Monday, May 12, 2014

San Francisco Bay Area - Spring 2014

Bill had an uneventful solo drive up I-5 and into San Jose. We met up at the Santa Clara Fairgrounds RV Park around noon. Finding a spot to park a big rv, anywhere, in the bay area is a challenge. We've come many times to the east, north and south bay and always have an issue finding a good spot. In the north bay we stay with our hash friend, Burt, in the east bay we stay at the Alameda Fairgrounds in Pleasanton, but in the south bay the only places I'd seen were way south, like in Gilroy or Morgan Hill. We were meeting a bunch of friends for dinner and didn't want an hour drive home afterwards. Somehow I discovered that the Santa Clara Fairgrounds also had rv parking. There were no reviews or pictures anywhere, but I thought for a night or two at $30 per night, we'd chance it.

It's pretty bare-bones. No internet, and from Bill's report, the showers looked like they had leprosy. The bathrooms there are for the stadium so you can just use your imagination. I asked about the safety of the place and was told that there was 24-hour security. I never felt unsafe, there were mostly older rv's, and you can see how empty it was in October. We didn't stay any longer than necessary, but I would stay there again.

I met Bill at the RV park at noon, and after we got into the site I grabbed a quick bite, and drove an hour and a half to see my daughter at the West County Detention Center in Richmond. I had gone on the website that morning to see what the "rules" were and decided to not wear the leggings I had planned on, because it said no tight-fitting clothes. I wanted to give myself a lot of time to get there as I had a faint memory that my ex had said something about getting there early. Unfortunately, I did not remember that he said that you had to CHECK IN with the front desk thirty minutes before your visit. I got there forty-five minutes before my appointed time and sat in my car playing on my phone, whiling away the time. At 2:10 I thought I'd go in and see what's what...and what was what, was that I was late checking in and could not see my daughter!! I was so angry with myself for sitting in my car when I had gotten there in plenty of time to check-in appropriately! I was so upset that my daughter would think that I stood her up, and would be waiting there for me to show up...what a bad, bad mother. I cried myself all the way home, screaming and berating myself for my stupidity. This has to be the worst thing I've ever done, as a mother. I waited all afternoon for her to call me so I could apologize.

In the meantime we had to get ready for the Silicon Valley Agnews Hash. Our friend, Bloodweiser, was haring and I really wanted to show up and surprise him. Bloodweiser came down to Borrego Springs this winter to celebrate new year's with us in the desert. It was a Dr. Seuss theme hash and I only realized this about 3 minutes before we were supposed to leave....this is the best costume I could come up with in that time.  

Right before the hash started, Lauryn called and although she sounded very disappointed, she tried to make me feel better. She was able to get me another time to see her on Saturday morning.

We went hashing and I ended up having a really good time. There were some cute person had a shirt that read "One Fish," another with "Two Fish" and then there were the red and blue fish costumes!!
Hashers love to dress up in costumes!!
The next day we were going to meet up with Tom and Schelby to see Tom's band, "Gina & The Tonics" play at a school benefit. I was looking forward to hearing his band for the first time. The venue was a little bizarre for us, with a trillion grammar school kids running around, but it was nice to sit in the sun and just chill.

While we were there a guy came up to Bill from behind and low and behold it was Rich Parmentier, a classmate of Bill's from the Air Force Academy! They spent the rest of our time there "catching up." The last time they had seen each other was thirty years ago!!

A bunch of our other hash friends showed up and when the school started doing their "program" during the band's break it was time for us to get out of there and get over to the restaurant where 20 of us were going to meet for dinner.

Thanks to everyone that showed up - it was great seeing you all!!

Saturday was my visit with my daughter. I got there plenty early, turned in my form and ID and waited in the room for 45 minutes until my appointed time. We had to go through a metal detector and all we could bring in with us was one ID and one key. There were a bunch of long tables and a glass partition with the inmate on the other side. They were scattered about the room and there was no telephone, like you see on tv, just a little grate that you speak through. I guess when it's crowded in there it's pretty hard to hear, but we were lucky and there were only about 10 of us there at that time. Lauryn looked great - we just really wanted to hug each other! We had a wonderful visit and I will see her again in a couple of weeks when she gets out.

This is PoopaTrooper - we liked the sign!!

Sunday was Mother's Day and the East Bay Hash. The east bay was were I first started hashing, so it is called my Mother Hash. My friend Becca pointed out that it was quite appropriate that I was coming to hash at my mother hash on Mother's Day!! I love the east bay hash - they run trails, long, hilly beautiful trails and this was one of them. It was the annual James Brown Hash that Zydeco and Early to Bed hare every year. We haven't hashed with the east bay in about 5 or 6 years, so we were both looking forward to this hash and hoping a bunch of our old friends would be there. They set a walkers trail, a turkey trail and an eagle trail. I did the turkey trail which was about 7 miles!! Bill did the eagle trail which wasn't that much longer, but the extra part on the eagle was a super steep climb and descentd right at the end of the was brutal, or so I heard.

It's been an awesome visit so far and we still have a few dinners and lunches with friends today and tomorrow, then we're off to Sacramento....getting closer and closer to Tahoe!

The kind of world I want to live in...

We decided to bale on our stop at the Deanza Springs nudist park as the temps in Jacumba were dropping into the low 60's and that just didn't sound like weather I'd want to run around nekkid in!! So we moved onto sunny San Diego where the temps were in the low 90's. We were still hoping to hear word of Ariadne - Ari, our friend Laurie's dog, who got lost in Rosarita Beach on their way home to the states. Sunday, Bill had a dream-filled night where we had traveled back into Mexico to find the dog. I awoke early and went to a 7:30 yoga class - at 9am when I got out there was a message from Bill that someone had found the dog! Laurie's friend Iyan, who lives in San Diego, has a pass that allows him easy border crossing and offered to drive down and get her and bring her to us, since she was familiar with us; having just spent several weeks in our company. I was positively overwhelmed with happiness and the dog went from being terribly frightened to big smiles and wagging tales when they arrived.

The next morning we took her to Dunk-N-Dogs wash where they spent many hours getting rid of her fleas and tics and bringing her coat back to it's fabulous shine. I stayed with her the entire time. Wednesday night was the San Diego hariettes hash and the start was just a few miles from where we were parked in the Mission Bay RV Park. I wasn't sure she could do a hash because she didn't appear to have that much energy when we walked her, but as soon as we arrived she knew she was at a hash and got very excited. We ran into D-Cup, who we knew in the East Bay, and Maui Wowie, whom we had met years before and who knew Laurie (aka Panty Free) and her dog, and had been following the saga on Facebook.
XS sporting his new vodka socks from Cheek (hash names!)
 I couldn't believe how much energy she had. As soon as the pack took off, she pulled me into a trot and off we went. XS took off with the runners and I hung back with the walkers. But every now and then we would take off and do a little running. This was the hare's "virgin lay" - it's a hares and hounds game, where the hare sets the trail with flour and chalk and everyone tries to find the true trail and snag the hare (check out the HASH!) Anyway, it ended up being a SUPER long trail, about 6 miles, and both Ari and I were fading...everyone else, except the walkers, were at the end already and since we were so close to the car (and there were no dogs allowed at the "on in" (end)) I thought I'd take Ari to the car and drive over there. Well, finding the car was another fiasco and then once I got Ari in the car, somehow I performed the miracle of locking both my key fob and my phone in the car WITH the dog! OY VEY!! The restaurant down the street was closing in a few minutes but in the meantime let me use their phone to call AAA who came out in 15 minutes...boy do I love AAA!! Anyway, it was a great night with beautiful weather, we all got some exercise and slept great!

Ari will never get lost again!
You never know where you're going
to end up on trail!

She was a little concerned!
We spent a few more days in San Diego picking up our plants from Jeanette's dad's house in Dulzura and a bunch of stuff from Sini & Bob's son.
We saw Bill's good friends Scott and Jean for beers and dinner.
We'll being seeing them again in June, when they come up for the Tahoe relays.
They're putting together a reunion team as they've run this relay many times over the years!

It was time to go brave the 100 degree temps in Palm Desert to see my parents, pick up more stuff we had left behind before we went to Mexico, and I had a couple of doctor appointments. I had a feeling my parents were going to fall completely in love with Ari, as I had, because our family dog was a dark colored golden retriever who looked very much like Ari did. And I was right! She is such a love, all she wants is for you to hug and pet and love her. I left her a couple of times with my parents and she just stood in front of my dad, for hours, as he pet her.

We parked at the Thousand Trails campground there, where we are members. We get the first 30 days of camping free, and after that it's only $3/day - that's the good part, the bad part is that it is an incredibly sandy, dirty park. Ari loves to lay under our rig so Bill laid out a big mat underneath for her to lay on, but as you can see in the pic below she liked the part 2" off the mat, in the dirt!

We spent about 4 days in the 100 degree temps and then drove into Riverside to take Bebe into the Ford dealer to see why the engine overheating light kept coming on. They needed to order parts so we stayed the night at our friends, Clarke & Elaines favorite campground, Rancho Jurupa. They've workamped here a couple of times and it is a beautiful park with GRASS!

I had an appointment to visit my daughter on Thursday afternoon and since we didn't know how early the rv repairs would be done, I made the decision to drive up to the bay area separately, take the dog the final leg home, spend the night and have no problem making my 2:30 appointment, or so I thought...

We had an uneventful drive home - Ari wouldn't eat, drink or pee - just the best little passenger - every once in a while she'd come up for a pet or a scratch...but other than that, you wouldn't have even known she was in the car.
and then there was the homecoming...

Ari, didn't miss a beat, although she was sticking pretty close to Laurie, every once in a while she'd come up and just lean up next to me and give me a couple of kisses. She knew I brought her home...and we are both just thrilled we were able to do so.

I was lounging in Laurie's luxurious bed the next morning and ruminating on the last two weeks of Ari's adventures. Before Iyan went to pick up Ari in Mexico, he asked Laurie if she wanted to give the couple who had found Ari something for their troubles. Laurie said that in their culture it would be insulting to do something like that. How different from our culture is that? Here, everyone expects something for "their troubles," but there it's just what you do...something good with no expectation, nor desire for compensation....that's the kind of world I want to live in...  

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Back in Mexico.........

I haven't been to any others,
but as far as I'm concerned, it is...
It hasn't been more than 48 hours and we find ourselves back in Mexico....well, Los Algodones, anyway. The dental hygienist in Los Barriles had told me that I had a cavity in a back molar, but I didn't have time to address it right then, so Bill had the great idea that we could take care of it while we were in Yuma, and go into Los Algodones. We had been there a few years ago for dental cleaning and were very happy with the level of care. I asked my mom to check on prices for a filling in Palm Desert and she was quoted $190-$300; the Los Barriles office quoted me $90-$120, a Los Algodones DDS quoted me $60-$80, ok, I knew where I was going...well kind of, anyway. When I went to figure out what dentist we saw last time I googled him and found out that several months after I had seem him he died in a motorcycle crash in AZ. So, because I wasn't tied to any one particular dentist, I decided to follow Nina's recommendation, from The Wheeling It, and made an appointment with Dr. Eva Urena. We parked in the parking lot at the border and walked across the border a little before 10:00am and went directly over to Best Optical, as I wanted to get a new pair of glasses. For computer viewing, I had been wearing the very first pair of glasses I ever purchased, from my girlfriend Sindy's ex, in Sacramento - purchased around 2003, and really needed to get a new prescription. And since I was there I opted to get a new pair of bifocals as I wasn't happy with the last pair I had purchased in Costco - purely aesthetics, mind you. In thirty minutes I had an exam and 3 people pulling different glasses that would fit my tiny, narrow face  - basically kid glasses. Not a lot of choices anywhere I go, but I'm super happy with what I got. There was a guy working there, I wish I had gotten his name, but he had heard me TRYING to speak Spanish and he was very eager to help me. We had a long conversation about how best to learn the language and made a great effort to speak to me only in Spanish, so I could practice. It was a wonderful experience, over all, and I got two pair of glasses and an exam for $189. I had plenty of time to get to my dental appointment and my glasses were ready for me to pick up just a few hours later. 
In front of the cute courtyard at Dr. Urena's

My experience with Dr. Urena was equally good, albeit a little less comfortable. Her practice has seen quite an influx of "Wheeling It" followers, although most have admitted to not knowing either Nina or Paul. I was happy to tell her that we had, indeed, met them and thoroughly enjoyed their company.

While I was busy getting shot full of novacaine Bill got his curly locks cut off, which I sorely miss, and had started in on a michilada and some munchies. By the time I got there he had a beer and a margarita going...I couldn't eat or drink a thing until the numbing wore off, but as I sat there watching him imbibe a woman came up to offer me a free one minute hour later and I was as happy as he!
I did manage to walk into a grocer and pick up a few more of the fabulous refried beans Panty Free turned us onto in Cabo, but that was about, glasses, a massage and a chance to practice our Spanish again!

Back in the U S of A..........

I wonder how many times that particular statement has been said....not enough to do the research on it, but I do wonder! We had a totally uneventful border crossing, just the way we like it...Bill thinks it may have something to do with the officer military stickers on our rig and car, but who knows. I had picked the Nogales border crossing because it was reported to be the easiest spot for an RV to cross. A few miles before the border we pulled over and turned in our vehicle "TIP" permits. They have to actually physically remove them with a razor blade. The car permits are only valid for the time your visa is good for (up to 6 months), but the RV TIP is good for 10 years. You have to give them quite a large deposit, on your credit card, when you get your TIP and you don't receive it back until you return your TIP. The problem with leaving it on the RV is that if something happens to that RV and it doesn't make it back to the country to have it removed, within those ten years, you will not be able to receive your $400 deposit back, or be allowed to bring another vehicle into the country. So even though we are planning to return to Mexico in December, we had it removed. Especially because you do not need a TIP for Baja, so, unless we do the whole Ferry crossing again and travel through mainland Mexico, we will not need it.

First stop in the states was at Costco for gas - surprisingly to us, gas is cheaper in the U.S (well, in Arizona anyway!) We stocked up on Bill's favorite - Costco's American Vodka; scored some amazing vegan black bean soup and a wonderful quinoa/brown rice blend as well and we were off to Casa Grande RV Resort for two nights to regroup.  The park was pretty empty but had a nice pool and jacuzzi in addition to a few pool tables. Bill washed Bebe, who was absolutely filthy from all of our travels and I caught up on...what, I am not exactly sure! Oh, maybe it was our blog!

We moved on to Yuma on Thursday - originally we were headed here to replace our house batteries that had been giving us problems since December, but after calling the store where we had purchased them two years prior, we found out it was cheaper to buy the golf cart batteries we had seen at Costco. So Yuma ended up just being a stop along the way to California. We stayed at The Palms, another deserted AZ resort at the end of April, but this place was "firsta classa," as my dad would say! The grounds are meticulously cared for, the guard escorts you to your site, the work out room is fabulous, the two pools and jacuzzi are great and the billiards room - spectacular!

Driving me crazy in Mexico..

from Bill...

Just the thought of driving a 35-foot RV in Mexico is enough to make me crazy. Actually doing it seemed to me to be out of the question. Somehow Debby managed to find a way to convince me to go though, and in February this year we met up with the Mexican Connection group of the Escapees, an RV club, that travels annually to destinations in Mexico. This year they were going to Ensenada. Debby has been dying to visit Baja, and especially to see our friend Pat, who lives full time in Pescadero, a small town less than an hour north of Cabo San Lucas, near the southern tip of the peninsula. I admit that I suffered from the “hysteria” about drug wars, corrupt or fake Federales, kidnapping, and all that stuff, but the Escapees helped me to overcome those fears and give it a go.

After unloading anything we didn't want to take through customs on the way in or out, like a bunch of booze and our house plants, we were set to go. We met up with the Escapees at a KOA campground in Chula Vista, stocked up on last minute provisions, and headed out in the morning. Getting through the border and then Tijuana turned out to be easier than I had expected. Somehow we wound up having an escort through the city, which made that part of the journey pretty easy. I would not have wanted to go through that border crossing solo, but could have. There were about 60 RVs in the caravan, so we split up into groups of 5 or 6 and each group had an experienced leader (wagonmaster) that led us to Ensenada, in addition to a Tail Gunner - that really made it a much easier drive. Also, the group leader had scouted the route and prepared a road log that had kilometer markers and distances from the border with turns, topes, and other important information all spelled out. 

We had purchased a CB radio so we could communicate with other members of the group while on the road. This worked out well, but in hindsight, may have been a little unnecessary. There was a lot of chatter calling out topes and passing vehicles, but for a newbie like me it was comforting, at first anyway. After we split from the group and proceeded south with our friends, Bob and Sini, it was handy to communicate with them about pit stops, road hazards, etc.  The CB range is very limited though and on one occasion, when Bob and Sini had a problem with their awning and had to stop, we were out of range, and had to stop in the middle of the road, unhook the toad, and drive back to see what the problem was. That was probably a bad decision, but we didn't want to leave them behind, and there was nowhere to pull over or turn around.

For me, the worst part about driving in Mexico was the narrow roads. In Bebe, I felt like I took up the entire width of my lane and that my driver-side mirror was hanging out into the oncoming lane. It wasn't really, but it was close. Whenever a truck came in the opposite direction, I got all the way to the edge of the road to give it as much room as possible, and that was scary because there were usually no shoulders and occasionally the edge was eroded. Any misstep would spell disaster - after about a week though, I kind of got used to it. It was helpful when Sini radioed back that she could see my mirrors were missing the trucks’ mirrors by about two feet; it sure didn't feel like it.

Another thing I found difficult about driving in Mexico was the condition of the roads. There were many places where the roads were being repaired and there were detours alongside the road that were in really bad shape. Bebe would rock back and forth like a ship in a hurricane. And it wasn't just the detours. Most of Highway 1 in Baja was in pretty good shape, but when it was bad, it was really bad, and you couldn't see how bad, until it was too late. Every time I hit a pothole, I could feel it in my bones. Topes were the same. Topes are Mexican speed bumps. They come in all shapes and sizes and are usually well marked, but not always. There’s nothing worse than hitting a big tope at high speed. Ouch!  The worst one was on the way out of Magdelena de Kino. It was so high it just about took out our rear leveling jacks, and I was barely moving over it.

There’s a range of mountains that run down the Baja peninsula that you have to cross several times on the way to Cabo. Most of the crossings were no problem, but there were a few places where the road got very windy and steep, which along with being narrow, made driving in the mountains a challenge. Another fear factor was being passed on these winding roads by Mexican drivers and trucks. Occasionally I had to pass trucks that were just creeping up the hills—definitely white knuckle time.

My worst driving experience had to be in La Paz. We went to a newly reopened RV park (Aquamarina) that was in town and near the water. We had to drive down a narrow road in a residential area and didn't know exactly where we were going. The paved road ended before the entrance to the park and I was looking intently for the entrance and didn't notice a low-hanging phone line that caught my CB antenna. WHACK, down came the wire. We had to stop and get the wire off of the rig while the neighbors looked on in exasperation. They helped to pull the line off the road and we went on to the RV Park where we explained what happened to the manager. He went out and talked to the neighbors and told us not to worry about it. The phone company came out and fixed it the next day and wrapped it around a higher wire so we wouldn't hit it on the way out. I also took off the antenna since we weren't using the radio any more. On the way out of the RV Park, I was worried about the drop-off at the end of the steep driveway and wasn't paying attention to my back end. I started a turn a bit too early and scraped the gate—our first real ding. Bummed me out for a week at least.

South of Los Barriles, as you approach the tourist mecca of Cabo San Lucas, the road gets much better. It’s a four-lane highway through Cabo, and from Pescadero to La Paz. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven when I got on that section of highway. When I heard the road on the mainland from the ferry station to the border was also four lanes, I decided that it would be worth the cost of the ferry, which was considerable, to not have to drive back to the US on Highway 1 in Baja. The road on the mainland, Highway 15, was indeed a wide four-lane highway, but it was in much worse shape than Highway 1, on the peninsula. The potholes and general surface condition had me swerving all over the place to avoid serious damage to Bebe. It was certainly much easier driving, but in hindsight, I’d call it a toss-up as to which way was better.  

The ferry ride was another great adventure. We managed to get our paperwork taken care of with only minor issues, like the ticket office being closed on Good Friday, and the credit card being denied when I tried to buy our tickets online. There are basically two things you need: the TIP—vehicle permits—and your tickets. We got our TIP at the Ferry Station in Pichilingue on Good Friday. I think we were really lucky, because the whole place was deserted and when we got to the office, no one was there, but a woman that spoke pretty good English showed up while we were standing there and opened the office and took care of our stuff. Be sure to read the book so you know what to have to get your TIP: copies of registration, passports, visitor pass insurance, letters from banks, etc. Since the ticket office in Pichilingue was closed I went to the ticket office in La Paz Saturday morning and got our tickets. The girl at the office told me the ship was very full and there were no seats available, so I got a cabin. This turned out to be a good call, because the ferry ride is about 9 hours from when you board until you disembark. Also, she didn't charge me for our bikes since they were attached to the car. Had I done this online, I wouldn't have known that.  The best part though, was getting onto the ferry. I had to park Bebe with the trucks, which were packed in like sardines. I had to back into the ferry without knowing where I was supposed to go. As it turns out, I had to back up the entry ramp and then down another ramp to the bottom level of the ferry, and it was very, very tight. I had a lot of help from the crew and managed to get situated without much trouble. There was a lane painted on the ramp, and had I known where I was going, I could have slipped right in there. I think the crew was a little disappointed with how slowly I was moving, but I went as fast as I felt comfortable with, which wasn't much more than a crawl. Getting off the ferry was pretty easy. I just had to back up and drive forward off of the ship. My advice to those who read this and are thinking about trying it: It’s tight but manageable;, stay between the lines; there’s plenty of overhead room for your rig; unless you’re the last one on board don’t be in a hurry to get to your rig for disembarking—a queue will form at the exit door but they will call you by your deck, so the queue doesn't matter; do note the deck where your RV or car is parked on the ticket folder if they don’t do it for you; get a cabin; the lunch line starts early and the food runs out early so get in line and eat early; try the bloody Mary’s with a beer back; talk to the truckers if you can—they’re friendly for the most part. The RV park in Los Mochis was completely closed when we got there (not an rv or soul in sight), but there’s a place to park at the Pemex station on Highway 15 just before the Los Mochis exit—it’s free but tips are appreciated (always tip your security guards) Watch out if you buy gas at that Pemex station—their scam is to take your money (usually a 500 peso note or two) turn around and swap it with a 50 and then turn back and tell you that you didn't give them enough. Boy did I feel dumb when I figured out that I’d been taken when we were getting ready to pay for dinner that night in Guaymas. Also, expect a DUI check on the road to Los Mochis from the Ferry Station.

Weighing both vehicles before paying for our tickets.

Debby took this while she was driving - she didn't have to back in,
but you can kind of see the semi backing in.

Another bad photo from Debby, she had to drive up the ramp, and then down another one.

Our cabin - we had our own bathroom too, which was convenient.

Post parking celebration!

There are a lot of stories out there about getting ripped off at the gas stations, but in my opinion they are overrated. Other than the station in Los Mochis, I never had a problem. I always got out of the RV and made sure they zeroed out the previous purchase before they started pumping. Apparently they know Americans are concerned about this because at several stations the attendants pointed at the pump and said something akin to “see, zeroes.”

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Hashers/Burners in the House!

Our friend Panty Free, aka Laurie, usually travels to Cabo every winter. The past two winters she had not made it down, but when she heard we were going she put it on the top of her wish list. Our friend Daniel, aka, Cheek, has been itching to come out and hang out with us on the road and really wanted to come down to Baja. The two knew each other, not well, but I told Daniel to talk to Panty and maybe they could work something out and come down together. Plans were set in motion and I commenced with ordering things online and making up a wish list of a few things I'd like them to bring down. Getting mail and packages in Mexico is not easy and then there is the duty you have to pay on everything you buy online. There were two things that were on the top of my list - an ATT "Go" phone and a letter from Chase authorizing us to bring our Subaru into Mexico. The phone I needed in order to receive calls from my daughter, who is in jail. She cannot call a long-distance number and the Google or Skype talk wasn't working because the internet wasn't fast enough. We were hoping the go phone would work - my ex purchased one for me, activated it, loaded it with money and mailed it to Laurie for me. The Chase letter we needed because we were thinking we'd like to try taking the ferry from La Paz over to Topolabampo, on the mainland of Mexico, and drive their nice (or so we heard) 4 lane, wider highway home. It was going to cost us close to $800, but save us about $300 in gas, a couple of nights on the road - including campground fees, and more importantly, my husband's sanity.

We anxiously awaited their arrival - the site next to us was available and they settled in nicely making our camp look just a bit like a burning man encampment.
Panty's trailer is on the left, Cheek's shade structure over his tent is in the middle back,
the doggie shade structure is in the front middle, and we are on the right!

They were both happy to stop traveling for awhile. The drive down can be exhausting when making a bee-line for the cape so we just chilled and they settled into our slow-paced life of hanging at the tiki bar, walking the beach & hitting our favorite bars. Cheek spent a lot of time swimming and throwing the ball for Ariadne, Panty's dog. Right now we are all very sad because somehow Ari got lost on their travels back home around Rosarita Beach and she is still missing. She is the sweetest and most well-behaved dog I have ever met.

Laurie and I took off for a girl's day in Cabo - we started at the Mercado Organico in San Jose where we picked up some fabulous veggies, then headed to Cabo to the custom swimsuit shop where we had custom suits made - so much fun! I brought in a suit and a pair of boy short panties that I wanted copied, picked out some fabulous material and it turned out SUPER CUTE!
We hit the atm for cash and then found an awesome spot for margaritas!
Can you spot her?!
 We had so much fun in this place - trinkets and do-dads everywhere you looked - and Laurie bought me a super cute purse! 

We had a lot of fun filled, chill days. I found a cross-fit for Daniel to go to on the beach, which he said was the best one he'd ever been to. I enjoyed my last days at the yoga studio and another class I found on the beach. I finally rented a SUP (stand-up paddleboard) and want to do more of that. We went to sleep listening to the cows walk down the street with their bells clanging and woke to the sound of the roosters and birds. Bill started running again in preparation for his relay run around Lake Tahoe and life just didn't seem like it could get better. We kept putting off our last day, but finally Daniel and Laurie left, Daniel to go to a friend's house in Cabo and Laurie to try and get her trailer axle fixed and go visit Pat on the pacific side. Laurie brought Pat back to Cabo where we all met up at the rv park where Laurie and Pat first met. 
Villa Serena RV Park, Cabo San Lucas

Laurie and I went to pick up our suits and retrieve our atm cards that both of us had left in the machines - and guess what folks, the bank had them! We hit Mi Casa for margaritas again, and then hit the road to take Pat back to Pescadero and head up to Tecolote Beach where we wanted to camp on the beach for a few days while we tried to see if we could get on the ferry. Boy do I wish I had a pic of what that beach looked like when we got there, the Thursday before Easter! Semana Santa is what they call the Easter week of vacation here, but it's more like 2 weeks and it seems as if every single person in Baja heads to the beach for a party. Our friends, Sini and Bob, were on this beach about 6 weeks before and it looked deserted. Laurie and Daniel had been on this beach the week before and again, deserted - the beach that day looked like Mardi Gras times 10! Bill and I took one look at each other and said NFW!! I made a call to the rv park in La Paz where we had stayed on our way down and they had plenty of room for us, so off we went...and what a great idea that was! 

This is Cheek's set-up - the sea is right behind those trees.

                                                                                       Our last meal together...

Our last night in Baja.....for awhile...