Monterrey, México, August 14, 2009

I checked out of Hotel Ibis in the morning, and for the rest of the trip I spent the nights at B.O.’s family’s house as their guest. Somehow, in the move I lost my beach sandals.

In the morning, we split a sandwich (I think it was queso y puerco) from OXXO as a light snack on the road, and drove to Coahuila state, to see the Museo de las Aves. Yes, it was a museum that was devoted exclusively to the birds of México; there were many fine specimens of birds were on display in various dramatic poses. There was a map at the museum that showed the various climates of México. It showed that Monterrey is in a temperate forested clime, not out in the desert.

Me With Display of Stuffed Ostrich

Me With Display of Stuffed Ostrich

Something that I got to wondering was, when a taxidermist is presented with a dead bird to mount for display, how do they decide what pose to put the bird in?

B.O. and Me at Museo de las Aves

B.O. and Me at Museo de las Aves

Comparing Crocs at Museo de las Aves

Comparing Crocs at Museo de las Aves

After the Museo, we visited B.O.’s friend V. in Saltillo, which is the capital of Coahuila. We didn’t stay long, since we needed to get back to Monterrey for dinner.


On the way back, we bought a braid of garlic (ajos) from a roadside vendor. The sign behind us indicates two local towns, Los Fierros and Rinconada; the vendor was from Rinconada.

Garlic Vendor and Me

Garlic Vendor and Me

Garlic Braids

Garlic Braids

B.O. has a ceramic container at home which she can use to roast the garlic. Roasted garlic — sounds delicious!

Roadside Landscape

Roadside Landscape


In the evening, I attended the weekly dinner of B.O.’s extended family. About 24 people were present. This photos is a little underexposed, but it gives a flavor of the setting.

Family Dinner

Family Dinner

Dinner was tostitacos, which looked like tacos in a red shell. B.O. assured me that this was the meal that they always had (i.e., they didn’t make a special meal just because I was visiting).

After dinner they threw a birthday party for me (although it wasn’t really my birthday), complete with birthday cake, to show me what their birthday parties are like. They give each birthday party a theme according to the particular celebrant’s in-jokes, personality, and history. In my case, the motif was Mr. Spock, which is a reference to an in-joke that B.O. and I have that I am very Vulcan. B.O.’s sister E. had spent a lot of time making cute table decorations; you can see one on the table in the foreground, in the photo above. They presented me with some birthday gifts, and then I showed them some old movies of my own family from the 70’s and 80’s.

Here are two of B.O.’s nieces.

M. and M.A.

M. and M.A.

Here’s B.O.’s nephew.

R. At The Computer

R. At The Computer

B.O.’s family had gone so far as to have a piñata custom made in the image of Mr. Spock.

Revellers and Piñata

Revellers and Piñata

Apparently, this helped drum up a little business for the piñata maker. I was told that two other customers saw the Spock piñata, and asked the piñata maker to make one for them, too.

The convention is that the celebrant gets the first swings at the piñata. But if the celebrant is an adult they take only “light” swings at the piñata without breaking it, to allow the children to take “real” swings. In any case, the piñata was surprisingly well-made, and didn’t break very easily (this one was not filled with anything).

Here’s A. taking a swing at the piñata. She is wearing her Snow White costume.

A. Having At It

A. Having At It

And here’s little V. taking a swing (with a little help from her father, B.O.’s brother E.):

V. Taking A Swing

V. Taking A Swing

According to this web page, the traditional piñata is shaped like a seven-pointed star to represent the Devil and the Seven Deadly Sins. So hitting it with a stick is symbolic of fighting evil.


Trip Summary

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] August 14 […]

  2. […] of B.O.’s brother E., the father of little V. who was shown taking a swing at the piñata on August 14. who served us a gourmet Italian meal that he cooked himself. Also at the table were E.’s […]


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