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"Alas, I know if I ever became truly humble, I would be proud of it." -- Benjamin Franklin

Mexico

421--New Mexico: White Sands
@ CherieSpotting     Dec 16 2008 - 02:44 PST
Cherie and Greg in the gypsum dunes of White Sands, New Mexico.

Cherie and Greg in the gypsum dunes of White Sands, New Mexico.

cherie writes: more photos...

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408--Mexico: Lucha Libre (Mexican Wrestling)
@ Site News     Feb 18 2008 - 12:51 PST
This masked Mexican wrestler (or luchador) is about to jump into the crowd.

This masked Mexican wrestler (or luchador) is about to jump into the crowd.

cherie writes: No trip to Mexico is complete without experiencing Lucha Libre (or free fighting.) These silly acrobats (or Mexican wrestlers) come in all shapes and sizes. There’s usually the old guy, the fat guy, the midget, and of course an entire gang of freaky guys wearing masks and colorful tights. The luchadores (wrestlers) saunter into the arena accompanied by smoke and fireworks. The crowd goes wild, as everyone puts down their snacks and cheers for their favorite masked man.

Wearing costumes that seem like their grandma designed them, the worst luchadores fight first. The comedy starts early on and the fighting gets “better” as the night rolls on until finally a fighter like Mistico (by far the overall favorite) battles it out with his arch nemesis (the bad guy of the week.) The masked-wrestlers taunt the crowd, catapult themselves across the ring and pounce on each other with little remorse. Then the loser is forced into submission and “punished”.

The wrestling may be “fake” but the fans are real. Here is a glimpse into the world of Lucha Libre. Prepare to enter a realm where grown men wear pink masks. This match was held in Pittial, a small town outside of Puerto Vallarta.
more photos...

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407--Mexico: Bucerias Panga Blessing
@ CherieSpotting     Feb 05 2008 - 03:47 PST
Cherie and Anne at the annual "Blessing of the pangas" in Bucerias, Mexico.

Cherie and Anne at the annual "Blessing of the pangas" in Bucerias, Mexico.

cherie writes: Bless that fleet! Every year the people around Banderas Bay gather in Bucerias to bless their fishing vessels called ‘pangas’. The pangas rush across the Bay loaded down with passengers, palm fronds and Papier-mâché. There’s no danger that the pangas would sink—there’s enough balloons aboard each one to keep the whole town afloat.

The floats were so colorful you almost had to squint. I’m not sure what was more painful—looking directly at the sun, or at those dizzy-bright balls of latex. Suddenly the pangas approached and the beach was ablaze with flowers—plastic, paper, natural—who cares! The strong colors made you feel drunk—or was it the margaritas?

Hundreds of revelers gathered on the water-front to cheer and watch as the pangas burst through the surf and thudded on the sand. The crowd was mixed—little girls in white chiffon dresses eager to take their first communion, mothers clasping the rosaries around their necks, fathers standing cross-armed and stoic with their cowboy hats, and tourists with their white sneakers and Puerto Vallarta t-shirts. Of course, there were the guys selling nuts-and-chews out of wheel-barrels.

One vessel held the Virgin Mary with two young angels (complete with fluffy white wings). Once the pangas were beached, the priest escorted the passengers to the town’s church where a service was performed. Those that didn’t go into the igelsia, enjoyed the carnival rides or munched on corn-on-a-stick hot sauce. Some snacked on the fried bananas and while slurped down cold Pacificos, but one thing we stayed away from was the popular Tacos de Cabeza (brain tacos.)
more photos...

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406--Mexico: Life in Puerto Vallarta
@ CherieSpotting     Feb 02 2008 - 10:17 PST
Cherie, Merie and Bonnie on the beach in Nuevo Vallarta.  (I found two ladies taller than me!)

Cherie, Merie and Bonnie on the beach in Nuevo Vallarta. (I found two ladies taller than me!)

cherie writes: Life is Mexico is slow and spicy: days are filled with beach walks, kayaking, and sailing. Puerto Vallarta is full of everything from balmy nights and breaching whales.

You never know what you’re going to see when you walk the docks—from an alligator or turtle, to a dog or an ostrich. But if you head into Banderas Bay, you certainly see whales, rays and dolphins—the marine life are often leaping out of the water in a display of pure joy (dolphins) or scraping the barnacles off their backs (whales) or escaping predators (rays).

From the stunning arches of Los Arcos to the colorful waterfront villas near La Cruz, here is a glimpse of life in Puerto Vallarta, Mexcio.
more photos...

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405--Mexico: When the Saints go marching in
@ Site News     Jan 22 2008 - 09:22 PST
Cherie with two local girls from Jarretaderas, dressed in their traditional costumes.

Cherie with two local girls from Jarretaderas, dressed in their traditional costumes.

cherie writes: The small Mexican town of Jarretaderas, Jalisco, celebrates their patron saint St. Martin de Porres with a fantastic parade each year. Babies are dressed in ruffles and bows, young girls are dressed in native costumes and pre-teens are clothed as young nuns—complete with white habits.

The teenagers show up banging drums and the town's ladies carry flowers. The entire town shows up, even the ones that are too young or old to walk. The "highlight" of the event is the "caballeros" which are outfitted as gallantly as their horses.

Little girls step over the horse-poo with their white patent-leather shoes as relatives throw confetti and St. Martin floats by and the whole town follows the procession to church.

According to the website catholic.org: "St. Martin's love was all-embracing, shown equally to humans and to animals, including vermin…."

St. Martin de Porres is often shown with a broom, since he believed that no work was below him. He’s also shown with dogs, cats and mice, as he was depicted in the float in Jarretaderas, Mexico.

Canonized in 1962 by Pope John XXIII, many consider St. Martin de Porres to be the first "black saint", because of Martin’s mother’s dark complexion. "His father was a Spanish gentleman and his mother a colored freed-woman from Panama," is the way the catholic.org website puts it.
more photos...

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404--Mexico: The Vallarta Cup
@ CherieSpotting     Jan 21 2008 - 07:41 PST
Cherie on Chére, a Beneteau 461 owned by friends Charlie and Cathy Simon.

Cherie on Chére, a Beneteau 461 owned by friends Charlie and Cathy Simon.

cherie writes: The first Vallarta Cup is currently taking place in Banderas Bay off of Puerto Vallarta. A series of four races every Saturday during the month of January 2008, the Vallarta Cup attracted yachts from a tiny J80 owned by J World to the massive J160s Blue and Nova Kane.

But the Vallarta Cup wasn’t just full of J-boat racers. Charlie and Cathy Simon brought out their Beneteau 461 Chére (shockingly not named after me!), Dorr Anderson skippered his Jeaneau 40 Bright Star while Jamie and Christine Tate brought out their Hylas 46 Morning Light and raced against Charissa, a Peterson Liberty 458.

Which yacht won the race didn’t really matter (that means we didn’t win.) It was all about the fun in the sun and making new friends while practicing new racing strategies!

If you can think of a better way to spend a Saturday, let me know. Wind and sails were made for each other, and if there’s a breeze this week--you’ll find us on the water!
more photos...

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401--Mexico: Cabo San Lucas
@ CherieSpotting     Nov 13 2007 - 12:25 PST
Cherie and Greg celebrate being back in Cabo San Lucas, the location of their first kiss 6-years-ago.

Cherie and Greg celebrate being back in Cabo San Lucas, the location of their first kiss 6-years-ago.

cherie writes: Captain Mike (a retired United Airlines Captain), Greg and I are rocking and rolling (literally!)in Cabo San Lucas on Mike's 50-ft Maple Leaf named Snow Goose!

We're all one big happy family here on Snow Goose, which was named because Snow Goose mate for life (and Mike will have this boat for as long as they both shall live.)

Yesterday our crew had its first little miscommunication. Greg and I hopped aboard a panga to go see "land's end". We arranged to meet Captain Mike in shore at "the Office". Of course, "the Office" is a beach bar directly in front of where we are anchored.

Read Complete Baja Ha-Ha Story.
more photos...

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