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.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Secluded Beaches of San Carlos

Here are a few pictures of some of the beaches at San Carlos. It was a windy day so we didn't even dip our toes in.
Frenchie's Cove

Tetekawi from the look out point by El Mirador Campground

Catch 22 Beach (also known as Algodones Beach

Tony's Market

We stopped to pick up a few fresh fruits and veggies as well as home made tortillas and fresh from the bakery bread.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Nacapule Canyon

We took a drive through the Ranchitos district of San Carlos yesterday. We passed the school for 6 -11 year olds. They travel to Guaymas by bus when they are older. The students were all in uniforms. We had noticed that about the groups of students we had seen when we went to Guaymas earlier in the week. After leaving the Ranchitos we headed up a dirt road until we came to a clearing to park the truck. The hike was unbelievable. We went from cactus to palmtrees and other tropical plants. The final destination was the pool of water and cave. Of course some people took the route that was marked with blue paint but we ventured off the main trail and climbed some steep rocks, crawled through a cave and even backtracked a bit but it was a great experience.