Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Trace Turns 8!

Trace turned 8 years old this week.  This year he wanted a low profile gig with only a few good buddies over to swim, eat, watch movies, sleep over and have a water balloon fight.  We really don't think he likes a big birthday event with all the attention on him so a smaller party was a good choice.

Pizza time!
All these boys are school amigos and are locals from Sayulita, San Pancho and Lo de Marcos.  They all come over from time to time and are good guests so we were happy to have them over for the better part of two days.  We fed them full of homemade pizza, cake and pancakes.  Lots of legos, water fights and Iron Man 3.

Water balloon fight anyone?

Alex disappeared quickly when an offer from a friend came in for a sleep over so she was not around long.  Pretty good move on her part since there was really no where to hide from this crew.  Ashley and I did not have that option so we kept pretty much to our room until the boys ended up going to bed...but then half of them wanted to stay up and played with legos until close to 3am.  Lots of trips to the refrigerator and the bathroom all night and more than a few bites from of the leftover cake with lots crumbs and frosting on the floor to prove it.

Shaka bro, cake!

What we like about this year's birthday for Trace is that it was simple.  The boys provided their own entertainment and energy.  They are friends.  Remove the parents(mostly), add water, food and movie and these kids are going to find a way to have a pretty good time.  The chemistry is there for a fun time so let it happen.  That's what they will remember.  Many birthdays we attend here are similar.  Simple, fun, social and energized by those in attendance...and no little specially decorated, packed bag full of crap candy and plastic toys from China to take home at the end of the party.  

The Amigos

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The "Vortex" Is Strong These Days

Closing in on four years in Mexico and the "Vortex" is trying it's best to send us packing.  Ashley found this image that speaks of our current situation and it hits home in many ways.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Capoeira Batizado

The kids Capoeira program held it's weekend long workshop and graduation ceremonies this spring.  Alex and Trace have been in the program for over a year and a half and they rarely miss a class.  There are about 8-10 kids who are regular attendees and their instructors, Carisso and Pato, are great mentors to the kids.

The weekend attendees at Plaza del Sol in San Pancho

Capoeira procession down the Main Street in San Pancho
The attendees are from all over Mexico and this year many kids came from other cities to attend.  Needless to say, Alex made a few friends and was sad to see the weekend come to a close.  It was great to see Alex meet other girls her age who have a similar interest in Capoeira.  Capoeira has benefitted Alex in so many ways in regards to her interest in other activities like dance and her circus class.  She has developed strength, flexibility and coordination that she would most likely never developed had she not attended Capoeira.

Alex and Luke

Trace and Daniella
Trace has come to love Capoeira.  It's his "thing".  His best friend from school is a regular as well and the two of them are always given and extra challenge by their instructors.  I rarely see Trace move across a room without some Capoeira move.  Trace has been able to progress quickly with circus class due to his involvement in the class as well.

One of the things I really like about Capoeira and the other activities the kids are involved with is the quality of coaching and instruction.  I have remarked on it before.  The quality coaches I had growing helped shape me into who I am today.  "Carisso" and "Pato" are the kids instructors.  The two are really just teenagers who were handed the entire program when the main instructor had to leave for family reasons.  Carisso especially is very well respected in all instructor circles in Mexico.  During the weekend the kids were also able to learn from instructors from Mexico, Brazil and the United States and it was great to see their styles and enthusiasm.

Big hug for Carisso.
In Plaza del Sol
The long weekend was great and the actual graduation was close to three hours long as the Capoeira community celebrated the adult program's achievements as well. 

Luke, Enzo, Daniella, Carisso, Trace, Alex and Kaudi.  The graduating class with new belts.
One more month of class before they take a well deserved break for the summer.  Once September is here they will be back at it.  It is a special community and I am glad they are in it.  I think I am officially a "Capoeira Dad".  Kind of like a "soccer mom" and will continue to get them to their class twice a week.  Can't wait to see what they learn next year.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Escuela del Mundo Fundraiser

School Director Julie greets guests at the door.
For the second year our school, Escuela del Mundo, had it's annual fund raising event at Mar Plata in San Pancho.  This year's theme, "Belly Dance", followed previous year's dance themes of Tango and Flamingo.  The purpose of the evening is to bring members of the local pueblos together for food, drink and entertainment and at the same time build recognition for the school in the areas communities.

Parents, staff and teachers unite to pull this event off each year and it really takes a whole school to pull this event on.  Every year I am impressed by the quality of event our little school puts on.  This year I worried a little since I thought a "Belly Dance" theme might be a bit of a stretch.  In addition it had been raining most of the day.  My concerns evaporated when upon arriving the wait staff who was made up of parents were decorated with eye make up, and other theme complimenting accessories.  Ashley looked like something out of a National Geographic photo.  She just has a look that fits in pretty much anywhere.  Of course when "y'all" comes out of her mouth, the truth to her true identity is exposed.

Ashley in her fund raising garb.

Belly Dance first set
The Belly Dance group was fantastic.  Well choreographed, enchanting music, great outfits, beautiful dancers and the performance certainly rose the temperature in the restaurant more than a few degrees.  After the first performance of the night the live auction started.  Ashley was out of the gate fast bidding on a spa day but had some fierce competition from a friend of ours for the couple hours of pampering.  Ashley came out on top and before I knew it she was considering bidding on another item.  A work of art produced by some of the kids at school.  The piece was won by a volunteer from school but when we found out that Alex was one of the contributing artists we asked her to sell it to us and it now sits in our living room here in Sayulita.

Our new living room "kid created" work of art.

The night concluded with more great dancing and a musical performance that was fantastic as well.  I have been to a number of fund raisers this year for a variety of organizations and I really do think our little school puts on the best quality event and has the three years we been there.  Next year will be the school's 10 year anniversary and is already in the planning stages to really be sure the local communities know more about our school and hopefully gain additional support for it's plans for the future.  If you have an interest in learning more about Escuela del Mundo or finding out how you can help out a growing school in San Pancho, contact us and we will put you in touch with the right people.

Saturday, May 2, 2015


Back in Park City moose were the "norm" as far as what we frequently saw in our back yard, around the house and sometimes just outside the front door.  This good looking critter likes to hang out in the palm trees around the house and sometimes comes down for a visit in our back yard/patio area.

I can't really say if it is a boy or girl but it is a good looking creature to be sure...and yes, we give him lots of room when he comes by.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Punta Sayulita SUP Classic 2015

This year, the Punta Sayulita Longboard & SUP Classic became the Punta Sayulita SUP Classic.  The development, Punta Sayulita, stepped down from organizing and sponsoring the huge event held in the past and it was in danger of not even happening in any form this year.  In previous years, this was one of our favorite events to be in Sayulita for as it brought world class talent to town for the weekend's competition, a big name concert on the beach and it was just a great time to be here.

Enter Stand Up Paddle Mexico and the Mexico SUP Tour.  The two came together with Punta Sayulita on short notice and pulled off a very respectable, more local event here in Sayulita and renamed it the PUNTA SAYULITA SUP CLASSIC.  No concert on the beach and the big names in the international SUP and longboard scene didn't come but rather a local, Mexico event including "amateurs" and "Pros".  What people may not understand about the surf community in Sayulita is that there many racers and surfers that are World Class living here in town.  The contest basically was a battle of amazing local "pro" level talent along with a few additions.  Many of the local Mexican competitors will be featured in next month's ISA's World Standup Paddle and Paddleboard Championships here in Sayulita.  If you are a fan of SUP then this event will be the best place to be on the entire planet.

Running out for my first heat
This year I again signed up for the "Amateur" over 35 division SUP Surf competition.  The waves did not cooperate this day and I found it very difficult to feel good about anything I was doing out there.  

I must have showed the judges a few more things this year than last as I unexpectedly advanced from my heat to the finals competing against guys who had a lot more experience than I have.  Most of the guys competing were guys I surf with anyway so it was a pretty fun to be out there.

Well, last place in the finals is at least in the finals and all three of these guys are certainly better surfers than me.  I just wish the waves could have provided some additional energy so I could have played the "dark horse" more confidently and perhaps provided an upset of sorts.  It wasn't to be unfortunately.  All in all, a great weekend and the professional men had great waves and put on an amazing show.  It also gave a great preview of what will be in store in next month's World Championships here in town.  The fire is lit to gain some additional skills and be ready for next year's "old school" contest.  I will certainly be competing in 2016 if the opportunity is there again...maybe I'll convince Ashley to compete in the women's division as well.

Chachin, Paco, John and Ozzy

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Celebrate The Beat 2015

If there is one activity in the world that Alex would choose to do forever it would most likely be "dance".  With very little background, she gets in there, quickly learns the choreography and moves easily from beat to beat.  It amazes me every time I see her at practice and perform.  A genetic gift from her mom I would guess.  The Colorado based, not-for-profit organization, Celebrate The Beatagain brought their program to hundreds of children in the area this winter.  Teaching artist, choreographer and force of nature, Colleen Macomber, arrived once again to teach school aged kids in the communities of Punta Mita, Higuera Blanca, San Ignacio, Sayulita and San Pancho.  Though we live in Sayulita, Alex rejoined her group from last year from San Pancho.

Celebrate The Beat's mission is to teach inspirational music and dance classes that help children discover their potential by motivating them to believe in themselves, to value artistic expression, and to develop a personal standard of excellence.  This year's theme was "Rivers of the World".  Each dance group, represented by colored T-shirts, had their own river to represent in a performance at San Pancho's Plaza del Sol .

The photo above does not even include all of the kids included in the performance.  There were also 30 or so smaller children who were off to the side and in front of the stage.

I wish Alex could work with Colleen regularly during the year.  She would love it and get so much out of the high quality instruction she provides.  We just hope Celebrate the Beat returns to the area again next year.  The major sponsor they had for our local program in Mexico had to step down this year.  It is a substantial investment each year to run this fantastic opportunity for the kids.  If you can help the program continue, please contact them or us.  Hundreds of smiling kids in this area of Mexico would really appreciate it.