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Oct 29, 2007

Michoacan

We just went on a great weekend trip to the state of Michoacan. We had planned the trip so that we could get together with our good friends Carolyn and Benjy from Mexico City. Unfortunatelly Benjy got sick and they were not able to come. We would have loved to see them but we had a lot of fun.

Michoacan is our neighboring state. Three of my good friends and neighbors are from this state so they sent us with a list of places to see and foods to eat.
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We started off in Zamora where we stayed in a "Comfort" Inn. To make a really long story short - the toilet was clogged, there was no hot water, there was a spider in Abigails bed, there were hairs in Josiah's bed (not belonging to him), they tried to charge us for our free breakfast, they stripped our beds while we were at breakfast. The one good thing is they did have cable and we were able to watch the Boston Red Sox win game two of the world series. In the end we got our room for free!
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Right outside of Zamora is a famous lake. It has crystal clear water and you can see all the way to the bottom. The water rises from underground and you can see the dirt move where the water is coming up. The lake is filled with fish, some turtles, shrimp, snakes etc. You can rent a boat and a guide to take you around the lake. We really enjoyed it.
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After Zamora we hit a few little pueblitos. Quiroga is known for its woodworking and leather. We had fun looking at all the shops and markets but I didn't take any pictures of this city. From there we went on to Tsinsunsan this is another small town. It is famous for its Jesus that grows??? They have a statue of Jesus in their cathedral that suposedly grows and gets longer and longer. It is in a glass case and they have had to add on to the case so that he can fit into it. When we got there we saw the Jesus statue in a glass case but his legs which supposedly grow longer every year were covered in a blanket. It was very sad because there were pictures and toys laying around him from people that felt like their prayers had been asnwered by this Jesus. People are searching and wanting answers but once again we see the deception of the catholic church. This city is also known for its work with straw. They make all kinds of Christmas decorations out of straw (sorry the only picture I got did not turn out). This city also has pyramids in it but we did not know about that until the day after we visited.
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From there we moved on to Patzcuaro. This is a city that is famous for its Day of the Dead celebration. If any of you took Spanish in High School and studied the day of the dead I can promise you that you studied Patzcuaro. I remember being impacted by the pictures of this celebration when I was in Sr Gross' Spanish class. I dreamed of getting to actually see this celebration first hand. Well the celebration is on the 1st and 2nd of November. I plan on going to it next year without kids because it isn't really kid friendly. We enjoyed this town and were able to buy some Day of the dead candies for the kids.
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This was our little "friend" that we found in our Hotel room. We checked out about 20 minutes later!
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We also had a chance to visit Santa Clara del Cobre. This is a town that is famous for its copper work. You can buy anything imagineable made out of copper here. Chadd and Nancy were there with their family so we got a chance to have breakfast with them and then we got a chance to go into a workshop and see how the copper is worked. Wow, it is amazing.
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One of the things I was most looking forward to during our trip was our visit to Patamba. About 50 years ago the city of Patamba began a festival. It is held on the last Sunday of October before the day of the Dead. Let me tell you this was quite an adventure. We had been told that it was about 20 minutes from our hotel. An hour and 15 minutes later, after having asked intructions at least half a dozen times we arrived. The roads leading to this town were some of the worst roads I have ever been on. I am so thankful for our Suburban which I wasn't even sure was going to be able to handle there roads. This celebration was started mainly to draw in turists and from what I understand has no real history. They cultivate the flowers from the region and decorate the streets with flower "carpets". They have recently started dying some of the flowers to make brighter colors. All the pictures I have are natural colors except for the ones with Josiah and Abigail and the circles (these were tinted with dye and the kids walked around with red hands for the rest of the day)
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The way they decorate is they stake out the center area with rope and nails. Then they pour bags of saw dust on the marked area. They then flatten the saw dust with a 2x4. They draw pictures in the saw dust with the fingers and then decorate it with flowers. In the one where Josiah and Abigail helped they used crosstich hoops. It was a really beautiful celebration. If any of you are in town on the last sunday of October I will gladly go back with you!

3 comments:

Lucy McDougle said...

Toni-
Wow, you got some great pictures! I hope you had a terrific time, despite the poor experiences of the hotels and 'visitors'. It sounds like you really had some neat cultural experiences and got some great stories to tell.
We love you all.

kim said...

crazy hotel. i love the pic of you and the family on the boat. the flowers are also really beautiful.

Carolyn said...

I figured we would miss out on some neat things! Great pictures. I especially thought the flowers were neat.

See you soon! Very soon.

I think we are considerign leaving Monday after school and driving part way since it is abotu 8 - 9 hours for us. Or we will go all the way Tuesday.

You oughta think about coming Tuesday after school so we could have all morning/afternoon Wednesday to hang out before everyone else arrives. What do ya think?!!?!?

3ove you - goodnight,
Care