Friday, January 31, 2014

Four Directions

We haven't published any house pictures yet so thought we would show you our upper outside deck. The first one is looking South, then East, then North and then West. A few changes from last year. A new mural on one wall painted by a very talented, local artist. I will do a post on the mural. And that has been about it. The weather is nice and warm; 28 - 29 deg. The sun is bright and the Pacifico beer is very cold.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Mazatlan Storms

Usually when we come down for the winter to Mazatlan we manage to miss the bad weather. The summers here are very hot and humid and they get some huge rain storms. But by the end of October the storms have passed by and there is nothing but sunny warm days until we leave at the end of April. This year has been a little different. When we arrived here the first week of October the weather was still very hot and humid. We were showering 3 - 4 times a day and not even turning the hot water on! The water in the tinaco on our roof was so warm it was fine even turning it on. And we also got a number of storms. It poured buckets as you can see by the water in the street by our house.
And we had a tropical storm while we were here. It was called Sonjia. As you can see in the pictures it really soaked the city. What I can't show you though is the wind and the sound. The wind howled, literally you could hear it roaring like a freight train. We took everything off the deck as we were afraid we might end up having to pick things off the street.
The good side of the storms is they really clean everything and for just about the first time everything around the city is very green. Since the storm though everything has settled back down. Although so far this year we have had the nicest weather since we have been coming here, a big yeah for living in Mexico in the winter and not Winnipeg.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Roller Art

One of the things we really enjoy about Mazatlan is the wide range of cultural events available to us at a very low cost. We have a world class symphony, a great music school and of course the Angela Peralta Theater which hosts events ranging from modern dance, to flamenco,to a Bee Gees knock off band. Cultura Mazatlan also puts on a number of free events which we try to take in every year. This year we saw a classical guitarist playing at the Art Gallery and a classical pianist also at the Gallery. Then we saw a German Techno Rock Band who were set up at the Plaza Machado, which is about a 5 minute walk fro our house. But one of my favourites is the demonstration of Roller Art. It's very unique. Basically a number of local artists are asked to particiapate. The theme this year was Day of the Dead. Each artist carves a reverse image of their chosen design on a large 3' x 4' board. Then she will ink it with a thick layer of printers ink.
The inked board is then put in a frame on the ground and a paper put over the top and then a board to protect everything and an industrial roller is rolled over the inked board and paper.
And when it is done you end up with a one of a kind ink print that is sold and typically mounted in someones house. They usually sell for 5000 pesos and up depending on the artist and the design. This is our friend, Dave Robb who is very talented local artist holding his finished print.
Something a little different that we have never seen before. And it's all in Mazatlan.

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Hood

Sandie and I have been asked many times what it is like to live in Mazatlan? In particular what is your neighborhood like? Well the area we live in is called Centro Historico. It is located in the old, original, central part of Mazatlan. Many of the homes including ours are more than 100 years old and some even 150 years old. Some of the streets like ours which is called Venus (in Spanish it is pronounced Bay - noose) are very narrow and date back to when the transportation was by horse or carriage. Here is Sandie standing on our street just down from our house. The other street near us is Romanita de la Pena. Again a very old street but with more modern homes. Unfortunatly man of the old homes were torn down in years past and replaced with modern concrete boxes. There is now a Mexico wide society called INAH which is working to preserve the old buildings but unfortunatly many once beautiful old homes have already been destroyed. At the end of Romanita is the Malecon and the ocean. It is about a 5 minute walk for us to go down to see the sunset or enjoy a small beach called Olas Altas. We thoroughly enjoy our little slice of paradise. Sometimes the neighborhood dogs are too loud, sometimes the music is a little loud, sometimes the cars drive a little fast but all in all we are trying to relax and remember we are living the life in Mexico next to the Pacific Ocean so there really isn't that much to complain about in our hood.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Mexico at Last ... Again

Well here we are back in Mazatlan ... Again. This is our sixth winter in Mazatlan! Hard to imagine. It seems like only yesterday we stopped working, got Sandie healthy and drove down here. And Wow were we ever newbies. We didn't know where to buy anything, or how to get anything at all done. Crazy but great times we'll always remember. Well this year is a little different. We have our new house all finished except for some decorating and we are here for seven months. The prov of Manitoba now allows it's citizens to be out of province for a month longer now. So we had to decide if we wanted to come and extra month or stay and extra month. We opted to come early and miss the early cold weather. It has been interesting lets say. When we got here on Oct 5th we found only a few winter tourist already here and of course the folks who stay all year. AND IT WAS HOT< HOT HOT< HOT!!!! Did I mention it was HOT. Temperatures in the high 30's every day and extreme humidity. We were taking 3 -4 showers a day. It was so warm we never actually turned the hot water on, the water in our tinaco (which is a large storage container on our roof) stayed so warm you didn't need to turn the hot water on. Sure saved on gas though. We didn't do very much the first month. It was just too warm to do much. Relaxed and got settled mostly. Caught up with friends and planned a couple of projects for when it got a little more comfortable. And yes we managed to get to the beach a few times. Actually twice as much as last year already as this year we didn't have to be here for the house reno's and Sandie is healed up from her broken ankle. We will try to be more diligent in keeping our blog up to date for everyone this year. We have some projects and things that we will share with you as we go through this winter. And we always like to get comments back if you read this and suggestions as to what you would like to see or hear about while we are here.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mazatlan 2013

Sandie and I are regularly asked why we picked Mazatlan to live half of our lives and why we would ever actually buy a house here. Sometimes it is difficult to put into words the attraction to this city so we thought we would send along the newest Mazatlan promotion video which says it all in pictures. The people in the video are people we know here in Mazatlan. It is a few minutes long so grab a comfortable seat, a cold cerveza, put your shorts on, turn up the heat to get that local feeling (about 27 deg. today) look outside at the snow and cold if you are up north and enjoy. And maybe The Pearl of the Pacific will lure you down here to. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=FfLx3RNvwhY

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Home

Arrangements had been made to rent a little house on Ninos Heroes, just around the corner from ours, on Venus, but only for 2 months. We knew the pressure would be on and that we would be busy, but I don't think we realized just how hectic it would be. We simply had to have everything finished by the end of December, or we would be homeless. I was determined that we would be in our new home by Christmas Day. We had accumulated some larger pieces of furniture before we left Mazatlan last spring, and had stored it with friends, but there were still countless things that were needed. We were lucky to hit the sales when we arrived early in November (similar to the 'Black Friday' sales in the USA) and purchased all of our appliances and TV at a considerable savings. It did mean getting up at the crack of dawn to get to the stores to do this, but it was worth it in the end. That was the easy part. We needed tiles, lots and lots of tiles. We found tiles we liked for the floors easily enough, but they were either not in stock, or if they were, there were not enough of them. Finally Jesus took us under his wing and spent the day shopping with us and we found what we were looking for. We then started the search for the tiles necessary for the bathrooms and kitchen. We knew we wanted Talavera tiles, but they are difficult to find in Mazatlan in the quantity we required. We had friends who had `left overs` from their renovation projects and we were able to purchase three different patterns from them, and after more days of searching, found a store that was able to supply us with the plain colours we wanted. Of course, nothing is ever simple and at first they told us that the blue we needed was discontinued. I was quickly moving into panic mode, until we realized that `discontinued`is just another way to say `not in stock`. After what seemed to be forever, but was really only a few weeks, the blue tiles appeared in the store, and we were set to go. The staff at Home Depot were getting to recognize us. We needed light fixtures, ceiling fans, faucets for the bathrooms and kitchen, everything imaginable for building a house from scratch, the list went on and on. Our stack of receipts is close to two inches high! When we first heard that a Home Depot was arriving in Mazatlan and I was a bit put off, it just seemed so `nothern`and just not right. Don`t feel that way now, no way, don`t know how we would have managed without them. Other than the range hood for the stove, and the under the counter lights in the kitchen, we managed to achieve our goal to purchase everything that was required for the house right here in Mazatlan. And so, it is finished, and we are in. We made the move on December 29th, not by Christmas Day, but close to it. We still have things we want to do, and there are blank spots on many of the walls, but it doesn`t matter. We are in, it is home, and we are thrilled.