Friday, December 18, 2009

It's a beautiful day in the neighbourhood

Tonight as we were heading home from a dinner outside at the Fat Fish restaurant we passed about four guys gathered around an old VW chatting in Spanish.  I waved to them and said "Hola" and as we walked by one of them sang in English the refrain from Mr. Roger's TV show, "It's a beautiful day in the neighbourhood".  I hadn't heard that song for about 15 years, but it reminded me that indeed it has been a beautiful day.

This morning dawned a little bit cloudy so we didn't sit outside with our tea, but instead I took Maggie for a little walk around the streets.  I was looking for an address of a woman who I'm going to meet up with to do some water colour painting tomorrow morning. Once I scoped out her house, just a stone's throw from where we live, and took a few photos of a crumbling mansion...

I came home to a breakfast of yogurt and cottage cheese with fresh pineapple and canteloupe, made by Harry.  By then the sky had cleared and we sat down to complete the homework for our Spanish class at noon.  Before it though we took the dogs to our local park and looked at some flowers, then we headed off to Rico's, the local cafe, for lattes.

Our Spanish class includes two people of about our age: one is visiting here with her husband from a little town in Vermont, the other is a guy from Colorado who is here with his Mexican girlfriend. There is also a darling young woman from Calgary who married a Mexican man and lives here with her two children.  She tells us that she has learned Spanish "like a baby learns" but doesn't have any formal grammar.  She's an inspiration to us as her accent is impeccable.

We did a few errands after our class and then came home for a lunch of soup made by Harry, followed by a little siesta (during the heat of the day).  Harry had a nap and I finished my novel.  Round about 3:00 I got a call on skype from Jamie and it was so nice to talk to him.  He'll be arriving in four days to spend the Christmas holidays here.  I asked him to bring a few things down with him, including a pound of butter so I can make shortbread, one of our family traditions.  The butter here doesn't taste quite the same as butter in Canada so I need to get this special ingredient.

Shortly after 5:00 we took the dogs for a walk on the beach just as the sun was setting....

then it was home again to feed them and then sit out on our little patio and enjoy a pre-prandial Margarita while playing ball with dogs.  Our back yard has high cement walls around it and it's perfect for exercising the dogs.  It's kind of like a squash court as the balls hit the wall and bounce around so the dogs get a lot of running.  In fact for the first time ever they gave up the game before we did.

We haven't gone out to eat for a few days so we tried this new restaurant and it was excellent.  The special is steak, ribs or breaded shrimp for two people for $16.50,  including salad.  It was very tasty and so big that I brought some of the steak home for the dogs.

It was surely a beautiful day in the neighbourhood.  We are so privileged to be able to spend some winter months here.  It is my sincere hope that wherever you are you've enjoyed an equally beautiful day in your neighbourhood.


  1. Indeed it is a beautiful day. And your evening shot is so peaceful. A happy ending.

  2. Just in case you were wondering how things are on Vancouver's a little border collie clip that's guaranteed to make you slow down and smile.


  3. Hi Joanna,
    I'm up early trying to get thins cleared off of my desk so that I can really begin enjoying the season. Chris and Tasha got home yesterday and kathleen arrives late tomorrow night. I am thrilled that they will all be here for a couple of weeks and we are really looking forward to the time with family. That being said, your posts makke me want to jump in the car and head south. What beautiful photos and descriptions. I would love to be there for the Christmas Novena. Enjoy your time,
    PS Say Hi to Trish for me!

  4. Gearing up for Christmas w/ family, but actually counting days til my visit. I am already packed. Let's Skype Christmas day sometime. Also, I've been going over older blogs and I am awestruck by your photographs. J

  5. Hi Stephanie, yes it is very peaceful. Hope you have a peaceful Chrismas season with your family.

    Linette, that sweet little puppy in the video makes me want to get another one.

    Hey Pat, thanks for commenting on my blog. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and next time I see Trish I'll say hi.

    Jan, why do we need to wait til Christmas day to skype. Just turn it on whenever you're around and we can connect. Glad you like my photos.

  6. joanna that is a beautiful day in the neighbourhood for sure!!!!! the flowers, the crumbling mansion - wouldn't you wish to have the bazillions to bring that puppy back to its former glory?! steven


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