Archive for July, 2017

…and it’s done!

Sunday, July 23rd, 2017

Towards the end

Towards the end

After three days of packing and loading, all of our worldly possessions are now gone! They even took our cars on Monday, so we’re living out of suitcases and taking taxis everywhere – it’s fun! Of course we have our basic furniture that the Consulate provides, plus they give us a kit of items to use until we leave, like sheets, towels, a few plates and glasses, etc. It’s a little like camping, but nice to be able to stay in the apartment.

The move now feels very real, and we’re getting excited. I’m trying to wrap up things at work – luckily my successor is already in place and taking over daily operations, leaving me to write final employee evaluations, etc. I’m also covering for both my boss and his boss, so I’ve got my hands full.

Monday evening we finally added a painting by Victor Hugo Perez Farias to our collection – we are so excited to welcome “La NiƱa Invisible” (The Invisible Girl)!

With Victor Hugo Perez Farias

With Victor Hugo Perez Farias

We enjoyed a lovely afternoon yesterday with some friends – the goodbyes have begun!

Loading the lift vans

Loading the lift vans

Moving day approaches

Sunday, July 16th, 2017

John Bell and Kevin Kresse artwork ready to go!

John Bell and Kevin Kresse artwork ready to go!

We’ve been busy all week getting ready for the movers. It’s a Herculean effort to sort everything – plus we are trying to get rid of unused items. We’re exhausted but everything is coming together – wish us luck!

I was very sad to say bye to my great boss Pete on Thursday. He keeps reminding me that we’ll see each other in DC, but still! I have so enjoyed working with him. He’s kind, funny, smart, and always had my back.

I’m going to miss you, Guadalajara – your perfect weather, great food, and great people!

Guadalajara sunrise

Guadalajara sunrise

Scotty and Allyn do GDL

Sunday, July 9th, 2017

 

With Allyn and Scotty

With Allyn and Scotty

We were tickled that Scotty and Allyn drove up from Puerto Vallarta to see us this weekend! They arrived Friday evening after work. After enjoying the balcony for a while, we went to a good little Greek restaurant in Zapopan that Scotty found.

Saturday morning, they went with me to Tonala to pick up a few things I wanted to take back with me. We had a great time shopping for glass and pottery. I dropped them off in Tlaquepaque so they could have lunch there and shop some more.

Shopping for pots

Shopping for pots

This morning we walked to Dainzu for breakfast, enjoying the crisp cool air after last night’s rain. Afterward, we loaded up their car with a lot of the things John and I were planning to give away – we were so happy the boys could use a lot of our stuff. Their SUV was pretty full when they pulled away. I’ve really enjoyed getting to visit with them while in Mexico!

Saturday afternoon/evening, Pete and I threw ourselves a despidida (going away party). Most all of our staff came with their families, and we ate tacos and visited. It was a lot of fun, and of course, I got a little teary eyed. Pete actually is wheels up on Friday and I am going to miss him so much! Click to see all of my photos from the party.

With the best boss ever!

With the best boss ever!

The whole crew

The whole crew

Governor’s School

Sunday, July 2nd, 2017
Before my presentation at Governor's School

Before my presentation at Governor’s School

I gave my presentation at Governor’s School on Tuesday and had so much fun! I think the kids enjoyed it and I had a blast. Afterward they asked a bunch of questions, then I got more questions when I attended a class. The questions ranged from “how much money do you make” to “what do you think of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”! Really cute, bright kids, and I met the daughter of a dear old friend from high school – and a really nice young man whose father was one of the Vietnamese “Boat People.” It was such and interesting and fun day, and I’m so tickled that my friend Lyle asked me to speak.

I flew to Little Rock on Sunday and had a great time visiting with Mary. We spent a lot of quality time on her front porch, sitting in chairs made by Mike Bobo’s sweet dad Ray Von. We also took several long walks with her dog Tina. I ran into several old friends – so fun to go home and see familiar faces. I had coffee with Muffy before I went to the airport on Wednesday to fly back.

Mary's relaxing porch

Mary’s relaxing porch

John returned home to Guadalajara last night after being gone for three weeks. The last two weeks he was at Army War College for the summer residence program. He had a great time with his Army buddies and got to do some cool things, including going to the National Security Council.

And I’m happy to report he got us a cool apartment in DC! It’s on L Street, about a 15 minute walk to our offices – perfect!

The goodbyes have started already. Today we had to say goodbye to our wonderful masseuse Valeria. She’s heading off to Europe for a couple of months, and we’ll leave while she is gone. She has become a friend over the last couple of years and we will miss her. She definitely made our time here more relaxed!

With Valeria

With Valeria

I’m also going to miss my weekly English class for our local guard force that I’ve been helping with the last two years. They are so cute and work so hard. Here are a couple of them, advertising for my replacement.

Guards' English class

Guards’ English class

So now, no more excuses. I spent yesterday cleaning more out of my closet. I went from 53 pairs of shoes to 25 – and I don’t even care that much about shoes! Lots of clothes going to charity here, as well. It feels good!