Riding The Bus: There's Never Been a Better Way To Travel in Mexico

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Mexico Bus
Photo: Sarah Heiman (Creative Commons license)

Chloe, who is now two-and-a-half years old, has the Ludwig Bemelmans book Madeline (website).  She likes me to read it to her at night before bedtime.

I mentioned she's two-and-a-half years old, right?  Yeah, so she'll hardly sit still through three pages before she'll say, "I WANT SOME MIWK" and that's aside from her squirming and wiggling around looking for the "cortner" of her purple blankey to swish against her nose.

To keep her on task, I've dug deep into my training as an English Major and pulled out this technique perfected by poets and jazz drummers alike: the caesura.  My instructor at ASU admitted that she just liked the way the word sounded as it slid from her mouth.

Let me illustrate how I exploit caesura as I read to Chloe.  The first lines from Madeline:

In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines,
lived twelve little girls in two straight lines.

In two straight lines they broke their bread,
and brushed their teeth, <caesura>

I wait for Chloe. As she sits on my lap I can see the side of her chubby cheek rise from a smile. "and went to BED!" she finishes for me.

If I just pause and let her finish off a random rhyme here or there, she'll pay more attention and maybe stop her squirming.

Toward the end of the book there's a page with an open air bus, [SPOILER ALERT] 11 of the girls are riding it to go see Madeline who just so happens to be in the hospital with appendicitis.

And one night last week Chloe pointed at the bus and asked, "Are dey widen da bus?"

"Yes, the are.  Where do you think they're going?"

"Are dey goin to Mexico?"

Did you notice that Chloe's geography skills are a little poor? Riding a bus from Paris to Mexico?  I doubt it.  But she seems to know where the fun places are.

She hit a soft spot with me. 10 years ago this June, I had a friend drive me and two other friends to Mexicali where he dropped us off with our backpacks, and we boarded a bus bound for Baja. We traveled down the peninsula, over to Mainland, down the Pacific coast and worked our way home through Copper Canyon after some three weeks.  "I think so." I said.  "Do you want to ride the bus in Mexico with Papa?"

"Mm-hmm.  Can Mama come too?"


Tomorrow, we're going to load up into the truck and drive down to Sierra Pinacate Biosphere Reserve in Sonora, Mexico.  We'll camp in the broad, wild desert and locate a quiet beach camp.  We'll cook fresh shrimp fajitas and wake up to the whispering tide.  We'll talk about taking a bus trip through Mexico, too.

For fun, here are two pictures from Chloe's first trip to Mexico when she was seven weeks old.  The Mexican ladies down there had a ball with her:

Just look at that little face...They've got nice hats, huh?


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