ARROYO SECO, Jalisco, Mexico - We were getting ready to head out to the beach today for a fiesta with our French surfer-dude amigo Julien when our welder-dude amigo, Victor, showed up with our new doors for the front of the property.
Victor is a welder, but beneath the goggles and torches, he is an artist.
And so a few weeks ago we commissioned him to build us some big steel doors for the front of the Pink Flamingo. Of course, the doors we ordered were to have a pink flamingo as part of the design.
They really do.
Victor with his artwork doors
The irony - and there is plenty to go around - is that after we had turned Victor loose on the project, we decided not to build a concrete wall out front this season, where the doors were to hang.
So now we have the doors, and next year will build a wall on which to hang them.
It might take me that long to get used to looking at the Pink Flamingo painted on them.
Julien, Michelle, Maurice and Max
After we got the doors squared away, the Admiral and I headed via quad to Playa Grande for a largely French family fete on the beach with Julien, his brother Max, father Maurice (and his wife, Michelle), Max's amiga Ana and Pink Flamingo Chief Education Officer Laura Warner.
The food was amazing: oysters, platters of barbecued dorado, fresh salads, tortillas, wine, and of course, a lot of Mexican beer.
But the most amazing part, for me, was trying to listen (and speak) English, French and Spanish, almost simultaneously.
It was amazing because years of high school and college French began to come back the more we talked. And Spanish was the default language when we couldn't communicate.
Thank you Jon Giacco (one of my high school French teachers), for drilling something into my head.
And also a thank you to Pink Flamingo Chief Education Officer Laura Warner (fluent in Spanish, French and English) for filling in the many gaps in conversation.
Mon Dieu! It was complicated.
Party dives into the oysters
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