Thursday, June 12, 2008

Odds and Ends

Yesterday, they shot some scenes for a telenovela (soap opera) in Plaza de Armas. Click here for some shots and description. Later they moved to the andador (pedestrian street) on 16 de septiembre, our old street; and shot some more. They may be here still. Kind of weird having someone film places you walk to every day.

We had been told there was a birthday party for Julien in our old apartment complex the other day, but it had been cancelled (we forgot to check our e-mail before going) so we visited Luc and Sylvia instead. They had recently returned from a trip to Guatemala where they hiked around Lake Peten and visited some really interesting towns and archaeological sites in the jungle and along the lake. Luc showed me an archaeological site that had been worked on by National Geographic last year. They left the site a mess, with units and tunnels into temples still open.

Pot hunters know where to find the good stuff, but leaving everything open and making it so easy for them is totally unprofessional. No wonder it is hard for US archaeologists to get permits in Mexico. I cannot blame the Mexicans or anyone else who wants to prevent such damaging behavior. Check here for some photos.

The rainy season has really gotten started. Mexico City and Guadalajara have had floods, and we have had a few days of rain. This means the ants are starting to come out. So I have had to spray the wood beams in the living room ceiling with an insecticide. We may have to get an exterminator to seal off the ceilings and gas them, which seems to be the only really effective way to get rid of ants, but it costs a fortune.

I visited Bob and Maria's patios yesterday, just before the rain started. They really have some nice plants, and they are all so healthy. It's almost as if they have not had the same broiling sun we get in our patios, though things should improve now that the rainy season has begun. We put in an Italian cypress (the tall thin ones) in the main patio, replacing the gardenia which is about dead. I hope the cypress grows above the roof, a vertical statement in an otherwise horizontal patio. The dark green against the ochre yellow walls really looks pretty cool.

May is visa renewal month for us so we went to immigration at the beginning of the month, and we are still dealing with the fallout a month and a half later. You may think you have run into bureaucracy, but they have taken it to a new level in Mexico. Here is a synopsis:

May 2, 2008
Took all necessary papers (originals and copies), passports, visas, bank balance, and a letter in Spanish soliciting visa renewal to Gobernación (the Department where Migración is located). Arrived in late morning, took a number, waited about an hour and a half to see someone. Other people kept jumping ahead of the line.

Were given forms and told to pay the fee and return after May 5 (Cinco de Mayo). That afternoon I went to our bank and paid the fees.

Gobernación would not accept our bank statements even though we have a joint account, because C’s name was not on the statements. So I finally got a letter from the bank saying that it is the bank’s policy to put only one name on account statements and checks. I was lucky that I have a premium account so I could speak to my “own” representative. As it was, it took nearly an hour.

May 6, 2008
Took all the papers, plus the receipts of payment to Gobernación at 8:30AM, half an hour before it opened. Waited about an hour. We turned in the letter from the bank on our joint account.

Were told that the fee receipts were wrong, and they could not be changed in Gobernación’s computers. The mistake was that the bank form required a Razon Social, and the Gobernación form showed Razon Social as “retiree”. The bank then made out a receipt for “Thomas Riley Wheaton, retiree”. Gobernacion would not accept the retiree part. So we had to pay again, hoping we would get reimbursed for the first mistaken payment later. BTW, they do not accept money at Gobernación since they do not trust their employees, thus the business about paying at the bank.

We went to a different bank and paid again, making sure they did not use retiree. We returned to Gobernación half an hour later and successfully turned in our paper work. We got an appointment for May 14 to visit them again to make sure all the paper work was correct and/or to pick up our visas.

May 14, 2008
We arrived at 8:30 and were the first ones there. At 9:00 we were informed that they had not had a chance to look over the paper work, and to come back the following week, or to call first.

May 21, 2008
I called and was informed that they still had not had time to look over our paper work and to call back on Friday.

May 23, 2008 (Friday)
Called and was informed that our visas were ready. Arrived at Gobernación at 9:45, and waited until about 11. The visas were indeed ready and after signing everything in sight, I got them. Then I asked about reimbursement for the first mistaken payment. It took about 5 minutes for the lady to give me a letter and the necessary paperwork. I was blown away at how quickly she handled it. She said we should then go to Hacienda on Calle Allende to get our money.

Around 1PM, C and I went to Hacienda, and were informed that we had to buy a form from a paper store, fill it out, make an appointment by phone with Hacienda.

I bought the form (which was mostly unintelligible acronyms), and called for an appointment, which was not until June 9!!!!

June 9, 2008
We went to Hacienda with the forms completed and all the paper work from Migración. More or less on time, we met with the person about our refund. He was confused at why we had two refunds, and why they were both in my name. Since I had paid, the receipts were in my name even though one of the visas was for Christiane. He was also confused at why we both had the same last name if C was my wife and not my sister. We finally got that all sorted out, and then he needed ID to make sure we were who we said we were. I gave him my Mexican driver’s license, but C did not have any Mexican ID (since I am the one being reimbursed it did not seem necessary for her to need ID). So we had to walk back home, make copies of our passports and visas. I even made copies of a utility bill to prove we lived at our house (sometimes required even if the bill is not in your name, go figure), and a copy of my driver’s license just in case. We returned to Hacienda and turned in the paperwork after an hour’s wait since we did not have an appointment. The guy took everything and told us to expect a check or voucher within 90 days!!! When pushed, he said that it could be longer than 90 days or maybe less. If we ever get a reimbursement check I will it announce here.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

US News, the Mexican Report

People seem to think that because we are in Mexico we do not know what is going on in the states. During the recent, prolonged primary season, people would say that it must be nice to be in Mexico and not have to deal with the idiocies of the campaign, or since we are in Mexico we did not really understand what was going on.

Contrary to what you might have expected 20-30 years ago, I have never been so well informed about a campaign. We get CNN (based in Hong Kong and mostly about Asia), TV5 (French, with better world coverage than CNN and better Latin America coverage than BBC, which we no longer get), CBS evening news, and various Mexican channels. But except for primary nights, TV is not very enlightening, even in the US.

Mostly, we get our news via the Internet, and more importantly we have the time to read the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time Magazine, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution for “local” news, Le Monde, Le Figaro and nearly every other paper in the world we want to. I have RSS leads to stories I follow, such as politics and the situation in Zimbabwe and Mexico. We read local and major Mexican newspapers nearly every day (no home delivery), and there is a Mexican English language paper supported by the NYT. We also have connections to all the NPR stations around the US, which I usually do not listen too since I used to listen to NPR in the car, and it is hard to get used to listening to it when I am doing other things. But we do have All Things Considered and Morning Edition if we want, plus I have RSS leads to their major stories.

I was lucky to read the newspaper and watch some CNN when we worked in the states. Now I have all day if I want to read up on something, and I probably spend too much time doing so.

I would say that I am better informed here than I ever was in the US, even about people’s individual stands and issues, as I read the letters to the editor of many papers and the occasional blog (although most of the blogs are worthless). I also discuss politics through e-mail with a bunch of folks from around the country who are not retired, but who seem to have an awful lot of time on their hands (you know who you are!). And lastly, there is a well-educated and well-informed group of retired Americans and Canadians in Querétaro who really do have the time to read and talk about the issues at one of various cafes around the city.

This is the 21st century, not the 1960s in Africa or the 1970s in Mexico. Folks overseas are not out of touch any more.

What really disappoints me is that Americans are so out of touch with the rest of the world, even if they also have the Internet. The NYT had an editorial on why the US should help Mexico in the drug war, and the response of presumably educated and well-informed NYT readers showed an incredible lack of understanding of the issue, of the US’s interest in the issue, or of the situation in Mexico. This seems to be especially true of people from states along the border who, because of being next to the border, think they know Mexico, but have a twisted idea of what Mexico is all about based on Nuevo Laredo, Tijuana, etc., and maybe Lou Dobbs. Sort of like making conclusions about the US based on Detroit or Brownsville and Lou Dobbs.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Marcos y Molduras - Frames and Moldings

My art teacher told me about a place for inexpensive, but not cheap, frames. The prices are as low as the place on Ezq. Montes I found a few weeks back, but the place is a real frame shop (they do all the work there and have all the equipment and materials). Most frame shops here are very expensive. They also have a collection of paintings including water colors, some of which are very nice. After I talked to the lady (wife of the owner) about costs, I checked out the paintings; and ended up talking quite a bit with owner, Raúl Chavez, no relation.

It turns out the shop is mainly a place for the students from his school, and that is why things are less expensive. After I noted that I liked one of the watercolorists in his collection (turns out the guy died 3 months ago, so he is no longer teaching, or painting, for that matter), Raúl mentioned that he was at one time in Diego Rivera’s circle. I mentioned that Niels had a connection to that circle through Siquieros, so the guy took me a little more seriously. He currently has a Siquieros that belonged to a president, and the family is now selling off his stuff. I need to find out which president. Mexicans would never ask, but I can get away with it since I am a bold, brash gringo. I think it sold for $100,000 MN and had been part of a mural from the school the president attended.

He also just sold a possible Rembrandt which he had taken to the Rembrandt museum in Holland for authentication. C-14 showed it was the right age, it was from his workshop, but it is impossible to prove it was painted by him and not by a student. The museum has run into problems attributing paintings and is now very gun shy. I think that that one went for $1,000,000 MN, because now it is just an old picture, although it may be one of several "lost" Rembrandts, a self portrait!

He also showed me a Chucho Reyes and told me the story of the painter. In the late nineteenth century, Chucho’s (not El Roto) parents imported stuff from the orient and wrapped it in rice paper which they also bought from the orient. He used to paint on the paper, and then his parents would use the paper to wrap things and fill empty space in boxes. Most people threw the packing paper away, but some recognized it as real art. Later he became a fairly well known artist, travelled the world and exhibited in Mexico City where he had a uniquely decorated house. His rice paper paintings now start at $20,000 MN and look like they could have been done today. They are very modern. Google Chucho Reyes on the internet. And click on "Liga a la galeria" at to see some other pix.

It seems Raúl knows all the major collectors in the Queretaro area, and just calls one or two people when something special comes in, and it sells in a day or two. Paintings might be available for viewing while he is framing them, but not for long. I asked to be put on his e-mail list to be notified, but since things sell so fast, I may never get to see any of them.

If I could get him to sell my stuff I would have it made since he seems to be held in high regard by local artists and collectors. But the quality of the artists he represents is really a bit beyond me, at least for the next 15 to 20 years.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Quick Update

We (at least I) are enjoying the quiet in the house. No guests for two weeks!! The next round will start at the end of June when Bill and Mary from Atlanta will come for a couple of days. I am really looking forward to seeing them, and hope they don’t change their minds. They will drop by to see us before working at a community development volunteer project in Michoacan. Maybe they should join the Peace Corps, I can put in a good word to Byron.

It has been HOT. Since a week or two before the Famille Française came, it has been in the low 30s celsius, 90s in fahrenheit, and we keep hoping the rainy season will start. Last night, we had a really good storm and the lights went out, so maybe we are finally going to change to the other season. But with low humidity, it is always bearable in the shade, and the nights get into the 10s celsius, 60s fahrenheit.

During a break in the storm we walked down 5 de Mayo 2 or 3 blocks to the Galeria D’rte for a vernisage, I don’t know the word for the introduction of a new musical CD, and the galeria is for paintings anyway, by Carlos Sanchez of a new CD of popular music. Carlos is really a great baritone with an incredible voice and well known in Mexico and especially Querétaro. His previous CDs were opera and bel canto. We ran into Niels and Grace, and Ramon (Elvira was visiting near Acambaro or something). We also ran into Renatta who owns the really neat furniture and artesanias store next door to the galeria. Chris, her husband, was home taking care of the baby. I finally got to see their new house a week or so ago. They are fixing up an old house in the historic district, and the living, dining, kitchen will be a spectacular place to have parties.

I was very impressed with all the politicians who attended the vernisage, former mayors and governors, only one of whom had we met, a former governor, at Sol’s house in Jurica at another of her daughter’s rights of passage celebrations. Renatta was NOT impressed by the politicians, however.

Niels ended up talking to an ex-violinist in the Querétaro symphony whose wife is first cellist. So I finally got to meet this guy who is head of a very good quartet made up entirely of Russian ex-patriots. Turns out he is now working in Morelia and only comes home on weekends, which answered my question about why we no longer see him in the Querétaro symphony. Niels wanted to speak Russian with him, of course; and then he wanted to speak Russian to me. We cut off his wine at that point! ;-)

When the rain stopped again, we walked home. Wow, Querétaro is great.

My brother Bill is having his 50th today, May 10. My brother-in-law, Jacques, in France is having his birthday today too. He is a little more than 50, but with a recent triple bypass, he is feeling younger.

Michel (Miguel to all the Mexicans) decided his house in Provence was a little plain after visiting us, and has now bought flowers in pots for his terrace. Nice to be an inspiration.

Watercolors are coming along. I have posted some new ones with a somewhat looser style, hope my art teacher, Jorge, likes them.

Pierre and Sophie who, with Antoine, were our last visitors, have decided to buy a house in Querétaro in the historic district, and more specifically on Sangremal hill, the only hill in the district and where we live. Laura A. has been helping me by calling people with houses for sale with her real Mexican accent to make sure we get a non-gringo price. We saw a really nice one about a block from our house that is ready to move in to, but Pierre and Sophie will probably want to make some changes eventually. I can hear the groans about a new house saga, but I hope they go for it.

And life goes on in Querétaro. If you want to know what C is up to, send her an e-mail and ask her to start her own blog.

Happy Mother’s Day.

Friday, April 18, 2008


Wow! Tonight we went to the opening concert of the Querétaro International Guitar Festival. It is the third time I have attended the opening concert (Christiane missed it last year because she insists on teaching evening French classes), but at least Ramon was there. It must be his 15th. But Elvira wasn’t. Women just don’t like guitar music, I guess.

The opening concert, as with the last two years, was with Hilario Yañez, the rising young classical guitarist of Querétaro and San Juan del Rios. He played the usual repertoire of Villa-Lobos and Leo Brouwer, nice, but becoming a little tiresome (sorry Hilario), and then he played, with two violins, a viola and cello, Bach’s concierto in Re Major, adapted to the guitar. Spectacular! Standing ovation! Encore! I think he was surprised and a little pleased at the reception. Every year Hilario gets better.

This year, not only did he get better (hard to figure out how he could get better, but he did) he also had his new Paracho guitar. It probably cost 6 month’s salary at the Guadalupe Velasquez school where Hilario now teaches. Ramon, the usual American suspects, and Christiane and I thought this was the best concert yet, and we wonder how he will improve on it next year. Even the event organizer, Ramiro Martinez, who used to live in the house Bob and Maria bought and fixed up this year, thought it was great. There was truly a sense of something special in the air. Christiane says that Hilario’s concerts will now be in the Teatro de la Republica instead of the Museo de Arte, and they will start charging. I hope so for Hilario’s sake, and I will gladly pay to attend, but I really enjoy the free concerts, not only are they free, but they are great at showcasing developing talent.

I think this is Hilario’s first attempt at a concierto with strings, at least in public. I think it points to his future. I would love a recording. I just hope he reads this.

Prior to this concert, Hilario was renowned for his previous appearances at the festival, of course, but also for playing at Caroline’s wedding in December and our house-warming in August. But the most fun was when he played dueling guitars with Ramon and Felipe, Danny’s uncle, in our living room after the wedding. Ah, the simple pleasures. Now if I could convince Mamita and Nathalie to play a little concert for my birthday, maybe with a little classical guitar thrown in, that would be truly splendid.

Mexico City and Teotihuacan

La famille française, Michel, Ridette, Simone et Yves, took a rest day in Querétaro before we headed off to Mexico City (known in Mexico as the D.F. or Distrito Federal), by bus this time. It took us over an hour to get through the D.F. on our way back from Oaxaca, and I was not going to chance getting stopped by a D.F. policeman and having to pay an exorbitant mordida. I also admit that I cannot find my way around Mexico City by car any more. I do much better by metro or taxi; or the occasional Mexican friend.

C and I spent three days and two nights in the D.F. and left la famille française on their own to get to the airport the last day. After a double decker tourist bus trip around the D.F. we visited Teotihuacan the next day by taxi, which is not too bad for six people. La famille were pretty good sports about visiting yet another archaeological site during the hottest April in 100 years. We also visited my favorite museums, the Templo Major where the main Aztec temples were when Cortes arrived, and the National Museum of Anthropology which has the most complete and fascinating collection of prehispanic artifacts in Mexico, and the New World. Peru has some really cool museums, but they just cannot compare. The voladores from the gulf coast were performing in the park in front of the musuem. We also visited Xochimilco and the Dolores Olmeido museum where we saw Diego Rivera’s paintings and his collection of illegally stolen prehispanic artifacts that rival those of Tamayo in Oaxaca. I like Diego’s and Tamayo’s mural work, but it makes me sick to my stomach what they did to Mexican heritage.

While the girls and Michel visited the photographic exhibit in the Zocalo, and Yves finally took advantage of the siesta, I went to Calle Doncellas to look for used books on mining and the old mining town of Pozos. The street was mostly blocked by federales because of a planned demonstration threatened by people opposed to the privatization of the oil industry. I got past the barriers (I no longer look like a hippie drug runner, I guess), and there was not another customer in sight. I visited the Libreria Madero and asked the owner for books on mining. He is apparently a well-known character and raconteur. I did not find any books this time, but it turns out we have friends in common (Marco and Belem in Pachuca), and he gave me some leads that I will follow up on. Despite the security around the Senate, it was a productive little visit.

BTW, Michel bailed out of the Zocalo photo tour about halfway through. Only Yves believed me when I told them about having seen the video with Laura in Jurica and that it was really not worth the long lines and heat. Oh well. They pretended to listen to me, but I suspect they do not remember anything about Mexican archaeology except that the rain god Tlaloc (Chac in Yucatan, Cocijo in Oaxaca) had big eyes and a big mouth, like me.

I have uploaded some pictures of Xochimilco to Flickr with an explanation of what Xochimilco is. I will add some other pictures of Oaxaca, Mitla, Cholula and Teotihuacan soon.

A Busy Month or Two

We have had guests since before Christmas, with a week or two off. The day Delfina left for Peru, Jeanne Marie (originally from Atlanta) came from Houston for Easter week. Daniel is teaching there now. Luca is finally there too, and who knows, they may spend the rest of their lives in Houston. I guess it must kind of grow on you, but I find it hard to believe that well-traveled, intelligent, highly-educated, and cultured people from France and Italy could really be happy there. I must have missed something.

We took Jeanne Marie to Guanajuato, Bernal, and San Miguel to show her the other (the non-Mexico City) side of Mexico. And we attended the march of silence and the way of the cross in Querétaro. After she left we spent the week getting the house ready for Christiane’s sister, Marie Bernadette, and her brother, Miguel, and their spouses, Yves and Simone. I hung plants, planted the garden with some annuals, cleaned the cat poop off the roof, vacuumed the patios, watered and fertilized everything, and made sure all the toilets were flushing properly, a bad toilet can ruin a vacation. I don’t know what Christiane and Emelda did.

The big day arrived, and we had successfully convinced them that they could find Querétaro from the airport without our help. Yves even used his French cell phone to tell us when they were getting close to town so we could go and pick them up at the Terminal de Autobuses. While we were waiting, we ran into Walt and Nancy, two Peace Corps volunteers in Querétaro (it seems the same generation that started the Peace Corps, mine, are the ones keeping it going 40 years later.) I wonder if the Peace Corps will disappear with the last baby boomer. Byron, what are your thoughts on that?

After a couple of days of “orientation” in Querétaro, we rented a minivan and headed to Oaxaca, or as Miguel said, Ohacaca, Oah a a ca ca, whatever. This was our first visit to Oaxaca since 1975 or 76 when we visited with Steve and Sue and their baby, our two daughters and our dog. We were surrounded by federales with machine guns on our way back from Mitla to Oaxaca city and almost arrested for being hippie drug runners. Steve and I did have beards, and we were in a VW bus, but we had kids and a dog for Christ’s sake. I normally did not speak Spanish to police, but that time we all spoke Spanish as fast as we could, and the kids did too. Fortunately, Mexicans love kids. We were sooo young then, so young.

The first thing we noted was that Oaxaca (pronounced Wah hah kah) had grown. Etla is practically downtown, as is Monte Alban, Atzompa (green pottery), Coyotepec (Doña Rosa and black pottery), Zaachila, Cuilapan, El Tule, and a bunch of other places known mostly to archaeologists, anthropologists and the people who live there. Archaeological sites Yagul and Lambityeco were a little way out of town, but now have towns around them. Teotitlan del Valle (rugs) has grown incredibly. It now specializes in weavings with organic dies, a concept that was new 35 years ago. In 1974 or 75, we took a weaver from the market at El Tule (the world’s largest tree, a cypress, around which there has been a market for over 2000 years) to his house. He was one of the very first to start using dies from native plants and insects (cochineal), collecting the wool, carding, making yarn, dyeing it, and weaving his own designs based on prehispanic stamps. (Wow, is that cool, or what?) Now everyone is doing it. It is pretty, but somehow lacks the charm and adventure of 35+ years ago. We bought a rug, of course.

Together with la famille we visited Monte Alban. Everyone kept waiting for me to tell them what to do. It took a few days to get used to that. No one ever listened to me at New South.

I was actually surprised at how much I remembered from my three years of graduate studies (the best three years of my life, thanks to Peter and Paul, not the Apostles, the Schmidts, inside joke, sorry). We also visited Atzompa and bought some green pottery. Then we headed to Coyotepec at 3 in the afternoon. Nearly everything was closed, but there were a few stalls open at the pottery market, and after 35 years I finally bought a polished black pot. We were too poor last time. We also visited Doña Rosa’s where her son now makes pots. Must be in his 70s. There were pictures of Tito and Jimmy Carter and other important folks (no Bushes or Reagans though) on the wall when they visited.

We visited Mitla the next day. Mitla is a town I have heard of since I was in kindergarten. My grandparents used to visit us and show us black and white slides, and they always made sure we heard that you could not put a knife blade between the stones in the buildings since they were so well cut, and without benefit of metal! (Turns out they did not need metal or the wheel or beasts of burden.) I passed on the story to a new generation of French relatives. Hey, nothing like helping the poor Europeans learn a thing or two.

Mitla seemed smaller than 35 years ago, much like houses we lived in when I was a kid. It is, however, definitely worth a visit. The tombs are very interesting, if not as richly decorated as those in Monte Alban. The church built on the prehispanic ruins destroyed significant cultural resources (but no more than INAH’s little offices and museums though), but that is probably not the reason my grandparents, who were Mormon, made sure we knew about it. After their run-ins with the Catholic church in Yucatan, they were very aware of Catholic depredations, and wanted to make sure we were too.

We also visited sites in Oaxaca city, the cathedral, Santo Domingo church and cultural center, and the Tamayo museum. The latter had a collection of prehispanic artifacts that the muralist Tamayo (buddy of Diego Rivera, Siquieros, etc.) had collected and kept out of the clutches of INAH (my favorite governmental agency). Unfortunately by collecting these things, Tamayo had supported the grave robbing of perhaps dozens, if not hundreds, of tombs in the Oaxaca area. The American docent gave us a great tour, but I think that he too was a little dismayed that so much had been illegally collected and so much irreplaceable archaeology destroyed, all in the name of keeping what is pretty and pleasing. Tamayo was not the only one who should have known better to do so, however.

Miguel helped me drive, but mostly I was the designated driver. Despite what the folks in Atlanta may think, I only drank coffee.

On our way back to Querétaro, we stopped at Cholula (famous for having me as a student in the mid 1970s). We stayed at a hotel on the plaza, second in size only to the one in Mexico City, with a view of the largest pyramid in Mexico and perhaps the world, although Miguel thinks not. It is larger even than the pyramid of the sun in Teotihuacan, although it is hard to tell, as it looks like a hill with a church on top, rather than a man-made structure. We took a tour of some of the 23 kilometers of tunnels dug by archaeologists to explore the seven or so different building stages. We also visited the church at Tonantzintla (Nahuatl for Our Lady, which dovetails nicely with the Virgin, can you spell syconcronism?). This church is one of Mexico’s jewels. It is truly Baroque, but was built by Indians just after the conquest and incorporates native plants, fruits, animals and people into the gilt decoration. If you get to Puebla and Cholula, this is a must see.

We did not visit Cacaxtla this time as the roof that covered it was damaged by heavy rains last year. Christiane told me that it will be ready for the public in the next few weeks. It’s great to be able to read Mexican newspapers.

We made it back to Querétaro after missing the turn-off to Teotihuacan. The signs from Querétaro show the road and exit to Teotihuacan and Pachuca. Coming the other way there is no mention whatsover of Teotihuacan, the pyramids or Pachuca, the main town that would lead you to the pyramids. I could make a fortune doing signage in Mexico, but no one here has the money or seems to care. Heck, everyone knows where the Teotihuacan exit is, right?

BTW, Christiane pointed out that here brother’s name is spelled Michel, and not Miguel.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Three Weddings and a House

Nathalie got married to Benn in September in Chicago at the Garfield Conservatory, very nice. Chicago is much nicer and cleaner than I remember from 40+ years ago. One down, two to go. Check here for some photos.

Caroline got married to Danny in December. I finally got to walk a daughter down the aisle; we followed the Mariachis from the wedding hotel on Plaza de Armas to our house, New Orleans style; and we generally had a great time. For photos check here.

In October our niece, Marie, got married to David in Nantes, France. Check here for some photos.

With the house in Querétaro, it was quite a year.