Border crossing and Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

0

Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 26-02-2010

We  left Rocky Point with heavy hearts but also ready to start our next adventure – whatever that might be!  The border crossing at Lukeville was so quick – a mere 15 minutes – and they didn’t ask us about our fruits and veges!  We had a list all ready but they didn’t seem interested which was different from every other crossing. 

We have driven by “Organ Pipe Cactus National Momument’ each time we visited Rocky Point.  We read it was the least visited National Monument so decided to give it some of our attention!  Arizona has received a lot of rain this winter and the desert was ablaze in color.  Really beautiful.  This stop was one of our favorites as it was very peaceful and the desert was so vast and beautiful.  Here is a blip about this national monument from their website:

“Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument exhibits an extraordinary collection of plants and animals of the Sonoran Desert. This is a showcase for creatures who have adapted themselves to the extreme temperatures, intense sunlight, and little rainfall that characterize this Southwest region. Twenty-six species of cactus have mastered the art of living in this place, including the park’s namesake and the giant saguaro.”

Definitely worth a stop on your way to Rocky Point.   Now onto our new “home” – Desert’s Edge RV Village near Anthem.  We are all looking forward to spending time with our good friends in the area. 

[nggallery id=181]

Puerto Penasco

0

Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 25-02-2010

Puerto Penasco – better known as “Rocky Point” – was our first Mexico camping experience 5 years ago in our 22′ Terry trailer.  After having experienced so much of Mexico these last 2 years, we found Rocky Point to be a bit American-ized but it was still fun.  We camped at “The Reef” which is  large campground on the beach.  We were surprised how many campers where there as it was mid week.  We had a fun dinner at  a local place in town (hard to find as so many of the restaurants are pretty touristy).  Andrew enjoyed a scallop cocktail while Poohnut ate her yummy shrimp version.  We took some fun drives around town and were fortunate to have cool temperatures and  sunny skies.  Ken and I drank the last of our tasty “raicilla”,  the amazing agave concoction we bought back in Tenacatita.  It was so sad to use the last drop!  One afternoon, we stopped at the dunes and the kids had a great time jumping off the edge.  Making it back UP the dune wasn’t nearly as much fun! 

This is our last stop in Mexico before heading back to the ole’ US of A.  We will really miss Mexico as we have many wonderful memories of this amazing country. 

[nggallery id=180]

Guaymas and Hotel Playa de Cortes

0

Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 23-02-2010

 We usually stop at San Carlos on our way north.  This time, however, we changed our plans since we had heard so many great things about the beautiful “Hotel Playa de Cortes.”    The RV park was right in front of the hotel.  The hotel was a beautiful old world place and reminiscent of something you would find in Spain.  We  enjoyed both our morning coffee and our evening martini overlooking the beautiful bay.     We celebrated Valentine’s Day here and Ken and I enjoyed a wonderful meal, complete with some very blue margaritas!  The kids made some sweet Valentine’s cards for us (and each other (surprisingly enough!)) so it was a nice day to also celebrate family. 

 One day, we hope to come and stay at this lovely hotel and would recommend it for anyone looking for a  taste of Mexico and Europe!

[nggallery id=178]

Bahia Kino on the Sea of Cortez

0

Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 22-02-2010

 As we slowly meandered our way back to the States, we decided to stop at Kino Bay for a few days.   A few days turned into a week as we just couldn’t bring ourselves to leave!    Kino Bay was the first place in Mexico we visited outside of Rocky Point.  We have fond memories of staying at a funky campground on the beach in our little 22′ Terry trailer, with our old dog Schooner.    This time we stayed at the “Islandia” RV park which is in the town of Kino Bay.  The campground was full but there was one spot overlooking the ocean (the camper had just left) so we grabbed it!  The people in the RV park were very friendly and we enjoyed chatting with them while the kids had fun playing with the many dogs of the park. The Seris, a long-standing tribe in this land, live in and around  the town and many were selling beautiful knitted baskets dyed with  colors of the region.

[nggallery id=179]

Our neighbor told us about  the best place to go clamming so off we went – buckets and diggers in tow.  The day was clear and sunny and Andrew and Ken filled their buckets with clams while I sat overlooking the ocean with my book.  The clams needed to soak overnight so they could literally spit out all the  sand.  The next evening, we enjoyed a big yummy bowl of steamed clams which Ken had  steamed in a broth of clam juice, garlic, white wine and lemon juice.  Poohnut was bummed to have missed the clamming adventure so the  next day, Ken, Andrew and Poohnut went back and got MORE clams!  While they were clamming, Nikki and I visited a local crafts faire and had a wonderful time checking out the unique handmade items. 

We enjoyed many walks along the beautiful white sand beach and the girls and I had fun collecting sea glass.  One day we made our way to the center of town and found many raw clams stands filled with locals.  We decided to give some  local raw clams a try and they were pretty good, even with the “interesting” texture.  Nikki decided to stay at the RV as she is a bit of a raw clam wimp!

[nggallery id=182]

Now off to Guaymus, a town near San Carlos.  We head north reluctantly as we would love to stay in Mexico longer, like forever!

Las Glorias and Mr. Moro

1

Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 09-02-2010

We had heard  a lot about this quaint RV park in Las Glorias and decided to check it out.  Getting to “Mr. Moro’s RV Park” was a 45 minute drive off Mex 15 through farmland.  The drive got a bit tricky when we came upon a very slow moving  tractor with long “arms” coming out both sides, taking up BOTH lanes!  We didn’t dare pass!  It was all worth the effort as Mr. Moro is now one of our favorite stops.    The RV park itself is quite simple but almost everyone has a view of the ocean which is a nice perk.  On the same grounds as the RV park was a beautiful restaurant and a small hotel.  The grounds were lovely and had little brick paths running throughout along with beautiful gardens with colorful flowers.  There were also two sparkling (cold) swimming pools.     The sand on the beach was soft and easy to take long walks on.   Down the way were dunes with long blowing grasses, reminiscent of beaches in Northern California.

We have met a special “Mexico Dog” at every campground and this was no exception.  “Gloria” befriended us and even slept in one of our bag chairs.    Hobie and her became friends and liked to jump around with each other.  Speaking of Hobie, we noticed his energy level was lower than his normal sleepy dog disposition and we became a bit worried.  Horacio, one of the managers of  Mr. Moro’s , came to our aid and drove with us to the veterinarian in the town of Guasave.  The vet was really wonderful and gave Hobie a variety of treatments which brought him back to normal.  Great to know that if your animal gets sick in Mexico, you can find good treatment (not to mention at 1/4 the cost!) 

The girls loved playing in the soft sand and made “shell shops” where they sold their shells to each other, the currency being leaves.  The game room was fun and the kids took their breaks from school  playing pool with each other.  One day, we heard some canned music on the beach and, to Poohnut’s great surprise and happiness, it was the ice cream man!  He had a yummy ice cream including frozen strawberries and cream. Later in the day,  Andrew and Ken picked up some live shrimp to use as bait for the following day.  Ken dared Andrew to eat one of the LIVE shrimp and, knowing he can’t say NO, Andrew completed the challenge.  I was so afraid we were going to have to deal with some sort of food poisoning but, like his father, his stomach is made of steel so no repercussions!  

[nggallery id=176]

Of big concern to us was whether or not this little restaurant would show the Superbowl.  We really wanted to watch it as we are big Colts fans, plus it’s just fun to be park of the whole experience!   They assured us they would show the game but weren’t sure if it would be in Spanish or English.  We tried to make it okay either way but we really wanted the English version.  They really came through and after much stretching of TV cables (from RVs in the park) and borrowing of TVs (again from other RVs in the park), we all joined in the billiard room and watched the game in English.  The restaurant brought yummy taquitos and guacamole and Ken brought some yummy chicken wings as what’s the Superbowl without wings??  They set up a money pool and Andrew won 200 pesos at the 3rd quarter pool which was a lot of fun.   While we are Colts fans, we were happy to see the Saints win as they are a great team and their city is worthy of the win.

 One day, Andrew, Ken and I took off to tour the city of Guasave.  We drove back through the farmland, passing many a tractor and reach Guasave in time for lunch.  After a yummy lunch named after the famed, Emilio Zapata (one of the heros of the Mexican Revolution) we walked around the central market of the city.  There was piles of chicken and meat all around and one thing you noticed, they were super fresh as there were no flies and no odor.  Ken picked up some chicken while Andrew and I loaded up on fruits and veges.  Always worth it to shop where the locals shop. 

 [nggallery id=177]

Birthdays and good friends in Mazatlan

0

Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 02-02-2010

We left Chilmulco early morning and kept the van unhooked, knowing we had to maneuver through the tricky streets of Guadalajara.   Nikki rode shotgun with me and kept the camera clicking.  At a critical point (transition to another route), we lost sight of Ken (I know, HOW could we lose the big 40′ beast?) and just crossed our fingers as we merged left as opposed to our other options.    Out of the literal sea of cars, we spotted the RV and Nikki and I gave each other a high FIVE!  The route to Mazatlan from Guadalajara is beautiful, through rolling hills and lovely vistas.  We wanted to make one more stop at Tequila on our way as I was ready for a margarita!  Just kidding as it was only 9:30AM (darn it!) but we wanted to pick up one more thing in Tequila and were happy to take one more walk around the beautiful plaza.  After Tequila, we hopped back on the toll road en route for Mazatlan. 

[nggallery id=173]

Since  our good friends, Larry and Kim, were staying at their timeshare in downtown Mazatlan, we opted to stay at the Cerritos RV park to be closer to their condo.  Cerritos RV park is a relatively new park and many of the residents  own their spots.  Because of this, many of the spots are upgraded to include outdoor kitchens, palapas, brick walls and tile.  Many were quite pretty and we can see why people could park themselves here for the whole season.  (Although we wouldn’t be in that group since there is SO much to see in Mexico!)   We arrived late in the day and our spot had been given to an overnighter since they thought we weren’t going to make it.  The only spot left was a very nice upgraded one overlooking the ocean.  Such luck!  We moved into our new digs, complete with amentities and were happy to have a place where no sand, dirt or grass could be brought into the RV, although the kids and Hobie still found a way!

We took off the next day for Kim and Larry’s ocean front condo in downtown Mazatlan.  We were so happy to also get to visit with Cathy (our friend from Celestino) and her mother.  Cathy’s brother owns a condo in Mazatlan and her and her mom (a reallygreat gal) were hanging out there for a few weeks.  We all enjoyed a yummy lunch at the resort restaurant followed by a nice afternoon relaxing around  the beautiful pool and drinking pina coladas.  What a treat!    Ken and Larry sat on the wall overlooking the ocean, talking away and enjoying many a beer.   Meanwhile, all us girls took a walk down the main street of Mazatlan and poked our heads into shops and stopped for a cappuccino.  That evening, we all went out for a taco night and had some delicious tacos at a great little place that specialized in only carne asada tacos. 

[nggallery id=171]

Our campground was a short walk to one of our favorite java joints, “Looney Bean”.   I came up with a reason to go everyday!  I took each of the kids for a “date” to Looney Bean and we had fun sitting among locals and gringos, enjoying  coffee, smoothies and watching surfing videos. 

Kim and Larry came over one afternoon and we all walked to Playa Bruna (just on the other side of the rocky beach we overlooked from our RV) and watched Andrew and Kim boogy board as well as some nice looking young guys take surfing lessons.  Later in the week, Kim and Larry came over for dinner where we all  enjoyed buffalo wings and one of our family favorites, gyoza.  They brought with them a very yummy desert, banana cream pie,  from the famous Panama bakery, and the kids (as well as sweet lovers Kim and Larry)  were in bliss!

One afternoon, Kim and I ventured into the historical section of Mazatlan for some girl time!  The skies were dark and stormy and we  knew we were going to get drenched!  We scoped out a couple places in town where we could duck inside for a coffee once the rain started falling and once it started pouring, we found ourselves in a beautiful cafe that made us feel like we were in Europe.    The rain poured for a few minutes then the skies cleared and we resumed our shopping.  Kim wanted to take me to a “must see” shop and we roamed the beautiful streets in search of it.  It was fun just to walk around and we found so many cool little streets off the beaten path.  We finally found the shop and it was, without a doubt, my favorite shop in ALL of Mexico.  Such color and fun!   At the end of the day, I dropped her off at her condo and we were so happy we made the effort to venture out despite the weather! 

[nggallery id=170]

On Friday night, we drove over to their condo where we all hopped into a Mazatlan taxi.  It’s also known the “pneumonia taxi” as it’s  open to all the elements.  We were dropped off in the historical part of town and enjoyed a drink in the plaza.  We then walked over to the famous “Shrimp Bucket” and enjoyed, what else, SHRIMP!  We know it will be some time before we see Kim and Larry again but we know we will enjoy many more adventures with this wonderful couple in the future. 

Saturday was  a BIG DAY as it was Andrew’s 14th birthday!!  He was so happy to be at the beach for his birthday so he could boogy board ALL day!  The day started off with a breakfast of chorizo and eggs and present unwrapping.  Andrew was excited about all his gifts which included a new body for his RC truck and $100!  We  then took off for Playa Bruna and enjoyed watching Andrew ride the waves while the girls swam alongside him.  Since Andrew is a foodie just like Ken, the day’s focus was on food and he chose each of his meals very carefully.  Lunch included squid sandwiches and dinner was rib eye with all the yummy sides.   His request for dessert was a bit unique as all he wanted was a entire bowl of almond jello (Chinese speciality).  Have you ever tried putting a candle in Jello??

We really enjoyed our time in Mazatlan and now look forward to our next new destination, Las Glorias.

[nggallery id=174]