Travel

One Day You Will Wake Up …Travel More

 

This quote sums up my attitude about travel and life, in general.

Maybe I have this attitude because I had breast cancer in 2005 and thought my life was way more limited than I anticipated (I’ve been in remission for close to 13 years, yay!!)

I grew up in housing projects and low-income apartments. The furthest I traveled before the age of eighteen was three hours away to San Diego, California. But I read a lot of books as a kid and envisioned the places I read about: England, France, Spain.

I worked a lot, mothered three kids as a single mom, and had neither the money or energy to do any travel overseas except once and from then on I was bitten by the travel bug.

So I say all this because I’ve returned from traveling in Spain and Portugal.

 

Casa Bastiló in Barcelona, Spain. Designed by Antoni Gaudí

These two places were on my bucket list because my DNA results listed these two areas in my ancestry.

I’m 51% Native American (North America which includes Mexico) with the rest Italian, Greek, and almost a quarter from the Iberian Penisula (Spain and Portugal).

It’ll sound strange, but when I traveled to Mexico, specifically the pyramids, I felt a tug in my heart as I stood on the pyramid of the sun. A lot of people may feel the same sensation after all the pyramids are a wonder, but besides the ‘tug’ I felt like I’d visited before, in another life and time.

Look familiar? The architect for this bridge was also the one for the San Franciso bridge. This one has train tracks running underneath the freeway. Lisbon, Portugal. Cristo Rei statue in the background.

 

When I travel, I’m sensitive to similar feelings. This emotional reaction, “I’ve been here before” has happened in Florence and Sienna, Italy, and in Lisbon, Portugal.

I don’t know what to make of this experience but I’m eager to travel to Greece now and see if I ‘feel’ anything.

I took tons of photos in Madrid, Sevilla, Barcelona, Lisbon and share them on my Instagram account: m.alvaradofrazier . I have a link on the right-hand side of this blog. Let me know what you’ve been up too by following me and I can follow you back.

My summer travels are over and I’ve tried to get back to revisions on my novel. I find myself working around my daughter’s cat, Heidi, most mornings. (She missed me).

Play with me! Heidi, the grand-kitty

I hope you’ve been able to travel or enjoy your backyard this summer. I’d love to see pictures!

 

 

 

Encouragement, Family

Summer Solstice and Hope

 

Twittering birds began their rabble-rousing earlier than usual this summer solstice morning.

I enjoy listening to their conversations and energy as I wake.

This morning I’m praying for a better day for the thousands of detained immigrant children spending agonizing days and nights without their parents or someone to comfort them in their distress.

I’m praying for the moral treatment and morale of our country to do better.

I’m thankful for the hundreds of organizations, thousands of Americans, and others around the globe signing petitions, and calling on elected officials to do something more humane for refugees/immigrants.

My own personal problems are minuscule by comparison. There is no comparison for babies and children ripped from their parent’s arms.

I’m heartened by those who are showing up at airports, detention centers, and their elected official’s offices to show their support of the refugees and their anger about the existing law.

I’m grateful for the many organizations who are helping refugees and those who are using social media about the places to donate. (One organization is Raices).

As the quote above states:

Let all things live with loving intent.

Today, all things seem possible. I’m praying more people will live with compassion and loving intent.

Make your summer solstice day one of random acts of kindness, a supportive word, a hug, a smile.

 

 

Travel

While Waiting In New York

Do you know what the term “it’s in the waiting” means?

I first heard the phrase in the song, “Take Courage,” but the exact line is “He’s in the waiting.

The He refers to Christ.

The phrase means, to me, there’s value during the in-between time.

The in-between time is when one needs to have courage and hope.

That’s the positive take.

And I’m trying, desperately, to hang onto the positive.

For the past 100 days I’ve had an apartment under contract in NY. Closing was due weeks ago and postponed to June 1.

My daughter and I came up to NY from California on June 1 thinking we’d help my son, due in on June 4, to move in and get settled.

June 1st has come and gone and we’re not closing until I don’t know when.

What to do except call the agent who has no recourse; out of his control.

In the waiting, we’ve visited several sites and I decided to blog a travel log of our time here.

A favorite, so far, has been the Metropolitan Museum of Art, especially the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion in the Catholic Imagination,” exhibit. A stunner.

Several designers created gowns for the show:

Versace

Another favorite place was Central Park, a refuge from the heat and humidity of Sunday.

Walking through the perfumed roses and trees of Shakespeare’s Gardens took me away from the blaring horns of police cars, ambulances, and construction.

The lake had a rowboat traffic jam but was still enjoyable because the guitarist playing in the surrounding grassy area sounded so good.

We visited the 9/11 Memorial which is quite emotional both inside (museum) and the outside water features.

Along the way to these sights we took the subways ( yay we haven’t taken a wrong one yet) and had a chance to talk with other travelers and native NY’s.

An elderly woman with crooked lipstick (like my mom) and a voice like Katherine Hepburn offered us directions when we stopped to glance at google maps. We were looking for Strawberry Fields.

Her old dog had trouble trying to squat because his hind legs were shaking so. We chatted about her dog who she said was a good boy for a lonely woman.

She pointed us in the right direction, smiled, and told us to enjoy the music that was sure to be at the site.

A mob of selfie taking people were at the John Lennon Memorial, posing on the site, so unlike the first time I saw the place in 2001.

This is someone else’s photo:

A man wearing a hospital gown, scabbed sores on his arms, some cuts on his face, sat in the subway car while another man talked to him about giving up his drug use.

The man spoke to him in the most compassionate way, gently but realistically painting the picture of his future if he kept using drugs.

I caught the date of birth on the man’s hospital wristband, 49 years old, but he looked 75.

The man handed him a sandwich and a bottle of water, patted him on the shoulder.

“I tell you because I care about you,” he said as he got off on the next stop.

Tomorrow, we’ll travel some more and keep hope alive for a closing date.

Send me some prayer and good vibes 😉.

Thanks for reading.

Latino culture

The A to Z Challenge: Y and Z

Enough (in Spanish, YA), photo by Rux Centea for unsplash.com

Last day of the A to Z Challenge: Today is Y and Z: YAY!

That’s a Y but we’re concentrating on Spanish words for this challenge.

Y is for “Ya” which means Enough, or Already, or “Enough already.”

When a Spanish speaking parent didn’t want to hear their kids continuing to ask/beg/argue for something, they’d say

“Ya!” or” Ya pues.” 

Z is the last letter in Spanish too. The letter is pronounced “Zeta.”

Z is for Zanahoria: Carrots.

The Spanish “z” is pronounced differently in Spain than in Latin America. In Spain, it is pronounced like the th” in the English word “think.” In Latin America, it’s pronounced like the letter “s.”

This is a word I frequently mispronounce as Zanoria, which I chalk up to my lazy tongue.

My favorite way to eat zanahorias? Roasted street carrots from Lazy Dog Restaurant.

Roasted Street Carrots from Lazy Dog Restaurant.

 

This recipe is a twist on Mexican street corn using organic rainbow heirloom carrots, garlic, queso blanco, cilantro lime crema, and Tajin. Tastes as delicious as they look.

In June I’ll travel to Spain and need to remember to use the “th” sound for zanahoria’s and not the “s,” or I may be served something else on my plate other than carrots.

Thank you for visiting and sharing. photo by hanny naibaho, unsplashcom

 

Taking on the challenge, and finishing, has resulted in little stories that I’d forgotten and reminded me that I need to learn more “proper” Spanish.

I’ve enjoyed visiting different countries and hearing stories through the A to Z challenge: France, Mexico, India, Germany and several states in the USA.

Thank you to everyone who connected with me here. I’ve followed a few blogs and look forward to reading your stories.

Gracias!

 

Latino culture

A to Z Challenge Just Became More Challenging: W and X

Today I’m listing two words in Spanish that beginning with W and X.

Why?

There are no native words in Mexican Spanish that begin with the letter W.

I wonder if that’s the case in other languages?

Most W words are English based, like “WiFi,” meaning wireless networks.

In a sentence, you’d hear someone say “Hay wifi?” translation, “Is there wifi?

Wifi symbol, photo by rawpixel.com for unsplash.com

 

There are plenty of words that begin with X but most are proper nouns, Mayan or Nahuatl words. Such as:

Xavier, which is a male name,

or the infamous Xolo, short for Xoloitzcuintli (pronounced show-loh-eets-KWENT-lee) a pre-Columbian dog dating back 3,500 years.

The Xolo is featured in paintings by Frida Kahlo, whose husband Diego Rivera had as pets. The breed has been AKC registered since the late 1800’s.

Cute but not fluffy:

The Xoloitzcuintli

So, today’s challenge was short and sweet, like Wifi and Xolo.

See you Saturday and thanks for visiting.