Monday, December 29, 2008

Cheap eats that are muy bueno!

Steve and Ana have been showing us such a good time, which includes lots of wonderful and interesting places to eat. The best shrimp tacos are made by this lady (behind the counter). They are fried, but we didn't care. The only problem is that you never know when she is going to be open, so you need a backup plan. Also, be sure to bring your own cervesas!


This lady is only open for dinner and late night eating for the partying crowd - right outside of her home. She makes wonderful hot dogs wrapped in bacon and super burritos stuffed with shredded beef. Hamburgers too, but we haven't tried those. Again, bring your cervesas!

Marv and Ardy, from Odyssey, just got into town and joined us for dinner. It was wonderful to spend time with our Gate 11 buddies!




Rancho Viejo is a little more upscale (inside dining) and serves arrachero beef (and other goodies) by the kilo, which comes with all of the fixings. Everyone morning, the staff roasts tomatoes, peppers, onions, and tortillas on the big grill. It smells marvelous. Check it out!

I am definitely getting a reputation at these places. They love to watch me drink margaritas and laugh - crazy American. We went to Rancho Viejo for breakfast and the waiter asked me if I want a margarita - hah!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Easily distracted...

I promise, we are doing some work on the boat, but we are easily distracted! There is so much going on (especially this time of year) and you know us - we hate to miss a good time.

Fern and Brian (new Canadian friends) invited a bunch of us out to their beautiful home - right on Bahia La Paz. It is an amazing place with a pool, outside bar, and the lovely palapas. As you can see, we made ourselves right at home and enjoyed the festivities!

We had a send off for sailing vessels Rainshadow, Vindsang, and Sea Horse at Tequila's. They were all heading back to the states for the holidays. I don't think any of them were too excited about the weather conditions back home, but were looking forward to seeing family. We were having a good time - as you can tell.


Just one of the many places the girls visited on our shopping adventure - The Sex Shop. Just kidding - we couldn't resist the photo op!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sights and sounds of the holidays...

We have enjoyed being in Mexico for the holidays - lots of colorful sights and lots of noise. The markets and homes are strung with beautiful pinatas (made locally) and decorated with colorful lights and Christmas decorations. Every night we here fireworks (mostly firecrackers) going off and live music that plays almost all night - way after we have gone to bed!

On the Malecon (walkway along the beach) there is lots of decorations, plus a huge Christmas tree - very pretty. Yesterday, Ana and I delivered plates of Ana's homemade goodies to the Malecon workers. They always take such good care of the Malecon and we appreciate it. It was wonderful to see their smiles when Ana delivered her gift!

The marina is also very festive with lots of boats lit up with holiday lights - including ours. Yesterday, the local sailing club hosted a Christmas Eve potluck. We had a great turnout, plus lots of wonderful food.

Christmas Eve was spent at Steve and Ana's home where we played games (way too late) and ate yummy tamales. A wonderful way to spend Noche Buena (Christmas Eve)!

We have been watching the USA weather and hope you are all staying warm and dry (as we sit outside in our shorts) - hah! Please send photos of your white Christmas!

We received a wonderful Christmas video from the Phil Warren's - check it out!

Feliz Navidad and Happy Holidays to All!

Doug and Carla

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Birthday, Anessa!

Who would have thought you would turn out so good, huh? But you did!

Sorry we couldn't be there to help you celebrate your 39th birthday, but we are definitely thinking about you!

Love Pear

Friday, December 19, 2008

Shave and a haircut - 2 bits!

Well, not really 2 bits, but it was pretty in- expensive. Doug had the traditional hot-towel shave with a straight- edge, plus a haircut for $10. Doug has been searching for one of these for years (at the right price) and loved it! The locals got a kick out of us watching and photographing the event.

Ana arranged for the girls to have our haircuts at a local salon - Laura's. She did a great job - fast, efficient, and cheap - $9. We were both happy with the results. Good thing - I was about ready to start chopping - my hair was making me crazy. For my team in NM - it is almost the SWIFT haircut!

After the haircuts and shave, we went to celebrate at La Paisa with a bucket of Pacifico's. Believe it or not, this is Doug's first beer at this place - the chair had a blow out. The locals got a big kick out of Doug falling on his butt - so did we. I am so glad that Steve is fast with his camera!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Totem arrives (yeah), big margaritas, and dressing up!

Sailing vessel Totem arrived safely last week! It was wonderful to visit with the Giffords (Behan, Jamie, Niall, Mairen, and Siobhan) and share sailing stories. We haven't known the Giffords very long, but some people come into your lives and it feels like they have always belonged. That's the Giffords! We know we will continue to share our good times, adventures, and margaritas!

The girls hit the pavement and went on a shopping adventure that took us all over La Paz. We were pooped and needed a break and some refreshments. We just happened to go to the Bismark, which has the biggest margarita - yeah! It was a two hander and very good - I would highly recommend it!

Yeah, that is me dressed up - as dressed up as I get these days! The local sailing club holds a monthly luncheon for the ladies. Ana rounded up a bunch of the girls and we had a great time meeting new folks and telling our sailing stories.

Best sailing picture!

We love this picture! It was taken during the start of the Baja Ha-Ha rally when we were leaving San Diego. There are about 140 other boats leaving at the same time - it was a spectacular view and very colorful.

This is the first time that we flew our brand new spinnaker - it turned about beautifully! Doug and Crit did a wonderful job of getting it rigged just when we needed it. You can't tell, but all of us are wearing our "big butt" costumes. Boats were sailing by hollering at us to show our butts!

Our good friend, Ben Warner, followed us out to photograph the event and got lots of great photos of Moondance (including this one). Thanks, Ben!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Making progress on our projects...


Stainless projects - Sergio and his wife, Guadalupe, have been very busy and have done a wonderful job. They have been building the stainless rails around the stern, attaching our solar panels, and building our boarding ladder. It is truly amazing to watch experts at work. I am very impressed by the quality of their work, plus how timely they have been. We can't keep up with them! Sergio's email is: steel_man_381@hotmail.com.

Organizing and re- organizing - as you can tell - it is impossible. Doug was so kind to leave me a small place to work on Christmas cards while he destroyed the rest of the boat. An interesting note about Christmas cards in Mexico - you can't buy packaged cards or find envelopes for cards - who knew. So, I was forced to be creative - they turned out okay. To get them mailed, our friend, Glenn, volunteered to haul them on the plane back to the states. They will be postmarked from Bellingham, Washington. Interesting, huh? Thanks, Glenn!


We love these new folding bikes. Thanks, Michael for the recommendation and for setting them up! We have been all over La Paz. The bread store (yummy) is our favorite stop, but we also enjoy the hardware stores, the chandlery's, and of course, the food and drink joints! The tricky part is getting used to the road rules. Alto (Stop) appears to be just a guideline!

Electric Windlass - Doug is drilling holes, running wire, and mounting our new electric windlass (electric winch to lift the anchor). It will be nice when Doug doesn't have to pull up 135 feet of chain (plus the anchor) when we leave an anchorage - talk about manual labor! He is strong, but I don't want him hurting himself. Then I might have to get involved!

Progress!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Happenings!

Besides working on our projects, we have been having some fun.

Steve and Ana held a great happy hour at Casa Ana (their beautiful home) and introduced us to lots of wonderful folks. We learned about golf marshalls, Trader Joes, Canadian politics, writer woes, and much more - it is a very interesting group that has migrated here. Besides the wonderful company, we had lots of great food and drink. Good times were had by all!

The crews from Rainshadow, Sea Horse, and Vinsang arrived in La Paz this week and we had to get together. We had lots of fun catching up and cruising the Malecon. It is great having them around! Poor Doug was trying to watch the boring Steelers game and we distracted him. Who knew they were going to come back in the last two minutes to win!

Rainshadow invited us out to Marina Palmira last night for a happy hour and Tequila tasting. We met some new folks, plus got to see some folks from the HaHa. We had a great time, but were surprised to find out that we aren't Tequila experts. Doug was crushed to find out he picked Jose Cuervo as #1. I did much better - of course!

Tomorrow, the girls have been invited to the monthly "Ladies Luncheon". This should be very interesting. I hope they don't expect us to dress up! Plus, there is a creative tortilla folding contest at the Club. We have no idea what to expect, but we know the Totem clan will be there, so we are going!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Good Bye Crit!

Crit flew back to the California today. We are really going to miss her. She was a wonderful crew mate, plus a good friend to hang out with. The trip south would have been much more difficult with out Crit's sailing skills, cooking talents, and sense of humor. We appreciated all!

Come back and join us again, Crit!

Todos Santos

Steve and Ana took us on a road trip to Todos Santos, which is on the Pacific side of the Baja peninsula. It was about 50 miles, but takes over 1 1/2 hours to get there. Well worth the drive - of course Steve had to do all of the driving!

What a wonderful place to shop and tour around. It is famous for being the home of the Hotel California, which is supposed to be from the Eagles song. It was a really cool place, but definitely out of our budget range! Lots of galleries and expensive places to eat and drink, but we did find a few good values. As you can see, we can easily be suckered in by a simple sign.

We splurged and drove out to Cerritos beach for dinner. It is a beautiful beach where the surfers hang out - some pretty good waves. Besides watching the crazy surfers, we saw whales breaching and spouting - wonderful dinner entertainment!

Phil and Danette - you would love this place!

PS: We were looking at old photos of family and friends tonight and I got choked up - sure miss everyone!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Settling in...

Happy hours, Subasta, and wondering along the Malecon - there are lots of Americans, Canadians, etc. hanging around the marina and they are a very social and organized group. In the short time that we have been here, we have been invited out for Thanksgiving, Happy Hours, plus thoroughly enjoyed Subasta. The local cruising club, Club Cruceros, organizes lots of charity events - like Subasta - which is an auction to benefit the local needy children. Plus, every morning they get on the radio "net" to talk about weather, emergencies, trades, activities, etc. - very entertaining and helpful.The Malecon is the walk way along the beach. It is beautifully adorned with statues, shopping, and lots of bars and restaurants. My favorite statue (shown here) is the old man, the sea, and his paper boat.

Scene of the crime - Tequila's. We decided that we Gringos can't handle the Mexican margaritas. We look pretty good here, but we don't last long!

Wonderful sunsets - almost every evening there has been a beautiful sunset. They remind me of the family pictures from K-Mart - oh my!

Doug's Spanish lesson - Ana was teaching Doug to say that his wife was more beautiful than yours (of course), plus that he is a well-made @#$@hole. Pretty cute! As you can tell, he needs to practice more - without the beer and margaritas! Yes, that is me cracking up in the background. video