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Ursa Major

My Trip To Mexico

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I know some of you are probably waiting to hear a report on how Mexico was, and how I fared with my diet there.

Fortunately we stayed with Canadian friends, who have been transferred to Queretaro (city) in the province Queretaro.

Since they are a couple our age (early fifties) and their grown kids are all back in Canada, it was much easier to be safe. Judy keeps a very clean house, no crumbs are allowed lying around, and dishes are washed promptly.

I never got glutened at their house, because they were very conscious of my issues and did their utmost to keep me safe. I did get glutened last Thursday night at a restaurant. Apparently, in fancy restaurants there they put wheat flour into mashed potatoes! I can't think of one good reason why, but there you are.

Of course, I shouldn't have eaten potatoes to begin with, but find that I can tolerate them once in a while.

It was my own fault, too, because I knew that in another restaurant I was told there was wheat flour in the mashed potatoes. It was at a very fancy restaurant on a lake (literally, we sat on a big dock and could see the water through the cracks).

There some of the waiters actually spoke English (a rare thing in Mexico), a very nice young man (and even my youngest daughter would have considered him 'cute'). I asked him about the gravy for one dish I was considering, and if it was thickened with wheat or corn.

He said I should probably not have the gravy, but that he thought that maybe the mashed potatoes contained wheat, and I would be better off having the fries, because they were definitely not breaded. But he would find out.

It turned out that he was right. He was VERY well informed about intolerances. Because when I ordered lime sherbet (assuming it didn't contain dairy), he asked me if I was okay with dairy when he brought it out! I was VERY surprised, but told him that yes, it was fine. I seem okay with small amounts now.

I also got glutened in the airport on Sunday when coming back. I thought everything I ordered was safe, but now think that my corn tacos were fried in the same oil as the wheat ones (my daughter suggested that, and I think she was right).

NOBODY in that international airport restaurant spoke English, despite the fact that at least half of the customers were English speaking. A couple behind me in the line translated for me. She was from Peru, her husband from Italy, living in Canada not too far from us, on their way to Peru. It's a small world. Both of them spoke English and Spanish, of course. But I couldn't expect that they understood about cc.

So, if you go to Mexico, you really, really need to either speak Spanish yourself, or have somebody with you who does. Very few people there will speak English. In Europe you can usually find somebody who speaks English, but not in a poor country like Mexico.

Our trip was fabulous. It is winter in Mexico right now, meaning it is dry season. Every day it was bright blue skies, sunshine and temperatures between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius (77 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit), with the temperature going down to about 10 degrees C (50 degrees F) at night, perfect for sleeping.

Much of the countryside looks like a desert now, but will apparently be bright green when spring (and with it rainy season) starts. Only parts that are irrigated or watered are green now, and of course the cacti are doing fine B) .

Judy had (with my agreement) signed both of us up for a mosaic course, running on Tuesday and Friday mornings. That was my favourite part of the whole trip, it was so much fun. We did a design of our choice on a glass bowl (in Germany they would be called deep plate, a mixture of bowl and plate with a wide rim) out of colourful glass pieces. On Friday we did the grouting.

Judy and I ended up working on it on Wednesday afternoon at home (she had to buy a glass cutter), as well as Thursday evening to get it done. She was done at 10:00 PM and went to bed, but I wasn't done until 1:00 AM. My design was harder to do, and I am a perfectionist and 'needed' the pieces to fit perfectly.

My friend thought, when looking at everybody's bowls, that mine was the most beautiful one (which included the one the instructor made). I didn't really agree, but my youngest daughter, who is an artist, said the same thing when I sent her pictures. So, maybe it is true. Anyway, I am very pleased with what I made, and I am giving it to my youngest daughter, who wants it for her room. And since she isn't living with us any more (even though she is only 16) and living with her older sister a long drive away, I want her to have something I made.

It was good that my husband went out and did stuff with his friend, while Judy and I did our own thing. He usually spoils trips for me and makes me hate traveling. This time was great, because it wasn't only him and me. And when he didn't want to allow me to even get some small gifts for our kids and grandchildren (he is very cheap, and will tell me the kids don't need anything), Judy talked him into giving me 500 pesos (50 dollars). Which is a lot of money in Mexico, where beautiful handmade things are really inexpensive.

So, I managed to get gifts for nine grandchildren and our five kids, and even some nice things for myself (he paid for some birthday gifts I also got for some of them) with that money, as well as some cards. Here $50.00 wouldn't have gone very far.

I know he got me something at the opal mine the guys went to for our 29th wedding anniversary in April, probably a necklace. He had me point out what I liked at an opal shop the day before they went to the mine.

We all had a great time, and we are planning on going back next year.

I am not over the two glutenings yet, but hope to feel back to my normal self soon. But it could be worse, and it was all worth it. I have so many excellent pictures, and beautiful memories and very nice souvenirs. A pottery cactus fridge magnet (I collect fridge magnets from every place I go to), a large stained glass dragonfly that is now adorning my living room window, made by the mosaic instructor (she sells everything you see in her house that she made), and a cute vase I bought in a pottery shop, and a pendant out of a fancy polished stone that my husband bought me (incredibly, even set in silver, it was only less than three dollars).

Anyway, that's the short of it. It was great (even though I got incredibly motion sick on the trip there) and I am looking forward to going again. By the time we had to leave it felt like home there, with the beautiful, spacious house, the tranquil garden with the lime trees, blooming flowers, exotic birds (including lots of hummingbirds) and large roofed patio. They have a real paradise there.


I am a German citizen, married to a Canadian 29 years, four daughters, one son, seven granddaughters and four grandsons, with one more grandchild on the way in July 2009.

Intolerant to all lectins (including gluten), nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant) and salicylates.

Asperger Syndrome, Tourette Syndrome, Addison's disease (adrenal insufficiency), hypothyroidism, fatigue syndrome, asthma

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Oh Ursa,

I'm so happy to hear you had such a good time on your trip. :D It sounded great, especially the class you had with your friend. I'd love to see a picture of your bowl.

Shopping must have been like a dream--with $50 going so far! I'd have been in heaven :lol:

Hope you're feeling all better :)


Patti

"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans"

"When people show you who they are, believe them"--Maya Angelou

"Bloom where you are planted"--Bev

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Well, Patti, since you asked, I just changed my avatar to a picture of my bowl. I am asking my husband for the tools to do more mosaic for my birthday (in May), so I can keep up this new hobby.

The only issue I have with the bowl is, that I wasn't thinking when I started. I had no clue how you do mosaic before going to the course, and didn't have a plan on a design as a result. With such limited time I just charged ahead and didn't count my spaces. To be able to have a yellow petal between each red or orange one, I should have had 12 sections, but ended up with 11! I was so mad when I realized that.

Yeah, I wished it would cost this little to buy handmade products here in Canada. I bought beautiful vases for my girls, handmade and handpainted, for 16 pesos (apr. $1.60 each). Crazy.


I am a German citizen, married to a Canadian 29 years, four daughters, one son, seven granddaughters and four grandsons, with one more grandchild on the way in July 2009.

Intolerant to all lectins (including gluten), nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant) and salicylates.

Asperger Syndrome, Tourette Syndrome, Addison's disease (adrenal insufficiency), hypothyroidism, fatigue syndrome, asthma

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I sounds like you had a very memorable trip. And you certainly show some great art talent in creating such a beautiful bowl. I hope you can continue to perfect your skills. :D


Lisa

Gluten Free - August 15, 2004

"Not all who wander are lost" - JRR Tolkien

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Well, Patti, since you asked, I just changed my avatar to a picture of my bowl.

It's quite beautiful, Ursa--especially since it's your first try at it! As far as all the spacing being just perfect, I say that that is the beauty of something handmade ;):D


Patti

"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans"

"When people show you who they are, believe them"--Maya Angelou

"Bloom where you are planted"--Bev

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