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January 1st, 2010
January 1st, 2010

On the Road Again - Mazatlan to Guadalajara

Sunset over Bahia de Banderas, Puerto Vallarta as viewed from El Panorama Restaurant
Sunset over Bahia de Banderas, Puerto Vallarta as viewed from El Panorama Restaurant
Leaving Mazatlan by bus we travelled south (8 hours) to Puerto Vallarta, taking up residence in the upscale Fiesta Americana in time to greet arriving family members from Ecuador (Esther, Juan and Maria Leticia), Veracruz (Rachel, Roy, Roycito and Valentina) and Vancouver (Leah).  Despite tight connections in some cases, bodies and bags arrived intact to celebrate a wonderful few days together including a Christmas dinner complete with homemade crackers, party hats and questions of family trivia.

When the last daughter (Leah) was returned to the airport (in some apprehension due to tightened security requirements and scant minutes between connecting flights in Houston), Margaret and I proceeded to Guadalajara by bus.  This is Mexico´s second-largest city and, due to its elevation, is cooler than the coastal towns and cities we have been inhabiting for the past six weeks.  We checked into the colonial Hotel San Francisco Plaza and at $43 per night were prepared to be disappointed.  (One Expedia reviewer vowed never to return citing a welcoming cockroach and slovenly maids). However, we were given a large room, clean enough, and the cheerful sound of caged songbirds in the courtyard outside our window wiped out any potential cockroaches on the debit side of the ledger.

The next day (New Year´s Eve) we visited the large downtown market that offered everything from imitation Rolex watches to hogs´ heads and then spent the afternoon in the colonial and artisanial suburb of Tlaquepaque (from “tlacatapacatl”, literally “Man and Potsherd”.)

Returning to the centre of Guadalajara we enjoyed an early New Year´s Eve dinner, gazing down on a busy street that streamed with taxis, horse-drawn carriages, regular traffic and holiday makers.  We reflected that exactly ten years earlier, on the eve of the millennium “rollover”, we had celebrated in downtown Havana, Cuba, with the entire family.  And that the past ten years had witnessed the purchase, restoration and sale of five houses; our retirement from S.A.L.T.S. and new projects with the 1812 privateer Lynx, the Brigantine Fair Jeanne out of Ottawa, the Dutch barge Linquenda, in France, the management of Page Point Marina in Ladysmith, the purchase of the sloop Rani in Fort Lauderdale and the ketch Passat in Port Townsend; and travels by land and sea to the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica, Cuba, the Cayman Islands, the British Virgins, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Ecuador,  Mexico, Thailand, Cambodia, India, Pakistan and France; and last, but not least the addition of three son-in-laws and six grandchildren.

May we be blessed with such riches in the next ten years.




More Images

Family gathered in Puerto Vallarta for Christmas
Family gathered in Puerto Vallarta for Christmas
Mazatlan´s cathedral at Christmas 2009
Mazatlan´s cathedral at Christmas 2009
Daughters Esther, Leah and Rachel Christmas dinner 2009
Daughters Esther, Leah and Rachel Christmas dinner 2009
Maria Leticia takes aim at the Snowman Pinata
Maria Leticia takes aim at the Snowman Pinata
Roycito gives Snowman Pinata (minus legs) a firm hit
Roycito gives Snowman Pinata (minus legs) a firm hit
The three cousins Christmas morning
The three cousins Christmas morning
Agave plantations near Tequila, Mexico
Agave plantations near Tequila, Mexico
colonial street in Tlaquepaque
colonial street in Tlaquepaque

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