Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Feliz Navidad

So the lights are officially on in Medellin. This is the park near my house. They decorated it about a month ago and I have been waiting for the lights to get turned on ever since. It's hard to tell from the pictures, but it is pretty amazing. I really like walking through the park because there is also a river rushing through it that is pretty loud. It is very tranquilo and pretty.

I am officially on vacation now for a month. I will be in Ecuador traveling with my roommate form Dec. 18-27. Then I will continue on my own to Mexico. I will be in Puerto Vallarta from Dec. 28-3 where I will be meeting family to ring in the New Year and celebrate my big 30...or maybe that is a typo....anyway...then I will be in Guadalajara from Jan 4-11 where I will be taking a Spanish class and then back to Ecuador for a day to meet up with my roommate again and then home on Jan 13th....back to work on Friday Jan 16th without students then the real deal starts back on Jan 19th. I will be checking my e-mail every once in a while, but I probably won't be in contact too much until I return.
I am looking forward to it and am thrilled to be enjoying a warm Christmas without all of the stress that the holidays can sometimes bring. But Iwill be thinking of all of my dear friends and family and missing you as always. Happy Holidays!!!

This is Mary and Joseph...30 feet tall!

supposedly that is baby Jesus in Mary's arms, but I it looks more like a fish to me or a green potato. Yes, this is a public park...there is NO seperation of church and state here for sure!

flying angels...of course!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Thanksgiving in zona cafeteria

I spent my Thanksgiving break traveling with my two roommates, Christina and Tina. We took a bus to a city about 5 hours south of Medellin called Manizales. It is in the heart of the coffee making region. We spent two nights in Manizales. We visited the downtown area, went to some hot springs and an orchid, butterfly, animal, coffee park.
We spent the next two nights in a town about an hour away called Chinchina. We stayed on a finca and had a wonderful tour of the coffee farms. I learned everything I ever need to know about how coffee is grown, picked, planted, processed and produced. It was very interesting. The town was beautiful, surrounded my mountains covered with coffee plants and other lush vegetation. It was quite relaxing and restful.
The only bummer is that it did rain a lot. It is officially the rainy season all the time now! But we managed to have a great time getting wet and relaxing as much as possible.

view of Manizales

The tram that took us to the top part of the park.....

...in the rain!

downtown Manizales
Gigantic nativity scene in the park

the governor's palace

The hot springs...

...in the rain

waiter carrying food at the hot springs...
in the rain

the finca in Chinchina


coffee beans

the processing plant

Feliz Navidad

Monday, November 10, 2008

The wedding weekend

I had the wonderful privilege to fly home to officiate my dear friends wedding on November 1st. The wedding was in Palm Springs. It was an amazing experience and I am so glad that I was able to be there.

Jeff, me and Loren

The Happy Couple

The wedding was at a beautiful resort in Palm Springs called Spencer's.
The ceremony was outside followed by dinner, dancing and all the fun stuff inside

My best friend, the flower girl. Lucky her got to carry a glass of wine!

By the power vested in me by the county of Riverside I now pronounce you legally married!

The Dia de Los Muertos table

The Reception

I am so happy for you!
Click here for all the photos

I also got to visit my family in Riverside


I have similar photos from the last time I was here...

my new nephew, Aiden.
What a cutie!