Saturday, February 23, 2013

4th Annual Las Jaibas Chili Cook-Off “ A Huge Success!”

Saturday Feb. 23, 2013

Hogar De Los Nino’s La Mision Orphanage is the recipient of this now huge Las Jaibas RV Park charity event.

The event was created four years ago and started as a very small unadvertised Las Jaibas park event to raise funds for the orphanage.  I participated in year one and by year two we had gained more publicity and it was bigger. 

Thursday Jan. 28, 2010 – Year One. (There is a Blog posting on that date for that year)

Year Two….. Feb. 27, 2011


Year Two-  The crowd is bigger!


This is the Blogger and Sandi for our Feb. 27, 2011 Cook-off.  There is a blog posting for that date as well.

And then…..

Year Three….sorry folks….

Last year we went south and I wasn’t here to cook or see the huge success of last year’s event.  It is now advertised in the Pacific Pearl magazine and the main organizers in the park (Connie and John) put up posters in other RV parks as well. 

So what happens in preparation for the Chili Cook-Off.  Well long ahead of time….there is a lot of preparation being done to make this event the success that it has now become.

T-shirts, hats and aprons with the Chili Cook Off information were ordered by Connie and John to be bought by the participants, park residents and the remainder to be sold at the event.


This is the front of my apron. 

A band was located who was willing to donate their time and music to the event.


The Las Cougars (gals) and Los Coyotes (guys) from Mar Villa RV park donated their talent and time.  Thanks so much for that!


Tecate beer supplied a tent and chairs but of course that meant we had to serve Tecate beer..  last year it was Pacifico.  There was a bar set up and it was run by  Dick, John, Ralph and also our park owner Felipe!  Beer was for sale at 20 peso’s each along with Tequila at 20 peso’s each.  

Tequila was donated by the Chili Cookers as we weren’t serving Tequila at our stations this year.  A free Tequila ticket was given out if you bought a raffle ticket and the rest was sold to make money for the cause.  Thanks to the Chili cookers who donated the bottles of Tequila.  Bill cruised the park …looking like a waiter selling Tequila…Thanks Bill!  I had only one shot and I didn’t pay!


There are Marion and Bev perusing the raffle prizes.  They both donated many of these prizes.  The rest were donated by park members and others both Canadian and Americans. 

P1030923  You could put your raffle ticket in the jar associated with the prize of your choice.  That way you didn’t win anything you didn’t want.  Good idea!  


Here are Richard on the left….Carol is hidden behind…running the 50/50 draw a better picture later!

This draw made a large amount of money…..I bought tickets for that….not the raffle ( I don’t need anymore stuff!)


So in preparation for the actual day the Chili Cookers got ready.  There were 13 cookers from Las Jaibas (our park) Punta Cerritos RV park and Costa Bonita Condos. 

As the event has grown so large most people had two crock pots of Chili and some people had more.  In the end the logistics of it all become a problem.  We are just RV’ers and Condo dwellers cooking in our rigs and kitchens trying to cook and store the Chili until we serve it and of course you must make sure the food is cooked and stored safely. 

In my case I made Chili on Thursday afternoon, cooled it down and stored it in the fridge and my plug in cooler until Saturday morning.  This left me Friday to relax and also I think Chili tastes better after it sits for a day. 

Now for the actual day. 

Saturday February, 23, 2013 and 4th Annual Chili Cook-Off…..

Here are pictures of the park before everyone showed up.   Pretty quiet eh!   It’s early yet…


Tables are set up….no Chili Cookers around yet!

This was all done before I came up front to take these early pictures.

See those cords coming out….Manny has the electrical all set for us to plug in our crock-pots! 


Chairs and no people…..just you wait!


No one at the bar yet….just Dennis, Dick and John relaxing…..just you wait!


Here are all the Chili Cookers ready to serve it up!

Once we were around our stations….. we were as follows…..

#1 – Mike – Who lives in Mazatlan. 

#2 – Rita – Las Jaibas RV Park

#3 – Mike & Phil – Costa Bonita Condo

#4 – Ken/Al – Costa Bonita Condos

#5 – Jeanette – Las Jaibas RV Park

#6 – Kathy (Blogger) Las Jaibas

#7 – Lorraine – Punta Cerritos RV Park

#8 – Marilyn – Las Jaibas RV Park

#9 – Anita – Las Jaibas RV Park

#10 – Rocky – Punta Cerritos RV park

#11 – Donna – Punta Cerritos RV Park

#12 – Jeri – Las Jaibas RV Park

#13 – Darlene – Las Jaibas RV Park             

Great job all….Thanks for all your efforts!


Donna, Jeri and Darlene.

P1030928  That’s Anita in waiting to start.


Let the games begin…..!!!


Customer #1!

Soon Connie (that’s Connie in the Blue Wig!) and her able sidekick Betty manning the entry booth at the gate.  30 peso’s got you a ballot and a packet with a small cup, spoon and napkin.  Connie with help from Betty had made up 400 packets!  Now you were ready to taste the Chili.  But hold on….will you look at the line that is forming out to the road.  Yikes!


This is just the beginning….it got really huge.   They sold 350 tickets and by then the Chili was already running out and they had to stop.  Some people paid anyway just so they could donate!  Thanks!


They just kept coming….!


We started serving Chili right at 1pm and it was apparent right from the start what was going to happen.  I served my Chili with a regular measuring spoon (it was a taste and not lunch!) and by 1:20pm I was 2/3rds through my first pot.  Some people with smaller amounts or who had given out too much were already getting low.  The event was advertised in the Pacific Pearl as starting at 1pm and the posters said Chili tasting from 1 to 3pm.  I guess next year it should say starting at 1pm until the Chili runs out!

At some points there were so many people in front of me all I could see were arms with hands and little cups waiting to be filled!


That’s the spoon I used.


Just after 2pm this is what I had left….Nada!


As I said we are just RV Cookers who can only make so much Chili!  Some people thought they were coming for lunch….so that didn’t help.  I wasn’t concerned about winning,  I just didn’t want anyone to go “Yuck!”   Okay….one little boy got my Chili in his mouth….and then spit it out on the pavement.   Tooooo hot or did he just hate it!   Funny!

Most people reacted favorably to my new recipe for “ Black bean, Poblano and Corn Chili”   Eric and I liked it and I’ll make it again.  It was a bit easier to serve than my regular Chili as black beans are small and I also chopped everything very fine.  

I can’t tell you what kind of Chili everyone else served because I didn’t get a chance to look and by the time I was finished ( I made it to 2pm with my second pot) only two other people were still serving.  Ken/Al and Mike and Phil from Costa Bonita were the last ones out!  Great job guys.  People were disappointed that the Chili didn’t last longer but….what can I say….you can only make so much. 

Sorry there aren’t more photos of people tasting Chili but….in my defense … I was busy !

My other thought is that we are as big as we want to be with this event because it is run by, participated by and attended by….seniors!  What if someone gets sick and can’t run it, or there aren’t enough cookers….etc. etc. 

So…the Chili is tasted….the ballots are counted and the winners are…..


Carol (of the 50/50 draw and our illustrious leader Connie give out the prizes!


Al/Ken #4 station from Costa Bonita win third.  Sorry…bad picture!


Here he is serving Chili….one of the last men standing…..still had Chili right to the end….That’s how you win!  Good job Al & Ken. 

2nd place was…. Mike and Phil station #3 from…Costa Bonita.

P1030963 They also were the other last servers of Chili….good job guys!

And the first place winner…..once again Jeri …cooking her late (passed away) friend Nate’s recipe …it even has a name….Texas Magic Dust!

Great Job Jeri!


P1030965 P1030835 

That’s Jeri….she and her husband John do good work for the Orphanage and are a huge part of the Chili Cook-Off…..Congratulations!

chilie cook off

Thanks Connie for the picture of all the winners!

Okay….no  I didn’t win….didn’t expect to but I had fun!

Now what do we do.   Well we drink beer on a nice sunny afternoon.  


I told you a lot of people came to the Chili Cook-Off!


We call the names for the raffle winners.   That’s Sara and Bev giving out prizes!


Marion is announcing the winners!

I hope everyone got what they wanted!

Laurie and Sara also sold the T-shirts, hats and aprons that we had for sale.  Thanks for that gals…sorry no picture. 


We announce the winner of the 50/50 draw.  


John from Kamloops won…Marion gives him the prize and he donates half of it back to the Orphanage…..Thanks for being so generous John!


So what now….some people dance…. The band plays and dances too. That Cougar can dance as well as sing!


That’s Marion and Fred ….cutting a rug!


The gals do the “Twist"


The bar sells beer until it runs out.  


People have fun!


A beautiful afternoon with everyone having fun….

And then…’s all over.  


Now it’s time to count the money. 

How much did we make after expenses for the

“Hogar De Los Nino’s La Mision Orphanage” run by Geraldo and Lupita….well twice as much as last year!  The money will go to cover power, water, food, medicine and clothing at the orphanage.   

Thanks to our accountant P1030924

Thanks to our accountant Blake (Las Jaibas) for tallying up the money.

Thank-you to the people who donated their time, energy, Chili, and prizes.  Thank-you to  all the people who attended the event.  If I missed anyone….sorry! 


Friday, February 22, 2013

A Week in Review!

Friday Feb. 22, 2013

So what’s been going on!  You may have noticed that I have not been very faithful with the Blog this year.  Sorry!  Many things have contributed to this but health has been the main issue.  I have been focused on my exercise (walking and lifting weights) and making sure I am taking all my pills (prescription as well as vitamins.)  I am up and walking by 7:15 am and so by the evening I’m too tired to work on the Blog.  I guess I also think that since we are just doing the same old thing people don’t want to hear it all over again.  Perhaps…perhaps not.

Well last Friday all was well with us after our road trip to Barra de Piaxtla but one day later Eric had La Tourista.  Did he get it when we ate lunch on Thursday…who knows…I’m not sure anyone knows where they actually get it.  In the end it took four days before he was back on his feet.  The sad thing is we had some really nice weather while he was sick and now not so good.  The luck of the draw. 

One good thing that did happen is that last Friday (before he was really sick) Eric got Big Red out of sick bay.  We haven’t been riding the bike much this winter because the transmission shifter arm was loose, couldn’t be tightened and was wearing out.  Eric finally decided that if we couldn’t ride the bike he might as well try to remove it and have a look at it.  When Eric talked to the Harley shop foreman in Yuma he said that you would have to take half the bike apart to get this small piece off (cost about $800.)  Guess what,  Eric removed it with no trouble.  Seems that on the newer models you can remove it.  The problem was that it wouldn’t stay tight and after taking it off he could see why.  The neighbor John from Kamloops, B.C. had a Dremel with a burr so Eric enlarged the hole until the pinch bolt didn’t bind.  Now when the shifter arm was replaced it could be tightened up and it didn’t bind anymore.  After a couple of rides it is still tight and now it can be removed and replaced with a new unworn arm when we get back to the U.S.A.   Happy,  Happy, Happy.  Thank you John for bringing your Dremel! 

By Wednesday Eric was feeling better and we took a ride up to El Quelite with Dennis and Marilyn and her brother Wally and his wife Marilyn.  We had a nice walk around El Quelite before we stopped for lunch at Los Arrieros.  We do like this restaurant and prefer it to others there but that is just us!  The setting is nice, service is good and the food along with appetizers is good as well.  Wally really enjoyed his coconut shrimp.  A lot better than our truck stop lunch last Thursday when we went to Barra de Piaxtla. 

P1030916 Marilyn and Wally….his shrimp hasn’t arrived yet!

This pile of puppies along with their Mom were by the restaurant and Eric got a couple of photos.  A well fed Mom and 7 puppies.  Cute but of course all puppies are cute! 



Eric went for a walk and ….they all followed him!

We had a caravan arrive last Wednesday (the 13th ) and they stayed until this last Monday.  The rigs were from the USA and Canada and had been in Mexico for about 20 days.  Eric and I talked to a couple of the travelers and it we were amazed to hear how little they knew about where they had been or where they were going.  They knew they had come into Mexico through Nogales and that they had been to the Copper Canyon out of Los Mochis but that was about it.  They just see the butt of the rig ahead of them and don’t learn a thing as they travel.  Not for us!


As they start to leave the park it is quite a show.  They roar up behind each other as if they are afraid to get left behind.  Brakes are locking up, walkies are talking and then in a blaze of dust…they are gone. 

At the risk of boring you with yet another Bocce ball tournament I will say we had another one on Monday and Wednesday of last week.  We had the woman play off against each other and the men play off against each other as well. This time it was single knock out…one loss and you were out.   My team won two games and then we were out.  The final game between the men and woman was played by Rita and Anita against Boomer and Manny and guess who won….the woman…and the score….an embarrassing 15 to 1 for the woman.  We rock.  Good job Rita and Anita.   


That’s Manny (second from left) and Boomer out front ….when they were still winning.


That’s Anita and Rita (the big champions) on the left.  I didn’t get a final photo of the winners because we went for a ride on Big Red.

Yesterday it was time for me to cook Chili.  Saturday is the 4th annual Las Jaibas Chili cook off and it has turned into a grandiose event.  Four years ago it was a very small event that was started to support the Hogar Para Nino’s Orphanage and that is still what it is for.  Now however the event is advertised in the Pacific Pearl and draws a lot of Chili tasters.  We have 13 cookers from our park as well as other parks serving up their Chili.  It costs 30 peso’s to taste and get a voting ballot but you can of course donate more if you wish.  There is a beer garden, a live band and a raffle with lots of prizes.  All proceeds go to the Orphanage so it is a very worthy event.  Yes I am cooking.  I did cook the first two years but we were south at Los de Marcos last year and I missed the cook off.  I made two pots of Chili this year as did many cookers because so many people now attend this event.  Should be fun!

One other thing that happened today is that we got an email virus.  Some sort of spam was sent to everyone in our Yahoo mail account which is not good.  I looked on line to see what we should do and it said we should change our password.  I did that and made it stronger so hopefully it won’t happen again.  This is the first time our account has sent span however, we have received this kind of spam before.  My Norton antivirus says all our protection is in order but it happened anyway.  Rats…sorry to all our contacts. 

That’s all for now folks!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Road trip to Barra de Piaxtla.

Thursday Feb. 14, 2013

Today was our day for another road trip.  This time Eric and I decided to travel with Frank and Sandi in the jeep as Dennis and Marilyn were taking their truck so Marilyn’s brother Wally and wife Marilyn could come.  As Big Red has been in sick bay most of the winter we just decided to leave him there especially since this trip was going to involve dirt and or gravel roads which is not an option on a Harley. 

So of we set at 10:3o in the morning.  A quick stop at the Pemex just before the turn off to San Ignacio to see if we could determine if the restaurant in Barra de Piaxtla was even open.  Last year we had talked to a Mexican from San Javier who spoke good English and we hoped he would be working.   We managed to determine that the restaurant in Piaxtla was open (or so they thought) and also that the other restaurant in San Javier (El Tirito) where we ate last year was also open.  Now which destination should we pick.  Well since we’d never been to Piaxtla and it was on the ocean that’s the way we decided to go. 

We turned west towards Estacion Dimas just north of the turn off to San Javier and San Ignacio and from there we would head farther southwest to Barra de Piaxtla on the beach.

Eric and I had been into Estacion Dimas last year on the bike and found it quite interesting.  See blog: March 22, 2012 for pictures and information. 

The trip on the free road towards the Maxipista and Estacion Dimas is rural and not all that pretty as the terrain is quite scrubby and dry at this time of year.  We did see bits of agriculture along the way but not a real scenic drive. 


When we arrived in Dimas it was time to turn off on a dirt/gravel road to Piaxtla.


Dusty in the jeep but since we are from rural northern British Columbia it is something we are used to.  Our driveway is gravel and our house is about 1/2 mile off a paved highway so ….no big deal.  However….the jeep got dusty and so did we! 

Now I might mention that Frank had emailed the restaurant we wanted to eat at as they had a very impressive website but we did not get a reply.  Since I am not going to be very positive about this experience I won’t include the website. 

When we arrived on the beach at the La Rosa restaurant it said it was open but….you guessed it….not today.  Ah Mexico!  Run by ladies from Washington who do mosaics and rent accommodations for tourists.  Well…all we wanted was lunch but it was not to be.  They did have food but she was serving it to her family and said she was closed since she’d been busy over Carnaval and her cook didn’t show up.  She was however happy to show us all the places we could rent if we wanted to come back.



Looking north to the lighthouse.


Another beach….that Eric would like to swim at.


At this point we are all pretty cheery…but we don’t know we aren’t going to get fed.  I know it’s not like we are going to starve…especially after Boomer’s birthday dinner last night.


Everyone has a walk on the beach.


A close up of the light house. 



I think that might be the blogger in the mirror!


Very nice mosaic work in the little units that were for rent.

P1030864 By this time we were hungry and the restaurant owner suggested a truck stop restaurant back close to Estacion Dimas on the toll road or a restaurant on the way out of Dimas.  Back we go through town and along the dusty road. 


Always a cow or two along the way. 

We were told to turn right at the chicken farm and there you would have a restaurant and that is what we found.  Trucks were stopped there, it was actually open and looked pretty nice.  At this point the wind was blowing pretty hard and we were all a bit cold and definitely hungry!  We sat down at a table for eight and then the fun began. 


They had no English (fair enough as it is Mexico) and our Spanish is not great but ordering a meal is usually not a huge issue….except for today.   They didn’t have beer…okay how about Cocoa Cola lite…nope…okay what do you have…Jaimaica ( a tasty hibiscus flower drink) okay…good we’ll have that and how about Cocoa Cola ….yes….how about orange juice ….maybe!  Water….well …we can’t understand it when you say “ agua “ or water in Spanish.  And now for the food.  I asked if they had an “Especial”  Si…pescado (fish) so I say empanizado (breaded) Si….okay we’ll all have that!  The drinks took forever and the meals a hugely long time….but we did get fed.  Then the bill…”could you not be cranky and just tell us what each couple owes” or just write it down..or something!  Okay it was a bad experience but to be fair…everyone has a bad day and I guess it was this restaurants bad day!  The only time we’ve had this happen in Mexico.  I guess Wally and Marilyn will have a story to tell when they get home to Canada. 

Time to carry on. 

We are now right on the Maxipista (toll road) and wanted to go to the petro glyphs at Las Labradas about five miles south.  The owner of the first restaurant had told Frank approximately where to turn and it was a good thing as there was no signage.  I include a link (the best I could find) to explain what was there.

When we arrived at the end of another dusty road…we found the entrance to the petro glyph beach and museum.  At this point Sinaloa is in the process of constructing new buildings (very nice) which will make a very nice tourist destination when it is finished.  Hopefully they will also put a sign out on the highway so you can actually see where to turn off.  Coming north from Mazatlan you have to get into a retourno and cross the highway with traffic whizzing by at 110km so it requires some caution!  


Down the dusty road to Las Labradas.


Signing the guest book in the new building. 




They are creating a really nice new facility.  


A couple of petro glyphs right at the beginning of the walkway to the beach.


As we started to head down the path to the beach we saw the little open air museum with information and a few petro glyphs so we stopped for a quick look. 




And now for the beach…..


First Sandi…and then


here comes Dennis and Eric.


Looking north up the beach back to Barra de Piaxtla and …


south towards Mazatlan.


Look at all those rocks!


If a rock had a petro glyph on it they had placed a marker stone so it was easy to find.






All very interesting and beautiful.  Another gorgeous beach that Eric would like to swim at!

Well…we are all tired by now and it’s time to head home.

Back down the dusty road…..


under the railroad bridge….


and down the dusty road….again!


As we came out to the toll road I shot this picture.  The impossible to read sign on the road at the right says” Las Labradas” and you can’t read it. 


Down the “not dusty toll road home” to Mazatlan….but we did have to pay 100 peso’s to use it. 

A very….dare I say….interesting day!