Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Time Passes!

Can't believe I haven't posted since early Spring and now it's Fall! The year has flown by with many plans, changes in plans, new endeavors and expanded awareness.

I've gone green in even more ways than I've ever been. Jack and I went to Austin and visited Brett, Maya and Concetta Bettin Pilgrim. I had a very short camp hosting season due to missing a step when exiting my trailer and pulling a ligament. Learning more new and different technology eats up hours, days, and weeks but it is very interesting and will be rewarding.

Life is rich and I feel blessed to be health and strong enough to do the things I love to do!

I'll post again soon but for now I'll just say I have launched two e-commerce web sites and am on a steep learning curve!

My sites are Road Trip Gadgets and Gifts and Rough Green Edges . Check them out and give me any feedback you can. I'm trying to tune them up!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Hmm, I'm noticing a pattern here. I never finished the tale of my Thailand Trip - although I think of it often! In fact, I dreamed last night of the great dinner we had in Bangkok where so many of Brett and Maya's friends came and shared the evening with us. So many laughs and Brett introducing me to new foods. And then the dream shifted to another night when we stood on the roof of one of the sky-scrappers and looked out over all of Bangkok...warm breezes...and I had the wrong shoes...which was true almost the whole time I was in Thailand. They don't have size 9's in that country. It was a poor idea of mine to buy some nice shoes to go out in when I was there.

And I see that I stopped at Day 2 of our latest trip to Mexico although I think of it every day that the cold wind blows and snow filters down! I had lunch with Ava today and that the first time we've sat and talked - just the two of us - since those two glorious weeks! Our tans are fading...

And now our next trip is quickly approaching! Off to Austin to see Brett, Maya and Cetta for two weeks! I get to 'see' Cetta when we Skype but it's not like being there! Jack's stay will be short but I'm staying for 14 days!

I also am gearing up to see if I can do something with technology from home! That' going to be a long (6 month) process but I think I might make a go of it.... we'll see.

So do I pick up from the Thailand point, Mexico point or what? If I have any readers... let me know.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Monday - Day 2 In Zihuatanejo

Morning broke bright and clear. In the course of the night Jack and I figured out that the picturesque clock tower two blocks from our little 9 room hotel is a primary time piece for the village of Zihuatanejo. It dongs out the number of the hour on the hour, chimes once at quarter after, twice on the half hour, three times on the 45 minute mark and chimes three times and dongs the hour 5 minutes before the hour. You learn fast when it is going on all night long. You also get used it pretty quick. By the third night it was just another pleasant part of being in Zih.

After a leisurely walk and breakfast at La Pearl Negra Jack and I decided to hit the Mercado to get some essentials for our little closet kitchen - chiefly coffee.

We squeezed through the tightly packed market and picked up some fruit and avocado's for snacks too. The next day when I introduced Ava to the Mercado she was fascinated... it was nothing like the Commericial Grocery Store others had steered her to.

We knew Leo, Brain and Ava had a condo in the La Ropa beach area but didn't know exactly where they were and we were without a cell phone so we had to just wait until they came to us.
One of the places Jack and I wandered to was Cafe Marina on Paseo de Pescedor which I had
discovered on my very first trip to Zihuatanejo in 2000. While we sat sipping our Coca Cola Dietez and watching the people pass by we were tickled to see John and Susan, also of Klamath Falls! They joined us and we caught up on their travels and news of the others while we had
lunch together. They knew where Ava, Brian and Leo where staying and tried to describe it to us but being unfamiliar with the La Ropa Beach area it was lost on us.

Of course, Brian, Leo and Ava came by Villa Mercedes while we were out to breakfast and shopping!

When we returned to Villa Mercedes we found a note from them that we'd meet up at the 6 pm English Speaking meeting that is held across the street from the Biblioteca (Library). Well, Google Earth was a little less than helpful with that address. Jack and I spent the afternoon
locating the meeting place and then rushed back to our room to seista, shower and change before 5:30 pm.

The gang was all at the meeting at 6 pm along with about 30 other Canadians and Americans! The meeting room was packed with people even sitting on the floor. After a great meeting we all went down to Danny's on Playa (Beach) Municipal and had dinner ... literally. I slipped off my shoes and sifted sand through my feet as we ate dinner to candle, star and moonlight!

It being 9 pm and way past Jack's normal bedtime we left shortly after eating after Ava and I had made plans for her to join us at our place at 6:30 am when Brain, Leo and John were heading out for deep sea fishing.

And so another day in paradise was done!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Our Latest Mexico Vacation - Jan 23 to Feb 6 2011

I've told a lot of people I'd post details so I guess I better do so before memory fades and the routine of life at home takes over.

Jack and I actually left Klamath Falls on January 22 because we have to fly out of Medford, Oregon to use our Alaska Airlines air miles. Alaska Airlines used to fly out of Klamath Falls but that came to an end a couple of years ago when they retired the 'little' jet that flew this route. Anyway, Michelle came over Friday night and got settled in to be the house sitter/dog nanny so we were able to
make a comfortable 2 hour drive to Medford where we spent the night at Best Western.

An afternoon in Medford can easily be wiled away. We went to Barnes and Noble where Jack used his Christmas gift card from Sister Teri to by W.E.B. Griffin's latest book to read while on vacation. A trip to Macy's reveled Jack's favorite aftershave is no longer available ANYWHERE except online so he settled for Calvin Klein's Obsession. Diner consisted of good old American Black Bear hamburgers and fries. We had a date with a cabbie for 4:30 am to take us to the airport so we didn't stay up late.

At 5 AM, still somewhat drowsy, I sat with our carry-on luggage while Jack went to the airline counter to check our one and only large bag (loaded with fins, snorkels, masks, etc.) After talking with the attendant for a minute I noticed Jack turned to me with a huge grin and then turned back to the lady behind the counter. Now this could be his see-how-patient-I-can-be-in-the-face-of-frustration look which would mean something had gone haywire with our tickets, plane, or our luggage was overweight or it could be something good. I figured I'd know soon enough so I just stayed where I was.

Upgrades for two first-class seats on the 4 hour long flight from L.A. to Zihuatanejo was the reason for Jack's 90 watt smile. Our vacation was starting off really well! Even the 2 hour delay in L.A. didn't disturb our bliss.

Stepping off the plane at the Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo International Airport was like stepping into summer here. We'd dressed in layers knowing that the average temperature in Zihua is 86 degrees and at 6 PM it was all of that. We peeled off the light jackets we'd worn that morning and smiled at the first time tourists who were visibly sweating by the time they'd collected their luggage and started for Immigration. Our only hic-cup came when I couldn't locate the baggage claim ticket. The officials were requiring a ticket to match to each bag before letting a person proceed to the next check point. After several minutes of rummaging through my magic-expandable travel purse and both carry-ons we located our claim ticket and we were on our way again.

Treating ourselves to a private taxi from the airport to our lodging cost $37 dollars! A pretty steep increase from 4 years ago but it was worth it not to be crammed into a station wagon with 6 or 7 other people. The ride into Zihuatanejo only takes about 15 minutes and locating Villa Mercedes was easy.

Although Romaldo wasn't fluent in English we manage to make ourselves understood and he lead us to our room. We were supposed to be in Room #9 but he set us up in Room #8 which had a balcony over the pool and garden. Jack was somewhat disappointed because he was looking forward to having a balcony over the street where he could watch people and cars but it was not a big deal. Being told we still owed the balance due was.

Always, always carry a print out of reservations, receipts and charges when traveling! Excellent advise! I had a printed copy of the email I'd received stating we were paid in full and there was a $0.00 balance due at check-in. Even with this the night clerk made several calls to the manager and it was not entirely cleared up until the next morning. Jack bowed out and let me handle the situation. We'd brought our mini HP so I went online, located the managers original email and forwarded it to him with a note we were at the Villa and had been told we still owed monies. Everyone was very gracious despite the unknowns and the issue was cleared up by morning. The manager handles several properties and had just forgotten to let the front desk know when we had paid in advance.

We were in our room and out again to get dinner by 7:30 pm.

We'd read reports of an armed robbery a block from our lodging a week previously on ZihuaRob 's Message Board (the greatest place to find out what is going on in Zihuatanejo from the people that live there or frequent it often) and we didn't want to be out walking late so we simply strolled a few blocks down Calle Adelita to Nardo's Restaurant. It being Sunday evening not many places were open on this street. We know that most of the action occurs down by the basketball court on the Paseo de Pescedor on Sunday evenings but we didn't want to go that far. Our first dinner was less than stellar but it was food and we were back in our room shortly after dark.

It having been a long day we only sat on our little balcony and enjoyed the balmy air and accordion dominated music from El Centro for a short time before retiring for the night.

We were pleased that at first glance at least Zihuatanejo was still much the same as it was 4 years ago!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Jack and Sharen Rea! On a Caribbean Cruise, scuba diving off West Palm Beach, Florida, chilling in Oregon or kicking back in Zihuatanejo, Mexico - life is good!

Monday, January 03, 2011

New Year 2011 How strange that sounds to my ears! But I am doing what I can to make this a good year. I got up and participated in the Hangover Handicap Run/Walk in Old Town Klamath Falls on New Years Day. I say participated because I did not run or even speed walk. With Jaycup on a leash I strolled, along with another non-runner, the 2.8 mile course. At one point we passed a few others and remarked we wouldn't the the last ones to finish but they all picked up their pace towards the end and I have the distinction of being the last one across the finish line. My companion for the event was a visitor to Klamath Falls so it only seemed right to let her cross before me. My time in the Sunday Herald and News is listed last (of course) as 43.37! The winners finished in 12 minutes 43 seconds. But I was out there!!!!!

2010 was possibly the busiest year I can ever remember.

Jack and I celebrated 2010 New Year's Eve in Vero Beach, Florida with Diane and Keith.

In March I went to Thailand where Brett, Maya and I spent 3 weeks going from Bangkok to Tonsai to Chaing Rai, to Laos to Chaing Mai and back to Bankok. During that time I got lost in Bangkok, suffered from heat stroke in Tonsai, fell and twisted my ankle severely in Laos. I also rode an elephant, visited all the famous sites in Bangkok, experienced a culture radically different than anything I've ever known, got to spend time with my future daughter-in-law and enjoy several wonderful Thai massages - just to mention a few of the good things that happened.

May 2010 was spent in preparation for Brett and Maya's wedding. We took our travel trailer to Zion National Park a week before their May 29th ceremony and took in the area. After the weekend celebration and a quick trip back to Oregon I took off for my summer job as a camp host in the Deschuttes National Forest.

June, July, August and up to September 12th I lived in our travel trailer at first Quinn River and then Cultus Lake with Jaycup and Shiloh and 'worked' as a camp host. I love being a camp host and the summer passed quickly. I had snow on my birthday for the first time in my life! August 31st is normally still considered summer... even in the mountains!

On September 17th I experienced the most frightening event I can remember. After a two day hospital stay and a week of paralysis on my left side my life returned to 'normal' but I was left with a deep appreciation of friends, health and mobility as well as some less desirable apprehensions.

OCTOBER 5 Concetta Bettin Pilgrim was born while I was on my way to Austin, Texas! My first grandchild! I got to spend the first 10 days of Cetta's life with her, Maya and Brett. I didn't see very much of Austin on that trip but that was fine with me. I got to see my granddaughter day and night.

On returning to Oregon I made a side trip to Pendleton, Oregon for what turned out to be my last visit with my brother. Two years ago the doctors had given him only months to live but now he was in the infirmary.

Gerald died on November 12 from liver failure. Death of a close friend and Uncle Jim followed within 30 days.

Christmas 2010 was made special by a number of things. One, Jack and I were home and got to put up our own decorations! Secondly, Mom and Teri came up from Anderson and spent several days with us which included Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It was the first time since I was 19 years old that we shared a Christmas together!

Those were the highlights of 2010. I'm hoping 2011 will be less busy!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The latest picture of my little granddaughter! She isn't even two and a half months and she is supporting her own weight and holding her head high! Brett and Maya got together with Maya's family for a combination Thanksgiving - Christmas which Brett called Thanksmas - and this picture was taken of Cetta with her Auntie Kate. Many thanks to Maya's cousin, Vanna for sharing the pictures of that day with me!

2010-12-15 Cettas Thanksmas

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