Home is wherever we are, and Mendoza is where we are now

Dear Nicalai,

We moved to Mendoza, Argentina in mid-September. That’s where they make a wine called Malbec. That may be Papa’s favorite wine, and that may be why we came to Mendoza. I don’t know.  What do you think?

Anyway, Mendoza is home now, and I’m not complaining.  In fact, I’m very happy here.  Nona found us a very comfortable AirBnB apartment to live in while we’re here.

Doesn’t Nona and Papa’s bedroom look appealing?

Doesn’t Nona and Papa’s bedroom look appealing?

Our apartment is a very modern place, but it has a homey feel to it, with kitchen, a roof top terrace, and easy walking to the shopping district and parks.

Speaking of homes and parks, they are just loaded with birds, and one type of bird has a strange name. The hornero (that name means “oven”)  has one the nicest homes in the park. You’ll see why it’s called an “oven bird.”

Doesn’t this hornero bird nest look very modern but also very homey, all at the same time?  Also, doesn’t the nest look like a little wood oven?

Doesn’t this hornero bird nest look very modern but also very homey, all at the same time?  Also, doesn’t the nest look like a little wood oven?

It’s spring here, so birds were making their new nests.  The hornero makes its nest out of mud. We watched a couple of horneos bringing mud up into a tree one beak-full at a time to build one of these beautiful nests.  Imagine how much work that takes them.

Where you are in North America, the fall season has begun, but, here in South America the seasons are reversed.  So, when September comes, spring arrives here.  We saw evidence of spring all around, and we smelled it too.

The many flowering trees, bushes, and vines provide the park and the city with lovely fragrances . Papa says that “fresh air is always better than airfreshener.”

The many flowering trees, bushes, and vines provide the park and the city with lovely fragrances . Papa says that “fresh air is always better than airfreshener.”

I especially feel at home when we walk in our neighborhood. The trees create arches over our street, and I feel like I am walking in a living room with a vaulted ceiling.

Imagine getting to walk down this street everyday.  That’s what we do here at home in Mendoza!

Imagine getting to walk down this street everyday.  That’s what we do here at home in Mendoza!

Oh, hey, another thing that we do is to go out for breakfast sometimes.  We go to a special place not far from our apartment. It’s called Anna’s Bistro.

Anna’s Bistro serves french-type pastries in the morning. Mornings are when we like to go there, but they have good lunches and suppers too.

Anna’s Bistro serves french-type pastries in the morning. Mornings are when we like to go there, but they have good lunches and suppers too.

I like to pretend that we’re visiting our own Auntie Anna in California when we go to this bistro. It’s homey and has a pretty interior design, just like Auntie Anna would have.

So, now you know about our new home in Mendoza.  I wish you could come for a visit, because I know you would like it, and you could practice your Spanish too. Bye! I’m your friend.

Love,

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Solbit

September 2016

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit sees cool places for a house …

Dear Nicalai,

After traveling around the world and up and down the west coast of the U.S., I’ve begun to think about different houses and places I might like, if I ever settle down.  We’ve only been in Oregon a few days now, but already I can see myself living here.  Papa says that’s because it’s part of a region of the country that is sometimes called “Ecotopia,” but I just think its because it is beautiful here.

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I love the view from this house we visited on a lava butte.  I could live here.

Did you know that a volcano made that lava butte? Unbelievably hot liquid rock came out of the ground and then cooled into solid rock.  I asked the park ranger, “Ms. Ranger, now that the molten rock has cooled, could we rent this place and move in please?”  She told me, “Sorry, Sweet Pea, but no one gets to live on top of the lava butte these days. It’s a public park.”  I almost missed what she said, because I was looking around for someone named “Sweet Pea,” but then I realized she meant me.

After we moved on, I asked Papa, “Why did she call me Sweet Pea?  Do I look like a pea?”  Papa said, “No, Solbit, you look sweet,” and he explained that “Sweet Pea” is “a term of endearment.”  A what?  He said she used it because she liked me! I get that a lot, you know.

Well, since I can’t live up high on that lava butte. Maybe I’ll go the other way. I could be happy with the flat view from this place.

Lower Klamath NWR and Tule Lake NWR

Papa said he grew up in a farm house that, like this one, was surrounded by flat fields, but his place didn’t have the distant view.

As soon as he said that, alarm bells went off in my little head.  I hear that farm work is hard and takes a lot of time. Maybe I wouldn’t want to be a farmer, but I’d like living here, if I didn’t have to be a farmer.

Finally, when we got here to Bend OR, I found my ideal. A little stone cottage by the Deschutes River. From this little cottage, I could look out the window and see all kinds of birds and river otters and sometimes a jumping fish!

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The sign here said “mechanical house,” so we’d have to remove the pumps and machines before moving in.  I think the location would be worth the effort, don’t you?

Oregon sure is my kind of place. All the countries and states we’ve visited have been great, but something about Oregon especially appeals to me.  I asked Nona and Papa if we could settle down here. Papa said, “No way, Sweet Pea, we still have a lot of traveling to do.”  I think he used that term of endearment like the park ranger did because he likes me, even if he doesn’t like my idea of getting a house here.

Who knows maybe I’ll want to live in the next place we visit. Yeah, like a place up near Machu Picchu in the Andes Mountains.  So I’m not complaining.

I’m your friend.

Love,

Solbit

May 2015

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”