Mexico home to California

Friday August 22, 2008
We got up in San Jose and Ken was on the computer again looking on Craigslist to find a good, used computer for me (preferably a 17" MacBook Pro).

We walked out of the Hotel to a selection of bakeries, ate, packed up and went to drive away. Our van would not start – dead as a door nail battery. We got a boost from the gardener at the hotel. Our vehicle day mostly consisted of finding shade and leaving Pepe running.

We also had to find a computer, they are more plentiful here and cheaper. Right near the beginning our computer looking day we found We Love Macs, a computer parts wholesaler. They sell used Macs, too. Faith waited on us and brought out a 17" G4 Powerbook to inspect. I was very impressed as was Ken. Then I spent the rest of the day deciding G4 or MacBook Pro, 15" or 17".

We drove to Cupertino to "The Mothership" on Infinite Loop to see the MacBook Pros in action. This was hopefully going to assist us with our decision. The store wasn't the correct Apple store so we drove to Valley Fair Mall to get more information. I did not see that the Pro had a huge amount of extra features. I decided on the G4 because off the one or two year warranty, big high res screen, reliability of an end of production unit, price compared to a Pro (even a used Pro). I felt very good about it. We phoned Faith and she had the techis get it ready. In the meantime we found a pre-owned Mac store. They had the exact computer for $200. more plus tax would have been extra and only a 30 day warranty. Now I really feel like I got a good deal. I am actually typing on the new G4 right now.

Thursday August 21
This would have been my parents 55th wedding anniversary. I always wonder if my Dad feels sad on this day because my Mom is no longer with us. I guess I should talk to him about that.

We woke up in the rest area which was not really that noisy or hot to our surprise. We took pictures of posing crows while we ate breakfast.

We drove until we got to Harris Ranch to stretch our legs and eat lunch. It was great to look at – adobe buildings, fountains, landscaping, etc. Do not let that fool you, it had lousy food. I spoke and said something to one of the managers before we left. We ended up getting out lousy lunch for half price.
From California

I drove after lunch. We saw our first big accident. There were many police, paramedics and even a helicopter circling overhead. As we drove by we saw CDs, shoes, etc. on the highway – real heart wrenching! Poor people!

We started driving through rolling, yellow hills and once we drove west for a while we drove to lush green rolling hills.

We arrived in San Jose. The downtown association was sponsoring some kind of party in the park with live music. They were playing old Beetles tunes.

Wednesday August 20
We went to Bonita's library for internet and coffee (tea for me).

We did some thrifting, found Coroplast to paint on at Sign Diego.

I went to La Jolla Fibre Arts. This was the highlight for me. She had some stuff that was in the store last month but two new artists work also. The artist which most interested me was Kathyanne White. She uses manipulated photos printed out on Lutradur. Her base is thick wire. She layers fabric, lutradur , etc. and adds copper wire. It is not really what would be called a quilt but it is fibre are – interesting. She makes little books out of water color paper, fabric, little bits of yarn, etc. to work out ideas.

We ate a few meals at Whole Foods . Each of us can pick what we want and our portion size, plus free wifi. Overall, great place!

From California

Tuesday August 19
We got up and did a couple of loops around the campground – good fresh air and exercise. We went to Bonita's library for an internet connection and Craigslist (nothing).

We drove to Balboa Park, parking in the zoo parking lot at the far end from the gate.

Ken chose to sit and read. I walked to the Mingei International Museum. The walk there was spectacular with ponds, flowering trees and ornate architecture.

The exhibit at the Mingei was of wood and fibre. In one room off to the side a video was playing interviewing the artist. This to me was the most valuable part of the experience. Upstairs was the work of cloth block print artists from around the world. Very colorful!

On my way back to the van I stopped by the Spanish Village to see the artists there.

Ken then took me to Visions Quilt Art Gallery, again, new show. Spectacular show called Figuratively Speaking. I go to see the work of many noteworthy quilt artist. Some of my personal favorites were Hollis Chatelaine, Lura Schwarz Smith and Wendy Huhn. I tried to discover what it was about the pieces I really liked that struck me. I think it was the painterly effect created – the contrast.

Lastly for the day – but not least – we parked at the Seaside Village and walked along side the ocean to the Gaslight district.

I got cold but we ate outside at Fred's and walked back. We even went to Walmart later for aloe vera to use for my painting.

Monday August 18
I had to have huevous rancheros for breakfast, way too much food but it was delicious. Ken had biscuits and gravy. Then we were off to San Diego, continuing through the desert. There were a few small puddles from the rain the previous night but mostly it was dry.

We stopped in Yuma, AZ. Best iced frappicino I had all summer. This was likely because it was very hot out and I had not had one in a month. Many of the businesses like restaurants and stores, etc. had plastic tubes attached to the eves with mist coming out. It didn't help regarding the heat as it was still very hot.

We figured out and took the new back way into Sweetwater campground. Nice to be back in San Diego – that constant cool temperature is great. We opted for Whole Foods for supper, always a treat. We were both tired and just drove back to the campground after supper.

Sunday August 17
The Hotel El Mayo where we stayed provided us with a great sleep. It was made adobe style with cement cactus and huge, cement geckos. The outside was quite striking – inside not so much but it was clean.

We drove and paid tolls every once in a while.

There were lots of white and other color butterflies flittering about.

We ate at a Soriana, Yes it was what you'd expect for mall food – except it was Mexican mall food.

The landscape was more lush than we remember from July of 2007.

The roadways were cleaner than I remember in the state of Sonora.

We both felt our month in Mexico went quickly. We were rather being torn from Mexico, not leaving willingly.

Once through Tuscon, AZ it stated pouring sheets of rain.

Saturday August 16 - Leaving Mazatlan
I reluctantly ate at the hotel having their continental breakfast. Ken drove me downtown to look at jewelry near the Azteca Hotel. I took a long time making my final purchases. The clerk was very patient and helpful. Too many choices.

When we drove out north of Mazatlan to leave and saw the new development of time shares, condos, etc – very nice! Again, we saw lots and lots of butterflies fluttering about.

Ken encouraged me to start painting on the camel. The camel is coming along nicely.
We had tamales for lunch from a roadside vendor.

We ate at a truck stop. I felt really weird going there because I was dressed for Mazatlan heat. Our supper, however, at La Pilarica was great. Mine consisted of shrimp tacos with lots of shrimp. Had to give some of my food to Ken . It was so delicious.

Friday August 15
This was a packed, full day! We started out the day cold from our air conditoning unit. Ken referred to our room as the meat locker. A lousy breakfast was our fate – courteously of the Hotel.

First thing we did was drive to Acuario-Mazatlan (aquarium for you Gringos).

This included sea creatures of all kinds in tanks including a sea turtle.

I made a Sea Turtle quilt but had never actually seen one before. We saw the show which took place in the sea turtle's tank.

We saw the show that involved trained sea lions.

We went to the aviary, saw and fed a brown pelican. Oh, and a white pelican, too, but he didn't accept the food. Must have already eaten too much.

We saw a school bus flying small Canadian flags. If you are curious why Canadian flags – well, it had written on the side that it was from Grande Prairie, AB and appeared to be a gift to Mazatlan. That choked me up.

We had Pepe so we drove to Walmart to buy coffee. There we decided to drive down to the old town. We inspected one restaurant and decided to walk to one in the old town, off the strip. We walked, walked, and walked. It was so HOT, I couldn't even think. With help we found the restaurant we were looking for – Mamucas (a locals' seafood restaurant). It was disappointing. We took a taxi back to the van.

We went home to the hotel. I fell almost instantly asleep in air conditioned comfort. Ken went shopping at Soriana.

Once we decided to go for a walk about, we wanted to eat at Poncho's again, this time taking a local bus. Again, great food and wonderful service.

The view from Poncho's in Mazatlan

No comments: