Monday, October 31, 2011

Last Day(s)

Saturday some of us headed to El Centro or downtown.  We wanted to take in the Mercado and show Dave and Laura the cathedral and the downtown area.  Steve stayed back with the four boys and they camped out in the swimming pool for the day.  Millie talked Gracie into going with us, but she wouldn't go near the pigs' heads in the meat counters!  Gracie did get her twirly dress and Laura found some cool earrings.  We had to finally leave the market because it was a bit overwhelming for Gracie.  Then to the fabric store, but I need time to think, which is hard to do when you're with a bunch of people and it was really hot so I just decided to forget the fabric shopping.  Too bad-fabric is dirt cheap there, and they are more into the apparel kind of fabric and less into quilting.  So off to the cathedral.

 It's such a beautiful church, and there was a wedding just starting, which thrilled Gracie.

Dave and Laura in the square in front of the cathedral.  I think I need to frame this-a great picture of the two.

Lunch at Panama then back to the Golden Zone so people could buy the goodies they saw there the other day.  For the first time, I went upstairs in Seashell City to the museum.  Pretty nice-this is a fountain, completely encrusted in seashells.

Dave, goofing off.

That night, we fed the kids macaroni and cheese and the adults ate a nice grown-up dinner in the resort restaurant.  Sweet and sad-nobody wanted to go home.

We left for the airport at 4:30 the next morning.  We got back to Montana at about midnight, so we were an exhausted group!

 I don't know how he sleeps like that!

Or that way, either!

A nice little place for a nap.

 And another one bites the dust!

There went the girl, too!

Gracie sobbed all the way to the airport and when she got out of the taxi she threw up on the sidewalk.  She did NOT want to leave Mazatlan!  I think the grand throw-up total for the week was four for Sam and two for Gracie.  Plus Sam had a pretty bad allergy attack after the Fiesta.  Didn't seem to make them sick, they just threw up.  Millie was so embarrassed she washed the bedding at 1:00 A.M.!

We're already planning our next trip-hopefully sometime in late February or early March.  My heart is still there, but now comes the hard part-the knee surgery-so I have to wait until I'm cleared to fly.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Another Fun Day

On Friday, the first thing I did was watch this cloud over the ocean pick up the rising sun's rays.

It almost looks like a mushroom cloud.  The weather forecast was for rain, but it never came.  Steve, Chris and Isaac headed out for a zip line tour.  The rest of us, all but Irene, headed to the aquarium.  First, Stan, Dave, Laura and I headed for a drug store to buy some Poli Grip.  The cashier looked at us-probably wondering which one of us had false teeth!  Laura had a temporary crown come out, and Millie had suggested this.  It worked well-that crown stayed in until they got home.  I'll be remembering that!  Then we hopped a pulmonia for the aquarium.  Jim, Millie and the kids got to see the sea lion show, but we were too late for that.  We hooked up with them just after the show got out and walked around with them.  Of course we saw sea turtles:

 And many, many fish:

We did get to see the bird show, very cute!

 Just watching the kids' faces was entertainment for me.  Everything was in Spanish, but it wasn't hard to figure out what was going on.

It was very reasonable-85 pesos for adults and 60 pesos for children.  That works out to about $7 and $5-not bad for a whole afternoon's entertainment.

Then we headed to Mega for more groceries then back to the resort.  The kids got a huge kick out of riding in the pulmonias-half of us in one, half in another, and we had to keep shouting and waving to each other!

We had a taco supper and the kids hit the pool.  The teens and Steve related an awesome time zip lining.  They even got to tour a tequila factory-and grumped because Uncle Steve wouldn't let them taste the finished product!

Then to bed-whew!  We were all pooped, and we had one more day of fun to enjoy.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Jungle

We knew we wanted the kids to take the Jungle Cruise.  This is a tour of an estuary in the mangroves on Stone Island, and a walk through an old time Mexican farmyard, where we saw a cayman and several sea turtles.  This is followed by a stroll on the beach-we were carried there from the farm on a "Mexican Hummer."  Actually a big trailer pulled by an old tractor.

Crazy happy family.

 Don't remember the name of the smaller birds, but this is the first time I've seen them-probably has to do with the time of year.

The waterway through the mangroves.  The tide was still high enough for us to boat through.  During low tide it becomes a mud bog.

On the "Hummer."

Stone Island has the best beaches in the area.

After the hour or so on the beach they hauled us back to the hut, where our delicious lunch of fish cooked on mangrove wood waited for us.

The tables and benches were petrified palm tree trunks.

Our dessert was coconut candies-actually macaroons-made with fresh grated coconut.  So yummy and they gave us the recipe.

Then we headed back, and Fernando our guide brought out a bucket of fish to feed the pelicans.  He asked for volunteers and Sydney was first in line.

Pretty cute!

I had to get a shot of that hat!

That night most of the guys went to a baseball game.  Mazatlan has a professional AAA team-some of the players even come from major league teams in the US, wanting to stay in shape during the winter.  They do this at a mere fraction of what they earn in the US.  The guys had a blast-they showed Stan on the JumboTron and played Christmas music.  He played along and waved.  The crowd cheered and some lady from Canada passed him her e-mail address.  Nice try lady, that Santa is taken!

The name of the team is "El Venados" the deer, since Mazatlan was named by the local indians, "Land of the Deer."  Here is their mascot.

The family had had spaghetti for dinner, but I didn't eat since I was allergic.  So after the guys left, I freshened up and went to the restaurant all by myself and had a lovely shrimp salad.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Wednesday we all piled on the bus and headed to the Golden Zone.  I'm sure that bus driver did a double take when 13 people got on and all of the same family!

We went to my favorite souvenir shop, "Colibri" only to find out that Mari Lisa had closed up and moved on.  She was well beyond retirement age, so I hope that's what she got to do.  By that time we were already very hot so we stopped at Pancho's for a snack.  They ordered nachos, and since I couldn't eat that I ordered flan, but it wasn't finished cooking.  So after everybody else was done eating, they had to wait for me while I ate a scoop of ice cream.

A mariachi band wanting to play for the diners.

Our view north from Pancho's

Christopher had this wild idea he should get a tattoo, so we split up and they went in search of a parlor.  We walked through the Zone and took a "spider" back.  It's a small pickup with benches in the back and a tarp over the top.  It's called a spider because it seats 8 adults.  Turns out Christopher was creeped out over the tattoo parlor so they hopped a pulmonia and got back to the resort just about the same time we did.

 Father and son cruising along in the spider.

 Dave and Laura.

Gotta love the iguanas!

Then on to the Fiesta Mexicana at El Cid.  Usually we go to the fiesta in the big conference room on the street side of the hotel, but a guy came by and led us to the main dining room which faced the beach and had much better food in the buffet.  They also had the same show.  Irene decided to stay home-I think our mob was tiring her out!

 Gramma got to sit at the kids' table-I loved it!  Millie got the biggest kick out of the fine dining lessons I was giving.  They thought it was so cool to be so fancy.

Had to watch Gracie-she thought it was wonderful that the waiter would keep her in all the chocolate milk she wanted.

She was captivated by the beautiful twirly dresses.  Told me I had to make costumes for her and Sydney for Halloween next year-Syd in a white suit and sombrero and Gracie in one of those dresses!  Notice her fine hair is already popping out of the braids.

Then another ride home in a spider-we crammed all 12 of us in it.  Grandpa rode up front with the driver and had a great conversation with him.  That's what I love about Mazatlan-the people are so open and friendly.  The grown-up kids were not used to the unlimited beverages and were a bit (bit?) tipsy.  Steve and Millie entertained us with constant jabs and barbs at each other.  

The second best part of the night was hearing my favorite singer, Oscar Gomez.  The best part was watching my entire family all together enjoying the evening and each others' company.  Made me all misty-eyed!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


We decided not to get too excited the first couple of days.  The kids were infatuated with the pool anyway, and you have to go for that first walk on the beach.

We did go to Mega for groceries.  Millie wanted the little kids to see the store and pick out baked goods.  Dave and Laura came along too, so Dave could get ingredients for limeade, and hopefully for foccacia bread to go with the planned spaghetti supper.  We couldn't find yeast however, and I didn't bring my dictionary to look up the word.  Turns out we were too tuckered out to cook so we ate in the resort restaurant again.

We had a really cool experience  Monday night.  There is a group in Mazatlan that is working to save the endangered sea turtles, and they planned on releasing a bunch of babies into the ocean at the resort.  All my grandkids got a chance to release one!

Tuesday was another low key day, but some of us rode the bus to the Golden Zone, the tourist area.  More walking on the beach, swimming in the pool, and we bought shrimp from the guy on the beach.  He goes at the crack of dawn to the fish market and walks the beach in front of the resort with a cooler.  He always sells out.

Gracie has wanted to get braids in her hair since her parents were there in March, so that was a priority.


She sat so well for the lady, usually she hates to have her hair messed with.

We stuck the spaghetti fixings in the freezer and cooked our shrimp.  We ate every bit.

Father and son shrimp cleaning team.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Well, we made it home!  We did have a wonderful time, not without a few hiccups.  We had trouble getting there-remember how nervous I was about making our Mexico City connection?  Well we didn't.  The Butte Delta people messed up our boarding passes so we had to get them printed in Mexico City, therefore missing our connection.  I love that my daughter-in-law is on my side-she took the Delta people by their short hairs and stood her ground until they agreed to put us up in the airport hotel for the night.  The only problem was there wasn't another Aero Mexico flight into Mazatlan until the 20th-four days from then!  So instead they flew us to Culiacan, about 120 miles from Mazatlan, and then we took a taxi to Mazatlan.  Crazy but it was cheaper than buying bus tickets for 11 people and quicker since we wouldn't have to stop in each little town.  Our luggage made it just fine to Mazatlan and after we arrived Tuesday morning, they brought it to the resort.

Here we are at the airport in Butte:

Then Salt Lake:


Then here we are in Mexico City, after our blowup at Delta, at the Carl's Jr. where Sam threw up on the floor.  (Oh yeah, of course we had a sick kid-makes the day complete!)  He doesn't look sick but boy he sure tossed his cookies!  He did it all night the night before, too.

At least we only had to walk to our gate from the hotel-no taxi needed.  Gracie begged her mom to please not wake her up so early again!

But we made it-in time for lunch:


And we got to see Dave and Laura for the first time in about four years.  I called Dave from Mexico City and told him to have dinner on me, and hopefully they would see us on Monday.  So glad they did see us!

We were exhausted, but we were finally there.