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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international mushroom consultants. MEMOIRS about husband Pieter Vedder, who was a SCIENTIFIC PIONEER in Commercial Mushroom Cultivation Education. His practical handbook is in 9 languages and is called the MUSHROOM BIBLE: https://mariettesbacktobasics.blogspot.com/2020/08/modern-mushroom-growing-2020-harvesting.html

Monday, March 25, 2024

Our Acapulco, Mexico Vacation II

Yes, we did go back...!
Monday, February 20 of 2006, we did drop off our kitties Spooky and Barty at Country Lane Pet Lodge. 
They only got a small cage this time, near the window—which was good. One bigger cage was not cleaned out yet.
Tuesday, February 21, I did wake up Pieter at 2:00 AM as we need to drive off at 3:00 AM due to our 7:00 AM take off with Continental.
Figured out that my frequent flyer number did not get accepted so I had to write a letter to Continental with a copy of the boarding passes and itinerary for rectification.
Always the same—they omit Van den—thinking it is just a kind of middle initial.
Hoping they will credit me for these miles because we calculated it in such way that we fly next year for free to Acapulco.
Via Houston we arrived at Acapulco in a small plane around 11:37 AM.
We found a shuttle for US $ 50.00 roundtrip and after half an hour waiting we could check in to our room 929, with a much better view and more quiet, farther away from the street. 
We now could overlook the entire bay where they did the fireworks etc., for weddings.
A very romantic setting for a wedding or anniversary!
They build a platform on the beach for placing the tables and chairs...

On February 23, when we came inside from a walk in the tropical garden, after having watched the set–up for a formal dinner at the beach, we ran into a man holding a pole with clavelitos—the old fashioned double clavelitos in many colors (carnations thus).
I could not hold back to exclaim: clavelitos and oh my, the man beamed with joy. He was so happy that I recognized them and he eagerly went on to explain the one yard long pole from roble (oak) that came from his daughter's home. 
There also were lilies used in that arrangement—massively around that pole. First time we ever saw anything like that!
He explained further that the reason was his 50th wedding anniversary and he quickly pointed at his wife who stood nearby in a long formal dress. Both were beaming, so no doubt that turned out into a beautiful wedding anniversary!
Down on the beach with blue sky...
On Saturday February 25, we took a taxi to go to Costco for checking out how Mexicans do live.
Even though we could not buy much, being in a hotel but we did get some items.
Sunday, February 26, for Mom & Dad's 57th Church Wedding Anniversary we attended Mass on the 3rd floor at the top of the hotel. 
There were quite a number of people attending.
Wednesday March 1, we got up around 5:00 AM and had breakfast in our room with some flax seed whole–wheat buns, Yakult and coffee. Our mini cool box filled with bananas, drink yogurt, some snacks and Colombian coffee candies for the trip. 
At 6:30 AM the drivers came with different vans and minibuses. We were in a van with four other passengers and the driver–tour guide with his son—alternating the 280 km (174 mi) one way to Taxco.
First we pass through a 3 km (1.9 mi) length tunnel to go from the 1,500,000 Acapulco Bay Area to the next city of 1,000,000 with industries and lots of job opportunities. 
Whereas in Acapulco they depend for 70% on tourism resulting in certain months of the year in quite a lot of unemployment.
The Autopista is not as smooth as our Interstates here in the USA and not crowded at all due to the rather high toll rate.
We stop at a dam where the driver points out they have langoustine.
I'd never seen in my life some thirty vultures sitting in the median—stripping a carcass. 
Lots of wild horses were running alongside and on the Autopista—despite the fact that there was supposed to be a fence alongside. 
Sure, it got put up once new and never looked at again—neither for repair nor mending.
Cows were also roaming on the Autopista and it often resembled India, especially in this semi–dessert landscape going north from Acapulco.
Taxco, Mexico ←click for short 2 minute video
Taxco was a nice colonial style city with lots of Spanish influence.
The Santa Prisca Church, which was donated by a Frenchman who enriched himself on the silver and gold mines.
A local young man from the mountains around Taxco, who was actually illiterate, did paint the frescoes in that Church and also several oil paintings on canvas with all the clergy and the Frenchman in question—None of those gentlemen had a sympathetic face!
The Church was baroque and that looked way too overdone—for our taste—but of course beautiful artwork!
The huge organ that had to be shipped from Spain and taken apart to be carried on the backs of mules to the Taxco area—poor animals in those days.
Our lunch was included in the $ 70 per person, for the trip and we enjoyed it upstairs in a rustic old building of del Angel restaurant.
We'd started out our walk with a visit to some silver shops.
Around the pool (one of 3) of the Hyatt Regency we spotted some very skinny cats. We walked and we fell in love with one beautiful cat in particular.
She was in the botanical garden and looked so pretty, but very, very skinny! We would have loved to take her home with us, but I touched her and felt that her nipples were rough, kind of crusty... 
She was so friendly and came to our chair—even sat with us.
We fed her some left over French fries from a neighboring table between lounge chairs. 
She was so sweet and while she ate, I could stroke her belly and I figured out that she had scratchy nipples, indicating that she was having kittens somewhere...
Also, she was slightly swollen, full of milk?
Poor thing, barely able to stay alive herself and yet having to give it all to her little ones.
Thursday March 2, we did collect salmon and some other sliced meat, putting it inside the small Ziploc bags in which we keep our vitamins. When we got to the pool area, Pieter made his special 'kitty calling noise with his lips', she came running towards us. Jumping over the opening where the concrete stairway goes down to the beach!
In no time she ate all of it.
So, we did go in the evening to the fish restaurant near the beach and the pool, which is open all around for a spectacular Bay View.
We took a hygienic bag from the bathroom with us. Did put bread inside, rice with fish and we brought it to her—well she came walking up to us before we even left this open restaurant...
Now we got to see two of her kittens as well. They hid near the restaurant under some shrubs.
The skinny mama cat sat back while she let her little ones feast—what a loving mama!
Feeling good about having fed her and the babies, we go to the room. We would love to take one of them home with us—but how? You need paperwork to proof that they have been vaccinated, e.g. for rabies, 3 months prior to entering the USA. They were not even born yet...
The mama is black with a kind of tuxedo marking, like our Spooky boy but more symmetric. She also wore gloves and white boots. Her whiskers were so long and light colored, like the eyebrows. Taller ears and they were raised, making her very cute.

We indeed fell in love with her.
Pieter named her Spicy

Friday March 3, we again filled our hygienic bag heavily at our breakfast table. From the buffet we took bread, soaked with milk, tiny sausages (she liked one the other day, so we repeat that), smoked salmon and some scrambled eggs as well. Eagerly we first go to the pool area to feed her and now we got to see her third kitten as well; an exact clone of her! So cute and it becomes harder and harder to see them over there, not knowing their fate (management only would tolerate 3 on their property–the yard crew informed us...) knowing that we would depart next day.
After we did read at the pool under our umbrella and swam in the pool, we did go back to the fish restaurant one more time and filled our bag for them.

Next day we flew home together—heavy hearted as we could not take our kitty home with us.
But we will be back!!!

Related post:

Monday, March 18, 2024

Our Acapulco, Mexico Vacation I

 Yes, we have enjoyed some very special vacations in Acapulco, México.
A country where we both worked for over ten years as consultants.
View of Acapulco Bay from our room 2103 at the 21st floor
My flight ticket home on February 25, 2005. 
We arrived on February 15...
Hyatt Regency Acapulco was our home for those 10 days...
It read: WELCOME TO THE PEARL OF THE PACIFIC! 
Of course with our Hyatt card we had access to Regency Club.
Quite a luxury which we enjoyed world wide!
City view and you see bottom right they even had a Walmart Super Center
View of the 3 big pools and the beach with large tropical garden all around
View from the beach
View towards hotel, from beach area
We both loved the lush tropical garden setting...
Such a happy place to be together!
Well, on February 18, we both made a phone call to The Netherlands, using our American Express card. This due to the somber news of Wilhelmien, Pieter's middle brother Toon's love. She had pancreatic cancer and only three more weeks to live.
That was a rip off but to both of us those 7 minutes talking to her for US $ 49.89 was worth it!
It sure did lift her up 💕
On Sunday, February 20, we also prayed for her during Mass at noon, on the 23rd floor.
Our boss Tino and his wife Carmen drove four hours down from México City on the Maxi Pista for visiting us! They arrived on August 23.
We felt honored and enjoyed this dinner together at the Kookaburra restaurant across from our hotel on the Acapulco Bay. It is unique due to its spectacular bay views. See the tree beam to the right of me? A very unique open construction.
We all together went to the old town to see: ACAPULCO, MEXICO — THE CLIFF DIVERS OF LA QUEBRADA ←click for 1 minute video. 
Both of us had seen cliff divers before, in Hawaii
Our last night, we enjoyed this spectacular sunset...

Our arrival flights on February 15, were an adventure as I flew with Continental via Houston and Pieter with United via México City and with Aviasco to Acapulco. But they didn't fly, so he got there with AeroMexico a good hour later.

Going home was another adventure.
We both left for the airport in the taxi I'd bought my round trip ticket for upon arrival. We had hugged Tino and Carmen goodby and left at 10:30 AM for Pieter's earlier flight around noon.

We both only flew with hand luggage so checking in went swift. Pieter had to go to the domestic terminal and I to international so we hugged goodbye.
Pieter's flight got delayed one hour and I worried about his connection in Chicago... from México City and then to Atlanta.
Pieter left at 2:30 PM instead of at noon time—needless to say that he missed his connection with United to Chicago.
He arrived in México City and after pleading with AeroMexico, they gave him a ticket for 8:00 AM next day and non–stop to Atlanta. They also dropped him off at the Riazor Hotel in México City.
Pieter had requested Continental and United to page me but I never heard any message...

In Atlanta around midnight, there was no service at all. The information booth was un–staffed!
Did wait till 0:30 AM and used my spare key from our Mazda Millenia S and sat in the car by 0:50 AM on my way home. 
At home by 2:50 AM when checking the answering machine, sure enough I got a message from Pieter from the Riazor Hotel in México City with his number there and request to call him.
Sorry for having to wake him up—Georgia is one hour ahead of time but Pieter was glad we made contact. He was mad at the airlines for poor service and not contacting me.

Well, by 4:15 AM I was in bed and up again at  8:15 AM and after a light breakfast I was on my way to the airport after I'd gassed up.
Went to the AeroMexico counter after seeing that flight 306 had landed slightly early. They still had to go through customs.
So I had time to verify that Pieter actually had been ON that flight. Went to three people before I finally got my info—after pushing for it.
No, this is protected information for security reason...! Yes, I said but the plane is already on the ground, no longer in the air... So she did check and asked: Pieter?—yes, that's him!

It took Pieter 40 minutes till we could hug each other and were re–united again.
Pieter drove home and went straight to the Country Lane Pet Lodge to pick up our kitties Spooky and Barty boy. 

That was the closing of United Airlines for us after this adventure with the frequent flyer 'free ticket' for Pieter. Well, still $ 60 and he paid $ 375 for the small segment from México City to Acapulco. The gain was merely $ 200 compared to my ticket of $ 605 all in with Continental. 

Pieter vowed to never travel separately again!

Related link:
International Calling as it WAS | previous post by me

Thursday, March 14, 2024

My Estonian Socks with ROSES

 Already for two years I had this pair of hand knitted Estonian woolen socks with ROSES
But they did not fit in ANY of my shoes...
Got me some bone colored Crocs in a size 9 and that works perfect!
Knew Mieke, from the blog Gebreide Sjaals in The Netherlands.
Did have her knit a beautiful lace knitted scarf in black, for our adopted daughter Liz in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Never got any photo of it however...
Dikke wollen kniekousen winter 21/2022 ←click link and at the very top you also find knitted scarfs.
All hand knitted in Estonia and they truly are gorgeous!
Pieter took this detail from my leg...
One can only admire such incredible work!
Wearing my Escada skirt (pleated in the back) with my roses socks and cashmere sweater.
Bare legs as I was having my medical pedicure at Georgia Podology Services in Lithonia, GA near Atlanta.
Next day, wearing my Wolford pantyhose under my knee socks with roses. 
This was at the Hyatt House Atlanta/Cobb Galleria.
Inside our room...

Do you like ROSES and warm woolen socks?

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