November 25, 2012

Arroyo Seco Express does a 2-day turnaround from Nuevo and back

NUEVO VALLARTA, Nayarit, Mexico - Admiral Fox and I did a light-speed trip from Nuevo Vallarta to Arroyo Seco and back, leaving Friday at 1 p.m. and pulling back into our condo here by 4 today. (Sunday).

Palm trees in front provide great cover now
In between that we opened up the Pink Flamingo, had dinner with Julian, Sondrine, Jim and Vickie in Zapata, rode both beaches on the Honda quad (it started without hestitation) all by noon on Saturday.

But then the adventures began to turn into misadventures.

I will let Admiral Fox detail all that out on her blog

But the highlights included finding a few thousand ants in our bed when we wanted to leave for lunch, having to use a toxic bug spray and then not being able to find a restaurant open in Arroyo Seco Saturday night to go to for dinner.

That was especially bad as it was the Admiral's birthday.

Big ouch.

On the plus side, we are back safe with both bicycles, our barbecue, our flat-screen tv and... drum roll please - my Honda motorscooter, for which we will finally get a license so we can motorscoot around Nuevo Vallarta. And on Saturday afternoon - while waiting for the ants to, well, decamp from the bed of our trailer, we went to Palapa Joe's in La Manzanilla, had a great lunch and even caught up with La Manzanilla's Lois Lane (AKA Jane Gorby) still glowing from the winning score of the Ohio State football game.

Our next sojourn to Arroyo Seco will be in December for the holidays.

Here's a few photos from the Pink Flamingo, snapped while waiting for the mist from the ant poison to clear.

The putting green in the center - with Laura's car parked under the roof

Palm trees provide a nice screen to the driveway

Banos and showers all working fine...

November 22, 2012

A fabulous Thanksgiving dinner on a boat near Paradise

PARADISE VILLAGE, Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico - Adm. Fox and I had a fabulous dinner on board Sea Gnome, a sailboat owned by amiga Elizabeth kept at the marina in Nuevo Vallarta. Sea Gnome is berthed across the channel from Paradise Village Marina (where we kept Sabbatical for several years) and all of the food - served in the cockpit, was great!

Elizabeth (driving) Tim (center) and Devon arrive for dinner
Besides Elizabeth, Sylvia and I, we had two other folks on board, Tim and Devon, who helped chow down on the turkey and fixings Elizabeth had prepared in her tiny galley.

Adm. Fox provided a pasta salad, bread and probably something else that I am forgetting at the moment.

I will know as soon as she reads this. I should be forgiven though, because I have to keep focused - her birthday is Saturday... Saturday... focus...

After dinner, we took a brief tour (in a beautiful Boston Whaler) up the channel past the Fajita Republic restaurant and back.

I have many great memories of that channel.

I used to take my rowing dinghy up there after dark with a spotlight to 'spot' crocodiles snoozing on the muddy banks.

The crocs were not amused but I am here to tell the tale anyway.

Happy Thanksgiving - today, tomorrow and to infinity and beyond!

NUEVO VALLARTA, Nayarit, Mexico - A year ago on this holiday Adm. Fox and I were sitting in the spacious dining room in Sacramento of Pam DiTomasso and Steve Lovotti who had graciously handed over their house to us for the afternoon so we could have a Thanksgiving family dinner.

It was one of those rare convergences of timing and people. It was as much family reunion as Thanksgiving Day dinner. And it was Sylvia's birthday, too.

All our children and grandchildren - except for Sasha who lives in Mexico with her mother - were there. Jason from Colorado, Anne from Sacramento, Dustin from Connecticut, Dylan from Berkeley along with grandchildren Samantha and Kamryn. Added to that we had Adm. Fox and I, Anne and Jason's mom Kay and Kay's mother, Mavis, Sami and Kami's grandmother.

One year later Adm. Fox and I are in a seaside condo getting ready to head out to the Banderas Bay beach for a Thanksgiving afternoon that will include swimming, boogie-boarding, a margarita or two and possibly a big fish dinner on someone's boat this evening.

Not exactly traditional, but the spirit of Thanksgiving is still here, big time.

Thanksgiving is the one day that as a nation we seem to recognize that we have a lot to be thankful for.

Me? As I wake up every morning my first thoughts are about how lucky I am. Truly lucky and truly blessed with a great family and great friends.

Happy Thanksgiving to y'all. 
Today, tomorrow and to infinity and beyond!

November 18, 2012

In the new office - at Bahia del Sol, Nuevo Vallarta

NUEVO VALLARTA, Nayarit, Mexico - Admiral Fox and I have set up shop here in Nuevo Vallarta, this year splitting our time between here and Arroyo Seco until sometime in April.

I have a book - and other writing projects - with deadlines looming; Adm. Fox has her Zumba to teach, language classes to take and enough other things to keep her so busy it would wear out a teenager. Wait, isn't she a teenager?

Plus, our granddaughter Sasha Fox is right here, who we hope we will get to see. A lot. A lot...

Today we headed out to La Cruz de Huanacaxtle to the Sunday farmer's and artisan market, held where once there was just a beach. Now there is a marina, restaurants and a thriving mercantile economy. More than a few gringo property owners lost their beach rights in the process, but it is Mexico.

And boy, can we relate to their plight. !Tenacatita libre!

We had wanted to have lunch at the famous Philo's but he was closed. Next week he will be open seven days a week. 

Musicians entertain at La Cruz Market

Market on the waterfront, tres cool

 In the meantime, I had occasion to revisit the video Adm. Fox and I produced last fall about this time, Saving Perro Morro. It has stood the test of time. Now we just have to get up the courage and go see if Morro is still alive at his tienda home. I hope so.

If you have a spare few minutes, it's worth taking a peek at. 

November 16, 2012

In Mexico, but right here it feels more like San Diego

NUEVO VALLARTA, Nayarit, Mexico - Admiral Fox and I stopped by the Paradise Mall to do a load of laundry before heading back to our nearby Bahia del Sol condo on Banderas Bay.

We are moving into our semi-permanent condo digs Saturday a.m. and decided a drawer full of clean clothes was better than dragging a basket full of dirty laundry across the parking lot and up the stairs.

But here in the Paradise Mall - which has a good (if expensive) grocery story and some neat (if expensive) shops, there is also some not-so-good and not-so-neat (but cheap) food among more traditional restaurants.

I suspect even though the sign is obscured, it's pretty easy to figure out I am sitting near the outlets of an American fast-food icon.

Ah, the smell of grease in the air!

Away from this part of the mall, however, this area is fabulous and we have been busy as cats covering, well, what cats cover so industriously since arriving last Sunday afternoon.

Among other things we had dinner the first night we were here with amigos Bill Meagher and Cindy Bader from Marin County. They were taking a mini-vacation in La Cruz. Then Monday we went to a storage unit, picked up the clothes we left here last spring and followed it with a Costco trip.

Chilean wine is very inexpensive - and good.

Admiral Fox is taking a Spanish class several days a week, leaving me home to work on several writing projects. And pretty soon, she will be teaching Zumba on the beach right in front of our condos.

Watch this blog for some photos of that next week.

-Posted using BlogPress from my iPad