The Trick is to Die Young, as Old as
successful man is a surprised woman.
Men are like bank accounts. Without a lot of money they don't generate a lot of interest!
RELEASE THE REGRETS OF YESTERDAY,
Dream more while you are awake
Life is too short to waste time hating anyone
Don’t take yourself too seriously. No one else does
No one is in charge of your happiness except YOU!
Get rid of anything that isn’t Useful, Beautiful or Joyful
Enjoy the ride! You only have one ride through life so make the most of it
The world is a book,
and those who do not travel, read only a page
Travel like Ghandi,
with simple clothes, open eyes and an uncluttered mind
Around the Next Turn is Where Our Adventure Begins
- Pat Bonish '07
you Poison The Environment, the Environment will Poison You
Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and enjoy the journey ~ Babs Hoffman
Cindy's April 2008 Blog
Feel Free to browse past blogs for plenty of travel ideas and many of the places we've been in our first 12 months on the road - 2007 Blog's
Well-behaved women seldom make history
Wednesday April 1st
Well this has been some of the most unbelievable past few days that I have seen in a while. I sit here this morning, reading through Pats blogs about the past few days events and I would really love to clarify a few things, either that or wring his neck.
My lovely husband has given his scenario of the over tipping of the kayak episode but now you will here my side, or should I say what really happened.
We ended our evening on Saturday with plans to go kayaking in the afternoon on Sunday. We always try and get our gear in order before we go so that all I have to do is pack a lunch the next day and then head out.
As we were getting equipment ready, I told Pat that I didn't want to bring my camera or lenses since anything could happen. I suggested that he didn't bring his either, unless he put it in the waterproof boxes which we have in storage in the truck. AH HA, the plot thickens!!
Pat then responded with something like "Don't be stupid, you can't get that close to those rays and expect me not to have a camera" I said fine then, bring your stuff, but not mine, I want to have at least one full set of equipment just in case you tip. He thought that was real funny and was still appalled that I wouldn't bring mine camera.
The next afternoon we got ourselves all suited up to drive to the beach so that we didn't have to carry our kayaks all the way down. We had already seen a couple people get stuck in the deep sugar sand, including a 6 wheeler that Pat put some photos of in his blog since he thought it was so funny.
Pat again commented on his disbelief of me not bringing my camera equipment and said the water was calm and he didn't need anything waterproofed since that was so cumbersome. On the way out of the RV Park, Sean, the owner, had asked if Pat wanted to go out on a fishing boat in the morning to try and get some photos.
I asked Sean if he wanted both of us to go and he didn't seem like it was such a great idea. That is why I didn't go, I wasn't invited. Anyway, we drove down to the beach and at one point I could see the sand was really deep, so I said "Pat, don't go any further than this, it gets to be real deep right there", remembering the last time he got us stuck in the sand when Sandy and Chuck were with us.
Of course Pat continues his acceleration until we were buried in the sand up to the running boards. I didn't say anything at this point and just got out of the truck where a couple different groups of people were snickering at us stupid gringos just the same as we did the other day at the 6 wheeler.
As we brought the boats down off of the truck, Pat gave me one more "I can't believe you aren't bringing your camera! Just look at all those rays jumping." To this comment I said nothing and he shoved me off into the water. After about 10 minutes I noticed that Pat was still struggling on the shore.
I turned around and watched him for a bit and noticed that his boat was being pulled into the water by the waves. I whistled real loud and yelled "Pat, your boat" there was no dumb ass to it, although looking at it now, it surely would have fit.
I saw that he looked panicky so I turned around and came back in. I pulled close to shore and asked what was wrong, to which he replied, " I tipped over!" I asked him to pull me in to shore so that I could help him.
I asked if the camera got wet and he said "Yes." I walked over to the truck where I saw the 1D and my favorite lens sitting on the front seat. As I picked it up to see if it got wet, water poured from all sides of it. The lens had droplets of water coming from inside the slide, trickling down the inner tube of it.
I had saved for four months to buy that lens as a birthday present for Pat before we left to take this trip. Since then, I have sort of adopted it as my favorite since he prefers a different lens.
I then heard a popping sound and looked down to see three batteries, not just one or two but three big batteries sizzling form the salt water bath. I looked at him with tears in my eyes and sat down in the sand closer to the water. As Pat scuttled around trying to get the 2 gig cards, all three of them, out of the deck bag so they might dry out, I just sat and stewed.
He looked at me and said "I'm going back to the camper to get your camera so we can still go out!!! WTF, has he lost his mind? Is he a crack addict or something? Doesn't he know when to say when? Had he completely lost all sense of responsibility for his actions, be it accident or no accident? How can he even think of doing this to my camera now?
I said "There is no way you are going to take my camera into that boat!" His reply was, "I didn't come all the way down here and then not be able to kayak." Since when does kayaking require a camera?
That is when I said "You have just ruined our whole trip here in Mexico and now you want to do it again? I am not going to go kayaking, do you want help putting the boats on the truck or not?" He didn't reply so I left him there to dig his embarrassed, stuck in the sand ass out by himself.
I walked back to the camper, crying the whole way, knowing that this meant I would no longer be able to take pictures since he would take over my camera. I have been so excited about my photos lately because I am getting really good at this stuff. Now my trip will be completely different.
After I was home for 45 minutes, I walked the dogs down to where Pat was on the beach. He was just then pulling up the road that left the sandy beach. He stopped and I asked "How long were you stuck?" He said "What are you just trying to rub it in?" then peeled off.
By this point I had cooled down and I came back to the camp site, went in and grabbed a beer and brought one outside to Pat. I apologized for getting so upset since I knew it was an accident, but I just wished he would have listened to me. If he would have, we would still have the camera equipment and he wouldn't have spent an hour digging himself out of the sand in front of a dozen people.
I said lets not talk about it any more today and we will write it off as a huge loss. I wanted to say, "If I had done this, I would be walking home from Mexico" but I didn't.
The next morning, Pat took my camera and went out on a boat trip without me. I didn't even want to go, especially since I had nothing to do but watch him take pictures. Instead I sat by the pool and read all day to keep my mind off of him.
So there you have it, the reality of the bad situation we ended up in. Its water under the bridge now, or should I say kayak. I figure I can use this as a get out of dumb free card for me to use as often as I see fit. I am just now feeling in the mood to blog again and I am glad I got that off of my chest. Sorry I don't have any photos for this long rant, but Pat ruined my lens!!!
Thursday April 2nd 2008
Sometimes when we arrive in a place that is so quaint and warm with the culture of the Mexican tradition, I think to myself "AHH, this is it." Well Cabo San Lucas was not that place! The trip there involved hours of four lane traffic and houses on the side of the road which are made from card board, plywood or anything else that is cheep and available here.
Acres of makeshift homes lined the side of the road which we later found out are a united group of people who are fighting to keep these homes which are probably all they can afford. The cliff sides are either covered in huge homes which cost millions of dollars, unthinkable resorts which I could never or ever want to stay at, or loud, dirty, unsightly construction.
I looked at Pat and said "I think I have had enough of Cabo, lets get the hell out of here." We planned on staying for a couple of days so that we could meet with Lindsey, the editor of the Gringo Gazette. She had seen some photos of our trip here in Baja and thought they could make a good story for the paper.
We pulled into Villas Serena, one of the only RV Parks left in this area, since the rest of the space is being sold for building t-shirt shops or what ever else they can get into any space left available here.
This park was just off of the main highway which held the racing vehicles in check through the busy streets. We pulled off of the road into a park which is beautifully landscaped with Bougainvillea plants in every direction that we turned. We could see the ocean out in the distance but we were not close enough to walk on it or anything nice like that.
The park did the best it could with what it had to offer including laundry, Wi-Fi, a clubhouse with a hot tub and a pool we could use next door at the restaurant. We met Lindsey and her fiancé at the RV Park and hung out for a few, before we went into town for dinner.
We had great conversation and all laughed at each others stories while enjoying dinner. When we got home we decided to take the dog to the vet in the morning then come back to the park to get our things in order to leave the next day.
Friday April 3rd
We rose this morning to the sound of my dog shaking his poor little head off. This prompted us to take him to the vet right away. We called Lindsey to get directions to her vet she had recommended and set up a place to give her some photos for her to use in the paper.
As we drove into town again, we got a bit lost this time so we cruised the area to see what we might have missed the day before. We came up with a big resounding NOTHING when it came to what else we wanted to see here.
The vets office was quick and painless and he was very informative as to how to deal with what he thinks might be an allergy. When I took my dog in the states for the same thing, I had to wait a day for the results of his ear swab to see what they found. They explained that they had to send it to a lab.
This fellow did the lab test right in front of us with the different potions coming out of the standing refrigerator right in the office. He then showed us the results in about five minutes. Hence no lab fee or additional charges like we got in the states. The same visit back home cost me $130 not including the prescription. Here in Cabo with the prescription it was $30.
This vet visit is what we liked best about Cabo, pretty sad huh. On our way back to the camp site I told Pat that I have seen enough here and would rather move out today and get to some place a bit more like us. He was all for it and we were loaded up and on the road before noon.
We made a stop at the Wal-Mart here to stock up on some dry goods which aren't available in the smaller towns, so with "On the road again" playing in my head, we drove out of town. Our goal was to stay in Toto Santos, but I believe all of the RV Parks have dried up there too.
We did stop in one park which was set far off of the main road and had only 15 slots. As we pulled in three aggressively barking dogs in a fence greeted us warmly with the view of their front teeth.
I didn't want to roll down the windows because the heat and the dust were so overwhelming, it took my breath away. The camp host came out to greet us and informed us that the park will be "Full Timers Only" soon so this could be our last chance to stay in the little oasis. She helped us with directions on how to get the hell out of there too.
She directed us to a beach called Los Cerritos which is incredible. I am so glad we made the decision to leave that dry, dusty, hot, small, dog filled paradise.
Apparently the property here on Los Cerritos has been bought by a company which will be building a resort right along the ocean break. Until then they have a nice outdoor restaurant with lounge chairs that line the beach and servers just waiting to bring you a tropical cocktail of ones choice. They also rent jet skis, surf boards and four wheelers here to the daily influx of patrons who want a secluded location with lots of pampering.
We met the manager and spoke with him a bit about how long they think it might take to complete the project. His answer was, "everything takes along time to build in Mexico" Pat and I enjoyed ourselves through out the day and they don't mind if we stay here for free and use the internet connection as long as we aren't in front of the restaurant.
By the time the sun went down, Pat and I had our sweat shirts on and a blanket covering us. I think it must have dropped down into the 50's by night fall. Pat left his bedroom window open so that we could hear the waves crashing throughout the night. I woke at 3am with my teeth chattering trying to steal more covers from Pat.
Saturday April 4th
The sound of the gulls and the waves bouncing off the sandy shoreline was an alarm clock that I never mind waking up to. This is alot more our speed with the day passing by us just as it began, slowly.
I walked the dogs down the beach watching them gallop about with ear to ear smiles on their faces since they don't have to wear a leash on this empty beach. I am able to take long walks now without feeling the throb of my ankle all the way up to my knee. Hopefully this will help take off the few LBS that have jumped back onto my butt.
Pat spent the day taking photos of the local surfers playing in the waves as I lounged around the shoreline taking in some rays. Pat says I'm silly to slather up with 45 sunscreen so I can lay in the sun, but I love the feeling of a sun bath. He also thought it was humorous that he found a few women lying out topless and could sit and gawk at them through the camera.
What he didn't realize was I was surrounded by buff, tanned surfers who were walking around right in front of me the entire day. I figured it was a fair trade off that he could look at these few women, while I was surrounded by dozens of model like men.
I should mention that we looked at the map and realized we are below the Tropic of Cancer, which means we are finally in the Tropics!
No excitement today, only relaxation washed down with a cold cervesa served by a good looking Mexican waiter, just the way I like it.
Saturday April 5th
Saving money has become sort of a way of life for me in the past 20 years. I started off as a single parent with no child support from my ex-husband, and me only being in my early 20's. I like to think I have gotten better at saving through out the years.
Pat and I have both agreed that without this skill that I have acquired, we would never be doing what we are right now. We have also agreed that Pat is an impulse shopper and should not be trusted to ever go shopping. I curse the internet all the time since this is his new shopping center.
I find more online charges per month then I would like to talk about and he always has a good reason for buying something new. This spending is out of my control and I can't baby-sit him all of the time, so I have learned to deal with it.
My weakness is going out to eat as often as possible. I love to have someone else wait on me and I guess I can blame that on my mother. As kids, our reward for good grades or any type of accomplishment was to have dinner where ever my brother or I wanted. I think that I also carried out that tradition with my daughter (Sorry) since I enjoyed it so much.
It's a wonder I am not alot bigger than I am, since this rewarding tradition is still my favorite past time. We thought that staying on Los Cerritos beach would save us a bit of cash since it is free to stay here, but man were we both wrong.
Since our stay here, Pat has bought a Mexican blanket, which I sold two in a yard sale before we left. I also have three blankets stored right now in the back of the truck simply because we don't need them.
I have wanted to lounge in the comfy beach chairs at the Los Cerritos Beach Club every day that we've stayed here, which means of course that I have to buy something from them. Boy does it suck to have servers wait on me while I'm laying out on the beach....OH the Pain! I also lay out for so long, that I get tired and don't want to cook, so we have eaten dinner in the restaurant every day.
As Pat walked out of the camper yesterday, he was accosted by a Mexican salesman. These guys sell silver jewelry which is very pretty and not that expensive if you can talk them down. I thought to myself, Pat sure is talking to him for a long time, I don't want to embarrass him by calling him in, he can resist, besides he knows better than to buy jewelry.
I knew he wouldn't buy jewelry since we have thousands of dollars worth in a safe deposit box back home, simply because we don't wear it. I was wrong, Pat came inside and got $50 to pay for a necklace with a huge charm on it. The first thing he did was take the charm of, claiming that it was to ugly to wear. He then put on the chain since I was yelling at him so much for buying the thing in the first place.
I asked him why he would buy the charm if he only wanted the chain which they had For Sale separately, he couldn't answer. He has a sickness and God forbid the word gets out because every salesman on the beach will follow him. Wait, that might have already happened.
I got cured form eating in the Los Cerritos restaurant today which will help out our bank account. I told the manager that when I went to dry my hands on the paper towel that it was covered in an oily film which smelt like fuel or bug spray or something. I explained to him that the whole roll is covered in it.
Brad asked one of his employees what was up with the paper towels, which I heard her reply "They cover it in Raid to keep the flies out of the bathroom." We were having wings for lunch so that means I would be eating Raid with our appetizer. An hour later the stuff was still in there!
My wallet thanks you Los Cerritos! We won't eat here again, looks like strictly cervesa and margaritas from now on.
Sunday April 6th
We've been threatening each other every day that we are going to leave here first thing in the morning, but each day we talk ourselves out of it, this morning was one of those days. The ritual begins with who is ready first, lots of "I am ready, are you?" and so on. Today we even went so far as to move the camper to another spot, thinking we were on our way out.
As we pulled through the parking lot, Pat said," Why don't we just move closer to the ocean and stay another night?" He didn't have to ask me twice. So we spent yet another day walking the dogs, watching the surfers and just soaking up the ocean air.
When we leave here, the dogs are going to be disappointed since they have become quite partial to the freedom of this place. Luca loves hanging with all of the beach dogs and Lucy loves kicking Lucas ass up and down the beach. This little Beagle rips him up after a while of him agitating her so much that she tires of it and puts him in his place.
It sure is fun to watch the two of them wear each other out, then returning to the camper to lie around for the rest of the afternoon. Three or four of these walks a day and they are whipped.
Pat and I did a bit of hiking around the rocky side of the beach today and got a better view of the house on the hill. This place is the home of the new owners of the beach and restaurant. He down scaled it from his home in Oregon, only 20,000 square feet here in Mexico instead of 40,000 he left behind. It is such ashame to have to move to something so small, they call it a vacation home.
Every day we have watched a group of 50 workers who are putting the place together. Every afternoon, they take a break from 1-4 o'clock as not to over work them selves. They also stay until 7pm which doesn't sound like a bad deal to me. I would love to take an afternoon siesta just to break-up the monotony of the day.
Pat set me up so good for the best shot. He had me sit real close to the edge of the lava rock ledge so he could get a nice shot. I kept saying "did you get it?" and he would say "just one more" until this huge wave came crashing up behind me which scared the crap out of me. He knew this was going to happen and thought it was just the funniest thing to hear me scream.
None of the water hit me, but it was so loud and sounded so close, I thought I would be carried out to sea with the cold, salty, Pacific waves.
We wound up our evening by watching the tide come in while the sun set as the surfers were still in the water, waiting to catch the perfect wave. No wonder they are built like they are, these guys are out in the cold water paddling for hours every day.
I guess this spot is famous for its breaking waves which brings people from all over the world. I could watch these people all day long, well actually I have. It is not just the surfers that are fun to watch, it is also the beginners who are trying to surf. It usually takes over an hour of getting beaten down by the waves before a new person can get up on the board, but once they do, they usually rejoice.
I can see them throw their hands in the air and scream while pumping their arms up and down. This has to be quite a challenge especially since the water is so darn cold every time they get knocked off the board. Maybe someday I will want to give this a try, but for now, I just enjoy watching.
Make sure to check out the Los Cerritos Gallery for plenty of cool pictures
Monday April 7th
Since our long drive from Los Cerritos to La Paz we haven't done anything real exciting. Our days have been filled with keeping each other company in the cab of the truck for long hours during the day which sometimes can get monotonous.
I find myself dozing in and out often, waking when Pat scares me on purpose with some loud scream or when my head keeps bobbing around like I'm flying on an airplane. Not that that keeps me from napping though, believe me.
The things that we passed through during this drive, we have already discovered so I just don't have the ability, as Pat does, to muster up an entire blog out of driving. That man is talented and can talk just as much if not more than he types. When we get somewhere new or see some new stuff, I will get back to you.
Thursday April 10th
Finally we are seeing some new scenery, not that our past few days have been anything but beautiful, but again we have been over that before. We started our trek off of Route 1 for the first time during our trip in Baja.
Each of the other cities we have been to are either on the main highway or only a short distance from Route 1, which we usually make a day trip to the area then return to Route 1 to camp.
We have heard about Bahía Asunción from quite a few people on line. All of the things being good feed back about the character and integrity of this untouched quaint Mexican village which will draw one in and make them not want to leave.
Pat and I laughed saying that one of the reasons why people don't want to leave, is because of the rough road to get in and out. The first part of the road was really nice and seemed as though it had been paved recently. It was the last twenty or so miles which were the kicker.
The road sort of disappeared on us and had given its life to the never ending high winds and sand drifts. Large chunks of the pavement had been ripped form the surface, only to be covered by the heavy white sand which makes up this region.
We drove for an hour or so until we came across a large sand drift which had refused to be removed from its spot in the road. Pat had to put it into 4 wheel drive to get through the drift and this time he didn't get stuck!!
The further we got passed the sand drifts, the flatter the surrounding desert became with nothing but short scrub and a few colorful flowers dotting the desert. We did come across a large area that was nothing but beds of salt for as far as the eye could see. Pat and I were just flabbergasted and could not figure out where the water was coming from.
The reason being is that we were at least twenty miles from any salt water source and saw no equipment or housing to mine it with. The last place we saw a salt mine which is in Guerrero Negro, 45 miles away, all of the evidence was right in front of us. Large earth moving equipment, huge storage areas and plenty of mounds of salt ready to be shipped to Japan.
This area for as far as we could see showed no evidence of the mining process. I kept saying to Pat" Where the heck is this water coming from?" We looked on the map and were many miles from the nearest lagoon which is near Guerrero Negro.
After talking with some people we found out that this is part of the Guerrero Negro salt mine which is the second largest salt mine in the world. Apparently they flood the land this far in with the sea water to harvest it as they please.
As we were driving, staring off into the vast desert of nothingness, I saw a huge Saguaro cactus hugging the side of the road. I noticed a nest and something fuzzy in it. Pat slammed on the breaks and threw it into reverse. When we passed we saw that it was a horned owl with its chick.
We must have frightened the momma because she flew away as soon as the truck backed up. I spotted her about 100 yards out, so we decided to wait it out until she became comfortable with us. We sat for about 20 minutes and she moved a bit closer.
After about an hour, the mother came back to the nest and gave us a chance to see her large round eyes glairing at us in an untrusting fashion. Her feathers were full and her horns were very pronounced perked on top of her ever turning head.
We watched her for a few moments until another truck came by and scared her back out into the desert. Pat wanted to wait another hour or so to see if she would come back, however I wanted to get to our destination before night fall.
We forged ahead and came to an area which Pat asked me "Where did the road go?" To which I replied," I have no idea." With the land being so flat here it is hard to distinguish distance and any difference in surroundings actually.
As we approached slowly we noticed we were being diverted onto dirt road bypass which is where it started to get tricky. I had just commented on how I thought anyone could make it down this road as long as they were careful. This made me change my mind.
The rest of the drive I sat in the seat and made noises like I used to as a kid at the grocery store. My brother used to put me in the cart and push it over the pavement as fast as he could. I held one steady, crackling, high note for the entire time which would sound so distorted from the bumps in the black top.
This was lots of fun to us and kept us busy while mom was grocery shopping, we would laugh our butts off the entire time. What good parenting skills our parents had. "Kids, go out and play in the parking lot until I am done." My how times have changed.
After about three miles of my antics Pat informed me that it was not nearly as fun for him now as it was when I was a kid. He said I was just about to put him over the edge as he glared at me with some strange looking eyes. Looking at him made me realize that I needed to shut up before he threw me out of the car.
When we finally arrived at the entrance of the town we were surprised to see that the streets are paved here. The streets had many people walking up and down the side walks doing some shopping and such. The only difference from here to other town was we saw no gringos.
During the few conversations we had with Shari through email, she explained that she lived on the point of the island. This is about all we knew and she was the only person we knew that had a campground available.
We got to the end of the island and saw only one house with a sign that read "B&B, Fishing and Camping." We knocked but got no answer. Pat went to the neighbors house and tried to convey our quest of camping somewhere but the language barrier got in the way.
Within a few minutes, a police man pulled up and asked us what we wanted and said he would take us to Shari. He drove us in his squad truck to her other home at the beginning of town where she was helping get a group on doctors settled in for the night.
She gives them the use of her rental homes for the weekend so that they can hold a clinic at the local medical center. Shari pointed out her property, which she owns with her husband Juan and told us we could park where ever we wanted to.
Shari and Juan's property is nothing short of picturesque. Although the cool breeze this afternoon kept us in a sweat shirt and jeans, it didn't bother us at all with the shore line staring back us us through our window.
After dinner at a local restaurant, we got settled in and Pat was asleep by 7pm and I wasn't much behind him with my eyes shut by 9pm.
Friday April 11th
Surprisingly enough, Pat and I both slept in until 8am this morning. With Pat having 13 hours of sleep and myself having 11, we should have a pretty productive day.
When we pulled in yesterday we had found a level spot just about 100 yards from the breaking waves of the Pacific. We did notice however that the gentleman that was over looking the ocean had left this morning. I tied everything down in the camper and Pat pulled us over to one of the most spectacular camping spots we have been to yet.
Within 15 feet of our door is a shelf where the shore line begins which give us an incredible view of the bay, the point, and all of the little fishing boats and sea life that passes us by. One of our first guests was a sea lion which was passing by and stopped to take a look at our camper.
His head bobbing up and down in the water, breathing out his collapsible nostrils looking like he wanted to come up and greet us. The next thing we saw was a pair of Dolphin crossing the bay at a slow rate of speed. Plenty of gulls and sand pipers filled the shore line, fishing for their morning breakfast.
We took the dogs for a long walk down the desolate beach which lines the shore here. From the left of our camper for as far as the eye can see, there is not another building, residence or inhabited spot to distract our attention from this incredible place.
As usual, the dogs kept us entertained for the entire walk with their team work tricks. I found a crab which I thought was dead until I turned it over, giving it the will to survive. The thing started squirming every where which immediately brought out Lucy's playful side.
As the crab was burrowing into the sand, Lucy was digging it back up. She would bat it around for a bit until Luca would take over. This would be his first meal on a sea shore. He found the crabs absolutely delicious and easy to eat after Lucy would tire them out with her throwing them in the air and chasing them.
When we arrived back at the camper, we met the pilots who work with the organization of doctors. Bob and Rob are both very nice and funny too. They gave us a bit of information about what they do with the Flying Doctors organization which we had met a few of the volunteer physicians the day before.
On this visit, 8 volunteers, some Gynecologist some Optometrist, flew into Bahía Asunción on Thursday and will stay until Saturday at which point Bob And Rob will fly them into San Fransiquito, which is on the other coast. Most of the doctors are from Cali or Nevada, which they will head home to on Monday.
Their clinic is held once a year and I am sure the volunteers change each and every time. Pat and I were trying to think of some way that we could be of some help, so we offered to cook a lunch or dinner for them when their day is over.
I guess that a local restaurant donates the food for the group and already had plans for their return meal. They did however invite us to their pow-wow to which we brought about three pounds of dorado as well as the BBQ Grill.
The crew of about 15 people including a few locals, ourselves and the doctors, along with the pilots, Shari and Kevin drove out to enjoy a big dinner of BBQ chicken, Grilled dorado, mashed potatoes and some fresh tortillas.
We headed to San Roque, which is an old fishing village which has been deserted for quite some time. Shari has a home there to which she invited the whole crew out for the evening.
Shari explained to me that she had bought this home 18 years ago when the fishing village was still active. She met a man there who told her the house was previously owned by his parents and grandparents before that. This gentleman became her husband, Juan. I think sometimes fate brings people together.
From San Roque at night time, we could see the shore line of Asunción. Shari also told me a romantic story of how the home which they own on the point used to be Juan's home and he would send her signals from the shore line with his car lights when they were still dating, telling her he would be with her soon as the drive to the other shore takes 20 minutes to arrive.
We arrived at San Roque just before the sun set and got to share some incredible colors glowing upon the shore as the heat of the sun fell behind the horizon. The hues of pink, orange, purple and red were awe inspiring especially with the surrounding ghost town adding to the atmosphere.
Our dinner was awesome and the company we were among was an inspiration. All of the men and women donate their time to help the people who really need them. It makes me remember how great people really are and giving even of the most precious thing in life, time.
Our trip home, down the bumpy back road was filled with yawns coming from the back seat. I am sure that the 10-12 hour day at the clinic, followed by a few cerveza's and a big meal was enough to put all of the volunteers out. Their weekend wasn't over yet and they had yet a few more days left.
Saturday April 12th
The call of the crashing waves opened our eyes early this morning, calling us to venture out with the pups for another long beach walk. Today they had a feast the entire walk. Lucy has caught onto the idea that these playful little bugs are also very tasty if you can get around their pinchers.
I bet they both ate at least two dozen of these things with a couple of times of them fighting over them. Lucy usually wins since she is the bitch in the group, besides me of course.
Pat was also as playful as the dogs since the sea shore was filled with bones and carcasses from various fish, birds and who knows what else. He found lots of shells to carry around as well as a bird skull and a vertebrae from some type of fish.
I found a large white femur bone from something and decided to act like the Flintstones, wearing it in my hair. On our way home Luca became partial to my bone in my hair so he ended up with it.
Luca dropped the bone for a large shell which he wouldn't put down, carrying it all the way back to the camper only to bury it in the sand.
We saw two women walking up the beach to which Luca decided to great with a big sniff from his sandy nose. These two women spoke Spanish so when I was saying "He is friendly and won't bite" they had no idea what I was saying. It was funny how one woman would push the other lady in front of her so she wouldn't have to get close to the dog.
We usually put him on a leash when we pass people just because he looks so scary and if someone runs, he thinks its a game and he will chase them. He would never hurt anyone unless he knocked them down and liked them to death. That doesn't make him any more approachable though.
As we met up with these women they pointed out two whales to us passing through the cove. This was pretty cool since the whale season ended at the end of March. Most are much closer to their summer home by now so we were pretty shocked to see them.
After our long walk, we let the dogs relax in the camper while we walked into town to see the doctors in the clinic. We sat talking with Bob and Rob about different places to check out, and heard some great stories of Burning Man. This is an event that Pat and I have been trying to get to for the past few years, but life has always gotten in the way.
Rob said he flies in every year for it, and when he offered to take us up for a plane ride if we make it this year, I said "Be careful what you offer, we'll take you up on that for sure!"
The rest of the day was spent reading and relaxing since it got pretty darned hot today, we just hung out. Our neighbor, Kevin stopped by and he and Pat sat out in front of the camper soaking in the beauty of it all. I grilled some fish and some chicken, which we shared with Kevin for dinner.
When the sun started to go down, the flies and the mosquitoes started to arrive so we went inside, leaving them the great outdoors to have their own party in.
Sunday April 13th
Have you ever began your day with good thoughts of how incredible things would happen for you and ended up thinking, well that was stupid. That was my morning today. I know if you have read anything about this week here in Asunción than you know we have been absolutely amazed by the sounds of the crashing waves in the morning.
For some reason Pat and I discarded those memories and thought that we would be able to board the sea of waves from the shore near our camper. I rushed about the camper this morning making us breakfast as well as packing a lunch.
I told Pat to go to the store and buy us a loaf of bread so that I could bring the traditional, no refrigeration needed, peanut butter and jelly. Pat said," It's 8am on a Sunday morning, no one will be open so you will have to improvise."
I brought with us anything that could be eaten while in the kayaks which included a few pieces of chicken, some cheese and some egg salad with crackers. Now I had to have a cooler to be able to keep these foods but since our cupboards are almost bare, I brought what we had.
We slid our kayaks down the big sandy slope right in front of our camper then carried them to the water. We both had excitement written all over our faces due to our conversation with Shari the other day.
She explained to us that the island, which is maybe a mile from our shore, is loaded with playful seal lions. They enjoy showing off for boaters and the population is around 3,000 strong. Doesn't that sound like a great way to spend the afternoon!
The two of us out in the water with a nice lunch, Pat has the camera so I can just sit back and enjoy the scenery of the cute seal pups frolicking about our boats, playfully barking at us. We would laugh and gaze into the ocean thinking how much we love one another then enjoy an incredible afternoon snack while we paddled through the sea of love. (record scraping sound) NOT!
I always have to put my boat into the water first since if I don't make it, I would need some encouraging words and understanding condolences before I would get back up on that horse and try it again. Really, I think Pat makes me go first since he knows my coordination problems, giving him many opportunities for laughter.
Pat has made sure that all of his equipment has been secured and put into the proper waterproof housings as not to loose any more stuff to the salty water. I on the other hand had not practiced what I have preached. I had kept my water bottle, sunscreen, a towel, our bag lunch, a cooler and my favorite super soaker sponge in the bottom of the kayak, as well as a camping towel and a wind breaker.
Pat says to me "OK, It looks like the waves are coming in pairs so after we see two big ones I'm going to push you out and you have to paddle like hell to get passed the break." To which I said, like an idiot, "OK".
As soon as Pat began to push me in I realized that the first two waves were just building up for the third and the fourth waves which were twice as big as the first two.
I think as soon as Pat pushed me, he immediately started laughing. The wave that he sent me into, simply put, made me shit myself. The thing just sucked me into it's under tow then smacked me right square in the chest with massive pounds of pressure.
Before I realized what was happening I heard Pat yelling "Paddle paddle paddle!" I swear to you my arms were completely frozen not to mention the stretch marks around my eye balls from shock and terror.
I was flipped into the 50 degree water quicker than I could think. My breath had first been knocked out of me by the wave, then taken away from me by the chill in the water. I came up spitting salt water and gasping for air as I heard Pat laughing his ass off.
This brought me to tears from not being able to quit laughing. I only wish we didn't have the camera in that water proof box because I know this would have made a great shot. We both scurried into the water grabbing everything we could that had been thrown from my kayak. On second thought maybe a video would have been more appropriate.
I got an apple, a granola bar, my sponge and the cooler. Pat got everything else, including my paddle which had been taken out with the wave, except my beach towel. We sat on the shore cracking up, as I coughed salt water out of my lungs and nose, Pat was busy planning another assault on the Pacific.
He told me that this time he really did have the wave pattern figure out so I shouldn't worry. As I looked into my kayak which had five inches of water and two inches of thick black sand to contend with, I said "Lets do it!"
We pumped out all the liquid we could from the bottom of the boat which took quite some time. The two inches of sooty sand which was left in the bottom of the boat, I marked up to a good exfoliate for my feet and heals, which Lord knows need a pedicure right now, and prepared myself for battle.
Pat pulled my boat in to the water pretty far so that it wouldn't take him long to push me out into the wave this time. As the mighty Pacific smoothed itself out so much that I could see a reflection of myself in front of me, I jumped into the kayak and prepared myself for a full on paddle.
Pat gave me a big shove and screamed "Go, Go, GO, GO!" (I am laughing so hard right now just thinking of it) to encourage me to sacrifice myself to the wave Gods. I discovered the hard way that when the water gets so smooth that it is glass right at the shore line, that means it's going to be a huge wave since it has sucked up all of the water for its deliverance.
This second attempt just brought me into hysterical laughter before I even put the paddle in the water. I was not shocked this time and I actually rode out the pummeling that this thick, dark gray, sandy water gave me. I ducked my head and came back up on the other side of this beast.
I tried to paddle, but again the Pacific had filled my short stout little tea pot to its brim. My boat started taking a nose dive to the bottom. I jumped out and tried to avoid being hit by the thing as I pulled it back to shore with Pat's help.
This time getting the same results of hysterical laughter from both of us, we relaxed for a bit. Pat then pitched the "Ok, I really do have it figured out now." No thank you mister, something is telling me to stay out of this water, if I can't get into it, it is much more dangerous than it looks.
His disappointment almost ruined his day as he sulked about since I wouldn't try the submersion again. I explained that we aren't experienced at ocean kayaking and maybe the rivers are what our kayaks are meant for. It took a while but he quit pouting and went on with our day.
We again walked the dogs for a couple of hours as they gobbled there brunch from the Pacific. So far they have enjoyed steak from Texas, fish from the Sea of Cortex and now crab and even lobster from the Pacific.
I used to think they might not like to travel on such a long journey with us, but what was I thinking?
In the evening, we took a ride over to San Roque which has captivated us so. This abandoned fishing town has everything I would ever want in an exotic ocean get away, which is nothing. The place comes equipped with no power, no water, no noise pollution, no air pollution and no people. Pat and I both agree, this is somewhere that we would love to buy a piece of property.
We brought our new Mexican blanket, our dirty ocean soaked cooler filled with cervesas, and our exhausted dogs which are sore from all of the beach walks. After a bit of exploring, we found a shady spot under a tree which we all took a cat nap under as we listened to the forever crashing waves in our ears.
We happened to meet up with Juan and Shari at their place by the shore and learned more about property available in the area. Shari rode in on her horse with her two dogs and Juan came out with their two cats in his truck.
They will spend a week or so out here just for a break from the hustle and bustle of the big city of Asuncion! Must be nice to take a vacation from your vacation home, to go to a vacation home.
Pat tromped around taking some more photos of the long forgotten sea side homes, while I did another beach walk. I think either me or the dogs will have to start loosing some weight but for some reason I think it will more than likely be the dogs.
I have made a deal with Pat since I am starting to get home sick for friends and family, that if I reach a certain goal weight, he will take us all back to Michigan to see everyone in the fall.
He thinks I am silly and can't believe that I miss his family more than he does, however he did agree to my terms. This means the poor dogs have been subjected to at least three long walks a day whenever we have room to take them.
When we returned back to the truck from yet another beach walk I gave the dogs some water in the only container that I could find. These photos crack me up because of the way Luca's teeth show and how hard it was for them to share.
I finally ended up filling a large sea shell over and over until their thirst was quenched.
We wrapped up our day with the sunset as we read a few chapters and then turned in for an early night. Pat is going out fishing for Abalone at 6am with Juan tomorrow, so he needs his beauty sleep.
Monday April 14th
Oh the thought of yet another Monday coming and going on this adventure. The rush to get ready in the morning, the dread of getting back into the swing of things after the weekend, seeing all the people you could live without for another week if you could.
That is something I sure don't miss about Mondays. For me it's another notch on the calendar, which is bringing us closer to the US. It will be hard to go back into the US since we always hear such poor reports on NPR about the economy, inflation and the poor housing and job markets.
Since we have been in Baja we have spent 1/4 of the money that we usually do in the states. The fuel is half the price, we are able to boondock in most places, and if we do go out to eat, the cost is minimal.
My grocery list is pretty much void of meats, which are usually the most expensive item, since most of the grocery stores don't have the same inspection process that we do in the states for the meat counter.
Beans have become the staple protein in our diet which are a buck a kilo. Since saving money is my forte, I must say this savings in our budget is putting a smile on my face.
Everywhere that we have been in Baja has brought us new friendships with like minded people, not all of which speak the same language. We have somehow stumbled through the language barrier and have gotten to know some great locals.
For this reason as well as how much we enjoy the beach and the laid back atmosphere of this country, Pat and I are looking for some inexpensive property to buy here.
With the help of Shari and her husband Juan, we are looking at a few pieces that are near the water and might be an option for us. Pat is out Abalone Fishing with Juan today so he will bring me back some info on which parcels are available.
I spent my morning trying to get all of the sand and dust out of the camper. This is a chore since every time either one of us or the dogs come inside, we bring in enough sand to make a castle on the floor. The side streets in most of Baja are not paved which means that dust is plentiful in the air and in the camper.
That has to be a couple of my biggest complaints, if I had to come up with any, it would be the dust, since it makes my allergies flair, up and the lack of opportunity to buy quality meats would be my second complaint. I guess I can give and take though, since the good very much out weighs the bad.
Once Pat got home, we had some lunch and he explained the job of Abalone fishing to me. It sounds like a tough job for three men to do, but he thinks they really enjoy it and respect the waters they are in as well as take care of the Abalone population.
The picture that he brought home makes these things look like some strange creatures from outer space or something. I would assume that one would have to know what to look for because to me these things look like rocks. Pat's full Gallery can be seen here.
This evening we heard a knock on the door and Pat being the ever friendly guy that he is talked with the fellow for a few minutes and soon I heard Pat offer him a beer. Big mistake! After a couple of hours I noticed the guy was getting a bit loopy, so I went across the street and had Kevin come over with a diversion for us all to get rid of him.
Kevin came up with the ploy of having margaritas at Shari's which at the time I was hoping was true. We dropped Ramón off at the end of town, then went out to Shari's house on the point to feed her dog and her chickens while they are at their other place.
Everything worked out for the best and we ended up having Kevin stay over for dinner. I love to feed friends, so having Kevin over was the best part of our visit from Ramón or Mésa, I'm not sure which is his actual name. After our bean dinner, we said goodnight and Pat and I were both in bed at a very early hour.
Tuesday April 15th
Today is my brothers 44th birthday and unfortunately he will not get a card from me this year. Neither did my mom who's big day was the 8th of this month. If I wanted either of them to receive a card, I would have had to mail it before we left the states. I didn't know the mail was so incredibly slow here, so an email will have to suffice.
When Pat and I stayed at the old abandoned marina in Puerto Escondido, we used their very ample book exchange to which we supplied ourselves with maybe 10 new-used books. I enjoy James Patterson's work, to which they had 8 of his books and Pat enjoys Nelson DeMille, which he got two of his paper backs.
We exchange them when one is finished with a good one or we say don't waste your time because you wont enjoy this one. I picked up a book this morning called The Beach House by James Patterson and I didn't put it down until I was finished with it at 7pm.
Their is a character in the book that totally reminds me of Pat's older brother Rob so much so, that I had to see how the story ended. I really enjoyed this one if anyone likes thrillers with a nice twist.
We went to see a few pieces of available property this evening with some locals that Shari had contacted about selling to us. Since we spoke little Spanish and they spoke little English, we will wait until we see Shari tomorrow and get some specifics on it.
We rounded out our afternoon with a bean dinner and watched a movie before falling asleep at 10pm. Sorry if some of our blogs are lame but being lazy is part of our style South of the Border. It's all about relaxing and slowing down, nothing is fast paced, and we're really starting to understand this way of life.
Thursday April 17th The Nightmare of Wiring Money to Mexico
All day today I felt as though I was going Christmas shopping on December 24th and my list of gifts were not available in any store I entered. That is the frustration I felt all day.
Our long drive from Asunción to the closest town with a pay phone and bank, Vizcíano, was like riding on a roller coaster. I kept asking Pat to please slow down to which he just laughed. I knew I was going to throw-up any second due to the ups and downs in this long twisting, dirt road.
I think Pat rather enjoyed rolling over these huge hills, to which our vision to what was on the other side was an afterthought. The only thing that slowed him down was a huge snake that we saw sprawled out, sunning himself in the center of the freshly graded highway.
Even to gawk at this creature, he had to put it into reverse since he was driving so fast. He kept saying get out and lay down beside it so we can show how long it is. He is so darn funny some times. If I could look it up on the internet I would tell you what kind of snake it is, but that is really not an easy option here in Asunción.
We had a list of things to accomplish today to which only a few were completed. Do laundry, grocery shop, get some cash from our debit or credit card, pick up some alfalfa for Sheri's horse and pick up Juan's shocks for his truck.
That doesn't sound like such a chore now does it. The only thing we got done was the shocks and the alfalfa which we brought back to town for Juan and Shari. The bank withdraw was so complicated since neither Pat nor I can speak the language that we decided to go back tomorrow.
By the time that we found out exactly what I needed to do, the bank in Michigan was closed for the day so our options were limited.
One thing we did get accomplished was making some new friends. As I was walking into a store, a gentleman stopped me and asked me if I was going back to Asunción today. He said that he had seen our truck there and he and his brother needed a ride home since he had dropped his vehicle off to have some body work done.
I am leery of everyone, so I wasn't so gung-ho over the idea. We explained to him that we had a few errands to run and if he was still around when we were done, we would give them a ride.
As I was running around town, trying to find a pay phone, which took over an hour, he saw us again. He said "You look upset, what is wrong, can I help?" From that point on, he translated for me, found us a pay phone, called the bank in town for me and spoke to his niece so I would have some idea what I was asking for.
He also made some local calls which sent us in the right direction to get things started. He asked me if I felt better and told me not to worry that if we needed anything his family would help us. Wow, and I was worried about giving them a ride.
We all loaded up into the truck, put the 200 lbs of oranges and 10 pineapples he had bought for his wife in the back of the truck and headed for home. At no point did we have a lull in our conversation. Horacio is trying to get better at English and we absolutely suck at Spanish, so we spent our two hour drive exchanging new words.
I ended up writing a bunch of them down so that we could try and use them in conversation. I think this is the only way we might learn Spanish is to have a bilingual friend like this to help us with the pronunciation.
Horacio and his brother brought us to a nature preserve where they are trying to bring up the population of prong horned antelope in the area. I guess like everything else us humans do, we have over hunted them almost to extinction in this area.
He explained that they started out with 6 and they are up to 225 including 45 new-borns this year alone.
As we arrived back in Asuncion, we dropped off the stuff for Shari and then visited our new friends Diane and John from California. They bought a house here about a year ago and they absolutely love it.
I hope we have better luck tomorrow for this is sort of overwhelming to me. I have got to learn to speak Spanish so that I don't feel so ignorant. I know when we have Mexicans in the States, we expect them to know our language, I am so glad that they are much more patient with us Americans than we are with them.
Thursday April 24th Happy Birthday to Me!
There are a few things I have learned about myself while being in Baja that I would like to share. Most of these things might be trivial sounding, but believe me, after a month or so of dealing with them, it starts to become an issue.
I have discovered that after four days without washing my hair, my head starts to itch, their is a reason why the things in the back of my closet are never worn, a Q-tip becomes an exfoliation brush after I spend a few days on the beach and last but definitely not least, I am NOT a vegetarian.
Since we have been in Baja for the past 50 or so days, we have been boondocking or drycamping for most of that time. Water has become a most precious commodity, to be used only when completely necessary. Showers are fast, using only a gallon or so of water which doesn't always allow me to wash my hair.
I can just throw my hair into a pony tail which by the third or fourth day it might take on the appearance of me using a molding cream or maybe even a styling gel to keep my hair in place. No one would ever know that it is in a dire need of washing unless they witness me lightly digging at my scalp. Which I've learned to control in public.
Salt water will not cure the need for washing my hair and also will not serve the purpose of rinsing or washing in. The shampoo doesn't form bubbles when applied, nor will the salt water rinse the residue from my hair and scalp which then causes an even worse effect than a little itch.
I also found that even with a closet that is 12" x 12" by 3 feet tall, I still have plenty of clothes that I don't or shouldn't wear. While we were in Asuncion for 8 days, both Pat and I managed to go without having any laundry done. I think we actually went for about 12 days, which made me pull out all of the stops.
I had a few clean things available to wear after day 7, which included a two piece swim suit, a black and gold bustier, my "how I wish I could fit into those" pants, and one pair of shorts with no button. This is what was left after I had already gone through the clothing that just didn't feel right, either because they were to small, to big or just plain ugly. I however wore these items anyway, vowing to replace these things as soon as we got back to the states.
We tried to find a laundry matt to no avail in the small city of Asuncion and also even ventured to Vizciano, 77 miles away, which didn't offer any relief either. Next time we will be a bit more prepared when we travel to the more desolate, unpopulated areas by having all items clean when we arrive.
With the long walks on the beach that we have been taking, even though we haven't been in the water, on purpose that is, I have still found enough sand in my ears to build a castle. At first this really sort of grossed me out, but then after a couple of times with just me, sand and a Q-tip, I rather enjoyed it.
It got to be quite pleasant for me to drag the Q-tip around the inside and outside of my ear. The exfoliating really gave me a euphoric feeling. I felt sometimes as though I would pick up my back foot and start thumping it on the floor, like a dog does when you find its certain spot.
I relished at the opportunity to share my gritty ear canal with a Q-tip as often as possible, knowing that I would soon be back in civilization with showers every day and no beach to surround us with magnificent sounds while we sleep. You know how they say you can pick up a conch shell and hear the ocean? I had that effect at all times due to the sand packed in every small twist and turn my ear has to offer.
When it comes to eating, I have always been the kind of person that tries all of the new things to keep me healthy. The cut carb diet, the more fruit diet, add fiber to the diet, more vitamins and anything that will keep me healthy on this big planet of ours for as long as possible.
I even remember back in the late 80's when I did the, eat carbs only diet? I filled myself with potatoes, rice and pasta until I retained so much water my eyes were floating. I just figured I was doing something wrong and went to the cabbage and steak diet instead which flushed my body out in ways we don't want to get into.
One thing that I have never tried is the vegetarian diet. I have kicked the idea around a bit but then realized I am a carnivore and even though I can cut back on red meat and bacon, I enjoy meat. I've always loved the saying "We didn't claw our way to the top of the food chain to eat Tofu!" Now my brothers family are all vegetarians, eating tofu turkey for Christmas and having all the veggies one could think of in a lasagna.
They have been this way for years and really enjoy the lack of meat in their diet. I guess it is better for the green house gas effects without the methane distribution. No meat actually lessons ones carbon foot print on the planet and also as my brother would say, "We don't eat faces."
Those few things alone would seem to be enough to change my carnivorous mind, however I prefer a dinner with meat as the staple, then build a nice paradise of veggies around it.
For the last 11 days we have gone without any meat to speak of. The last portion of meat we had, I sacrificed it to the Pacific Ocean when I was thrown from my kayak, loosing our lunch into the hungry waves.
I have went into the markets to purchase meats, but I was detoured from the handler behind the counter. I know I might be picky, but I want to feel good about the cuts of meat which I choose. In Mexico, things are done completely different from in the States when it comes to refrigeration and such.
I have been dreaming about a nice juicy piece of filet mignon wrapped in bacon, topped with blue cheese and turkey, with a side of deep fried, crispy chicken wings as an appetizer followed up with honey cured ham, the kind with the crispy sugar coating baked on the outside of it for dessert. On one days drive, I think I was starting to remind myself of those cartoons I watched as a child where everything you look at turned into food.
While driving through the desert, I would look out at the cactus and see skewers filled with tender steak chunks. Big boulders started looking like piles of freshly sliced lunch meat. I kept saying these things outloud before Pat finally yelled for me to "SHUT UP and stop talking about food!" It didn't stop me, I just didn't share all my food dreams with my annoying husband for the rest of the day.
I asked Pat to take me to a major American chain food restaurant the other night just so I might get a flavor of what I was dreaming about. I got some not so good chicken nuggets for an appetizer with a fatty chewy steak for dinner, I was in heaven!
I realize for sure now that meat cannot be deleted from my diet for a huge length of time. I envisioned myself getting scurvy or rickets or something awful, maybe even spinal bifida . I could feel my body becoming weaker, more susceptible to diseases while in this third world country. I am quite sure this would not happen but that doesn't mean I can't get paranoid about it.
Here's to being back in the USA as of today, a place where I can fill my needs for fresh water, meat and oh, I forgot, pizza. It is great to be back even though I wouldn't have missed our journey into Baja for all of the world. We loved it so much, we found some property there which we will be spending the winter at next year.
I just have to be prepared with a freezer full of meat, heck maybe I will even raise some chickens or something. Bring a wash board for the laundry and I will look forward to the salty sand ears until we return.
We put together a Traveling Baja Page for the first timer. We thought we'd make one page that explains many of the things we learned while being in the Peninsula for two months time. By no means is the one stop answer for everything you'll question, but it is the answers to many of the questions we had to begin with.
Monday April 28th
The fruits, the vegetables, the butcher shop the size of my home town Kroger, coolers that are the size of a two story house.....Costco! I have been to a super center only once in my life and that was to buy 12 flat screen TV's for our restaurant. I have never had the need to buy in bulk since for the 6 years we owned the restaurant/bar, I could order what ever I wanted from my supplier and have it delivered.
Since then we have pretty much moved into our little Sunline which it didn't seem feasible to shop in bulk. Pat and I had the pleasure of going to Costco last night with Jeff and his daughter Capri for some of the items that we might use alot of. I know what your thinking, why would anyone who lives in 200 square feet of space want to buy in bulk? The answer is, to save cash.
I never thought to go to such a bulk selling store until I went to my favorite place, Vons which is also Safeway in Arizona, to get some groceries. I walked around the store for only a few isles until I decided that I couldn't afford to purchase any of their products. A dozen eggs was $5.00 and those were the cheapest ones they offered.
One tube of Crest toothpaste was $5.75!! Wow, I called Pat and told him that we had to wait until we got out of California before I shopped for anything. When I got back to the house I explained to Jeff that the price of food here was outrageous to which he explained in the past few months it has gone wild from the trickle down effect of the high cost of fuel.
He asked if I wanted to go to Costco with him and see if I might be able to save some money on the dry goods and such that they have to offer. We have a couple of storage bins in the back of the truck which we can store stuff in so this sounded like a good idea.
We use some items soo frequently that it would be silly not to buy them in bulk such as paper plates, paper towels, dog food and such. I couldn't imagine buying fresh food products in bulk since we do have limited refrigerator and freezer space. Well, here is another testament to our Norcold refrigerator.
In my freezer right now, I have loaded 7lbs of hamburger, 10 lbs of New York strip steaks, 3 lbs of Porterhouse steaks, 8 lbs of fresh chicken breasts, 3lbs of fresh fish, 2lbs of frozen fruit, 6 ice cube trays, 1 lb of flour, 1lb of spinach, 1lb of cooked beans, a dozen cookies and a few other various food items.
I wont even begin to tell you all of the things that I have managed to stuff into the fridge, I will however say that I have no complaints about the size of my fridge either. I know that sounds like a manly thing to do, brag about the size of things, but I'm amazed I was able to fit everything in the Norcold. I never knew that Costco offered an on hand butcher in their stores which is really great. We have had a couple of chances to taste the goods that they have to offer. First when Darryl would make us delicious dinners and now with Jeff and Lori.
The other night when we arrived here at Jeff and Lori's house, they were courteous enough to feed us an incredible steak dinner as well as put us up in their driveway...again. I asked where they got all of the food from to which most of there replies were Costco.
We had a few cocktails and hung out with some friends, Mike and Julia who had brought there cute little girl with them. Lori and the kids played in the pool and we all had a great night sharing camping stories and laughing while learning more about one another.
Its strange how we feel so much at ease here, like we have known each other forever. I think it's because Jeff reminds me so much of my own brother, Ron, who is the same exact height, weight, age (by a few days) and personality.
The rest of our days in this area have been spent on catching up on phone calls and trying to make this place look a bit less embarrassing now that we're not camped out in the middle of nowhere.
Jeff and Pat have been sprucing up the place by power washing the outside of the truck, the camper, and the kayaks. I thought about power washing the inside of the truck then decided it would just make the dog hair matted instead of actually removing it.
As boys do, they have figured out how to refurbish the inside of the place. Most of their time has been spent brain storming on how to do these great ideas. My response has been," I am happy just the way it is so don't go through all the trouble" but Jeff insists on helping Pat with a few projects he has been trying to get done but lacking in tools to accomplish the tasks.