Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Time

Sorry we haven't blogged in a while.   Life is so busy during the Christmas Season, and we left both the camera and the Black Berry in Mexico!    My computer has been malfunctioning, and everytime I have tried to blog (at least 6 times) it has failed miserably.   I'm reloading it at the moment, and decided to break down and use Gerry's desktop. 
We found our old camera the other day, it limps along...seems to have sand in it or something.   When you turn it on it grinds and wheezes for a bit while the lens tries to open.   We managed to get it open long enough to take a few pictures of the most lavishly decorated house in our neighbourhood.    I can't imagine how many hours went into decorating this place!   We did our usual...pull out the miniature cyberoptic Christmas Tree from the basement and plugged it in.   Decorating done.  :)

Christmas has been wonderful this year.  (this is Brenda speaking, Gerry is a bit of Grinch).    Christmas Eve dinner with Brenda's son, daughter-in-law and grandson at a Japanese restaurant.  yummmy.  (Gerry stayed home with a migraine, but truth be known I think he enjoys the company of a migraine more than Japanese food)

Christmas morning was magical at Adrian, Morgan and Trents house first thing the morning.   Trent was so happy and grateful for his gifts and his family that he broke into tears of joy.  It sure made me happy we decided to come home for Christmas.

Gerry needed a rest between Christmas breakfast and Christmas dinner, so home we went for a few hours, before heading to Brenda's sister Bernita's house for part 2 of Christmas day celebrations.    Barb, Bernita, (the two sisters) Mike (brother in law), Adrian (son), Morgan(daughter-in-law), Lara (niece), Trent(grandson), Gerry and I were there.   It was great to be with family, and I think I would have been miserable if I were in Mexico and missed being with them all.   Usually we play cards after dinner, but this year we were so busy chatting and catching up, we didn't even break out a deck.  

Boxing Day was round 3 of Christmas celebrations and off we went to Gerry's sons' house.  Taylor (son), Sara (daughter), Tommy (son-in-law),  Maddy (granddaughter), Ryleigh (granddaughter), Kennedy (granddaughter), Ana (granddaughter), Sophie (granddaughter), and last but not least Ma (Gerry's mom).  We had a lovely lunch and a fun time catching up.    I just love Christmas time!!!

I'm looking forward to seeing Zoe (granddaughter ) for the 4th and final Christmas celebration for 2011.

It seems the family all heard us loud and clear when we hinted that we needed a camera.  We got lots of gift certificates to be used toward the purchase of our new camera....maybe today we will buy it!

Trent will be coming to spend a few days with us before we go back to Mexico.  More good times!

As we suspected, being in Mexico really helps Gerry's health alot.   Sometimes it doesn't seem that way, when he hasn't had 3 days in a row without a migraine, but....we forgot that here in the cold he doesn't go two days in a row without a migraine.    Gerry is miserable, and can't wait to get back to the warmth.   I'm happy and looking forward to getting back to the warmth.  :)  Of course, I am not looking forward to missing my family...I sure wish I could bring them all with me. 

 7 more sleeps!   

Monday, December 19, 2011

Its too cold for me

I have been having a hard time with the cold since I have been home.With my pain disorder and the way cold effects me I have hardly left the house.  The pain is almost unbearable.   I cant wait to get back to the warmth of Mexico.

We walked down to the beach yesterday and it has sand dunes blown up along the cottages and wherever  the sand was wet it is frozen.   The lake has not started to freeze yet.    That's Lake Erie I'm talking about.   I don't think it will freeze all the way across this year unless they get a real bad cold snap for awhile.   I hope I'm in Mexico if that happens.   Here are some pictures of last year in January of the lake.

I am standing on the lake and you can see where the ice is all pilled up behind me from the wind.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

New habits - waste no water

As you may know, in a motor home or trailer the grey water tank is fairly small. It forces you to be conscious of how much water you are using. Over the last six weeks, living in Myrtle, I had become used to using very little water when I shower.

I always thought I was rather careful not to waste too much water, even before we left for our journey. However, careful seems to be a relative term.

Since I've been home I have found that I actually prefer showering with less water. In Myrtle, I turn on the water, get wet, wet my wash cloth, and then turn off the water to soap up. First I soap up my body except my face, then I shampoo my hair, then I soap up my face and turn the water back on to rinse off. Quick as a bunny and no water waste.

Yesterday, my first shower back at home, I left the water on to soap up, and found that it was very annoying that the soap was rinsing off as I was trying to shave my legs, and even as I was trying to soap up....you simply can't get the lather I had gotten used to. I turned off the water and was much happier with the lather. I feel as though I get cleaner by turning the water off. After rinsing off, I treated myself to 30 seconds of enjoying a nice hot wasteful shower, and felt decadent indeed.

I like this new habit. I try to be environmentally conscious, and I do believe I have permanently changed a very wasteful habit.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Home for the holidays

Well we made it.  For awhile yesterday I didn't think we would.  It sure was a trying day and a day of wasting money.
It all started out with a migraine. I was up around 3am throwing up and just suferring thinking my head would break.  Brenda got up around 5:30 and  had coffee then she started getting Turtle ready to be left alone and unplugged for 18 days.  Me on the other hand I was too sick to do much other than whine about the noise.  I don't understand why she couldn't kill the rooster I would have done it for her.

Well around 8:15 Gary (the owner of the park) came and gave us a ride to the bus station.  Gary and his wife Jean are such nice people.  He didn't have to drive us to the bus station that's just the kind of people they are.   Thanks again Gary.   If you are in the Bucerias area stop in Valle de Banderas at the Rancho Altarosa for a few days.    This is a beautiful place we can't wait to explore it some more when we get back.

We forgot our camera and Brenda's blackberry in Mexico...so we have no pictures to share today.   

Anyways back to our trip home.  The bus ride was uneventful for Brenda me.   It was a little bit like torture every Tope we hit I thought my head was going to split and my stomach was not liking it one little bit.   We forgot to bring water, and I was so thirsty I was ready to stop the bus and drink from a tap.  It took about 45 wonderful minutes to get to the airport, the driver let us out right at the front door.   I love theire buses.  So we are at the airport extra early... we think. Ha.   First we find United and there is a sign Today United is Continental.  So this being Mexico that sounded right so we get in line at Continental.  We stood at the front of the line no one ahead of us except a couple of people at the checkin counters.  We stood there waiting and waiting it took 45 minutes for them to get to us.   And Continental was United for the day. We go through customs and then Brenda does some shopping.  Since we didn't check any bags, we had to buy alcohol at the duty free to take home for presents, and she found a snow glob for Maddy my grand daughter.  When she gets back it's already time to get on the plane.  As we approached the airplane they inform us that the plane is too small for carry on bags, and took ours from us.   They gave us a tag, and said to pick them up in Houston from the tarmac outside the plane before we head inside.   hmmmm.   We didn't get seats together so Brenda let me pick the seat I wanted.  Well I'm clausterphobic so I was in shock when I stepped in side and realized they actually made people sit in some kind of a little cigar tube where there wasn't enough air to keep a mouse alive never mind me.   Do you think I had a clausterphobic attack??    Well I did, good thing I had taken a Lorazapam awhile before or I wouldn't  have made it.   After freaking out over which seat I could possibly sit in for 2 hours, I just closed my eyes and passed out.    I was so happy when that trip was over.   Well it was far from over...we land in Houston to do a transfer.  First we had to wait in the hallway outside the plane for our carry-on bags...which they just threw onto the floor....yikes...we had breakables in there, which is one reason people tend to take a carry on..no?    In Houston you don't get off one plane and get on another... NOOOOOOO.. you have to go through customs all over again.   So strange we get on an American plane in Mexico to get on a different American plane in United States.  But you have to go through customs again whats that about.  Anyways we end up in 3 diferrent lines because they kept telling us the wrong one.  Finally we get to customs and they say you can't take alcohol on the plane then they come up with you can't take the snow globs on.   Even though we bought them at duty free after we went through customs.   By this time there was only 5 minutes left of our 2 hour layover...and we hadn't even had a chance to get a drink of water or stop in a washroom!!! So our choices were to drink the alcohol or let them throw it away, and the snow globes were just trashed.  (or whatever it is they do with confiscated items)  We could have had them shipped home but we only had 5 minutes to get to the plane  so everything was trashed.   Then after customs low and behold there is another duty free to buy it all again but we had no time we had to catch a tram to the other terminal then get to our gate and get on the plane. We were the last ones on, and the plane wasn't even half full because every one that had to make a connection had to go through the same hell we did.   More than half missed the plane.  We were lucky thats all I can think it only cost us a couple of bottles of booze and 4 snow globes.   We did manage to get great seats at the exits with extra leg room.  

The best purchase Brenda and I have ever made is a little thing called a Nexus.   $80.00 a piece, basically you get pre-approved for border crossings, and they last for five years, it makes crossing the border between U.S. and Canada quick and painless.   While hundreds of other people were lined up to go through Canadian Customs, Brenda and I walked directly over to the Nexus machine, it scanned our irises and lickedy split we were through customs.    Living in a border town, we use it regularly to cross the border, never have to get in a line up, and never have to answer a pile of questions. 

The drive home from the airport was pleasant for me, I was sitting in the front passenger seat, with lots of legroom, while Brenda's son Adrian drove us home, and Brenda was in her glory in the back seat catching up with our grandson Trent.    Someone was kind enough to order balmy weather for our arrival.   Toronto was having record seasonal highs in temperature.  Bonus!
We ended up at home around 11:00 p.m.,  it was a long day and my head didn't split and today I'm not much worse for wear.   I guess if I have to have a migraine, and I have to go through a 15 hour day of travelling on itty bitty claustrophobic inducing airplanes, I might as well do them both in one day!

Now to get ready for Christmas!!!   YAY Christmas shopping!!!  All I can say is I love shopping about as much as I love migraines and flying on itty bitty airplanes.   :)   

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Rancho Altarosa Day 2

 I love this road sign.   I kept seeing them every once and awhile and my thinking was Crab crossing.  I've seen them with turtles and lizzards as well.   Boy was I wrong What would do you think?  (It means Protecting the enviroment)

Laundry day.  Free clothes dryer, this is what there is in Mexico.  They work well in Canada too, I just rarely see them.

Thats corn..in December!!! Their seasons sure are different from ours.

These are Avocado trees there are quite a few around here.  I'm told they get a blight, and are well regulated.   If the authorities find any sign of it, they make you cut down the entire orchard.

The girls had a project for today.  Recover a lawnchair.  And they even managed to get it done with the help of a few beers.

Today was packing and getting Turtle ready for our trip home.   We biked into town , we were out of coffee so it was  an extremely important trip.  We went to quite a few stores and all we could find was instant.   I was almost in a panic, we were out of junk food too!   .  We bumped into two ladies from our campsite, who came to our rescue and guided us a candy store that had coffee too!   On the way back, we stopped and had a couple of quesedillos for lunch and ended up with some chicken soup. We felt guilty because yesterday they didnt have any chicken and they said they would have one today just for us.    Then when we got there the woman took Brenda out back (into the kitchen) to show her the soup pot so thats how we ended up with the soup.

No blog tomorrow unless we get internet at the airport.  So it well be a couple of days.
We need to get home and start Christmas shopping.   I'm so excited....just love shopping.  

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Turtling Day

After over 2 weeks of settling in Sayulita we pulled out this morning and headed to Valle de Banderas, via Punta Mita.

The road to Punta Mita was washed out in many places, at times we were a bit worried we might have to turn Myrtle around.

We were unimpressed with Punta Mita...reportedly one of the most prestigious and expensive tourist areas on the west coast. It was basically a resort town, so we just kept Turtling on down the road toward Valle de Banderas.

El Rancho Altarosa is a lovely RV site, situated in a valley surrounded by the mountains of the Riviera Nayarit.

Once we got Myrtle all snug in her bed, we went for a walk into Valle de Banderas to make sure we know the way to the bus station.

The road to Valle de Banderas was a horse of a different colour.

What's this? The Children of the Corn??? lol

The walk into town is about 1/2 an hour, so we will leave Myrtle at El Rancho Altarosa for 18 days while we go home to Crystal Beach for Christmas. We will leave on foot at about 8:00 a.m. to catch a bus to the airport in Puerto Vallarta. I'm so excited to be coming home for Christmas!!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

December 12th, Our Lady Guadalupe

Tonight, December 12th is our final night in Sayulita, and the final night of the Our Lady Guadalupe Festival. Tonight's pilgrimage was a step up from the one's all week.
Guadalupe (The Virgin Mary) was on a spinning platform.
It was the same band, playing the same song, but they were dressed uniformly. Here is a link to a youtube of the song http://www.metacafe.com/watch/2206729/our_lady_of_guadalupe_song/

All week I was asking the local gringos what the song was called, but no one knew. I finally found the English words online.

The English translation is:

Song to Our Lady of Guadalupe
Words Anonymous
You are the fountain of my life
Under your shadow, and in your protection,
I fear no evil, no pain, no worry...

Maria, oh most merciful Mother
Gentle Virgin, with the name, Guadalupe
On a mountain, we find roses in winter,
All the world, has been touched by your love.

Here, in the crossing of your arms
Could there be anything, else that I need?
Nothing discourages, nothing depress me.

You, are the Star of the Ocean
My boat is small, and the waves are so high
But with you to guide me, I'll reach my homeland.

You, are the Dawn of a New Day
For you give birth to the Son of the Father
All of my lifetime, I'll walk beside you...

Tonight was the only night they had horses in the parade. Wonderful! They were dancing to the music. Every other night there was a police escort for the pilgrimage...but they were no where in sight tonight. We started calling the folks on the horses the RMMP - Royal Mexican Mounted Police.

Every other night the fireworks were really just big bang noise makers...and I mean BIG BANG!!! I almost jumped out of my skin each time they went off. In fact, once I was sitting on a wall swinging my legs, and suddenly a huge bang made me jump...I literally had a knee jerk reaction, Gerry was standing in front of me and I kicked him right in the butt! He was less than impressed, and wasn't quite sure whether or not to believe I had no control over it. :) Perhaps, it was my uncontrollable laughter that made me seem less than sincere.

Tonight they got serious about the fireworks. There were a dozen young men building a display, using twine to tie hundreds of fireworks to their construct. Then they raised it right in the middle of the square, seemingly with no worries about the trees or buildings surrounding it. Wow, they wouldn't be able to light this thing off in that small area in Canada! Yikes!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Last chance to explore Sayulita

We have been in Sayulita for 2 weeks now...whenever possible we go for a daily walk. This morning we were wondering what was left to discover, so I said "Let's just start walking south, and the first time we come to a road we haven't walked down yet...let's take it". Thankfully, this was the second road we haven't walked down yet, lol, so we didn't go down this one. It may not look like it in the picture, but that is one steep road!!! Instead we ended up on the road to the right.....which will eventually lead to the beach...of course.

I still can't get over how many butterflies there are here. No matter how many I see, I am mesmerized by them.

As we suspected...another beach...just around the corner.

The power of the ocean humbles me. This rock is easily twice as high as I am......and the next minute, easily swallowed whole by the ocean. Yet somehow...the crabs still manage to hold onto the rocks.

Someone put a great deal of effort into carving these into the rocks along the pathway.

There is no shortage of quiet places in Sayulita. I imagine much soul searching is done around here on a regular basis.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Easy day

An easy day today we didn't do much.Went into town and did some shopping

 Check out the price on these Avocados.   10 Pesos thats about 78 cents and you thought that was a deal La Bolsa means per bag there was about 8 in a bag.   Now thats a deal.
                                 Look Brenda talking with her hands.What should I get....lol
                          And this is the guy she bought her hamock from 300 pesos.  She couldn't resist. 

                                                Thats it for today.   Sat around and watched the ocean.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Hiking the trails at jungles edge

After a bad night (I was up most of it, walking the streets of Sayulita...just me and the dogs).   The migraine hit with a vengance.   Brenda was flat out on her back since yesterday evening.   I started feeling better around 10.:00 a.m., and walking helps Brenda's back, so around 11 we headed out for a stroll.  Thinking it would be better to be out of the sun we headed for our favorite spot, the secluded beach with the whale skull.

We did a nice slow walk and followed the trails we knew for awhile.   Brenda kept trying to get pictures of Butterflys and Lizards to no avail.  Except this one.   If you could of heard the nice words she was calling the camera.  Since no one has fedexed a new camera to us our next hope is Santa, if not I have to break down and buy one after Christmas.    So for now you have to put up with looking at pictures with a blob in the centre.

We eventually took a different trail and ended up on the far side of the cave.   We came across an area where there use to be a resort of some kind but all that's left is the change rooms and a small bathroom.  In fact the road has even grown over and washed out.      You can get to it with a quad but no car would ever make there.  We end up going to the cave and it had half filled with sand it must have been a high tide in the last few days.  We almost had to crawl to get through to the other side.  Not me...I ran.... you know me and my claustrophobia.   I was through it in about 3 seconds.  As I was going through a wave came in and the water was about a foot deep.  Thought that was the end for me. Funny how you can laugh at things after the fact but at that moment it wasn't funny at all. So we started to head for home, but we came across another trail leading up a good size hill and couldn't resist following it.  About a half a kilometer up the hill we come across a house right in the jungle.  Some one did alot of work to build it then just abandoned it.   We kept going and then we come to an area where they had built walls.

  They build stone walls for fences around here.  Up and up we went.  It ended on top of the hill some one had built retainer walls and flattened the top.   I'm sure someone was going to build a house at one time but now I think it is a distant dream.    They have a million dollar view from up there you can see in all directions.   We got some great pictures if you call a blob in your pictures great.  lol  (hint hint, nudge nudge) We even had some birds soaring around us.

If you look closely  in this picture you can see the cave that takes you from one beach to the other...the very one that tried to swallow me whole today!!!!     If you can't find it in the above picture, here is a closeup....can you find it now?

 We were so high up, the birds were flying at the same level, and even lower than we were.      What a find .... it boggles the mind how few people are on these trails and beaches.    Everyone is too busy in the touristy areas.   They miss so much.  

After that we headed for home and didn't even make a wrong turn.  We must be getting better.