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Monday, December 30, 2013

Gran Plaza Mall in Mazatlan

Guess I shouldn’t have mentioned the TelCel – got the notice this morning when I tried to go on line that it is time to recharge it.
It got rather nasty looking here yesterday – heavy clouds and cooled down. Almost got a hold of our friends and cancelled our dinner. But as the afternoon progressed it warmed up some. By the time we got to the Plazuela Machado the weather was perfect. A balmy 77 degrees and no wind. I’m glad we reserved a table because the Plazuela was crowded last night. Most of the tables in all the restaurants were full. Lots and lots of people walking around.  The person we went to hear play and sing wasn’t there – he had other obligations for yesterday but will be back next Sunday night. But there was still good entertainment. First a bunch of young people came with their drums and fire hoops.
After they left a musical group came. They were very good. Played all types of music – Cuban, Columbian, Mexican and American. That got the people up and dancing.

As we were getting ready to leave the band started playing Achy Breaky Heart and about 30 or 40 people ended up line dancing. Fun to watch.
This morning early we took Willie to the Jeep dealer to have him rechecked out. He is still under their warranty from when they fixed his first problem in March. Then we walked over to the Gran Plaza Mall and had breakfast at Sanborns – a very nice place with good food.

Then walked around the Mall until the TelCel place opened at 10:00. We now have Internet until Jan 29th. Or until we use up our 3GBS which ever comes first.
The Santa display in the Mall - love the Santa climbing down the rope from the ceiling.
Saw this neat suit for little boy in a bridal shop. Peg leg pants, embroidered waist band and shirt and beret - how cute.

The floors in this Mall are so shiny they are like mirrors. Look at this reflection.

Took a Pulmonia home.  The little golf cart like taxis. Seemed funny to be riding in an open vehicle at about 40-45 mph without a seat belt. Made me feel kind of uneasy at first. Got over that though and enjoyed the ride. Bill talking! to the driver. Actually we were stopped at a light when I took this. But he kept talking.....
Bill was changing his watch after we got home and I noticed his "trucker's tan" - he gets browner and I get redder. Not fair. 
Time for more laundry and reading and waiting to hear from the Jeep place. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Walking, Cooking, Remembering

Got cool here last night – even I was pulling the bedspread back up over me by morning. And wouldn’t you know we have plans to go out tonight to the Plazuela Machado to have dinner with friends and listen to our friend Rafael Rodriguez sing and play and watch the people dancing. Hope it doesn’t get cool too early. And looking at the weather report we might get some more rain during the coming week.
Every morning I wonder if the TelCel stick will work. We still have plenty of GBs left but our 30 days are way gone. We’re into our 37th day. Well when it stops working we’ll just have to make a trip into the TelCel place and get more time. I know it can be done online but not quite sure how. Rather have them do it.
We pretty much stayed at the Alfa yesterday. Took a short drive into town then came home. Bill had to make up for the sleep he lost during the night. I pretty much read and played with the laptop. Discovered a couple of things I didn’t know about Mazatlan so we’ll have to go check them out one day.
Bill cooked his famous tiny potatoes

And then he fixed chicken picata for dinner. I’m so spoiled.
Have a load of laundry in and just got back from a walk around the campground and over to the beach. Sure are a lot of different interesting plants here in the RV park. Going to have to go back out with the camera later. That is something we both need to do more of – walking…exercise…It is almost 9 a.m. and I am soaking wet from our walk – the heat really gets to me. Sometimes the temperatures at home are appealing.
This is a bad day for us – neither one of us has mentioned it but I know we’re both thinking about our middle son, John. He died in an accident seven years ago today. He was 41 … Some years it is harder than others… Funny when he was alive we didn’t think about him that much. Guess we just thought he’d always be there if we wanted to talk to him.

Time to fold the laundry.  Nuts! I forgot to take my watch off when I took my shower!!  Hope it is water proof. I asked Bill if I had to buy a new watch here would it tell me Mexican time or US time. Should have seen the look he gave me - I WAS JUST KIDDING!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Visit to the new and old in one day La Noria, MX

Another bright sunny day today as was yesterday which was.?.?.? Friday I think. Hard to keep track of time – I have to look at the phone or the computer to be sure. A little over 80 degrees most of the day. And probably will be today too.
We did manage to do a couple of productive things yesterday. Got the propane tank filled. The gas truck comes right here to the campground – and the price of propane like many of the prices here has gone up now a little over US$2.00 a gallon.
And I didn’t wash the curtains – couldn’t get the rods off the hooks – was afraid if I really pushed and pulled I’d break the hooks. So that will have to wait…..too bad.
We took a ride over the new mall just to the east of us. Just before we left here in March we went to the opening of the anchor store Liverpool. A magnificent (expensive) department store. At that time the rest of the mall was under construction. Most of it is open now. To get into the parking lot you have to go through drop down gates and get a ticket. Hummm – pay to park at a mall? So we parked and headed towards the mall. A couple of nice outside restaurants including an Italian place, a Starbucks, a Sushi place and a place that makes big crepes and serves Slurpees. (some how I managed to loose those pictures??)

Inside it is very pretty. The escalators decorated for Christmas.

Heading down one of the long halls. Didn’t realize at first that it was two stories high.
lots of brands we see at any mall at home

The two story Christmas tree.

At the unfinished end of the hall we were surprised to discover that there will be a Sears store as an anchor store. It should open in a month or so.

So after roaming around a while we went back to get the car. We got in and headed for an exit. Whoops there were bars across the top of the exit that were too low for Willie with his antennas to go under. So we turned around hunting for a way out. Then I noticed people coming out of the mall and stopping at machines about the size of an ATM. They stood there for a while, put something in and took something out. Then went to get into their cars. We decided we needed to check them out. They turned out to be where you had to pay for your parking. You put your ticket in – told you how much you owed and gave you back your validated ticket after you paid. Without that you couldn’t get out of the parking lot. That’s a little cheeky – charging you to go shopping. Didn’t set well with either of us. Then we drove around looking for an exit without a low clearance. Finally found one and got out of there. Might not be going back there.
Right across the street is a brand new WalMart. They had not even broken ground for it when we left in March. Of course had to go check it out. Parking was free and ample. It had opened the end of November. Very nice store - the pictures I took of it were some of the one's I guess I accidently deleted. Got a few groceries we needed and headed home again.
After putting our stuff away the day was still young so we headed out to La Noria to see our friends there. It is about 23 miles east into the country.

With all the rain the last few months everything is sure green very different from the previous years.

Just as we were remarking on some of the new potholes in the road we came upon a road crew. Repaving the road.

The new repave went right up to the town of La Noria. And the arch has been repainted too. But the nasty topes are still in town.

Bill and our friend the leather worker, Roberto, discussing the state of the economy. Roberto is glad the cruise ships are starting to return and bring the tourists back.

We weren’t there long so didn’t take many pictures. Besides I’ve taken bunches of pics of La Noria in the past. These are very old wooden shoe forms. The sandals are formed around them.

And just thought this leather purse was cute. (It was in the other leather shop – not Roberto’s.)

Except for another run later in the day to another grocery store – this time Sorianas that was pretty much it for the day. Oh – right next to Sorianas there is a pet store I always like to look in the windows at the puppies for sale. A teeny tiny Chihuahua was there for sale. He looked so lonely! Bill pretty much grabbed me by the arm and was pulling me away as I was making cooing sounds to the puppy. He was so tiny and cute!
Right now Bill is reading his book - with his eyes closed. Can't blame him though. When I got up this morning I found him in the lazy boy in the living room trying to sleep. He says who ever was chasing me in my sleep was sure causing me to make noise. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Boots, Bread and Sunsets

Good Morning!
No rain last night. The night before it poured all night. Yesterday was clear and warm and today is supposed to be the same. With all the rain lately everything is so green. All the dust has been washed off the trees and plants. Very pretty.
Yesterday was a kind of “do errands day.” 
First we stopped at the alterations lady. Bill had a few pairs of pants he wanted shortened.
Then we headed over to the Centro Historico to the watch repair guy. But unfortunately it looks like he has closed his business. We’ll check again after the first of the year. Hopefully he is just on vacation over the holidays. Bill has an old watch that he cleans every year for him. We parked in our regular parking lot. Again welcomed “home.” The kid who works in the parking lot washing cars is the same kid that washed Willie the other day. He says because it started to rain right after we picked Willie up he will wash him for free next time.
The parking lot is right across from the Yellow Building that got fixed up so we got the skinny on it. No one has bought it – it will not be occupied. The government of the city fixed it up for the tourists. They hauled out eight big trucks full of debris from it. And not long after they finished the hurricane came through in November and it was struck by lightening. That explains the broken window on the left and the missing plaster. Poor old thing has a rough life. Many many years ago it was a Chinese bakery…or so we’ve been told.
I just like this building so I’ll share it. It is from the late 1800s and has been kept up and used.
And this building. The first floor is nice and kept up. The second floor has no roof. Can look through the window right up into the sky.
A couple years ago the city of Mazatlan buried a lot of the power lines and ran new meter boxes to the buildings. So we thought most of this would disappear. Apparently not. You want more lines you just run one.
Our second errand for the day was dropping a couple pairs of Bill’s cowboy boots off in the main Plaza to be shinned. 2 pairs of very dull dusty boots. 60 pesos - $4.50. There are about 20 shoe shines stands around the plaza. 
We left them  to be shined and headed over to the Plazuela Machado to have lunch at Beach Burger – an outdoor restaurant there. While eating we got to watch this guy demonstrate his roping skills. Always something going on there.

And then we went to pick up the Foccacia bread Bill had ordered at the bakery up the street. When we went in the bakery the day before they had some but they’d already trimmed the edges off and he likes it with the edges so they told us to come back and they would leave the edges on. The whole bread.

Cutting the piece in half for him – with edges. And they even offered to give him the edges they’d cut off another piece – for FREE as they just threw then out. We left with his bags of bread and a big grin on his face.

Walked down this colorful street on the way back to the car.

Driving back home we noticed the sign on Burger King – they deliver!

Stayed home for awhile. Then headed out late afternoon/early evening. Noticed this rainbow color in one cloud.

Then we stopped to pick up the shirts Bill had left at the laundry a couple of days ago.

Drove out to the cliffs near the harbor to watch the sunset. Didn’t disappoint.

It is funny when ever we go there to watch the sunset Bill always ends up taking pictures for pretty girls that want the sunset in the background.
Then on to the Plazuela Machado to check out the Christmas decorations at night.

And of course we had to stop and have dinner. Delicious Italian Chicken Salads.

Spent an hour or so there – perfect weather – about 77 degrees and no wind or humidity. Watched all the families strolling the plaza and all the little kids on their new Christmas bikes and scooters. There are a lot of Mexican families in town for the holidays from the interior. So it was pretty busy for a Thursday night. And during the day the beaches are full.

No plans for today. Talked to the manager of the park yesterday about getting propane and asked about finding someone to give us advice on the cracked windshield. And I’m going to wash some of the curtains here in the Alfa – they smell like sand. Just going to do one pair – if they need ironing – OMG – we’ll take the rest to the laundry and have them do them. 
I put the pictures in at a little smaller size - to see if the blog will upload quicker. Clicking on the pictures will enlarge them.  Better idea or not?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Day in Mazatlan

Merry Day after Christmas – We had another rain, thunder and lightening storm most (probably only an hour or so but it seemed like a long time) last night. Now the sun is out and the sky is blue.
We spent a quiet day mostly at home yesterday. Did go to the market in the morning and we mostly the only car on the road. Seemed strange – no traffic or horns or whistles blowing.
We did go out to dinner last night to a restaurant right on the beach. La Bruja –The Witch. 
After we got home Bill turned on the TV and much to his delight we can get three or four stations.
While he was watching TV I got a scare with my laptop. Turned it on. It said it was going to install a couple of updates…..then it said ERROR and everything went blue…..oh boy! But then it just said couldn’t install updates and came on and worked fine. It did remind me to back everything up though. I usually do that the end of every month but went ahead and did it last night just in case. This morning everything is working fine.
We have to be out and about today as Bill ordered some bread from the bakery in Centro Historico and we have to pick it up around 10:30. There is supposed to be another cruise ship in today too. I like to tag along behind the tour groups. Learn all kinds of things.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Eve Day in Mazatlan

Merry Christmas to All

Christmas morning finally dawns bright and sunny. The sun just popped up from behind a big black cloud. It started to rain yesterday afternoon and has been raining off and on since then. “But it NEVER rains in Mazatlan at this time of year.” Oh no?
The first night we were here Bill put some Christmas lights and a wreath on the front of Alfy so we look festive for a few days anyway.
First thing yesterday morning we decided that Willie, poor Willie, need a wash badly. Don’t think I’ve ever seen him quite this dirty.
But first we had to have breakfast so we went across the street to the Torres hotel to their restaurant on the beach. Walking to the restaurant past the pool.
Bill had another of his favorite Mazatlan meals there – Orange French toast with platana.
Unimaginative me – I had oatmeal and a big delicious plate of fresh fruit.
From there we stopped at the laundry and dropped off some of Bill’s shirts – that had to be washed AND IRONED! Iron? What is Iron? Just another four letter word as far as I’m concerned.
Las Jaibas RV is by the green #1

along the Malecon
Then we headed towards the Centro Historico.
Central Market is near the red #4
Heading that way we passed a parking lot we usually stop at especially at night when we go to the Plazuela Machado – they have some fabulous graffiti murals in it. And this year there are new ones. Will get better pictures when we stop there next time.
Driving up one of the narrow colorful streets in old town. Several of the buildings looked newly painted – since we were here in March.
We were going to park in our favorite daytime parking lot – but it was closed until after Christmas. But there was a parking space right out in front of it and we were waved into it by an “attendant” a man with a bucket who wanted to wash the car. Good.
So we left Willie to his bath. The first thing I noticed was the building across the street. What a difference. It had been painted and all the windows and doors were fixed. Two pictures of how it looked in March. [throughout the years I’ve taken many many pictures of this building but could only find these two.
the upstairs windows were destroyed

]And how it looks now. Wow. Need to get the story on this.
As we were walking towards the main plaza I was fiddling with my camera and didn’t realize I’d changed the settings so I got a few different pictures. But kind of like the looks so I’ll share them. Just walking down the street. Finally figured out it was set on "background defocus."
The Cathedral from the plaza.
Walking past all the shoe shiners. There was a cruise ship in town so there were a lot of tourists out and about.
We went in the Central Market to visit with friends who work there. Lots of hugs and “we were wondering where you were.” Bill picking out some good peppers and grapes.
The market was so crowded and I still had on northern clothes – jeans and a heavy shirt – that I got almost claustrophobic and we had to get back outside. Usually I love to go up and down all the aisles. Cooler clothes from now on.
Love this tourist trolley.
Figured out that I needed to reset the camera finally. 
Walking through the church yard we noticed the statues had been recently painted. And they had new punk rock hairdos – spikes to keep the birds off. Just struck me as funny.
Picked up a very clean and happy Willie.
Not ten minutes after we got him it started to RAIN! You’re kidding right? Nope.
So home we went. I finally drug the vacuum out and hopefully got most of the sand cleaned up. And in between showers Bill worked on cleaning Willie inside and setting up some chairs and the BBQ outside.
And of course we had to run to the beach to see the sunset. Not spectacular but nice.
And I’ve been playing with the Windows Snipping Tool with Streets and Trips maps. From where we are parked in Las Jaibas RV to Centro Historico it is a little over 10 miles following the above route. To show the detail of the streets I had to break it up into sections. 
No plans for this Beautiful Christmas Day.