Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

I can't believe another year has passed! It could be my imagination, but time seems to speed up as one ages. I won't go into a list of New Year's resolutions for 2011 because I've been working on the same ones for the past 30-some years with mixed success. I did see a great Powerpoint the other day. Basically, the theme was to live well and seize the day.

In other words, live like Saby! She's 90-plus in people years and still gets her smile on everyday.

She pounces at every opportunity for happiness, whether it's a mundane neighborhood walk, ride in the car, or a new adventure.

She sets time aside everyday to play.

And even if it's a bad hair day, she just ties on a scarf and forgets about it!

Sage advice from Saby: Seize the moments of happiness in each and every day! Feliz Ano Nuevo to all! Hope it's a Happy 2011!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thursday Leftovers

It's the holidays and we've been eating the remains from the fridge. I was looking at my photo files to try and get an idea for a post this morning and kept seeing photos where I'd think -- why'd I take that? I decided to use some of them. Hope you're not too sick of leftovers!

Don't Get Up!


Back to the World

Local Fruteria

Bucerias Guard Dog

Bucerias Rodeo Queen

Strange Wall

It's the Good Life

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Flan! The Flan!

The name of the place with THE flan in Yelapa is Tacos y Mas, and it is definitely mas!

We had read Tacos y Mas was one of the good places to eat in Yelapa, but I kept mistaking it for a small loncheria type place at one of the main intersections in the village and the atmosphere and lack of customers just didn't do much for me. So the restaurant wasn't on our short list of places to eat while we were there.

We finally passed the real Tacos y Mas one afternoon when we were wandering lost in the village (for the umpteenth time). Friendly workers setting up for the evening yelled out to see if we'd be returning later to eat. It looked good, so we decided to try it that night!

Once again, on our way to the restaurant that evening, we got lost. One wrong turn and we realized we were heading up a path out of the village to the town waterfall. When we turned around, the little guy known to us as Yelapa's one boy welcome wagon again appeared out of nowhere and said, "Are you looking for Tacos y Mas? I will show you!" Add mind reader to his talents since I'm still wondering how he knew where we were trying to wander? He ran ahead, leading us around a corner, on up the path, and around another corner to the restaurant. He dropped us off, disappearing as quickly as he had appeared.

I'm so glad we found Tacos y Mas that evening. The food IS so much more than tacos!

Note the nights they're open. We unfortunately didn't discover the place until Friday and they were closed Saturday, our last night in Yelapa. Otherwise, we would have eaten there again!

Craig loved the panko scallops with homemade tartar sauce.

The bartender said he makes the best margaritas in Yelapa. I didn't try one, so I can't certify that fact, but I can definitely say Tacos y Mas has great food and some of the friendliest waiters in Yelapa!

Instead of a margarita, Craig ordered a Noche Buena. That's Dos Equis' seasonal Christmas beer!

I ordered the panko-breaded shrimp and it was wonderful!

Our waiter encouraged us to try the flan because he said it was the best in Yelapa! And I can attest to that claim! In fact, I would have to say it's the best flan I've had in Mexico! It was much creamier and sweeter than the traditional Mexican flan. (And that's probably why we loved it!)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Yelapa -- Pick Five!

Just for the fun of it, I decided to limit myself to picking five photos from Yelapa for this post.

I know I've said this before, but Yelapa is unusual in so many ways. A village without cars. A place that didn't get electricity until the turn of this last century. A location where cell service is spotty at best, and most rentals don't have television and wireless internet. While a large percentage of the rentals are open air with no windows (a palapa in Yelapa), I did notice a lot of local homes with windows, televisions, and satellite dishes. (And after the first cold night of worrying about scorpions and intruders, I admit to being envious!)

Hippies came to Yelapa in the 1960's and stayed, so the locals are extremely friendly and accustomed to visitors. The real estate system in Yelapa for outsiders is totally different compared to other areas I know about in Mexico. The land belongs to the local indigenous people, and any homes built by foreigners are on land leased from supporting local families. As I understand it, the leases are in 10-year terms, so outsiders strive to keep their village sponsors happy so their leases will be renewed. One homeowner even told me she shares any money acquired from her rental with her sponsoring family. I did hear several horror stories about ex-pat's building homes on leased land and then being forced out of their leases. I think one has to be very brave to embark on that kind of journey.

Our daily routine while there included a late afternoon walk. We'd stroll the paths and get lost. But as my dad used to say, you're never lost until you run out of gas. In Yelapa, that wisdom translates into you're never lost until you don't have the energy and leg power to wander until you find your way home.

We covered a lot of territory on our strolls, from the point at the entrance to the bay all the way through the upper village and on upriver to a little village called El Paso. Along the way, we saw some amazing sights. Here are five of my favorites.

Craig has to be a favorite since he carries a wallet. Here he is on the town bridge that connects the main village to the swimming beach and upriver areas.

One day on the path that leads upriver, I peaked through a hole in the fence and noticed this lily pond. What a find!

The clip clop of horse hooves becomes a familiar sound in Yelapa. You soon recognize the approach and get off to the side of the path. This pony appears to have been running a few errands including a stop at the local hardware store. It's time for a drink! Note that tongue hanging out!

Wandering the lower village trying to find our way to the beach, we just happened upon this old wooden dugout canoe. Craig saw a man paddling a wooden dugout on his fishing trip down the coast from Yelapa. I wish he'd had a camera!

One evening climbing the steep path that leads out of the village towards upriver, we caught this glimpse of the sun setting over Yelapa Cove. So peaceful. Once dark descends on Yelapa, all boat traffic ceases and the village quiets to the sound of waves lapping on the rocks. (Well, I guess Saturday nights when they have dueling bands and fireworks is an exception to that rule. LOL!)

Muy tranquilo most evenings!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sayulita Six Pack!

Wedding remains.

Love this slightly droopy umbrella!

Funky beach chairs.

Sayulita door.

Mural by the bus stop.

Beach house for rent.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Our Christmas Story

It's Christmas Day, a time when all those memories of past Christmas's come flooding back.

Growing up, Christmas Eve was spent with my Grandma and Grandpa Bowman, Aunt Betty and Uncle Ray, and their sons Jon and Robin. We'd eat our traditional Christmas Eve dinner which included a baked ham, twice-baked potatoes, my grandmother's cranberry ice, and a huge coconut layer cake for my grandfather whose birthday was Christmas Day. After dinner, we'd open Christmas gifts from family, and then read the Christmas story from the Bible. Later, when my brother and I were tucked in bed, my parents would have friends over for a drink and white elephant gifts. Then they'd assemble Santa's gifts when they were sure we were sound asleep.

I'm sure our Christmas now by comparison would seem anything but conventional.

We started the celebration yesterday morning by shedding some items that have been cluttering the garage for a few years. Michael donated his older Subaru Outback, no longer driven since he circles the country in his Ecco Golf company van, to a Vietnamese Southern Baptist Church to replace the pastor's 1970's era car that keeps breaking down. Craig and I added an overstuffed chair, television, and desktop computer to the pile that was carted away. You might say we all sent some of our baggage to a new home.

The Christmas celebration continued last night with a brandy soaked ham, potato casserole, and lemon carrots.

We opened gifts this morning while my mom's traditional recipe for sausage and egg casserole was baking in the oven. If only Saby would sit still for her Christmas photo!

Michael gave Craig a Flip video camera for Christmas, so I'm sure it won't be long before some action films start showing up on this blog! We can't wait to take some videos on Isla in January. Saby got a new bunny from Michael for Christmas. Here's Jack Rabbit hitching a ride around her neck. Want to take a bet on how long until she has every squeaker and poor Jack's appendages removed?

Today was one of those sterling weather days in Phoenix when people walk around chanting the standard cliche -- this is why we moved to Arizona! I'll admit to saying it when we emerged from our traditional Christmas movie this afternoon. (Little Fockers and it was a good laugh!)

The weather was so nice, I stripped down to a tank top and crop pants and ate my plate of Christmas dinner leftovers out on the patio!

This is the nicest Christmas Day since we've lived here. The temp's in the 70's and the sun is brilliant! I noticed that the grapefruits on the tree are getting ripe, so I picked one. Michael informed me that it's not quite done yet, so I'll wait to pick the rest of them until later in January.

I hope all of you, no matter what or where your Christmas traditions may be, had a wonderful Christmas Day!

Feliz Navidad and best wishes for a Happy 2011!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

More San Sebastion

Rustic blue door.

Room Number 8

Another parrot!

Craig and Gustavo share some almond cake.

Unusual old door.

Poinsettias in the courtyard.

Gate to the church courtyard.

Plethora of pots.

Pretty garden.

Church altar.

Noche buena!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bucerias Sampler

Senor Coco

Colorful mural!

Sidewalk mosaic.

Colorful balcony.

Blue chair.

Blue boat.

Sunset from the Bucerias zocalo.

The loncheria next door.

Velvet Buddha in sombrero.