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Saturday, December 3, 2022

Pictures from our last day in Oaxaca.

Dear Family and Friends,

We started our last day in Oaxaca by walking to the main square so Chuck could get his shoes polished.

He gets his shoes polished every week back in Ecuador.  We have been away since September, so his shoes really needed a good polishing.  

Chuck loved the fact that the polisher stuck paper protectors between his shoe and socks.  This does not happen back home.

Okay Chuck, show the folks your shoeshine.  Quite impressive wouldn't you say?

We decided to take a walk to the market.

We started in the part of the market where people can order food.

This person had that Mexican pizza dish.  On close inspection, it appears that this dish has squash blossoms on it.  

Doesn't this grapefruit look so yummy?  All peeled and ready to snack on.

Some beautiful baskets in the basket section.

And some very interesting clothing left over from the Day of the Dead.

Some scenes around the beautiful central park.

You see the shallow roots on this tree?

Well it is amazing how much these resting boys remind me of those roots.

We had a very relaxing last day in Oaxaca.  Our day ended by watching these folks dancing.  Apparently the old folks take over the street about once a week after the sun sets.  I just love it.

The following morning we caught our flight back to Tucson.  

So, this is all for this trip.  But as you are reading this....Chuck and I are on another tour.  This time we are traveling the Southeast Coast of the USA.   We are traveling from St Augustine, FL. up the coast to Charleston, SC.  

I do not have my laptop on this trip, but I promise to share all about it when we return to Tucson about mid December.  

Love you,


Friday, December 2, 2022

A Full Day of Tours

 Dear Family and Friends,

We were out all day touring around Oaxaca.

Our first stop was Mitla.  Mitla is steeped in history and mysticism, the ancient burial site of Mitla -- which translates as the "Place of the Dead"-- dates back to 900BC.  It is adorned with elaborate mosaics and ornate stonework.  

Our next stop was Teotitan.  Teotitan is a artist village that specializes in weaving and making natural dyes.

We visited in a home of an artisan family where they demonstrated how dyes have been made from plants for thousands of years.

We had a delicious lunch with the family.

From there we went to visit a Mezcal Distillery.

We had a generous tasting session after the tour.  Things got quite giggly.  Thank goodness for bus drivers.  

Our last site was a tree that is 2,000 years old.  

The tree of Tule is over 2,000 years old and is the widest tree in the world.  It is a Montezuma Cypress tree.  You have to see it in person to get the full effect.  It is so big and magical.  

We ended this day with a Goodbye Dinner.  A wonderful dinner. Hugs and goodbyes to all our new traveling friends.  This was a most exciting last day of our tour.

Chuck and I stayed in Oaxaca for a couple of more days.  Will share that with you tomorrow.

Love you,


Thursday, December 1, 2022

Monte Alban

 Dear Family and Friends,

A must see archeological sight, if you are visiting Oaxaca, is Monte Alban.  

Of all the pyramids in Mexico, the pyramid complex at Monte Alban is unique in the sense that it is the only pyramid of Mexico that is located on a high plateau, over 1,000 ft above the valley.

The Zapotecs founded Monte Alban in the year 500 BC.  They were among the first civilizations to include the popular Mesoamerican ball game where two teams use their hips and elbows to hit a small ball and try to make it pass through small hoops.  The losing team was sacrificed to please the gods.  YIKES!

This is a diagram of what the site looks like from above.

We had some climbing to do, but luckily Chuck and I live our lives these days at over 8,500 ft., we were able to keep up with little difficulty.

As we got to the top of the plateau we could see some archaeologists working.

In this picture, you can see the valley below.  We came to the sight on our bus, but we did have to hike a ways to get up to the sight.

Ian, our tour guide said for the view of your life just climb up these stairs.  

I truly wanted to see the view, but DANG, my legs would not lift high enough to make the steps.  
Ian helped me make each step so that I could reach the top.  Chuck took this picture from above.

Well, I have to admit, it was well worth the climb.  

By the way, I had to skip down the stairs on my butt.  You do what you have to do to stay safe.

Love you,


Wednesday, November 30, 2022

The road to Oaxaca, MX

 Dear Family and Friends,

We left Puebla for a long (4 hour) drive to Oaxaca.  

Our trip consisted of going through areas that looked just like we were back in Tucson, AZ.

Outside of Oaxaca, we stopped for lunch in a village where our tour guide, Ian, grew up.  He wanted to share a beloved restaurant with us.  The restaurant Santa Martha is family owned and has been around for many years.

The restaurant seats thousands of people.  Food is served buffet style and it is an all you can eat type restaurant.  People come from all around to enjoy eating here.  They have something for everyone, even a play area for the kids that includes a real airplane.

Below are some photos inside the restaurant and of the play area.

There were about 10 or more rows of buffet style food.  I think every kind of Mexican food was represented there.  Salads, soups, main dishes, many kinds of rice and vegetables.  Also, there was a mountain of desserts,  cookies, cakes, flans, etc.

We all made multiple trips through the buffet lines.   Here is my plate from just one trip.

Our travel buddies enjoying their food and company.

We all felt so fortunate to be eating there.  It was such an off the beaten tourist path type place that I bet we were some of the very few gringos that ever get to experience it.

After enjoying our lunch, we loaded back on our motor coach and drove about 30 minutes to the outside of the historic center of Oaxaca.  Ian took us on a walk through the historic area to our hotel. 

When we arrived at the hotel, we were greeted and entertained by folkloric dancers.  

We all enjoyed a welcome to Oaxaca dinner at a nearby restaurant.  Very excited about our trip to Mount Alban tomorrow.

Love you,