Monday, February 20, 2017

Driving here can be tricky

Another day of doing nothing. Morning was was wet but sun came out and dried things up nice. All the plants look so happy without a coating of dust on them. Today we are headed into downtown early hopefully to get some cinnamon rolls and a piece of the skull fabric for a friend. Hope they still have it. 
Sitting around for the last couple of days doing nothing I kept thinking about heading home this week. We still have a little over two weeks of rent left but...Then this morning when I got up the sun is bright, the sky is blue and we have something to do today. So guess we'll be staying here for a little bit. Though I will miss three NASCAR races. First non points race of the year was yesterday. The #18 came in 2nd. Maybe Daytona will be on Mexican TV as Daniel Suarez is now racing in the Cup series. 
Speaking of cars. Do you think Willie, the Jeep is spoiled. This is his blankie to go over the hood. It is very soft fleece. It goes under the car cover . 
 Here he is covered in anticipation of the rain. One corner of the blankie is hanging out over the front wheel. 
My poinsettia is doing good. Getting all kinds of new green leaves. When we leave I give it to some one here as it won't live in Vegas. Also the border guards frown on bring plants into the US. 
Saw this sign the other day thought it was interesting. If the plan doesn't work change the plan, but continue with the goal."
A stand of in old town. This area is for tourist bus parking when the boats are in. One bus is parked and behind it is a taxi taking up the space that the 2nd bus should go into. Behind the 2nd bus is a whole string of regular buses that are clogging the narrow street. The two guys in the white shirts are traffic cops. One is telling the taxi to move. Every bus in line is blowing his horn. 
 Still trying to get the taxi to move. It is now blocked in and it will take much maneuvering on his part to get out. Cars have now been added to the mixture see them next to the white bus. More horns blowing. 
 Lots of traffic jammed up because of one taxi. He finally got out, the tour bus pulled in and everyone else could go on their way. They are also blocking an intersection with a signal, so cross traffic is also backed up and blowing their horns. Glad we were walking. 
Back in the car. This is center of downtown next to the Central Market. This is where most  the buses were headed. A major stop. Some of the buses are really colorful. There are two types the 8 peso bus and the 10 peso bus. The 10 peso bus has air conditioning. The 8 Peso bus leaves it windows and sometimes its door open. The buses are pulled over taking on passengers. Traffic manages to squeeze past them - most of the time. 
More traffic police. trying to keep the traffic moving around the buses. 
And a little more construction going on. As you come down the street you see two orange cones One on each side of your lane and right in the middle a newly painted white arrow. Looks like traffic is supposed to go between the cones. OOPS - not so. Big hole in street. Lots of sudden changing of lanes. Later when we went by there had been a third cone added in front of the hole. Like I said, driving here is always interesting. 
Wonder what well see today in our travels. 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

What kind of food do you want?

Yesterday we did nothing. Didn't even uncover the car all day. Bill fixed breakfast, I posted the blog and fed the birds and that was it.
About 10:00  last night it began to pour and rained till 7:00 this morning. Just getting light enough out to take a picture, lots of water in the campground. But it didn't get as cold last night as it has been getting. 
 By 8:00 the sun was out and the ground already drying up. Now at 9:30 it is mostly clear sky. Rain should be over. 
Because we didn't go any where yesterday to take pictures I thought I'd share some of the pictures I've taken of the food that is available as you walk along the street. This is one from December when we were walking along the area where the divers are. It is lined with food carts. Pancakes, cooked bananas and pigs in a blanket. Wieners with tortilla around them called here - Sachitacos. All kinds of things to add to them. Sweets for the pancakes, salsas, peppers and condiments for the chips and wieners. 
 These stands were set up by the Cathedral on the Virgin of Guadalupe day. Boiled and roasted corn on the cob or cut off the cob and put in a container. Again all kinds of hot sauce to add to them. And mayonnaise and chili.
 Across the street from the Cathedral this man was selling gorditas, fat corn cakes. They can be cut open and jelly, caramel or cream added to them. He was also selling popcorn and something deep fried. 
 Another day this lady was selling gorditas next to the central market. They are made with corn flour and have a very slight sweet taste to them.
 All around the central market there are food carts in the street. Some a mini restaurants with tables and seats. Almost all of them have someone eating at them.
 Fresh fruit whole or cut up and put in containers. Also soda pop a big selling item. 
 This is a candy and nut stand. Bill likes their candied nuts. Each stand is in a certain place daily. Except for holiday or special events. They have to have permits and are even inspected for cleanliness. 
 More candy and bagged snacks.  
 He is selling unshelled peanuts. 
 Here we have bags of marshmallows. You can get them in white, pink or blue or a mixture. 
 The fresh fruit stand again cut up and in containers or whole. Across the street is the central market you can see the sit down food carts there. Some sell hot food. 
 More candy, nuts and coconut balls. 
 He is deep frying pork.  In the restaurant behind it you can get breakfast and meals for 49 Pesos - US$2.40. Includes water refills, but does not apply to water to go. 
The other day I posted about the raspados pulmonia and the ice cream stand. All of these stands are packed up and taken down at night. Some are push carts that are literally pushed up the street to home. Others are taken completely apart and loaded in to a pick up truck bed. And some are wagons that are pulled by a vehicle or a bicycle. All take a lot of effort to set up and take down. Some have propane for cooking, some have blocks of ice for cooling. Others run off of electricity where available, others have a small generator. We even saw one with cables running from the cars battery to the stand for lighting. 
Are you hungry yet? None sell anything like you'd fine at Taco Bell. McDonalds has little stands that sell only soft ice cream cones. As does Thrifty Ice Cream. Remember the ice cream from Thrifty Drugstores from long ago?

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Mazatlan is a really busy full of life city.

Yesterday we headed out with two destinations in mind. The quilt shop and the yardage shop. We planned on parking (and while the car was being washed) walking to the quilt shop and then downtown for the yardage. Before we got to Centro our plans were changed. All the roads into Centro from the the road next to the ocean were already closed getting ready for Carnaval! Already!!!
Thank goodness we had already found the quilt shop and knew where it was, as the first road we could get through on lead us right to the street the shop was on. Here it is with their sign out. Bill waited in the car while I went inside to check it out. 
 A really big and well set up place. Lots of interesting quilts on the wall and for sale. Several sewing machines set up to use. 
 Two long arm quilters. Didn't ask what they would charge to quilt a quilt. Those machines are expensive and it costs a lot to get the quilting done in the states.
 A big cutting table. Lots of good light coming in the windows. They had some material for sale but not a whole lot. Didn't ask prices of material or anything else, just looked around. 
 From there we headed towards downtown. I wish they'd put this sign - street closed - at the entrance of the street. Not where it ended. Had to turn around. Glad the Jeep is short and is very maneuverable. 
 We parked and left Willie to be washed then headed over to the bakery to see if they had any cinnamon rolls left - didn't think they would as it was already 10:30. Much to my surprise they had ONE left. Grabbed it. YUM - it turned out to be my dinner. 
Just across the street is the Casa Haas a very beautiful old building that was completely restored inside a few years ago. At the time we were told it would be a Carnaval Museum. But as things often go here that didn't happen. But in the last couple of years they've been using it for art shows, And theater happenings. Usually it is locked tight. Was glad to be able to get in it and see how it turned out. Unfortunately the hallway, stairs, and upstairs were locked off.  Read about it here. 
 The other day while passing this corner I took a photo of a pick up truck delivering ice cream to this little stand. The logo indicated the stand has been in business since 1938!
I mentioned this to Bill so we stopped to talk to the vendor. The information is correct. The same family has been selling ice cream on this corner for 78 years. It passes from generation to generation. They have a Lifetime permit for selling ice cream on THIS corner. 
 I imagine the stand itself has changed over time, but not the owners or the ice cream. 
 Walking through the main plaza. The pigeons, children and vendors selling toys, snacks, and pigeon food. 
A friend posted about this raspado stand and was asked if it was left over night in the plaza or taken home. So again Bill asked. Raspados are kind of like snow cones. Shaved ice with fruit juice and bits of fruit poured over the ice. I like the strawberry ones. But any way - if you look closely you can see the motorized part of the stand. It is an old pulmonia. Everything on top is put away into the back storage area, the canape folds down and away he goes at night. 
The man in the red stripped shirt is reading from what looked like a Bible. He has a loud speaker hung over his shoulder. You could hear him all over the plaza. Not many people were paying attention to him - just me. Just part of the interesting things in Mazatlan.
 A block away at the other end of the plaza this man is playing the flute and guitar. And selling his CDs. We've listened to him a lot but have never seen anyone buying a CD. Maybe next time we're downtown I'll get one. Very pleasant music. Right next to him where the white umbrella is the shoe man who dyed my sandals for me. 
 Remember our other objective for going downtown? The yardage store. We went into Parisina and I had a ball. Beautiful, soft, 100% cotton for less than US$5 a meter - close to a yard. Bought one meter of 11 - YES eleven - different fabrics. Might go back and get some other designs. LOVE THEM. Four of them. Mostly butterflies and flowers.  
 Another three. More butterflies, cats faces and skulls. So colorful. 
Four more. The one on the left has four different panels of sewing designs, the next one has about 8 squares of animals and sayings, the next six different sunflowers and the last just sun flowers. Don't know how I'll use any of them. But couldn't pass them up. Would be about US$15 a yard at home - if I could find them. 
Took my yardage and walked back to the car and left it, with the cinnamon roll and walked to Plazuela Machado. Did you know you could tour Mazatlan on a Segway? I didn't but guess these people did. There were two tourists and a guide. 
 I wanted to get a picture of the Carnaval decoration in the Plazuela - but it is hard to get a good one. The sun is never in the right place for pictures. Here it is - Makes me think of Bugs Bunny on drugs. Cute but weird. 
As we were walking back to the car we noticed a new sign outside of our favorite plaza restaurant - Beach Burger. Looks like it has a new name - Restaurant Machado. But Beach Burger menus were still posted outside. So Bill stopped and talked to the waiter. They story he got is - the original owners granddaughters have taken over the restaurant and came up with the new name. So things will be gradually changing. We did notice that the granddaughters have been around the last couple of times we've been there. Also the tables have new table coverings and flowers in vases have been added to all the tables. Also there are now daily specials. AND the last time we were there they actually had real ice tea, not water and a tea bag. So time will tell. 
We stopped at the grocery store for a few things and came on home. Spent the rest of the doing nothing. I should have gone out walking but ... I've only been getting about 5-6000 steps in a day. I notice much more than that and my knee and foot ache. Not really an excuse but.
Three RVs left here yesterday heading north. We've only got a little more than two weeks left before we leave.