suitcases

Almost packed

I pack my bags so the airline does most of the heavy lifting, then fill my rolling carry on with the heavier essentials that I need to know will not get lost — supplements, a change of clothes, my toiletries, and my work files. And then there is my ” fits under the seat” bag with my computer,  special snacks, and other essentials.

Tomorrow — the last day means doing laundry, cleaning out the frig, backing up the computer, finishing packing, and despite several things that tried to upset the schedule, there is still time left over to have dinner with my family. All is good.

I’m ready to go. Well, almost.

Winter Wonderland

I am a bit of a vagabond. Partly because I love to see and learn about different people, places, and cultures. Also partly because living life on the road gives one a chance to live life fuller — to take advantage of the good things and leave the not so good behind, at least for awhile.

Thus I begin yet another winter adventure. I am headed south of the border to sunshine and warmer weather but perhaps more importantly away from the “benefits” of forced-air heat (cough, sneeze, hack, hack).




Stay tuned for a taste of life, Mexican style.