Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Life's Lessons We have Learned

It seems that we may be "old and retired" but there are still some things that we can learn. Here are the a few of "life's lessons" we have learned since arriving in San Carlos.
1. When they say the music will start at 4:00 you need to remember "Mexican time" and not arrive for happy hour so early. Yesterday F&C and Senor Ping and I arrived at 3:30 to insure that we would have a good seat at Froggy's for the well known entertainer. In actuality he didn't start singing until 6:00. Maybe 2 1/2 hours early was a bit too early.
2. After arriving for happy hour and staying until after dark one should take care riding their bike home. I won't say anymore except that Fred led the way, I was hot on his trail and Senor Ping was bringing up the rear and it was the other biker that took a spill. I am sure everyone in the campground heard us giggling when we finally arrived home.
3. Walking can be dangerous when you don't look where you are going. This morning I did a face plant when Abbey and I got going in opposite directions and I was doing too much looking around. Luckily there were no injuries, just a scraped knee and hand and a red face.

I am sure we will learn a few other things while we are here but in any case this is the beginning of our next level of education.

San Carlos

On Tuesday Senor Ping and I went for a short drive to check out a few of the sights in San Carlos. Here are a few pictures of the Sea Of Cortez.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Monday in Mexico

What does one do in Mexico on a Monday? Well, about the time the bell would be ringing back home and everyone would be scrambling in from the icy cold playground I was heading out on my walk. Abbey and I left the campground and walked along the water side of the street. We stopped to watch the pelicans dive for food and then headed down the street to check out the shops in San Carlos. After our walk Colleen and I rode our bikes to the outdoor market. It was quite facinating to watch the vendor (Tony) and his staff set out the produce and fresh meat and fish that they sell each day. There were boxes and baskets full of every fruit and vegetable imaginable as well as huge coolers full of fresh fish, shrimp, scallops, and packaged meat. Tony also sells fresh bread, tortillas (still warm), nuts, dates, coffee and other items you might be looking for to plan your menu for the day. I felt like a child in a candy shop. I know that the next time I go I will take a camera because I am sure Meg and her food blog friends might be interested. After an early lunch we golfed 18 holes at the local golf course with Fred and Colleen. Senor Ping, F&C all had good rounds and I was quite proud of the fact that I did not loose a ball in 18 holes. Of course Senor Ping did have to add that I had lost one golf club (my old 7 iron) but hopefully someone will turn it in to the clubhouse and I will pick it up the next time we play a round. The golf course is surrounded by beautiful homes and gorgeous scenery and the day was warm with just a hint of a breeze so it was a most enjoyable way to pass the afternoon. After the golf game we headed to the marina to see the boats and have a refreshment or two. Again I will have to take a camera on our next trip so that I can share with all of you the view as we sipped our refreshments and feasted on fresh salsa and tortilla chips.
By the time we arrived back at the campground it was time for a shower and some grilled porkchops. I am sure it will be an early night as we are settling in to watch CSI Miami and to catch up on news from Saskatchewan.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Happy Hour

Here are a couple of pictures for all our dear friends at home, especially John and Marla. You may be thousands of miles away but we are thinking of a matter of fact we even have a couple empty chairs. By the way we were toasting Colleen's birthday.

Finally Arrived

We have finally arrived and are fully set up in our campsite in San Carlos Mexico. It was not an easy trip by any means. We left Yuma on Thursday morning and had a good trip to Tucson. We found the insurance office without any problems but then proceeded to wait for 2 1/2 hours for all the papers to be processed. From there we headed to Camping World (apparently a must stop for all RVers). Our final stop on Thursday was at the Desert Diamond Casino, which is situated on the way to Nogales (our border crossing). We checked out their buffet and then made phone calls home to Mom D. and the kids (sorry Megan that you weren't home). We headed back to the 5th wheel about 9:30 PM with plans to get a good sleep and an early start. That was not to be. No sooner had we settled down for the night when we smelled smoke and then discovered an electrical fire in our fridge. Thanks to Doug's quick thinking we had the fire out in no time. There was extensive damage to the fridge and so we knew it would be back to Tucson in the morning to find a new fridge. We didn't get much sleep as both of us were worrying about when and how we would get the fridge fixed and how lucky we were that we were in the trailer when the electrical short took place. Early Friday morning we were in line at the RV Center and for a while it didn't look promising. Doug headed to Camping World and they had a fridge and also promised to get it installed before the end of the day. We unhooked the trailer and then just hung out and were pleasantly surprised to hear that it was fixed by 1:30 PM. Our freezer had been fully stocked and nothing had started to thaw so that was also a bonus. We were back on the road and stopped at the Walmart at Nogales (our first experieince at Walmart camping). I spent the afternoon cleaning the trailer. There was a strong smoke smell but I think we have gotten most of it cleared out.
Finally on Saturday morning at 6:45 AM we were back on the road to Nogales. It was a very uneventful border crossing and a good trip to San Carlos. We pulled into the Totanoka Campground by 1:00 PM. Of course we had a reservation but that really doesn't mean much. We found a spot on the road and were promised a site by tomorrow. But who could complain. The weather was beautiful, Colleen brought us lunch (it was great!!!!) and Fred and Colleen had cold beer. We also checked out Froggy's later in the afternoon. We had a very early night and both of us had a great sleep. This morning we were up and at the office by 9:00 AM. We had already checked out the empty sites and picked out the one we wanted. We are now settled in. The power and water are hooked up as is the satellite dish (as a matter of fact we are watching the Scott Tournament curling), the awning is out and the sun is shining. We are here for a month and if the first day and a half are any indication, there will be lots of R&R, lots of sun and lots of good company.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Extreme Makeover for Abbey

Just thought I'd share the before and after pictures of Abbey. We took her to a pet groomers yesterday in preparation for our trip to Mexico. She's so ugly sh'e cute!!!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

R&R With R&R

We've just sent Raymondo and Roni off on the next leg of their journey. They are heading to San Diego where they plan to spend the next 4 days. They have a long list of places to go and things to see there before they start for home. We had a great visit and enjoyed touring around Yuma with them. On Monday we did some shopping and then relaxed by the pool. It was also time to do some laundry. Yesterday we took a trip to Los Algodones, Mexico. It is a short drive from our campground. We were a bit surprised to see the line of cars as we approached the border. We arrived early in the morning and spent a couple hours strolling though the market area checking out the blankets, pottery, metal work, and various other types of trinkets. We were amazed at the huge number of dentists and optometrists and pharmacies. We stopped for lunch and a few Coronas. If we were surprised by the line up as we were arriving I can only describe our reaction as SHOCK when it came time to leave. We walked toward the customs line only to find the line wound around the corner. As we walked almost a full block down the street to find the end of the line we were amazed at the number of people standing and waiting to leave the country. It was an hour long wait but we finally arrived at customs which took approximately 2 minutes maximum for all four of us to go through. I can only assume that it is like this every day as our neighbors here at the campground warned us before hand to go early and get in line to leave before 2:00 PM. Senor Ping and I did not buy anything as we are waiting for San Carlos to make our purchases (I couldn't see us moving around the big turtle and metal guitar player I had my eye on for the rest of our trip.) Ray and Roni did find a few things that will be keepsakes from the trip.
We arrived back at the campground in time for the Mardi Gras parade. Many of the park residents were dressed in fancy hats, masks and carried decorated umbrellas. There were a few golf carts and bikes decorated for the occasion as well. The parade circled through the park and it looked like they were having a great time (too bad I didn't have a costume or I would have joined in).
Today we are taking Abbey for a haircut and will do some shopping and packing for our trip to Tucson. We hope to get an early start so we can take care of insurance and other business on Thursday and head for San Carlos on Friday. We are also going to stop in for a visit with some other Eatonia folks and hopefully have a bit more R&R before we start on the next leg of our adventure.
The picture above was taken in the market area of Los Algodones.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

A Day In Paradise

We are settling in to the "retired lifestyle". That means up at 7:00, walk the dog through the desert with 20 or more other dog owners, coffee on the patio and a good book to read. A nap after lunch is certainly a "must" and then happy hour begins. Of course by 8:00 PM most people's lights are out. After all they have had a busy day!! Actually, by the looks of the activity schedule in this park the residents are kept busy with aerobics, aquacizes, card playing, shuffleboard, horseshoes, line dancing just to mention a few of the choices. I think I'll go check out the aquacizes tomorrow morning. Today we went to visit some folks from Eatonia (Glen and Trudy) who are at a park near by. We went for a drive and stopped for lunch. It was a good chance for us to see some of the sights and get an idea of what we can do when Ray and Roni arrive. If anyone is watching the Scott Tournament be sure to let us know how the Sask rink is doing.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Finally in Yuma

The past few days we haven't been able to check our email or do any posting so I guess I should give you an update on where we are and where we have been. On Monday morning we left Great Falls and drove for 12 hours. We had bad road conditions through most of Montana but eventually it did warm up and the roads cleared. We spend Tuesday night in Provo. Senor Ping and I are both fighting colds we brought with us from Canada. Thankfully we had a short drive on Wednesday and we were set up in our campsite in Mesquite by early afternoon. We had to de-winterize the 5th wheel and buy some groceries. Mesquite has grown since our last trip and there is a new Super Walmart. And to think that Kindersley thought they had the "best Walmart in the country". I took the advice of some of the K-5 students at Eaton School and did some shopping at Walmart. We had a bit of time left to hit the casinos to leave some money for the others. On Thursday we headed to Laughlin. Another place that has grown considerably since our last visit. We stayed at the Riverside Campground and got some much needed rest. Doug had a bit of a winning streak and so we left with some money in our pockets. On Friday we were packed up again and off to Yuma. We are staying at the Bonita Mesa RV resort. It is very clean and we have a large campsite. We will be here until next Thursday. I am looking forward to doing some reorganizing in the 5th wheel and soaking up the sun (did I say that it was 80F today???) Raymondo and Roni will be arriving on Sunday and I am sure we will enjoy a few beers on the patio. We are going to do some sight seeing and maybe check out the flea markets. I am sure Senor Ping and Raymondo would LOVE to go shopping with their loving wives!!!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Great Adventure Begins

We left home at 2:30 PM on Sunday, February 11. After a very short night (we didn't get home until 4:00 AM) and a very efficient cleanup at the hall we were on the road. It started to snow before we got to Medicine Hat and by the time we got to Taber there was quite a bit of snow on the ground. The next stretch of highway was very slow going. Once we got through the border crossing (which by the way was a breeze) we were on the I-15 and although it was still snowing we made good time. Abbey proved to be a good traveller so we reached our planned destination (Great Falls) and now have a few minutes to check our email and post the first entry for Senor Ping and Snowflake's Great Adventure!!!
We hope to reach Provo, Utah tomorrow but will be happy if we can get to Pocatello.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Just a Few More

Here are a few more pictures.

More from Tumbleweed

Here are a few more pictures from Trouble in Tumbleweed. Two nights down, 415 dinners served, 3/4 of the wine and beer sold and only one small disaster.... a table for 6 collapsed. A bit of cleanup and a complimentary bottle of wine and all was fine again.
Here are some of the citizens of Tumbleweed.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Trouble in Tumbleweed

The final rehearsal is over. In less than 24 hours it will be opening night. Hopefully everyone will remember their lines, not miss any entrance cues, remember to wait for the laughter (Oh God, what if there is no laughter????) and no one will lose a moustache. Here is a sneak preview of the entire cast of the Oasis Players production of Trouble In Tumbleweed.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Good Bye Deep Freeze, Hello Sunshine

After hearing the weather report today I have to say that I am very happy that we have begun preparations to leave the deep freeze we live in. The weather forecast is for cold, colder and coldest. It was -49 in Winnipeg this week, the forecast for Saskatchewan is just a bit warmer than that. However, Raymondo phoned this afternoon and reported sunny skies and "shorts weather" in Arizona. I can hardly wait to shed my winter coat and dig out my shorts and flipflops!!! Just 5 more days until we head out.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Bonding With The Family

Senor Ping and I were off to the city this past weekend to do a bit of bonding with the children. We arrived in time to have dinner with Megan, Allan and his friend Julia. The choice of restaurants was up to Meg and Al and after great deliberating they chose Joey Tomatoes. Good wine, good food and good company! After dinner Senor Ping and I headed to Bailey Bed and Breakfast on Oakridge. Accomodation was excellent as always, although this trip we were back in the Norwegian Suite rather than the exotic Guyamus suite we had during our last stay. On Friday Colleen and I ventured out into the snow and battled adverse road conditions on our search for a tea ball and collapsible collander. After browsing through every store in the mall and a few purchases not related to the items on our quest we did eventually find the tea ball. We arrived back at the B&B in time for Senor Ping and I to head downtown to meet Megan for light dinner before our evening of theatre. Another great choice of eating establishments! Allan was to join us for the opening night of The Knowing Bird which is a part of the Enbridge playRites Festival but got tied up and missed a very enjoyable and humorous production. I only wish I had the opportunity to see all the plays in the festival. after the show we hurried to the other end of the city to see the last 2 ends of curling match between the undefeated team of Dave, Jane, Ted and Colleen and their opponents (most definately rated as the underdogs in the match). Sadly, I must report that the winning foursome dropped their first game in two years. However, they did have time to discuss strategy and make a game plan for next week's match over a few beverages later.
Saturday morning was bright and sunny and we had time for breakfast with all the family before we started for home. A big thank you to the Baileys' for the great hospitality!!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Now That I Am Retired

Yesterday the K-5 students gave me a booklet they had compiled for my retirement. It included suggestions from all the students for things I can do now that I am retired. Some of the best were: play checkers at the retirement home where I live, (did Meg and Al forget to tell Senor Ping and I that they booked us a room at the EOL???). There were a few that said I should go shopping (and I will certainly take them up on that one), others that thought travelling to Mexico, Las Vegas, taking a cruise, Hawaii would be in my future, a few thought I needed a new job and some new careeer choices would be a doctor or working at Walmart. And finally, a few predicted that I would become a movie star, go to Hollywood, and the best.... I will become the next Canadian Idol!!!
I was a bit disappointed that not one of them suggested I sit back, enjoy the coffee and read a book while I hear the bell ring for the start of school.