Thursday, February 24, 2005

Crappy Crappy Thursday

If yesterday was Happy Happy Wednesday, then surely, today must have been Shitty Shitty Thursday.  Pike and I started the day snipping at each other and the highlight (or lowest point) was when I told Jesse to "shut up".  Jamie and I sniped; Jesse and Jamie sniped; Pike and I sniped; I’m not sure if the girls got in on it - it was a day of bitching. 

:) to make in favor of sugar cereal - the kids have been DYING for cereal, so the last time I hit the grocery store I got puffed rice but it was sugared.  Oh My Gawd, the kids were dying!  They were in HEAVEN!  SUGAR CEREAL!  Everyday was a happy day!) to check out the bike situation.  Yesterday, on the way back from Mulege (I wonder if I’ll make it through this post without posting a sentence and the backtracking to explain it) Jamie decided that he would settle for a crappy bike (not his exact words, but his sentiment :)) bought down here and wait for Papa and Tata to bring his Bianchi Axis to him when we meet up with them in the Yucatan.  It would be the fastest way for him to get on a bike; it would be cheaper (eliminating travel to San Diego for Ellen and me - oh yeah, Jamie wasn’t going to be the one going; it would have been Ellen and I) and we wouldn’t be tied here waiting for his bike.  I’ve been starting to worry that we’re not going to get over to the mainland until Semana Santa.  Yeesh!  Sooooo, the kids have been clammoring to go to the playground (pictured previously) in Loreto and I figured he could hit all the bike shops and I’d stay with the kids and fry at the playground.

We headed to Loreto (after everyone thumbed their noses at the eggs with queso fresco that I slaved

I pulled over when the boys started hitting each other with water bottles.  I told Pike he couldn’t talk to anyone in the family after the millionth snippy retort from him to Sissy.  The day began badly and was going downhill fast.  We decided to hit the Internet cafe first thing (before bikes) to see if there was any word from The Missing Link and in the 10 minutes I used to check on cargo shipping to Mulege and email, Ellen collapsed in a sobbing heap, the boys started fighting with Jamie and Sissy simply was Sissy.  We immediately left the Internet Cafe and hit the bicycle places.  We’d seen a number of bicycles on the principal road in a temporary stall with lots of shoes, furniture and other stuff but Jamie didn’t remember any bikes that he would consider.  I thought I’d seen a Specalized, so we headed there. 

I wasn’t about to take the kids to the playground and as it was, Jamie needed me to talk for him.  We checked two rental shops, one sports shop that sold bikes and the temporary stall.  Jamie found the Specialized but when he went to the bank to get cash (oh, guess what?  when we left the beach, I recalled that I didn’t have my wallet.  We decided to leave it as Jamie had the ATM card and enough money.  So he thought.) he found that he didn’t have his ATM card.  We pooled our money (looking through the car) and came up with almost $200 pesos.  About $20USD.  The vendedor was asking $1000 pesos for the Specialized. 

Luckily (?) Jamie had spoken with someone, though he didn’t understand a word, and got a map to a bike taller (mechanic).  We attempted to follow the map, but it was really only good enough to get us in the general area.  Stopping twice and asking for directions to the bike mechanic "Many" got us finally right smack dab in front of the shop.  Course, it was closed.  BUT, it opened in about an hour.  The person who’d written Jamie the map told him that there was a shop nearby that was the best grocery store in Loreto.  We didn’t find the store by the same name as she’d written (sound familiar Mom and Dad?  Mom and Dad have found that many stores in San Felipe are called one name by the locals, but a completely different - not even close - absolutely different - name is written on the storefront) was on the storefront.  It was the only one in the area, and as the kids were close to patricide (hopefully just from hunger), in we marched and looked about.

It looked like a paradise of a store.  Lots of good looking produce (a major agricultural area is supposed to be rather close by), a case FULL of pan dulce (pastries and donuts and sweet breads), fresh tamales in buckets; this place had it all.  We ended up walking out with 10 chicken tamales, 1 pineapple tamale (I just HAD to try it), 5 pieces of pan dulce and a bag of GRIMMWAY carrots (!!!!).  (Grimmway is a major, local organic carrot producer in California.  We bought their carrots ALL the time back when we lived in a stick house :))  Each and every piece of pan dulce that I picked was something we’d never encountered before; empanadas filled with dulce de leche!!!, what looked like a cookie that ended up being an apple fritterish thing and a two layered cake of strawberry and vanilla - but that doesn’t begin to describe it.  I should have taken pictures.  So, the gringo family sat at a vacant lot and ate lunch.  We got lots of grins.  We were in a part of town that isn’t on the tourist route.  We finished up the bag of carrots and water in front of the bike shop and were soon joined by the owner and a worker.  He was most incredibly helpful.  The owner has been in bikes for 30 years and sponsors a local kids team and they are QUITE successful when they compete.  He didn’t have anything in Jamie’s size and while he pondered and pondered, couldn’t come up with anyone he knew that might have something that would fit him.  All in all, however, we spent a very enjoyable hour talking and brainstorming while the kids ran in the street.  Yeah.

On the way back home, we passed by the area where the bike had been stolen.  We HAD to take a look.  We found LOTS of new tracks; many in the same area as where it was originally stolen and many further up on the beach.  The person who has the bike is apparently local to the area.  Though we drove almost all the way to the other side of the Bahia, we didn’t see more obvious tracks nor houses, fish camps or ranches.  We did, however, find a ranch very close to a road that leads to the exact spot the van was parked when robbed.  I highly suspect the ranch.  We picked up lots of firewood and hope to have a nice beach fire soon.

Ellen took a nap on the way to Loreto (10:30am !!) and fell asleep on the way home from our bike recon mission.  I fully expected her to wake when I brought her in the trailer, but it is 9:16 and she’s still asleep.  Should be an interesting night.  Either she’ll be starving (not having eaten dinner), thirsty (not having drunk) or wake at 3am, ready to GO!

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