Saturday, October 31, 2015

Mexican Riviera Cruise I

IMG_20151013_112552408(Jan) Our Mexican Riviera Cruise aboard the Norwegian Sun took us to five fun destinations from October 13 – 24. We ported in Acpulco, Manzanillo, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. Our itinerary started off with three sea days. It was a great way to for us to explore the ship and relax before the five and a half days of busy sightseeing at the ports. We sailed to Alaska on the Sun so we were familiar with the lay out but it was still fun exploring old favorite places and finding new ones. Boomer friends John & Cathy joined us on this cruise.IMG_20151013_133333678 Here we are in the Sports Bar; one of our favorite Alaska spots when we sailed with Betty & Duane. We met at the Tappas Bar for a meet and greet with Cruise Critic cruisers where we met several delightful fellow travelers. The Cruise Critic group sponsored several activities including a ‘Cabin Crawl’ where we got to tour the Owners Suite with it’s spacious three rooms, a full balcony and adjoining suite for guests. It also came with a full time Butler and a Jacuzzi on the Balcony, third photo below. Sweet!

IMG_20151017_052935337_HDRDining on the back of Deck 11 IMG_20151015_104844054_HDRCrew grilling fresh Paella near the Pool. Yum! IMG_20151015_095555011

Cathy had arranged a private tour for Acapulo with Rudy’s Tour by Vans. On a very hot and humid day, ten of us boarded the Van for a fun view of this metro area, population 1,021,000. We toured the Old Town City Market, several scenic overlooks, a beautiful Chapel in New Acapulco, saw Hotels formerly owned by John Wayne and Johnny Weismuller and had a delicious Lunch & cool Cervaza at a beach restaurant. There was a very loud Marachi band playing, though. John had to plug his ears! Our highlight was watching the Acapulco cliff divers dive from a height of 40 meters to the inlet below. Very daring and pretty spectacular; many were just teenagers.

12115838_10205223894259066_2696513929335535911_n IMG_20151017_070111435Flower arrangements in Old Town IMG_20151017_054128085Busy streets going into Acapulco

Acapulco Cliff Divers ready to put on their show

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The following day we arrived in Manzanillo which is the main ocean port for Mexico City and Guadalajara. Chuck & I chose to do a Cruise Ship tour to the Colonial City of Colima with a stop at a Coconut Plantation, a Museum, a beautiful church, the Campana ruins dating from over 2,000 years ago  and lunch in the village of Comala. It was another very hot & humid day but our tour coach was comfortable & cool. The lunch was disappointing, the tour was long but somewhat interesting and it felt good to be back home on the Sun at the end of the day. 

IMG_20151018_093151433Our Touring Coach IMG_20151018_092703798Raw Coconuts IMG_20151018_111058195
IMG_20151018_104102495La Capacha ceramics & figurines from the La Campana Ruins site. IMG_20151018_104128725_HDRMuseo de la Cuidad de Colima & it’s historic mural. IMG_20151018_110744219_HDR
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Beautiful buildings near Campana’s town square.
IMG_20151018_135324907_HDRLa Campana Ruins of the Capacha Culture. IMG_20151018_105549150_HDR

IMG_20151019_100336991Puerto Vallarta was a fun stop. John & Cathy and Chuck & I had all been here before so we chose to take a taxi to Old Town and go shopping and have lunch. We strolled the Malecon, visited the Church of the Lady of Gaudelupe, found internet at the Cigar store and tasted some yummy tequila!  The weather was not quite as hot as our first two stops so we did lots of walking. Shopping was fun and we came away with some goodies. Next up; a premier lunch and margaritas at Pipi’s. We had talked to some people up on the Malecon when we were looking for a place to eat and they recommended Pipi’s. Sure glad that they did!

 

Incredible beaded animals
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Puerto Vallarta apartments
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Internet at the Cigar Shop
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Our Lady of Guadelupe, at left
& Looking into town from the ship, above
IMG_20151019_111338849Waiter making Fresh Guacamole
IMG_20151019_103934957 12105984_10205232931764998_65708562109922214_nDanza de los Voladores statue on the Malecon, at left 1470113_10205232989246435_2324928022756576677_nLunch at PiPi’s!! in the photos above. The Fajitas & Margaritas were delicious!!

Next up; Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Moving from here to there

IMG_20150928_184614224(Jan) Since leaving Winchester Bay we have been on the move, 10 stops in sixteen days. Our first stop was the SKP Park in Sutherlin, Oregon where we joined Boomers Kay & Georgia and the park regulars for a Sunday afternoon ice cream social. We had a nice lot in their beautiful park plus it was great to do a little cooking (Crab Alfredo with fresh green beans at right) and get our laundry done and IMG_20150929_152417284the place cleaned up!

Our south ward trip through Oregon and northern California took us down I5. The drive is through beautiful country, over the Siskiyou Pass, past Mt. Shasta and down into the Alfalfa & Rice fields of the delta country. The west has been suffering from a severe drought the past several years. Lake Shasta Reservoir’s water level was disastrously low. It’s so sad to see.

From the Elks Club in Modesto, CA we were able to meet friends John & Cathy at their favorite Italian Restaurant, Chefs of New York. The food was awesome and it was great connecting with these Boomer friends. We also drove into Pleasant Hill from there to visit my sister-in-law Scarlett and nephew John. We got to visit them at home and go to a street fair down town plus meet Scarlett’s friend Dennis andIMG_20151006_104140202 her son Brenden and girlfriend Kaeleen at Slow Hand Barbeque for lunch. Once again the food was fabulous and the company was even better. So good to see everyone. Can’t believe we missed getting photos!

(Chuck)  We stopped in at Redlands Truck and RV to have our rig axles aligned. We had no problem with steering or handling of the coach but we were getting a little wear on the outside of the right front tire. It has been nagging me for quite a while and it seemed like the right place to fix it. Judie and Mark gave them very good recommendations. They have a small rv park that we could come into the night IMG_20151006_110539400before and be available for an 8 o’clock appointment. They accomplished the alignment and found that a shock was broken on the tag axle. New shocks were installed. Also the technician noticed a nasty piece of metal had imbedded itself on our passenger inside drive wheel. It was pulled out and it did not leak air. We dodged a bullet on IMG_20151008_151440956that one.

(Jan) Our afternoon trip to Yuma took us into very familiar territory past Anza Borrego State Park and along I8 in southern California.  Since the temperatures were moderate when we reached town we were able to boondock at our friends’ Ron & Sharon’s lot over night.  We had a delightful visit with our friend Cathy and picked up our mail at her house the next morning. The mail included the wonderful art work (at left) from my granddaughter’s Maddy & Libby That afternoon we joined the Yuma Boomers at The Copper Mine for an early dinner. So great to see Nancy & Gary, Joey & Carl, Jeanne & Jack, Bea, Joy and Soren & IMG_20151009_082529367Barbara.

IMG_20151007_134609713_HDR(Chuck) We came to Yuma with the intention of staying on Sue’s lot on 53’rd street for five days before the cruise. On the first afternoon we had major electrical problems. After quite a bit of troubleshooting we discovered that the circuit breaker on the power pedestal was arcing and causing trouble. I replaced the breakers with new ones and the next day again we had a power failure. It seems that when the casita was added on the lot, the RV power stand was relocated. When they did this they did not use large enough wiring and may have spliced the ground wires in an underground location. I have a ground wire on a 50 amp service that should read 115 volts to the power wire and it only reads 40 volts. That leads to heartache on a 50 amp service. My Energy Management System on the coach will not accept power in a situation like that. Another few hours of troubleshooting and I found that I cannot fix it this time. Sue, IMG_20151009_123527860who owns the lot, has become a good friend of ours over the years, gave us a phone number of a friend of hers that also has a spare lot close by. Soon we were on our way a couple of blocks over and now we are settled in and living comfortably again. It is 98 degrees and going to 100 tomorrow and we are grateful to have power for A/C.

(Jan) We knew it was going to be hot in Yuma in October but dental work and storage for our rig while we do a Mexican Riviera Cruise brought us here. The Cruise will be on the Norwegian Sun, October 13-24, porting in Alcapulco, Manzanilla, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. The cruise is a surprise; Chuck found an offer to good to pass up! John & Cathy are going, too.

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(Chuck & Jan) We were able to get appointments to see Dr. Hector and Dr. Krystal to have our teeth cleaned & checked. Also, Chuck had a broken crown replaced with Dr. Krystal and Jan had my prelim work & X-rays done for the implant surgery she’ll have done with Dr. Hector when we get back from the cruise.  Always something to look forward to! We have been with Dr. Krystal & Dr. Hector for several years now. They have a brand new, state of the art office and we have appreciated their work. We would recommend them for anyone looking for a clean, professional dental office in Los Algodones, Mexico.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Winchester Bay Crabarang

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(Chuck)  The last time we were in Winchester Bay was in 2009. We spent several weeks in the Northwest with family and left the Seattle area with Dean and Judy to tour the Olympic Peninsula and venture down the coast. We stopped in Winchester Bay and spent several days with the Roving Rods as they crabbed for Dungeness Crab. The crab and the friends were good, however the weather was bad. We moved on inland after a few days. This year was different. Diana and George organized a Boomerang at the Bay and we found the weather to be excellent. We came early and stayed late and spent two weeks. It is just blacktop boondocking, but we were there with over 25 Boomer rigs. Our parking area was wonderful with the view of the sailboats in the marina. It is not often that you get a front yard view like that. It is just another awesome experience that is available in this lifestyle.12036876_1146692025345166_6806576006094292964_n

(Jan) Diana arranged a busy week around crabbing and fishing. There was a Happy Hour each day with activity reports & announcements. The Margarita Boomers Steve & Kay made Margaritas a couple of nights and the group responded with Heavy Hors du voures. We went to eat as a group to Don’s Main Street Diner where the food was good 12002945_1143707392310296_8233902955307442481_nand the pies & desserts were amazing. Friday morning several in the group, Judy, Jan, Dianne, Diana & Dona – at left, drove over to the Farmer’s Market in Reedsport. On Sunday night Dianne & I hosted a Potluck over on our Dock C with a gorgeous view of the crab docks and the bay. Connie hosted yummy Seafood Tacos several nights later. Diana arranged for a Charter Fishing Trip for Ling Cod and Rock Fish and many set crab traps along the Crab Docks. We sure had fun!

The docked Sailboats at SunsetIMG_20150918_194612638_HDR Some of the group at Happy Hour12006318_1051782344845913_8462993823868178630_n Crabbing Dock & Boat LaunchIMG_20150919_113032726

IMG_20150918_100839314_HDR(Chuck) Frank and I fished for salmon without success. When you can fish in these conditions catching a fish would be a nice perk, but it does not make or break my day. Throwing a lure in the sunshine with good friends is on the top of my list.

IMG_20150922_122403856We were fortunate to find a fishing boat in port with Albacore Tuna. The captain was a little disappointed to return with only 48 tuna but we were happy to purchase one of them. We bought an 18 pound fish for $2.75 a pound live weight. .30 cents a pound to dress the fish and soon we had 11 pounds of Albacore Tuna to vacuum seal and put in the freezer. It it yummy when grilled.

IMG_20150919_185859359IMG_20150919_185831682There is an oyster farm in the ocean by the entrance to the Bay. They harvest oysters each day and always have fresh oysters available. On Saturday afternoon Dean purchased three dozen for three couples to feast on. They cost about $10 dollars per dozen for the medium size. We actually could not eat all of them even though we tried. They were delicious. Frank expertly fixed them on the grill and if we do it again they will be grilled just like Frank did it.

(Jan) Although Chuck & I did not put out crab pots, we were the grateful recipients of 9 Dungeness crabs from our friends Richard & Peggy. We shared them with Dean & Judy and Frank & Dianne. The last week included a wonderful dinner out with Frank & Dianne, George & Diana, Larry & Connie and us at Benetti’s in Coos Bay for Frank & Dianne’s 49th Anniversary. Bellissimo! And on the last night the five of us Boomers left, Chuck & I, Steve and Connie & Larry had Crab Alfredo, salads & brownies at Connie and Larry’s. What a wonderful time it has been here at Winchester Bay.

IMG_20150919_114530489_HDRChuck on the sail boat dock with our motorhomes in the background on ‘C’. Below; Dona’s excellent night time photo of the docked sail boats IMG_20150923_132102323Jan on the shore along the Inlet to Winchester Bay. IMG_20150923_134617199Looking toward Salmon HarborIMG_20150923_134223304Looking out to the ocean
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Right; The Coast Guard practicing Rescues at Sea.
Below; Lunch at Schooner Inn along the Umpqua River. Great sea food with the lovely river views.
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