Tag Archives: El Recreo

A Typical Day

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A Typical Day

Friends from Leavenworth are here in Mazatlan. In our conversation, Dwayne asked me what a typical day for me here is like. Now that is definitely something to ponder. 

We lounged around the pool all day after a sumptuous brunch. While it was a most enjoyable day, Sunday was certainly not a typical day. Rarely do I soak in the rays for hours on end and bask in the sunshine.

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Yesterday was Thursday. I had some errands to run and headed into Centro. Waldo’s was a zoo as usual and the mercado was quite crowded. My next stop was a small cantina where I enjoyed a delicious torta. I always seek out these places where the Mexicans go and am never disappointed in the authentic Mexican cuisine.

I was thinking of going to El Recreo to see a movie after lunch. But I never got there. As I was strolling through Plazuela Republica, I saw some friends from YWAM where I volunteer. The art students were displaying their talent and sharing their testimonies about how they came to Christ. Here are photos of some of the artists and their creations.

Plazulea Zaragoza is another park a few short blocks from where I’m staying this winter. To my delight I could hear the strains of music as I approached. I sat down on a bench and watched a crowd of people salsa dancing. This is a weekly activity here. I was tired from shopping so I opted to watch and not participate.

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When I finally got home, I decided to rest for a while and then venture out for a walk along the malecon. Instead I wound up editing a chapter in my book and then coloring. Yes, I am hopelessly addicted to adult coloring books. Very relaxing.

Next came a couple of phone calls to friends back in Washington. We’re in the same time zone now as Mexico has not moved the clocks ahead yet. Calls to my kids are a little more tricky as they are two and three hours ahead. The time changes here on April 1st.

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It’s now Friday. Breakfast plans with Delmar fell through as did a trip to the aquarium. I just returned from having delicious pozole at my friend Koren’s and am in writing mode. Friends and music are on the agenda for tonight as well as a walk along the malecon. But that could change too. We’ll see how the writing goes.

If there is an event where tickets are required, those times are carved in stone on my calendar. Otherwise, anything and everything is possible.

A typical day.

February……. A Dreary Month?

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February……. A Dreary Month?

This is my eighth winter in Mexico and I can’t recall ever having such dreary weather. Clouds have permeated the skies all month, what the weather forecasters here term as “intermittent clouds.”  My heart goes out to the tourists who have come for only a week or two. It has also been unusually cold in the evenings. I can’t remember the last time I walked along the malecon at night without a sweatshirt. And some of those ocean breezes are quite strong as well.

What do you do in Mazatlan when the weather is so grim? There is a lot to do here aside from indulging in tequila or cerveza at the local cantina. It’s true that there are restaurants and bars in abundance. But February has been the perfect month to immerse oneself in the Mexican culture.

One of my favorite places here in Centro is the Plazuela Machado. While the days are relatively quiet aside from cruise ship days, the nights come alive with a flurry of activity. Music resonates from the numerous restaurants in the square. There are often musicians and dancers performing in the square itself. Vendors have their stalls resplendent with jewelry, clothing and souvenirs. Traffic is quite congested as pulmonias and taxis clog the narrow streets. And holidays find colorful displays of lights and festive decorations.

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Teatro Angela Peralta is conveniently located just off the square. The variety of entertainment here is absolutely amazing. Sunday afternoons feature classical music. I attended a concert of Handel’s water music and the renowned Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra pales in comparison to this performance. On Friday night I attended Los Diez Pianos and was totally enchanted with the music and the vocalists.

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Another favorite venue is El Recreo. I’ve gone to movies and jazz jam sessions here. There are a variety of other activities such as travelogues, fashion shows, yoga, Spanish classes and other musical events that are held here. Also popular is a book swap. The snowbirds all flock to El Recreo during the winter.

Museo de Arte is home to numerous musical and dance performances. Many are free or charge a nominal admission fee. I even attended a play there where the dialogue was entirely in Spanish. Tonight I’ll be going to a guitar festival.

Of course February began with a bang with the celebration of Carnaval. Over half a million people lined the streets to attend the main parade. I also went to the second parade and it too was crowded. The fireworks were awesome and the music was excellent, highlighted by a performance by BandaMS. There were other events held at various places as well. Busloads of tourists came to Mazatlan for this popular festival.

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I did escape to sunshine and soaring temperatures one weekend when I went to Culiacan to spend time with my family. It’s interesting how you go a few miles inland and north and the humidity drops and the heat rises. We spent quite a few hours outdoors as we were at an event at my grandson’s school, the same school where I taught when I first came to Mexico. In this photo my grandson is sporting his medal.

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I belong to a Red Hat group and we get together for lunch twice a month. We all wear purple and red clothing and jewelry. We even accessorize our purses and wallets in these colors. We go to different restaurants and always have our photo taken.

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I also belong to the Mazatlan Solo Snowbird group. In addition to the monthly meet and greet, this past week we went on a day trip to El Quelite. This charming town is one of the magic towns in Mexico and we are transported back in time to a place where the natural beauty has been preserved and there is not an Oxxo in sight.

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I also volunteer in a kitchen at a Christian mission in my neighborhood. At the moment there are approximately 150 young adults from countries all over the world. Some live at the mission and study there. Others come and go for days or weeks. The program offered provides a wonderful opportunity for people to experience life in another culture.

I still play Hand and Foot with my friends out in Sabalo Country. I had never heard of this game until I arrived in Mazatlan almost three years ago. Until then I had only been an ardent bridge player up north, especially in Leavenworth.

One of my neighbor’s has a catering company. In addition to buying delicious prepared food from her, I enjoy her weekly luncheons. In the past there had been a mixed market, but it has evolved more into a social gathering place and a book swap.

If there were more hours in a day, I could be playing bridge and cribbage. I could be attending numerous fundraisers and musical events. I could be spending hours on the beach daily instead of the mere one day at Stone Island earlier this month. I could be doing more exploring on my own although I did get to Villa Union a couple of weeks ago. I could go more often to the air-conditioned malls.

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However I am determined to focus more on my writing. When I am at home, I am working on my book or on a blog post, except for the courses I take on the internet through coursera. I just completed a course from Stanford on nutrition and this week I start a course on relationships from University of Toronto.

The weather this month may have been dreary, but my life certainly is far from dreary.

What To Do What To Do

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What To Do What To Do

Today was supposed to be a beach day. I’ve been back in Mazatlan for almost three months and have yet to spend a day at the beach. Yes, I walk along the malecon every day. But that’s walking BY the beach, not ON the beach. And I go to restaurants and bars that overlook the beach. I even play cards by a pool that has a view of the ocean. But I have yet to feel that cushion of sand beneath my feet.

I had really set this day aside to lie on the beach. But then the clouds rolled in. Then the drop of rain spattered against my bedroom window. Instead I have opted to stay indoors today. It’s actually been a productive writing day. But I am going to brave the rain and wind shortly and head out down the malecon. It’s Wednesday which means that there is a jazz jam at El Recreo. And after that there is a dance performance at Museo de Arte.

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The weather this winter has been strange. Above normal temperatures greeted me in November when I returned. But December was cold and January even more so. Jackets are a necessity once the sun goes down. Jeans have become a regular part of my wardrobe.

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Of course the tourists who come for a week or two still think this is paradise as there is no snow or windchill factor. They are easily identifiable by their pale faces and wardrobe of shorts and tank tops. But even they remark on how the global warming idea has actually had the opposite effect on the climate.

While the weather is not the greatest right now, there is so much to do indoors. Music is everywhere. There are malls and movie theaters. Pre-Carnaval events are underway. Yes, we are only a week away from Carnaval, the third largest celebration of its kind in North America.

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Construction crews are in a frenzy trying to complete the work on the malecon. The parade routes have been announced and it’s imperative that the malecon be open. This season it has been a nightmare of traffic delays and rerouting of vehicles due to the closure of several streets in Centro as well as the malecon itself.

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I think back to gloomy winter days back in Winnipeg. Somehow a little bit of rain and clouds just don’t seem so bad after all.

Sunrise Sunset

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Sunrise Sunset

Mazatlan has spectacular sunsets. I discovered that years ago when I first came to visit. I’ve seen sunsets all over North America but none compare to the beauty of sunset over the Pacific here in Mazatlan. I’ve taken hundreds of pictures over the years and am still mesmerized by the rainbow of color as the sun disappears into the ocean at sunset.

I’ve never seen a sunrise here in Mazatlan. But I hope to wake early one day and head down to the malecon to view this spectacle and of course take photos. I’ve seen photos others have taken and they are breathtaking.

Of course there is lots to do here in Mazatlan when I’m not gazing at sunsets. On Sunday I went out to Sabalo Country to have breakfast with friends from Salt Lake City. I wandered around Centro after and found some music close to Plazuela Machado. The kiosko at Machado was a perfect setting for young ladies in their ball gowns celebrating their quinceaneras. Fifteenth birthdays are huge here.

On Monday I met a friend for breakfast at the Mercado. Bacon and eggs, rice, beans and fresh tortillas for 20 pesos. Accompanied by fresh-squeezed orange juice. Well worth the trudge up the steep flight of stairs to the second floor.

In the afternoon I went to El Recreo to see a movie called Fireworks. An intricate tale of life in another culture. Subtitles were in English and I am so very thankful that I had that cataract surgery done last winter. No idea what language the actors were speaking.

We went out to a Mediterranean restaurant for dinner and the food was amazing. It’s a small mom and pop place with lovely ambience. The chef is from Jordan and his wife is Mexican. We shared a platter for two that was accompanied by fresh pita bread.

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Tuesday was a busy day. I went to Telcel to renew my phone plan. Next stop was an ATM. Then I went to pick up some coffee that a friend here imports from Chiapas. Home for a short period only to change clothes and then off to Plazula Machado to meet friends. Dinner was at La Bohemia where we enjoyed the jazz performance that included two keyboards along with the usual brass and percussion.

I belong to a Red Hat group here in Mazatlan and our luncheon was at Margaritas in The Gold Zone on Wednesday. We all have a variety of red hats and purple tops and it’s such fun when complete strangers ask to take our photo.

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Back in my own neighborhood later on, I discovered a bakery with delicious empenadas and wonderful cinnamon rolls. I sat at Plazuela Zaragoza for a while before heading for home. And I passed on an event at El Recreo to stay at home and color. Yes I am still coloring. Thank you to my friends back in Leavenworth for introducing me to this relaxing pastime.

My leisurely morning at home is over. It’s almost time to head to the movies at El Recreo again. Tomorrow is a mixed market down the street and a card game. Saturday is a 50s-60s music event. I guarantee that there will be more walks along the malecon before the week ends.

Three Weeks Already????

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Three Weeks Already????

The older I get, the faster time flies by. I’ve been back in Mazatlan for over three weeks now yet it feels like just yesterday I was in Leavenworth. I am also living in a completely different area now so there is a lot of exploring that needs to be done. I still marvel that there is so much within walking distance, a feature I enjoyed about living in Tlaquepaque.

I must admit that my favorite pastime is still my strolls along the malecon. I haven’t been up early enough to see sunrise, but I have seen many a sunset. The lapping of the waves against the shore is calming. Every day at 6 pm the malecon in Olas Altas is closed to vehicular traffic, an added bonus to the peace and tranquility of the ocean.

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I’m going to see The Nutcracker at the Angela Peralta Theater tonight. I’m sure that the experience will be quite different from that in Canada. The theater itself is historic and takes you back in time. I’m certain that the children performing will be a delight.

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Yesterday was Art Walk. We only went to one of the venues, but were entranced with the art and the jewelry on display. There are some 30 venues scattered throughout Centro so there will be more to see in future exhibits.

El Recreo features a variety of events in addition to the movies each week. Last night there was a play reading and the other night I attended an evening of poetry and music where the participants were all associated with a Christian mission here in Mazatlan.

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Macaws had a great singer last night which added to the enjoyment of sitting outside with friends sipping a cold beer on a warm evening. Music fills the air in Centro and it is all within walking distance of where I’m staying.

Wednesday was cruise ship day and my friends from Winnipeg were here. It was lovely having lunch with them at a restaurant in the Plaza Machado. Now if only more of my friends from Winnipeg would come here.

I’ve been out to lunch and dinner with old friends and new. Red Hat group has started getting together again. Weekly card games are back in progress. And I will be doing some new volunteer work beginning in January.

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This winter the plan is to focus more on my writing. I’m currently taking a course from Weslayan University that focuses on Plot. My current WIP is fiction, very different from the two self-help books I published in the past. It’s fun to juggle around characters and scenarios.

Now that Thanksgiving is over, Christmas decorating is underway.  I will be sure to have a post with some of the highlights. In the meantime, this is my creation atop my dresser in my room.

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And The Nomad Moved Again

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And The Nomad Moved Again

I am back in Mazatlan. Winter has arrived and Leavenworth had its first snowfall. I admit that it does look kind of pretty, but I haven’t seen snow like that in 8 years.

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I took the Wenatchee Valley Shuttle to Sea-Tac and had a layover at LAX. When I arrived in Mazatlan this was the view at sunset just a block and a half from my house.

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Of course the price one pays for leaving snow behind is sweltering temperatures in the 90s along with high humidity. But it’s been a week and a half now and I am acclimatizing nicely.

The area I’m staying in this winter is called Los Pintos and is close to the Centro Historico. Everything is within walking distance as opposed to last year where buses were the norm.

Zaragoza Park is about a ten minute walk. Saturday mornings an organic market is popular and on Thursday evenings dancing and music prevail. I stopped by the park this afternoon and met these little guys. Unfortunately the iguana was camera shy and hid in the shadows.

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I’ve seen two excellent movies at El Recreo this past week. This coming Tuesday evening I plan on attending an art and music event there. Last weekend I met some friends atop the Freeman Hotel for drinks at sunset. And I’ve also found a new card group here in Centro. Our Red Hat group had its first luncheon last week and it was nice to see so many return this winter.

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But what convinced me to move here two and a half years ago was the ocean. And I certainly am enjoying my long walks along the malecon.

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