Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Note: If you read this entry earlier, some more has been added throughout and at the end.

Catavina BCN ... Rancho Santa Ynez RV Park ... Day 31 ... brr-r-r-r (54 degrees this morning inside the rig) the weather changed dramatically ... back into the winter clothes ... hmm-m-m-m. Memories of basking on the beach.

We had a lovely day driving north. The wildflowers are ablaze everywhere. Our Kodak moments came and went so fast we couldn't get the camera coordinated. Everything is green, green, green. It must have rained the entire time we were gone. It rained on us most of the morning.

So this is a good time to catch up. Lots to share. Going back to last Saturday night, Day 27, March 19th ... Santispac Beach ... early evening found many at Ray's Place, a restaurant not to be missed, according to the local lore ...

Ray's has a neat little bar ...

Shar, Linda and Val were enjoying the scene ...

As well as Kathy, Pam and Doris ...

Another table found Ann, JoAnn, Betsey and Marsha ...

Ray has a menu on a board and it is ALL fish, except the last entry, a New York steak. Since this kid eats little seafood because of the mercury contamination and my week's limit had been reached ... this is what I ordered. And was it good.

Yes, I checked out the Mexican beef and determined
it is fit to eat (healthy).

The sign over the bar reminded us of a house rule ...

They were out of rice pudding with Kahlua ... dratz ... so we went up the beach to Ana's ...

... to see what she had for dessert. A little chocolate cake topped with flan ... very popular in these parts. Hint: You can get it at Costco.

Day 28, Sunday morning at Santispac Beach, our last, boohoo.

Burle had been advertising for several days about his Pie Iron breakfast, you bring your own bacon, egg, and two slices of bread. So we did.

This is a group hunkered over the fire cooking their breakfast in a pie iron,
a cast iron contraption that has a top and a bottom and they clamp together, with a loooong handle.

Burle helping Pam ...

This is the finished product, yum. Cheese was added to your creation by Happy if you chose.

Cannot reveal who owns this shirt ...

After breakfast this was a day of diving for chocolate clams, kayaking way out with the birds, and Star Reporter Rosalie has a story for you with pictures.

In the afternoon a group gathered to practice for the video that Pam Byers wanted to make of "our" song, "A Little Cottage in the Woods," ... this is another one; song that is.

A little cottage in the woods [Make teepee overhead with hands]
A Little man by the window stood [Shade eyes and look afar]
Saw a rabbit hopping by [Cup hands like a kangaroo and bounce a little]
Knocking at my door. [Knock on door]

Help Me! Help Me! Help Me! he said [Raise arms in air 3 times]
Before the hunter shoots me dead [Shooting gesture from side to side]
Come inside, come inside [Scooping motion repeatedly]
Safely to abide.
[Petting up arm motion]

Here's the deal. You demonstrate and sing the words first time around. Second time the first line is in mime only, and you sing and demonstrate the rest of the words.

Third time around the first and second lines are in mime and the rest is aloud. Continue through until the last time is total silence with the mime motions. Also the 5th line Help Me is outloud each round. Before the end the participants are doubled over in fits of laughter and much stress is alleviated.

This is the second line: A little man by the window stood.

Now, wasn't that just the most fun?

At 4:00 was the Doggie Fashion Show.

Michele appeared with her one-man band and she let out the clarion call: Let the Dogs Begin.

There was a lot of fuss and staging.

This is Sydney ...

And the three Schnauzers Cody, Star and Peanut.
Cody and Peanut are the parents of Star.

Cody is doing a little showing off ...

And then Peanut got into the act.

Tinker was being a bit haughty ...

Kipper and Brew next appeared .... Brew trying to be incognito.

Jinx was showing off ...

Tootsie became a Mexican dog and had a time keeping her hat on ...

And you all remember Maizie?

There is another dog named Paulie, a border collie ... I didn't see him around in the fashion show, but here he is from another sneak shot earlier in the trip.

The show ended with judges awarding first prize to all the entrants. The judges were supposed to be all the folks who do not have dogs, but I don't think that's what happened. Anyhoo, a good time was had by all. I think the prizes were Hershey bars. For dogs? Oh, well.

Note: I tried really hard to show off all the dogs (the cats were all hiding under beds) and my apologies if any are missed. Please let me know.

We left very early the next morning headed for Santa Rosalia, a French Colonial mining town of old. The sun was just coming up.

And as we turned right on to Mexico 1, this sign was just ahead.

Santa Rosalia for Breakfast ....

We left so early we were in town by 8:06 a.m. Right across the street from where we parked is an old locomotive ...

Copper was mined in this area from 1870 to 1950. The homes in Santa Rosalia are mostly French Colonial and made of wood from the Pacific Northwest. Most of the streets are paved, unusual for Mexico

We walked down the main street to the church designed by Eiffel, as in Eiffel Tower, which was prefabbed in France and shipped over.

I stopped in for breakfast at the local hotel where they served in an outdoor dining room right on the street.

Marilyn went across the street for lobster tacos and joined Ann, Shar, Marsha ... and why are you hiding JoAnn?

After the two-hour stopover in Santa Rosalia, we headed for our visit to the town of San Ignacio ... this is the mission church built in 1728 with walls of lava rock four feet thick with a very high arched ceiling.

Trip trivia: To make a phone call in Mexico you find a booth like this on the street ...

... and with a prepaid phone card purchased at most places of business you make a call.

Marilyn and I had a little adventure with the rig while in town. Going in was a snap and going 3/4 of the way around the plaza was also. When we decided to leave the 4th side was totally blocked with policia and a huge tour bus and so we went straight up the street. Eventually (you guessed it) we ran out of street. Turning left or right (as in most situations like this) are narrow unpaved streets/roads and one must then make an important decision.

In our case there were two of us and Marilyn started walking ahead around a blind curve to see what's up. I stayed with the rig and kept smiling and nodding to the crowd that began to form ... after all, there is this huge behemoth idling in the middle of their small narrow street and this is a call to the neighborhood to come out and take a look. Typical.

Marilyn came back and announced that there was a place around the corner where we might "possibly" turn around. What the hey, there is no other place to go ... so she climbed in and we proceeded. The outcome of the story is good, we were able to turn around by backing into the front yard of the Police Station, with nobody paying one bit of attention to us.

So now it's time to head for the Rice and Beans RV Park where we will have dinner and spend the night.

While waiting for dinner on their delightful porch, I spied this old oven off the deck.

Doris ordered a guacamole with chips.

And Rosalie ordered a shrimp soup.

Oftentimes I get so busy doing something else that the pictures for the rest of the story don't quite get taken.

Here's Rosalie enjoying her dinner ...

... and the rest of us (Julie, Pam, Doris and me) are, too, we just didn't get photographed.

More trip trivia: Electricity in RV parks can be problematic. The local source seems to control the amount you get and it oftentimes is too high or too low ... in either case it can ruin your electrical systems ... computers and whatever else ... beyond repair ... egads. So it is important to travel with an inexpensive polarity checker and a volt meter and an expensive surge protector. The other part of this is to be able to step down electrical needs from 50 to 30 to 15 amps.

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