Saturday, January 28, 2017


January has been guest star month on the situation comedy that is Mexpatriate.

And here we are. The full ensemble cast. Well, here they are. Someone had to snap the shot.

You have met everyone by name. With the exception of my Air Force friend, Robin Olson. He is on your far left.

I have worn many hats over the years. And, from each of my various incarnations, I have kept in touch with at least a few people.

Rob and I first met in California in 1972, and we have been close friends since, wandering off on adventures in Arizona, Nevada, South Dakota, Minnesota, and, in 1973, a three-day whirlwind drive in my recently-acquired 240Z from Oregon to New York City where he saw me off on my assignment in Greece.

He now spends his winters in Arizona and the rest of the year in South Dakota. With this visit, we can add Mexico to our list of adventures. He has been here for a week and is heading north today.

My brother, Darrel, and his wife, Christy, are seated next to Rob. As you know, they are staying at the house until April. In truth, I think they are auditioning whether or not I make a good roommate.

The other three are the motorcycle crew (moving to mexico -- driving the demons). I have been introducing Laura to everyone here as my daughter. That is not legally accurate, but it is effectively true. Her husband is Josh. Their son is Jeremiah.

They had not intended to be part of our ensemble for quite this long. Over a week ago, the three of them went on a beach trip on the motorcycle. The beach was great. The trip not so much. The drive went out on the motorcycle on their way back to the house.

Josh is currently shipping parts north and new parts are being shipped south. Sometime next week, he will have the motorcycle ready to head out again. He hopes.

We are all extremely thankful they broke down here rather than on some back road in Sinaloa. We have had some good times together.

Yesterday, I took Rob, Laura, Josh, and Jeremiah to one of my favorite guest stops -- the crocodiles of La Manzanilla. When I first visited the crocodiles in 2007, their habit was natural. The crocodiles could be seen on the streets around their little lagoon -- or on the beach next to the restaurants. It was fun to see them because it felt dangerous.

The ejido has now built a well-considered nature trail made of rather thin palm timbers and two suspension bridges that would thrill Indiana Jones. We felt as if we were actually part of the lagoon system -- with its flitting birds, scurrying crabs, and, of course, the stars of the show: the crocodiles.

Even though, I have lived near crocodiles for years, I still get a thrill out of seeing these Buick-sized carnivores up close. It is easy to imagine being dragged into the depths of the lagoon by one of these beasts.

Jeremiah, Laura, and Josh had their own close encounter with a crocodile. Admittedly, it was a juvenile. Three years old. But there was never any doubt that it was a wild animal. None of us succumbed to Disney anthropomorphism.

And no trip to La Manzanilla would be complete without a trip to Lora Loka -- my brother's favorite restaurant for shrimp enchilada bake with verde sauce. We had fish and chips, but we took his meal back to the house for him. He was fraternally grateful.

Even better, though, The five crocodile hunters enjoyed sitting by Tenacatita Bay listening to the waves and watching the sun set in a clear sky. And, for our patience, we were rewarded with a green flash.

No episode of Friends could have been as enriching.

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