Jan 23, 2020

Been busy doing a bit of this and that

A week ago last Monday we had a group of musicians over for the afternoon. That happened again this past Monday.  Mazatlan has a huge music scene and fellow RVers Mandy and Tom have become involved to the extent of bringing in some very impressive talent.  Many of the same musicians are here for a few months but others are only here for one week.  Tom and Mandy want to give these fellows an afternoon of relaxation at the beach.  They provide most of the food and we provide our site along with pre and post clean up, some food, wine and beer and however else we can be of help.  A win win for everyone.

James Armstrong is an American soul blues and electric blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. He released three albums on HighTone Records and is signed with Catfood Records. His songs have been used in the soundtracks of three films; Speechless, Hear No Evil, and The Florentine.

We are so fortunate to get to meet these very unique and talented musicians in a relaxed situation.  Normally we would go see them every week at La Bohemia but with my knee situation we are not able to.  Colin has been few times on his own.  James Armstrong is special in that at one point he lost the use of his left hand and arm under tragic circumstances.  You can read about that by clicking here to read his biography. He has however had the strength of mind to overcome that and move forward.

Colin, James and his wife Alice and Howard, a wonderful musician who lives here during the winter months.

Mandy purchased and cleaned four kilos ( almost 9 pounds ) of shrimp along with some dorado fillets plus plus plus.

Some hung out at the beach for a bit and others borrowed Kevin’s ATV and went up and down the beach.

Lots of conversation.

One fellow and his wife had to head off early as they had a gig to play but the rest stayed and enjoyed the sunset and the fire.

I was tired but everyone was helpful by helping me carry things in and out and to clean up.  At this point I am only two weeks and two days post op.  I think that I am doing very well.  The pain is minimal but I am aware that I do not have a strong knee to stand on.  Turning and twisting is impossible.  Most nights I have had to take a Tylenol Extra Strength ( twice I had to take two ) so that I could relax enough to fall into a restless sleep.

Tuesday Octavio again added TENS as well as ultrasound which will be part of my ongoing treatment. He also gave me several new knee exercises related to rebuilding the strength in my knee and leg.  Lots and lots and lots and lots of reps every day three times per day.  I think I was shell shocked on Tuesday.  Between being tired from Monday and all the exercises I was worn out.

I woke up Wednesday feeling a tad more energetic and a bit like my old self.  I had the energy to start doing some research for our trip in October.  The airfares have gone up since I last looked back in September and the flights are limited so I decided that we had better get serious and make some decisions.  We had to come up with a new plan as we don’t want to be having to drive south in the snow.  Having left this past October 25th and still running into snow and cold and miserable winter conditions we decided that we did not want to do that again.  Our original plan was to fly back to home to Kelowna October 3oth, spend a few days getting over the jet lag and then load the RV and leave about November 5th.  Well that plan has changed and a new one is in the works.

Last evening we had a family with three or perhaps four children set up a tent for the night right next to us across the road.  Just at sunset they hired one of the bands that strolls the beach to entertain them.  The band had an amplifier on wheels and it sure did create some reverberating music.  Eventually the kids settled down and went to sleep.  Never heard a thing this morning.

Thanks to Colin for taking the majority of theses photos.  I haven’t even been out of the RV for the last 29 hours. Tomorrow is another day and I hope to have more energy and move on to other things that I need to deal with.

No worries, I will still be doing my physio every day three times per day, well except for when I only do it twice per day  😐





Jan 20, 2020

Out and about

Now that I have some freedom, we have been out and about.  Both of theses activities were already on our social calendar, so it was wonderful to be able to participate.

Late Saturday afternoon we attended a birthday party.  Loved my first proper margarita of the season at Carmelitas. I think that it is that last place that I can get a good one.  Anyone have any suggestions for other locations?

Ferne threw herself a wonderful gala event.

Always fun spending time with a good friend.

Sunday noon found us at the Teatro Angela Peralta.  The theme of this mini symphony was “Mozart and his women through his private correspondence”.  His women referring to his mother sister and wife. This is Angelica Aragon, an actress, who read the letters written by Mozart. Her verbal delivery greatly contributed to the performance.  The corresponding music information was announced by the screen above the stage.

The pianist was Zlatina Valkova and she was excellent.  The soprano was Perla Azucena Orranntia Duran who is the voice professor at the Escuela de Musica of the Autonomous University of Sinaloa, a Mexican public university based in the city of Culiacán, Sinaloa, but with several campuses across the state.  Perla was magnificent. What a performance.

There were snippets of music with a violinist and the piano, as well as the piano and singer and then the piano and quartet. Here Maestro Gordon Campbell is playing the corno or French horn while the narrator is speaking out the actual words that Mozart had had written over the musical notes on this particular composition.  In this instance the words were funny as well as naughty meant for Mozart’s friend who played the corno.

The main floor was full as were the first and second and third  balconies, at least the front seats.  A wonderful turnout.  Mozart’s music was wonderfully presented in this format and well received by the audience.

Much applause and many bravas for the pianist, she was outstanding.  It was a magnificent performance.  Hannelore, you would have loved it.

“Among the works he composed in the Austrian capital was “The Marriage of Figaro.” Mozart, who died in 1791 at age 35, was buried in a pauper’s grave at Vienna’s St. Marx Cemetery, perpetuating the notion that he spent most of his life barely scraping by in dire financial straits.”  I would need to do further research but it appears that his letters to his wife were sold to a publisher many years after he passed.  I wonder if anyone today is getting royalties from his many musical works.

I must say again that it was an extremely special performance.  I did need to toast that with a ‘Cadillac’ margarita at Gaia.  To date, the best margarita of this season – not that I have had more than a handful since we arrived mid November! We did see our friends Kathy and Eric who were with others but missed seeing Jenny and Brad, so we decided to just enjoy a late lunch/early dinner together. I should have emailed you Brad, sorry.

Apparently Maestro Gordon Campbell and entourage were also lunching at Gaia. Gordon whom Colin has known for at least 14 years, stopped to say hola and get our feed back about the performance.  Colin used to fly to Culiacan from Acapulco ( where we wintered ) to the annual  International Guitar Festival.  Now we see him here as well as in Culiacan every March.

Much to my surprise, Angelica Aragon, that narrator, stopped to say hello.  She truly made the music come alive through her words.

Interesting fruit on this palm tree to our right as we dined.

I don’t think I have seen this before. Any thoughts Carol or Kathy or anyone else?

The way to get back to the Isla? Pay for your lancha ticket, walk down this ramp and onto one to the ferry boats called a lancha.  Some people call them a panga but a panga is actually a fisherman’s boat.  Note the Isla to the right.  So very relaxing to get on the boat and head home, no noise, no traffic ( other than the horses and the ATV’s ).  By the time you cross the shipping channel you feel revived.

The number of docked shrimp boats are getting larger by the week.  Hopefully we still be able to find shrimp at the market.





Jan 19, 2020

I got snipped

Here is it Sunday night and I still haven’t posted anything from Thursday.  So I am going to start this post backwards with sunset photos from Thursday.

Magnificent sunset Thursday evening.

Colin even got up on the roof of the RV to take this one.

In addition to giving my knee ultrasound, Octavio added TENS this past Friday. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS or TNS) is the use of electric current produced by a device to stimulate the nerves for therapeutic purposes.  He also  continues to supervise my upper body exercises as well as addressing a neck issue.

I have a large hard lump on the right side of my neck. Somehow I think it might be with me for life.  So he massages it each time he is here ( twice per week ) and I try and get Colin to do it at east once per day and then add Icy/Hot.  I add heat a few times per day as well.

I had a 4PM appointment with my surgeon Friday.  He was delayed about an hour due to an emergency.  We did not come prepared with the iPad nor the laptop so we just sat and waited and people/patient watched.  As you can see we are returning the cryotherapy machine.

This is where Dr. Cervantes snipped off the remaining stitches.

Despite having a backup of others waiting to see him, I was given as much time as I needed to ask questions and discuss ongoing treatment.  The doctor said that my knee looks great, that there is no swelling and that I am good to do what I would like within reason ( which is not a lot as I get tired ) but to be guided by my how my body feels.  It will be at least a month or more before I can walk the beach. We asked and were told that I have at least 90% left of my right knee meniscus, likely more. Great news 😀  He gave me four exercises to do.  The first three are difficult to do even with my good knee.  Totally unable to do the fourth one.  So at the moment I am doing approximately 290 total reps per day 😯  But I should be doing 382, I will eventually get there.  Rather curious as to what Octavio will be suggesting that I do.  I did not want to wait until Tuesday to start knee exercises which is why I asked my doctor for some suggestions.  290 reps times three days equals 870 reps that I will be ahead in my recovery therapy.  I won’t lie, it is not easy.  But I love the part where I get to sit with the heating pad wrapped around my knee for ten minutes three or four times per day.

We are still using Uber as I can stretch out my right leg by sitting in the front seat.  Uber here means small cars but there is no space to stretch my leg in a pulmonia.  We decided to celebrate my “freedom” by heading out for dinner.  Caught this out of the corner of my eye.  The first monigote I have seen for this years Carnival.  ” Papiermâché is commonly used for large, temporary sculpturessuch as Carnival floats. A basic structure of wood, metal and metal wire mesh, such as poultry netting, is covered in papiermâché. Once dried, details are added. The papiermâché is then sanded and painted.”

Here is the monigote at the Plazuela Machado.  Very tall and colourful.

There is a staircase up to the drum area so that folks can get that up and close Kodak moment.  I am looking forward to seeing the other statues along the malecon once they are placed.  I believe that this is going to be a very colourful Carnival.

We stopped at a new to us restaurant at the Machado, La Famosa.  Friends Carol and Rod had stopped for a lunch last week and I got a report of a good shrimp burger so we decided to try it out.  I love the light and the streamers.

They also had a 2 for 1 special on margaritas so I tried a mango margarita. This was great in that it was not too sweet.  But I did wonder what all that red was.

Turns out that is is an almost tasteless additive purchased at the candy store.  We tried it and Colin thought it tasted a bit like cough syrup.  Interesting way to add color to the drink.

Lots and lots of shrimp, nicely grilled with seasonings and not overcooked but very tender and tasty.  There was some Mexican cheese added. Colin rates it a 6 as opposed to a 10 regarding Tony’s shrimp burger.  It was very good.  I think if they grilled the bun longer so that it did not fall apart and added many more condiments such as tomatoes, onions, shredded lettuce and that special mayo/guacamole sauce that it could easily  become a 9!  There certainly were enough shrimp in the burger.

However I just found out yesterday that we had the wrong restaurant 😳  El Cielo is where Carol & Rod had their wonderful shrimp burger.  We will try that next time we want a shrimp burger.

It was a lovely outing made even more special by seeing former Tres Amigos RVers and blog readers Jackie and Rolf who stopped by for a quick visit while we were eating. I really enjoyed getting out and seeing all the activity and feeling the energy of the Machado but I was more than happy to get back home early.  I think we were in bed just before 10PM.  I was worn out but a happy camper.




Jan 17, 2020

The Love Boat

Do you remember the TV show,”The Love Boat”? It was a TV series filmed between 1977 and 1987.  The show was filmed on actual ships, the Pacific Princess and the Island Princess.

The ship on the right is the Royal Princess that docks here in Mazatlan every Tuesday.

Just before it sails the Royal Princess blows its horn and then the horn plays the first two lines of the Love Boat theme tune, using seven differently tuned horns.

Click the arrow below to listen to the Royal Princess playing that theme tune as she departs Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale.


Jan 16, 2020

Adios Amigo

It was a very sad day yesterday, January 15th, when both RVers and bloggers lost George Yates of Our Awesome Travels. George was one of the very special guys, the one with a huge smile and a twinkle in his eye. He was always there be it in person or online to help however he could. George embraced life to the fullest each and everyday. Not even cancer slowed him down. He continued to live his life on his own terms.  He gave to each of us until his body wore out. I am relieved that he is no longer in pain but would give anything to have just one more day with George.

We first met George and Suzie here at Tres Amigos RV Park on Stone Island or the Isla ( Isla de la Piedra ) as I call it. It was our first full winter here in Mazatlan and it was George and Suzie’s first and only visit to Mexico in their RV. We shared Christmas dinner with them and the other RVers in 2009. We brought the New Year in on December 31st at Pizza Benji’s on Goat Island/ Chivos. Now that was a party.  So we brought in the next decade back then together and here we are ten years later saying adios just after the next decade started with only fifteen short days before George passed.

I spent a good part of the past twenty hours re reading George’s posts from mid 2009 and 2010.  He and Suzie both lived life to the fullest on each one of the days they spent here in Mexico. I started to make a list. This is our eleventh winter here. George was only here a few months, yet he did more and saw more places than we have in our time here. Granted he and Suzie were retired and we came here to rest before going back to work 10 – 12 hour days back in Canada. I think it might be time to follow in some of George’s footsteps.

The time we shared here that winter ten years ago was when I learned about blogging and between George and his friend Larry I was ready to start my own blog which I did in May of 2010.  I will never forget George, nor Suzie.  Life should be lived as he did, day after day.

It was an honor George to have met you here in my most special place.  Adios amigo.

Their first Carnival in 2010.  Swept up and into a group of street performers. Photo from George’s blog.

Yes George, you certainly fit in here and everywhere else you have been. Photo from George’s blog.

You will be missed by your loving wife, your families, your hundreds of friends, your hundreds and more of blog readers and others who just were lucky enough to meet you for one day.

I too will miss you, adios.


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