Sunday, January 24, 2016

Feeling Like I'm Eight

This morning after a not so sound sleep at Casa Encontada, our Tulum apartment, we awoke to clear blue skies and crisp air that made us thankful for the long sleeved tops we had packed. This is a noisy place even though it is closer to jungle than to the town's center. Packs of dogs bark night and day and the low rumble of trucks on the  highway and a thump thump of a Saturday night disco managed to penetrate my earplugs. After morning coffee we took a 3 mile walk to the BIG grocery store and bought breakfast food and snacks for the next few days. A half dozen eggs were only 65 cents. Then we walked back, stopping for espresso and an almond croissant at a cafe, and then to rent our transportation, 2 bicycles for two days setting us back only 13 dollars! One speed bikes with big clunky frames and wide handle bars, I wobbled like I was 8 all over again. Now we are poolside, relaxing. The pool is not heated and too cold for swimming on a 73 degree day, but what a pleasant
place to just be still.

As we swerved this way and that down the pot holed road towards our apartment Chris saw a fox! Last night in the dark, bats as big as kittens swooped back and forth, keeping the mosquitoes under control we hope.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Gate Crashers

Yesterday we met up with my sister and brother-in-law in Cancun. They were staying at the swanky Iberostar.  I've never crashed a wedding but paying $85. Per person just to use the pool and get a few free drinks was out of the question. But to be with my sister is such a rare treat and to be with her along the Caribbean; that chance will probably never return. So we crashed and splashed in the pool, walked on the beach, drank Margaritas and played cards together. Can you tell we had fun?

Chris and I felt like we had died and gone to heaven when we got to the condo where we were staying. Just take a look at the bathroom. I didn't have to worry about a dribbly tepid shower here!

Tonight we are in Tulum and I would like to write more about the pothole street where Casa Encantada, our 5 day apartment, is located, or post pictures of the eclectic decor and the beautiful pool and courtyard, or tell you how awesome the grilled fish was at El Camello, but the internet connection is so slow. More writing will have to happen tomorrow.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Another Tropical Day

Today is breezy and grey but we managed a walk in the morning. First to drop off our laundry, then for a walk on the beach and on to the bus station to check out the schedule for buses to Cancun. They run every 20 minutes so that poses no problem.
The loveliest flowers grow in every nook and cranny, somewhat apologizing for the piles of rubbish we pass on sidewalks and in vacant lots.

Then we had lunch at this little hole in the wall place we had passed before. I took the photo noting the car rental sign on the upper level  and we had mused as to who in their right mind would rent a car HERE!

The food was absolutely delicious. As Chris ate his shrimp fettuccine we watched the fish monger on his bicycle cart, unloading the morning's fresh catch of shrimp.

And by time we were done eating, the morning downpour was over. We puddle hopped our way back to Casa Mango enveloped  in the steamy tropical air.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


Today we are a little more at ease, a little more laid back. We spent the day reading, eating and walking to the beach - twice. Quite honestly that is what most of this year's Yucatan Adventure will be. Tomorrow Chris says he will go to the nearby gym for a workout. I make no such promises. My knee is feeling some better, I don't think I should push my luck.

 Venders are selling fruit and snacks as you approach the beach.

 The surf crashing on the rocks riddled with holes that are probably home to some crustaceans, remained me of simular surf swept rock on the Olympic Peninsula. But the sand was whiter and the water much warmer.

 Our after dinner walk took us away from the hotels, towards the highway. I spied this Banksy style silhouette on the side of an old building.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Across the Border

Arrived in Cancun yesterday at 5:00. Took the hour long, packed ADO bus ride to Playa and watched the big orange sun sink into the Caribbean Sea through the windows. Then took an adventurous walk in the mostly dark streets to Casa Mango. The adventure is not because of fear of getting lost, smartphones solve that problem. The adventure is in negotiating pulling luggage along the sidewalks which are riddled with, holes, steps, branches of palms and wires hanging in your face.

Just feet before the gate to our apartment, I tripped over a fence post on the side walk and of course hurt my already aching left knee. Who should help me to my feet but Barbara, the Italian owner of Casa Mango. Lots of flustered help, "was I ok?" "Yes, yes" I reassured her I was fine. In the morning I would notice a hole in my running shoe. Had I been wearing sandals the hole would've been in my foot. After learning about the keys, the internet and nearby restaurants we schlepped our luggage up the spiral staircase to our bedroom. I am going to have to limit my fluids after 5! The stairs are not something I want to deal with in the middle of the night.

 We ate dinner at an Australian owned Italian restaurant last night. Pork chop for me and a burger for Chris. Not very Italian and not at all Mexican but both hit the spot on our empty stomachs. This morning's breakfast of chilaquilles on Calle Cinco at Vagabonds gave me my first Mexican food fix.  Afterwards we walked to the beach and watched the resorts setting up chaise lounges.

They probably won't get many customers. It is overcast and a humid 75, a perfect day for us to just lounge about our apartment, catch our breath and get our bearings.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Back in The Emerald City

Here we are, four days home and the unpacking is mostly done, the car is washed and vacuumed, the mail sorted and routines for exercise and meals are in place. Oh how glad I am to not need to pack and unpack the car's trunk daily. Fixing meals in my own kitchen is a joyful novelty after 47 days on the road. Making as much coffee as I want and making it DARK and drinking it out of a ceramic mug; those are renewed delights! 

Before it all slips from my memories, here are some pictures and thoughts from our last day on the road which was the stretch from Spokane to Seattle on I-90. We both knew that would be minimal stopping as we drove the last 279 miles of our journey. We were eager to get home. It was a lovely still day as we left the Lilac City. I only hope that next weekend's runners in the Bloomsday Race get weather like this. 

See how still the water is? There were hundreds of water fowl on this lake, enjoying a placid swim.

One last day to make the most out of cruise control!

This is a viewpoint that convinced us to stop. I know we have been this way before but I think this was our first stop. That's the mighty Columbia River. This viewpoint is on West I 90 near Vantage, WA

It was 53 degrees and nary a wisp of wind. It was unusual to pass windmills in this area and not a blade was turning.

Up and over Snoqualmie Pass and not a flake of snow in the air and very little on the ground. Trees kept looking greener and greener.

The day was overcast but allowed us this glimpse of our familiar friend, Mount Rainier.

Home at last and the best sight of the day was our daughter, sitting at our dining room table, law books and papers spread out. She stayed and we chatted but not for long, her laundry was done and she needed to resume studying at the library. I guess her dad and I are just too distracting!

Unpacking is a chore. Here are some travel treasures from our trip; some to keep, some to share.

Souvenir pens will remind me of the different hotel rooms where we slept.  It used to be I would grab a book of matches (even though we don't smoke), but now days you don't see matchbooks much, which is a good thing. Pens are so much more useful to us.

In numbers our trip looks like this:
8264 miles
34 miles to the gallon
$576.73 spent on gas
19 states
47 days
$100.74 per night in hotels (averaged)
27 different beds
On the map it looks like this:

I'm ready to stick around home!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Lost and Found

No, we didn't get lost. Here are Chris' words explaining our road trip adventure for today: 
"When we got to Bozeman MT for breakfast I realized 

I left my iPad in Livingston MT. So I drove back and got it.

I drove the mountain pass between the 2 towns 4 times this

morning. In a snowstorm. "

Yes, it was a grueling drive for him but it was so pretty too!

It looks something like a country Christmas card picture, don't you think?

Here is a strange detail that we noticed on the second 'drive around'. Those are snowflakes in that squiggle on the telephone pole.

We scored in a totally different way from yesterday when we stopped for a bathroom break at the Wheat Mountain Bakery and Deli at the intersection of I 90 and US 287. While I did see the words 'gluten free' on a couple of items, this is NOT the place you want to go unless you are ready to be indulgent in some not so very healthy eating choices. The cinnamon rolls are as big as dinner plates. I bought a cherry and Greek yogurt croissant. I shared it with Chris. OH! it was yummy! Wheat Mountain also has other Montana gifts like mug, water bottles, jams, granola, t-shirts and soap as well as 50# bags of oats and flour, straight from their Montana farm. The place was packed with people and not just tourists either. I really was tempted to take a picture of the two cowboys in their muddy boots and sweat stained and wind battered hats but I let them enjoy their coffee in peace.

There was a sign for a "Trophy Rock" near Butte and I missed that picture but this formation is very similar. I think it is part of the Boulder Batholith .   There are articles that say the rocks of this area have special minerals that attract bear and deer, that is why it is called 'trophy'. 

Below you see a huge open pit mine in Butte. Many people made their fortune mining copper in mines such as this.

Another bathroom break brought us very close to the border with Idaho, in Superior, MT. It is a pleasant wayside with a national campground adjacent to it. Dozens of ground squirrels scampered around on the grass. They are smaller than regular squirrels and they zip here and there with great fervor. They were almost as entertaining as the Prairie Dogs in SD!

Then we started going up again and the snow began again.  The sign says Saltese which is at 3366 FT.

Incredibly, there were construction crews working on the interstate in this ugly weather and traffic was reduced to one lane for about a half mile.

No pictures of beautiful Coeur d'Alene and the many rivers and creeks that we passed before we crossed into Washington.  It is a very pretty place. I took the last, and easiest leg of driving into Spokane.  The Fairbridge Inn is our last hotel stay (needs serious updating) Home is only a day away!