Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Music and More Music

A strange cloud cover at sunset.
So how do we plan our entertainment here in Mazatlán?  Everyday I look at one of the many listings that show what is happening that day.  "Cultura" keeps us informed on what is happening at Angela Peralta Theatre (the Opera House) and the other venues for the more formal arts. 

The various venues for the multitude of Mexican music styles is not something I follow because I could never stay up late enough to even catch the opening acts.  Often the shows don't even start until 11:00pm.  By that hour this old man is fast asleep.  I need to find Banda music a little earlier to preserve my sleeping hours.

My daily "go to" reference is Muziclan.  This Facebook site gives me a fairly complete look at what is happening for gingos around town that day and evening.  It also lets me know what my money is worth each day.  It also gives me the weather predictions.

It's Tuesday afternoon as I sit here in the sun.  It's a little cool but has already exceeded the predicted temperature and is 78 degrees.  That's cool for us.  Terri keeps a blanket on the couch to stay warm.

It's mid-week, so here is what's happening around town today.

Muziclán - Mazatlan Entertainment

Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Weather: partly to mostly cloudy, High 76 / Low 53 (24/12), humidity 68%.
Exchange Rate: USD 18.44 / CAD 13.12
Cardioaerobics at Plaza Zaragoza, 15 pesos, bring a towel and water, sponsored by DIF * CH
Baile Conmigo Latin Dance (exercise) at Plaza Zaragoza, 9 am, 20 pesos, wear comfortable shoes and clothing, bring towel and water, also on Thursday * CH
Book Exchange at Plaza Zaragoza, Mon - Fri, 9 am to 12 n, bring a book, leave a book. * CH
English Conversation Club at Plaza Zaragoza, 5-6 pm, free, adults only, not a class but conversation and study of vocab and pronunciation. Sponsored by DIF * CH
The Hacienda Homicide, Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre at Las Flores Hotel, 5 pm, in the beautiful "murder" events room. * GZ
Brenster’s Beach Bash at Diego’s Beach House, 2-6 pm, Country and pop on the beach, 270 pesos for all you can drink or 70 pesos cover and pay as you go. (Kannon will follow Brenster in a “Post-Beach Bash” party) * GZ
Fairly Honest Jon (Truthless) at Vancouver Wings, 5 – 8 pm * GZ
Kannon at Diego’s Beach House, to follow Brenster, 6 pm * GZ
Kanta Karaoke at The Saloon, 6 pm * GZ
Lina and her Fiesta Karaoke at Shrimp Bucket, 6 – 10 pm * OA
Rafael Rodriguez at La Palapa at Hotel Torres Mazatlan, 6:30– 9:30 pm * CE
Kracken at La Catrina, 6:30 pm, Rock * GZ
REX at Twisted Mama’s, 6:30 to 10:30 pm * GZ
Musical Journey through Mexico at Delirium Taco Bistro, 7 pm, $500 pesos, Dinner and Show, Let yourself enjoy a musical journey through the most representative songs from four talented musicians. call 193-1228 for reservations CH
Jazz Jam at La Bohemia in Plaza Machado, 7:30 pm, Rob Lamonica and friends, reservations highly recommended * CH
Kannon at GusGus, 8:30 pm, English and Spanish Rock * GZ

Get the info for the Sunday concerts of the Gordon Campbell Season for the months of January and February ! Also Carnaval Mazatlan is Feb 4- 9, 2016! Just weeks away!
Go to this link to see the calendar: http://www.culturamazatlan.com/

If I can't find something I like there are a couple other sites to check out.  I have to admit that most nights we are just homebodies, but when we need to dance or listen to good music it can be found.

We have our favorite musicians and groups.  So when you come to visit us we can show you a good time, good music and good food here in Mazatlán.

Life is good and full of music.

Carnaval is coming soon.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Veggies, Property Taxes, Utility Bills, Beatles & Other Random Stuff

Here comes another random blog.  I'll start with Veggies and wander from there.  I went to the local market to buy some groceries this morning.  This is the "Blue Market" a couple of miles from El Centro and it is where the locals go to purchase produce and meats.

Purple Sweat Potatoes, Jicama, Squash, Potatoes, White Onions, Red Pepper and Giant Carrots.
I walked through the dozens of produce vendors to pick the one with the best displays and freshest produce.  I began walking around her stand filling bags  and picking as I went.  I handed the whole stack to her and she weighed and counted up the total.  It came to 52 pesos.  That would be $2.88 for a whole grocery bag full of beautiful veggies.

Next I went to one of many chicken vendors.  I picked him because he spoke great English and I wanted to have a special order prepared.  He trimmed and prepared 9 breasts and packed them in 3 separate containers.  They were trimmed to perfection.  They came to a little over 2 kilos (4 1/2 pounds) and the price was 170 pesos ($9.44US).  $2.09US per pound seems a good price for the quality and service provided.

Fresh Croissants.
Next was the bakery for fresh croissants.  These melt in your mouth they are so lite and fluffy.  They cost 5.8 pesos each or 32 cents for us gringos.

So the real reason that I started this blog was that we received our annual property tax bill.  I thought you might be interested in knowing what the taxes are on a 3 bedroom/ 3 bathroom condo here at the Marina in Mazatlán.  4,289.51 pesos or $232.99 US at todays exchange rate. That's $19.42 per month.  That is the full price, if we applied for a temporary visa instead of our tourist visa our taxes would be half that figure.

While I'm at it I'll let you know what utilities cost here in Mazatlán last month.
  Natural Gas  (water heater and cooking)  -  196.79 pesos  -  $10.70 US
  Electric         (lights and air conditioning) -  467 pesos  -  $25.38 US
  Telmex         (internet and phone)             -  389 pesos  -  $21.14 US
  Shaw Cable  (Canadian TV Satellite)      -  350 pesos  -  $19.02 US
  HOA Fees    (Condo, water,  garbage      -  2550 pesos  -  $138.58 US
                       insurance & 9 employees)

Our $214.82 each month pays our expenses and we have a full time staff of nine employees that clean, guard, garden, care for and maintain our 91 unit condo complex.

So much for numbers.  Back to fun stuff.

Sargent Peppers Era
We went to see "HELP".  It was a 2 hour Beatles concert at the Opera House.  The band from South America had the Beatles music down perfect.  Paul even had a British accent.  It was as close to being back in the 60's as we could hope for. As the concert went along their costumes and appearances changed and progressed through the years.  It was another very good evening.

The Monigotes are ready for Carnaval.
Kings and Queens are being elected as Mazatlán prepares for a week of parties and parades.  The town will be full of visitors and a giant party that started over 100 years ago will continue its' tradition.

Eva enjoyed her time in the tide pools after her beach running time.  Lots of colorful fish swimming in the tide pools at Cerritos.

Water dog.
Life is Good and very laidback.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Leisurely January

It's been awhile since I have written.  Life has been moving along at a slow leisurely pace as we reached our mid-winter time here in Mazatlán.  The weather is now maintaining a consistent high 70's with an occasional 80 degree day.  We can go a week without seeing a cloud.  Nights cool down into the 50's so sleeping is perfect.

Our days are filled with Spanish classes, oil and watercolor painting classes, dog walking at the shelter, going to the gym (the pool is too cold to swim now).  Evenings include going to listen to music, concerts at the Opera House, finding new places to eat dinner and hanging out with friends.  Now that we have Shaw (Canadian) cable we can even follow American Idol.

The first of the "Monigotes" appeared along the Malecon.
Yesterday Terri went for a walk along the 4.5 mile Malecon.  They are putting up the 11 new statues in preparation for Carnaval which is the first week of February.  Every year they have a new theme and all new Monigotes to celebrate the theme.  The 30 foot tall figures are made of paper mache and material stretched over frames.  The same artist has designed and constructed them for decades.  I'll do a full blog once they are all up.

Designer tacos at Delerium.
We have found several new restaurants this last month.  New favorites are Delerium and Henry's.  These two places are at opposite ends of the class spectrum.  Delirium is a classy place with amazing flavors, with moderate prices which makes it a bargain.  Henry's is barely a shack on the road out to Cerritos.  Don't bother bringing much money but do bring a big appetite.  Great Mexican food with amazing stuffed potatoes.

Barely a building, but great food at Henry's
The BBQ pork topped baked potato may be life changing. 

Fuzzy photo from the Opera House.
An evening with the Sinaloa Symphony.
We will be going to see "Help" this next week.  The "Beatles" band visits Mazatlán once a year and they get great reviews.  This will be our first time seeing them preform at the Angela Peralta Theatre.

Last night we sat outside and listened to "Winging It" at McCaws in Olas Altas.  Lori Davidson on vocals and guitar was as good as ever.  Rob on the keyboard and the rest of the band round out the group and they are one of our favorite groups in Mazatlán.  It's a great way to spend a Winter evening.  Amazing musicians come spend their Winters here.  We are the fortunate recipients of their music.

It's the middle of Winter but the flowers continue to bloom although the volume and variety are a little less than normal. 

Nice theatre seating at the new luxury theatre at the Galleries.
We went to see the new Stars Wars movie and splurged by going to the fancy new theatre at the Galleries Mall.  Tickets were a little under $5.00 each and the soft leather recliners were very nice.  We did not order food or drink from the waiters but the menu showed reasonable prices.

The chocolate moose cake pictured in the menu almost got me.
Sunset through our sliding glass doors.
It has gotten cool enough that we have slid the doors shut a few evenings.  Most days they stay open 24 hours a day.  Eva likes sleeping on one of the patio chairs during the sunny part of the day.  She is definitely a Mexican mutt, she likes her sun.  (Terri is sitting in Eva's chair as I write. Poor Eva has to sleep beside Terri on the marble floor.  It's dog abuse.)

When we do have clouds it makes for even better sunsets.
Our normal boring cloudless sunset over the Marina.
Life is good as we enjoy our quiet January.  More guests will be arriving in February and March.

Hey sister Sara, hop on a plane and come visit again.  We promise more Sun and good food.

Bonus Photo:
Surfer dude in his chopped VW beetle out at Cerritos Beach.
Who would think a Bug needed to be shorter?

Saturday, January 2, 2016

2015 - Water, Water Everywhere

As I looked through last years photos it was apparent that we like being around water.  A water fall, a river, an ocean or a bay, we seem to gravitate toward water at every turn.

My mom was the same way.  If there was a waterfall, she wanted to see it.  I'm glad I inherited this trait from her.

Here are a few of the ways we were around water in 2015.

Behind a waterfall in Zion National Park.
A small lake hidden in the desert.  A Tarigosi village is built into the cliffs around the lake.
Winding Colorado River.
I liked my tall skinny shadow at Lake Powell.
I love the sounds of running water.
This time the water was in the form of snow.  Bryce National Park at 9000".
We're underwater in the front of the raft.
That's me screaming like a girl.
A river near McCall, Idaho.

Multnomah Falls, Oregon.
Bridal Vail Falls.

On the water in Vancouver, Canada.
My brother Dave and I underwater in Maui.
Hawaiian waterfall. 
On the backside of breaking surf in Maui.
A blowhole on the Northshore.
More Maui.
Beach walking with Jake and Roseta in Port Orchard, Washington.
Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
A mountain lake in the Sierras, California.
Eva running in the Sea of Cortez.
Water, water everywhere...... it has been a good year in, near, under and around water.

Sunset last night over our harbor at La Marina, Mazatlán.
Life is Good.

Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 - Wild Flowers

So here are more 2015 photos.  This time you get my flower collection from this year.  We miss having a garden of our own, but that hasn't stopped us from finding wild flowers to view.  A side benefit of hiking is a wide selection of colorful wild flowers.

Thanks for looking at part of my flower collection for 2015.  I may not have a garden but I do find beautiful flowers everywhere we go.

Life is Good.