Hello! Hope everyone is enjoying the Holiday season.
Let's see, where do I begin? I have so much to catch you up on. I guess I'll back track a little bit to our trip in Texas which by the way was very short. I hate that we were not able to visit with many friends or family. Bob told me before we left Mazatlan that our trip to Houston wasn't going to be a "social" trip and he was right. But we did meet our goal of unloading our storage unit, repacking items and bought new items for our return to Mazatlan. Since we are now residences of Mexico we are able to bring all our household items across the border duty free which is a great thing. Let me tell ya; electronics and appliances are very expensive here. Sheets and towels are not the quality we're used to back in the States and costly.
Bob & I debated heavily on whether or not to pay someone to truck our stuff to Maz or do it ourselves. My vote was to pay someone. Bob of course insisted that we buy a "box truck" and drive it ourselves. As we all know...Bob normally gets what he wants. We bought a 14 ft box truck from a good friend of ours, Pete. Thank you, Pete!
It took Bob 2 full days to pack the truck up. 14ft is quite small when you're loading washer, dryer, refrigerator, 3 pc. couch set, patio furniture and 100 boxes of miscellaneous stuff. Bob is the "Master" of piecing all the puzzle together and making it all fit.
Our biggest fear was the border crossing. We've heard horror stories of trucks needing to be unloaded so Customs & Border Patrol could go thru all the items. I just mentioned it took Bob 2 days to load. Well, what can I say; we were blessed. Absolutely no hassles. They didn't even ask us to open the trailer. The Border Patrol was happy with the list I had prepared which listed all the items we had in the truck. They took that and waved us on. Amazing! You know what else was amazing? The drive. And of course our little boy, Reece.
Reece was a trooper! We flew him to Houston (in the belly of the plane) which I was a nervous wreck about. Since we used mileage; we had a 3 hour layover in Mexico City. It was a long day for our boy in a crate (10 hours) and he was awesome. My biggest fear was him not making the connecting flight. Well, Bob, my internet genius had read some tips on flying with pets. And this is great advise for anyone flying with their pets.
We bought a box of chocolates, printed out a small picture of Reece, attached it to the box, and wrote a note to the captain that we were traveling with our pet. If he would please check on him to make sure he was on the flight with us, that it would be greatly appreciated. Let me tell ya...that worked out fabulous for us. The flight attendant located us and said, "Reece was aboard and he was doing well." That made all the difference in the world to me. I was able to relax a bit and at the end of the day, he was a happy go lucky dog. No problems. And as for the drive to Mazatlan (3 day journey) Reece was perfect. He LOVES riding in a car/truck. We really lucked out with this little fellow.
Now, that we have all our possessions in Mazatlan we still don't have our condo ready. The finishing touches have been really slow. We won't get into all the issues but we are having them redo a lot of things that just don't meet our expectations. It could be any day now or who knows; it could be after Christmas. I'll have to keep you posted on that.
We want to Thank Gilda, Kuno, Maria and Caitlin; they flew over for 2 days visit. Love seeing you guys and glad you used your flying privileges to come to Maz. Come see us more often.
In the meantime, our calenders are filled with activities. Mazatlan is waking up and lots more snowbirds are filling the streets. Just like back home; this is the time of year of Holiday Cheer.
Merry Christmas and much love,
Bonnie y Bob
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Hello! Hope everyone is enjoying the Holiday season.
Posted by Bonnie N Bob's Travels at 7:19 PM
Friday, September 23, 2011
How has your summer been treating you? Hot? It's been a bit warm here too but not unbearable. Living on the ocean really makes a difference. The breeze is absolutely wonderful but we still do most of our running around town in the mornings and or evenings and leaving afternoons for siestas.
It is official, we are the proud owners of Reece! This little guy is pretty special to us. When we fly back to Houston; he'll be joining us on the family vacation. Hopefully some of you will get to meet him.
I thought I'd post a few more pictures of him. Bob didn't like the ones I posted before.
|This is our view from our patio.|
Over looks our pool, the malecon and the ocean.
|As you can see; we'll enjoy some fabulous sunsets from|
the comforts of our home.
|Our unit is on the 4th floor and on the corner.|
We'll have two large size patios to entertain and.
the blue you see is our infinity pool.
|this is the Vue Centro Historical.|
I'll post more pictures as the project is completed.
Posted by Bonnie N Bob's Travels at 9:58 AM
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Hello to our family and friends. I know...I know! We've been out of pocket for a good while now. We've heard several voicemails from you and hear you loud and clear.
Bob & I are doing fabulous and staying pretty busy. The condo construction is coming along nicely. They say it will be completed by the end of October if not sooner. Humm! Since we live in the same complex that the condo is being built we're able to keep very close tabs and fortunately have had lots of input.
We are officially Residents of Mexico. ( Do not confuse with Citizenship.) Totally different meaning. The process for obtaining our residents was a breeze and just took a few hours out of our day to complete. We headed to the immigration office early one morning gathered the paperwork needed for us to fill out, went next door to a gentlemen who fills out all the paperwork in Spanish and takes our photos which is required; all for $100 pesos. The funny thing through this whole process was taking the photo. Apparently the Mexican Government uses photos of ears as we in the States use fingerprints for identification. We had a difficult time with this because the straight head shot needed our ears to be apparent in the photo. Well, neither Bob nor I have an issue with our ears sticking out and away from our head so, we had to improvise. The guy taking our photo put white folded paper behind our ears to make them stick out. Bob & I were cracking up at each other as we watched the photo session take place. I can tell you these were the ugliest photos we have ever taken. Not only did our ears had to stick out but we couldn't have hair on our foreheads so we both had to slick back our hair with water. Isn't that hilarious? We just went along with it and move on the next step. After the photo session we left our paperwork with the gentlemen for him to finish and we made our way to the bank to pay our Residential fee which was only a couple of hundred USD. Once we paid all we had to do was pick up our completed documents and photos and take them back to the immigration office. We handed them the packet and they told us to come back within 5-7 working days and our card would be ready. Really? That's it? Unbelievable! So, why is it important for residency for us? Well, with this card we are able to ship down our household items from the States duty free, we no longer have to pay the "tourist tax" that is applied to all airline tickets when purchased, we're able to apply for the Mexican medical insurance, we can stay in this country without having to leave every 6 months and we can have a car with US tags on them. There are lots of reason to have a residence card if you plan to live here year around.
Let's see what else is going on...I've been helping a friend out in her Spa in return I get free treatments such as nails, hair, massages and facials. Not too shabby! All I have to do is fill in when she needs to be away from the spa for any given reason. I work with the manicurist and masseuses by letting them know of their appointments, help translate for the Gringo community. The workers at the spa speak very little English so when a English speaking client comes in and wants something specific; hopefully I can relay that correctly. So far I'm doing well with that. We have a lot of men that come in for waxing. I just hope that I don't screw up and tell the girl working he's there for a bikini wax when he's really there for his back waxed. That could pose for a serious problem. hehehe! I've only had to work 2 days so far but Debbie has asked if I would have interest in working more. She's the owner of Tippy Toes ( www.tippytoes.com ) and would like to have some time off. I absolutely told her that I would be interested. I've never worked in a spa before but it's fun.
Here's some really big news. We've been fostering a little dog for a week. He was lost and we've been trying to track down his family. We know he was well cared for and we're sure he is missed. The vet says his about 2 years old and is a mix of a White Scottish Terrier and possible a Bishon or Poodle. He is adorable. He's very well behaved, potty trained and hasn't chewed up a thing. We do know he belonged to a Mexican family because he knows all his commands in Spanish and he still has his balls. Now we all know an American would have already neutered this little guy. We'll give a couple more weeks of trying to find his family. If his old family isn't found that we plan to keep him and get him neutered. I wanted to keep him after day 1, Bob took a little longer to get on board with the idea just because of the commitment and that having a dog in a high rise building is quite different from having one in a home with a yard. You want to see a picture of him?
This is Reese.
He is so stinkin cute! Those ears just kill me. He only weighs about 20 lbs and has been a wonderful "condo" dog. We love having him around.
Well, its time for my yoga class. We just wanted to touch base with you and let you know we are doing great. We've been promising to stay in better communication with everyone so, I'll start blogging more often. I just need to work it in; in between naps.
Love to all,
Bonnie & Bob
Posted by Bonnie N Bob's Travels at 8:18 PM
Monday, June 20, 2011
I was on my way to the Mercado last week when I saw a friend of mine in the plaza, Rosie. Rosie plays poker with us and is the wife of one of Bob's buddies. She's originally from here and speaks a little English which is why I really love hanging out with her. She forces me to converse in Spanish which I have enjoyed.
She asked me one day what my morning routine was like...if I were an early riser? I replied 'no, not normally, why do you ask'? She said she was looking for a friend to work out with and wondered if I would have any interest. Hummm? Well, I'm thinking I need this and a buddy would make it that much more fun so there I go saying "Yes" with a big smile on my face. Let's do this. What time do you want to meet tomorrow, I ask. She said 6:30 a.m. As you can imagine my mouth dropped. Do you know how much I HATE hearing an alarm go off these days? I said, "really"? She laughed. There I go again saying "OK, No problem"!
The 1st morning we walked about an hour & half at a nice pace. The Malecon was full of walkers, joggers, bicyclist, and skaters. It was beautiful morning and I was so glad I made the effort to get up. As we walked, we came across a dance studio offering Zumba classes. I love Zumba as well as Rosie so we decided our activity for the next day was Zumba. Classes are only 20 pesos ($1.70) a day or 50 pesos ($4.20) for a week.
I had every intention of buying a bottled water on my walk to the class but nothing was open at that time. I left the condo at 6:40 a.m. to arrive for the 7:00 class. O well, it's just an hour and I'll tough it out.
The class was small; 6 of us and no A/C. The studio had several freestanding fans circulating so, it wasn't too bad. Now, I take some pride in being able to shake my booty to some tunes but WOW, I was next to some 20 something year old who was amazing. So wouldn't you know that seeing her made me add more flavor to my dance moves. So much so, that I almost pass out. If the class were 5 mins longer, I'm pretty sure I would have collapsed. At my age this urge to be competitive is going to kill me.
I did dehydrate myself. No water, no A/C and I sweated my booty off during that hour. It took me awhile to muster the energy for my 15 min walk home but fortunately small corner stores where open. The 1st one I found I got a large bottled water. I had the headache, dizziness and the nauseous feeling. For some of my blog readers I had written about Pedialyte 3 years ago. I still swear by that stuff. Water wasn't cutting it and as soon as I bought Pedialyte and drank it, I felt 100% better. I think I'm going to have to make popsicles of this stuff and eat one every night.
Today was my 2nd Zumba class and I'm very happy to write that drinking water during the class really made a difference. No dehydration, no headaches and I felt fabulous after the class. And yes, my 20 year old motivator was in class next to me. I haven't committed to Zumba for a full week. I like it but it's still not the Zumba I do on DVD. The studio does 30 mins of aerobics first (which I hate) and then the last 30 mins is actual dancing. What I do love about it; is the atmosphere and I've met some really nice girlfriends. So, I'm thinking twice a week will do for me at this time.
Posted by Bonnie N Bob's Travels at 5:00 PM
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Hello! How is everyone doing? Well, Bob & I are staying busy and we've had lots on our plates the last few weeks.
We're pleased to announce that we have planted some roots here in Mazatlan and purchased a condo. We're back to "owning" our own place again. It's a little scary but at the same time very exciting. Our condo will have some amazing views of the ocean and the Malecon "Boardwalk", it's located in the El Centro area of town where we really enjoy being and it's walking distance to restaurants, bars, shopping and entertainment. The condo is located in the new phase of the building that's still under construction but the deal included a fully furnished unit in the 1st completed phase until ours becomes available. It's nice to know the developer. We meet & became friends with him & his wife while we stayed here for 3 months in 2008. Hopefully we'll be living in our new place sometime in November. Yeah!
We're expecting our 1st guests, Stephanie and Bracy at the end of June. They were our 1st guests in Honduras and will be our 1st guests here in Mexico. I'm almost sad that we're putting down roots... it's kinda cool to me that our guests get to discover & explore a new locale. Well that road ends here & now. Oh well, we hope they'll enjoy Mazatlan as much as we do. Can't wait to see them.
Some of you know that I'm keeping busy with a small project of being a food critic for an online Mazatlan magazine, called MazatlanLife.com. My friend, Sheila whom we met 3 years ago here in Mazatlan had been following us thru our travels by reading our blog. When she read that we were leaving the island life and that we were relocating to Mazatlan; she offered me a wonderful opportunity of writing for her magazine. Well, I'm very pleased to say that I have had my first article published. My 1st job assignment was to attend the Gastronomico Tour in Sinaloa. Which by the way I've re-named the "Gluttony Tour of Sinaloa". Sinaloa is the state we live in. The tour included 7 cities in 3 days all meals were included along with hotel stay. I met some amazing people on this tour including the Governor of Sinaloa but its not a tour I wish to do again. It was so fast and furious; It felt like cows being herded into a restaurant to graze and then we were herded back onto the bus to travel to our next meal. I was so tired of eating; I didn't even make it out of the house to the restaurant that was highlighted on the tour here in Mazatlan. Of course later I hear that this event was the highlight of the trip & that the best meals were served, but I just couldn't muster up the energy. I needed sleep and I needed a reprieve from food. For those interested; here's the link to the online magazine where my article was published. http://mazatlanlife.com/restaurant-review/ Please know that the prices I indicate for meals are in pesos, not dollars and currently that exchange rate is 11.825.
My next assignment is to tackle Asian cuisine in Maz. Now I'm really going to enjoy this task. I love Asian food and I've already scoped out a few restaurants that I'm dying to try.
I'm ready to find a lounge chair by the pool, read a chapter (OK a page) and then Siesta Time.
Bonnie & Bob
Posted by Bonnie N Bob's Travels at 5:06 PM
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Hola mis amigos y la familia,
It's been awhile. I just wanted to let you know we are doing fantastic and staying very busy. It didn't take us long to work out a routine in beautiful Mazatlan.
Currently we are living large at a fancy resort in the marina area called Torres Mazatlan. http://www.viresorts.com/resorts/tm.html Bob & I are very familiar with the El Centro area of Mazatlan but wanted to check out the feel of the marina area. Had I not lived on the island surrounded by beautiful water we would be living in El Centro hands down. What can I say, the island life spoiled me and I want to see water ALL the time. And why not since we are living on the coast? But the fact of the matter is there aren't too many ocean front homes for rent or sell in the El Centro area. So what do I think about the marina area so far? It's absolutely beautiful. There are lots of high rise condos in this area that are right on the water and might I add very reasonably priced. We leave our living room sliding door open all day and listen to the waves pound the beach and feel the cool ocean air throughout the apartment. As I said we are staying in a resort so that means everyone around us in "vacation" mode. Party...Party...Party. The resort host events all day long around the pool, discos or karaoke in the evenings and happy hour specials throughout the day. No, we don't participate too much. I mentioned we have a routine and that takes us away from the resort grounds.
I've started yoga classes twice a week in the evenings. The classes are held poolside which overlooks the ocean and they are in Spanish. It is an intermediate level and can be a little more difficult than what I'm used. Now I admit, concentration isn't one of my stronger traits so, I'm having a hard time staying in a balance pose for any length of time especially when there are pelicans dive bombing for a quick snack or cliff divers toying with fate. It's a great class and I'm learning lots of Spanish.
Bob has picked up tennis and has been playing several times a week. He seems to really enjoy it. We haven't played golf yet although Bob has a tee time next week. I know he's looking forward to that.
And we both play poker twice a week. We're doing OK for now in our poker playing. Bob started strong with a few big wins & I had a few 3rd place finishes, but the last few times out we've both struggled. Hopefully things will turn around for us, especially me as Bob told me just today that I need to start picking up the slack.
Amongst all our "play time" we are searching each day for our permanent dwelling. The market here in Maz is definitely a buyers market. We are looking at rentals and homes for sale. We do have one very strong contender. It's a brand new condo development in the Centro area and (drum roll please..) overlooks the ocean. But there are details to sort out and since it is a buyers market we're having fun checking everything out. I'll keep you posted as things progress.
Looks like we are going to have another amazing sunset. Time to grab a cocktail and head to the balcony.
Hope all is going well with you.
Take care and many hugs,
Bonnie & Bob
Posted by Bonnie N Bob's Travels at 9:02 PM
Friday, April 29, 2011
I can't believe our time in Texas is over! It doesn't matter how much time we spend there; there's never enough time to see EVERYONE. We hope we can catch up with you next time. Or my advice....Come see us!
I am now in Mazatlan having a great time. Unfortunately, Bob isn't with me at this time. He's been very busy helping his mom with a move and getting her settled in her new home. He'll be joining me in a week.
So guess what? I'm on VACATION! Woohoo.
As I mentioned I'm in Mazatlan and staying with some friends. I had no idea the motorcycle rally was going to take place this weekend. This place is wild right now. I left my camera with Bob and I'm missing some fantastic photo opportunities; bummer. The malecon "boardwalk" is one giant party. I'm loving the energy and remembering why we loved it here.
I'm still getting used to all the cars, though. I've always been a city girl but after being on the island...I really enjoyed not having roads, cars, honking, squealing brakes, and fumes. I'll adjust though.
Next week there's a Canadian PGA Golf tournament being played at one of the best courses here in Mazatlan. I'm on the volunteers list to help out with the event. I'm so looking forward to it. Not to mention I'll receive two free rounds of golf for my services. Sounds like a win-win to me.
Well, I'm pretty wiped out tonight. I'll be back soon.
Take care everyone.
Hugs to all,
Posted by Bonnie N Bob's Travels at 11:18 PM
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
You know the saying "Time fly's by when you are having fun"? I honestly think "Island time is even faster" which is a huge bummer!
Our journey to Utila isn't a straight shot. We had to fly to LaCeiba, taxi to the ferry and tried to board the Utila Princess. Our timing was a little off. We were told that the ferry left the dock at 10:00 a.m. As the taxi dropped us off, the ferry was leaving. What, come on? It's only 9:30. Well, guess we got some bad information but we made the most of it. Bob decided to visit a dermatologist in LaCeiba. He has a spot on his chest that was lanced off years ago but came back in full swing. This time he decided to get small mass cut out and stitched up. Nothing major and the doc is pretty sure there's nothing to worry about but as a precaution he'd mail it off to a pathology lab. Bob really like the doc and he did very well with the procedure.
We proceed on to the ferry dock where we caught the 4:00 ride to Utila. We have some of the most spectacular friends on this small island. When we dismarked the boat, we had a welcoming committee with beers in hand. We really want to thank John, Jeff, Monica, Andy and Lena for a wonderful greeting. You guys are the bomb!
We stayed with our good friend, John. Who we'd like to thank for putting up with us and throwing a nice BBQ party. He's a fabulous host and we really enjoyed our time with him.
Now Utila is way different island from Guanaja. Utila is a party island filled with young backpackers, lots of great bars, good restaurants and tons of night life. We lived on Guanaja for a little more than a year and the party scene is nothing like that of Utila and I have to be honest... Thank God!
Don't get me wrong in any form or fashion...we had an absolute blast but when you are good friends with 2 lovely ladies that own their own bars; going home early or sober isn't an option. It's the double edge sword...never have to wait in line for a drink and means for a long incoherent nights. I did manage to get in Texas Hold'em game; not that I won anything but it was great to play.
Our friend, JJ is a band member for the group The Barefoot Band and we were his groupies one night. We love live music and danced all night to their tunes.
What can we say...we had a rockin good time and what a fabulous way to send us off "island style".
We will miss ALL of our islanders and I will definitely miss the island living. I have no doubt that we'll back. It's a part of me and I'm not willing to let it go.
Bob & I are currently enroute to Houston. We'll be boarding our plane within the next 30 minutes and look forward to seeing our family and friends back in Texas.
Much love to everyone,
Bonnie & Bob.
Posted by Bonnie N Bob's Travels at 9:52 AM
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Well, our time in Guanaja is coming to an end. I knew the past few months would fly by and they have. We're packing, repacking and packing again. We found that shipping to Guanaja was quite easy but shipping back to the states; isn't so. We use Fernandez Express out of Houston but unfortunately they do not have a "import" license back to the States. Fortunately, we really don't have that much.
We leave Guanaja on the 22nd of February; but, before heading back to Houston we're going to stop in Utila for a week to visit our friends there. We're looking forward to seeing them. Here on Clark Cay; it's not so relaxing right now. The Pullum's are here with their guests and I've been cooking away. I'm ready to hand over the reigns to the new caretakers.
We'll be arriving in Houston on March 2nd. Can't wait to see our family and friends. We plan to spend a week in Tahoe do a little skiing and lots of gambling and then gather a few belongings and head down to Mazatlan Mexico mid April.
Now some of you are having some concerns with our decision to live in Mexico. Please don't. We know of all the problems with cartels and drug wars going on. Believe it or not; Mexico is a country! The problems you hear about from that wonderful media of yours, is around the border areas. Turn that crap off! By now, you should know that the media LOVES to report that absolute worst areas, crimes, & catastrophes. I shared this article with my facebook friends and I'll share it with you too. This article is actually written by a US journalist and FINALLY someone got it right. http://mazmessenger.com/2010/07/02/one-us-journalist%e2%80%99s-nonconformist-view-of-mexico/
Well my friends and family, we have a Farewell Party to attend to.
We look forward to seeing and giving everyone BIG hugs when we get back to Texas.
Bonnie & Bob
Posted by Bonnie N Bob's Travels at 11:09 AM
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Guanaja has a new judge and he is cracking the whip. First order of business is making sure everyone has their boats registered.
I know this sounds really simple and no big deal but it's been an ordeal.
I would say 10% of the islanders and expats have their boats with the proper Honduran title and registration. It is the law but this law has never been enforced.
Bob & I got caught in the sting a couple of weeks ago. While enroute to our favorite watering hole we were flagged down by a group of men heavily armed Naval Officers and the Municipal Police. At first I thought they were just being friendly (as we all are on the water) and waving at us. So, I wave back. But then their hand motions were more intense and we knew we need to pull over. As we pulled over they were asking for our paperwork. We asked, "what paperwork"? They said, if we didn't have our registration and title of the boat on hand we needed to go to the Municipal dock and wait for them. UGH! We got in line with the other boats they had pulled over and we were followed by smaller boat with 3 officers to make sure we complied.
We waited about 20 mins for the policia to arrive and give us further direction. Well their direction was to leave the boat in their possession until we could produce the documents. We're thinking "no way"; "They really want us to abandon our boat". Most everyone that was pulled over, handed over their boats. The policia were nice and offering all of us a ride home. We boarded their boat with cloudy judgement due to the shock. Luckily the clouds cleared quickly prior to pushing off and we decided to stay with the boat. We were told we could talk the Chief of Police to get more info on other options other than leaving the boat. He unfortunately was in the other boat that was pulling everyone over. So we waited and waited and waited; not knowing when they would return; afterall, it was early in the day we were sure there were plenty more offenders to rally up.
While waiting we had learned that the police was in full throttle because they had been caught sleeping. Apparently their boat was stolen literally from right behind their station. Whoever stole their boat took the motor and left the boat abandoned. Yikes. Not a good thing. So now they are pissed and ready to take action. They probably came to the realization that they're never going to find the true culprit to punish, so why not make everyone suffer for the actions of a few.
Guessing after 3 1/2 hours we finally get to talk to the Chief of Police. Short story is that we were handed all the paperwork that outlined the criteria of obtaining a Honduran title and properly registering the boat; we thanked them and went on our way with our boat.
We fully support the law and if that's what it is, we will definitely comply and get the documents in order.
It's been a few weeks since we were pulled over and the boats are still not registered. Not from lack of trying. Since we are registering the boats on the Pullum's behalf, we've been waiting on bill of sale, passports copies, and personal fotos from them. Which we now have. So, our first thing to accomplish is getting the proper Honduran Title in their name. To do that we must use a lawyer. Hey...Hey...the Municipal is supplying the lawyer for us. How nice of them? For a low cost of 2500 lps ($133) we can obtain a title. Seriously? How unfortunate for a lot of the islanders. That truly is expensive. The average daily wage of an islander is 300 lps ($16) You do the math. Fortunately, word is getting around to other islands and lawyers are offering to help out and file the documents at a much reduced cost. Once we get the title lined out then we take it to the Port Captain and register for yet another small fee.
This has been a process. And we have 4 boats (3 different owners) to register. Wish us luck!
Hugs to all,
Bonnie & Bob
Posted by Bonnie N Bob's Travels at 2:13 PM