“Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music.” – Ronald Reagan
November is the month that usually chases us down to Mexico, we begin to miss the warmth of the sun as the autumn rains begin to blanket the verdant rain forest just steps away…the apartment seems darker and the dusk coloured mountains can be hidden for days behind fog-like cloud. It’s time to once again bring out the strings of twinkle-lights, to gather the scented tea lights and candle tins (releasing the seasonal scents of cedar, native tobacco leaves and crimson wine), to push back the falling darkness surrounded by beloved books and mugs of hot chocolate.
Our almost three week holiday back east in Ontario has shortened this already wet Vancouver autumn – records were broken in October for amounts of rain having fallen with only 3 dry days (all in a row) for the month! Ontario was sunny almost every day with temperatures in the high double digits, we were often jacket-less and feeling the humidity reminiscent of a summer’s day – we came back with a glow to our faces as if returning from a sunny vacation elsewhere (perhaps Mexico!).
We spent several days in downtown Toronto at Terry’s younger brother’s apartment exploring the city by open top antique double decker buses with the jump on-jump off city tour company called “Sightseeing”. Included with the ticket purchase was an incredible boat tour of the harbour and islands. I’ll never forget the turquoise colour of the sky ( a reflection of Lake Ontario) against the exciting and ever-changing skyline among the quiet green islands (Toronto Islands). The sun was shining and the waters calm on the day we went with the odd swan lazily gliding by.
Toronto is a large, bustling city with lots of colour, noise and cranes – there were still a lot of tourists about (our double decker bus was packed most times we jumped on!). It is currently in a big phase of renewal (to accommodate the 50 new residents that arrive each day!) and famous Yonge St. is caught between the past and future, almost every block has a Toronto notice sign posted on several buildings to make way for new development that reminds one of the Manhattan area of New York city.
After a day of walking and sight seeing, enjoying delicious food (falafel wraps, veggie burritos and a mouth-watering veggie burger at Jack Astor’s) or picking up food to go, it was heavenly to fall asleep with the curtains open each night, our eyes closing to Toronto’s neon skyline and the beautifully lit CN tower.
Journal Entry: November 23, 2011 – Mexico Reverie (Dia de Santa Cecilia, Patron Saint of Mariachi’s)
A quieter day in Vallarta, we went for a short walk to Rizo’s for some fruit and vegetables. On the way to Rizo’s we stopped in to “Page in the Sun” to buy some second-hand books. We had a lot of fun last night, we went for a walk down to the malecon (all the way to the Hotel Rosita) to watch the St.Cecilia Day Mariachi parade and to observe the mass at the Los Arcos Amphitheater. It was quite exciting to hear such haunting music at twilight. We saw mariachi’s of all different ages, the children were very sweet, playing instruments that were as big as they were. We actually joined the parade and walked with both tourist and Mexican alike. It was something that we had never seen before in all our visits to Mexico.