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Monday, January 28, 2013

The First Full Moon!

Wally and I were feeling a little bummed out because of some recent events that I will probably blog about soon in an another upcoming post. So we really needed something to come along and take our minds off of things. We needed a mini vacation and we feel we got one in a surprising way. We learned that a vacation is really a "state of mind" and a slightly different venue is all it takes to effect this.

There are some newly imported expats who have a killer view of the water and sky at their place.  Yes, I must admit, even better than our view of the water. They only live 10 minutes away from us but we really felt we had stepped into a different world. They invited us to watch the "rising of the moon". Not just any moon but The First Full Moon of this year, 2013.

Sunday, January 27, 2013. The First Full Moon of the year!
We feasted on some salmon, Philadelphia cream cheese, red onions, capers and homemade bread. I was offered a Margarita drink which I accepted (it's been years since I had one) and then we had a mixed salad, a main entrée consisting of pork chops in a sauce with mushrooms and a helping of quinoa which was the first time we had ever tried that side dish (I think it's a rice-like grain). For dessert we had a custard, plum tart concoction. Yum, Yum! "Thank you guys" for your hospitality and "Thanks", for being such good cooks! That dinner was a great start to our vacation like evening.

The weather was deliciously warm and mosquito free. The pictures don't do the moon justice as it was a bright orange color, what I normally would have called a harvest moon but that's in a different season. It was just a spectacular color.

As we watched the moon rise we heard the sounds of drums beating in the distance and quite literarily the natives were getting restless. Okay, the native Uruguayos were about to start a concert and were warming up! Drums play an important part in the Uruguayan music culture and on most weekends you can hear groups of people playing the drums together in some park. Others, will actually parade up and down the streets playing together as a group. How much better for youths to do that as an activity than just pitifully hanging out in front of some local 7-eleven store like the youths often do back home in the States in most small towns across the USA.

This was the 6th year of a free to the public concert. The festival of the first full moon of the year held at  the Santa Rosa Fort or in Spanish, Fiesta de la luna llena del Fortín de Santa Rosa. There were no religious ceremonies involved. It was simply "a community event" enjoying music under the bright moon light. I had forgotten how much light a full moon can cast. Even though the concert started at 9 o'clock on a Sunday night everyone was out for the evening. Grandparents, parents, kids and even some dogs were playing and enjoying the music. It was a real family/community event. The event was started by Marcelo Rivero Stefanovich as a way for the community to come together and meet the year together. So Sunday/domingo January the 27th was an evening enjoyed under the stars and under the pine trees.

An open air amphitheater near El Fortín de Santa Rosa. Concert in the moonlight.
El Fortín de Santa Rosa is a hotel that was an old Fort. It has an old defunct cannon out front of it.. The neighborhood is named after this fort. There is also a park here above and next to the beach that has a natural amphitheater/anfiteatro natural.

Several bands played in this area that night. The first band up was the Silvina Gomez Gamarcia group. It was a mix of drummers, a guitar player, someone even played an accordion during 1 song and the lead was the keyboard player and singer, Silvina Gomez Gamarci. It was a cool jazzy/ brazilian sound. Very easy to listen to and I even understood some of what she sang in Spanish. She was very clear in her tone and singing. A big thumbs up from me.

The Silvina Gomez Gamarcia Band ,with Javier Sopra Viera Olivera (in hat)
The Diego Lacuesta trio played a few songs. They were worthwhile hearing while waiting for a  popular Brazilian group The Brasilereses. A singer named Rossana Taddei 3rd (Wally's now favorite)  and Gustavo Etchenique.

Rossana Taddei 3rd (Photo from Facebook site)
The woman Rossana was a chatty story teller singer that got the audience to chime into various songs with group hoots  and  during one song about estancia/farm life a few moos and goat sounds. Spanish cows go "Muu", English go, "Moo" .Wally compared her singing story telling to Joni Mitchell, although at the end she sang a Janis Joplin song in English called "Mercedes Benz' (Lord won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz). Wally wished he/we spoke better Spanish so we could have enjoyed her obvious many tales during her performance. We were up on a bluff looking down at the stage and amphitheater. Wally says we will try and go closer to the stage next time when we can't understand what's being said clearly. There were no assigned seats, just the stairs, the ground and whatever chairs you brought in yourself.

The last group to play to a thinning crowd at 2 O'clock in the morning was "Charlie y La banda del Perro" ( perro, means dog in Spanish) His group was fun and more "rockish" than the earlier Brazilian jazz sounding groups. Our dinner hosts had actually met the young man Charlie earlier that same night while he was playing away on his guitar practicing for the concert.

Wally and I slipped away from the concert for a few moments to walk along the beach, which is much wider than ours is. We saw that this neighborhood has a new metal lifeguard lookout station compared to the wooden one located at our beach. This community also has a new wooden boardwalk leading down to the sand. Our beach has some concrete steps that end halfway down, enough to get you to sand though.

We couldn't help feeling that we were on vacation,  It was a different vibe. It's funny what a great dinner, enjoyable hosts, a moonlight concert and a 10 minute distance can do to revive the spirit.


Seamus said...

Feliz año nuevo. Buena salud y buena suerte.

Anonymous said...

love how you enjoy most of the things around you
that is a blessing
old lady also retired in marindia