Gran Museo del Mundo Maya

You shall not make idols for yourselves or erect an image or pillar, and you shall not set up a figured stone in your land to bow down to it Leviticus 26:1

After a quick coffee at our place, at 9:30 we took an Uber to the Los Benes breakfast restaurant. After breakfast we took another Uber down the road to the Gran Museo del Mundo Maya, a fine modern building (it opened in 2012) we’ve passed many times on our way into downtown Merida.

Gran Museo del Mundo Maya
We paid our entrance fee (150 pesos, about $10 CAD) and took a walk around the large main display hall. The museum features displays about the ancient, as well as modern, Mayan people. It also describes the geography of the region in which the ancient Mayans developed their civilization. I was surprised to see the number of christian (catholic) displays and statues here — it seems that the ‘conquerer’ has been absorbed into the Mayan history.



After our visit we walked a few hundred metres south to the Chedraui grocery store to pick up some supplies — maybe our last ‘major’ shop before we go home in just over a week from now. We took an Uber home from there and asked the driver to take us right to our door so we wouldn’t have to carry our heavy grocery bags home in the hot midday sun.

Dave and I each did a New York Times crossword this afternoon. Then Dave made caesars for happy hour and we watched one of the movies Dave has ‘favorited’ on our TV: “The Front Runner”, a movie about the 1987 Gary Hart run for president. We paused the movie about halfway through so MaryLou could make potato salad while Dave cut up the roasted chicken he’d picked up from the grocery store earlier today. Supper was served. Then “on with the show”.

After the movie I did the dishes while the Driedgers “computed”. When I was done I sat down and turned on the TV to scan for another movie to watch. It was only 9 o’clock. MaryLou had already gone upstairs and Dave went up shortly after I started watching “Woman Walks Ahead”, a western movie about a woman (Jessica Chastain) who sets out to paint a portrait of Sitting Bull. I had to quit watching with about 20 minutes left so I could watch Saturday Night Live. When that was over I went upstairs, wrote my journal, and went to sleep.

The waiting is the hardest part

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with [some golfers] one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 2 Peter 3:8
And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? Psalm 39:7

MaryLou and her caddy/coach.
MaryLou and her caddy/coach.

I was up early and at around 6:30 I went downstairs to make coffee. MaryLou had already been sitting at her computer for an hour and a half, as she does every morning. When Dave joined us there was still a question as to whether we’d go golfing this morning, but after he had cooked up his pot of steel-cut oats and had his morning mug of coffee and Baileys he felt sufficiently fortified and ready to hit the links. MaryLou would join us for the first nine holes. We collected our assorted frozen bottles of water, lathered up in SPF-50, and marched out to the clubhouse. Unfortunately there were several groups ahead of us on the first tee. The starter came over and suggested we golf the back nine first: the ladies in the foursome ahead of us were VERY slow, too much bla-bla bla-bla. So that’s what we did.

When we’d finished the back nine we continued on to the first tee. Now we would be waiting. And waiting. The three jerks ahead, each in their own golf cart, were all over the course. And when they got to the green they slowly shuffled on, lined up their putts, lined them up again, rolled the ball in the general direction of the pin, rolled it a bit closer, rolled it a bit too far, watched one of the other guys roll their ball at the pin, etc. Ho-hum. While Dave and I watched from the second tees, a 140-yard par 3, they each helped the other guy FIND their ball after their first shot, before each taking a turn at trying to get their ball onto the green. Unfortunately one guy had landed his shot into the sand trap at the front of the green. He tossed the rake out beside the trap, grabbed his club, and took a HUGE whack at the ball. Sand sprayed out onto the front of the green but the ball stayed in the trap. He flailed at the ball again. Lots of sand sprayed out onto the green. Still no ball. He dug FOUR big ditches in that trap before the ball finally soared out over the green and onto the lawn of the home behind the green. No raking the trap after the landscaping he’d done in there. No, after all three had nicely taken turns putting their ball all around the hole, the again ambled off the green, back to their carts and on to the next tee. It would be a LONG morning!

Too long for us! We were waiting halfway down the fourth fairway, standing and waiting in the hot sun, watching these hackers doinking around on the green ahead. What a joke. We considered skipping this hole and jumping ahead of them, but the four ladies taking turns dribbling their ball off the tee on hole number five looked to be even worse than these guys. Hopeless. What’s the point? We put our clubs back in our bags and towed our carts back home. Maybe tomorrow.

I made myself a sandwich for lunch. Dave fried up a burger. I showered and put in a load of laundry. Then I came downstairs and checked out my egret photos and worked on a crossword puzzle. Dave, ensconced in his usual spot on the couch, alternated between reading a page or two in his Dan Brown novel and sliding little coloured tiles around on his iPad game. Just before two o’clock MaryLou came down for a few minutes to make herself a sandwich before going back up to her room.

Then Dave started up our TV — time to watch a few episodes of “True Detective”. We were about halfway through our episode when Angel, the worker from our neighbour’s house, came by to do his weekly mopping of our floors. So I took my crossword upstairs and sat in the warm afternoon shade on our balcony while Angel cleaned the house. When he was done we continued our “True Detective” marathon event.

We had the last of the eight episodes left when it was time for supper. We walked to the mini-superette and took an Uber into the Las Americas development across the highway. The Bella Roma was a ‘sister’ restaurant to the Antika Roma in Altabrisa we’d visited about a month ago. Friday night is pizza night. The wood-fired ovens wouldn’t start up until 8 o’clock, so we ordered drinks and shared a salad while we waited for our pizzas. Very nice little restaurant. Food was good. Service very good.

Dave, Rudy, and MaryLou at Bella Roma

By 9:30 we were back home. We’d made a pitstop at our mini-superette to pick up some freshly-baked brownies and a quart of almond ice cream. Dave had the Raptors game on the big TV and the Jets hockey game on his iPad. Both games were close, with the home teams (the good guys) winning in the last minute or two. There was much joy in Mudville tonight!

The tension of two close games finally over, it was time for dessert and the final episode of “True Detective”. Dave called MaryLou down from her room and spooned out the ice cream over our brownies.

We go to the zoo

In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. Acts 10:12

Dave’s and Rudy’s tee shots end up side-by-side.

Dave and I went golfing early this morning. The conditions were great — not too hot, a light breeze. Too bad we had to stand around and enjoy it while we watched the jerks ahead of us taking their sweet time. We finally had seen enough and at hole 7 we jumped past them to the ninth. And from there on it was clear sailing.

When we got home I ordered a big jug of water and a bag of ice from the mini-super. A guy on his motorcycle delivered that a short while later. We had lunch. I called my mom. Dave wanted to leave by 1:30. We ordered an Uber and got a ride into Merida. We were going to the zoo!

The zoo is surrounded by a large park in the middle of the city. Entrance to the park was free. We saw lots of kids and old folks sitting in the shade, enjoying the day. The ‘animals’ part is near the back. You could smell it as we got closer. The number of animals in the zoo is actually quite impressive! Lots of exotic animals, all in small cages, one right next to the other. You don’t have to do a lot of walking to see the whole thing. It’s actually a bit depressing. The animals all seemed to look a bit sad, pacing their cages in the heat of the day, and the zoo visitors didn’t look too much more enthused! Dave had budgeted about an hour there — and I don’t think we over-stayed.

Well, that still left quite a bit of time before our 6 o’clock movie, which was playing in a large mall not too far from the zoo. What to do? We don’t really want to sit on a hard concrete picnic bench at the zoo all afternoon. We took an Uber to the mall. Surely we would find a nice pub or restaurant where we could relax for a few hours and visit over a cool drink.

When we got to the mall all we found as far as restaurants went was a big food court. MaryLou took a look outside to see if perhaps there were some better options across the street. No, it seems we are in a bit of an industrial park. There was a door next to the back entrance that led to a casino. I checked with the security guard and was told that yes, there was a small bar and restaurant upstairs. And that’s how the three of us found ourselves sitting at a small table next to the constant jingle jangle cacophony of banks and banks of VLTs. At least the drinks were cheap!

About an hour before movie time we headed downstairs to the food court. I was really interested in trying the “Los Trompos” Mexican food, but after a few samples from a Chinese food booth next to Los Trompos I changed my mind and opted for that. So that was supper.

We went to buy our movie tickets. The movie was a National Geographic documentary called “Free Solo” (links to the National Geographic website). It won the academy award for best documentary. It’s about a guy who climbs the face of El Capitan, a cliff in Yosemite National Park in Northern California. Apparently it is one of the most challenging climbs in the world, and this documentary is about a guy who attempts to climb that cliff without safety ropes. One mistake and he will plummet to his death. Talk about “death-defying” feats! I’m not really all that keen on ‘defying’ death — I don’t even understand WHY someone would WANT to do that. But I must say, I found the movie exhilarating and my palms were sweaty for most of the hour and a half. The guy may well be crazy, but the movie is very well done and captures the extraordinary feat. I felt like I too was up there on the side of that cliff.

After the movie we stopped to buy some more Clamato juice at the Chedraui grocery store in the mall before climbing into our Uber for a long quiet ride home. Our driver seemed to have a tough time following Siri’s directions but eventually we arrived back at our little mini-superette. We walked to our apartment from there and didn’t sit around downstairs for very long before heading off to bed. I tried to watch a bit of The National on my TV upstairs, but the internet was slow — too slow to upload my collection of ‘zoo’ photos — so I turned everything off and went to sleep.

Early Morning Golf

If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Proverbs 3:24

I was awake early this morning. When I got downstairs Dave was making coffee and MaryLou was upstairs getting ready to go golfing. Okay! By seven o’clock we were teeing off. The conditions were great, even if not all our shots were.

MaryLou left us after nine, but Dave and I pressed on. By the time we were done I’d broken a hundred again. We parked our clubs in the storage at the clubhouse and headed back home. It was 11:00. Nearly time for lunch. I made a quick trip to the mini-super to get some sandwich fixings.

Dave suggested we watch another episode of “True Detective” after lunch. We were all ready to begin when Dave decided that he should have a little nap first. Okay. I read my book and MaryLou continued working on her computer. After Dave’s short nap we got back to our places and Dave queued up the program on our TV. We watched a couple of minutes and then the picture froze. Oh oh. Internet is flaky. Restart. We got a few minutes further into the program before it froze again. After at least 5 starts and stops Dave turned the TV off. Not working. Now MaryLou decided to have a nap. I tried reading for a while longer, but soon I too was fast asleep on my couch. So that’s how we spent our afternoon!

“True Detective” on TV

A couple of hours later we gave it another try. Dave made caesars and started up the TV. Better. Still not perfect — but now we got at least ten or fifteen minutes between restarts. We watched two episodes before supper.

MaryLou made 3 little salads and we each helped ourselves to leftover pasta, warmed up in the microwave. After supper I did the dishes and MaryLou went upstairs to work. Dave was busy playing games on his iPad. I figured if the Driedgers were done watching TV for the evening I would use this opportunity to watch the movie “Wildfire”, which the Driegers watched a couple of weeks ago.

Dave hung around for a while before heading upstairs. I enjoyed the movie quite a lot — although it was quite a bleak story. I noticed that our ‘Rocket TV’ had a bunch of new movies listed in the menu, so after my movie I watched a new documentary about the “Panama Papers”. At around eleven o’clock I shut things down downstairs and headed up to bed for yet some more “sweet sleep”.

And now for something completely different…

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? Isaiah 43:19

No, I’m NOT doing a new thing. I’m having too much fun doing the same old same old. Sure, it makes for a very boring journal entry, but I’m okay if you don’t read this.

I had another good day today. Here are the highlights:
breakfast, golf with Dave, lunch on the clubhouse patio, shower, reading, happy hour, Facetime with Max, supper at a restaurant, groceries from Walmart, Uber home, watch “True Detective”, watch the Winnipeg Jets lose, bedtime.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

A bit of housekeeping

It will be on the seventh day that he shall shave off all his hair: he shall shave his head and his beard and his eyebrows, even all his hair. He shall then wash his clothes and bathe his body in water and be clean. Leviticus 14:9

By the time I got downstairs this morning Dave had the coffee made. While the Driedgers made plans for an excursion I ate my yogurt and half a banana. I had two important things on my agenda: laundry and getting a haircut. By the time the Driedgers left for a day trip into the city centre, I had the first load in the washer.

After catching up with all the Oscar scuttlebutt from last night, I read my book. Once my second load of laundry was in the dryer I walked to the mini-super at the front gate. I had been feeling a bit sorry for Dave and MaryLou — they were going to go for a long walk up and down Paseo Montejo, the main street in the city centre, and I thought it would be way too hot to do that in the middle of the day. But now, as I walked out of our country club, it didn’t seem that hot, especially when the sun went behind the clouds.

There was a hair salon in the little strip mall at the corner, where our long driveway meets the highway. I thought I might try to get a haircut there, but when I got there a sign on the door announced that as of February 25th they were closed! Good timing! I called an Uber to come pick me up on the highway. On her last visit to the big Chedraui store, MaryLou had noticed a barber shop right there in the grocery store. I would try that.

Although the woman cutting my hair couldn’t speak a word of English, together we managed to find a bowl that was just the right size. I’m not very fussy about haircuts and usually prefer speed over small-talk. (Why is it that hairdressers and dentists want to talk talk talk?) Not too much talking going on here! This woman would get a big tip from me — I gave her nearly twice the six dollars she charged me.

I ordered and ate my lunch at the deli counter. Then I bought the last four chocolate-covered donuts from the in-store bakery, picked up a few grocery items, and took an Uber back home. I had barely stashed my donuts away when Dave and MaryLou returned from their outing. They had also picked up a few groceries on their way home; I added the chocolate donuts that Dave had bought to the box of donuts I’d just put in the fridge. Looks like we have dessert for tonight taken care of.

Dave and I went for a quick nine holes of golf just before four o’clock. Great golfing temperature. Quick round. A couple of pars for me. When we got back we had happy hour. We watched another Mrs Maisel episode. Then I went upstairs to “bathe my body in water and be clean”.

For supper Dave made hotdogs and MaryLou a salad. When we’d watched the final episode of season one of Mrs Maisel we queued up the next series: season 3 of “True Detective”. If the first episode is any indication, we’ll have no trouble staying awake through this series. After the show Dave and I did a bit of research to find out who sang the opening and closing songs of tonight’s show. The music was great!

I finished off the evening by watching a bit of news up in my bedroom before falling asleep in my nice fresh and clean bedding.

Oscar Night in Merida

Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness 1 Timothy 4:7

Sunday morning. I read my book for a couple of hours before getting out of bed and heading downstairs. Coffee, yogurt, and bread with peanut butter. At eight I turned on CBS and we watched Sunday Morning. Oscars, Oscars, Oscars.

Dave: We should go golf nine holes. So we put on our golf shorts, dabbed a bit of SPF-50 on our nose, made sure we had a 50 peso note to tip the caddy, and off we trudged to the course. Whenever the sun came out from behind the few clouds that are up there, it was hot.

It’s a short walk, maybe a hundred yards down our road, to the golf course. We take a cart path between the ninth green and the first tee, then pass the starter’s booth and the pro shop, past the large putting green, to the clubhouse. The patio at the clubhouse overlooks the driving range, and many mornings there are a couple of golf pros giving lessons there. The caddies usually see us coming and by the time we reach them they’ve brought out our clubs and pull carts. We store our golf shoes with our clubs, so we sit down and change out of our sandals and then go back to the starter’s booth at the first tee.

MaryLou was joining us for the first nine. We waited for a family, a couple and their two girls, who were ahead of us. Oh boy. I hope they can see us standing on the tee box with our hands on our hips, waiting, because they are all over the fairway and it looks like Dad’s giving lessons along the way. It’s a fine way for a family to enjoy the afternoon, but they really should let us play through.

But they didn’t. So after finishing hole two the three of us skipped a hole and it was clear sailing from there. But it was HOT. MaryLou went home after we finish the ninth, but Dave and I decided to continue on and do the back nine. Thankfully it got a bit cloudier and for much of the back nine we were quite comfortable. We even had a few raindrops for a couple of minutes on the sixteenth.

It really is very lovely here — little yellow kiskadees, red-headed woodpeckers, white herons, lazy iguanas sunning themselves on the rocks beside the cart path, beautiful homes lining the green fairways, protected from our errant shots by lush trees — giant ceibas, royal palms, and even some tall bamboos — and every so often, just for contrast, there is a tree in bloom — yellow, red, pink, orange, purple, or white flowers. Glorious!

When we got to the eighteenth tee I sent MaryLou a text and she joined us on the patio bar for lunch. Ceviche camarones (shrimp) and a Modello Especial. Great. I Facetimed with the kids for about half an hour after lunch. They, together with a group of their friends, are ‘stuck’ in Grand Forks for an extra long weekend. The wind and snow has closed the road going home, so Max will get to play in the pool with many of his friends for an extra day. Fun times.

Back at the house, we showered and rested from our hard work on the course. Dave made caesars for happy hour and we watched another episode of Mrs Maisel while the Raptors lost their game and the Jets were getting ready to lose theirs.

MaryLou made pasta with meat sauce and a salad for supper. When we’d finished eating it was time to queue up the Academy Awards show.

For the last ten years, maybe twenty, I’ve watched as many of the Oscar-nominated movies (if not all) as I could before the awards night. I’d seen most of this year’s list, although I did not see the Black Panther movie. Of course, the Driedgers seem to watch all the movies all year through, so for them this is no big deal. There were few surprises during tonight’s show. In the end I guess everything turned out the way it was supposed to. After it was over MaryLou went to bed. I sat on the couch until Dave, on his way up the stairs, woke me up and told me to go to bed. So I did.

A lazy Saturday

The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied. Proverbs 13:4

I made a pot of coffee when I came downstairs this morning. And then I made another one. And then Dave decided we should go out for breakfast. So we did. We ‘ubered’ down to Los Benes, a fine Mexican breakfast restaurant just down the road from La Ceiba. Thankfully, no wait list at the entrance. We got a table and ordered our eggs and toast. When MaryLou asked our very attentive waiter if we might have some jam for our toast, he politely informed her that yes, we could order that, but it would be an extra charge. No matter, says Dave, just bring us some jam. After waiting much too long for that jam to appear, the waiter finally emerged from the kitchen with two plates of sliced ham. Dave and MaryLou look astonished. NO! not ham — JAM! Oh, our waiter says with a look of utter embarrassment. He disappears into the kitchen and soon returns with two paper cups of ‘jam’ and many apologies for his misunderstanding.

After finishing my huevos revueltos (scrambled eggs), I took an Uber back home while Dave and MaryLou took another Uber to the grocery store.

The Driedgers went to the pool for the afternoon and I spent much of the rest of the day fixing up some website issues and watching golf on TV. This weekend’s PGA tour event is being played in Mexico City. That means that even if our fancy ‘Rocket TV’ stutters too much due to internet hiccups, we can get the tournament on ‘regular’ broadcast TV, but with Spanish commentary. Well, it’s not really such a big deal that the announcers are whispering their play-by-play in Spanish rather than in English — either way, it’s a fine accompaniment for an afternoon nap.

Soon it was happy hour again — and another episode of “Marvelous Mrs Maisel”. Dave had replenished our supply of wieners and buns and was eager to fry up some hotdogs for our evening meal. While I cleaned up the supper dishes Dave took an inventory of the movies available to us on our ‘Rocket TV’ for tonight’s viewing pleasure. After much clicking and browsing his first choice turned out to be a bust: the Spanish subtitles did not help us to understand the Danish dialogue. Back to the main menu. His next choice was “Brother’s Nest”, an Australian film. Too bad there weren’t subtitles for that one! It was labeled a ‘comedy/thriller’, but I didn’t catch the comedy and I dozed off before it got ‘thrilling’. When I came to, MaryLou was gone and Dave was watching yet another show. By ten o’clock we’d had enough ‘entertainment’; Dave turned off the TV, grabbed his Dan Brown book, and headed upstairs to bed. I followed soon after.

Friday Night Farewell

Finally, Neufelds, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you. 2 Corinthians 13:11

We’d finished breakfast, watched all the YouTube late night talk show highlights, caught up with all our “friends” on Facebook, and settled comfortably into our regular positions. I was in the middle of fixing up a mini-crisis on a website when MaryLou came down the stairs, ready to go to the gym. And THAT’s when Dave suggested we go golfing this morning. All three of us. Okay. It didn’t take us long to shift gears and just like that we were teeing off on hole number one at the La Ceiba Golf Course.

Another (surprisingly?) nice morning here. Sun shining, but not too hot. Birds singing. Trees shedding their blooms in the gentle breeze as Spring is about to spring. MaryLou, who hadn’t golfed with us for nearly a month, was hitting long and straight off the tee. And so were Dave and I. And with no one ahead to hold us up, and no one behind to pressure us, we had a lovely walk around the front nine.

MaryLou bid us adieu after nine and went home while Dave and I continued to hole number ten. More of the same. By now it was around eleven o’clock and it was warming up a bit. I’d finished the water in my water bottle and was happy to see JoaquĆ­n come around with the beverage cart at the twelfth par three. By the time we got to the last couple of holes the heat was beginning to take its toll. So it was especially satisfying for me to NOT blow the last hole and finish the round with a score of 96, breaking a hundred for the first time since we’ve been here.

It felt great to be back in our air-conditioned apartment. Dave fried up a hamburger and I made myself a sandwich, and after a refreshing shower we were back to our stations. Then it was happy hour and another episode of Marvellous Mrs Maisel.

Dave and MaryLou reflect the setting sun on our evening walk through the golf course.

MaryLou had been busy organizing supper plans for today, and by six o’clock we were in an Uber on our way to a pizza restaurant about halfway to Ken and Kaaren’s place where they would meet us halfway! Which they did. They arrived with another goody bag of leftover condiments and groceries for us. They’d had their final home inspection and were packed and ready for their bus ride to Cancun tomorrow. Friday Night Pizza would be our “last supper”.

It’s been so good to have the Neufelds here for the past month. I’ve enjoyed getting to know them better and will miss them. Ken and Kaaren have invited us to join them for a number of tours and adventures. Ken and Dave and I have golfed quite a few games together, and Kaaren’s company has been a life-saver for MaryLou, who otherwise has been the lonely ‘golf widow’.

We said goodbye and while the Neufelds ‘ubered’ south back to their place for one last night in Merida, we headed north to La Ceiba. Our Uber driver tonight was a dentistry student who was eager to practice his English. He dropped us off at our mini-market where I picked up the essentials of life (bread and Coke) before walking back to our place. It had been a ‘good Friday’.

Morning golf, evening blues

You shall make the robe of the ephod all of blue. Exodus 28:31

Thursday. Ken and Kaaren arrived at our place just before 8 o’clock. It would be Ken’s last golf game here in Merida. They are leaving early Saturday for Cancun and home to Winnipeg from there on Sunday.

Kaaren and MaryLou spent the morning visiting while the men went golfing. When we got to the course we were informed that there was a women’s final championship happening on the front nine, so we would be playing the back nine today. So that’s what we did — and we played the back nine twice. The temperature was moderated a bit by some occasional clouds and a very nice breeze, so it wasn’t until the last few holes the second time around that the heat started to slow us down a bit. And if any of us was hoping that after a month of fairly regular play we’d be improving like crazy — well, that isn’t really happening. Some good holes, some disappointments. Golf is like that.

The girls were already on the patio, enjoying gin and tonics, when we got back to the clubhouse. Dave and I stashed our clubs in the storage shed. Ken would be taking his clubs back to his place in Merida. We joined the girls and rehydrated. We ordered our food and had a nice visit in the shade under a big noisy fan.

Ken and Kaaren
After lunch we went back to our place. The Neufelds ordered an Uber to come and pick them up, including Ken’s golf bag, to take them back to their place.

I’d had a few interesting text messages from Mario, the guy we rent our apartment from. Apparently someone is interested in buying ‘our’ place. Yesterday a car with three women pulled up and asked us how long we were renting it for, and that the place was for sale, but that they were having trouble connecting with Mario. So I had arranged that the real estate agent could have access to the place to show it to them today from 11:00 to 1:00, while we were out for lunch. Now as we took a look around our place, it didn’t look as though anyone had been here. I went upstairs to shower — and of course THAT is when the real estate lady and her client showed up! Dave invited them in, but explained that the upstairs bathroom was occupied. But the house-shopper didn’t even go upstairs — she came in, walked into our little kitchen, took a look around the place and left about a minute later! Hmmm…

Around 4pm we had happy hour and watched the third episode of ‘That Marvellous Marla Maples’, or whatever the title of the series we’re watching is. Then it was time to walk to the mini-super and get an Uber to take us into town.

We arrived at Ken and Kaaren’s just before seven. From there, the five of us walked half a block to the corner bar, Cantina El Dzalbay, where tonight was ‘Noche de Blues’ featuring a band called Bad Whiskey. Should be good. We wanted to get there early enough to get a table downstairs where we could see and hear the band.

The band turned out to be two Mexican guys. And unlike other nights when the Neufelds had visited and found the place packed with English-speaking ex-pats and the music was great, ‘Bad Whiskey’ only spoke Spanish. I heard the phrase ‘blues acoustica’ a few times. One guy with an acoustic guitar, the other one with a case full of harmonicas. I think the first song they played was an old Dylan song. Okay. Not exactly BLUES, but it WAS acoustic. A song or two later there was a Muddy Waters tune, and another by Eric Clapton. But mostly they played Dylan and Beatles songs. And then a Creedence song. And although the beers were pretty good, and the big semi-cooked hamburger I ordered was edible, when ‘Bad Whiskey’ played John Denver’s “Con-tree Roads” we’d heard enough.

Santa Lucia square at nightWe took a walk down a couple of blocks down to the Santa Lucia square. Thursday nights are special there — a big stage, and bleachers and lots of chairs set up, for a weekly free performance of ‘local’ music and entertainment. And the square was packed! Mexican music. Accordions. Strumming guitars. Even a big band. We stopped to watch and listen for a little while. Then we went back to the Neufelds’ place.

Before we got into our Uber for the ride home, we packed a couple of grocery bags of bottles from the Neufelds’ fridge to take with us. With only one day left before they leave here, we were the beneficiaries of their ‘over-buying’ and were happy to help them out. It was a quiet ride home followed by a quiet walk from the superette to our place. When we got home we unpacked and stashed away our ‘groceries’. MaryLou went upstairs while Dave and I sampled the Baileys before we too headed off to bed.