Friday, March 16, 2018

Bienvenidos 2018!

It’s time to welcome in this new year, 2018.  I can remember as a child, I would ask my mom, “Do you think I will be alive in the year 2000?”  It seemed SO far away!  Well, living I am and so far, I’ve zoomed past that awesome future date, and it’s far in the rear view.  

January beach life means another beach birthday (gratefully) and who should appear at our door, but Barb with a “Pink Supreme Birthday Cake!”

Who can resist?  Yummy!  I take it up and down the beach stopping at every campsite to share the sugar!

One of our new “traditions” this year is to go to town every Saturday and pick up a whole roasted chicken dinner.  For 170 pesos (about $7.50) we take home a delicious chicken roasted in an outdoor rotisserie bar-b-que oven, macaroni salad, fresh corn tortillas and homemade spices salsa.  Presto!  Dinner!  Thank you to the family who owns and operates Pollo de Castillios on the roadside leaving Mulege!

Breakfast happens many mornings in our screen tent under the palm tree.  Steve is the master of eggs with tortillas scramble.  Plus, always plenty of fresh oranges cut up.  

There is plenty of time in the day to play....ukulele!  Of course!  We have our Friday afternoon group too to keep us going.  This year we have been assigned to play at the end of season party...soooo....

The addition of a dog enclosure fence from Petco has made life oh so much easier with two dogs to manage.  
Sparky is not too sure it’s the greatest idea, but truthfully, he can at least go “in” and “out” whenever he wants.

Tuesdays this year means it’s time for “Taco Tuesday” at Buenaventura, a restaurant about 6 km down the road.  Sometimes music, but always great tacos...coconut shrimp,  pork, chicken, bratwurst (really), or fish.

January is off to a pretty good start.  Check. Out the blue sky and summer clothes!  

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Playa el Coyote por Deciembre!

We are here!  Here! Once again, it's Christmas on the playa.  First we wait a week for a regular campsite....

Then we go to work filling it up!  Up goes the bug tent...put together the paddle board stand, nail down the mats, set up the outdoor kitchen...oh yes, and deal with the satellite internet connection.

A few days later and Campo Simpson is ready to enjoy!

Steve likes to cook outside and the propane oven and grill are just the right "appliances."  Whatever mi chef wants...I'm for it...

The outdoor kitchen is ready!

Time for coffee and the ration of Costco biscoti!
We get out in the peddle kayaks right away.  Sparky is always sure to be aboard when we cast off.  He doesn't like being left behind.  Ever.  This includes on the paddle boards.

Catptain Steve and First Mate Sparky on the water again!

Wednesday night is movie night at JC's Restaurante up the road.  Every week he fixes great pork carnitas and all the stuff to pile into the tortilla.  Then comes the movie of the week.
How about the first margarita of the season?
 December also means it's time for the beach party for the kids at the local "Children's Home" from town.  This has been an anual tradition for the Coyote Beach folks for three years now.  It's really fun to give the kids a swim and water toy party, then hot dog lunch and of course, there must be a piñata!

Piñata time for Casa Hogar Kids!

This year the kids sang a special song for us right before they loaded back up into the cars to go home.  It was SO sweet.  It's amazing to see how each of the kids have grown over the years.

A little song for us!

 Oh yes, this year the parking lot "sculpture" coyote is one you can climb up and have a good photo op...or just sit down beside.  Creator Bill says it's not finished a long shot.  The goal is to have a great sculpture to set into a huge campfire at the end of the camping season.  This nightr will also be used to "pass the basket" for donations to local charities.

El Coyote!

Now it's onward to Christmas Day 2017.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Hello Friends!

Due to heavy traffic (always true in southern California) and short daylight hours, we decide to stop along the way at GlennEllen State Park.  It’s a little pocket of an RV spot, trees and hook ups, nestled in a most unlikely spot: right between where I-15 and I-215 make a junction!?  Camper buddies told us about this place in case we ever had a reason to stop for the night in the mess of congested and busy freeways.

We arrive at Marie and Gaby’s house in Jamul, CA at noon.  I am excited to give our little book buddy a new book.  This one is special as it is personally autographed by the authors, who we had the pleasure of meeting in Hawaii this year, Audrey and Don Wood!

Gaby and Steve do a little lego exploration and then she begs and begs to do high flying “dance” routines!?  Who knew?

Fly Gaby, FLY!

One day Marie surprises us with a trip out to “Lions, Tigers and Bears!”  This is a rescue sanctuary in Alpine, California for...well, mostly lions, tigers and bears.  There are a few other wildcats as well.  The two hour experience is educational and the stories about each individual animal and how they were brought to this facility are fascinating.  

All too soon it’s time to move on, nudging our way south.  Next stop:  South Carlsbad State Beach Park to visit Pete and Nancy.  

Thursday, November 30, 2017

On Our Way! Baja Bound 2017

November 21, 2017 and we are southbound to sunshine and 70 degrees.....

....We go up and over the pass to the east side of the mountains in search of lighter holiday traffic and an easier way south.  

Arriving at our first stop, the shore of the Columbia River, by 4:00 p.m. we grab a campsite at the state park on the Washington side.  

Good spot for Thanksgiving dinner!

Perfect!  And thankful, for so much.

The next morning we wave farewell to the Mighty Columbia, and for the next three days we wind our way south through Oregon, Northern California, then through Reno, and south to Death Valley National Park.  

Northern California

East side of the mountains nearing Death Valley

It is very clear, according to Ms. iPhone weather app, that we will not get to sun and warm until arriving at this surprise destination.  We pay for two nights with visions of swimming in the beautiful, warm, spring fed swimming pool!  Ms. iPhone forgot to mention one little detail....the fierce wind, dirt and sand storm headed our way!  

But, there was a time when the wind dropped and we could not pass up a swim at the end of November.  

Now it’s off to do a little visiting in Southern California.  First stop:  Jamul, CA to check in on Marie and Gaby!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Off to Iceland....Two Days in a Row

Yes, we make it to Stockholm, Sweden, enroute to Iceland.  It is a short night, once we arrive.  Upon landing, Icelandair  directs us to a very nice hotel, connected to the airport.  The nice man at the desk hands us a toothbrush and the tiniest little tube of toothpaste you have ever, ever seen.  Ahhh, with the blackout curtians drawn at 12:30 a.m., we have the luxury of a bed...for four and a half hours of sleep.  Then it's up and at 'em as it's a new day, quick breakfast at 5:00 a.m. And off to, yes, Stockholm Airport security lines.  At least we are already at the airport!

This is my only photo from our "Surprise, you are going to Sweden" visit.  It seems reindeer hides are for sale in the airport.  Everyone needs one?  We have no idea how much 1549 is in Swedish currency, or is it Euros?  Again, no idea.  Except, we don't need one!

We arrive in Iceland at 9:30 a.m., right on time, for the revised schedule.  Although I have notified the car rental people, and the hotel people of our detour and new plan, we are two of many and there is yet another line awaiting us.  By 11:00 we are finally on our way to the Fisherman's Cottages to drop off our bags and figure out today's exploration.  

Today is grey, cloudy and cool.  Maybe it's almost spitting rain.  We decide on....

Good thing we have packed down vests and rain jackets and hats.  We are off to the island where Atlantic puffins hang out.  We hear there are 30,000 nesting pair that show up for the breeding season.  As it turns out, it's not exactly in full swing yet.  We see one puffin flying at a distance (I believe the guide) and one puffin on a hillside, which makes....two.  

Always on the job of researching tours, guides, boats and cruises, I will say the guide was good and her prop was great.  

This, dead, Atlantic puffin makes our total: three.  (I'm not counting the blow up bird outside the ticket office.)

The seas on this fairly short trip were flat calm and being early in the season, only 26 passengers on a boat that usually carries 140.  Smartly, we carry our own binoculars when we travel.  The boat had 5 pair to "share around."  And they were terrible.  

Always interesting to see what's for sale on tour boats.  The guide says lemon lime are the best.

Due to our itinerary revision, we have only more day for exploring.  

We head first to Gullfloss, the largest waterfall on the island, as we never made it that far on our last visit in September of 2015.  The weather plays games with us: the Raining Hard Game, the Sun is Breaking Out Game, the Windy and Raining Again Game, and renditions of the same until dark. (Which is between 2:00 a.m. And 3:00 a.m.)

To the top of the falls we go and back up the trail again.

Then it's time for some "meat stew" in the visitor's center restaurant.  $12.00 please.  Definitely worth it in the moment.  

After much discussion about The Blue Lagoon ($75.00 soaking fee, includes a beauty cream mask?) and the alternative hot pool, we are off for The Secret Lagoon. ($17.00 with senior discount and no beauty mask). Why the discussion, I'm not sure! 

He can't help himself!  Our Baja beach buddies will see this as an extension of his winter activities.

The road home is almost two hours of fascinating Iceland landscape, steam vents, sky colors and of course, an Iceland horse roundup!

Surprise from the rear....look who is passing us!

Steam for the fabulous free energy program.  Lots of heat available for everyone!

The Presidential Home south of Reykjavik is striking.

If walls could talk, I'd be listening to this story.

We are heading home, but not without a great breakfast.  Sourdough toast with tomato and avacado, a drizzle of olive oil and garlic, and there's that shot of ginger juice again with a lime to squeeze.  Don't forget the Icelandic yogurt and granola.  The coffee was great too.  The price, not so great.  $25.00....each!  Did I mention that Iceland is expensive?

Our Icelandair flight from Reykjavik to Seattle is a fairly swift seven hours.  Everything  works, well, perfectly.
Flying in the morning we have a good view of Greenland and lots of ice below as we head to the warm southern climes of the Pacific Northwest.

A little window view....

Sitting out in front of our house the next evening, doing lots of make up ball games with our two biggest fans, Skipper and Sparky, our 70/30 Celebration Adventure Seems almost like a dream.  It is sort of near, just hours old, and oddly, far away in time and space.  

Begs the question: What's Next??

(Who cares say Skipper and Sparky!  We live in the NOW and's time for you to throw the ball, we chase the ball, you give us treats for giving you the ball, so you can throw the ball....over, and over..."To Infinity and Beyond!"  Ain't life great??  Definitely "Two Woofs Up!"  We all agree on that!