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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Last day of an eventful year - 2015

Another year has passed already. And it was quite a year for us. Again this year as last year we do not intend to go out in the evening. But I’m quite sure we’ll go for a little drive during the day. I got up in pitch dark this morning. Just couldn’t go back to sleep. Just now at 7:00 a little light is beginning to show in the sky.
First news first. The Jeep, Willie, is completely fixed and running excellent. He had his fuel pump replaced. Thank goodness he was very nice to us and quit running right here in the campground instead of when we were traveling to out of the way places. Guess he likes us. Cost including fuel pump just under US$400. In pesos 6,700. Now that he is fixed we realize the strange humming noise we’d been hearing since before we left Vegas was the pump going bad. As I said, lucky it was right here.
Some pictures of the mechanic and his helper(s) putting it back together.Mechanic under car with new fuel pump - Bill closely watching. 
 Getting the gas tank in place. 
 Putting the steel protective plate over the gas tank
 Bill helping to pump up jack under steel plate. 
 Putting the hitch back on. Don't know why we have it - guess because it was in the 4 x 4 place and was the only thing left he hadn't added to the Jeep. 
 Hum.. did we forget anything. Do you see any extra pieces laying around. 
 And Willie ROARS again. Bill says it is amazing how much better it is running now. All him vim and vigor is back. Poor thing. 
And more news – the 29th of December for the last 9 years has been a bad day for us. It is the day our middle son John died. But now we have a happier note for the 29th. Our sixth great grandchild was born. A girl named Evelyn Belle, born at 7:20 p.m. 7 lbs, 6 oz, 20 inches long. Love the name. The baby.
Baby with her grandfather – our next to youngest son. Bottom right picture. Top right with her father and mother.
Bottom left our son's wife. 
The new grandparents – our son and his wife. They do the sign language videos.
And even more news – I got up to 8,200 steps yesterday with our walk in town and around the campground.

What a year this has been. One of our busiest in a long time. We were here in Mexico at the beginning of the year. Bill was dreading going home to Indiana as his allergies were so bad there. I was continually uncomfortable when walking, sitting and standing. Age was creeping up on us. We got home to Indiana around the first of May. In a week Bill was having problems breathing. We put our house up for sale. Hired an Estate Sale person, Packed everything we weren’t going to sell. Hired a moving company and by the end of June we were in the motorhome on our way to Las Vegas. Arrived there, looked at homes, settled on a manufactured home in a +55 park. It was an older model so it took some remodeling. While that was being done we shopped for furniture to replace all we got rid of. Then moved in in August. Tried to get everything settled before my surgery the first week of September. Bill felt like a young man again because he could breathe. After surgery I too felt better than I’ve felt in years. After clearance from doctors we jumped in the Alfa and here we are again in Mazatlan. Boy just remembering that made me tired. 
Happy New Year to everyone - may it be the best one yet. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Things are getting done!

Today started out beautiful. Bright blue sky and puffy white clouds – picture postcard day. It is now 2:30 and the sun is gone covered by a heavy layer of gray clouds. Rain??
First some pictures from yesterday. Near sunset we walked over to the beach. Had to cross the street to get there. How would you like this job? He stands up there watering the plants. Including while the truck is moving. Usually there is nothing up there to hang on to.
The sunset was strange again last night. There were a few wispy clouds and a fog/cloud bank right on the horizon. Footprints in the sand before the sun dropped all the way down.
The sunset – looked like a fire in the sky.
This morning we took the bus into town again. And again – darn it – we got a 10 peso bus – one of the more modern ones. I wanted Bill to have an "experience." He was going clear across town to the historic area so he let us off right at the Malecon by Valentinos. This is a disco, restaurant, night club. At night it is lit with different colored lights, very pretty.
Looking down on to the sand – a little restaurant – serving just caught oysters. Yum. Not. They were enjoying them though.  

From there we walked up to the Gran Plaza Mall – five or six blocks. Nothing was open yet so we stopped at the Sanborn’s Restaurant for breakfast. The waitresses’ dresses are neat.
By the time we were done eating - our destination – the TelCel Customer Service Center was open. The Christmas decorations in the mall. Santa has left the building.
The TelCel center. As we thought when we bought time at the convenience store OXXO, the time was put in as telephone time, not Internet data. And it got used in no time. So basically we have to go to the TelCel place to buy the GBs and have it activated as Internet data. We can’t activate it on the laptop and to activate it ourselves we need a TelCel phone. Oh well. And we can only buy 3GBs at a time. The TelCel service centers are really nice places with really helpful people.
While walking through the mall we noticed a new restaurant – when we left here in March there were no Carl’s Jrs here in Mazatlan. So far we’ve seen at least four. Popping up all over.
Also saw some Vans tennis shoes – on sale. Do they still Vans in the US? These were originally around US60 and are on sale for US50.
We walked from the mall over to the Mega grocery store to pick up a few things. While there the mechanic called and said he be at the RV Park in a bit.
So we jumped into a taxi and came home.
Just found out we have a new great-granddaughter [6th great grand] born last night.

3:30 the new fuel pump – boy I had no idea they were that big – and the mechanic are here. Things are coming together. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Finally a nice sunset

Well we’ve had some beautiful weather the last couple of days. Perfect almost. In the mid-70s with no wind.
On Sunday we took a pulmonia – more about them later – into the grocery store. While there Bill had the baker make him a special cake. They mostly sell big fancy cakes, but they are just too much cake for us. We’ve talked to this baker before – I think I wrote about him before. Any way. Here he is making Bill’s small cake.
Bill watching him frost it.
The cake. It is two layer, one layer chocolate the other white. It’s about 5 inches across. The perfect size.
Yesterday, Monday, we took bus and went downtown just to walk around some. Yes, I got Bill on a bus.

But it was one of the more modern buses with a rational driver. No excitement at all. The only fun thing was the handles for people who have to stand up. Every other one included a beer can.
We got off downtown – the Golden Zone – All the sidewalks are being redone. This section was half done. Notice the design.
The next section was 2/3s done – see the round hole.
Workers putting colored cement in another round hole.
A finished area with the complete design.
After we crossed the street where the sidewalks are wider the designs changed. This is a big wave. 
And a fish design.
Can you tell I don’t have much to write about…We caught a pulmonia home. Well not really a pulmonia. Now for your pulmonia lesson. This is a true pulmonia – no doors.
This is an impostor – a Safaria. It has doors.
The pulmonia is was first introduced here in Mazatlan – the only place in Mexico it is used  - 50 years ago. They are fiberglass chassis with a VW engine. There is a pulmonia union in town. The Safarias are not members of the union. They belong to the taxi syndicate. Another interesting tidbit the word pulmonia means pneumonia in Spanish. And on a cold or windy night you feel like you could come down with pneumonia riding in one. The average sightseeing speed is 30km an hour – appx 20mph. But according to an article I read maximum speed is 150 km an hour – 100mph – I think I rode with one driver who tried to reach that speed one night when Bill was in the hospital. A new pulmonia costs 130,000 Pesos. And the engine last around two years. The drivers have to take a test to get their license and are randomly drug tested.
I got all this from an article in a monthly English language paper called M!.
Last night was the first pretty sunset since we’ve been here and it was amazing. All these are taken from our spot in the campground.

Well we’ve discovered buying our data for the Internet at the OXXO was not as easy as it appeared to be. As our time is gone already. Guess the girl did not activate it as data. Instead it was phone time – poof it is gone.
Guess I’ll go up to the office to post this as we are waiting for the Chihuahua to get here with our fuel pump. However – last night on the news we discovered Chihuahua is all snowed in, lots of accidents on the highways. So we wait…
So I'm doing this in the park's office and when I got up here my mouse stopped working - WTF guess it needs new batteries, good thing this is a laptop.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Day night in the Plazuela Machado

Monday morning, no gray clouds in the sky so sun is already big and bright but the temperature is only supposed to go to 72. My kind of day. Clear, no wind and not hot.
Maybe today we’ll take a bus ride into the Golden Zone just to do some walking around.
So where we? Christmas Day we stayed home all day. It was the day we ran out of Internet time – so did a lot of reading and relaxing. But during the evening we went to Plazuela Machado again for dinner and music. We had the taxi [yes you read that right] let us off at the plaza in front of the Cathedral in Centro. There weren’t as many decorations around this year as there have been in the past. This is the government building on one end of the Plaza. Colorful.
Looking across the street at the Cathedral. All lit up at night.
Walking through the plaza there were some cute decorations. A lit snowman and lights up the trees.
 Once we were at the Machado there were more decorations.
The full Christmas moon over the building.
I like the stars in the plants.
Our friends John and Jackie met us there and we had dinner at Beach Burger – right in front of the gazebo so we could listen to the musician. There were a lot of families in the plaza. Many of the people dancing to the music.
We caught a taxi and came home – great evening.
So why the taxi – well Willie is having another adventure in Mexico. Keep in mind the Jeep has well over 100,000 miles on him. He very nicely brought us home from our errand day Thursday. But when we went out to get in him to go buy some GBs for the internet – he didn’t want to go. He made noise like he wanted to go, but didn’t move. So Bill called our friendly Mazatlan mechanic – who answered his phone but was out of town – whoops – it was Christmas Day. He promised we’d see him the next morning at 10:00. The strange/weird/funny thing is – we had seen the mechanic downtown the day before while picking up our friends at their hotel. We stopped and talked to him and Bill was asking him to come and just give Willie a checkup. Maybe Willie wanted to make sure he saw him. Or maybe he just wanted a Christmas present.
Any way the mechanic‘s helper under the car and the mechanic in front.
The mechanic under Willie removing parts. All the other stuff is stuff Bill carries in the back of the Jeep
The consensus was the fuel pump had gone. To get to it the back bumper had to be removed as did the steel guard that protects the gas tank.
Then the gas tank had to come out. The helper very efficiently removing the years of dust off the fuel tank before taking out the pump.
Fuel pump was taken to garage to make sure that was the problem- yep.

So here sits Willie with his parts scattered around. The mechanic called to tell us the pump was beyond repairing – need new one. It has been ordered and will be arriving from Chihuahua Tuesday. I asked Bill if it was coming “from Chihuahua or “by Chihuahua“ as that could make a big difference with their little short legs. He just looked at me.  
The weird sunset last night. Looks like the sun is setting behind mountains – in fact it is fog or low clouds out on the ocean.
Does anyone use the new Microsoft Office program? All of a sudden it wants to send everything to “One Note” which I assume is something “in the cloud” while we are on limited Internet data that is the last thing I want. But can’t figure out how to get rid of it.
Yesterday we took a pulmonia to the grocery store and a taxi home. Plenty of inexpensive transportation available here. Hoping today I can get Bill on one of the buses and just go into town to walk around. Would be a perfect day for it.