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This IS retirement
Gabriellas G-Pa
12/17/2011, Colimilla/Barra de Navidad

Enriques house is finished and there are boats starting to fill up the parking lot here in the Barra lagoon. This morning I started to do my volunteer job at the elementary school. Jim on the boat Murray Grey came up to help and we got off to a good start......then....whack.....the back of my middle finger got sliced open. I was on the step ladder pulling tape and leftover decorations off the ceiling when I went after a piece of tape and didn't notice the ceiling fan was close. On top of that, the blades are rusty and dirty and sharp metal......not the composite ones we have at home. So I went up the hill to the local Salud (health clinic) and a sweet young doctor who was very pleasant on the eyes took me into her care. She did a fine job cleaning putting that iodine stuff in there. She put a butterfly patch on and told me I had to go to the Barra Salud to get a tetanus shot because she didn't have any there. I asked her how much I owed her and she told me to pay Claudia, the lady who runs the taco and lunch place next door. It's Claudias 3 month old baby, Mari-Ciel, that I play with quite often. So I went over and she said 20 pesos ($1.60US). Then I went to Barra and got a tetanus shot for 50 pesos ($3.90US). Everybody that I came in contact with were sincerely concerned and went out of their way to help.....of course in my home country I get the same inexpensive and helpful care.............NOT. This couldn't happen at a more disadvantagious time because this is the 2 week period that I have to finish all the school work. Of course it will get done one way or the other.

12/18/2011 | Susan
You are fortunate that there was a doctor close by. And that you could get a tetanus shot.
How many boats have arrived by now? Will the cruisers have a Christmas dinner potluck? And if so, will there be pictures?:)
12/18/2011 | Phil
14... yes.... yes.
Cookies, milk, and housepainting
Gabriellas G-Pa
12/01/2011, Colimilla/Barra de Navidad

Now that the car is here in the Barra area I unloaded the school paint and then unloaded Enriques' paint and my sprayer. My car is now sitting properly and not hugging the ground. Painting the exterior of Enriques' house is one of my more dangerous endeavors. It's 2 stories and the ground around it is dirt, gravel, and uneven concrete. It sits on a hill so steep that I still drag the bottom of my car(empty) when turning into his street. Painting his house was a real study into the color preferences of different cultures. I provided the premium paint from the US and picked the colors. If they had their way it would look like any other Tienda or school in Mexico, but now looks like a classy gringo dwelling....mind you, there are expensive homes in the neighborhood that have nice colors and that are owned by gringos. Bottom line, they really love the paint job and now for some reason, I'm helping him paint the interior....just lining in the ceiling and difficult line work....he's doing all the rolling....and of course, I didn't pick the colors, sooooo.
There's a couple of interesting looking (menus) restaurants that just opened in the Barra area and I will have to wait until after payday to experience them...looking forward to that. Raised anchor and motored over to Melaque to clean the bottom of the boat in clear water and spend the night. Well the water was a little clearer and quite disappointing and the swells were coming around the corner into the anchorage. So after a refreshing swim/cleaning the bottom, I motored back to the Barra lagoon and anchored in the familiar brown and flat water. Maria and Enrique (Yoanas' mom and dad) hosted the first video chat between the school in Colimilla and my Gabriellas school in Rancho Cordova. It's not easy finding reliable internet where the kids can conveniently march to from their schoolgrounds. I got up early and baked 2 batches of toolhouse cookies(a little alteration in the recipe) and loaded up the laptop and speakers and marched UP the hill to Enriques' house. The kids really cut it short on time getting there but it turned out OK because Gabriellas class was a few minutes late coming online. It was another enjoyable experience that everyone(and I think Mr. Joyce a little more) enjoyed. There was this one boy in the school here that asked me to give his mom a cookie. His mom owns a local lunch type restaurant/taco place that I frequent. She just had a baby(3months ago) that I get to play with and get my baby fix. Anyway, I took the leftover cookies for her and a few others to enjoy.....they did not believe me when I said that I baked them. The pic is in front of Enriques house....Maria and Enrique is Yoanas mom and dad....Yoana has been my interpreter for the last four years.

12/01/2011 | Susan
Nice post, Phil. Perhaps you could exchange chocolate chip cookies for restaurant meals? A win-win for everyone.
12/01/2011 | Gabriella's Mommy
So glad the call with Gabriella's class went well! Hope Santa brings you a new pair of shocks for Christmas -- sounds like you could use them. Grandma Pat was wondering why you hadn't posted in the past couple of weeks. Told her you've been busy painting and such. I'm sure she'll be pleased to read this new post.
Gabriella has been busy preparing for her 4th grade Spelling Bee, which is on Dec. 19. She "bridged" from Brownies into Girl Scouts last night -- cute ceremony! She's also learning all kinds of Christmas songs on the piano, so we're really getting into the Christmas spirit around here. She still isn't TOTALLY sure if she believes in Santa Claus, but I'm hoping we'll get through one more year with the innocent fantasy still intact. (The iPod Touch should help with that!) Miss and love you! -KP
12/02/2011 | Susan
I just looked at the house before and after pictures. Quite a challenging painting job, a real OSHA nightmare.
12/02/2011 | Gabriellas G-Pa
@Karen.....what do you mean "innocent fantasy"? Don't start feeding my granddaughter with that grown-up lie about Santa Claus.
12/02/2011 | Steve
Soo, I see you've been painting everything! You'd think you were a painter or something. Also see that you visited Baja this year. Keep up the fun.
12/02/2011 | Gabriellas G-Pa
Jim and Nancy...that was also a pleasantsurprise for me. Think back 25 years ago.
12/08/2011 | carol and el viejo
good work, as usual, Phil...any more boats in the anchorage?...we are expweriencing 28 degree weather...burrrrr wishing we were down there with you...hugs, C&W
p.s. we have been painting my cottage (inside) in Boulder Creek, each room is a different color...very happy.
Boats, Buses, and Cars
Gabriellas G-Pa
11/17/2011, Barra/Colimilla

I left Barra on Monday morning for my long trip on the bus to Guaymas. There are two different types of long range buses. There is the chicken buses that stop anywhere and there are the first class buses that are suppose to be more direct and have nice accomodations like a banos aboard. The pricing is really not that much more for the first class buses.....anywhere between 5 percent to 10 percent more. I got on a first class bus for Puerto Vallarta and it was one of the worst I have been on. The windows were rattling and I thought they would fall out. And it stopped all the time to pick up anyone that flagged them down. At Puerto Vallarta, I got a bus to Tepic, Nayarit because the only through bus to Guaymas didn't leave until 7:30 that evening. In Tepic there are more choices of bus lines that run to Guaymas, therefore better timing to get there faster. I chose TNS (Norte Sonora), because supposedly they would get there the earliest. It was the slowest bus I have ever been on. He would drive 10 to 15 KMs UNDER the speed limit for buses. After 28 hours on three different buses, I arrived at 2pm in Guaymas. I called ahead to Horacio to make sure he had my car at work with him. I took a 40 peso cab ride to the marina and picked up my car. I used the marina bathrooms to freshen up and chatted for a few minutes with Horacio and went to the office to see Ariana and resupply her with the Jelly-Bellies she requested. I then left for my southbound trek in my car. I had to stop at the Aduana to get my car imported for six months. that cost $57 for the permit and a $200 deposit that will be refunded if I take my car out of the country on time. I was going to stop in Los Mochis or Navajoa for a nights sleep, but once on the road, I kept going all the way to Mazatlan. I got to Mazatlan at 1am and drove into the Singlar marina parking lot to sleep in my car for a few hours. I freshened up in their bathrooms and hit the road again at 5:30am for Tepic. The first toll road on the Tepic highway was 178 pesos and I quickly got off to the Libre highway. I paid a total of 655 pesos for toll roads.....disgusting. Gasoline was a total of 2,000 pesos and all this is for one way south....I have to repeat it going north. For a retired person on a limited income, this is a big hit. More peanut butter/jelly sandwiches and less Mahi-Mahi dinners for awhile. Anyway, made it safely to Colimilla and Yoana was thrilled with her gifts from her sisters in the states and from Gabriella. Now the real work begins on Enriques' house and the school in a few weeks. I'm still the only boat in the lagoon. Karen, they even named a boat after's for giving birth to my Princess who everybody here knows about. (can you say Mother Mary)

11/18/2011 | Susan
Phil, it is not necessary to pull all-nighters in your car:)
Nice post.
11/18/2011 | Gabriella's Mommy
What a hoot! I don't think I've seen a boat named "Karen" since I was a little girl and my dad named our 9 foot aluminum fishing boat the "Karen Ann" (after his favorite daughter, of course). I can remember family trips (my 2 brothers, mom, dad and me) on the American River in that little boat. My dad, being the kind, sensitive guy he is, would make my mom sit in the front of the boat to offset the weight of the motor. Yeah, dad was a charmer alright...
Gabriella got her 1st trimester report card -- one B+ and all the rest A's and A-'s. We are so proud of her and know you are, too, G-Pa. Miss you and hope you are well! -KP
11/20/2011 | capt cat.
yikes, are a saint for doing all this work ....good on you...if we were there's we would buy you a dinner or two...we hope you find times to enjoy yourself..abrazos, carol y pancho
11/30/2011 | Jim and Nancy
Entertaining to keep up with your travels!
12/02/2011 | Susan
Hi Jim and Nancy, what a nice surprise to see you here.

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