Sunday in Santa Cruz, California. Next, Spain

On Tuesday, my sister and I are leaving for a three-week trip to Spain, postponed from last October because of my knee replacement surgery. The knee is not totally back to normal but I’m bringing my beautiful hand-crafted North Carolina walking stick procured from the Pittsboro Roadhouse to help traverse ancient cobblestones.



Yesterday, I spent the evening with my 99 year-old mother. I’ve photographed her for publication in Minerva Rising,  Mothers issue and on my Facebook page. She still looks great. Though, from moment to moment, she may not remember our relationship, asks Are you Norma? and I reassure her that it’s okay to forget as we hold hands. Santa Cruz is a long way from Oaxaca. I try to get here several times a year.

This morning it’s foggy on the northern California coast. It’s errand and laundry day. Deciding what to pack for someone who always takes too much is daunting. I promised myself to take only one medium size suitcase. Same clothes with several different Oaxaca quechquemitls and rebozos. Layers. Learn to wash out underwear and socks on the road. Travel light. Hard for a collector.

Then, there’s the camera equipment. The internal debate. Should I bring only the prime 50mm lens, lightweight and easy to carry? In the old days before digital and zoom, the greats only used this lens to capture everything.

Or should I haul the 11-17mm wide angle and the 17-55mm pro, very heavy 27 ounces, photojournalism-style lens? Any advice out there? I will not give up my Nikon D7000 camera body, so please don’t suggest a point-and-shoot or my iPhone!

I will blog from Spain. The connection between Spain and Mexico is deep and long. This fascinates me. Mexican syncretism, her identity and her culture is rooted in both New and Old World.

So come along with us — to Barcelona, Bilbao and Granada — over the next few weeks. Who knows what or who will turn up? Maybe even Brigitte Huet and her husband Ivan Campant, Oaxaca’s silversmiths who returned to France last year.

P.S. I’ve started a Facebook Group: Mexico Travel Photography. Join and post your photos. Tell us what camera you use, lens type and settings. Let’s learn together!

P.P.S. Day of the Dead Photography Workshop in Oaxaca coming up in October.



8 responses to “Sunday in Santa Cruz, California. Next, Spain

  1. I am looking forward to your posts from Spain. Your observations and photos always shed light on interesting aspects of your travels.
    I think you have written about the Mexican/Spanish relationship before. Do you have a book or author you recommend on the subject?
    And so nice that you can still visit with your Mom.
    Also love the washing tip from other Norma.

  2. your mom is beautiful!
    have a wonderful, safe and healthy trip! aloha!

  3. What a great idea! The zip lock bag washing machine. I’ll do it. See you in July.

  4. here’s a trick i learned – take a large heavy duty ziplock type bag. you can put your socks/underwear, soap, water, zip it up and abuse it for a while. also handy if things are not quite dry when you are on the move.
    your mom looks fabulous.
    have a wonderful time!!

  5. Don’t forget to take your parka with you to Zelda’s. Hope you have a grand time in Espana! Your Mom looks like a grand Lady. Bruce A. ( in San Jose )

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