Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Veinteocho for Ladies Lunch

Today were off to the Golden Zone for ladies lunch.  Today’s pick is Veintecho which is just off Gaviotas on Boca del Mar across from the Holiday Inn.   It would be hard to find this restaurant if you didn’t know where it was.  A few ladies had gone with Ruth in her car and the rest of us went on the bus.  After we got off the bus and were walking south on Gaviotis we saw Eddie standing on the sidewalk waiting to show us where to go.  We turned left on Boca del Mar and ended up right about where the capital M is at ….28 Boca del Mar…..get why it’s called Veinteocho!   


When we arrived lots of women were already seated and the rest of us joined in by putting three tables together.   Connie had four friends with her and Pat had a friend with her and in the end we were two tables totalling about 15. 

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Drinks have been served.  (pictures today courtesy of Jeannette’s cell phone as my cameras are out for repair.)

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The waitress has a great big pitcher in her right hand and those glasses are really being filled up. 

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On the net they are known for their good pour on the wine….that’s obvious don’t you think!

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Ruth, Eddie and Anita snack while they wait for food.  The waitresses were gringo in this restaurant and the one pouring the wine was actually born in Vancouver, B.C., grew up in Washington and then ended up here married to a Mexican.  

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Sharen’s shrimp avocado salad.

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Anita had chicken fajitas….looks delicious.

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Cathy had a burger that had ham and cheese and she had potato salad with it which is not usually offered as a side here in Mexico.  A nice change.

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Shrimp chimchangas….apparently delicious.

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Sandi and Jeannette are still waiting for the lunch that they will share.

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I’d ordered fish and chips but…they ran out of fish!  Second choice and a really good one was a tuna burger with fries.  A really nice piece of tuna on it. 

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Sandi and Jeannette are divvying up their lunch and before I could get a picture it was all gone!  They’d waited quite a while, as had I and we were all busy eating. 

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Ruth and Eddie’s seafood tower was served last although they did have a big plate of guacamole first.  Not sure if it’s cooked or done ceviche style.

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That’s Connie on the right, and her visiting friend Melanie from home in Oregon standing and Melanie’s friend sitting.  There had been tadoo because Melanie’s sunglasses were missing and she’d gone back to the last place they’d been to look for them.  Turns out her friend had accidently put them in her own sunglasses case and they weren’t actually missing.  Lots of yelling and laughter about that! 

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Dessert was a Kahlua and cream cocktail served gratis.   Delicious….in small doses. 

So…what did we think.  Good service, good prices, generous wine pour and delicious food.  The food came out slowly and in their defense we overwhelmed the kitchen.  There were only a couple of other tables occupied so I would guess this is not their busiest time of day.  Ruth had given them a heads up but it had only been that morning.   

A really good place to stop for lunch any day of the week and since it’s fairly new and out of the way the cruise ship traffic hadn’t filled it up which was good for us. 

At this point I was off to pick up my watch from the repair shop and then off to the tents which are over in the what used to be Mega and is now Sorianna’s parking lot.  The tents come every year and offer hand made goods from many of the Mexican states.  Lots of interesting stuff from mole to pottery, clothing and everything in between. 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Happy hour and appetizers at Frank and Sandi’s

A couple of weeks ago when we were having happy hour at Dennis and Marilyn’s it was decided to have a happy hour appetizer get together at Frank and Sandi’s before they left.    It was supposed to be just a few of us but you know how that goes…one invite leads to another and pretty soon were were over 20!  Frank called it Kathy and Marilyn’s party as we had brought up the idea and in the end it was a good one.

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That’s Anita sitting to Connie’s left and John to Manny’s left.  John and Anita just arrived back from Rincon where they’ve been for a couple of months. 


It’s warm enough in the sun as you see Jeannette and Sharen shading their eyes but it’s cool in the shade.  Unusually cold and windy lately.

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Eric’s chatting to Dennis and Marilyn is chatting to Nancy. 

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Carol up front and Dennis and Eric in the back.

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That’s Carol and Frank and Cathy sitting down. 

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Since it was partly my party (not really) I had to decide when to eat.  5pm and the food was out and on the plate.  Lots of tasty little appetizers ranging from stuffed mushrooms to chicken wings and everything in between.  Lots of food and it was all tasty including the desserts!

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Everyone is eating and most people are warmly dressed.

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Lots of good chat and food with a really nice bunch of people.  Frank even had the campfire started to keep us warm.  By 6pm Eric and I were done and off home and I doubt that many people stayed much later. 

Thanks for a great gathering Frank and Sandi.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Kids, Camera, Travelers

Well this is a mishmash of things I haven’t blogged!
Last Tuesday I was off downtown to the bakery to get fresh bread.  This involves about a two hour trip with a 45 minute bus ride each way as we are way out on the north end of Mazatlan and the bakery is in Centro. When I do this I usually get 3 or 4 loaves of multigrain bread and that lasts about 10 days if I freeze a couple of loaves. 
When I was walking back to catch the bus I saw a large gathering and some sort of event happening in Revolution Square.
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I didn’t have my camera with me but I did have my little Iphone and I couldn’t resist a few pictures.  How cute are these children!  The little girl in the first picture saw me and then she put her hands at her sides and stood up straight and smiled for me. 
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These children aren’t very old maybe between 5 and 7 and they are all dressed up in school uniforms carrying flags and banners. 
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I don’t know what it was all about but it doesn’t really matter as watching them just plastered a big smile on my face.  Too cute!
On Friday morning I was off on a mission to get my cameras cleaned and repaired.  One just needed cleaning and the other one needed cleaning and a scratch polished out of the front lens.  In the past I’d taken them to Photoshop Urrea which I’d heard about from fellow blogger Contessa.  Ramon Urrea’s  storefront used to be on Constitucion and he was easy to find but now he’s moved.  Contessa had mentioned this last year but as it’s been a couple of years since I’ve gone to see him I had some detective work to do.  First I had Raphael (our super duper park worker) touch base with him and get his address and then I had Felipe our park owner set up a meet time for Friday morning.  Ramon is working out of his house on Playa Coromuel street in Playa Sur and it was an adventure to find him.  The green Sabalo Centro bus does go down there but it was a bit of a puzzle as to where I should get off.   The bus driver stopped a couple of times to ask people if they knew where Playa Coromuel was and finally he even got off the bus to ask….how nice was that.  In the end Playa Coromuel doesn’t cross the bus route and I got off on Playa las Gemelas and set off to find my destination.  I didn’t get lost but it was a bit tricky to find Playa Coromuel as it didn’t have a street sign!  A couple of nice people helped me out and I finally ended up at his door.  We had a long discussion with his limited English and my terrible Spanish and in the end he said he said he could clean the Panasonic and he’d try to fix the Canon. 
So now I was off to get the bus home.  Unfortunately as I headed up the street I tripped over a concrete edge and ended up flat on my face on the sidewalk.  It happened so fast I didn’t even have time to catch myself.  I landed on both palms, scuffed my knees and toes and at this point Ramon who was still out on the street talking to someone came running to see if I was okay.  I was a little shell shocked but I seemed okay and just carried on my way.  I might add that if I was less fit and had osteo I would have broken something as I fell really hard and fast!  This is only the second time I’ve fallen in Mexico and as it is so unsafe walking here and you can trip at any moment it’s a miracle it hasn’t happened more often.  So…north on Carnival to the Plazuela and over to the back of the market to catch the bus home.  Yes…I am still sore and the ball of my left thumb is really quite swollen and has turned color.  I have iced it and kept it moving and so far so good….it is getting better. 
Later that day we had a BMW motorcycle with two people aboard show up next to us and set up a small tent.  The riders are from the Yukon Territories and they are of German nationality.  Eric had a quick chat with them and offered them a couple of chairs to sit on while they are camped here.   Unfortunately the weather right now is just atrocious!  Cloudy, cool with an icy north wind.  Yes, I know it isn’t snowing or raining but….we are in Mazatlan!  Not very nice weather for bike travel but they seemed at ease and are just rolling with it.  The wife Ursulla said “At least it’s not snowing!”   They trailored the bike from the Yukon behind their van to Wisconsin where they bought a bigger BMW roadbike.  From there they ended up in Nogales, AZ where they left the van, trailor and new bike before heading south into Mexico.  On Sunday they will head over to the Baja on the ferry and continue their journey.  Many years ago we had bike travellers Mark and Claire from England parked by us and got to know them quite well.  They’d shipped their bikes to Calgary, Alberta and then ridden north to the Yukon and Alaska before heading south to Mexico.  When they left Mazatlan they were on their way to Tierra del Fuego the southern most point of Chile and then they were having their bikes shipped back to England.  Now that’s a journey!  The bikes were 1980’s Kawasakis that they’d travelled through India and Africa on. 
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Packing up the tent.
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Packing up and it’s quite a load.  They have loaded two spare tires and all their gear onto their 1982 BMW they imported from Germany and she’s even wearing a backpack.  Ursulla did mention that the new bike is bigger and will be more comfortable on the highway   Just before they left they’d returned the chairs and give us a couple of little packages of Ferrero Rocher for loaning them the chairs.  Not necessary at all ….but very thoughtful. 
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Bye bye…have a nice trip.

The Great Serenades for Strings by Dvorak & Tchaikovsky

Today we were off to the Angela Peralta for the 12 noon Sunday afternoon concert.

At this performance we had tickets in the first lower balcony in seats 7 and 10.  Eric wanted to sit where he had an unobstructed view of the musicians so he could see them clearly.  The seats were just chairs with a padded seat…not cushy like the ones below so they aren’t as comfortable but the view was much better.    

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This is the only picture I took today and it’s not very good.  My cameras are out to be repaired and I was using our cell phone which is not my first choice. 

“ The two most beautiful serendades for strings by Tchaikowsky and Dvorak.  Taking advantage of some of the best string players of Mexico and all members of Camerata Campbell and OSSLA (Orchestra Symphonic Sinaloa Las Artes) , this concert shows the romantic and rich side of the 19th century chamber music……Gordon Campbell.”

At this performance the camarata was introduced and Gordon told us how long each performer had been with him and where they were from.  Only a couple of performers were from Mexico and the rest were from various parts of the world such as Spain, England, Central America, USA and the Ukraine but at this point I believe they all live in Culiacan.  Very interesting to hear.

Gordon also informed us that the rumours saying that there would be no Sunday performances next year were untrue and just bunk!  The schedule is all set for next season 2018/2019. 

The music was absolutely lovely and I enjoyed every bit of it.  Eric preferred the first half by Dvorak but I just loved it all.    There was a standing ovation at the end but no encore. 

The only downside today was the air conditioning which was set so low the audience was freezing.  Apparently they couldn’t turn it off or raise the setting.  Hopefully it will be repaired by next week.  Eric and I had jackets and were warmly dressed but many people were just in light dresses and shirtsleeves….brrrr!

After the performance we were cold and hungry so we were off down the street to find a place to eat indoors out of the wind.  Eric had seen a small Mexican restaurant a couple of blocks north on Carnival so that’s where we headed.  We ordered a beer and tacos gobernador ….shrimp for Eric and crab for me.  They weren’t actually gobernador as they only had shrimp or crab and cheese and didn’t include onions and peppers but they were hot and good so….no complaints. 

A good day but we sure wish this cold wind would stop.  

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

El Tigre with friends

It’s Wednesday and it’s supposed to be Ladies Lunch Day but….we decided to go on a ride instead.  Frank/Sandi along with Dennis/Marilyn and Wally/Marilyn were going out to El Tigre so we decided to go too.  Wally and Marilyn are only here for two weeks and Wally was hungry for a barbecued fish for lunch so we were off to El Tigre to fullfill his wishes!


This morning one of the Chachalacas was eyeing up a ripe mame that had fallen off the tree next to us. 


Mame for breakfast!


We left the park on our own and were on the road just before 11.  It takes about an hour and a half to get there and we’ll all meet up at the restaurant.  If the people at home wonder how civilized the shopping in Mazatlan is….there’s WalMart and Sam’s club.  You can shop in the tiniest shop or ..the biggest.


How about the big new Soriana’s and Woolworths.   Every year that we come there are more and bigger shopping areas. 


We’re on a little bypass here and they’re doing a little road work.  There is always road work somewhere on a ride.


We’re out the highway heading south to Villa Union and here is the Marino coffee factory. 


Right next to it…Sugar Foods factory.


There are lots of trees with yellow blooms right now…pretty.


We’re in Villa Union just before the turn to El Walamo and it’s busy.


We had to sit here for quite awhile as the bus was trying to get around the corner and down the street.   Lots of honking!


Here’s the culprit…the water truck was blocking the road.  No problem, just stop where ever you want!


Busy here too.


Beautiful old buildings become vegetable and fruit shops.


El viejo cine National….the old cinema. Wonder what’s inside now.


Every small town everywhere has blocked off streets that are being repaved or concreted.


A huge silo.


Wonder who lives here.


They must have some money!  The probably own the farmland around here.


Remember the bus that was ahead of us…well now it’s right on our tail.


Yummm….the pollo is on the grill.  On the bike you can smell everything….yummy, interesting and…gross!


Bags and bags of dried chilis.


We only got to the restaurant a few minutes before everyone else showed up.  That’s Wally and Eric.  We’d managed to order beer and now they needed some too.


It’s a sunny day but it’s windy and cool so everyone wants to sit in the sunshine.


Even Dennis!


We had quite a time ordering food as the waitress doesn’t speak any English.  We think the restaurant is under new management and the waitress that used to be here is gone.    The waitress looked a little glum and frustrated with us until Sandi asked her, her name and shook her hand and then she perked up.  She really had a laugh as a struggled to understand her and pulled out my little pocket translating book which didn’t help a bit!  After that she was all smiles and chuckles.  Eric ordered shrimp ceviche and it came quickly.  It had a lot of hot sauce in it which had Eric blowing his nose.  It would be better to add it himself.  The guys and I had trooped up front to pick out a fish for the grill.



Dennis and Wally have a chat and a beer.


The fish has arrived.  Frank and Sandi shared a dorado zarandeado.


I had a small lisa which is a type of mullet.  Good.


Marilyn and Wally had a corvina to share.


The fish was served with tortillas, fresh onions and cucumbers. 


Marilyn and Dennis each had a small lisa.


Frank and Sandi didn’t have any left overs…can you tell!


Lunch is over and it’s time to hit the road.  The plan is to stop in El Rosario at a park that has a bridge over the water with turtles underneath.  We’ll follow.


Usually we are leading but now it’s Dennis, Frank and then us.


Lots of farm machinery on the road today.


Bagged green chilis everywhere.


We’re in a small town before El Rosario and this guy is giving his loose horses lunch at the edge of the road.  Anything goes!


Another small street being concreted here as well.  Must be some government program going on to redo roads everywhere. 


Now we’re stuck behind a tractor with discs.

When we got into El Rosario the road to the turtle bridge was steep and unpaved at the beginning.  It was getting late so we decided to take a rain check and just head home.  We’ll go have a look another day. 


This is Frank’s picture of the bridge.  His battery died and he couldn’t take anymore pictures….ahh electronics. 

A good day with lots of laughs with good friends and a good lunch.