Face Painting and the Sillies of Portland

On their way back to British Columbia to work (so we can continue to live an adventurous life!!) Everette and Mitchell often stop in Portland to see our 2nd eldest daughter Rauchelle and her family….including our 2 little granddaughters (and their daddy, Seth).

Why he does this...nobody knows.

Why he does this…nobody knows.

Sometimes Everette & Mitch fly in late at night and have to head north early in the morning to catch the Black Ball that only sails twice a day between Port Angeles, WA and Victoria, BC.  So sometimes they don’t even get a chance to see any of the girls.

This time they struck it rich….precious times together, hanging out and swinging…

Collage Blue Star Donuts + CoffeeRauchelle, always the artistic one, has gotten serious about face painting, and has been doing her art at the Portland Market on weekends.  She had amples of practice on Mitch, herself, and her darling Marin.

Little Bat Girl, Marin

Little Bat Girl, Marin

Something a Little Fishy

Something a Little Celtic

Rauchelle did her own face.  Good job.

Rauchelle did her own face. Good job.

A break at the food court that Marin enjoys eating at.

A break at the food court that Marin enjoys eating at. Opportunity to sport her art.

But Grampa didn't!!

But Grampa didn’t!!

Another day, ‘nother type of animal….

Kitty Cat

Kitty Cat

Happy Mitch-enstein

Happy Mitch-enstein

Collage Rauchelle narwahl facepainting

There’s a big city park nearby where Rauchelle lives, and she set up ‘shop’ to do a little practicing.  Photos ended because Grampa and Mitchell played with the girls at the playground while Mama worked.

Collage Rauchelle face painting Laurelhurst

Tequila: Sandy y Daniel

I wrote a post about how Everette and I discovered Tequila Sandy y Daniel, and how Everette and Mark ended up going for el pajarete.  Now here’s more pics from the Tequila Fieldtrip!Collage Sandy y Daniel

Meet Sandy (left) and Daniel (right).  An unpresuming pair of guys who are making a mark in the tequila business here in Jalisco, the centre of tequila country.

Mark and Everette got a tour of Daniel’s family home, full of color, fun extravagance and playful (they have 3 little kids).  See the updated Blue Boy?  Just a sampling of fun stuff that abounds.Collage Kids stuffPics below are of the outside of their house, with a great view of Lake Chapala and a beautiful pool to dip in.  Outdoor living is easy here at the Lakeside where the weather is consistently warm (seldom hot nor cold) so this spacious outdoor space is luscious!

The pic on the bottom right is their view up towards us at Hotel Perico about 3 quarters the way up the hill, mostly hidden by vegetation.

Collage Pool

Are you aware of the regulations that not only go into selling the alcohol, but more importantly in the planting, growing & transporting of the plant material?  Every step of the process has to be documented, and ‘passports’ issued that limits the amount of plant material that a trucker can pick up/transport/deliver, all paperwork being verified from being picked up at the farm to checking in at the licensed facility in Tequila, Jalisco (that’s the city where Tequila supposedly originated….)

Sandy and Daniel have 9 fields of blue agave they are growing to produce tequila, on both the north and south side of Lake Chapala. They took Everette and Mark to their nearest one, not far at all from Hotel Perico, up a rough dirt road to the crest of the hill that overlooks the lake to the south.  They have a covered patio there where the sign (above photos) announces Tequila Sandy y Daniel, and they can take in the view of the lake below.

Collage Tequila

Related to pineapple plants, the agave plant takes about 5 years to mature and sends shoots high into the air where their seed pods are harvested for future plants.  They must harvest the main body of the plant 2 years after sending out the shoot.  Each plant harvested weighs about 80 pounds, predominantly liquid.

A crew with a truck shows up to harvest a designated amount of plants which are issued a passport which must be carried on the designated vehicle and all paperwork must be available to be shown at all times: by authorities who may stop them on the highways; at the tequila plant, etc.

Sandy and Daniel chose 2 tequila ‘recipes’ from a variety of options at the distillery, choosing the flavor that was most appealing to them.  That recipe has won awards in the USA multiple times in the last 2 years alone….quite the success since they only started growing their plants about 9 years ago.  One recipe is white tequila, the other is a sipping tequila (gold) which they allow to sit in oak barrels for up to a year which allows it to carry the label Reposado.   They are endeavoring to make Anejo, which will be aged between a year and 3 years.  We wish them much success.

Pics below are of Sandy y Daniel tequila bottles, and the small collection of Everette’s shot glasses (and a boot that used to hold a glass but that one broke).  The two glasses on the right he had made to order, with little geckos inside.

Collage Tequila bottle

Tequila and el Pajarete

First off….you might be interested to know that tequila is good for you!!  Especially if you want help in losing weight!  Now if only I would enjoy the stuff maybe I could add it to my daily regiment?

Not likely.

Back at the Chili Cook-off  Everette and I sampled some tequila….not our favorite liquor drink but on the map below you’ll see we are basically in the middle of Tequila Country!  There are lots of options and we thought we might just find something to our liking if we tried hard enough.  So there at the Chili Cook-off we were introduced to Sandy y Daniel & their tequila by the same name.



We discovered that when Everette & I look out from Hotel Perico at the morning sunrise we overlook Daniel’s house where we can stop and buzz at the gate, and purchase some tequila right there.  So that’s exactly what Everette did.  Which led him to being invited over for el pajarete the next morning.  “And bring a friend!”

So Sunday morning Everette and Mark headed out for a quick morning drink…often what people here in Mexico will drink for a hang-over!  Some use coffee, many use hot chocolate mix; then you add alcohol (not for kids!) and have milk squirted directly into your cup.  Viola!!

The cow ran out of milk at Daniel’s neighbors so they ventured up the hill behind Hotel Perico to another friend’s place so Everette could get a full one.Collage 2nd farm

You can see from the guys’ faces they were totally thrilled with the experience; new for Mark and not frequent enough for Everette, I’m surmising from his report of how well his day went!Collage CheersWhat Everette thought would be a quick morning drink out turned into a field trip for these two homeschooling dads as they galavanted around the hills here on the north side of Lake Chapala.

Checkout further posts where they learned more about Sandy y Daniel tequila; the business and the life.



The 1 Night Restaurant

We were away for Mother’s Day, amazingly without the bulk of the kids.  I was in the presence of only 2 kids for the majority of the day and we didn’t do anything special since we were stationary at a hotel, laying low.  Nice day but certainly quiet.

But when we got home I (we) was treated to a surprise Mother’s Day dinner…candles, quiet table for 2 tucked away in our bedroom for some privacy.

Collage Mother's Day

Not an extensive menu but they certainly were confident in what we should ‘order’…so we did as we were prompted (pick this one ….and this one) and did enjoy a tasty Chicken Caesar Salad alongside a noodle dish with homemade Alfredo Sauce….Layne, watch out!  Serious competition!!  I think we’ll have to have an Alfredo Cook-Off the next time you visit.

Collage Menu

The bill was a bit over-the-top pricey… even in pesos.  But the company was delightful, the atmosphere relaxing, and we were totally stuffed with delicious food.  I would highly recommend this Johnson Kids 1 Night Restaurant…but then again, snooze ya loose.  Was only open last week for one night.  Sorry!

“Home” to Perico

We got our T.I.P. (temporary importation permit) for the van and headed back ‘home’ to the rest of the children, as that’s where ‘home’ really is.  Three long days of driving for Everette and Danaka, I’m sure they were thrilled to finally get it all done with….Everette slept for hours once we got home.

Not much for scenery pics.  But Everette shot some other photos….he came out of one of the OXXO store bathrooms (oops, that’s Canadian.  For USers I mean restrooms) to scoop up his iPhone just to take these pics…

Collage UrinalTarget practice built right in!!  A favorite past time for males???

Several of the banos had no running water.  There were big 50 gallon barrels full of water for washing both the ‘water closet’ and hand washing on your way out.

The land in this area of Mexico is pretty flat, the highways straight for 30+kms much like the Canadian prairies.  The occasional curve sends you off in a new straight direction while one battles sleepiness.  We pop cacao beans, nibble prunes, and talk.  I read aloud part of “The Science of Getting Rich”, discuss the book and how we see this working in our own lives.

The sun was blazing & I appreciated the hot wind thru the open windows.  Slight refreshment hit us in the form of appreciated rain as we skirted around Guadalajara.  The smoggy air seems to clear a bit.

Collage Scenery2


Way to Texas

Some of us are waiting for renewed passports so we weren’t able to do the actual border-run when our van needed to exit the country.  Extra people (Toveli, Laars and I) joined the traveling north as moral support, but just Everette and Danaka did the actual border crossing to get the van checked out…. just to get it checked back in in one day, making it all legal.

Their morning started before sunrise and said it was quite beautiful in the Monterrey area.

Collage sunrise Monterrey

Collage windmills

After that their day was uneventful (& not photographed <sad>), with landscape after Monterrey that was pretty flat with a cruddy but straight highway, and high tolls.

They had a fairly intense inspection going into the USA (Laredo, TX) with the men clumsily using a rickety ladder to get to the boxes on the top of the van (Everette said it was quite comical!), and aided by a Dutch Shepherd in and around the van.  Nothing found (nothing hidden!) but Everette did worry a bit about the cannabis oil I’ve been using for some basal cell carcinoma I’ve been treating.  I had taken it with us to Saltillo but kept it at the hotel with me….would the dog sniff the aroma of it out?  Would they rip the whole van apart, searching?

Cleared, Everette and Danaka ventured in to Texas for lunch, a bit of shopping, and turned around to easily enter into Mexico again.

They got their tourist visas & a T.I.P. (temporary importation permit lasts 6 months) for the van at the Columbia crossing in less than 10 minutes. So simple heading south.  They ventured back to Saltillo where Toveli, Laars and I were waiting at the hotel… spending a lazy day watching TV (for them, a novelty) and working on blog posts (me).

The deed is done and we can get back to Chapala and the rest of the family.  Yeah.  Home, here we come!