Thursday, 31 January 2013

San Carlos (Day 2)

It was decided that we would stay on for an extra day here. Everyone was wanting to relax so this seems to be a good spot for sure!

First, the day started with me watching Al, doing something. All seems well as there was no discussions about it so I imagine he was just being a diligent motor homer!!

Heading for a walk, with Colleen leading the way!
So cool, using the broken pot bits for the steps!!
Pretty grand entrance for a house!!
House of the Happy Hearts!! nice
I have never seen real cotton growing before!!
Nancy's favourite place!!
More pictures of the office building here at Totonaka...
Sorry, it's a bit dark, but it is something!!
So, that's that for our day. Just some nice relaxing and walking around. There is a little gift shop right around the corner and surprize, surprize, I found a ring I wanted. I held my ground and did NOT buy it. The gentleman wanted $450 ps, whoa!! Way too much. I offered $300 ps, which I think is MORE than fair. He would only come down to $350 ps and I said "nope". I was rather proud of myself. Those who know me know that I love shiny things!! Oh well, little does he know, we are heading for Mazatlan, land of the many jewellery vendors!!
For those who think you are on "Gus-rations" here is another picture of him!! 
Hope you all had a great day!!
Cheers friends!

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Green Valley AZ to San Carlos, Son., MX

Another travel day. It was very interesting to wake up this morning in Green Valley, AZ to frost on the window. Doug had researched and found out that the temperature for the area was approximately 12 degrees BELOW normal.....oh well. Also, Al & Colleen had let us know last night that it was going to go below freezing.  That's a little too cold with the van for us, that's why we were at the cozy motel last night!!

Morning sun in Green Valley AZ - about 20 miles from Mexican border
Yup, we are READY!!

We crossed the border at 9 am this morning. It is interesting to see the U.S. side. It is all high-tech, lots of lanes (northbound) LOTS of cameras......Then there is the Mexican side. A bumpy two lanes, one of which has the cement dividers rather haphazardly strewn about into a "sort-of" lane. We had no problem manoeuvring through but they had to wave Al & Colleen through the commercial lane. No wonder. Euri hardly fit through!! Anyway, no one checks or looks at you or your passport. You then drive along about 4 km of fenced road (where else could you go anyway). Then you arrive at the famous kilometre 21 checkpoint. This is where you have your passport stamped, pay for your tourist visa ($590 ps total - about $24 each) and purchase our vehicle import permit ($49.95 US - no you cannot pay in pesos for this here....has to be US dollars, not sure why). she takes copies of your passports then you go back to the first office and the nice gentleman stamps your passport - you have NOW officially arrived in Mexico. 

Yes, this is the place....
So we drove for a little ways. Not sure if any of you remember when Doug & I came back home last time, about May 18th (if anyone cares to check the old blog posts) but I have a picture of THIS SAME GUY selling little green parrots at THIS SAME SPOT. Guess he must do well here....or these are the same parrots!!
Yes, there are parrots in those cages!!
The first of several toll booths.....that is Al & Colleen in front of us - they have to pay more!!
So, we finally got to Hermosillo about 2:15 pm and found a Walmart. Al & Colleen wanted to stock up on a few sundry items. Of course, we GPS'd it (not sure if that is a term or not...) and were directed to this older one. Now, let me clarify. First, Euri isn't very big and we NEVER have to really worry about where we go. Walmarts have these fantastic overhead shady areas.....NOT so good for a big motor home!! YIKES!! Al did an expert job manoeuvring Sunny through the lot. However, there was a dodgy bit where he almost took out an overhead wire for something but managed to squeeze underneath it. Oh well, such is the life of Mexican travel!! He was a good sport and we got out of there fine. Just one more story for him to tell later!!
Yes, that is Al, tiptoeing through the parking lot!!
Sneaking our way through Hermosillo rush hour traffic....
After about 1-1/5 more hours we were in San Carlo at Totonaka RV Park. This spot is quite highly recommended by Mike & Terri Church. They write all those great Mexico travel books. We think we might actually stay over an extra day. You will see more on this spot tomorrow! Here we are, all tucked in for two nights.....  
I think the patio is a bit high for us!!
Pool area. Super cute but a bit cold!!
Al & Colleen's travelling feline, Jazzy. She is starting to come out as soon as the motor home stops. We think she likes the warmth too!!
Yet another great crock pot dinner, if I must say so myself!! Turkey meatballs, with rice, butternut squash and tomatoes. And some of you were doubtful if I could make this work!! Always makes enough for 4 people - hey that's perfect!!
Getting the drinks all lined up!!
Okay, so that's it for the night. I know some of you (no names to the Ewings....) like to read this at night, all tucked in with their curlers in their hair and bunny slippers by the bed, so I am sorry for the untimely nature of this post!! I will do better tomorrow night, promise!!
Thanks, as always, for riding "shotgun" with us. Next time, could ANY of you help out with those low wires at the Walmart?????
Cheers friends!!

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Cathedral City to Green Valley AZ

...where is that you ask? We are about 30 miles north of the Mexico border, south of Tucson.

We got a late start today. Euri was released from the shop and was ready to go at 11:00 a.m. Yesterday, Doug had them replace one of the cooling fans. He had asked them to call if the bill was going to be more than $200. No call came, so he was feeling pretty good when he went in to pick up our ride...........BUT, the bill was actually $959 US. A bit of a shock. At least if he had called last night, we could have got our heads around it. Oh well. All fixed now. Hopefully we will have no further problems.

So just a 4-lane travel day today. Never took a break. We stopped for groceries and now we are tucked in at The Holiday Inn Express. At least they provide breakfast. We always try and find somewhere, when we have to stay in a hotel, that at least serves breakfast. We checked out 3 different ones and came back here.

Pretty mountains all surrounding this area.

So, you know the drill. Travel day is not a great photo day. But....very pretty sunset.
Plan is that we will meet Al & Colleen about 20 miles from here. We will all fill up with gas, finalize the drive plan and get over that border!!
Cheers friends!!

Monday, 28 January 2013

Cathedral City (Day 3)

Euri is in the shop........

One of the two cooling fans went on the fritz and it was overloading the other fan. Doug took it into an import shop here in town. Of course, the guy was very busy but managed to squeeze us in. A new fan is on the way from Los Angeles and was supposed to be in this afternoon. He figures he will have it installed by noon on Tuesday. We will see.....

We managed to keep busy today. We enjoyed some sun and visiting in the backyard. Once again, George and Brenda were good hosts and took us around to see the city. We went out for lunch, again, can't complain about sitting in the sun!!

 Outside patio at the Rossi's
Super lovely house!! 
Jackalope Ranch Restaurant
Another sculpture on the boulevard, called "Talk to the Fish"
So, luckily, our friends seem to like us and don't mind us staying an extra day!! Hopefully, we will be on the way tomorrow and will make it to where our travel buddies are waiting for us!! Keep your fingers crossed that Euri is out of the hospital!!
Cheers friends!!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Cathedral City (Day 2)

Had a really relaxing day today. Was nice to see a bit of this beautiful city. It is filled with cafes, antique/estate shops, art galleries. I especially liked the HUGE statue of Marilyn Monroe that is making its way around the U.S. on a tour. Watch for her in a town near you!

Notice the tiny people behind her?
Quite the iconic lady for sure....

Our friends, George & Brenda, drove us all over the city. We had an amazing brunch at the Parker Hotel. All done retro. Super cool.Teagan, I think you and Shawn would really like this place!! 


After that it was off to the top of a super windy road that led us to a viewpoint. Not sure that Euri would have liked the climb!! Way down there is Cathedral City.....
This guy and his buddy took off and rode the twisty highway back. You could hear their bikes for quite a ways - love the helmet!!
Some really neat sculptures on the boulevard...
...and yummy pastry shops too!!
One last stop at the Marriott Hotel. Notice the boat INSIDE the building?
It will take you around on the little canals by the hotel and drops you off at the
Italian restaurant located on the other side of the hotel!!
We really enjoyed our day with George & Brenda. Thanks guys for showing us your new adopted city!! 
Tomorrow, we are supposed to be leaving here and meeting Al and Colleen in Amado, which is near Nogales by the Mexico border. But first Doug has to take Euri to the "vet" Seems that "maybe" his temperature gauge isn't functioning right. We almost had an overheating issue on our climb through the Sierra Mountain range. Doug expertly nursed him along. We will have someone look at it here before we leave tomorrow. I told him if we are delayed a day, not to worry, Brenda & I will just have to go shopping. I can only buy something small......gee, there's lots of jewellery stores in town!! (kidding.....sort of!)
SPOILER ALERT.........New Gus picture, sent to us today by Josh & Kathy. I know you were all missing the latest installment of Mr. Adorable!!!
I know, pretty cute, huh?! Although I was a bit alarmed about that polar bear behind him. I think that bear has shifty eyes. I told the kids I didn't want it near my grandson!!!
(look at that smile!!) Oh, just for the record, YES, I am missing him!!!!!!!

Cheers Friends!!