Sunday, March 21, 2010

Adios Amigos

Well after several months on the road and bumping ourselves over way too many topes - I'm happy to report we've made it home safe and sound. What an amazing journey we've had. We saw so many beautiful things, had a ton of fun and met lots of great people.

Thanks to everyone who followed our blog faithfully and sent us messages hoping we were ok when we didn't post anything for a few days (or weeks in some cases if we had no internet for a while). There was no need to worry, thankfully we never ran into any of the problems everyone was fretfully warning us about.

We had fun with this blog and we hope we've inspired you to take a trip like ours in the near future. Life is short - enjoy it!

Thank you Ronald for taking me on this trip and thanks for all the memories.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hasta la vista Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta was a fun place to hang out. The beaches were beautiful. I ate at beachfront restaurants with my feet in the sand. I watched fishermen and fed pelicans from the pier. Some local boys asked me to take pictures of them jumping off the pier. It was cute, after they'd jump in they'd run back over to me to look at the pictures I'd taken of them. Gotta love digital.

I loved strolling along the busy malecon (boardwalk) at night. We watched street performers and dancers in the main square near the cathedral. Things really come alive at night. Bars and clubs don't get going until about 11pm. We went to a bar called Club Roxy, the house band was excellent.

We ride the scooter everywhere we go. For us cobblestone streets are brutal and so are the topes (speed bumps). I have to get off the scooter every time we need to go over a speed bump. Mexican scooters all have bigger tires, the locals always have a good laugh when they see us trying to maneuver over the topes. We're ok with being a source of entertainment. Have a look at the video of Ron singing along with the mariachi band in the restaurant. Maybe he's found his calling as a mariachi man?

Or maybe a Mexican shoe salesman? Hey sinor, wanna buy a pair of shoes?

After leaving Puerto Vallarta we spent a night in San Blas on our way Mazatlan. We parked right next to the beach for the night. The sand in San Blas was fine white sand, the nicest we've seen so far. Here are a few pictures I took of the view from our windows.

We're now in Mazatlan for a week. This will be our final Mexican city before we cross over the boarder at Nogales. I can't believe our trip is almost over and we'll be back to reality soon.

I've gotten pretty comfortable with traveling, exploring and living in the RV full time, along with not having to wake up to the sound of an alarm clock!


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Got eaten alive at the zoo

At the zoo in Puerto Vallarta you have the opportunity to feed almost all the animals they have there. With my trusty bag of zoo food in hand, I knew there was a risk of being bitten while I was reaching into a cage and feeding a variety of wild animals, including leopards and black bears. But my main concern should have been the fleas! A picture is worth a thousand words and this one says - Ouch, someone should have used some bug spray!

I went online and checked out Trip Advisor to read the reviews of the Puerto Vallarta zoo before we went there. I do agree with other visitors who said some of the animals looked stressed and sick. The ostriches barely had any feathers left on them, one ostrich was bleeding on its back, that was sad to see. Also most of the cages looked too small for the animals they housed. Watching some of the animals pace back and forth in circles was hard to watch as well.

It was amazing to be so close to the animals. There weren't high walls or moats between us and them, including the big cats. We could feed most of the animals either over a low wall or through a chain link fence. What an experience that was. It was funny how the hippo and the zebra opened their mouths before we even got out the food.

Putting my hand through the fence and feeding a big black bear was very cool. He ate a peanut right out of my hand. Also a highlight of our zoo day was for an extra $10.00 you can go in the cage with a young tiger or jaguar. I chose the tiger. I was too chicken to wrestle around and play with him like you see lion tamers do, (since he was 3 months old and already had really big teeth!) but I did manage to pet him on the head once lol. I should have chosen the jaguar, he was only a month old and I could have sat with him on my lap, oh well next time.

Aside from the buffet lunch I provided for the fleas, we had a great time at the zoo. :)


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I'm baaack! In Puerto Vallarta & loving it :)

After a few weeks away I'm glad to be back in Mexico.

My beautiful family

I had a nice visit with my mom who flew in from Toronto. We took the ferry over to Vancouver for the day to experience some of the Olympic festivities. I couldn't believe how many people were in the streets, singing and waving Canadian flags. It was an amazing atmosphere. Way to go Canada!!


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Back to Victoria for a party

I'm flying home to Victoria tomorrow for a few weeks.

I'll be back in sunny Mexico on February 28th. I'm not sure if Ron will keep up the blog while I'm away. I'm sure he'll have lots of adventures of his own while I'm gone, they just may not make it to the blog. ;)


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Thanks for a 1000 hits

Wow our blog has made it to a 1000 hits. I didn't know we were that interesting. Its gotta be the Speedo!

Thanks to our loyal followers for taking the time to follow our Mexican adventures. I'm not sure who you are (but I would if you signed our Guestbook and left comments under the posts - hint hint). ;)


Monday, February 8, 2010

Boys will be boys

No matter how old they are, boys will always be boys. That pretty much sums up all the events of the past few days.

Only a Canadian could invent a 'sand Zamboni' using a quad, a board, a few chains and some nails. Ron and the Bocce boys have been busy manicuring their Bocce course to perfection using their new invention. It was pretty funny watching them driving it up and down the course, one guy driving, another on the back weighing it down and the other 5 guys watching from the sidelines drinking beer.

After doing a superb job on the Bocce course Ron and Dave decided to play in the ocean for a while. When Ron showed up in his French Canadian swim attire Dave thought twice about hanging out with a dude in a Speedo, but he eventually got over it and in they went. Good on ya Dave. ;)

Last night we went to the rodeo. We listened to live music, danced, drank cheap beer and watched Mexican cowboys ride raging bulls. Ok not all the bulls were raging, one smart bull decided laying down would be easier than trying to throw the rider off. The crowd had a good laugh over it.

We got there around 9pm and stayed until after 1am, it was still going strong when we left. Mexican's sure know how to have a good time. The arena was full. Everyone was up dancing in the stands and in the ring in front of the stage. The girls were dressed to the nines, and the guys were all decked out in their plaid shirts and white cowboy hats. No need to worry if you left your hat at home because they had lots for sale.

We enjoyed watching some young future cowboys fooling around pretending they were bulls. One boy had a lasso and was running around the ring catching his friends (the bulls). I didn't take any video because my camcorder wasn't working properly, but I did manage to snap a photo of the boy with the lasso as he was waiting to get into the ring.

I had so much fun, I'd love to go again.

Oops I almost forgot about Jarro's. My brain needs a siesta. I've had a fun busy weekend without much sleep. Saturday night we went to Jarro's, the nightclub in Barra De Navidad. We hung out with our friend Roke and danced the night away until 4am. Have I mentioned that I barely slept this weekend?

The last time we were at Jarro's they had three Mexican senorita's do a dance competition, well this time it was the boys turn, except they had to do a little strip show. Ay, caramba!

As you can see, life in Mexico is never boring. :)


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Under the big top - Mexican style

Its always exciting when the circus comes to town, especially when they have tigers. Back home animal acts are banned. I haven't seen a circus act with tigers in years and well - I still haven't.

As I sat under the big top waiting for the show to start I think I was just as excited as all the Mexican children who waited anxiously with me. All I could think about was how cool it would be to see a tiger jumping through a fiery hoop like I did when I was a kid. But alas this was not to be. As I found out later, the tiger in the cage outside the bigtop was just a ploy to entice people to buy a ticket and watch the show.

So the tigers didn't jump through any hoops, but a zebra, a kangaroo and few misbehaving ponies did make an appearance. At one point one of the ponies jumped out of the ring and came within a few feet of us. Thank god they didn't have a tiger act! Or I may not be here today to tell this story.

The clowns (I use the term lightly) got a few laughs. The show was all in Spanish so we had no idea what they were saying, for all I know they were making fun of the two confused gringos in the front row.

As you can see from the video it was an odd little circus. For a low budget operation I think they did ok. Hey I didn't get run over by a zebra or eaten by a tiger, that's gotta count for something. ;)


Friday, February 5, 2010

Forgot about the wedding...

With all the talk about the storm, I forgot to mention the wedding we watched on the beach earlier this week.

We went out for an evening bike ride and ended up watching a traditional Mayan wedding ceremony. I could hear conch shells being blown and music playing on the beach, so of course I had to investigate further. What we saw on the beach was amazing, probably 100 people all dressed in white, most were barefoot. They were listening to music being playing by a Mariachi band, who were also dressed in white. There were lots of candles and herbs burning. Smoke was pouring into the night sky. When the Shaman arrived we knew we were at a ceremony of some sort. She was dressed in brightly coloured clothes, unlike everyone else in white. It was hard to tell what she was up to because out of respect we kept our distance - unlike one tourist who walked right into the middle of the ceremony taking pictures, wearing only a pair of shorts. Topless overweight hairy men should not crash weddings!

I finally figured out we were at a wedding when the bride arrived in her gorgeous wedding gown. She looked about 16 and so did the groom. The most interesting part of the ceremony was when the bride and groom were taken down to the water and their family and friends made a circle around them, I couldn't see what was going on inside the circle, but it was neat when everyone in attendance around them raised their arms up as if in prayer.

I'd never seen anything like it. When I got home I wanted to learn more about what we'd just experienced so I Googled it. Here's what I found on Google:

The Mayan Wedding Ritual is based in the Maya's connection with the universe and their gods. Which is described in their sacred book the Popol Vuh. The ceremony brings the couple to the four cardinal points (north, south, east and west) to unite them to the feminine Mother Earth and the masculine Cosmic Energy, symbolized by a central sacred candle.

Family and friends circle around the couple and they celebrate the union of the bride and groom by presenting gifts of flowers, music, food and drink. Mayan music with pre-Hispanic instruments and the sacred conch shell is performed before and during the ceremony.

The bride and groom wear simple natural clothing of white or off white. They wear no shoes so they can absorb the energy of the ceremony. It is suggested that family and guests wear natural cloth clothing in white or cream, preferably barefoot, so they can share in the spiritual energy created by the ceremony.

It was all very interesting and I'm glad I got to see it. It seems when you're on vacation in Mexico you never know what you're going to experience next.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A rough night in Mexico

We woke up last night at midnight to a rain storm and what felt like hurricane force winds rocking our RV. We found out today that they were actually 80 MPH winds, no wonder we felt like we were going to take off.

Before I went to bed I sat at the beach and watched a lightning storm flashing in the distance over the ocean. I thought the light show was over, so I went to bed. But as I slept the storm got closer and pounded down on the trailer park. During the night the guys were all running around in the rain trying to tie things down. It was a long night for everyone.

Ron just came in and said "It's like a friggin monsoon out there." He's been out in the rain all morning helping people dig trenches and clean up everything that's been blown around or broken.

The road and the Bocce course are now gigantic mud puddles as are most of the sites across from us. I heard a few people will be renting rooms at the hotel for the night because their sites are flooded. We seem to be ok where we are.

Gord looking at the flood in front of his RV and still smiling -No Bad Days for Gord :)

During the night our awning came crashing down and hit the trailer beside us, there doesn't seem to be too much damage to the neighbors trailer but Ron will need to buy a new awning.

Earlier this morning I went out for a walk to find my favorite stray dog and see how he was after the storm. He's a sweetie, a shaggy Terrier mix of some sort. The locals call him Solo Vino. He usually runs over to me right away when he sees me, but today he just looked up at me as if to say - what the heck's up with all this rain? He's not too happy with being soaking wet, but he sure smells better. Now that he doesn't stink (as much) maybe I can sneak him into the RV without Ron knowing? ;) He's blind in one eye, missing a few teeth and walks with a limp but I'd love to take him home.

Our power's been going on and off since last night, so I'd better hurry up with this post. It's still raining like crazy out there, so it's not over yet...and to think we were worried about the septic problem.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Shit happens even in paradise

Where are my friends Paul and Howie when I need them? One of the exciting events around the trailer park this week was the back up of the septic system for the RV's along the beach side. Adina and I were sitting outside and heard a strange gurgle then boom it happened, I won't describe any more cause it was pretty nasty. Thankfully it never caused a problem inside the motor home, but the aroma on the outside was another story.

Another event this week was our big Bocce ball tournament. We had 9 teams playing double knock out. It was 95 degrees out and there we were playing Bocce for 6 or 7 hours in the sun. It was nice to have all our neighbors come out and have a good time, drinking and playing Bocce til sundown. We stopped at 2pm for a potluck at Gord and Donna's place, everyone brought food, it was an awesome spread. That's me and Gord in the pictures.

View of the tournament from the hotel rooftop - my motor
home is the 2nd one in on the beach side

Me throwing - got my serious game face on

Me & Gord at the 'officials' table - Gord's keeping score
on our Chiquita banana box score card with clothes pegs

Chili - Dave's Mexican Hairless dog

Me & Gord having a drink

After lunch, me and my partner Linda made it to the final 4 teams. Things were going just great until darkness was upon us. I requested from the head honcho guy Dave (haha) that we should postpone the last 4 games until tomorrow, as he was holding two spotlights in hands (with about 50 candle power each) he said ahhhh lets keep playing. Well since its our first year here I reluctantly agreed to play in the dark. Half way through the game we were leading 6-5 and I threw 4 balls out of bounds! My opponent Harold only had to throw 4 balls in bounds anywhere on the course to win, and he did. I was very upset, but in the spirit of the thing I walked away quietly, and then everyone packed up for the night, go figure.

The other 3 games were played the following day. As it turns out (which I knew) my opponent Harold and his partner Ron were the ones to beat, and they won the tournament. As Forrest Gump would say "And that's all I have to say about that."

Me being official again

- as I'm affectionately know as around here.

The Spanish word for Rum is Ron, "I'll have another Ron and Coke por favor."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hey Ron!!!

That's what Ron heard when he sat down to have a drink at a bar in Barra De Navidad. It was our friend Concetta from Victoria! What a small world to unexpectedly bump into someone you know here in Mexico.

Ron, Concetta and a couple of her friends ended up going to the rooftop bar of Hotel Alondra, where our friend Rocky works. They had a good time, so much of a good time that I was a little worried when Ron wasn't home by sunset, we had no way of calling each other. I had visions of the scooter breaking down and him being left pennyless on a dirt road somewhere. But I didn't need to worry, it's pretty safe around here and the people are very helpful, they'd probably fix his scooter, give him more Tequila and send him on his way. :)

Yesterday I wasn't feeling too hot, so I stayed in bed and read a book all day. I finished my Nora Roberts book Red Lily. It was a little creepy, it's the first Nora Roberts book I've read that has a ghost in it. I enjoyed it though, it kept my mind off my aching tummy.

I was feeling much better today, so Concetta invited us over to her daughter's house in Barra for a swim in the pool. I am determined after 40 years to learn how to swim. Ron was shocked when I jumped right in.

After our swim at Concetta's we went to Salamandera's in Melaque, we had a little dinner with our big happy hour drinks. Now it's time for bed, drinking gigantic Daiquiris are exhausting. Tomorrow it's Market day again, I'll be on the lookout for finding cheap Nike shoes for my son Austin, I'd better rest up.

Buenas noches.