Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

It's 11:02 PM and Senor Ping and I are watching Dick Clark's New Year's show on TV. Grandma Clara has already headed to bed. In between doing laundry and watching TV I also spend a few minutes re-reading this blog. I was reminded of how excited we were last January as we counted down the days until retirement and had a few chuckles as I reread our adventures in Mexico and Arizona. It seems I have been a bit lax in keeping this blog updated but my New Year's resolution is to be a "more faithful blogger". I know I won't ever be able to keep up with Megan but I can try.

As we ring in the New Year we are starting to make lists and count down the days again. Only 41 days until we head south. We can hardly wait to get the 5th wheel hitched up and get on the road. We'll be watching the weather and reading the RV forums again to see where all the snowbirds are and what there is to see and do when we get there. Senor Ping is anxious to try out his new putter and take some photos of the desert.

Drama is in full swing and the next month is going to fly by. We are sold out already and I have started a waiting list for all 3 nights. We are going to paint the set and get it put up later this week.

In closing we want to wish all our friends and family a very Happy New Year and all the best in 2008!!!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I've Been Tagged

As many of you may already know, Megan is a die hard Blogger. She can turn a story about her boring morning commute into a great read over your first cup of coffee for the day or leave you shaking your head saying "I didn't know that about my daughter/sister/niece/cousin" with her over 100 random facts about Megan. Well now she has come up with something we can all take part in.
The rules: Each player lists 8 random facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 4 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.
So here goes, 8 things you may or may not know about Snowflake:
1. Snowflake was actually a name given to me by my best friend's father when I was a sweet little 6 year old. The name stuck all through school and even followed me to Eatonia.

2. I don't like cucumbers or watermelon, but love dill pickles and cantaloupe.

3. I do not do puke!!! Thank God for Mrs. Craney all those years that I taught kindergarten. She saved me great humiliation many times when she came to my rescue and helped the poor little children who vomited at school and had the misfortune of being in my classroom.

4. I love chocolate, especially Cadbury Easter eggs. I also love chocolate cake, chocolate cookies, even chocolate dipped pretzels but I do not like chocolate ice cream...... but dip my ice cream cone in chocolate or put chunks of chocolate in my ice cream and I am a very happy person!

5. I love to read and I will force myself to keep reading even the worst book just because I started it. I can only think of 2 books I didn't finish and now that I am retired I may have to go back and try reading them again.

6. I love holidays. By that I mean Thanksgiving, Xmas, Easter, Valentines Day, Groundhog Day, St. Patrick's Day,Canada Day etc. I also have a sweater or shirt and earrings for each of the major holidays. (Megan has recently convinced me I don't have to buy anymore holiday apparel...Boohoo)

7. I read cookbooks. I don't always try the recipe but I like to read about it anyway.

8. I can remember birthdates for most of the students I have taught over the past 30 years. I may not be able to get the exact date but I usually have the month right and then I can tell you how old they are by figuring out what year I taught them. That proved to be a real bummer for those almost 19 year olds that tried to order a drink when I worked at the curling rink bar.

Now I will tag:
Diving Diva
Have fun!!!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Paris In The Falltime

We arrived in Paris yesterday morning. Saw the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Arc the T, Sacre Couer, and miles of filthy subways. Beer is expensive, eleven dollars a glass, streets are crowded and weather is so so but we are still having a great time. Only one more day and the real world will be back.....PB and J sandwiches and making our own beds!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Live From Berlin

Here we are in Berlin. We arrived at noon yesterday and got settled in at the hotel (not the Marriott but just fine). Our first order of the day was to find some lunch and then explore the city. Burger King was the first place we found so after a whopper and coke we jumped on the bus and headed to Zoolander (not exactly but can#t pronounce the real name so it stuck). It was quite cool out so we hopped on a double decker bus and rode around for a while. Actually until the driver parked for the day and we thought we would be locked on the bus for the night. Jumped on another bus and back to the start. The next time round we got off and took a few photos of the Brandenburg gates, Reichstag etc and then finally back to our room. After a rest we headed out to find dinner. a nice little pub served some delcious pasta and pork and then we walked down the Ku'damm and jumed on the bus for a ride around in the dark. Berlin has the Festival of Lights on until the end of the month and many of the building are well lit with brightly colered lights. Today included a four hour walking tour seeing all the Nazi and Soviet era sites-Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie etc. and some currywurst for lunch. We have a few more things to see and do before we head to our final city Paris.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Leaving On A Jet Plane

We are in the airport in Budapest awaiting our departure to Berlin. We had 1000 Ft left (not really that much money) and are using it to update the blog. We had a great time here and will miss the food and luxury hotel. Lots of excitement with the national holiday today but we will miss it because we are going to be checking out Berlin. Its raining here but we are hoping for better weather there. Took lots of pics and will post them later.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hello From Prague

Today is our last day in Prague. We have done lots of walking and sightseeing. The food and beer are excellent and always makes the long walks worthwhile. so far we haven't ordered anything that we can't figure out what it is. We are becoming very adept at using public transportation and travel longer distances by subway or tram. Doug has taken hundreds of photos of the city and we can hardly wait to share them with everyone. We should be able to entertain the family for many long nights! We are heading into the country tomorrow and then we are off to Budapest. Chicken Paprikas and Retes here we come!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A Quick Report From Europe

We finally found an internet cafe and have a chance to send a few emails and add to the blog. We arrived in London last Wednesday. The flight was uneventful and even arrived early. We made it through customs and onto the Gatwick express and off to London. Found our hotel and dropped off our luggage. The weather was great. Spent the next three and a half days touring about. Didn't see any rain and most of the time it was warm enough to go in short sleeves. On Monday morning we caught a plane to Prague. Weather here is beautiful. Sun shining and warm! What a wonderful place. We did a city tour this AM and now are off to see more of the city. We have today and tomorrow and then we are heading into the country. Thinking about all our friends and family and wish you could be here with us. Will do a full report of the trip when we arrive home. I discovered that it is not easy to navigate through blogspot when everything is in Czech.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

European Vacation

The big day has finally arrived. Our suitcases are packed and we are ready to go. We fly to London tomorrow and then will begin our tour to Prague, Cesky Krumlov, Budapest, Berlin and Paris. I will try to post some highlights of the trip while we are traveling and then will add photos when we get home. Check back regularly for updates of our European vacation.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Family Photos

I promised some pictures of the family reunion and we finally got them loaded onto the laptop so I can post them. Here are some from Saturday night.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Saturday Nite Live

The Kish family gathered on Saturday evening for dinner at the Best Western Hotel. Because we were a smaller group this year we were in a cozy room with round tables for 8. We started off the evening with introductions. This was great because I always have so much trouble keeping the Churko cousins' children straight. Aunt Rose said grace and then we were served a delicious roast beef supper. The program began with a mention of some of the family who have reached milestone birthdays in 2007: Kevin Nagy will turn 40 in September, Corey Parker, Linda Fesco and Linda Churko are the 5-0 this year, Uncle Harold will celebrate his 80th birthday and the "lady of the hour" Aunt Adeline is 90 years young!! Adeline's sisters and brother Bill each gave a small speech and we toasted (and roasted) Aunt Adeline. Birthday cake was served after the toast. Each of the families gathered for photos and everyone continued visiting for a few more hours.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Kish Kousins Reunion

The August long weekend is usually a time to relax, head for the lake for a mid summer camping trip or possibly, if you are a farmer, your last trip before harvest. In the Kish family the August long weekend is when we have our family reunions. In 2001 the reunion started early the week before with relatives arriving from various parts of the country. There were week long celebrations, many long nights full of food and festivities and many, many laughs. When the rest of the family arrived for the weekend they were entertained with stories of the goings on of all the cousins during the week. Two years ago it was more of the same except that there were a few more family members arriving early in the week, afraid they might miss out of something if they weren't in Yorkton when the first relatives arrived.
Well, here it is 2007, August long weekend and it is the gathering of the clan again. I decided to head to Yorkton early in the week so I caught a ride to Saskatoon with a friend and jumped on the bus. The direct bus to Yorkton only runs very early in the morning or late at night so I decided to take the bus to Melville and have Debbie pick me up. I was a bit surprised to find out that the Melville bus actually went to Regina and then after a two hour layover headed to Melville AND YORKTON. I read a book and let someone else do the driving. My sister Judy also started out Wednesday morning but had car problems and finally arrived Thursday afternoon. The Churko family also started arriving early in the week but we must all be getting old because we skipped the cousins' supper on Thursday night and just spent a quiet evening visiting with family. Could it be that we were so quiet because Jocelyn was not here to terrorize the poor little girls in the washroom and Dennis B. was not around to lead us all astray?
Friday evening the family gathered at Launa and Bob's house. There were about 30 of us and we had a beautiful night to sit outside and visit. Adeline, Rose, Olga, Violet and Bill were there to represent the children of Joe and Vera Kish (It's a big thanks to them that we have these wonderful reunions). Some of the cousins and their families were there from Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary, and Eatonia. Bob did the barbequeing and there was more that enough to eat and drink. Most of us had a very early night however, rumor has it some of the younger crowd and even one of the "grandma's" continued to party at one of the "nightspots" in Yorkton.
This morning Launa and Bob, Andy and Donna and Doug and I went golfing. We had excellent weather and what could be better that good weather and good company when you are on the golf course. Now it is time to have a nap and get rested up for the Saturday night dinner.
To all the family who may read this and are not here with us this weekend I just want you to know we are thinking of you and yes, we are probably talking about you as well!! We are all taking lots of pictures and I'll post some of them soon.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Day At The Beach

Although we are not camping at a lake or walking through the surf at Oceanside, California we do have days when we see a lot of "the beach". Here is one of those times when Doug was "at the beach" and was able to make a great recovery and par the hole.
The heat and sandflies are also causing us some frustration but it hasn't kept us at home yet.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Where Is Tom Sawyer When You Need Him

I realize that the classic children's novel, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, has been removed from the curriculum but this is for those of you who have read one of my favorite children's stories of all time. This came to me yesterday when Senor Ping and I started painting the fence. Now if we had been as enterprising as Tom was we would have talked others into joining us in our painting and maybe even made a bit of money doing it. However, we are not so lucky or maybe as convincing as Tom so we were on our own with the painting. It my take a few days but I am sure we will be as happy as Tom when the job is all done.

Monday, June 18, 2007

What To Do Now

This retirement thing is becoming quite monotonous. I have to admit that I spent the month of May housecleaning and it was long overdue. I also got my outside containers filled and arranged just how I like it (although I still rearrange them at least once a week) and I had a good visit with Mom and Debbie in Yorkton. There was also a shopping trip to Medicine Hat, our retirement party (which I really should post some pictures and tell you all about it), the Oasis Players barbeque, the KBSTS field trip (retired teachers still like to take those June field trips)and numerous golf games. But what to do when it rains? And we have had more rain this spring than the last 3 or 4 years combined. You can only read so many books, watch so many movies and sweep the kitchen floor so many times and then you find that you are bored. OOPS! Did I say that out loud? It looks like I am going to have to find some new hobbies for the rainy days or start sorting and cleaning in the lower basement. That's where all the boxes I brought home from the school are stacked and waiting for someone to sort through. I really had planned to do that when there was snow on the ground but it looks like I will get an early start to that job. Unless someone can suggest something I should really surf the net looking for or (don't let the farmers hear me say this) we have a long hot dry spell!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

A Visit To Grandma's House

I am spending a few days in Yorkton visiting my Mother. Yesterday we had supper with Debbie and Ryan who is off to plant trees in Alberta. Mom made her famous potato and apple perogies, baked ham, sausage, and all the trimmings. Today Mom and I made retes, which is the Hungarian equivalent of German strudel. This was a first time venture for me. I don't think I have quite mastered stretching the dough until it is the size of the table and thin as paper but at least I have discovered it is not as difficult as I originally thought. Now we are just relaxing and watching the rain. Why is it that it is either ungodly hot or raining when I come to Yorkton?

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Our Busy Schedule

We are slowly settling back into our busy lives in Eatonia. It took a few days to sort through mail, get the telephone and TV back to the usual services and reorganize the house. Last weekend we went to visit with Meg and Al and take a load of furniture for Allan who is renting a house off campus. We had a good visit with the relatives and showed our holiday pictures.
I have started spring cleaning but seem to be easily distracted. I have put my name on the sub list and was back in my old classroom last week. It was great to see all my students and see how much they have grown. Senor Ping and I have golf memberships and so we have been out for a few rounds of golf together and I have been out for "Ladies Night" twice. I am also looking forward to spending some time out in the yard so I don't think we will have much trouble keeping ourselves busy. And then again, if we don't feel like doing it today we can always do it tomorrow......that's the joy of being retired.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Home Sweet Home

We arrived home yesterday at 6:00 PM. The snow is gone (if they had any snow after we left), the grass is greening up and the trees are in bud. We unpacked the camper and then spent most of the evening putting things away. I couldn't believe all the stuff we had in the 5th wheel. Abbey is quite happy to be back home, she has been making her rounds in the backyard and checking out the backs of all the sofas and chairs to see if she can remember which was her favorite. It will take a few days to get reorganized around here and then I think I should start some spring cleaning.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

One More Day To Go

We had a good day of travel today and made it to Great Falls before dark. That means we will be back in Eatonia sometime tomorrow. There are plenty of reasons I will be happy to be home such as not having to walk half a block or more to shower, not having to shower with shoes on, being able to talk to Meg and Al anytime, getting back to walking with Marla and Bunny, and the dishwasher. However there are many things that I have come to enjoy about living in our 5th wheel. Such as: I can do a full top to bottom cleaning in a very short time, grocery shopping is much more interesting and there is no yard work.
Overall, the past 10 weeks has been great and we can hardly wait to start planning next year's trip.

Baby, Its Cold Outside

This morning I checked the weather here in Ogden and it is 6 degrees. When I finally crawled out of bed it was to quickly start the furnace and put as many clothes on as humanly possible..... even "long pants" something I have not had on since February 23. Abbey has been huddling under blankets and shivering since her morning walk. I also checked the weather for home and it is also 6 degrees. Now, if I was at home I would be stepping out the door an saying "oh, what a beautiful morning" and happy that I did not have to put on mittens, heavy jacket etc. I bet the morning walkers at home are smiling and almost whistling because the sun is shining. I do believe it is going to be very difficult to get back into the "spring is coming and it is warming up" from the "jeez, it sure is cold here compared to Arizona".

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Homeward Bound

We spent the last 3 days at the Sam's Town RV park in Las Vegas (sorry kids we didn't win a million and we aren't driving the BMW either) and this morning we started our trek north. Tonight we are at an RV park north of Salt Lake City. We drove through a bit of rain and wind today but nothing compared to the winds in Las Vegas. Good thing we were planning to spend a few days there because we wouldn't have been going anywhere with the strong winds. After checking the weather this evening it looks like it is warmer at home than it is here. If all goes well we should be back in Eatonia by Friday.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Lazing Around in Laughlin

We arrived at the RV Park in Laughlin on Saturday afternoon. We had a great drive from Yuma, taking our time and enjoying the drive through Parker and Lake Havasu. Since arriving we’ve done a bit of gambling (not winning anything), lots of relaxing and we even went to the Riverwalk Art Festival. There were about 50 displayers with everything from pottery and painting, jewelry and clothing to musicians and woodworking. We don’t have WIFI at our RV site so we went back to the carwash at Bullhead City and used their service while getting our truck washed. Our plans are to head to Las Vegas for a few days and then continue north. We aren’t sure which route we will take home; it depends on weather in northern Nevada. If it warms up at Jackpot we will stop for a round of golf or two. When I checked the calendar today I realized we have about 10 more days until we will be home. It seems like we just left!!!
An added note: Just as we were getting ready to head to the carwash Doug ran into Fred and Colleen. they have just arrived in Laughlin and will be here for a few days. Looks like it might have to be a "Margarita Monday".

Friday, April 13, 2007

Dust Storm in the Desert

We have had four relaxing days in Yuma. We made a return trip to Algodones for a few souvenirs and checked out the Swap Meets. The RV park is almost empty and so were the Swap Meets. Most of the vendors had already packed up but it gave us an idea of what to look forward to another year. We toured Old Yuma and stopped off at Lutes Casino, a restaurant/bar full of antiques and memorabilia from days gone by. We also experienced two days of high winds here in Yuma. Tomorrow we will head to Laughlin and then on to Las Vegas for a few days. We will slowly make our way north and hope warm weather is with us on the way.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Golf at Turquoise Valley

Here are a few pictures of the golf course at Turquoise Valley.
A view from the 11th Teebox
The 18th hole.

The restuarant and bar.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Moving On

We are on the move again. A week at Turquoise Valley included: 99 holes of golf, a trip to Tombstone and Bisbee ( if you are in this part of Arizona skip Tombstone but be sure to go on a walking tour of Bisbee), great mexican food, excellent music at the Fish Fry, a birdie ( my first), my lowest golf score ever (under 50 on 9 holes.....can you believe it???), a nail in the tire and of course, more happy hours with Fred And Colleen. This morning we headed west and ended up in Yuma. We have decided to make one more stop here so we can look over some of the RV parks, go to the Flea Market (we've heard it a must if you are in Yuma), maybe a trip to Algodones and some R&R before we start north.
We are set up at the Westwinds RV Park. Senor Ping thinks it looks a little like a ghost town, as most of the snow birds have started for home. It is in the high 20s (celcius) today and the weather forecast is for strong winds and then cooler temperatures for a few days. That's better than the snow and rain they are having back home. Now that we are settled in for a few days I will try to update my blog and post a few more pictures of our past week.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Hoppy Easter Everyone

Easter has always been a favorite time of the year for me. When I was a youngster it meant jelly beans and chocolate bunnies and big family dinners with all the cousins. When I was at University it meant the end of a term and the start of exams. As a teacher I always enjoyed filling hand made baskets with chocolate eggs and convincing my students that the Easter Bunny had indeed come to our classroom while they were in the gym. You wouldn't believe the number of students that came running in after recess to announce that they had seen the Easter Bunny leaving the shool yard. Easter also became a great time for family holidays. We made numerous trips to Las Vegas when Megan and Allan were growing up. I'll never forget the year I packed all the Easter treats up and left them in the trunk of the car until Easter morning. The extremely warm temperatures turned the bunnies into puddles of chocolate. Last year Senor Ping and I were in Rome at Easter and had a great time touring Vatican City just prior to the Pope's first Easter address. This year we are in sunny Arizona. The chocolate eggs stayed in the fridge until it was time to eat them and we didn't have the traditional meal of ham or turkey. We feasted on barbequed steak and shrimp after a round of golf. We wish all our family could be here to join us but we will have to settle for wishing everyone a very Happy Easter.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Guess Who This Is

If you recognize this sweetie give her a call and wish her a happy birthday!!!

Happy Birthday

Senor Ping and I would like to send out birthday wishes to our nieces Jaime and Kelly, who are both celebrating their birthdays on April 6 and a very special "Happy Birthday" to Megan who will be turning 23 on April 7 . We wish we could be with all of you on your birthdays but since we are here enjoying the sunshine and you are at home with snow and floods (looks like Manitoba is in for a wet spring) we will toast all of you and hope you have a very Happy Birthday.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

A Reason Not to Play the Rough

We thought the golf course at Leader might want to incorporate a sign similar to this one at their golf course.

Touring About Bisbee and Beyond

We are enjoying beautiful weather and great golfing at Turquoise Valley RV and Golf Club. The park is very small and the Mexican border is practically at our doorstep. Today we went on a walking tour of Bisbee, a copper mining town about 15 miles from the RV Park. The self-guided walking tour was very interesting and many of the buildings we saw were built in the late 1800’s or after the fire in 1908. Many of the buildings are still in use as cafes, art galleries, antique stores and gift shops. I was especially interested in touring about because I have enjoyed reading the books set in Bisbee written by J.A. Jance. After the walking tour we stopped for lunch and did a bit of shopping. On our way home we stopped off at the Shady Dell RV Park and looked at some of the “park models”. I couldn’t convince Doug to trade our Dutchmen in on this model. In actuality these park models are for those of us who would like to spend a night reliving camping from the early ‘40s and 50’s.

We stopped to look at the open pit copper mine. It hasn't been in operation since the '70s but it is an impressive sight.

Monday, April 02, 2007

The Rattler at Turquoise Valley

We arrived at Turquoise Valley on Sunday and tried out the 18 hole golf course today. We didn't see any rattlers except the 15th hole, which is called the Rattler. Its a par 6 and the longest hole I have ever seen. We will be here for at least a week but WIFI is not the greatest so don't be surprised if you don't hear from us for a few days. The drive was great and there is quite a bit of sight seeing to be done in this area. We will check out Bisbee tomorrow and if we get brave enough will go to Tombstone. Fred and Colleen have fore-warned us that it is very "touristy" but we may go see the OK Corral.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Twosome in Tucson

Well... here I go. Went to the ChiSox vs Rockies game on Thursday afternoon (5-5 tie) enjoyed a beer (also 5+5 for two). Picture is of future "Hall-of-Famer" Jim Thome.

Then off to the PIIMA military aircraft museum. Everything from the B17 shown in the picture to MIG jets from the Korean War. Meanwhile Lenore went to the Park Place Mall and helped them pay off their mortgage.

Off to Turquoise Valley on Sunday for some Golf. They boast a Par 6 hole called the Rattler! A bogey 7 perhaps or a double bogey 8?


Friday, March 30, 2007

Where Are We Now

We arrived in Tucson on Tuesday and had an easy crossing with no problems at the border. We are here until Sunday. We need a few days to get haircuts,stock up on groceries,take in a ballgame, do some shopping and sight seeing and then we will be off to Tombstone area for a week. I am having difficulty posting because of the internet service here at the RV park but wanted to let the family know that we are back in the U.S.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Adios Amigos

Do you remember way back when I wrote about the campers who arrived one sunny afternoon with the Saskatchewan license plates and we were so surprised that we actually knew these people. I had promised to post a picture of them and challenged readers to guess who they were. Well, yesterday was our last day in San Carlos and I finally got a picture of the "Mystery Guests". If you think you know them be sure to post your answer.

Last evening six of us went to La Palapa for drinks and then to El Gallo for dinner. We are all packed and ready to hit the road. The only problem is, so are about 10 other campers so we may be lining up to get out of the campground. It has be a great 4 weeks and hopefully we will be back to this paradise on the Sea Of Cortez. We bid farewell to our neighbors who are heading west when they finally get out of the park. Adios Amigos and Happy Trails until we meet again.
And on another note, I hope Fred and Colleen have cold beer waiting when we arrive in Tucson.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Beach Day

Today was a beach day. That means Abbey can run off leash and roll in the sand. I can sit in the sun and read and Senor Ping has a siesta and walks with Abbey. When we arrived at our favorite spot we immediately noticed the dolphins swimming quite close to shore. We were entertained for almost 2 hours by two groups of dolphins, about 6 in total. They swam back and forth in front of us and occasionally would stop and play in the surf. They swam close enough to shore that we could have walked out and touched them. There were a few boats that came by and the dolphins put on a show for the passengers. Senor Ping took some video footage of them and when we figure out how to add it to the blog we will share it with all of you. As we got ready to leave the locals were arriving for their time at the beach. Lots of families, picnics and relaxing by the sea!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Spring Parade

Earlier this week I read on the San Carlos forum that there was going to be a parade on Friday afternoon. The Kindergarten children from the local school were having a parade to celebrate the arrival of spring and it was to start at 5:00 PM. The parade route was going right by the campground. I was quite excited to see the youngsters since I miss my former students and I also recalled the wonderful parade we saw in Cozumel a few years ago. I made sure others in the campground knew about the parade and I even thought I heard the drum squad practicing the night before. At 5:00 sharp I dragged Senor Ping and Abbey to the entrance so we could get a good spot to watch the parade (I was thinking Stampede Parade or RoseBowl Parade). Soon we heard the police, firetrucks, ambulances and other emergency vehicles. Boy, they sure know how to get the crowd excited. The line of vehicles went by us heading east and then soon they did a U-turn and headed west but we didn't see any children. After waiting about 20 minutes we decided it must be "Mexican time" so back to the trailer we went. I waited and watched and then headed back to the street. A few locals were standing around, but were they waiting for the parade or the bus? Senor Ping arrived and a few others from the campground. Finally at close to 6:00 we saw the lead vehicle and then the children. They were dressed in a variety of costumes and were walking with parents, preschoolers, and what could have been older siblings or friends.
Now, before I go on about how cute they all were I have to put this into perspective for my Saskatchewan friends and family. Picture this: 25 kindergarten age students walking down the middle of 22nd street from Midtown Plaza to Avenue P. in Saskatoon at rush hour with no opportunity for any vehicles behind them to turn off . Now we know that would never happen in Saskatoon but it certainly happened here and no one seemed to mind. It wasn't quite the same as watching hundreds of floats and marching bands but the parents and children were having a great time (well, almost all of them) and it was all for a good cause. They're fundraising so they can renovate the bathrooms at the school. Here are a few pictures of the children and the traffic lined up behind them.

Friday, March 23, 2007

The Supermarket

Yesterday we went to Guaymas by bus to do some shopping at Leys Supermarket. It is part of a mall which includes clothing stores (for much younger people), jewellery, a department store which has a bit of everything and numerous beauty salons. Fred and Colleen sent an email from Tucson informing me that the hair dressers in Tucson were on strike and I should consider getting my hair cut in Guaymas. I think they just wanted to see how I would look after getting my hair cut and colored by someone that doesn't speak english. I am not that brave!! I wanted Senor Ping to get a haircut first but he thought he could wait another week. The first thing I will do when we get to Tucson will be to make sure F&C were just joking!
When we finally entered the supermarket we were intrigued by all that the store carried. There was everything from clothing and hardware to fresh seafood and a bakery. I strolled up and down the rows looking at the familiar packaging on most of the items. Senor Ping has not gotten over the fact that he cannot buy his favorite breakfast cereal, Shreddies, anywhere in the U.S. or Mexico and has resorted to eating Frosted Flakes. When we checked out the cereal aisle we found the box with Tigre Tono on the front so even though we can' t read spanish I was quite sure we had found the right stuff. Although we didn't buy much it was an experience and now we know where to go for groceries if we are ever back this way again.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

One Week Left

It is hard to believe that we have been in San Carlos for 3 weeks and in just a few days we will be heading back to the U.S. We have been checking out some of the beaches and one of our favorites is called Playa Algodones. Senor Ping, Abbey and I headed there yesterday and although we didn't have the beach all to ourselves it was still very peaceful and relaxing. We settled down near a place called The Soggy Peso. The people on the beach ranged from young to old and it seemed from all walks of life (yes there are some people who got stuck in the 70's and are still there). When we were there last week for Happy Hour we watched kite boarders. This time there were a few swimmers, some young children building sand castles and others just soaking up the sun. Believe it or not the fog rolled in and so we headed home. It was Tecate Tuesday but a much quieter version since Fred and Colleen were gone.
It was cloudy all day today so we read and relaxed close to home. The forecast is for more of the same for the next two days so I may get to read a few of the books I brought from home and get caught up on sorting pictures etc. Yes, it is a tough life!!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Our Favorite Waiters

Today is Fred and Colleen's last day in San Carlos. We headed out early for a round of golf and then stopped at La Palapas for a couple Dos Equis and a snack. They will be leaving tomorrow for Tucson. Senor Ping and I will stay for another week and then meet them for some of the spring training baseball games. While here in San Carlos we have been on a mission to find the best waiters. We have narrowed it down to our Top 5. Here are our favorites:
Martin from Fiesta Real (this is the best place to watch the sunset )
Luis from Fiesta Real (it was great to sit at the bar and watch him work and visit with customers)

Nidia works at Froggy's and always took good care of us

Felix, one of our favorites from Froggy's.

Alec is Colleen's pick for #1 (don't you just love that smile!!!)

There are a few more places in San Carlos that we have not made it to yet. I guess we will have to come back next year and expand our list to the Top 10.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Way To Go Spartans!

We enjoyed another great day in Mexico. We spent most of the day listening to easy jazz music and relaxing on the patio. Fred and Colleen and Senor Ping and I were anxiously awaiting the results from the 1A Senior Girls Basketball gold medal game being played in Regina today. Finally, just as we were sitting down to dinner (steak and shrimp) the final score was posted. Congratulations to the Eatonia Spartans who won a gold medal (the last gold was in 1979) and the second gold for Eaton School this year (the girls won gold in volleyball earlier this year). We wish we could have been there to join in the celebration but had to settle for celebrating with Fred and Colleen. Please pass on our best wishes to the team and coaches!!!

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Beach

On Thursday afternoon we found a very scenic spot to just sit and relax. We got directions to a place on the beach where many campers are boondocking. They drive off the main road, into the sand dunes, find a spot with a view they like and that's where they stay. The sand dunes reminded me of Gunn's Beach at Good Spirit Lake (Yorkton).We found a spot on the beach where we could let Abbey run and chase seagulls. We watched the pelicans and kept our eyes open for the dolphins that are in the area. Senor Ping and Abbey both got their toes wet. As you can see from the photos we had the beach to ourselves.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Mexican Gardening Techniques

Here are the hedge trimmers at work outside of our RV park.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Never A Dull Moment

We can't complain about things being dull here in Mexico. Last night we checked out Happy Hour at a new place for us called Bananas. From there we headed to Froggy's and then home. Colleen and I have added to our photo collection of "our favorite waiters in San Carlos" which will be posted on this blog in the near future.
While we were gone there was a small electrical fire just a few sites over from us. A great way for the neighbors to get to know one another. The power to our site and those around us has been affected. And totally unrelated to the electrical fire was a problem with our new fridge. Thankfully one of our neighbors noticed and cut the electricity to our site and headed off another major repair job. Senor Ping was able to fix it this morning so the fridge is back on electrical.
Today is going to be a lazy day for us. I plan to check out the cooking classes this afternoon here in the campground and we have been invited to another campsite this evening to see pictures of a trip to Copper Canyon. I am going to take my camera and see if I can get some pictures of the flowers that are starting to bloom here in the campground. Maybe a nap in the sun down by the beach will also round out the day.

Monday, March 12, 2007

A Bad Day In Paradise

If there is ever such a thing as a bad day in paradise I think I am having one. Things started off wrong this morning when I put the sugar intended for my cheerios into my coffee. It was all downhill from there. We went to play our 3rd round of golf at the San Carlos Golf Club. Right from the first tee off I knew it was not going to be a good day. My heart must have been down by the sea because I was at the beach (sand traps) at every hole on the first nine (and sometimes more than once). I exhausted my vocabulary of cuss words and resorted to just groans. I am afraid my golf partners were of no help except when it came to keeping the ball rolling the odd time. At least they put up with my bad day and didn't kick me out of the cart at the end of the 9th hole. Now most of you would say things have only got to get better, but that was not the case. Between the 9th and 10th hole we came upon a rather large mud puddle. F&C went through first with no problems. Senor Ping made his way through only to spray mud up the back of the passenger's side (that would be were I was). And then when I thought it could get no worse we got stuck and I had to get out and pull us through the mud. I was covered in mud and Senor Ping did not have a spot on him. I decided at that point that I should forget about golf and think of the refreshments at the end of the game. It helped make the game more enjoyable but still didn't do much to improve my score. Now we are back at the campground and what should our neighbor be playing...... an accordian. Now, I must admit he is very good and the music is pleasant to listen to but I am waiting for him to start playing polkas....oops, he just started!!!
However, when I think about our poor friends back in Saskatchewan, slaving away at their jobs every day, either still shovelling snow or worse yet dealing with the mud on the playground I think to myself "How could there be a bad day when you are in paradise?"

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Grilled Lime Shrimp

Last evening we had Grilled Lime Shrimp for dinner. Abel, the fish man, stopped by yesterday morning after our boat cruise and Colleen and I decided to split a kilo of medium shrimp. Since this was my first experience with shrimp Colleen came over and demonstrated the fine art of shelling and de-veining shrimp. Doug and Fred supervised with a Tecate in hand (Mexican beer brewed in Sonora).

I borrowed some skewers from Colleen and mixed up the marinade. Because it had lime juice in it the marinating time was just 10 minutes. The marinade also included chopped garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, lime zest and oregano and cumin (neither of which I have). I decided to add a teaspoon of the dried salsa mix I used in the spanish rice last week instead. I marinated them and them threaded them on the skewers and in a few short minutes they were grilled to perfection (Senor Ping is also new at grilling fish but seems to be handling the challenge). I cooked some rice and green beans and our dinner was complete. This is a recipe I will add to my collection, the only problem will be finding fresh shrimp when we are back home in Saskatchewan. By the way, there were about 30 shrimp in the half kilo and it cost about $5 U.S.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Two Hour Cruise

This morning Fred and Colleen and Senor Ping and I went out with Gary's Dive Shop for a two hour cruise. On our way to the marina we sang parts of the Gilligan's Island theme song. We arrived early so we had plenty of time to decide where we wanted to sit. We moved about the boat and finally settled on the upper deck. We set off and did a bit of bird watching and our guide gave a comprehensive explanation of the geological makeup of the land and sea.
We spotted blue heron, blue footed boobies, pelicans and other birds. The view from the boat was spectacular. There are homes that seem to balance on the edge of the cliffs and secluded beaches beneath them.
We spotted a sea lion resting in the water and then it was off to see the whales. The pictures do not do justice to the magnificence of seeing the whales as they surface and blow water in a huge spray. We circled around and had a few sightings.

We then headed across the bay to look for dolphins. We were just about ready to give up when they surfaced. As we circled around the guide called to them and then they joined us and followed in our wake, jumping and having a great time.
Our guide was very knowledgeable and gave a brief history of the Sea of Cortez and provided lots of factual information about the sea life. And unlike the SS Minnow we did return from our two hour tour.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

A Trip to Guaymas

Fred and Colleen recommended that we take the bus to Guaymas because we would not have to worry about parking and because of the convenience. This morning the four of us jumped on a new bus (9 pesos each) to see what we could see. We rode the bus to Plaza do los 3 Presidentes. There are beautiful statues of 3 former presidents and a large square with benches along the water. We followed the water to the Fisherman's Monument and stopped to watch a couple of men fixing a fishing net. We stopped along the way to check out a few of the local supermarkets and other shops. Our main destination was the Mercado Municipal which is a block or two of native markets selling everything from clothing to fresh meat. None of us were in the market for fresh beef or pork but by the looks of the heads of the animals the meat was definately fresh.

We circled around and stopped for an early lunch at Los Barcos, a very lovely restaurant which specializes in seafood. I wish I would have take pictures of our meal. Colleen had stuffed jalapenos (I forgot the Mexican name) and seafood cocktail. The jalapenos were huge and pale yellow in color. They were steamed and stuffed with shrimp, onion and cabbage with a soya sauce added. The seafood cocktail included what we would consider medium to large shrimp in a tomato broth. Fred had coconut shrimp, which we all had a taste of and declared them delicious. Senor Ping had the daily special which was shrimp in a peanut sauce with rice and vegetables. I had a fish taco and shrimp taco. We topped them off with a couple of corona and pacifica beer. By the time we were finished we all decided it was siesta time so we headed back to San Carlos.
The bus trip back was an experience everyone should have. We couldn't help but relate the trip to the many rides we have had on school buses over the years. Believe me, our bus drivers in Eatonia make it feel like one is riding in a cradle compared to the bus trip home. Who needs to go to Disneyland? Just take ride on one of these buses. The bus drivers don't want to get off schedule so they drive as fast as it is humanly possible just to get the passengers to their destination. (Of course since there is no air conditioning on the bus the faster the trip the better).

Flounder For Dinner

I meant to post this last evening but after a full day of doing nothing (that what happens after Tecate Tuesday) it was lights out early. This is a post for Megan and her International food bloggers. We had pan fried flounder, tomato puree sauce, spanish rice and fresh green beans. I used a recipe Kent posted the other day using onions, pepper, tomatoes and garlic. I had picked up some roma tomatoes at the market so I used them. Instead of lemon juice I added freshly squeezed limes. I used my little hand blender and it worked quite well. I made spanish rice using canned tomatoes and a couple of teaspoons of salsa mix I had purchased from an Epicure home party last fall. It was excellent. The green beans were from Tony's market. The flounder was fresh from the "fish man" who come to the park 3 times a week. I floured the fish and used the grill pan on the barbeque with just a bit of olive oil. Senor Ping and I were both pleased with the dinner. nex week we are going to try cooking prawns.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

A Busy Day In San Carlos

Some of you may find it hard to believe but we have busy days in Mexico, just like those of you that are less fortunate than us and are back home working a 9-5 job (or if you are teachers 8-????). We arose early and it was Doug's turn to take Abbey for a walk. When he got back he made coffee and I crawled out of bed and was ready to start the day. My To Do list was quite long. I started with dusting and vacumning and had some clothes to put away after doing laundry yesterday. I also put our winter jackets under the bed (I don't think we will need them since the temps have been in the low 80's all week) and rearranged the cupboards. (I also shook out 3 rugs today!!!)Doug and Fred fixed my bike tire (apparently I had driven over a goat's head thorn) and then Doug vacumned and cleaned the truck. The propane truck was by and we filled our little tank and then the "fish man" stopped and so we bought some flounder for dinner this evening. Doug also gave our neighbor a hand with his awning. He is from Vancouver Island and he and his wife have been coming to Mexico for 23 years. He is 90 years old and was having trouble getting his awning down so Doug and another neighbor gave him a hand. When we headed out to the market we discovered the repair job on my tire was not quite complete so we went to find a hardware store that carries repair kits for tire tubes. We stopped at a few gift shops and the art gallery. Doug repaired another hole on my tire and just when we thought it was fixed the air started to leak out again. I guess that will be tomorrow's job. I decided to get a start on dinner and made spanish rice and a tomato sauce for the flounder I will pan fry later. Our plans for the evening were to head to a little bar about a block from here to see a Mariachi band. We were having a refreshment before hand and new neighbors arrived. We were quite surprised to see the "Roughrider" license plate and even more surprised to find out that we know our new neighbors. We will post a picture tomorrow and the first person to guess who they are will get a " Corona and lime".(F&C you can't guess)At 6:00 we walked over to the ElToro bar and met the band outside. They remembered Doug from last week. It was 2 for 1 Happy Hour and our waitress was very attentive. The mariachi band was much younger than your typical mariachi band and we enjoyed their music. On our way home we stopped at a "cooking school" and checked out the menu. We will have to stop back another evening. Back at the campground we stopped for a visit with our new neighbors and then headed home. It was a very busy day and that means an early bedtime. I think we worked so hard today we will have to take tomorrow off.

Golf Mexico

On Monday morning the four of us headed to the golf course for another 18 holes. It was a beautiful day, mid 70's, a slight breeze and almost no one at the course. Doug was pleased with the 85 he shot and I was happy I didn't lose a club this time (by the way no one ever turned in my 7 iron, but its beyond me why anyone would want to keep it). Some of the best things about this course are: no bugs, no water, no crowds, no rattlesnakes (yet) and it was Monday at 10:00 AM and we weren't at school!!! We will definately be back for another round before we leave San Carlos.

Just thought I'd add these photos for John and Marla and Debbie K. Wish you were here!!!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Our Home Away From Home

Here is a picture of our campsite and one of Humenys' site.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

A Drive to Miramar

On Saturday afternoon we took a drive to Miramar, a village around the bay from San Carlos. Some might say it is a suburb of Guaymas. It might even be described as a "bedroom community on the beach". There are a few convenience stores but we could not see any evidence of a shopping district. We toured through some of the residential districts and were intrigued by the contrast in housing ranging from a shack on a sandbar to huge homes overlooking the bay. We also stopped at the Playa de Cortes. This hotel was build in the mid 1930's and we've heard that John Wayne and others used to frequent the hotel. We stopped for a refreshment in the bar and toured the grounds. It would be a perfect place to write "the great novel". It was so quiet you could have been in a monastery. There were beautiful wood carvings, antiques and a stained glass mural over a fireplace in one of the salons.

By the way, I discovered yesterday that people could not leave a comment unless they were "bloggers". I have now changed that so that we can receive comments from anyone.