Saturday, December 22, 2012

Incredible Day at sea

Bobbi and Tom and family had graciously invited us to go fishing with them on the Pancho Villa. We jumped at the chance. We were concerned about how cold it might be in the morning while we were steaming out, but it was very mild. Before long we were down to our sweaters and jeans.

It was great just to be on a boat.

As we rode along and all woke up a bit, the crew started chopping up squid for bait. There was some joking around about sushi and finding a lime, but nobody actually ate raw squid. The Pelicans started appearing out of do they know?

There was a small pool collected, $5 each and whoever caught the biggest fish collected all. So when we stopped for our first line drop, there was a lot of excitement! Everyone was hauling fish in.

Tom the patriarch and I both caught large triggers at the same time as two sealions came by to visit and tried to steal the fish off someone's hook. There was a lot of excitement at that point. Upon measurement, Tom and I both had triggers that were exactly 16 inches long. A tie.

Just before we called it a day, Tom caught another 16 inch trigger, making him the big winner of the day. We headed back.

The crew got down to filleting and skinning the fish, and we ended up with about 45 lbs of fillets. Holy smoke! Just as they finished cleaning up, someone yelled, "Dolphins!" and we all ran up to the bow with our cameras. We saw a sight I'll never forget. Somewhere between 150 and 300 dolphins, not far away. Many came up and ran the bow wave, and others were close as well.

A perfect end to a perfect day.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Our Trip to San Diego

We drove up to San Diego on a Friday to attend my cousin Jamie's 40th birthday party. (The youngest cousin is 40 - how did that happen?). We also wanted to meet his new wife Lorena, who is our friend on Facebook.

Here are some pictures of that trip, courtesy of Carl. It's about a 7-hour drive the way we went, including the crossing. I think next time coming back I'd cross at San Luis Colorado and save some driving in Mexico. We crossed at Algodones. (Google map it).

On our way:

Some desert scenery:

A little green is pretty welcome after all that brown.

It gets quite agricultural after Rio Colorado. Pretty but the roads are difficult.

A little farm:

And then in California we went into the mountains- incredible boulder-like scenery.

See? Boulders.

We climbed to over 4000 feet, and the wind was something else. Hence the wind farm. What do they say about that? "Your area is eligible for a wind farm if the wind has ever made you feel like you want to actually kill someone."

Carl's proud of this one, justifiably since all these shots were from a moving car. Me stop? No way.

The day after the party, while Jamie slept, we went to Balboa park. It is just beautiful, with a lot of museums. Here's a theatre.


Some of the nice architecture:

More architecture...I'm telling you, it was so beautiful there!

We don't know what these buildings are called...


The restaurant where we had a delicious lunch. (Prado)

The Art gallery. We spent a couple of hours in here.We also went to the Natural History Museum.

A painting we liked.

The Young Diana, a sculpture.

A traffic circle

Hula hoop girl outside our hotel room.

Heading home.Wait, I'm pointing the same way!

Thanks to Lorena and her family and Jamie for a wonderful time!

Here's just one more. Here's me before, me in the middle, and after's going to have to wait a few months:

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bureaucracy, cars and health care

Sorry I haven't blogged in so long, everyone, I ran out of things to say. But since the blog is "Living in Mexico", I wanted to give you an overview of some of the time-consuming, somewhat frustrating details of living here.

Lately we got involved in the country's health care system and also bought a vehicle. This is how many hours it took:

- actually buying the car- 8 or 9 visits to ATM to get money, 2 visits to seller, then need more paperwork so run back home and get it, and a third visit to seller.
- get a factura (official receipt) for the car - one week and 4 more visits to seller.
- get a drivers license - go to Red cross to get an eye test 1/2 hour, go to Police station 1 hour, go to Licensing bureau 1 hour.
- get car registered- 1 hour to find out the factura is incorrect. several trips to car seller's place to straighten that out, then another hour at Licensing bureau.
-insurance- only 1/2 hour because of our beloved Paty. Great insurance covers us in the US as well.
-IMSS is the local health insurance. So far we've spent 2 hours at the office with a translator, one hour at the hospital waiting for an appointment that disappeared, and we are trying to set up another appointment.

Doesn't sound like much, does it? But think of buying a car and not getting it licensed and insured for 10 days, and having to drive it to various places uninsured because you have to get it registered first, and they have to inspect it.

Think of all these hours costing you money because you work for yourself and when you're not working, you're not earning. It was a frustrating couple of weeks.

But now we're on the road in our 2000 Nissan pathfinder!

Great stereo, speedy, comfy, Shadow loves it, everything works, except we have a check engine light. So I take it to the autozone and get the OBDII read. Then I take it to my usual electrical guy, who says he can't fix it. My other mechanic only speaks Spanish, and I can deal with that for simple things, but this is a bit too complex for me, plus we have a few other little details to tell him about. So I hire our friend Pablo to come with me.

I leave the car there Monday night, knowing Luis won't get to it until Tuesday. I don't hear anything until Wednesday afternoon, when Pablo calls and says Luis needs me to come over and get a part, and go find a new one. Luckily we still have the Mercury. I take the part, go to the new Autozone, wait 20 minutes, and they don't have it.

So I go to another parts place called Morua. He doesn't have it, but will order it and he'll have it the next day at 10. I wait until 11. He doesn't have it, it must be in the second shipment, come back at 2.

He doesn't have it, he calls them up. Tomorrow for sure. The next day, nope, they forgot to ship it.

At this point Armando, who of course I'm on a first-name basis with by now, is a bit embarrassed. He calls them up and tells me it will be there Saturday. I don't get there until Monday. He has the part. It's the wrong part. He makes several calls again, and after 3/4 of an hour tells me he can't get it.

I pick up the car as is, and Pablo and Luis are looking for the part.