Mother's Day--A Holiday So Nice We Had It Twice!

Happy Mother’s Day to all my fellow moms! And a shoutout to my six kiddos. It is truly an honor to be their mom. In Mexico, Mother's Day is always on May 10, no matter what day of the week it falls on. That means we had two Mother’s Days this week—one on Wednesday and one today. I wish I could say I celebrated it twice, but early Wednesday morning I was hit with a 24-hour bug that had me in bed all day. That evening the Camejos prepared a dinner for the Teca Once missionaries. They used to do catering, and Zoila loves to cook. (A few days ahead, I told her it didn’t seem right for her to do the cooking on Mother’s Day. She assured me Eric would do most of it, but I think she did quite a bit.) I was feeling a little better that evening, but still the thought of eating anything made me cringe, so Ron went to the first Mother’s Day dinner without me. Tonight the Deavers had us over for another Mother’s Day dinner, so I got a second chance to celebrate.

Eric Camejo took this selfie of the party I missed out on.

This week we had another visit to the Auditorio Nacional. It is getting to where a week won’t feel complete if we haven’t gone there. This time a smaller group went than last week. Michelle went to finalize where the VIPs and Special Guests will enter and how their tickets will be handled. A few other people from logistics and security were there too, so I think that has all been finalized. We had our event planner and some of her team meet us there to view the space where we will be holding the reception before the concert on Saturday. It feels good to be at the point where that is all happening. We and Michelle rode to the Auditorio with Jorge from security. He told us about a place close by that made great tacos, so when we were done at the Auditorio, Ron said, “Let’s go get some tacos.” The restaurant was called Los Planchos. It had a seating area, but Jorge said he thought they give you bigger portions if you just stand along the counter to eat, so we did that. A woman was standing by a grill, and she made the tortillas fresh for each order as it was placed. If you asked for everything on your taco, it included cheese, which most tacos here don’t have. It was white cheese, which the woman would put on the tortillas as they cooked, so it melted. Then they piled on meat, onions, cilantro, and salsa. As we were ordering, Ron asked Jorge how many we should get. He said to start with one because they are big. He wasn’t kidding. We ordered carnitas (which is pork) and they piled on so much meat that I think it could have made three or four nice tacos. In fact, I couldn’t eat all of mine. They were probably the best tacos we’ve had in Mexico.

     

We ate standing up to that bar.

      

This woman was making the tortillas fresh as the orders were taken.

As I mentioned, we have an event planner to help us with the reception. Her name is Nury. We’ve spent several weeks working on getting one. We had the field narrowed to two candidates, Nury and Blanche. When we first met Nury, I felt really good about her. I also liked Blanche and figured either one would do a good job for us. On their initial bids, Nury came in way higher than Blanche. There were changes that needed to be made on both bids, but Nury’s was so much higher that we figured even with the changes, Blanche would be lower. At that point, logic said we would be going with Blanche. Ron suggested that we let Nury know we were going to go with someone else, but I felt a reluctance about letting Nury go and couldn’t quite do it. I told Ron we should wait until we had Blanche locked in. He said okay, but he was concerned about leading on Nury if we knew we were going to go with someone else. I could appreciate his concern, but still, I just couldn’t let Nury go. When the second bids came in, we were surprised to find that Blanche had gone up so significantly that she was now almost as high as Nury’s initial bid, and Nury had come down so much that she now had the low bid. So we decided to go with Nury. She came to the office on Tuesday to go over some final adjustments and fill out some paperwork. After we finished our business, I told her (in Spanish with only a little help from Ron) that I felt very confident working with her. Ron told her that we had been looking at other candidates but that I had always felt like we should go with her. She thanked us for our confidence, and we got up to leave. Then as we were walking out, she said, “My grandmother was a member of your church. At her funeral they played some of your hymns. That music and those songs have always stayed with me.” Right then I knew why I’d had the feeling that we needed to hold on to Nury. It wasn’t necessarily that she would do the best job—though I have no doubt she will do a wonderful job. It was that she has already been touched by the music of the gospel, and at this event, she will be exposed to that music being sung by no less than the Tabernacle Choir! She will be quite busy with the event on Saturday, so we are making sure she gets tickets for the concert on Sunday.

Saturday we and the Deavers went to El Bazar Sábado (the Saturday Bazaar). The Teca Once missionaries call it the Art Park. It’s at a park in the San Angel neighborhood where artists display and sell their work each Saturday. There’s also an artisan market and artisan booths set up all around the square. I wanted to go there one last time before we go home. I had a few more trinkets I wanted to buy. Plus, there is one particular artist whose work we have loved every time we’ve gone there. Always before she has had scenes from around the city done in bright colors and a blocky style, and we’ve said, “When it gets close to time to go home, we are going to come buy one of her pictures.” Sadly, on Saturday she didn’t have any of the type of paintings we’d seen before. Mostly she had fruit and flowers, which wasn’t what we were after. The few scenes she had weren’t ones we liked. So we will be going home without one of her paintings.

Beside the art, there are booths selling all kinds of artesan handicrafts at the Sabado Bazar.

     

The park in San Angel is surrounded by cool old buildings that use to be houses. Now most of them are shops or restaurants.
     

     


     

This stand was selling sorbet. I had mango. Everyone else had maracuya, which is passion fruit. They chose more wisely than I did. 

After the Art Park, we caught an Uber to Polanco to try out a restaurant the Barnetts said had good French onion soup. A lot of the restaurants here appropriate the parking area in front of their stores and turn it into an outdoor eating space. This means that first, you are basically sitting in the road, and second, a sidewalk runs between the actual restaurant and the tables in that space. It also means that anyone eating there is subject to being hit up by beggars, performers, and salesmen all during their dinner. Despite that, we usually opt to eat in those spaces because it is always so lovely to be sitting outside. This dinner was no exception. During our dinner, we were serenaded at various times by a trio of musicians, a violinist, and a saxophonist, all performing for tips. We were approached by two beggars, a woman asking for donations for something to do with cancer, and a multitude of people selling pens, candy, puzzles, etc. Still, it was a lovely dinner, and the French onion soup was good. Rain started falling as we were finishing eating. Thankfully, the area we were in was covered. It has rained in the afternoon several days in a row now, and a possibility of rain is forecasted every day for the next week. When Ron and I went for our Saturday morning walk, we noticed that the ground in the park where we walk is beginning to green up. I think the rainy season has officially begun. We will have to start carrying our umbrellas with us. The good news is that even in the rainy season, the weather is still beautiful every morning and into the afternoon. The rain only comes in the afternoon or evening.


      
My bowl of French onion soup was not only delicious, it was also beautiful!
 

Here are a couple of samples of the entertainers who serenaded us during dinner. I didn't record the saxophone because by then we'd run out of small bills for tipping, and it you're gonna record, you gotta pay! Notice in the first one that as soon as he sees that I'm recording, he heads right over to get his tip. Also, you will notice that they are all really good musicians, so we enjoyed having them play for us.




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