Today’s post is a photo montage dedicated to Dia de Los Meurtos. During our five-week road trip to Southern California last year we were fortunate enough (due to Bruce’s brilliant on-the-road research skills) to attend a community Dia de Los Meurtos celebration in a real graveyard in the community of Camarillo.
The afternoon was hot, the colours brilliant and the communal nature of the celebration was breathtaking. The order of the day was food, vendor booths and entertainment.
We watched as family after family, loaded down with picnic baskets and stunningly bright marigolds, were transported by motorized carts out to various grave sites. Once there, they ate and celebrated the memory and spirit of those family members gone before them.
I bought a beautiful necklace from a booth specializing in Mexican Folk Art – Yolteutl Art by Elehuiany Law – she is also an awesome face painter!
Soon after we arrived at the Celebration, we met Xavier Montes – a man well over six feet tall dressed all in white. A striking man, he seemed to be a Camarillo ambassador of some type. He made a point of checking out the strangers in town – introducing himself to us and making sure we found our way to his booth. He plays the harp for weddings and parties and also turns his hand to original artwork.
Thank you to the community of Camarillo for your warm welcome as two strangers from Canada wandered through your celebrations finding so much to enjoy.
This week’s photo challenge got me thinking about the way Bruce and I tend to remember fun moments of our trips – we recall where and what we ate. The experience of eating is so rich with sensory data that it allows one to open an entire file of memory. I’ve chosen three lunches from our 2012 trip down to California.
This is Bruce posing with a Greek chicken wrap and the best fries ever. They are topped with garlic and cilantro. We were sorely tempted to order more and that is saying something when you see the stack they gave us to start with. We were visiting the Getty Villa, just outside of Malibu and stopped for lunch at their restaurant deck with a fabulous view of the entire complex. The photo of the flowers (above) shows the stunning beauty of pink oleander from beside one of the Villa’s huge pools.
Here we have Mandarin chicken and jasmine rice dotted with poppy seeds. We had this lunch at an outdoor cafe in Ashland, Oregon, right before seeing a play at their very famous Shakespeare Festival. The sun was shining and the day was set for perfection.
The play was All the Way – about Lyndon Johnson and his passion (and often sly but hilarious behind-the-scenes manoeuvring) to see a civil rights amendment pass prior to his bid for re-election. A most enjoyable and fascinating production.
In these two photos we are having an early lunch on Olvera Street, right across from Union Station, in downtown Los Angeles. It was a huevos and frijoles dish of eggs and beans and chiles. Delicious. But we had the atmosphere going for us – we were in Los Angeles just before the Dia de los Muertos Celebrations – Nov. 2nd. Many of you may think of this as All Souls Day. Everywhere we looked we saw artfully done skeleton masks, sugar skulls, elaborately decorated altars and beautifully painted faces.
Food for thought – food for the soul – food of the Gods – whatever you want to call it, experiences of eating bring back the memories of holidaying.