Friday, January 31, 2020

Los Ayala, Mexico, el treinta y uno de Enero, 2020

I was up early of course and had to use the hotspot on my phone to read the paper.  The wonderful Internet I had the first night I was here has mysteriously disappeared.  This is the first place I’ve rented that doesn’t have Wifi in the room.  It’s a requirement for me and has been a big surprise that so many places provide it.  When I was booking in Manzanillo, there was a place right on the beach that looked gorgeous but no Wifi.  The owner said she had tried it but the service was so poor she cancelled her plan. At least here, I have the option to come down to the lobby where there are comfortable enough chairs and it’s close to my room. I can suck it up!

Later, I went walking.  I ran into Claudette Jamieson who was biking so we had a visit, then heard “camarones, blah, blah, blah“ and found a man selling huge shrimp from the back of his truck.  I bought 1/2 a kilo for $7.  I stopped in at Amy and Karen Williams’ hotel but according to their neighbours, they were gone playing pickle ball so I carried on to Los Ayala, the neighbouring village to the west.  It’s set in a small, lovely cove-


There were many restaurants set up on the beach but few people so early.  There were also pelicans stealing cooked shrimp from barbecue stands and hanging out.  They obviously art well looked after-


At the end of the beach is a cement ramp where people were coming down so I asked if there was a trail.  A man, who wore a hiking club t-shirt, explained about gates and signs and paths and blah blah blah.  All I remembered was to go left.  The walk took about 45 minutes through the jungle-


It was quiet and I was the only one on the path.  I eventually looped around and ended back at the town from where I took a combi back to my place.

Lunch was a taco on the street.  I spent about an hour by the pool and met a couple more people in my hotel - Leslie from Kelowna and Charlene from Calgary.  Leslie is very grumpy and Charlene is working here vis her computer for three months.  

Everyday at 1:20, English movies are shown at the cinema so I met Amy and Karen there to see 1917.  It was very good and I highly recommend seeing it.  It’s about two young soldiers who are given a mission to travel through No Man’s Land and then a few kilometres more to reach The Devons, another regiment, who are planning an attack in the morning on the Germans but that attack must be stopped.  The film has been nominated for quite a few Oscars so it will be interesting to see those results.

After the movie, I went to Amy and Karen’s for a couple beer, then came home and read my book.  It’s called Heartland by Sarah Smarsh and it’s a memoir about “working hard and being broke in the Richest Country on Earth”.  It’s a bunch of whining if you ask me - she’s a third generation teenage pregnancy from a lineage of non educated but hard working, physically abusive heavy drinkers from Kansas.  One thing that I do find disturbing though are her accounts of hospital stays and necessary visits to the doctor.  These are put on hold until the absolute last minute because of the prohibitive costs.  That’s something I tend to take for granted in Canada and even though our wait times can be long, I won’t be bankrupt after a procedure.  

Looking forward to tomorrow - if the sun is shining I’ll go to the beach. I might also take in another movie - Little Women and Bombshell are both playing. 

Things are good.



Thursday, January 30, 2020

Guayabitos, el treinta de Enero, 2020

I had a great sleep and was up early, as per usual.  I swam in the pool, read the paper, made breakfast in my “kitchen” then walked over to Marina Azul via los lettros-


to meet Debbie Miller, Dennis Weber and Daryle and Joanne Wing from home.  We went to La Penita to the Thursday market where I met more people from home - Bernie and Jacquie Etchevery, Hurlburts, Jim and Shelley Miller and Sharon Boskill and Bentley Carberry.  It’s very weird to see all of these familiar faces in Mexico-



We wandered through the market, then went to The Stump for a few beer.  Lunch was fish tacos and guacamole at a very popular place.  After, I wandered home, Amy Williams stopped in for a visit, then for supper I met up with Webers/Millers and Wings at an Italian restaurant.

I think I’ll go to a movie tomorrow and explore more of the town.  It’s cloudy with a chance of rain for the next few days and that’s okay with me.

  

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Adios Familia y Paradise. Hola Guayabitos! El veintinueve de Enero, 2020

The kids were up earlier than usual which doesn’t bother me because I’m always awake before them anyway.  The only problem is if they don’t get enough sleep, they get grumpy.  They sure love their movies!  If Andi said “Ana” once the past two weeks, she said it ten thousand times.  Frozen is her favourite and Nico seems to like Despicable Me.  Nico watches from beginning to end but not Andi.  She likes certain parts so she rewinds them, continually.  It’s amazing what these little people can do with technology-


We were at the pool earlier than usual too, enjoying our last couple of hours.  Nico is just learning to use my camera-



We were able to arrange a check out at noon instead of 11, then took an Uber to the airport and luckily Jane could get rid of her gigantic suitcase immediately. We had lunch and visited until 2:30 when I thought I should get going because I didn’t want to be arriving in Guayabitos in the dark and I had no idea when buses left PV.  I got to the bus depot and bought a ticket with 6 minutes to spare.  By 4, which is my old 5, I was in my room which I think is going to be great-


There is no “kitchen’ but they’ve set up a hot plate on the deck with chairs and a table and there is a fridge in the lobby I can use.  I really only like to cook breakfast so it’s all going to work out just fine-


I went exploring the town which has a nice “Main Street” with many shops.  The beach is a bit of a disappointment, even though it’s lovely-



because as far as I walked, there are no bars where a person can just lay on a chaise longue for the day, enjoying the sun and surf.  It seems everyone brings their own chairs, music and umbrellas and parties-



I’ll have a better look tomorrow.  My place has a nice pool and I’m only two blocks from the beach. I can probably borrow a chair from here to take to the sand but looking at the weather, the next week to ten days is supposed to be cloudy and rainy!  I’ve got a tv, supposedly with lots of English channels so if it does end up rainy, I’ll have something to do. My burned body could use a day or two of rest from the sun anyway!

Looking forward to meeting up with some North Battleford people tomorrow!


Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Paradise Ending! El veintiocho de Enero, 2020

Breakfast was..... a donut and Nico only ate the icing off the top-


Leaving our building there’s a banana plant in flower-


And larger bananas ripening with monkeys hanging out on the side-


More Mayan sculptures that Andi hugs and kisses-


At the entrance there’s a nice waterfall-


It was another great day at the beach-







The last two days Nico spent a lot of time getting demolished by waves.  He called it “fighting the waves”.  Yesterday there was a very strong undertow which I didn’t like but not today.  The stronger the force the more he loved it.  He has become very cocky in the water which is good and bad.  Andi got braver too, giggling and squealing when she got hit but only as high as her chest.  Any higher and she ran for our chairs!

I visited with three couples from New Jersey who talked just like the stereotype implies.  It’s their daughter in law who is writing the article on tattoos.  One of the men had the question sheet out as I walked by and asked if he could ask me some questions.  I asked if they were about my tattoos and he looked at me surprised.  I said a curly haired man had already asked me.  That man turned out to be his son in law but he asked if we could talk about them anyway.  We had a few laughs and then Nico came over to tell me my drinks were waiting!  Gotta go!

People come to the beach early to reserve front row chairs.  We usually end up third or fourth row back until around 3:00 then the old people leave and we move up.  At 5 we order hora feliz drinks - piña coladas and mango smoothies.  We have quite a routine!

Jane is a wonderful Mom.  She is patient, kind, gentle and loving.  Nico and Andi absolutely adore her!  I’m so lucky to have had the privilege to spend the last two weeks with them.  It’s been awesome and hopefully two week holidays become an annual event!

Tomorrow they fly home around 4 and I’ll take a camion to Guayabitos.  Time is flying! 

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Paradise Again! El veintiseis de Enero, 2020

What a great day!  The sun shone so we took advantage of the pool-


And after lunch the beach-



Nico builds the castles-


and Andi destroys them-


I wait for Happy Hour!  Andi came down to the beach and was starting to run in the waves so we hoped she was over her fear when all of a sudden the surf came in pretty high and she high tailed it back to the palapas.  That was it for her-


She’s such a character.  She hugs and kisses the Mayan sculptures as she walks by them-


And thinks she can read-




Looking forward to more fun in the sun tomorrow!  We are running out of time!

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Bucerias, Mexico, el veinticinco de Enero, 2020

It was a cloudy rainy day so we took a taxi to Bucerias which is only 10 kilometres away.  We walked through the market and the venders were really funny saying things like “Come on in and buy things you don’t need!”  Jane paid too much for a pair of earrings in my opinion, but she liked them and thought $14 was okay - she’s probably right.

We ate at Mariscos Villarreal where I’d eaten before - it’s the best place for ensalada-


and ceviche-


The kids didn’t eat many camarones, but they sure liked the soup crackers-



Most outdoor restaurants use plastic chairs which are comfortable enough.  Mariscos Villarreal is huge. There are tables along one side of the street, there’s an open air restaurant under a roof on the other side of the street which is right beside the prep kitchen where they were busy chopping- limon, tomatoes, cilantro, pepino, shrimp, octopus and white fish.  A man was also taking the first layer of shell off the oysters.

We went down to the beach which was gorgeous-




where Nico played in the sand, ate part of a hamburger that he just had to have and avoided the beach. I think the sound of the crashing waves scares them but eventually they got a bit braver.

We caught an Uber back to the resort and wandered around in the sprinkling rain.  We went to the pool which was completely deserted - very weird.  I had my daily dose of piña coladas and Andi passed by a flower that was bigger than her head-


She’s still practicing smiling for the camera.

We are looking forward to having the sunshine back tomorrow!



Friday, January 24, 2020

Paradise Oh Paradise, Nuevo Vallarta, Enero 2020

It’s been three days of hanging out in the pools-





And eating French fries, drinking mango smoothies and piña coladas-


We have 4.5 more days of this!

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

SSDP, Paradise Vilage, Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, el veintiuno de Enero 2020

This morning we started out at the pool but soon moved to the beach-


Andi was not happy so Jane took her back to the room.  Nico and I stayed at the beach.  We stayed and stayed and stayed.....  Nico wasn’t hungry so he kept playing in the sand and I sat in the shade-


After what seemed like an eternity, Jane and Andi came back.  We then moved back to the pools where we stayed until almost 6 pm-


I visited with a couple from Serbia who have lived in Edmonton the last 50 years.  He used to sell meat for Swift and spent a couple of weeks around North Battleford.  All he could talk about was how cold it was.  I kept telling him that we get the same weather as Edmonton but he wasn’t hearing that.  I was waiting for Happy Hour at 5 when drinks are 2 for 1.  He said he didn’t drink very much - he knew his limits and only had three or four doubles of whiskey a day!  Too funny.  We came back to the room and watched cartoons in Spanish.  Both kids sleep with Jane so I’m pretty lucky to have a bed all to myself.
Looking forward to tomorrow!  We have already been here a week!  

Saskatchewan, May 3, 2020

Well, life continues, not my life but someone else's sort of life.  It is all still bullshit and we continue to jump through hoops.  To...