I am a homebody. Truly. I don't like to go away. I like my stuff. And my space. And my clothes there in my closet all organized and neat and ready for me to wear without having to plan days in advance so that they are with me when I wake up. And I like my dog. I LOVE my dog. And being away means being away from her. And that is not good.
My husband knows that I don't like to travel. We will go on a staycation next time he said to me the second day that we were here when I was talking about missing my dog and yet acknowledging that it is nice to have no responsibilities for her for a few days. And so we'll put our pup with her trainer - which she loves - and my husband will put a vacation response on his email and we will tell everyone we are going on vacation and then we will stay at home. For just a few days. Too many days means missing my dog. So for just a few days we will be on staycation. And sleep in. And eat dinners out in places we don't usually go to. And spend the day at the beach without worrying that my sweet and beautiful puppy needs us to some home. A staycation. It sounds perfect.
But that is not now. Now I am here in this lovely town. With my lovely parents. And my lovely husband.
We go home tomorrow. So, in fact, we have been here for five days already. The first couple of days we did basic stuff. We walked into the center of town and sat in the sun in this lovely square. This was after eating lunch at a fantastic restaurant a few blocks from where my parents are renting their house. All organic and so delicious and we have gone back there quite a few times in the short time that we have been here. It is called Via Organica.
Day two we went to these really cool art galleries that are housed in an old cotton mill. Room after room of quite amazing art. For me, after a short time I get sensory overload. Too many colors and shapes and textures to take in. Everyone else agreed and we rounded out our visit there by having a really yummy lunch at one of the three cafe's in the mill.
Then Saturday we went to a chili cook off. Now this was FANTASTIC! They give you this cool earthenware bowl and a plastic spoon and you go from chili to chili. Tasting all these rich and spicy - or sweet - flavors. At the end you give your spoon to the chili maker you liked best. It was between two for me. One reminded me of the chili we used to eat when my parents lived in NYC. It was called Anita's Chili and we went there every week. The other was this single guy - not a restaurant like most of the other chili makers were. Just some guy named Preston who decided to enter the contest and only had one pot of chili so he could only give a small tasting to each person. His chili was sweet. He said it had 27 ingredients in it - including two different beers - and he cooked it for 15 hours!
I voted for the Anita taste-a-like. My husband and my dad voted for sweet Preston. We have no idea who won.
Then yesterday was a hang out do nothing kind of day though we did walk to Via Organica and ended up meeting one of the founders. Turns out the restaurant is an association. Organic farmers and activists. And we spoke to a member who arranged for us to go on a trail ride.
That is what we did today.
The trail ride is out at a ranch that is part of the organization. There, they grow all the food for the restaurant and store. We got a tour of the place before getting on our horses for an hour and a half ride to this incredible place. Huge Cactus (cacti?) grew all around this woman's home. And the juice from the cactus settles in the center of the plants only to be scooped out and enjoyed. It was amazing. Sweet and smooth. And once fermented full of probiotics. You could feel the energy fill your body as the sweet liquid filled your mouth. It is called pulque.
And she made us lunch, too! Simply delicious food.
And after filing up on food and cactus nectar we made our way back to our horses and back to the ranch for the drive back into town.
My parents were amazing. Both being eighty years old and riding on a not so easy trail of rocks and trees and prickly bushes and unsteady soil. They loved it. And so did we. My husband and I.
And on the way back, sitting on the back of my horse with the sun sitting hot on the back of my neck, I thought how much I loved this day. That I were out in the open. That I was moving to the rhythm of such a powerful animal. That I tasted food that I would not ever taste anywhere else and drank an elixir that can only be found where I was today.
Today was the kind of day that makes being away ok. And that I got to share this day with my husband and my parents - well, that made today a very, very special day.