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Mexican Birthday Extravaganza!

about a month after the fact...

Hey again...

In her last e-mail, my Aunt Peg lamented the fact that I haven't posted here in some time. As my time in Mexico is coming to an end, I figured I'd better get on it and get to writing.

I make it a point to force my birthday to stretch through a minimum of 4 days every year. Last year it was a little understated, but this year we went right back to where we've been in the past with another eventful memorable birthday!

The Friday before hand, we went out to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants (because of the chiles rellenos and 2-for-1 coupons!), El Cid.

Mmmm...chiles rellenos.

Miss Laura and Theo joined Steph, Kelly and I. Heidi was up in San Diego visiting a friend who came from Minnesota.

Saturday, we drove about 30 minutes away from Ensenada to the Valle de Guadalupe's Ruta de Vino (wine route), where they have vineyards a-plenty. Ana Paola told us that 90% of Mexico's wine production comes from this area. We stopped at L.A. Cetto where they have free tours and (the best part) free sampling afterwards. It's so beautiful and it was a perfect day.

After telling our good-looking tour guide that we were there celebrating my birthday, he let us keep sampling long after the sampling was over. This was one of the wines in their special reserves, Sierra Blanca.

L.A. Cetto closed, so we went to a place just down the road a little bit to have our picnic. Gilberto and Angus decided to hang out the back of Steph's car.

Bread, cheese, ham, olive pate, apples and wine! YUM!

This is the view from the table we were sitting at...Sierra Blanca in the background.

The following day, we headed to the "Ensenada de Todos" festival where there were booths from the founding families, lots of other countries, and different groups from all around Ensenada. It was down by the water at the giant (Mexican) flag.

Making mojitos by the dozen. And man were they TASTY!
With Mundo and Heidi. And yes, those mojitos are both mine.
With Hugo!
After the festival started closing down, there were some bands and dancing. Hugo and I stayed and danced salsa to a pretty great Cuban band.

And of course my birthday fell on a Monday this year...the day I had to make my school's bulletin board.
This year, per Miss Laura's suggestion, I started the school on a "Reading Bingo" program to encourage the kids to read in English. And man, did these kids read! Some students at our school have never read an entire book in their lives, in English OR Spanish. Some of them have read in Spanish, but never in English. And most of them were incredibly proud of themselves. And we are VERY proud of them. A lot of the 6th-graders have read an impressive amount of pages, choosing to read books of substance rather than just getting the space on the Bingo card. And their English skills have shown a real improvement!

This is my workspace. It almost always looks like this. And yes, that is a picture of Obama. :)

Posted by lrbergen 17:55 Archived in Mexico

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