I'm one of those people who doesn't believe Christmas music should be played until AFTER Thanksgiving. Same goes for Christmas displays in stores and lights on homes. However, the stores don't share my sentiment, nor do local radio stations because this morning I heard Christmas songs on the radio. However, it just so happened the first song I heard was "Little Drummer Boy." MY FAVORITE CHRISTMAS SONG OF ALL TIME. I mean, I really, really love this song and I have ever since I can remember. Hearing it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside and filled me with Christmas spirit, so the Grinch inside is gone and I'm ready to embrace the season...bring it on! :)
Little Drummer Boy
(also known as 'Carol of the Drum')
Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum A new born King to see, pa rum pum pum pum Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum To lay before the King, pa rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,
So to honor Him, pa rum pum pum pum, When we come.
Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum That's fit to give the King, pa rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,
Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum, On my drum?
Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,
Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum Me and my drum.
i feel like i've adequately come to terms with the fact that i turned 30; i've hardly allowed myself any griping, and hardly any derogatory mention of it has passed my lips since the blessed event took place 3 months ago. in fact, i have been proud of myself for not dwelling on the fact (more than is reasonable and expected, of course.) in fact, most days i forget i'm in my "fabulous 30's," because, really, i don't FEEL different, act different, dress different, have different friends or tastes...
HOWEVER, it certainly does NOT help matters when i hear certain comments like the one on the radio this morning. the show's female co-host had a chance to pre-screen "New Moon," the new Twilight movie coming out tomorrow, and was explaining the crowd's reaction to the movie, which in her opinion was all sorts of positive. well, she could have left her assessment of the movie and reaction to it at that, but she then proceeded to say, and i paraphrase,
"there were even two 30 year old women there who really enjoyed the movie."
it took a second for her comment to register, but when it did, i was outraged and took great offense indeed! well, first i was speechless because i realized she may as well have been talking about me! there was no alternative way to interpret her comment; it meant that while it makes sense "New Moon" would appeal to the young teeny-boppers, even old fogies like the two 30 year old women in the audience could enjoy it...
uuugh, maybe i'm overreacting, but I DON'T THINK SO! maybe it wouldn't have hit home so hard if i wasn't a newly converted twilight fan (just finished reading "New Moon" last week,) and quite excited about the movie coming out. in fact, a dear friend and i have plans to watch the movie this weekend (yes, opening weekend) and the anticipation has been building...SURELY, we won't be the only 30 year olds sitting in the theater, but if we are, so be it! :)
Fully rested after being blissful beach bums on day 2, we were ready to immerse ourselves in the towns, culture and people of El Salvador. On day 3, we picked up Jenny Sanchez, our very own localite, and set out to Juayua, one of the 5 towns that makes up the "Ruta de las Flores" (Route of the Flowers,) known for its natural beauty, cultural traditions and a variety of architecture, food and crafts.
Juayua, a charming mountain village, was a particularly appealing destination because we had read about the "Feria Gastronomica," the famous weekend food festival where locals serve food at tables set up around the central park. The number of food stalls and delectable selections at each one made it almost impossible to decide on lunch, but we somehow managed and feasted on platters of grilled meats, potatoes, rices, cheesy patties and all sorts of pickled goodies. It was not gastronomy for the faint of heart or for the vegetarian heart, but there was no holding us back!
Day 3 highlights
Having Jenny with us was a treat, indeed! Between her and Dave, we were in good, Spanish speaking hands, and it's a good thing, because we needed it. I'm not sure I would recommend visiting El Salvador to anyone who doesn't have fairly good grasp on the Spanish language.
COLOR, COLOR, COLOR. Vibrant splashes of color all around. In the architecture, attire, food and natural landscape. Delightful to photograph and uplifting for the soul.
Heart wrenching when a young boy approached our table and asked for our lunch leftovers. He was hungry and wasn't embarrassed to eat our scraps or finish our drinks. It was a moment of raw perspective and humility for all of us, who are blessed beyond belief and often forget to be grateful.
Dave haggling with the "honey" man on the street. I believe they settled on $4 for the vodka bottle full of fresh honey purchased by Dave.
The man with the Albino Boa Constrictor; he had the boa around his neck and was trying to entice those passing by to take pictures with him and his boa for money. I kept a VERY safe distance, but managed to sneak in a few "free" pictures.
The dark, stormy sky finally broke loose and we took shelter in Juayua's white-washed church, Templo del Senor Juayua, famous for its "Cristo Negro" crucifix and beautiful stained glass windows.
Juayua is also known for it's eco-outdoorsy activities, and we set out for one of its main natural attractions, the "Los Chorros de la Calera" Falls, 2km outside the city. It's difficult to put the unexpected beauty of this unique waterfall in words, so the pics below will have to do it justice. Our time there was made ever more special because we didn't share the experience with any other tourists; it was just us and the local children swimming in the beautiful, clear pool at the bottom of the waterfall. Yes, it was frigid, but it felt incredibly surreal to be in the middle of a jungle in El Salvador, swimming with local kids, awed by their fearlessness as they dove off rocks into the crisp water. It was a magical experience and one that gives new meaning to 'once-in-a-lifetime.'
Dave and Jose, our local-boy-guide, shimmying up trees and swinging on vines, with nothing but air beneath them. Crazy boys!
Getting our truck stuck in the mud on the road leaving the waterfall as nighttime was encroaching. Thanks to the quick thinking of the nearby locals who literally ran to find chains and helped maneuver us out, we made it back to San Salvador in time for dinner at "Los Ranchos," a local steakhouse where Reid thought he had died and gone to red meat heaven! We were blown away by the caliber of the service and the quality of the food, something we would experience time and time again during out time in El Salvador.
Our second day in El Sal was one of pure bliss, a day that required nothing of us except to sink into deep relaxation mode, the kind of relaxation that makes even reading a book too strenuous an activity.
Day 2 highlights
Sharing the road with cattle, not an uncommon occurrence, we found
Spending all day at Costa Brava on the Playa el Zonte beach; our own slice of heaven. A small, open-air family owned restaurant atop a cliff overlooking a secluded stretch of beach. A beach that was ours and ours alone for the entire day. Paradise.
Facilities best described as rustic, unpretentious and absolutely fabulous!
Gracious hosts who set up hammocks for us upon arrival. How did they know the stressed out Americans desperately needed some serious R&R time?? :)
Extremely fine, black, volcanic rock sand unlike anything we'd seen or touched before. It was soft to walk on and made a great exfoliator too!
Warm ocean water and waves that beckoned us in for hours and hours of playtime. Found it hard to be motivated to sun bathe when playing in the welcoming waves was so much more appealing. Also found out that fighting waves is a great workout and builds an enormous appetite; good thing we had fresh seafood, cooked to order, at our fingertips!
The pina colada ordered by Monica which, when delivered, was a huge pitcher of beer instead; there was definitely something lost in translation there!
Reid helping a group of local fisherman get their boat in the water; the tide fought a good battle, but success belonged to the fishermen in the end
Dinner back in San Salvador, at Kamakura, Dave's favorite Japanese restaurant. Yep, we had fantastic Japanese food in El Salvador. Go figure.