My sister Kim and her 4th son Finn came to visit us here in Mexico last month. Except for our wedding, nearly a decade ago, this is the first visit I’ve ever had from my sister. The itinerary was designed to have a fun time touring around Sonora.
They arrived the evening of Thursday, February 13th. I have a friend here in town that is the second in command of the Federal Police for the entire state of Sonora. He offered to pick them up at the airport in bullet proof black SUVs and police officers in kevlar vests toting machine guns. I thought it a spectacular idea given my sister’s uncertainty regarding the safety in this part of the country and what better way to put her mind at ease? Unfortunately, something came up for my friend and he wasn’t able to make it happen. Perhaps next time?
We have had an unusually mild ‘winter’ this year. So it was in the mid-80s the night they arrived. This provided opportunity to tour around the neighborhood with the dogs and to pick oranges from our orange tree (see last entry).
On Friday we departed for San Carlos which is roughly an hour and a half south of us. We stayed at a condo right off the beach which had wonderful views of the sea and sunset.
We had a lot of fun playing on the beach. I had Finn download a number of videos for research on how to build the best sand castle. Unfortunately, they didn’t amount to much and as such, our attempts were less than impressive. Even so, we had a lot of fun. Also, I remain the international bocce ball champion!
On Saturday, we drove to visited the market in Guaymas, which although not very impressive, was a fun way to explore some of the regular culture in this part of the country. We moved on to Empalme, a small town on the coast, to purchase a kilo of shrimp which we would have for dinner that night back at the condo in San Carlos.
We had more opportunity for the beach on Sunday before departing a couple hours further south to Navajoa. In Navajoa we had booked a couple rooms at an old hacienda. I didn’t have high expectations when we arrived, but was pleasantly surprised when we settled in and had opportunity to look around.
Despite the endless affections Scout and Tila offered Finn, he nonetheless sought out a cat without tail that was found on the property.
Finn was not able to find the cat on Monday morning and so wrote him a goodbye letter which he left in a tree. I could not persuade Finn that cats could not read, nor could they climb trees well. As we left the hacienda, I thought I had seen kitty (as Finn called him) resting on the bottom of the pool. Finn didn’t believe that either. He’s a smart kid.
From Navajoa, we travelled about an hour east to the small town of Alamos. In my opinion, this is by the far the nicest place in Sonora. We stayed at another hacienda right in the heart of the town. Since this was not the first place I had attempted to book, I was expecting to be a little disappointed. But as it turned out, it was really nice and the owner and staff were very kind.
We had an enjoyable time walking around town, taking photos, and enjoying the food. Finn and I had a lot of time to get to know each other and I have never been more impressed with his level of intelligence. In a couple days, he was able to memorize 1-100 in Spanish with the level of comfort that he could count backwards from 100 in multiples of 3, 7, 9, 11 and anything else we could throw at him.
We enjoyed Alamos so much the first day that we decided to stay an additional night. I’m glad we did. We had opportunity to explore more of the town and some spectacular Mexican wine! Well, at least what I was drinking was spectacular. My sister was stuck with a mostly disgusting sweet wine that tasted like a sherry. Even so, she finished it!
On Wednesday we left Alamos to return to Hermosillo. The drive was over 5 hours, but went quickly with enjoyable conversation. Kim and Finn left very early Thursday morning.
It was a great trip. I was sad when they left. I was able to reconnect with my sister after nearly three decades of separation. We had some very good conversations throughout the trip which were in many ways therapeutic f0r both of us. I am very grateful for our time together and hope that we have more opportunities like this in the future.