Saturday, December 29, 2012

Take me out to the ballgame.

One of the things I have always wanted to do in Mazatlan is to see the local baseball team, the Venados (the deer) play a game.  When I heard there was a group going to a game on Saturday night I joined in.  We flagged down a truck out on the front street and after Marion negotiated a price for the ride we were on our way to the baseball stadium.


Looking out the back of the truck on the way to the park.


90 peso’s for a good seat (about $7.80.)  The game was between the Hermosillo Naranjeros (the oranges!) and the Mazatlan Venados.  The Vendados are out of the running for the playoffs so this set of three games is likely the last they will play for the season.  


The group heading up to the ticket office.


These cards were on the counter when we bought our tickets.  This is the Venado’s pitcher J. Jackson who someone said used pitch in the States and is from South Carolina.   


That’s J. Jackson getting ready to pitch.  He pitched a really good game and the fans just love him. 

P1030309  The park.  We had really good seats and could see the whole game without any problem.  The zoom on my camera had to work really hard to get shots!


The roof above our seats was corrugated metal and it’s purpose is probably for sun but it did a great job of keeping the balls off our heads as well!  It had a whole lot of dents in it.


Marion, me, Marilyn, Fred, Don and Dennis.  


The pitchers for the Naranjeros and the Venados. 

P.S.- Dennys Reyes was not very good!               J. Jackson was great.


When we arrived at 5:20pm (the game started at 6pm) there was hardly anyone there but by six pm there was a really good sized crowd.  Mazatlan loves their ball team and they cheered enthusiastically all through the game.  Great fun.


Batter up.




At the end of the sixth inning Marilyn and I went down to find the official booth for the Venado’s t-shirts. 


The mascots for the Naranjeros.

Between innings there were vehicles driven on to the field by local car dealerships.   I guess they were sponsors.


This is the Mazatlan Venado mascot.  It would seem he writes his own script because some of what he did was definitely not rated “G or family” rated. 


This beautiful little baby girl was sitting just in front of us and she was just fascinated by Marion who was sitting next to me.  I couldn’t believe how well behaved the very small children were.  No crying or whining and they just sat and watched the whole game.  Very impressive! 


We won!  3 to 1 for the Venados. 


Everyone on the field for the team handshakes. 


Leaving the park to head home. 

It was a really good game.  No sloppy play, good pitching (for the Venado’s ) great catches and a lot of fun to watch.  Better than a lot of the World Series games we watched last summer on TV.  We ate nuts and drank beer and watched the crowd as well as the game.  You could buy cotton candy, chips, hot food out of coolers, pizza, doughnuts and who knows what else from the vendors.  We did the wave and just generally enjoyed ourselves.  I feel very comfortable here in Mexico and not so much like a gringo all the time. 

I had a really good time and I’m glad I finally got to see a ball game.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A short health update.

My first week in Mazatlan has been a bit of a roller coaster ride health wise.  I am on a schedule that has me reducing the prednisone I am taking for temporal arteritis by 5mg every two weeks  The last drop was from 45mg. to 40mg. a week ago and I noticed side effects.  Not feeling well, headachy and bad chewing along with a rise in blood pressure.  Not good. 

So off to Sharp Hospital here in Mazatlan on Wednesday to see what was up.  Frank led Eric and I to the hospital so we would have no difficulty finding it.  Thanks Frank.  I checked in at emergency and was initially given a Mexican doctor but I asked for someone who spoke English.  Dr. Barazza was called and as he is the head of Tourist relations at the hospital he speaks excellent English and he was very helpful.  I had all my test results with me and he was very familiar with this condition.  To start with he was not overly concerned with the blood pressure but I was.  He told me I just needed to calm down a bit.  Easy for him to say!  In the end we ran a full blood work up and when it came back in about 30 minutes they had missed the CRP test which is a marker for my condition as well as showing that there could be infection in my body somewhere. 

Prednisone is very sneaky because along with suppressing your immune system and not allowing you to fight infection etc. it also masks illness so you don’t know how sick you are.  Swell! 

Back on Thursday to the Sharp Hospital to see Dr. Barazza and he noted that the CRP was up as well as my white blood cells so there was a problem somewhere.  He put me on a week of a broad spectrum antibiotic which would target upper respiratory infection. 

When all was said and done I spent about $160 on blood tests and the emergency room visit along with $40 for the antibiotics.  Not too bad.  I was impressed with the reasonable fees as well as the very professional care that I received.  I feel safe here at this point. 

I will have the pertinent blood tests repeated in about a week to see where I am at with infection and the temporal arteritis as well. 

I guess it was naive of me to think I could just waltz through this whole thing without a few glitches.  Humbling. 

I am feeling much better and as my health will be a huge concern this winter while we are here I will do periodic reports on my condition. 

Marion’s Feliz Compleanos.

Dec. 27, 2012

Over the past few years on Dec. 27th the park has been treated to a birthday party hosted by Fred and Marion for her birthday and this year was no exception.  How nice is that! 


Fred and Marion our very generous and gracious hosts!

This year instead of pizza we got quite a treat.  Only two days after a big Christmas feast Marion and her friend Wendy managed to make enough salads and sneakily hide them in peoples fridges (under false pretenses I might add ) to feed the whole park.  What a pair of gals!  Fred bought some local barbecued chicken as the entree along with some excellent refried beans and dinner was served. 


P1030283This is the meal to come.  Doesn’t that look      delicious.  It was. 

We had all gathered at 4:30 for happy hour and by just after five we were all eating again.  A huge success and a lot of fun. 


The crowd.  That’s our rig in the background and you are looking toward the front of the park.




Ursula and Max from Germany.  Every winter they fly to Canada and travel Mexico (in their own rig)  with their friends Gunter and Regina from Westbank, B.C. 


Laurie, Blake, Marilyn and Dennis.



Judy and Helene.


Time to eat …..again!   New Years resolutions anyone?

Following the delicious meal we were served birthday cake.  What a spoiled bunch we are! 





                        Cutting the cake. 

See that beautiful plant on the table well….Marion is also the queen of bargain shopping for plants.  Her patio looks like a plant nursery!  When I went to Home Depot to buy plants all the bargains were gone!  I wonder who got them all?


Full moon, it’s dark and the party is over!

Thanks Fred and Marion for another successful Feliz Compleanos!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day 2012 at Las Jaibas

Dec. 25, 2012

A beautiful, warm and sunny Christmas day to have dinner with friends….what more could you ask for.

We all gathered up in the palapa around 2pm for a quick happy hour and visit before dinner at 3pm. 


Gathered for happy hour and dinner.


These are “our Germans” Regina, Gunter, Max, Ursula and their friends.  Great people all of them and we really enjoy their company.


Sandi & Marilyn….good friends!


The ever gorgeous ….Connie.


Marilyn, Betty (Queen of Desserts!) and Connie.


Bill & Jeanette.


Marion and Fred.  Steve and Linda standing.



Don and Eric having a blab!


John blesses our feast.

P1030275Luis…new back up park manager.  


The salad table. 


The lovely Helene.  Her last year’s Christmas present was a new hip done here in Mazatlan.  This year she is a ball of fire….back on her feet and doing everything she used to.  How great is that!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve Day 2012 in Mazatlan.

Dec. 24, 2012

Well it’s time to update this blog and let you all know what’s been going on. 

First things first.  The drive from Guaymas to Los Mochis was as bumpy and bad as usual and added to that were 8 million raging Mexican, Californians, loaded to the gunnels with every manner of crap tied to their vehicles going 8 million miles an hour.  They are overtired and dangerous at this time of the year….even more than usual. 

We over nighted at the gated Pemex just south of Los Mochis and although it’s slightly dusty and noisy it is a great and safe place to stop.  A good dinner in the restaurant, pescado empanizado (breaded fish) which was excellent and then to bed.  A couple of other rigs pulled in around five pm but we were too tired to be social and so were they.  Turned out to be Rick and Judy (with their dog Sadi) and Steve and Linda (all Canadians) and they are all now parked in Las Jaibas.

We left Los Mochis around 8am and once we got past Guasave the traffic thinned out a little.  The highway is wider and there is actually a shoulder so not as bad for the driver.  We got confused as we entered Culiacan as they have created a bypass and the signs say Mazatlan Cuota  or Culican Cuota and there is no mention of the free road.   Eric was sure we should to Culiacan but in the end we took the Mazatlan turn and then we were sunk.  We paid the first toll and Eric asked could we get to the free road from the Cuota but the toll both operator said no.  They now have you trapped.  Eric wanted to take the free road as it is actually in better shape than the toll road.  Oh well.  In a very short distance the traffic started to back up where they are constructing a new Artsy Fartsy toll booth and they had only one temporary lane open to handle all the traffic so it was just a big mess.   We were backed up and waiting for about 45 minutes to get through.   Just brutal. 

The rest of the trip on to Mazatlan on the Cuota was not as bad as last year as they have repaved a large part of it.  We stopped for lunch at the kilometer 42 rest stop and were into Mazatlan by 2:30. 

All I can say is that it’s a shitty drive, on shitty roads and for that you get to pay a lot money.  Just shitty!   Sorry but I can’t think of another word that better describes it!

We were greeted by our friends here in Las Jaibas as we rolled in and we are happy to be parked and not moving.  

The afternoon was spent doing the initial rig set up and the rest was left for the next day.  The weather here is quite humid and warm for this time of the year and I guess it has been even warmer and more humid before we arrived. 

Since we were here last year Felipe the park owner has put in a small swimming pool at the front of the park and it really quite a nice addition.  This is now were the park meets for happy hour every day and we joined in.  I’ll post pictures of the pool on another blog. 

Frank and Sandi very graciously prepared dinner for us and it was a treat not to have to cook as we were both so tired.  We had a nice quiet dinner and caught up on their news and were home and in bed by 9pm for Eric and 10pm for me. 

Bocce 2012 in Las Jaibas

December 24, 2012

When we arrived on Saturday in Las Jaibas the park bocce ball tournament was in full swing.  I usually play but we were too late this year.  Perhaps we will do this again in January. 

So…..the semi finals were played on Sunday and today the finals.

P1030238Frank gets ready to throw.  


The other semi final game and Boomer delivers.


Rita’s got the balls…..isn’t she cute!

P1030245Right above the game lounging up in the palm tree was this seemingly uninterested spectator. 


The fans.


Frank and Betty play Boomer and Jeanette.  Boomer and Jeanette won and I think Boomer will have to sleep on the couch if he wins!


Sunday morning 9am and the final game.

The championship game and the final four.  Blake and Sandi who have been undefeated in the tournament play Boomer and Jeanette. 


Sam & Dick ref.  Matching outfits as well!


Sandi shows the form that got her to the championship game.  Blake watches. 


And the winners are……Sandi and Blake.  Boomer and Jeanette played well but…Sandi and Blake just couldn’t be beat.  Good game!


The color co-ordinated winners!


Poor Boomer he had to wear the Booby prize.  What a hoot.  That’s Betty his wife in behind holding them on and Blake giving him a pinch!  The booby prize in courtesy of Sharen who was here for two weeks with husband George.  She actually brought the boobies in her luggage.  What a gal!


The teensy, tiny trophy.  Sandi really liked it. 

Good job all!