Juan of Words

Beauty in the simple things

Beauty in the simple things

This weekend I had one mission.  To spend downtime enjoying the absolute charm of doing nothing, and dedicating some effort to experiencing the world again without so much reliance on my phone or the Internet to stay abreast of “what’s going on right now.”  Then my Internet literally crashed and it was as if the universe was confirming that my instincts were on the right path.

For too long, the thought had been there.  “You need to get offline.”  Not because being online is bad or because my usage of the Internet is excessive, instead because every now and again it’s nice to not worry about Facebook and Twitter, Instagram and Vine, YouTube, etc., and rather just to think about the things and people right in front of us who we can see, touch and hear.  Face to face interaction is so much richer anyway.

I can’t laugh until I cry and my belly hurts from an online conversation.

To kick things off, I knew there was a paleteria we had all been longing to visit for quite some time.  We found this place on the way to my parents’ house one weekend and decided to give it a try.  Actually, it had always been there and we had seen it before, we had just never been tempted to stop.  That’s the thing about Texas summers, though.  They’re so hot you can fry an egg on the sidewalk and they make you desperate for anything 100 percent the complete opposite of dry heat and humidity.  La Michoacana Paleteria certainly fit the bill.

Saturday was one of those days.  All I could think about on the road to the paleteria were all the different flavors from La Michoacana I had tasted recently from the grocery store near my house.  They carry the prepackaged retail line of La Michoacana frozen goodies for about $1.50 each.  I’m a huge fan of chile, or anything spicy really, so when I saw they had new flavors like cucumber with chile and mango with chile, I had to make several vueltas to taste every single flavor.  Unlike other paletas, to me La Michoacana’s are more authentic, made with more natural ingredients.

At their actual ice cream storefronts even moreso.  I had a mango con chile paleta and it was at least 20 times better than the actual prepackaged offering at Sol Food Market (the grocery store by my house).  Anjelica really liked their grape-flavored ice cream.  It tastes like actual grapes and it is such a unique flavor.  You won’t find it at the stores either.  Believe me.  We tried.

They also had aguas frescas, and with all the chile I was eating I needed that fresh lime limonada to soothe my tongue.  Edgar had an agua fresca with banana and cream.  It was good, but way too sweet for my taste.  He likes dairy-based creamy things that are sweet.  My threshold for sweet in general is very limited.  I don’t even like chocolate that much.

The people there were really nice and they didn’t even mind us snapping so many pictures.  I told Anjelica the young couples sitting down eating helados together reminded me so much of the cute little couples in Mexico who would do the same thing in Cerritos after school let out.  There they’d be, still in their uniforms, laughing and smiling, flirting, and eating their helados in those mini cones that just seemed so tiny compared to the ones we’d buy on this side of the border when we were home.  She agreed.  It’s nice to have those similar experiences between us.

We left there giddy from all the sugar.

At my parents’ place, we visited with my mother.  She put up her chickens and watered her plants while I took pictures.  There is something so relaxing about being at home with one’s parents.  My mom is growing ochra, broccoli, chile peppers, piquin, and tomatoes, among many other plants.  That’s another thing me and Anjelica have in common.  Both our mother’s have very green thumbs.

Of course, a visit to my mom’s house just isn’t complete without delicious food.  She happened to have fried chicken, rice, a chile relleno, fajitas and homemade flour tortillas ready to go.  You know, quick go-to meals.

We took turns eating a little bit of everything.

It was great.

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