Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Dogs in the Car

It's going to snow tonight ....

but we're trying not to think about it. We certainly can't complain about it to anyone we know around here.

This morning we took the car into the car 'doctor' just to make sure that everything was in shape for the long drive. Well, all will be in perfect running order AFTER we replace the battery and all four tires. Just general wear and tear, guess it's better that we discover these things now, and not when we're part way to Mazatlan.

Mentioning wear and tear, we took our 14 year old Abi to the Vet last week and she's in perfect health (unlike the car). We received her Certificate of Good Health, which we will have to show at the border, along with her Rabies Certificate. We also bought a 'giant' bag of her special dog food, as we won't be able to buy it in Mexico. (Mike and I are going to just have to make do with whatever we can find. More on that subject later!)

Abi, of course, simply had to come with us for the drive this morning. We have created a monster. Now, whenever we put our coats and shoes on, we find her sitting at the front door, whining and shaking. She is just desperate to get in the car, but hasn't quite figured out that since this was her idea, it might be a good idea to just settle down and enjoy the ride. This morning was an adventure; she shivered, shook, whined, paced, and just generally was a pain the whole drive. We are truly hoping that once we get her settled in the back seat with her favourite blanket and pillow, she'll just relax and sleep most of the way. (Seems to me that was the goal when we travelled with Jeff when he was young!)

We picked up a book offered by CAA called "Travelling with your Pet". It has been quite helpful, has lots of useful tips (like not sedating your pet, which surprised us) and also a comprehensive listing of 'pet-friendly' hotels, motel and campsites through Canada and U.S.

Mike also used a site called "petfriendlyhotels.com" to assist when making our reservations for the drive down.

So, basically, the dog is ready to go. Packing for her is easy - her certificates, food, her dishes, blanket, pillow and of course, two or three of her favourite toys.

Judging from today's performance however, think we might be tucking in ear plugs for Mike and I, at least until she gets the hang of it!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Is the pile getting bigger?

Two weeks today and we'll be on the road. We've dreamed about this for so long, seems hard to believe that soon the number of days before we leave will be single digits. We're having the coldest day so far in February, so really looking forward to the little numbers!

We went grocery shopping yesterday and realized that we now are planning almost every meal, right down the side dishes, as we can't be left with a fridge full of food on the day we leave. Soon it will almost be like living in Mexico, buying our meat and vegetables one day at a time. Eventually we'll have to pack up the knives, cutting boards and any other kitchen gadgets we just can't live without but will try to leave that to the last few days and then I guess we'll just have to depend on friends and family to feed us until we leave. (Thanks to Elaine and Jim - who have invited us to their house on the Monday before we leave. Just slipped that in for those of you who are anxious to wine and dine us and are wondering about our schedule).

We've sent an email to Gini, our landlady in the States, just to confirm what she has in the house and what we'll need to bring. I'm sure she provides things like an iron, a kettle, a toaster, but what about measuring cups, and spoons? I can see why people find it convenient to stay in the same place every year. Not as many surprises that way.

The pile in the basement seems to be spreading a bit, but so far, we think we can fit everything in the car. Except maybe the portable chairs. And the plastic wine glasses. The pile of books definitely has to be reduced (good thing for the local English speaking library - we'll be there a lot). I also heard a fair amount of rumbling concerning those darn shoes again. Perhaps Mike just didn't realize that I took two pairs out this morning. OK, so I replaced them with 2 different pairs, but they were smaller. Seriously, think I need to assess the shoe situation. After we pack the car and find out there's no more room.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

February 14th (Happy Valentine's Day!)

Mike and I sort of celebrated Valentines Day yesterday. It was my last day of treatment for Breast Cancer and we've joked for ages that we would treat ourselves to a steak dinner when it was all over. Neither of us are huge beef eaters and we've never really mastered the art of barbequeing a steak at home, so that might have explained the craving. So, after my treatment we stopped off quickly at home to drop off Abi, did a quick spruce up and off we went to the Keg, at lunch time, for our treat. Since I tend to fall asleep fairly early in the evenings, we chose to have a lunch out instead of dinner. Good plan, because I was in bed last night by 8:00pm. The steak, by the way, was delicious.

Today Mike is busy ironing the clothes he is taking. This is making me fret a bit, as all I did was fold mine semi-neatly and stuff them into the plastic tupperware bin we are using to transport them. Oh well, I think I'd rather iron mine outside in the sunshine and his are going to get wrinkled anyway on the drive down. More on the state of our clothes later! Mike has just reminded me that he's only taking a quarter the clothes I am taking, so the ironing is easy.

In between ironing his few shirts Mike has been studying the CAA Trip Tiks we picked up on Friday on the way home from the hospital. He says he now has our route completely memorized, including all construction zones, speed bumps and stop lights. Just hope he remembered to factor in 'breaks' for Abi and I! He's a bit concerned about the apparent lack of Tim Horton's on the drive down.

I decided to bake brownies today, in honour of Valentine's Day (chocolate you know) and also because in 17 more sleeps we won't have an oven to bake in. Notice how I managed to slip that in?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Getting Ready

Today is a landmark day - only 21 more sleeps to go until we leave on our epic adventure. I think we're quite organized so the last minute details should go fairly smoothly. Well, to be honest, Mike is the one who has done all the organizing. He's been busy for weeks making lists, and checking them twice. He's made numerous phone calls, doing things like putting a stop on the paper and magazine subscriptions, arranging insurance (both car and health) and most importantly making our hotel reservations for the drive south - puppy friendly hotels all the way. Every time I go to the basement I see something else added to the 'take with us' pile - think he's piling everything in one place to get an idea if it's all going to fit into the car.

Mentioning car, we realized that the only time Abi ever sees it is for trips to the vet or groomer, so we're attempting soften her up, and she now travels back and forth with us to the hospital every day for my radiation treatments. She seems to be settling down a bit more every day. The earthquake type vibrations now stop after 3 or 4 minutes and she simmers down to a gentle quiver for the rest of the way. Today she did really well, and only seems to get a bit upset when we have to stop for a light, or turn the corner. She'll be just fine - we just have to find a highway and drive straight - all the way to Mazatlan.

My radiation treatments are finished on Friday (the 13th!), which will be a cause for great celebration, partly because this means that my cancer treatments are finally over, but more importantly because I can finally start to focus and do my bit to get ready. This has been a long hard year for both of us, and radiation has been much more difficult than I had anticipated, so our 3 month escape to Mazatlan is going be a very special, and much deserved treat. Now all I have to do is start working on my packing lists (sunblock, sunblock and more sunblock). I did pack my clothes last week. Funny, I seem to have 3 times as much stuff as Mike does. Wait until he sees the shoe box.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

First post

This is the first entry to our adventure of living in Mexico. Our first visit will be Mazatlan in 2009. We are optimistic that this will be become part of our routine so we can keep our friends and relatives up to date on our escapades.