Monday, December 31, 2012


Looking out to sea from 2nd floor

It started raining at about 3:30 this afternoon, very lightly at first but now it's a nice, steady downfall. Not too heavy, but enough to probably wash out the evening's entertainment down on the malecon. This is surely a disappointment to the puesto owners who were relying on thirsty revelers. But for us old stay-at-homers who want a good night's sleep, we can do without the disco and the disk jockey who loves to hear himself sing!

Looking to the front door

Front garden
We managed to get in a quick trip to the morning market before things began to get cloudy and cold. Came away with two big shopping bags filled with these beautiful veggies and some lovely sweet strawberries.

green beans, red potatoes, tomatillos, mushrooms, limes, 1/2 head cauliflower, tomatoes, oranges

sweet and jucy!

I'm reading, for the second time, "Midnight's Children" by Salman Rushdie.  A perfect read to curl up with on a cool, rainy day.  Right now I have to go put on a long sleeved shirt!

Prospero Año to all.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

welcome to the first world

We went in to Manzanillo today, first to the airport to drop off Marie's daughter and son-in-law who had been here for a week emptying out her house and taking care of "post-Marie" business.  Then we went to the big shopping center to do some marketing and to drop in to Telcel to see if we could get a USB modem stick for our internet use.  The young woman behind the counter was utterly stumped by the appearance of a Mac, but we brought the stick home, put it into the machine and, PRESTO!  We've got internet.  After being at the mercy of TelMex for almost a month with no results, this little magic wand works just fine.  Of course it only lasts for a month (30 days) and then it has to be recharged, but it costs just about as much as the TelMex service does and, best of all, it actually works.

So there will be some photos put up and more posts in the days to come.  Right now I have so many emails to read, past blog posts to catch up on, to say nothing of "news" to read.  ¡Hasta mañana y con mucho feliz!  Estoy muy contento.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

feliz navidad

I send you greetings from the balmy, breezy south.  The sea is sparkling out there in front of me, the palms are gently swaying (while the coconuts drop all over the place), and some beautiful Christmas carols are on the Bose.  Of course, I'm not at home but if I were, that's what I'd see and hear.  I'm again over at Jack's and the best I can do from my vantage point is the sea and the palms.

G'daughter Emily is visiting her mother up in Walla Walla.  Alex sent this wonderful picture; the best Christmas treat I could ask for.

Unless, of course, it would be this.

This is turning our to be a very tough Christmas for me, the saddest I've spent since my father died in 1979.  With my sandbox pal and fellow traveler gone it's just not much fun. Her daughter is here and we have been having a fine time exchanging stories, good memories, and laughs.  But it just ain't the same.

To one and all, I hope this day finds you in fine fettle, ready to celebrate the beauties of the season with family and friends.  May the New Year bring you peace.  May it bring us all Peace.

Friday, December 21, 2012

friday update

Here are just a few little tidbits to fill you in.

1.  No internet
There is still no internet in our house and, if the chefe at Telmex is to be believed, there will not be any.  The server for our little town is full up; no open slots.  And there are no plans for an additional server.  So anuyone coming here expecting to have access is going to be out of luck.  I wish the gent who waited on me two weeks ago had told me this in the first place.  Now I have to go back and have them disconnect everything and refund our money.  I am, as you can imagine, not happy about this.  We may be able to rig us something with Neighbor Nelson when he arrives in January.  Until then, it's Jack's porch once or twice a week.

2.  Mother of all colds
I've been sick for four days with probably the worst cold I can remember.  So I will miss Dago's tonight, alas, but Mr. C said he would go down and order some shrimp and bring them home.  Of course I haven't eaten anything either, and don't really want to, but that might be a treat.

Other than those two events, nothing much to report.  Long, warm, laxyt days, cool nights.  Starting to cough; gotta go home.

Friday, December 14, 2012

still no internet

We are still waiting for our internet connection ~ it's now been over a week and I can't imagine what the hold-up is.  I'll call again this afternoon although what work gets done on a Friday afternoon here, two weeks before Christmas?  Not much.  The local library will close today and not open again until after January 3rd.  Gloria, the "librarian" who sits at her desk and does crafts which she then uses to decorate the lobby, works from 1 PM-6 PM (maybe) and clearly needs 3 weeks to recover from her daily grind.

We've almost got everything unpacked and put away.  Mr. C finally opened his suitcase and emptied the contents on the bed so he could sort and refold all his various T-shirts and shorts.  Both of us have decided we're leaving almost all our clothes here since we'll be flying down next year and want to travel light.  Or at least that's the current plan.  But the trip down was so easy that maybe . . . we'll see.

Lovely dinner party last night.  Met some new residents.  Saw old friends.  The season  is beginning on a happy note.  Dago's tonight.  If i don't have internet there will be no opera tomorrow and it's Aida which I don't want to miss.  Listen to it for me, OK?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

more flea, less market

Monday's tianguis revealed that there is more call for used stuff ~ clothing, tools, furnishings ~ than there is for food. There are about 100 stalls in the 6-block stretch of the market. There are about 10 food stalls; the rest are given over to a huge variety of other goods.  Mr. C did manage to find himself a new pair of shorts for 50 pesos, about $4.

 My favorite market stall is still there, offering up great vegetables at ridiculous prices.

We bought beautiful green beans, a cauliflower head, lettuce, peppers, carrots, onions, cucumbers, strawberries and, of course, some of these beauties for our Sundlay morning treat.

Yesterday we sent in to Tecoman to pay our annual bank trust. This little chore can take anywhere from 3 days (last year) to l0 minutes (this year) depending on the teller you get. This year we got the same woman who finally solved her co-workers' befuddlement last year so it was just a breeze. We're now all paid up for another year. Still no internet at home. Maybe today. I have photos waiting to be posted but this connection at Jack's is not very reliable so I figure I've tested it's strength enough.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

quick update

Just a quick update.  I'm sitting on Jack's terazzo so I can get his signal.  We should be up and running tomorrow.  It's hot and humid but still wonderful to be here.  We have finished comida at Fernando's puesto ~ excellent fish as usual.  Before we went down we managed to get all our Christmas lights up, the creche set up, more tables and chairs arranged.  The garden looks pretty good but needs work, mainly because the iguanas are eating everything that's in bloom.   Tomorrow is the first tianguis  of the season.  I had my first glass of fresh orange juice of the season, too.

After I get internet in my own house I'll put up some photos of various things.  Meanwhile, I feel a siesta coming on . . .

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

six down ~ we're here

No internet yesterday in Tepic so I couldn't update my faithful readers.  But I am now sitting in Jack's living room using his connection since ours will not be up and running for several days.  We have to go into Tecoman tomorrow to visit Telmex and put in our order.

Anyway, back to our trip here.  We left Tepic at 6:30, had a speedy, smooth trip to Guadalajara, stopped briefly at CostCo, and made it to our front door at 2 PM, with a 1 hour time change, so it was actually 1 PM.  A big part of the 2-lane portion of the freeway is now 4-lane, which speeds things up appreciably.

The beer is cold, the fruit is ripe, and chiles picadillo are hot and just waiting for our dinner.  Welcome to the tropics!

Monday, December 3, 2012

four down, two to go

In case you're interested, something has happened to the communication ability between my camera and this LapMac.  I will have to wait until I get to a place where I can spend some "quality time" figuring it out before I put up any pix I've taken so far.

Easy drive from San Carlos to Topolobampo today.  We decided to bag Los Mochis and come right here to this old, somewhat seedy hotel that we like so much.  We couldn't get our usual room so had to settle for one without double exposure but with very clean floors, more comfortable beds, an almost silent air conditioner.  It's hot ~ mid-80's ~ so the air is a real treat.

No action on the road except for three or four army/federal police checkpoints that we were waved through.  Hardly any traffic on the toll route, Mex 15.  It's like driving on I-8 from San Diego to Casa Grande; fast, smooth, deserted.

Tomorrow it's on to Tepic, a good 8-hour drive but still on the toll roads.  We'll leave early, get there around 3 PM.  More from there.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

three down, three to go

Here we are in San Carlos after another easy drive, this one from Tucson.  We got through the border details faster than ever; about ten minutes to park the car, get the passports stamped, visit the loo, get in the car and go.  No questions, no paperwork, nobody interested in looking in the car.  The only slow down the whole time was due to extensive road work just south of Nogales.  We got to the hotel ~ the same one we've stayed in for the past 11 years ~ about 12:30.  Took our usual room, the one with the biggest 'fridge, and then took a good look around.  Boy, this place has sure fallen on hard times.  The kitchenette has no dishes, pots, pans.  The towels are almost transparent.  There are no blankets on the beds, no patio furniture out on the balcony, and the function of the toilet is iffy at best.  We have surmised that the owners/management have decided to let the place fall down and then sell the property to a developer for high rise condos.  That's what's going up all along this beautiful stretch of beach.  There is a gigantic condo building just to the west of the hotel, built about 5 years ago.  We are the ONLY guests as of now, although more may come later.  We also went into town for gas and the whole place looks down at heel.  This is primarily a hang out for gringos so the downturn is a bit strange.  I don't think it's the time of year; this is when the Mexican beach season is in full swing.  Right now it's warm, sunny, very light breeze; just perfect.  Who knows if this place will be here when we return in May.

Tomorrow we'll head south of Los Mochis or Topolobambo.  It's another short-ish day, probably about five hours of driving.  So far, so good.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

two down and four to go

We made it to Tucson in good time; not much traffic on a Saturday morning.  Left La Jolla at 6 am, arrived here 2  pm.  Settled in our usual hotel that has a BIG refrigerator so we can re-chill all our ice chest contents.  We had a lovely stay in that little jewel of a town where I spent five of my "formative" years.  Breakfast with friends at that fine old dowager hotel, the La Valencia.   A walk with P's beautiful goldens, a nice stroll down Girard Street, and an early dinner at Manhattan, a quiet and cozy restaurant.  Then home, early to bed, and up at 4:30 am to start the day.

Later this afternoon we're going to visit two another Bishop's classmates for what I know from experience will be a talk-filled dinner.  Back here, early to bed, and tomorrow to Nogales and the Mexican border.  Next post from San Carlos.