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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Been busy not lazy

We're still around. On Monday we took a trip to the beautiful town of Cosala to visit friends. I'm still sorting through my 250 photos. Yesterday we went into town for lunch and to get the car washed. And had company last night. This morning we are going out to breakfast with friends and eventually I'll get the photos and the blog posted. We don't plan on going anywhere but to bed tonight. Too many parties going on. 
In the meantime we want to wish everyone a VERY HAPPY NEW YEARS

Monday, December 29, 2014

Miss you John

Our Son

John Richard Sirimarco
 May 1965 - December 29 2006

We could not say our last farewell
Or even say good-bye
For you were gone before we knew
And only God knows why.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Just odds and ends about Mazatlan

Well today was a day we did nothing – except go out to breakfast and to the grocery store. The ocean was really rough today, big big waves and lots of wind. At least it stayed cool. I thought it was nice everyone else was freezing!
So back to yesterday – Across the street from El Clavadista [the place where I had my raspado and where the divers dive] are some pretty high cliffs. Along one is this. 
For years we speculated on what it used to be. Bill always said a road – I wasn’t sure. Well a couple of years ago we bought a book on the history of Mazatlan and discovered sure enough it was a road! Here is the old picture of it.
Notice the old Fords and pedestrians on it. According to the book in the 1920s the first cars in Mazatlan were Fords so this was an area the Ford owners took their friends to impress them. Then or now I sure wouldn’t want to go across it.
As we walked along we came to the sculpture of  La Mujer Mazatleca – Mazatlan Woman. It celebrates the beauty of the Mazatlan women. You can see the dark clouds that were around most of the day.
And going by the Hotel Freeman – where someday I want to watch the sunset from the roof lounge.
Then we came to this sculpture. No signs or anything to tell us who it was.
So Bill stopped a man walking by and asked him about it.
It is of Fernando Valades Lerjarza a famous Mexican composer. The picture on the piano above the keys is of his wife. Lucila Valdez de Valades. They had thirteen children, 8 girls and 5 boys. They also lived in a house across the street.  A picture of the real man.
The house was originally built in 1823 by a German. Through the years it fell in and out of disrepair – at one time it was an Oyster Bar and Restaurant where John Wayne, Robert Mitchum and Ernest Hemingway hung out. In 2007 one of their daughters bought it and restored it – it is now a hotel and restaurant. The Casa Lucila Hotel Boutique.
Walking a little further on we came to this statue/sculpture of Pedro Infante. The statue of him on a motorcycle honors his role in the movie A Toda Maquina. He was born here in Mazatlan and “With a golden voice, undeniable charm and devilish good looks – he marked Mexico’s Golden Age of Cinema like no other star of his time. The motorcycle looks real enough to jump on and ride away.
We got back in the car and rode out to the port and inquired about sunset boat rides, ocean rides and pangas to Stone Island. Maybe I should add them to my list!
Then just drove around town a bit. Passed this car. No idea why, but quite a paint job.
Looking down some streets. Every time there is a color change it is a different house. The one here could stand a little TLC. If you buy a house in Centro Historico you can restore it, but the exterior has to remain true to the original. One of the problems with buying one of these old homes is parking. There is very little street parking and you can’t turn the bottom floor into a garage like they used to be able to. The front door is pretty high up and small.
More homes, different street.
This old building has a bougainvillea growing on the top floor – or else it is a very tall bougainvillea.
The sun came out for a bit and lit up these buildings. Notice the narrow street.
I posted a picture of the sunset last night. This was just before when we first got to the beach. A parasail – tandem. They landed right in front of us. This is on my list too.
Well another day has passed and the wind has finally let up. We had frozen pizza for dinner. Stuff brought from home. Next time we'll go to Dominoes. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

A picture taking kind of day

Yesterday, Friday, we had planned to go to the town of Cosala about 90 miles from here but plans got changed so we pretty much just hung around until evening when we went to a friends house for his daughters birthday. And for the first time ever I had ceviche. I had no idea what it was but it turned out to be pretty good. This is the way Roberto's wife made it: finely chopped fish, carrots, onion, garlic, cilantro and lemon juice. More like a salad than anything else.
This morning – how’s this for a beautiful day?
We went to Torres again for breakfast. I had fruit and a waffle and Bill had banana pancakes. After leaving the restaurant we decided to be tourists and take a leisurely ride to the Malecon. As we got further south the sky started to cloud up and the traffic which has been so light over Christmas increased.
We stopped at the area where the divers perform. More of the birds on the retaining wall across the street.
We headed up towards the vendors that line the street and the sidewalks. 
This year I made a list of things I wanted to do while here in Mazatlan – things we/I haven’t done before. About 15 things on my list. One was to eat cotton candy – I did that so it is checked off. Another was to have a raspado. And here was a raspado vendor. A raspado is kind of like a snow cone. Shaved ice with fruit juice. No time like the present.
The vendor shaving the ice to put in a cup.
The cup of ice is in his hand. He shaves it with a wide blade [kind of like a meat cleaver without the handle] and scoops it into the cup.
Pouring the juice over the ice. The juice and fruit is kept in a big plastic jar.
I got peach and along with the juice I also got ½ a peach. You get a straw and a spoon with it.
Enjoying my raspado. And not enjoying a brain freeze! Next time I want a strawberry one. 
As we were walking around while I was eating my raspado we noticed “a poser” he is the guy that stands up on the diving platform drawing a crowd. He does not dive. But I think he is pretty brave just to stand up there. 
When a big enough crowd gathers the real diver climbs up. Ready!
Go! – I wonder how young they start?
We also stopped to watch this man. He was using a very fine sandpaper to sand an ironwood turtle. He buys the rough carving and then sands them. See the finished pieces in the background.
We always thought the pieces were finished with a polyurethane or lacquer of some sort. Come to find out – after he sands them smooth he finishes them with…shoe polish! This gives them their shine and preserves the wood.
Another thing on my list – to go to the top of the hotel in the background and have drinks at sunset. But it was no where near sunset – something to save for another day. 
We continued our tourist day – but will leave the rest of it for a day we do nothing.

Sunset Saturday night. 
Fixed a good dinner tonight - steak smothered in peppers, mushrooms and onions. Baked potato with sour cream and butter and sweet corn. Yum. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Quiet Christmas Day

We had a quiet and pleasant Christmas Day. Started off by going to the Torres [hotel on the beach] restaurant for breakfast. While eating we saw our friend John from the campground swim by. He waved but I missed that shot.
the little pink spot is him 
Then we took a leisurely ride all the way across town. There was no one on the roads and most businesses were closed. A view of the town.
Stopped by the Dolphin fountain and walked around a bit.
Across the street was this new mural.
Then we stopped at the area where the cliff divers perform. None there yesterday and very few vendors. The Mermaid statue with the city in the back ground. No haze in the air.
Another view of town – from under the divers platform – the stairs up to it are on the left.
Then we drove up to the El Mirador restaurant. There are also stairs one can walk up to get there. I think NOT.
Looking out over downtown.
Looking over the water to Stone Island – it really isn’t an island but that is what it is called. There are a couple of RV parks there and lots and lots of big palm trees and a long beach.
Kind of a panoramic view
From there we drove over where the cruise ships dock – none in on Christmas Day – then we followed the blue line into Centro Historico. Notice no traffic!
Drove around the city a little – nice to be able to go slow and really admire the buildings. Then to the Golden Zone where we even found street parking. So we walked around there a bit. Nice to see so many of the little shops open again. Between the cruise ships coming back and the new road from Durango there are a lot more tourists here. 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

A very Merry Christmas Day to everyone. Hope you are enjoying good weather, good food, good friends and good health.
Yesterday morning we went over to the new Mall here in the north end. It is a beautiful and rather expensive Mall. And you have to pay to park there. It always kind of annoys me to pay to park to go spend money…
The Christmas Tree in the Mall.
Nicely decorated – with the ornaments hanging from the ceiling.
We got there just as it opened so there weren't very many people there yet. We walked around checking things out. Do know for sure we will never be able to shop in Liverpool. A golf shirt cost 1895.90 pesos – around US 132 dollars! For a golf shirt – well it was Ralph Lauren. But still. There was also a Jeep Trail Ready Cherokee for US 39,000. Cheaper than one in the US - but without all the crap the US has to add to it. A lot of stores whose names I recognize from home. And the thing we were looking for a TelCel customer service store – so we can buy more Gigs for the Banda Ancha there instead of going downtown. Found it at the very end next to the big Sears. Yes Sears and a very nice one – the nicest one we’ve ever been in. More our price range too.

From there to the WalMart across the street for groceries and then on home. Spent the day home then around 6:00 decided to out to eat. So we headed for the Centro Historico. There was no traffic on the roads, And the Plazuela Machado was empty – only one restaurant open and none of the parking lots were open. There was a lot of street parking which was very unusual…Even the main plaza was empty. I guess everyone stays home Christmas Eve. Kind of spooky out. We didn’t stop to eat and headed back to the Cerritos area. Even the restaurant in the marina we go to a lot was closed. We finally stopped at La Bruja in Cerritos – north of the campground. It was very busy – too busy. Our meal was not very good. I ate most of mine because I was hungry. Bill didn’t - so he had to find something to eat when we got home. 
Today we'll go out to breakfast then don't know what we'll do. 
Again Merry Christmas to everyone. 
A Christmas present from our son Paul and his wife Tina
Twas the Night Before Christmas

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Season of Beautiful Girls in Stunning dresses

Merry Christmas Eve! – It is hard to remember what day it is here in the continual sunshine and with no TV to keep reminding us.
Guess I’ve been remiss with my posting. Seem to be getting lazier and lazier.
A couple of posts ago I mentioned the wall around our favorite parking lot. Finally got the Real information about it. Notice the crack between small front section and the big side part of the wall.
The chain is trying to hold it together. Last time I understood that the city would not let them repair it – Wrong – the city will let them repair or rebuild it as long as it is done historically accurate. The problem is the owner of the lot doesn’t want to spend that kind of money. He wants to tear it down or replace it with something cheaper… So now he has put the lot up for sale but no one wants to buy it. The saga continues.
We had a rather nice surprise the other day. A car pulled up out front and a gentleman got out and knocked on our door, When Bill answered the delivery man made sure who we were and went back to his car and brought out a cake for us. The doctor who is the director of the hospital Bill was in last year sent it to us. He wanted to know how Bill was doing. So we stopped by to visit with him the other day. He said he’d seen the Jeep going by and took a chance that we were staying at the same campground and sent the cake. He is a good  friend of Paquis, the congresswomen too. Had a good visit with him and the nurse that took such good care of Bill. No pictures of the cake - ate it too fast - beyond delicious! From the Panama Bakery
Monday afternoon we went to the Centro Historico with Esther, Mike and their four kids to the Central Market and Plazuela Machado. Passed this pickup truck parked at the curb next to the cart that sells packaged nuts. The bed was covered with a cloth with sunflower seeds drying on it.
Into the market – they’d never been to one of the big central markets so we had to check out the chicken feet.
Stopped to listen to the two guys who stroll around the market playing their drums and horns.
After the market we went to a yardage shop – everything was so crowded. Then we headed to the Plazuela Machado for lunch. Stopped at Beach Burger.
While there we watched the woman pose for pictures. Her dress was magnificent. Her hair was pretty too. She didn’t have any attendants and she looked older than 15 so don’t know what the story was.

And then this group taking 15th birthday pictures. The girl and her escort
With some of her attendants.
Boys and girls. 
Meanwhile we were sitting at the table waiting for our meals. The children got served first – they had quesadillas. Bill got his meal Italian Chicken Salad, Then I got mine quesadilla and Mike got his burrito. Esther still hadn’t gotten her hamburger…and still didn’t get her hamburger …We saw a plate with a raw burger come out of the restaurant and go into the restaurant next door???? The waiter came over to Bill and whispered to him. Bill started to laugh. Then the waiter told Esther – her hamburger would be ready soon but they were having to cook it next door as they had run out of propane before it got cooked. RUN OUT OF PROPANE??? Saw her hamburger make its trip back to Beach Burger and soon it came out to be set in front of her. Oh My. Welcome to Mexico.
While we were eating the propane truck came to refill the tank. I didn’t think to take a picture of it. They have to throw a rope down from the roof and drag the hose up the building to fill the tank. And of course the street is so narrow they have to block it to keep out any traffic. You can see the propane truck behind the girls. 
Heading home we stopped at Mega, a supermarket, and I had to take a picture of the little tree in the bakery department decorated with tiny baked breads.
Yesterday we pretty much stayed home all day except to go pick up our laundry.

Today we might go to the new mall up by us -