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The Introverted Stay-at-Home Mom: Uniquely Challenged and Abundantly Blessed

girl-by-lake

Dear grocery store clerk,
I’d like to apologize. I’ve been avoiding you. You offer to take my groceries to the car and I turn you down. You try to get my attention in the parking lot to take my cart back and I pretend I don’t see you.

Dear friend,
I’d like to apologize. I’ve been avoiding you. I have waited too long to return your phone calls or I haven’t returned them at all.

Dear sweet children of mine,
I’d like to apologize. I’ve been avoiding you. I have reached my socialization quota for the day. Instead of finding a quiet space, I had a meltdown.

Dear passenger,
I’d like to apologize. I’ve been avoiding you. I spent 45 minutes serving drinks and food to you. I socialized with you. I laughed at your jokes and made a few of my own. I engaged your children. I was warm, friendly, and accommodating. But I reached my limit and needed to go hide in the galley for a few minutes so that I could recharge my batteries.

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Posted by on August 17, 2014 in Parenting

 

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WE’VE MOVED… to WWW.MOMONTHEFLY.COM

we've moved pic

DEAR READERS: The moment is finally here! My blog is now self-hosted. Please find me at:

WWW.MOMONTHEFLY.COM

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Simplicity in the End Times: The Believer’s Real Purpose for Becoming Minimalist

 

Jerusalem

“This week I dreamt that I was in Israel in the midst of missiles and I saw them coming right to where I was. What a horrible feeling it was. It felt very real. It felt like I was really there and a voice said: these are signs of the end times, behold I am coming back.”

I read this facebook post by a friend on Sunday, July 20, 2014. Another friend commented on the post shortly thereafter:

…you’re not going to believe this…I had the same dream. The next day I saw the news on tv. Surreal. Let’s pray for Israel.

I read them shortly before leaving to meet with my small group that gets together twice a month.  I was going by myself this time so I was able to meditate on what I had read in the car on the way to the church. I felt a stirring inside me. I felt the Lord speaking to me about my life in the end times.

It is as if I felt a shift in my priorities. All of a sudden so many things that I had been worrying about seemed so small.  My perspective was completely changed and I felt compelled to share it.

How I view my time has changed. How I view certain “problems” in my life has changed. How I make decisions has changed.

The new question or filter that I run everything in my life by is:
Will this action or decision advance the kingdom of God on this earth and have an impact on eternity?

I have been reading about the minimalist movement for at least a year now. It’s kind of hard to miss if you’re on facebook. It emphasizes paring down possessions in your life with the goal of living more simply. The proposed benefits are numerous. You can read more about it here.

My husband and I were forced to “minimalize” our lives a bit when we moved to a new house a couple of years ago. We needed a house with four bedrooms and in the right school district. Our previous house had 1700 square feet, a basement, an attic, and ample closet space. It was twenty years old.

The house we moved to was forty years old, had 1300 square feet, no basement, no attic, and very limited closet space.

Needless to say, we had a big garage sale before we moved.

As our family has grown, so have our expenses. I have looked for ways to minimize our monthly bills.  Our satellite TV contract expired shortly after we moved to this house. We cancelled our service and signed up for Netflix. $8/month for TV is not bad.

Despite our huge garage sale, we still came to this house with way more than would reasonably fit here.

We have rearranged the furniture countless times until we finally came up with something that would be the best use of our space. We still struggle for storage space but we’re not ready to throw away things like the Christmas tree and my old yearbooks.

There are many practical reasons to become minimalist or simplify our lives. However, I believe that as believers living in the end times, there is a much greater purpose to it.

There has been an exponential increase of darkness in the world in recent years. So many things happening in the world point to the coming of Jesus very soon.

So many things have happened that many have started to question if it will happen in our lifetime or at least our children’s lifetime.

It brings a greater sense of urgency to get to work here and now.

It is time to lay down the self-pity, petty arguments, and all other things that take up our precious time and render us useless for His kingdom.

I realized that I have been worrying about many things that have no eternal impact.

Of course, we do live on planet earth and have things that do need taking care of. We can’t be so focused on heaven that we neglect to pay our bills or take care of our bodies.

However, I feel convicted during these times to stop and ask the Lord what His plan really is for our lives now. I feel a much greater peace about hard subjects such as when will we be able to buy a house?

Now when I think about the huge medical bills I racked up last year during my illness, I look at it with different colored glasses. It’s there and something needs to be done, however I refuse to spend my emotional energy worrying about it anymore.

My conviction now is to do the best that I can according to what God has led me and equipped me to do. The rest is up to Him.

You’ve probably heard of a little book that came out in 2000 that became a huge sensation worldwide: The Prayer of Jabez. It received so much attention and acclaim that even Christmas ornaments with the prayer were sold that year.

Have you ever heard of the book Secrets of the Vine that came out a year later? Same author: Bruce Wilkinson.

I liked the first book. I loved the second one and have always preferred it. It explores John 15 and how remaining in Him and allowing Him to prune us will enable us to bear much fruit for his kingdom.  I can’t recommend this book enough.  It is a short book and is life-changing.

John 15:1 NKJV I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.

I went through a money management seminar at our church recently. There were definitive steps on how to manage your money, get out of debt, and stay out of debt. It was a lot of wonderful information.

However, I finished that seminar feeling guilty and like a failure. I felt like a failure for not being able to implement all the steps that were part of the plan. I have been carrying around this guilt for a long time.

The revelation I had after reading about my friends’ dreams changed all that. I realized that God is not mad at me. I realized that I have done the best I can. I realized that I was trying to make it all up to me when it was really all up to Him.

I also realized that worrying about this kind of thing was a waste of precious time.

My prayers have changed since I read those dreams. I now pray with greater faith, understanding that God has a plan for every one of our “problems”. We must trust Him with these things because He has a plan for us to be about His business while we are here on planet earth. He will take care of the rest.

My challenge to you today is to ask God to show you what things in your life need to be pruned in order for you to be more effective in His kingdom.

It may be a monthly expense that is not really necessary. It may simply be stuff that you (or your kids) don’t really need. It might be something in your schedule that is taking time that God wants to use elsewhere.

It may be in your heart. There may be pruning that needs to be done there.

As believers, we must be kingdom-minded, especially in these times. It is a challenge for those of us who live in prosperous, consumerist, developed countries.

The goal for being minimalist as a believer should never be just to lead simpler lives and have less stress. It has taken on a greater significance in these end times: to be the most useful we can for His kingdom here and now.

Image courtesy: Pixabay

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2014 in Christian Living

 

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Planes, Buggies, and Chicken Nuggets – Part II

Disney Planes: Fire & Rescue

Disney Planes: Fire & Rescue

If you missed Part I, click here to read it first.

Sunday morning proved to be uber stressful. I had decided that the 10am service would fit best with the kids’ schedule. At the same time I was dressing the kids for church and getting them a morning snack, I was trying to put together travel tickets for my stranded family. We had to buy them standby tickets on another airline to get them to another airport in order to fly home.

I was having technical difficulties with the website that handles these transactions. It was well past 9am. I hadn’t showered. After several attempts to make it work and to contact someone who might know how, I finally gave up and went to shower.

I turned on the water, and after it got hot enough, I pulled up on the shower pull when all of a sudden water began shooting out of the side of the showerhead instead of down. The bathroom floor, bedroom floor, and parts of the bed were all wet.

I had to stop and laugh for a minute. It seems that every time that we are preparing to go to church, things like this will happen to try to discourage us from going. Here I was on my own, late, and in the middle of a travel crisis, trying to get two little kids and myself ready for church.

I said something aloud like “This isn’t going to stop me.” I plugged my kids’ water nozzle into the showerhead and used that to bathe instead. It wasn’t as easy as taking a regular shower but it was a good substitute.

I didn’t want to miss this service because I knew that afterwards there would be people available to pray for the sick. I was ready to go up there to be prayed for.

We miraculously headed out the door at 9:45am and made it on time for the church service. The presence of God was strong during worship.

The battle wasn’t over, though. Kids four and over stay with parents during the worship part of the service so my daughter was with me. In the middle of a very special, intimate moment of worship, she tells me she has to go potty. No problem. We made a quick trip to the bathroom and returned before the song was over.

She was sitting next to the wall and a few minutes after we returned, she went to slide down from her seat to the floor, hitting her arm and elbow on the trim, cutting her arm. At first I thought she was okay, however, I looked down at my beige capri pants and saw two blood stains there from when I had held her after she hurt herself and was crying. I took her out to the foyer and asked for a first aid kit.

They had Band-Aids but nothing to clean the wound. I found a couple of antiseptic wipes from my purse and cringed at the thought of cleaning her cut with it. I cleaned it as fast as I could and covered it with a Band-Aid.

Following a sermon on Acts 9, they invited people to come to the front for healing prayer. I had already written a list on a pew card of everything for which I needed prayer. I took the list up to the women who were to pray for me.

As I looked at the list, I realized that everything on the list were a direct result of childbirth. Most of the physical problems I was having happened following my C-section with my last child, born three years ago. My body is very different than it was before the first child.

Two beautiful women of God took great time and detail to pray over every part of my body that had been in pain or not working right.

I left around noon with the kids and headed back to the same McDonald’s we had been to the day before. (I normally don’t feed my kids fast food all the time; however, this weekend was different).

I encountered the same woman I had spoken with on the phone the day before. I asked her if I could order a happy meal instead of ten nuggets. Our family would never get close to finishing ten nuggets. She was happy to make the change.

I ordered the same meal I had tried to order the day before. This time I asked for Gogurt instead of the apples. When she finished taking my order, she said, “Thank you and God bless you.”

I thought that was interesting.

As we sat down to eat, I began to pull the food out of the bags. She had given us six nuggets instead of four. She gave us two regular fries instead of kid fries, and she gave us three toys instead of two. Each of the kids would have a little race car to play with.

I was very touched by her generosity and could tell that she really did her job with a heart for people. If every McDonald’s worker were like her, every McDonald’s would be packed to the gills all day long.

After they finished their chicken, I got out the two Gogurt tubes for my kids. Gogurt should come with a label that says “not suitable for children under the age of 7”. Two slimy trays, two slimy mouths, and about fifty napkins later, the yogurt was consumed.

I took the kids home and prepared them for their nap.

The standby vigil that day began around 3:30 in the afternoon. This time they would have to make it on two flights to get home. I stayed in close contact with my husband who informed me that they would know at 4:20 if they would make it on the domestic flight down there.

4:20 came and went.

4:30 came and went.

4:45 and still no word.

The flight was leaving at 5pm so when I hadn’t heard anything by that time, I assumed that they were on the plane and hadn’t had time to call me before leaving.

I had been posting on facebook asking friends and family to pray for favor for them to make it home. The next flight they were scheduled on looked much better. In fact, there were two flights that night.

I thought I could relax after they made it on their first flight. However, upon making contact with him, I discovered that they were five minutes from the cutoff time for check-in with at least 30 people in line ahead of them.

I suggested he find an agent quickly and we hung up.

I checked my computer about ten minutes later and saw they had successfully checked in on time. They were the first ones on the list so they got on the flight in first class with no problem.

My weary travelers finally made it back to the house mid-morning on Monday.

I’m not sure why, but all the energy I had over the weekend to handle taking care of two kids by myself just left when my husband returned. I felt completely drained all day. I really struggled. He was exhausted from his trip and slept most of the day.

I was supposed to be on call again for work the next day. Instead of being on call at the airport, I decided to roll the dice and be on call at home.

Everything seemed to look good for me to be off at least during the morning hours. However, around 9pm, that all changed. An international flight from that evening would have to be rescheduled for the morning.

Rio de Janeiro.  They would need Portuguese speakers. The writing was on the wall.

I knew it was a matter of time before I got the call so I went ahead and prepared my suitcase and uniform for an early morning.

Oh but that pesky scratchy throat. It had continued to bother me all weekend. I was feeling drained and could not lay down without coughing.

I had a fleeting thought to call in sick but dismissed it quickly. I would suck it up and go on this trip. 24 hours in Rio de Janeiro awaited me and I don’t like to call in sick.

I posted it on facebook. I knew that I would get at least some likes and I knew that this would seem way more exciting for other people than it actually was for me. I had absolutely no desire to do this trip. I appreciate my job very much, but not when I don’t feel well.

I knew my husband was tired and most likely didn’t like the idea of me leaving early in the morning for a three-day trip, however he didn’t complain.

I went to bed and tried to sleep. It’s always hard for me to sleep when I know I’m getting up the next morning for a long flight. I had no idea why the flight had not operated the night before. I was not looking forward to a plane full of unhappy passengers who had probably slept very little themselves if at all.

Then there was that pesky sore throat. It woke me up at 4am.

At that point, I had to start reconsidering going into work. I knew my body was fighting sickness. My energy was drained. I was coughing. And my throat kept hurting.

I had exactly 30 minutes to make up my mind. I kept resolving to go to work and trying to go back to sleep. Indecision kept sleep at bay.

I have a hard time calling in sick for work. I feel bad about affecting the operation and about affecting the life of the next person on the list who I know is going to get whatever trip I am getting off.

I kept praying about it but was honestly unsure of His will. I finally decided to go ahead and make the call. It was 4:20am. I had until 4:30am to call without getting in a lot of trouble. I prayed that I would get someone nice on the phone.  I did.

While I was up, I looked at facebook and saw that I had gotten lots of likes on my status update about going to Rio. I commented on it, informing everyone that I had had to call in sick for the trip.

Fifteen minutes after hanging up and getting back in bed, my phone rang two more times with automated messages from work informing me of a trip on my schedule. It was the same trip. I got out of bed and called them back. It was a mistake. They knew I was supposed to be off the trip.

The next decision I agonized about was whether to send the kids to the sitter the next day so I could get better. I try to send them only on days I am working so we save money.

Further indecision kept me awake the rest of the night until morning. By the time the kids woke up, I had decided I would call the sitter about bringing them over. My body was run down and fighting illness.

I spent the day resting as best as I could. I took an hour-long nap in the afternoon. After waking up, I felt completely refreshed. It wasn’t just doing less; it was also spending a day in a quiet, calm, kid-free house.

When I checked facebook again, I had gotten more likes on my status about the trip. Despite the fact that I had let everyone know that I wasn’t going on the trip, people continued “liking” my status all day! I finally commented on my status and said, “You can stop liking the post. I didn’t go to Rio lol.”

By the end of the day, I was so glad I had called in sick. I even slept better that night. For some reason, it seems that we sleep better when we feel rested to begin with.

Another flight attendant picked up my last reserve day this week so I truly would not have to work at all the rest of the week.

As I look back over the events of the past five days, I see that there was much challenge; however, the hand of God was also present, giving me light for every step and grace that was more than enough.

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Planes, Buggies, and Chicken Nuggets – Part I

PLANES

Disney Planes Fire & Rescue

I returned from Bogotá with a pesky scratchy throat. But more on that later.

At the end of every summer, my husband flies to Brazil to escort my stepdaughter back to the States. It is a law in Brazil that children may not leave the country with one parent without the legal permission of the other parent. So every year my husband flies all night to Brazil, collects my stepdaughter, and returns that same night to come back home.

He would be leaving Friday night and they would return together Sunday morning. I would be by myself with the kids for the weekend so I planned some fun things for us to do.

After the quasi-disastrous first experience at the movie theater a couple weeks ago, some people from an online support group for sensory processing disorder told me about “sensory friendly movies” at AMC. There was one scheduled for this weekend so I thought that would be a perfect distraction while daddy was out of town.

These special showings are infrequent and only a couple of theaters in our metro area offer them.  This Saturday’s feature would be the new Disney Planes movie. My kids never saw any of the Cars movies nor the first Planes movie. I whet their appetite by showing them the trailer of the new movies on the computer at home before we left.

My daughter asked to take the headphones with us despite the fact that I explained to her ahead of time that this movie would not be too loud like the last one.

We arrived at the theater in plenty of time before the movie was to start. I found booster seats to put in the chairs. (I had never seen this before. I wish it had been available at the dollar theater we went to a couple weeks ago).

Planes movie pic sensory

We stood in line to order a medium popcorn and some Bunch a Crunch. I had brought a couple of plastic containers to divvy out the popcorn for them. Passing around the popcorn bag doesn’t work with small children.

The sensory friendly movies had been advertised as something where kids could feel free to get up and move around, as they needed. The lights would be kept up during the movie. The volume would be kept down low.

I had some expectations for what this experience would be like. I expected to see lots of autistic kids in the theater. I expected it to be noisy and was prepared for potential meltdowns.

There was just one noisy kid in the theater that morning. Only one kid burst into tears and demanded to be taken home.

My kid.

I ran into some of the theater staff as we made our way to the potty during the previews. My daughter still had the headphones on her ears and  tears streamed down her cheeks.

The staff apologized and said that the trailers were always louder than the actual movie. They explained that they had turned down the volume as much as possible. I told them I was surprised at my daughter’s reaction. I really was.

My daughter has never had enough checkmarks in the right categories to be diagnosed with autism though she showed definite warning signs as a toddler. I am well aware that autism is always accompanied by SPD (though the opposite is not always the case).

I expected to see other kids acting out in the theater, not mine.

I could have taken the kids home at that moment, but I chose not to for two reasons:

1. I felt that my daughter should watch at least the first 15 minutes of the movie before giving up on it.
2. I felt it would be unfair to my son to deny him the experience.

I have witnessed my daughter exposed to much higher levels of sound without incident many times. I believe that she is at a place where the anticipation of noise is far worse for her than the actual noise. She is still highly sensitive to noise; however, I am familiar enough with her threshold to know about how much noise she can tolerate.

She eventually calmed down and settled in enough to watch the movie even without headphones.

I had expected there to be drama in the movie theater (in the seats, not on the movie screen) from the other kids. However, we were the ones providing the most in-seat entertainment. My kids talked the loudest, cried the most, and moved around the most. I started to think I was the “bad mom” in the crowd among the eight families there.

After finally making it to the end of the movie that didn’t really hold my kids attention, we headed to McDonald’s to get some food. It was already their naptime so I just went through the drive-thru. For my typical kid, I ordered a happy meal with all the usual fixin’s knowing he would eat every bit. For my SPD kid, I ordered just four chicken nuggets.

The movie theater was about a 25-minute drive from our house. My youngest fell asleep in the car. (You parents of young kids know what that means). By the time we arrived home with our food, this little kiddo was rested and energized.

I went to get our food out of the bag at home. There was only a happy meal. No separate order of chicken nuggets. I was already feeling tired and testy from the events of the day. I said “stupid McDonald’s” under my breath. OK, maybe I said it out loud.

I checked my receipt and it showed I had indeed paid for it. I grumbled because I always make the same order for my kids and on more than one occasion, they have forgotten the second order of nuggets.

I called the store and the woman I spoke with immediately apologized for the mishap. She gave me a credit for a 10-piece nuggets the next time we came in. I had to take a moment and tell God that I trusted Him to take care of us despite the food shortage. It was too late to drive all the way back there.

I divided the nuggets between the two kids. My youngest proceeded to eat everything but the nuggets. I was somewhat in shock. I was able to give the other two to my daughter.

As expected, my little boy never fell asleep again after his restorative catnap in the car.

Since they were both awake, it was time to do what I had been dreading all weekend. I hadn’t had time to grocery shop before my husband went out of town and we were totally out of food so now was the time.

I debated a lot over where to grocery shop. I have been going to Walmart in order to keep the grocery bill down for our family of five, however going by myself with two little kids makes things much more complicated.

Publix is the most expensive regular grocery store we have here. (I’m not counting specialty stores like Whole Foods). However, there are some real benefits to shopping there. It is a much more kid-friendly (read: parent-friendly) experience. They have plenty of shopping carts designed to hold more than one kid and they always take your groceries out to the car for you.

I decided in the end that I would brave Walmart. I had a talk with both the kids before we left, explaining to them that they would have to take turns sitting in the cart. By the time we got to the store, they were prepared for this. My little one stayed in the cart while the older one walked. I parked right next to the cart return so that would be easier.

I remembered at some point during our shopping trip that church was at 7pm that night. Oh boy. How was I going to manage that? I was exhausted and hadn’t had time to get anything ready for my stepdaughter’s return. There was lots of cleaning to do. I finally decided I would need to attend one of the Sunday services instead.

That evening as I was preparing dinner for them, I began the vigil to see if my husband and stepdaughter would get seats on their flight back to the U.S. They were flying standby. The flight was somewhat oversold in coach but still had seats in first class. I had been confident they would have no problems.

Anyone who is in the airline family knows how nerve-racking the vigil is, especially for travel overseas. The stakes are higher. I can make it by myself with the kids for a few days; however, my husband has a job waiting for him.

Fortunately, they have free Wi-Fi in their airports in Brazil so we were able to keep in touch.

They were bumping paying passengers for the flight. The two of them stayed there until the very end just in case a miracle happened. After failing to get on the flight, they returned to his aunt’s house to spend one more night. Things didn’t look any better for the next day’s flight.

I thought to myself that at least I would sleep better that night. I never sleep well when my family is on an airplane flying over the ocean.

Stay tuned for Part II tomorrow.

Note: My self-hosted website is under construction. More details to come!

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2014 in Parenting

 

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Exposed by my children for what I really look like

This is a must read for moms, women, and men who struggle with self image. It is the first time I have reblogged something. It is worth the read!

Bridgette Tales

Flipping through the pictures on my phone, I see it.

blogpic

My first reaction is shock. Who took this hideous picture of me?

Self-loathing and disgust swell up and threaten to bring me to tears.

Just as I am about to hit delete, my boy walks in the room.

“Do you know anything about this picture?” I ask him.

I turn the screen so he can see it. He smiles huge.

“I took that of you in Tahoe,” he says. “You looked so beautiful laying there. I couldn’t help it mom.”

“You need to ask me before using my phone to take pictures,” I say.

“I know,” he says. “But mom, seriously, look how pretty you look?”

I look at the picture again and try to see what he sees.

My daughter walks over and takes a look.

“That could be a postcard mom,” she says smiling. “You’re so beautiful. I…

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Posted by on July 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Romancing the Kidney Stone

Bogota_edit

The sonographer was Cuban. He was one of the few health care professionals that ever dared attempt to pronounce my very long Portuguese last name when calling me from the waiting room and the only one who ever pronounced it perfectly.

By the time I had the ultrasound of my kidneys, the stone I had been dealing with the week before had mercifully already passed.  He told me I was among 15% of people who pass stones with minimal or no pain.

I prepared to be on call the next few days for work.  At around 9:30am on the second day, I got the call.

Colombia.

I had not been there in at least two years. I have avoided going there because of the high altitude of 8,300ft (2500m). Memories of my last couple of trips there still resounded in my mind. On one of those trips, I was pregnant with my son.

Not a fun way to spend a layover.  I was thankful however, that this trip was on my schedule and not something more difficult.

I whisked the kids to the sitter, returned home to get ready, and headed to the airport in the afternoon.

I still remember the first time I landed in Bogotá. Upon exiting through the airport doors, the scene was exactly like what you see in Romancing the Stone. Mobs of people everywhere. You had to push your way through to make it to your car. I wished that we all had a rope to hold on to like in elementary school.

This trip, however, was different. I arrived in a beautifully renovated terminal. It was clean, well organized, and easy to navigate. Our time going through immigration was briefer than I had remembered, and there was no mob waiting for us on the curb.

I made it to my hotel room and took a little time to unwind before bed. Our stay would be brief so I needed to rest well.

I woke up one hour and a half before my alarm feeling completely drained. The lower concentration of oxygen in the air is difficult to adjust to if you normally make sea level (or close to it) your home.

When I moved to New Mexico for college years ago, it took about six weeks to adjust to the altitude. Until then, I coughed all the time with congestion in my lungs and had to come home to my apartment and rest after short periods of exertion.

I haven’t figured out the secret yet to surviving these short trips to high altitude locations. (Aside from being in great physical shape with regular exercise).  I honestly wondered how I was going to have the strength to get ready to go downstairs.

As I had heard that staying hydrated was key, I downed the entire of the large unopened bottle of water I had with me.

I prayed on the armor next. By the time I was through, I felt physically transformed. I felt strong enough to make all my preparations before heading downstairs for breakfast.

Ah breakfast.

I had no idea what awaited me downstairs.

As a Spanish-speaking flight attendant, I have seen some good breakfast buffets in Latin America, but never anything quite like this. In addition to the traditional breakfast ham and cheese, there was also turkey ham and chicken ham!

There was something called oatmeal smoothie. I was unable to discern what its American equivalent would be (I don’t think there is one).  Check out this great website for a recipe for this drink as well as other Colombian delicacies.

There was a separate bar area only for any type of sweet bread you could imagine.

There was a selection of fruit-flavored yogurts on ice as well as tropical juices.

There was an omelet station.

There was a large pot of creamy oatmeal.

There were several cereals available for the more gringo taste.

Breakfast meats such as bacon and ham. Chicken and mushroom pie. And a mixture of seasoned beef and chicken (my personal favorite of the morning).

Arepas, of course. I have had these in Venezuela, however, the Colombian version I had here was white, and with no seasoning whatsoever, just a deliciously tangy white cheese for dipping. As I savored all these brilliant assaults on the palate, I wondered if the average Brazilian would find Colombian food quite lacking in salt. Although the food was delicious and savory, it was not salty.

Arepas on the grill

Arepas on the grill-Courtesy Wikipedia

Then there was the coffee.

Although caffeine and I aren’t friends, it’s almost impossible for me to resist the mixture of fresh Colombian coffee mixed with piping hot steamed milk poured into my cup at the table.  In retrospect, I wish I hadn’t ruined it with Splenda.  I had come this far.  Why not put real sugar in it?

I was inspired enough to seek out some Juan Valdez coffee in the airport. Even my Brazilian friends rave about this stuff. I thought I remembered paying around $7 for it in the past; however, it is now $14. I skipped it.

I was relieved (as I always am) once we were in the air and headed home.  I am very grateful to have had the experience of enjoying Colombia and her people again.

I probably won’t seek out one of these trips in the near future. I will allow time to pass again so that I may savor each and every one of Colombia’s charms again next time.

Note: This has been a very tough week in the aviation family.  My heart and prayers go out to the loved ones of MH17, GE222, and AH5017.

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2014 in Travel

 

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