Saturday, December 31, 2016

Friends Left Today

Jacquie and Grant on their first night in Melaque.
We had a great time together but Jacquie and Grant had to leave. Jacquie has to get back to work; she's a teacher. 

However, we made plans to meet them in March on the Oregon coast. We will pick up Kobi in Eugene, OR. and then head over to the coast for a week of camping. We are excited! 

Until then we are sad to see them go. We had so much fun when we got together down here.
Today before they left. Note the tan and how rested they look.
I look like Chewbacca next to everyone.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Tonight's Sunset

Over the Holidays

On Christmas Eve we walked into the zocolo with Grant and Jacquie. I took some pictures but none were very good so I only included one. We met the Urquart's in the square, walked around, bought treats, and were home by 9:00 PM.

On Christmas day Linda and I rode our bikes to Las Palmas and joined 21 others in their annual Christmas White Elephant gift exchange. Everyone brought a gift and some finger foods, and we all enjoyed the morning exchanging gifts.

I ended up receiving a sign that said "Mi Casa es Mi Casa" and Linda got a nice little wood tray and a pound of coffee.

Everyone enjoyed the festivities and Linda and I really enjoyed being included in this group event.

We had a wonderful Christmas dinner at Casa Pink. The Urquhart clan were the hosts and were joined by Jacquie and Grant, Leone, Linda and myself.

Dinner was a culinary extravaganza of seared tuna, rostisado chicken, shepherd's pie, several salads, and a Mexican strawberry white cake. There was way too much to eat and so no one went away hungry. Everyone talked into the cool evening as globos floated into the sky.

On Monday we met the Urquharts and drove over to Pedro's Fish Tacos for a day on the beach. La Manzanilla was crowded but that is good for the local economy. We played Spicy Farkel and watched the happenings on the beach.

Saturday, December 24, 2016


Chris and his Toro.
Barry, Chris and I went out fishing yesterday and did well.  Gerardo Kosonoy, our fishing captain, loaded us on his panga and we were on the water by 7:15 AM.  We ran northwest to the point and we caught two toros. Toros are big strong fish that we don't keep. Their meat is real tough and red.

Chris hooked up on the first one and then Barry pulled in the second.  Within a few minutes I hooked a dorado and brought it to the boat.  That gave us one eater and two non-eaters.  We pulled around that area for a while and then Gerardo asked if we wanted to hunt for shore fish or look for tuna. We voted for tuna.
My Dorado.

Gerardo pointed the boat out and we ran about six miles off shore and to the south. Eventually, we started seeing schools of dolphins and multitudes of birds. Gerardo changed out the lures to smaller squid lures and we immediately had a double strike.  Chris and Barry pulled in two tuna.

We followed the bird flocks and when they dove we would swoop in, pulling our lure through the mass of diving birds. Two more tuna were caught. Chasing the bird flocks was fun, but our time ran out and we headed back to Barra with our catch.  It was a great day and we caught fish. That's what it is all about!

Gerardo. This photo is for Caroline.
Our catch, two Toro, four Tuna and one Dorado.

Barra de Navidad

Can you find me in this photo?
Jacquie, Grant, Linda and I loaded onto a bus and bumped on over to Barra de Navidad where we found the traveling market. Linda and Jacquie shopped as Grant and I tagged along complaining. We bought some little gifts for a Christmas Day gift exchange and then walked on down to the malecon.

They have repaired the malecon! It looks fantastic! I took some photos so that you can make a comparison to last year's pictures.

They have repaired the church and have added a bell.
Here is a link to the photos and story from last year.

We had a great time and ate lunch at the Sea Masters Resturant before we returned home.

The streets of Barra never change.

The new Malecon!

Looking back at Barra from the end of the malecon

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

A Day in La Manzanilla

Two beauties on the beach.
Today Grant and Jacquie joined us for a bus ride over the hill to La Manzanilla. We went to our favorite place, Pedro's Fish Tacos and found a table for the day.  Then we spent our visit talking and enjoying the beautiful beach.

We took a walk up the beach, but the day was very hot, so most of the time we just sat in the shade. Here are a few pictures of the visit.

Traveled the universe to find this place.
Bus ride, everyone on the shade side!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Tout est Beau

Jacquie et Grant ont obtenu un nouvel climatiseur dans leur appartement!

Monday, December 19, 2016

A Different View

Linda checks out the pool before the games begin.
Several nights ago we went out to dinner at Bistro Escondido with Gary and Grace Christopherson. The dinner was very good but that turned out to be secondary; they had a pool, which was large enough for volleyball. Gary talked to the owner and found out that they had a net and that the group could use the pool, and purchase drinks and food.

The machine started working and within a day or so an afternoon of volleyball was planned and all the players were notified.

Sunday afternoon arrived and folks showed up to play and enjoy all the accommodations the restaurant provided. There was a good showing of players and their spouses. Everyone had a great time and the gathering was deemed a success.

Eleven men watch as Linda serves.
"Back off Frank!"

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Great to be Back Together

Last night we spent the evening with Jacquie Moniot and Grant Lake, two friends that we met down here in Melaque.  Every year we have tried to get together but have missed each other by fractions. The year we drove down, Jacquie said that they spotted us driving out of town on our last day, the day they arrived. That's how close we have come each year.

One year, we bumped into each other at theTiangui and then went out to lunch. The weather had been a bit wet and we were seated in Resturant Maria when a huge downpour began. The waiter and all the staff ushered us up some stairs and set a table on the balcony out of the deluge of water. It was the only dry place in the entire structure. We had a wonderful lunch as we talked and laughed. Lunch turned into drinks... One of our fondest memories.

We met Jacquie and Grant through our other friends Don and Caroline. All of us have stayed at a place called La Paloma and this has given us some common experiences.  My favorite memory came when we were all gathered at Don and Caroline's room talking about our tiangui experiences.

There has been a jewelry vendor at the market and all the women swoon around him. He shows his creations and explains each in great detail - locations and types of stones used, metals and fibers woven in each of his artworks. The women eat it up. Now, of course, this artist is very handsome. The guys always felt that most of his sales could be attributed to this fact.

That night as we sat and laughed, Grant imitated the artist's accent and said, "Ah yes! That stone, oh I remember. I passed that kidney stone on the beach at Tenacatita! It makes a very beautiful piece, yes?" We all broke out laughing and couldn't stop!

Together again, we went to the beach for drinks, ate dinner at Buen Gusto and then walked the Jardin.

This year the town has created a wonderland in the square, with lights and many figurines. I'll be taking my good camera down soon to capture the scenes that they have created. Until then, these photos from my phone will have to do.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Thinking Back

Our days have been quiet compared to previous Decembers in Melaque. We made a decision last year to spend more time at the Casa Grande and in doing so, we saved enough money to pay for our upcoming Copper Canyon trip. The trade-off is that we couldn't stay on the beach in the Pink House and we didn't have our usual set of Idaho guests visiting us. This has proven to be a bit harder than expected. 

Don't get me wrong, we love being down here no matter where or with whom. It has just been a very quiet December. Holly, our family friend who has visited us several times with her family, wrote us an email yesterday. She explained her thoughts on missing their visit down this year. 

She said, "Every day I dream of all the things I love: the beach, the heat, the wonderful restaurants, the town square, the grocery store, Linda’s margaritas—all margaritas really, La Manzanilla and Barra de Navidad, playing cribbage in those crappy white plastic chairs on the beach, the bus rides, the friendly Mexicans, the ice cream shop, exploring other towns, eating fish that Dean and Ryan catch, experiencing different culture, watching the kids play with Dean and Ryan in the pool, walking with Linda, the simplicity of life, I could go on and on." 

That sums up the Melaque experience very well. Holly, Ryan, and the kids have made our Christmas's very special over the couple of years that they visited. Everything about this place grows on you.  

For our celebration photo this year we brought something special with us.  For two years now the kids have brought a Christmas tree that they drew and colored. We posted it in the living room and put presents under it. Santa visited during the night and left gifts for Anika and Zane. 

The tree last year had silver snowflakes taped to it as decorations. Before we left Idaho, we visited the Edward's, had dinner and watched the Seahawks play.  The kids had hung the Christmas tree that they drew last year, by the fireplace. Before we left their home, Linda and I took one of the silver snowflakes with us and we brought it to Mexico. It reminds us daily of the fun we had when we were with this wonderful family.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Go, Bug, Go!

Sunday morning was the 7th running of the Carrera Costalegre Extrema 10k. Linda has run in all of the runs since the first one. which was part of the Festival de Costalegre. The Festival has since died away but the 10k run has survived to become a fun annual event.

Linda registered for the run and then Dayl, a friend and walking partner, asked if she would walk with her during the event. Linda agreed and so this year she fast walked the event.

Our Casa Grande Neighbors, Rinette, and Diane, also ran the event! It was quite the topic of discussion last night as we sat in the cool evening air.  Linda recalled her first Mexican 10k, which actually measured 8.5 miles by her Garmin.
Look close and you can see Linda's head.
Linda, Rinette, and Diane. Champions!

Linda and Dayl.

Linda, Susan, and Dayl.