Thursday, March 30, 2017

water and broken glass

It has been a strange return to Vancouver. We walked into the apartment around 1:00 am after uneventful flights from Puerto Vallarta. It seemed strange that there was no mail on the floor after being away for two months. This building has door to door delivery to each unit. In the bedroom there were boxes on the floor and things on the bed. All of the mail was on the kitchen table. My immediate thought was that our host's sister had visited and I wondered why she hadn't sent me a message...strange! Then I noticed that part of the bedroom closet flooring had been lifted and the floor underneath was wet. I finally started to figure out what we were seeing....another leak!

After a short sleep we talked to the building manager who explained that the latest rainfall had resulted in a leak under the penthouse outside decking and into the bedroom closet. From there it had dripped/poured down into the ceiling below. The manager arrived with a repair person and they lifted the decking to discover that a 4"-5" deep pool of water had collected against the building. They also found that there is no drainage on the deck!!

Later we went down to the garage to start our car and found the front passenger window had been smashed and the car battery was dead. Nothing had been stolen. We cleaned up the broken glass and made arrangements for a replacement window next week.

BCAA will not send out a truck to charge our battery unless the car is insured for the road. It is currently just insured for storage with a $300 deductible. The window replacement is $292...just below the deductible. The cost of insuring the car for the road is another $96 for 3 days of coverage. There might not be a drain for the water on the deck but there is definitely a drain for our bank account!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Two more sleeps

Only two more sleeps until we fly north to colder temperatures. Tonight we took our hosts out to El Barracuda for dinner. The food was okay... but the setting was perfect for a sunset meal!

Hand woven baskets and bags at the market

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Iguana or garrobo?

We had a visitor to the pool today. Was he/she an iguana or a garrobo?

Going for a swim?

The saline water did nothing to deter this fast swimmer!

Getting out of the pool seemed to be a bit difficult.

After a refreshing dip there was a little monkey business on the wall!
One of them was digging a hole in the garden for a future deposit of eggs.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

This morning

A morning photo...everyone is in quiet recovery mode!

THE party

Last night we celebrated the creation of this beautiful home in Mismaloya.

Our hosts in party mode.

Ready to greet the guests.

The staff from Daiquiri Dick's ready to pour drinks.

A red sun was setting as over eighty guests arrived to join in the celebration. Daiquiri Dick's provided delicious Asian flavoured appies as everyone wandered through the 13,000 square foot home. Comments that I overheard included "awesome"..."unbelievable"..."there are no words to describe". It is a home that defies description and incorporates nature with a tree through the ceiling and rock formations within the walls. It is stunning!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Welcome committee

Bedroom by 9:00pm

We are usually in our room, sitting on the bed with books and/or devices by 9:00pm...unless our hosts are entertaining guests or we are dining out. Last night I found myself wondering WHY?

After much overnight analysis(with wake up calls to ponder the issue at 1:00am, 4:00am and 6:00am) I came to the following conclusion. While we socialise with a lot of people, we are also very accustomed to our alone time. Since John retired and the kids left home we spend many hours every day in each others company. There is no continual chatter with workmates or children...there is just us. live with... and connect with... and communicate with...and coordinate with other people every day for eight weeks...necessitates an escape to the bedroom around 9:00pm. It is a quiet time. We don't need to talk...just to relax.

It isn't that we don't love our hosts. They are family to us and generously welcome us into their home each year...but we also recognise that they need time to themselves as much as we do. So, when dinner is finished and cleared away, we wish them sweet dreams and drift upstairs.

Friday, March 17, 2017

St Patrick's Day in PV

The "No Trump Zone group has slowly disbanded, returning to their homes in the north. 
This morning we said farewell to Mike & Margo with a pledge to reunite next winter.

During our morning coffee we were entertained 
with a Spring Parade by children of the town.

There were angels...

...and animals...

...and bumble bees!!

Later, along our walk, we discovered the remains...

...of a TRUMP WALL!...

...and a colourful restaurant.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Beads and zippers

Shelly arrived on Monday afternoon and I am very grateful to have female company! I made a salmon loaf, Moroccan chickpeas and Roe's eggplant dish for her welcome dinner. Everyone seemed to enjoy the flavours.

Yesterday we had a lazy day, picked up groceries for dinner...steamed artichokes, fritatta and salad. Yummh! Today we played with beads at Connie's..

Connie hosts bead parties where she hauls out THOUSANDS of beads
for the creative pleasure of those attending.

Every size, colour, material and shape is available.

Some have large holes and others have small holes.
She offers a variety of earring wires, bracelet  and necklace materials
to string your choice of beads.

Connie helping to assemble Shelly's bracelet.

Josie, Shelly, Connie and I model our creations.

Shelly made earrings and a bracelet while I created two gorgeous bracelets. Our first visit was a gift from Connie. She has a price list for the creation of other jewellery...very modest pricing with valuable assistance and good company. It was a lot of fun!!

Tonight we drove to El Rio again for a sparerib dinner and music by Sylvie and the Zippers! More fun!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Isla Cuale

On a quiet morning I walked through Isla Cuale 
and discovered some murals hidden on the back side of buildings.

A piano recital filled the air.

It is always a good idea to search for the hidden treasures.

These two cuties were resting in a shop.

This island was known as "cat" island because it had become home to many feral cats
that have since been picked up, neutered and adopted by visiting gringos.


Yesterday I wandered through the aisles of a Mexican supermarket with my camera.

Mexicans drink an estimated 163 litres (36 imperial gallons) on average per person every year 
- 40% more than an average American (who drinks 118 litres, or 26 gallons). 

In January 2014, Mexico introduced a national tax on sugary drinks and junk food 
- a 10% tax on every litre of sugar-sweetened drinks and an 8% tax on high-calorie food. 

The country leads the world in childhood obesity with 10% of children being introduced to sugary sodas before they are six months old and 80% of children addicted to sodas by the time they reach two years of age. In the poorest households, monthly purchases of sweet drinks fell by a full 17% in the first year after the tax was introduced in 2014 .

We often see people rolling grocery carts of huge bottles filled with sugary drinks out to their cars. Obesity is not restricted to children in this country. Considering the number of overweight women, it is interesting to note that it is impossible to find large bras in any of the stores where Mexican women shop!

I can't imagine the discomfort of strapping on a bra that is many sizes too small!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Signage, shadows and stilts

I took a different route on my morning walk today and discovered some unusual signage.

Does this translate to "The Zero House"?

What is a Jewelry Author?

This could have so many meanings!

There was no signage on this van...not sure what message was intended!

I couldn't resist the shadows of this contraption on the Malecon!

These musicians often perform at the Saturday Market.

I was greeted with open arms by this stilt walker outside the gym.

Friday, March 3, 2017

No Trump Zone - Friday gathering

This morning we joined the Friday "No Trump Zone" group for coffee and discussion. The consensus seemed to be that Trump's cohorts are going to collapse and pull him along with them. This seems to be wishful has happened before.

The succession rule for Trump (the current President of the USA) would be Mike Pence, Paul Ryan, Oran Hatch, Rex Tillerson. That is a scary lineup of potential replacements for today's leader!

Margo and for 54 years.
Mike designed the logo for our t-shirts.
At one point in his work history he considered a position with the radio station in Salmon Arm!

After our group meeting we did some shopping around town and were continually met with gratitude from locals who stopped to thank us or gave us a "thumbs up" sign of appreciation. Many gringos also asked where they could buy a shirt. 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Dinner, politics & massage

We hosted another dinner last night. This time there were eight Canadians around the table and one Republican American. He was dramatically outnumbered but it didn't stop him from hurling abuse at Hillary and decrying Obama's tenure! Despite repeated requests for "NO POLITICS" at the dinner table, the conversations continued to circulate around Trump.

Enjoying cocktails and appies in the Mirador.
I made figs with blue cheese wrapped in prosciutto broiled in the oven
and a plate of small lettuce leaves with slices of smoked tuna & a drop of wasabi.

I never know what I will see on my morning walks...

... photo shoot (2 camera guys) of a massage on the beach!