Friday, February 7, 2014

Connectivity Update...and other fun stuff!

Yesterday, Bill went to the market here, for the first time, and came back with a six pack of the great beer we had at Hussong's the day before - Bohemia Obscura. It's a yummy, malty beer with Frida Kahlo's picture on the pack. Brian - we've saved the box for you! He also picked up a 6 pack of Tecate, made just a few miles north of here. Bill went specifically to the market to get the remaining ingredients he needed to make the sofritos recipe he's been working on all week. He also decided to make some cilantro rice - this coupled with the Cuban black beans I made last week made for one of the most delicious meals ever - a true rival to Chipotle's salad. I'll take Bill's version any day of the week over the Chipotle one - which I really do like, btw.

After I got a bit of work done this morning, Bill and I set out to do a little exploring. I have the "Happy Cow" app on my phone and was searching for vegan/vegetarian sites on it and found there was a restaurant not too far from where we were staying. We set out to find it and had fun looking at their very large menu that was 100% vegan!

We also went to the TelCel store to see about getting an internet card to use with our Wifi Ranger router. Luckily we found an agent who spoke a little English. We were able to purchase the USB device for 300 Pesos - about $23. She activated the card and gave me a few, very quick instructions on how to buy data online - NOT!! Well, lucky for me that I don't believe in reinventing the wheel and after about and hour of struggling with the TelCel site and my very bad Spanish I came across this blog that walked me through each step to register and pay for data. I am happy to say that we now have 3Gig of data for 30 days aside from the 1 Gig on my iPhone. I have been using Google Translate all day to help me with this as well. I kept getting these Spanish texts that I thought were spam but have turned out to be tips on how to use the TelCel internet.

Another note on connectivity... we have had a mailbox at a center in South Lake Tahoe for the last four years. We call about once a week and go through what's in our box with Angie, Dan or Susan - telling them to throw away the junk and giving them an address where they can forward our mail to us. It's not cheap and no competition for the wonderful mailing centers they have for nomads in Texas, Florida and South Dakota, but in Tahoe, that's all we've got. Both of our business' have kept us California residents for now, otherwise we would change our residency to one of the more "nomad-friendly" states. I knew that the mail was not too reliable to and from Baja so I bought my son (who lives in Tahoe) a scanner, and hired him to go to my mailbox each week and scan in all of the important stuff and email it to us. More importantly, he will deposit any checks that have arrived directly to our account.

We had another happy hour with our group, the Mexican Connection of the Escapee's. They do not just plan an annual trip, but the main focus of the group is the charity work they do while they are here. We all brought items to donate to charity, items to auction off to each other and a 50/50 cash raffle has been going on all week where half the money will go to charity and the other half to the winner. We also found out tonight that one of our travelers is a recently retired fire-fighter from Durango who brought down $30,000 worth of fire equipment that his station was no longer using and will be donating that to a small fire department here just outside of Ensenada. The department here is comprised of men that fight fires in their street clothes, so you can just imagine the importance of this donation. Bob, our friend we are traveling with, is a retired fire chief from Washington state and he told us that it is a very common practice for this kind of donation. It feels good to be able to, not only travel here, but be able to give back as well.

Oh, and last but not least, we hit up the Ensenada Costco and bought a beautiful bottle of  Don Ramon 100% Agave Reposada tequila that is absolutely delicious!


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