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Christmas with Gabriella
Gabriellas grandpa
12/22/2008, Rancho Cordova, Ca.

I knew well before I posted my last blog that I was going to spend Christmas with my Princess in Rancho Cordova. I did'nt want to write about it because Gabriella can read quite well. The Trip... I left Barra de Navidad at 9:15 am by bus to Puerto Vallarta and that took 4 1/2 hours. Then after a 2 hour wait in the bus terminal in PV I caught another bus line for the trip to Guaymas. This bus, supposedly 1st class, took 18 hours to get to Guaymas. We stopped at about 6 towns and the real stops were the Federales...7 in all. All night long the bus would be stopped by road blocks for inspection of luggage and personal carry-ons and on one occassion they came on board with automatic screwdrivers and tore the bathroom apart to look for drugs. The bathrooms were toilet paper..soap..towels,etc. Of course I've learned by now to always have a rooll of toilet paper handy no matter where you are in Mexico. I got into Guaymas at 11:30 am and went straightaway to Singlar to retrieve my car for the drive to Rancho Cordova. I was there for about 45 minutes and then off to the frozen northland. I drove through to Tucson and got a motel for the night then up early for the rest of the trip north. The car ran fine and it was quite a treat to pay and average of $1.65 a gallon...cheaper than Mexico. I knew that Gabriella and mom Karen would be at Grandma Pats' house for the evening so I drove there to surprise her. I rang the doorbell and Karen answered and called for Gabriella. She walk up to the door and gave that frozen look, how could this be? Of course that was about a 3 or 4 second look before she went berzerk and was screaming and kept saying "it is you" "I can't believe your here". I think after this surprise and the one at the end of last season, I don't know if I will be able to surprise her anymore. Needless to say, we have been inseperable since. I do the reverse drive/bus trip back to the boat at the end of the year. I have good cruising friends watching my boat at anchor in Barra de Navidad. Again, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

12/23/2008 | Susan
Well, Phil, there are little tears dripping into my mug of coffee as I read this. And I agree with you, she will be wise to you from now on:)
Merry Christmas!
12/23/2008 | Boomerang
What a good Grandpa!! Phil if you need a place to crash on the way back down, you know our door is allways open to you. We can lick our election wounds over a cold one.
Christmas sandbar
Gabriellas grandpa
12/16/2008, Barra de Navidad

This has got to be one of the most relaxing and laid back anchorages of all Mexico. Had a nice trip down from Puerto Vallarta. I left La Cruz with intentions of stopping for the night at Ipala about 15 miles down the coast from the notorious Cabo Corrientes. The weather rounding Corrientes was okay and as I got a little further down it was blowing out of the southeast which is straight into the anchorage at Ipala. I pulled in to check it out because I have never been in this anchorage and was curious. There were pangas everywhere and fish pens and the water was a little too lumpy for me. I left there and kept going for the night and pulled into Tenacatita to anchor. It was early morning so I thought I could do the mangrove river trip to the outer anchorage to have some of that delicious shrimp stuffed fish filet with almondine sauce. As I was about to enter the tide was rushing out so fast that I aborted because I was too wimpy to fight the shallows with the tide running so fast. This will be another place I will play around with longer on my way north. After a nights rest I pulled anchor to putt-putt the 12 miles to Barra. There is only about 10 boats here in the lagoon and of course more over iin the high priced marina. But it is nice to have a few of these boats to be friends I met last season. So I will hang out here until about the first week of the new year then mosey on to Santiago(Manzanillo). This place(Barra de Navidad) has a real mix of tourists and gringo residents here. It is like a miniature Santa Cruz. Just in case I don't post again until after CHRISTmas, I want to say to all.......Have a Merry Christmas......Feliz Navidad......Froh Weinach.
Oh yeah....The French Baker Lives!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

12/16/2008 | Bryan
You've got it made now Phil. You'll have the baker coming by delivering you pastries every morning. You're going to be spoiled. I mean with all the good food and the weather. It's supposed to be in the 20's here tonight. Merry Christmas from Bryan & Ronda......
12/17/2008 | Susan
I'm curious about the fish pens in Ipala. What are they growing out?
Are you having your croissants delivered to the boat this time or are you dinghying into town to buy them there?
12/18/2008 | BOOMERANG
Hi Phil, boy you sure are moving fast. No seaweed growing under your feet. Have an Almond Croisant for us and Feliz Navidad to you too.
C and E
12/19/2008 | Heather
It was great seeing you in La Cruz and I am sure we will cross paths again sometime soon. I bet the french baker's got nothin' on my cookies!!! I'll save some for ya Phil! Enjoy the holidays.

12/20/2008 | JAN AND WOLF
MERRY CHRISTMAS Phil, have a good one and enjoy.
Banderas Bay
Gabriellas grandpa
12/10/2008, La Cruz Huanacaxtle

Had a nice easy run from Chacala to La Cruz. Sailed for about half the distance. While here in the PV area I had my water pump rebuilt for one third the cost of a new pump. Since being here in the anchorage I have run into a lot of old friends and have made new ones. I was going to stay in this area throughout the Christmas season but decided to move on out tomorrow morning for parts south. I will got to Ipala anchorage tomorrow and then day trip down to Chamela for one night, then on to Tenacatita for one or two nights. Tenacatita is where McHales Navy(the movie) was filmed. It has that nice long mangrove river ride to the outer anchorage where they have those delicious fish filet stuffed with shrimp with the almondine sauce. Then on to the land of the French baker...Barra de Navidad, for Christmas.
There is so much building iin the Banderas bay/Puerto Vallarta area, that I'm afraid it will turn into another Acapulco. There was one area on the other side of Punta Mita that would put Malibu to shame. These mansions were outrageously beautiful and at the same time obscene sitting in there jungle hills. It's hard for me to reconcile the clash of the wealth with the poor Mexicans down the road. I can't help but wonder what the poor Mexicans think when they see these gingos building such extravagant houses. I've spent 5 or 6 days in the PV area and I'm leaving in the morning without one visit to the new Costco here........I don't know what's becoming of me. I will try to add some new pics before I pull out of here. The blog pic is of my Princess with her mom at Santa Cruz for Thanksgiving.

12/13/2008 | The Little Princes
Hi, Grandpa,
Your little sweet princess (me -- Gabriella) is helping Auntie Molly decorate her tree. We just had Zelda's pizza and it was YUMMY! I am making cookies at school on Friday the 19th. I'm sure you would love them if you were here. I miss you! Bye bye. Loooooooooooooooooove, Gabriella
12/14/2008 | Susan
Gabriella, now this is the type of blog comment that makes my day.

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