Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Get Ready.... Day of the Dead Is Coming

We've enjoyed our first week in Mazatlán.  Hurricane Patricia turned out to be nothing.  Dave and Jamie arrived from PV with great stories to tell.  My cousin Sandi is here in town and she will be staying with us next week.  We had a shrimp lunch with her yesterday.  The weather is warmer than average but we are getting used to it.

Now it is time to prepare for the Day of the Dead.  It's a big celebration here that covers three days.  Last year we just watched and enjoyed, this year we are going to "paint-up" and join the parade.  We have our face paints, attire and hats.  Let the fun begin.

Each year when we arrive we have to stock the fridge and pantry.  We do most of our shopping at Mega.  This is no third world country grocery store.  It's as nice as any store in the states and nicer than most as a matter of fact.  I shot a few pictures to show what it looks like inside.

The produce section is awesome.
The Cactus lady preparing the Nopales.  Cactus is good, without the needles.

My favorite section is the bakery.  Croissants are 35 cents for the big ones.

The Mexicans love their cheese.  There were five women working in the cheese area.  We like Chiuwawaha cheese, it contains no small puppy dogs.

More types of cheese than you can imagine.
The butchers hard at work.
The dairy section has the world biggest selection of yogurts.
I'll have to shoot some photos when we go to the market in Centro.  That's more like stepping back a century to a time before grocery stores.  It is still a vibrant place and the best place to buy fresh fish and shrimp.

Life is good..... Terri having breakfast on the deck this morning.  It's in the high 70's when we get up, so it's nice to sit in the shade and enjoy the morning.

Sunrise this morning.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Red Sky at Night

Red sky at night, sailors delight.
        Red sky in morning, sailor take warning.

The sign in our elevator asked us all to remove our things off our balconies.  We agreed that is better to be safe than sorry.  Our furniture has been moved inside.

They are saying that we can expect winds and a storm.  But we are far enough away that the predicted Hurricane Patrica will only give us her remnants.  She is blowing winds at 205 miles per hour as she approaches south of PV which is a full state south of us.

But Mazatlán knows the damage a hurricane can cause from a distance.  Last year the hurricane in Cabo San Lucas caused major damage here.  Several hotel swimming pools were drug out to sea by the heavy surf.  Beaches were completely changed and many bulkheads did not hold back the sea.

Dave and Jamie were evacuated from their hotel in PV to the University of Neuvo Vallarta this morning.  We haven't heard from them since this morning so we are hoping they were able to catch a bus to Mazatlán today.  They were scheduled for a 1:30 bus on Sunday, so we are hoping they could move it up to today.

It's a calm warm evening as I sit out on the balcony.  I would never know there was anything going on.  Maybe the blood red sunset means something?

Life is good.... we will hope.

Greetings from Mazatlan

Home Sweet Home
It's good to be back home in Mazatlán.  The two day drive from Tucson to Mazatlán went smoothly and we arrived to find everything in great shape at our condo.  We have our property manager arrange for cleaning before we get here, it gets dusty in our six month absence.  The gardens and grounds here at Portofino look better than ever.

It's very warm and humid here because Summer is hanging on.  At least the pool is nice and warm.

The news is Hurricane Patrica is building to be the largest hurricane in history.  It will make landfall in the state south of us so we don't know what that will mean to us here in Mazatlán.  I would expect large surf in the next few days.  Brother Dave and his wife Jamie are in PV which is in the path of the hurricane.  They will be trying to catch a bus up to Mazatlán today to avoid the storm.  We have their room waiting for them.

They were scheduled to leave on a Sunday bus to spend the next month here in Mazatlán.  I hope they can catch an earlier bus out of PV.

Sundown last night.
This is the end of the summer monsoon season and the wetlands across the street are fuller than we have ever seen them.  Everything is very green and growing fast, a combination of plenty of water and sunshine.

Looking East from our sixth floor condo.
I'm hoping my pink flamingo will be back to its' spot in the wetland this year.  I enjoy watching the variety of birds that frequent the wetlands.

We've driven around town a few times and are amazed at the amount of building that happened in our six month absence.  Many businesses  were built and opened in a short period of time.  We now have two new Carl's Jr. burger places near us, I'm not sure that is great news. 

After several years of stagnate progress it looks like Mazatlán is in a building boom again.  There are many new hotels and condos being built.  The summer tourist season was the best ever with Mexicans coming in on the new Durango highway.  It has positively changed the economy for the local businesses. 

They are building a new restaurant on the marina in front of us.  We'll see what happens in the next month, I went down and poked my head in to see how they were doing.  I'm sure my supervision helped.

Time to eat some Mexican food.
Life is good..... the Seahawks won and we are ready for a nice Winter of sun.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Hanging Out In Tucson

We've been hanging out in Tucson this last week.  It has been a quiet week with very hot days and thunder storms.  Last night the skies opened and it poured.  We had an evening of lightening and rolling thunder that continued through the night.

The stay here has been a little longer than we planned due to car trouble.  As you may remember we had to replace the transmission in the motorhome this summer.  On the trip south the Honda Fit was acting strange.  We took it into the Honda dealer, they said it needed a new transmission.

We expected the worst but were happily surprised when the Honda company paid for the whole job.  The car is a 2012 with 42,000 miles so it is out of warranty.  Honda said that their transmissions don't fail at that age, so they picked up the whole bill. 

Honda is a great company. 

The procedures to enter Mexico have changed so we have been getting our paperwork ready for Tuesday morning when we cross the border.  We will take two days to drive the 750 miles to Mazatlán. 

The Honda is ready to go.... life is good.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Down the Road to Arizona

We stopped moving at a snails pace and put a bunch of miles under us the last two days.  We've made it to Lake Havasu City in Arizona where it is in the 90's this week.  We've moved from snow to very hot in just two days.  We covered extra miles because there is not much to see as you travel through the Mojave Desert.

In the last few days the first snow of the season fell in the Sierras.  With the draught last years snow had all disappeared by June, so the locals were happy to see the snow back.

Stopped for lunch at a rest stop.
The further South we traveled the warmer it got.  We had worked our way out of the snow topped mountains.

We climbed back up to above 8,000 feet and then entered the high desert of eastern California.

Barren Mojave Desert.
We finished the long hot drive through the desert and we're happy to be on Lake Havasu for a few days.  We have the air conditioning cranked up and are enjoying a couple of down days.

Sunset over the lake last night.
Life is good and warm.

From our RV park at Campbell Cove.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Bodie II

Here we go with more shots from Bodie, California.  It was a photographers dream.  You couldn't shoot a bad frame.

We'll start with the transportation section of the tour.

Ready for the snow, almost.
The gas pumps came to town in 1921.
This engine needs a little work.
Which will fall down first.... the snow sleigh or the building?

It's time for a walk up the hill to the graveyard.

Evelyn died at the age of three in 1897.

Baby coffins in the old mortuary.
I said it was a ghost town..... right.
Now for some worn wood and old doors.


Here is a shot of our new home in Bodie.  The sign is already in place.
Home Sweet Home.

Life is good.
I haven't run out of photos but I'll give you a break.


Bodie - A Ghost Town

Rusty relics and worn wood could be the byline for the town of Bodie, California.  This nineteenth century mining town of 8,000 has been left behind in a suspended state that reminds me of an old "Twilight Zone" TV show.

When the town finally closed in 1941, everyone just left this time capsule behind.

You can peer through the windows and see how the miners lived a century ago.  The size of a house and the rooms in it are tiny compared to today.  It had to have been a cold place to live, paper thin walls, tin roofs and single pane windows.

Through the looking glass of time.

Main street has survived time and the elements pretty well.  It's easy to picture this town in it's prime.

The Methodist church is standing still.
Most of the 70 taverns are no longer there.

I enjoyed the left behind machinery and equipment that was scattered through the town.  Rusty stuff is cool.

Maybe Terri can upgrade the Honda for one of these.
She would need a horse for this one.

This is it!!!
It was a great walk around an old ghost town.  I will save the graveyard and a bunch of other photos for the next blog.

Life is good in Bodie.