Hasta Luego

Here it is November. It is 70 degrees, the sun is shining, and the grass is still green. Almost seems a shame to be heading “South of the border” when it is so nice here.

Yet the cold, north wind and rain that pelted us a few days ago and the projected temps for the end of the week are reminders that I am getting out of town just in time.

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Thoughts from 30,000 feet

Cruising over the heartland

Clouds like snow covered mountain peaks all around

Snatches of brown fields

Corn maze  shaped like a rocket ship sporting  “a star upon thars”

 

Headed South over middle states — Ohio, Tennessee, Louisiana

Blue skies reveal the great river’s serpentine windings

Suddenly nothing but blue dotted with white puffs

Below and above — stretching forever

 

Land appears — undulating no longer flat

Little villages and towns hug the sides and adorn the peaks

Rugged hills, softened by greenery

Roads zig and zag to the top and wind their way down again

 

Rivers meander between rocky promontories

Splitting in two

And coming together again

Whole once more

 

Mexico City

Red tile roofs stretch for miles upon miles

Isolated villages give way to housing tracts

Ordered grids broken by warehouses and plots of  tilled land

 

The air grows hazy

Shrouding the view of houses, schools, a bull ring

The occasional park lined with trees

Briefly breaks the haze

 

The central city grows tall

Latin colors brighten the view

Brilliant red, blue, yellow, orange, violet, magenta

Wheels on the ground

Mexico City rises tall

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!