Turnaround Trifecta

One would think a month living in the Winnie parked down on the farm in Texas would be enough time to get the blog caught up.  But there were farm chores to do, families to visit, projects to complete, and adventures to experience.

I hauled off and burned enough tree trunks and limbs to warrant notifying the fire department beforehand.  I reconciled a few storage sheds and helped my brother Don install some 8’ X 12’ sliding doors on the equipment shed.   I got both my passport and my tetanus shot renewed for another ten years.  And got my Mom’s dog Annie  vaccinated.  I filed my income taxes, and had both vehicles inspected as required in Texas for registration.

Hannah, her "Uncle Don" and I take on downtown Dallas.

Hannah, her “Uncle Don” and I take on downtown Dallas.

Reflections in the window of the window of the DART train, headed for downtown Dallas.

Reflections in the window of the window of the DART train, headed for downtown Dallas.

My dearest niece Hannah, one of my favorite people on the planet.

My dearest smart, funny niece Hannah, one of my most favorite people on the planet.

There were some fun times too, with dinners out with family, a night at the opera to see Madame Butterfly, a trip to the Dallas Museum of Art, and a night at Cirque du Soleil with my dearest niece Hannah.  Then there was the annual cousin get-together, trying to keep up with my thirsty cousins which led to a wicked hangover the next day.

Keeping up the cousins with some wicked "Double Barrel Big Bad Baptist" Stout, ABV 12.8%

Keeping up the cousins with some wicked “Double Barrel Big Bad Baptist” Stout, ABV 12.8%

Don, Hannah and I visit the Frida Kahlo special exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Don, Hannah and I visit the Frida Kahlo special exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art.

IMG_4281But there was no time to get the blog caught up.   So I am just going to leap frog into “present day” where I am updating from the comfort of the cushy chair, free wifi, and light jazz of Starbucks……

Starbucks…in Guanajuato, Mexico.  Yes, I made the mother of all U-turns. After a month in Texas, I am back in Mexico. My reason for returning was three-fold:

We are told there is a two hour wait to visit the two-part exhibit. It turns out to be more like 45 minutes.

We are told there is a two hour wait to visit the Frida Kahlo two-part exhibit. It turns out to be more like 45 minutes.

Looking down on the line for Part Two of the exhibit. Note Chihully glass sculptures in the windows.

Looking down on the line for Part Two of the exhibit. Note Chihully glass sculptures in the windows.

Reason #1, I have all but given up on my planned itinerary for this summer.  For the past year, I have had in the back of my mind that I would like to go east this year, all the way up to the Canadian Maritimes.    I had planned to dip down into Florida for the winter, then hug the east coast all the way to Maine, crossing into Canada for the majority of summer, touring Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador.   But shortly after I had ordered the guidebooks and maps, in commemoration for their 150th anniversary, Canada announced a National Parks “free pass” to the world just for the asking. It’s one thing to go into a crowd unknowingly like I did last summer in the Pacific Northwest.  It’s another thing to head straight into a place where the entire world has just been invited.  Add to that the backlash of our own travel ban which has reportedly diverted some international travel north of the border instead, and I came to the conclusion…This isn’t the year to visit Canada.

The line to get into Part One moves very fast.

Entry to Part One of the exhibit, which includes famous artists during the Mexican Revolution period.


"Calla Lily Vendor" by Diego Rivera, 1942.

“Calla Lily Vendor” by Diego Rivera, 1942.

And along that same vein leads me to Reason #2.  I try to keep politics from infiltrating my life, but in short, “Trumpy makes me grumpy!”  I found myself sizing up every person I encountered. “Did they vote for him??” Teeshirts lined up on treadmills at the local gym with #MAGA slogans and 2nd amendment ads were making me feel judgmental and jumpy. As someone who spent a lifetime career of circling the globe, I don’t want to live in a walled country.IMG_5138


And finally, Reason #3.   I have a dear friend who lives in Guanajuato.  She is traveling for a couple of months, leaving her beautiful hillside home empty.  Guanajuato is known for its excellent language schools.  It’s also a city without many English speakers.  What better opportunity to immerse myself in a long time goal of learning to speak Spanish.

Frida's largest painting, "The Two Fridas," 1939, thought to represent the pain and disappointment from the divorce from her husband, Diego Rivera.

Frida’s largest painting (about 5′ x 5′) “The Two Fridas,” 1939, thought to represent the pain and disappointment from the divorce from her husband, Diego Rivera.


"Self-portrait, Very Ugly," 1933.

“Self-portrait, Very Ugly,” 1933.

"Itzcuintli Dog with Me," 1938.

“Itzcuintli Dog with Me,” 1938.

How long will I stay?  The Magic 8 Ball says, “the answer is hazy.”   Best I can guess is I will stay until my friend returns and wants her house back, or until I begin to feel the lure of the road again…whichever comes first.

In the Dallas Museum of Art was also the Art of the Cocktail exhibit, "Shaken, Stirred, Styled" which included among other things, the first Waring blender.

In the Dallas Museum of Art was also the Art of the Cocktail exhibit, “Shaken, Stirred, Styled” which included among other things, the first Waring blender.

Some rather provocative antique art deco cocktail glasses, displayed upside down for obvious reasons.

Some rather provocative antique art deco cocktail glasses in the DMA Cocktail exhibit, displayed upside down for obvious reasons.

I’m not sure where this leaves a blog with a name like “Take to the Highway.”  I’ve already lost half my followers when I crossed the border.  But I maintain that I write the blog so I won’t forget.   And living outside the USA has been something I’ve fantasized about since I was in college, so I don’t want to forget a minute.   I plan to share a little of the daily life, the culture, and the trials and tribulations of navigating life in an unfamiliar country and a different culture for longer than the time it takes to read through a few pages of the Lonely Planet Guide.  If that sort of thing interests you, I hope you’ll stick around…

The ETN "Luxury bus" from Mexico City to Guanajuato. Three across seating, suede leather seats slide forward into reclining position. Luxury indeed!

The ETN “Luxury bus” from Mexico City to Guanajuato. Three across seating, suede leather seats slide forward into reclining position. Luxury indeed!

34 thoughts on “Turnaround Trifecta

  1. You won’t lose me!! Love reading about your adventures! We lived in San Miguel de Allende for three months about ten years ago and took Spanish classes. Too much English spoken there tho to really get immersed in the language. Enjoy your stay in Guanajuato! We enjoyed our one day visit there.

  2. As always . . . your choice of subjects and presentation astounds me. A few years ago, we went through the Rivera-Kahlo adventure. but I just never could get “into” either of them – Calla Lily Vendor being an exception. Perhaps it is the appeal of the perfusion of the in-your-face blossoms that just soothes the soul somehow.

    This was an exciting time of all things photography in California, and it seemed to me that the Carmel faction produced work that was much more to our tastes. I see my own style went in that direction even before being introduced to the work of the Westons by DH in 1985. We juxtaposed Pepper No. 30, and Nude, 1936 in our in-home gallery, followed by Nautilus, to complete the ever-tightening curves.

    Thank you for helping me to dredge up these pleasant memories! ;->

    Virtual hugs,


  3. I will definitely stick around! I found your blog when you visited Colin and Contessa in Mazatlan and quite enjoyed the travelogue about the La Paz ferry. We left the US four years ago and we are readying to leave Canada for Mexico later this year. We will visit ONE national park here before we leave, and expect that Canada will be available to all visitors for many years to come!

  4. We took language classes in Guanajuato in early 2001. It was sooo much fun and we met folks from all over the world. We stayed with a Doctora and his family. They spoke no English and invited us to all their amazing meals. Only down side was the very steep hill we had to climb to go “home”. Love every blog and the amazing photos. We plan to return to Mexico soon. Also house sat in Chapala. Can’t wait to hear more

    • I will certainly be following you throughout your entire trip. I found Mexico interesting and we were only in Boquillas, across from Big Bend. I know that is not representative but it was truly real.

  5. I’m looking forward to your next adventure. I always enjoy your posts and perspective on life- thanks, Mary Lou

  6. Well, you can’t get rid of me either. I’ve been in Tucson for the winter (without my View)…another opportunity too good to pass up. And I have wonderful memories of a few winters in Mexico in the mid-1980’s. I bet it’s changed but it sounds like you made a wise, and wonderful, decision for how you’ll be spending your time!

  7. The work of Kahlo is haunting, hope the exhibit comes to San Diego. In a week you went from Bye Bye Baja to Hello Mexico! Reason #3 is enough, an open invitation to house sit in Guanajuato. I’ve enjoyed all your posts, photos and verbiage. I hope you enjoy the language school, I’m looking forward to sus escritos en español !

  8. You sure won’t lose us! We will never travel in Mexico, so it is wonderful to see it through your eyes. Politics, we can disagree…but we still want you as our friend, and like to travel ‘with’ you.
    Our new coach is in California. We go to get it on Monday!

  9. I am astonished that people leave your blog because you went to Mexico. WTH? We have really enjoyed the pictures, and the narrative. Now I am looking forward to seeing the steps and the hillside town.

  10. I very rarely comment, but I read your blog religiously. It boggles my mind that readers would leave based on your travel in Mexico. Such is the sad state of affairs our country seems to be in these days. No way, no way, NO WAY I could quit reading. Love our outlook, love your open eyes, heart and mind, love your politics! Stop reading? Not hardly. Instead, I thank you for being so kind and generous and taking time to share with us. Enjoy! In solidarity…

  11. Sounds like a grand plan and a magnificent opportunity. Mexico is a beautiful country, or at least when I was there in the 90s. Don’t blame you a bit for wanting to avoid the maddening crowds of free national parks. Plus not a bad time to leave the US. Look forward to your adventures. Viva la Mexico!

  12. Thanks for all the nice comments and support, my friends. I didn’t mean to imply that people would not read because the subject was “Mexico,” but rather because the subject was no longer “RVing.” At least not for a while. We “birds of a feather” tend to follow similar blogs with which we have a mutual interest. Many of my followers came on board because of my RVing lifestyle, which is temporarily on hold. But I do appreciate you coming along for the side trip!

  13. You are one busy lady!! Can’t say I blame you for returning to Mexico with an empty house and chance to learn Spanish. Sounds like you need to dry out after that cousin visit anyway!! Haha!!

  14. Hi Suzanne, as one of your UK readers, your blog for me is not just about the RV travels but your pictures, and commentaries of wherever your are. So if you decide to stay put for a while it suits me, as I’m sure you will photograph and describe very interesting sights or events, the likes of which I will never see. So I’m looking forward to seeing whats around the area where you decide to stay. All the best.

  15. Yes, I echo those who will continue to follow your adventures, I think the language school, occupying the available house and immersion in the local culture sounds phenomenal. I have thoroughly enjoyed your Mexico travels, which provided a completely different perspective from the one portrayed through the media. It will probably be very invigorating to take a break from the political activities in the US right now, which can be quite disheartening and very depressing. May head that way myself one day, fluency in Spanish is a goal of mine as well.

  16. I’m glad to read you took care of that tetanus shot!

    I guess this means we won’t happen to run in to you at Columbia River RV park in September! Looking forward to your Mexico reports…please don’t write everything in Spanish as I am not bilingual!

  17. Sounds like a great opportunity and a chance for a different type of adventure. I’m sure you’ll get the language down. But, I’m guessing that you staying put for 2 months will perhaps be the biggest challenge. Vaya con Dois y escribe con frecuencia!

  18. What an opportunity to immerse yourself in a language. I keep trudging along with my dulingo and Rosetta Stone. I am enjoying your writing very much.

  19. I’ll stick around! You are living a remarkable life. I like following your travels. Please keep posting so I can see all your travels and experiences. I miss you and I still hope to run into you sometime. I’ve relocated my mom & brother to an assisted living facility and sold the family home. I really enjoy your posts to live n your shoes for a little bit. Safe travels!!!!

  20. Given I live in San Miguel this is sooooooo right up my alley! I love Guanajauto – it’s a city that makes me happy in a way few do. I’m very eager to hear about (and see via your gorgeous photos) this new adventure. Divine!

    As always, Happy trails!

  21. I am sticking around . Please have Mom get a titer test on her pooch, it will show that her dog is over vaccinated. It’s a big scam the western vets are doing, all for money at that cost of of our pets. Example, 1 rabies shot lasts a lifetime. Do we get shots every year or every 3 years? Hell no. Then why are we pumping our pets with that crap , because we are told to. All the information is on the net, tell Mom to research K~

  22. I am betting on the lure of the highway.
    Enjoy the time away from a schedule and enjoy being immersed in Spanish.
    Please do not cease blogging during this time.
    We hope to get into the maritime provinces for a while this summer.

  23. We are happy to follow your adventures in Mexico Suzanne. I agree that we write our blogs for ourselves. I no longer worry about how many followers I have or how many daily views, which is good since I seem to have put my blog back on the shelf again these past few months. Have a wonderful experience in Guanajuato!

  24. I’m staying for sure. I so enjoy following your adventures and find so much inspiration in your writing. Enjoy your time in Mexico and keep posting your experiences.

  25. You are still taking to the highway, just using a different mode of transportation.

    I have cut back on reading blogs and facebook, but I still check in on a few blogs and I enjoy reading yours.

  26. Hola Suzanne
    Qué felicidad … it has been so fun to virtually travel through Mexico with you. Reminded me of my childhood road trips from Guatemala to the beaches of Mexico. Making that u-turn seems the best antidote for that “grumpy” feeling that creeps in these days. Our medicine will be to discover a few new Waypoints along California’s north coast, Glacier NP and yes, maybe a small venture into Canada accompanied by a libation or two. Enjoy learning Spanish and immersing yourself in the vibrant energy down there!

  27. Sorry you feel that way about Canada, but we understand. We actually had planned a big Utah trip this summer, but can’t feel good about travelling far into the U.S. these days, so we’ll mostly stay at home. Enjoyed your blog all winter, though I didn’t comment much.

    • Thanks for the nice comment, Furry Gnome. I hope my remarks about being scared off by the crowds for the 150th Anniversary year did not sound disparaging toward Canada. I love Canada! In my “pre-blogging” days, I visited many locations from Vancouver and Whistler in the left side, to Quebec City, Montreal, and Toronto on the right side, and my favorite treasured memory, Assiniboine Lodge near Calgary. I still look forward to touring the Maritimes, but will just wait until after the celebratory year has passed. After jockeying for a place to park last year in the Pacific Northwest, I just couldn’t face the perception of another summer of crowded parks. But hopefully next year!

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