Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A cooking lesson, a museum and La Bufadora

I am still catching up on our Mexico adventure. One of the activities available was a cooking lesson from one of the chefs from the Estero Beach Resort restaurant. The chef showed us how to make chili rellenos. We got some good tips. We then split up into groups and put together some enchiladas and each couple filled up a plate with an enchilada, tostada, chili relleno and rice and beans. It was fun and we got more food than i would have thought. We will have to remember to do this type of thing in the future.


The Estero Beach Museum was a wonderful small museum with an outstanding collection of folk art, ancient fossils and shells as well as a pictorial history of Ensenada The museum also contains Indian Artifacts of the ancient indigenous tribes of Mexico, such as the Olmecs, the Aztecs and the Mayan.We had a very informative guide and really enjoyed our time there.




We climbed aboard a bus for another adventure. We again have Sofia as our guide. We drove to La Bufadora, the blowhole. A natural attraction, where sea water spouts up to 70 feet up into the air. Got some nice pictures and the rainbow in the water spout was a nice surprise. We had been here many, many years ago but don't remember the market place and restaurants you go through to get to the blow hole. They have really made this a tourist attraction, which is fine. We had a nice lunch at one of the restaurants on the top floor with great views.



On the way stopped at one of the orphanages some of our group had been looking at to receive money we raise while here through an auction, donations and other money raising ideas. The gentleman who runs it was originally from San Diego. There are about 50 children here. It is a very nice place and the children are so sweet. They put a lot of importance to education and there are a number of the older children who are attending college. What a heart warming experience. The dresses the girls are holding were made by one of the ladies in our group. Some of the money we raised ended up being used to take the people running this orphanage shopping for groceries.


Speaking of the auction, it ended up being very successful. We had donated an extra sea eagle we had and it went for around 275 dollars. It is a lot of fun . We bid on and got several things, including a bottle of wine. There were also several food items, including a homemade banana cake that went for 49dollars. As we say, it's for the children. There were several other new money makers. 50/50, in which you buy tickets and then a ticket is selected and the winner gets half of the money made and the rest to charity. I think the winner gave their winnings to charity. The other money maker was when several people volunteered to jump into the unheated pool for charity. Around 300 dollars was made from this. All and all, just under 7,000 dollars was made and will be much appreciated by the recipients. There was also a bunch of clothes donated that will go to those in need in the Ensenada area. We had a good time in Ensenada including at the resort with happy hours with every one or at some one's site. One day, we had A nice lunch at the resort restaurant with some of our group sitting outside enjoying the great weather, which had warmed up the last few days. Our last night was another great dinner at the restaurant with everyone in attendance. We had decided not to go farther down due to a motorhome issue we had. More on that on my next post. We got up early and headed out with another couple. We had decided to go through the Tecate border which is smaller and turned out to. Be a good idea. We drove through the Valle of Guadalupe, which is a large wine region. Joe and I had driven there one day for some wine tasting. We had a nice conversion with the gentleman who ran the family owed winery, Vina de Liceaga.


I'll leave you with another great sunset from Estero Beach Resort. Hasta la Vista, Ensenada.



Thursday, February 6, 2014

Ensenada City Tour

Ensenada is a costal town and the third largest city in Baja California. It is very popular as a cruise line stop. Luckily we took our tour on a day when there were no ships in town or it would have been quite crowded. Most of our group were signed up for the tour and so we had two large buses. Our bus had a great tour guide, Sofia and her bus driver and husband Gabriel. She gave us lots of good information, including history of the city as well as places to go.

We started our tour at the Riveria del Pacifico, the social, civic and cultural center. It is a former casino built in 1930. It was closed and fell into disrepair but was restored by the federal and then state of Baja government in the late 70's. It is a well used building, for weddings, conventions and parties, and various classed. There is a library and museum. They also have a small bar, which some of us took advantage of with some delicious margaritas. It's all about the margarita in Mexico :). The gardens are beautiful with geraniums and bougainvilleas.

I loved the inside with its inlaid tiles, murals, chandeliers and painted ceilings.


The stained glass doors leading to the Bar Andaluz were beautiful as was the bar and another mural above the bar.




We drove through more of the town23to the Plaza Civica or Three Heads Park. It is called Three Heads because there are golden busts of three of Mexic's most famous and revered heros, Miquel Hidalgo, Benito Juarez and Venustiano Carranza.


We walked from the Park to the Market Place and Fish Market. The market had rows of produce, cheeses, and even an ice cream stand. We got some wine honey, recommended by Sofia, several cheeses and some mangoes, limes and cilantro which I will later use to make a mango salsa i which I ended up adding some of the tequila we bought in one of the liquor stores near Estero Beach.

The Fish Market, or Mercado de Mariscos, is the largest fish market in Ensenada and has more varieties of fish than you can image. By the market there are many open air restaurants where there are vocal salesperson vying for your business. We stopped at one for some fish tacos and cervezas, joining Alan and Ellie, friends from our last two trips with the group. We then went to the fish market and bought a bunch of shrimp, swordfish that they cut in thick slices of the whole fish, and some smoked tuna. We stepped out of the market onto the Malecon, which is a boardwalk by the water with lots of stalls selling all types of items.



Did you note the lovely blue skies. What a nice day for walking around and seeing the sights. The views from the bus were nice as well.


We headed back to the resort, where we took it easy until our 4 o'clock happy hour.



Wednesday, February 5, 2014

California - Baja That is

We spent a few days at Silver Strand, which now has electric and water. You can still pull forward and drag the hoses under the MH. Beautiful view and sunshine though a little cool. Pictures below include some sunset pictures from the desert as well as the beach. Fantastic at both places.




We took the short drive to Chula Vista for the pre rally for our Mexican Connection Chapter 8 Trip to Ensenada. There were quite a few people we knew from our two previous trips with this Escapees group to Mexico as well as many new people. Savannah was happy to see her boyfriend, Reggie. She ran right up to him which she doesn't usually do to other dogs. Miles and Ella were there as well as well as their humans :) We spent the two days in meetings, including one with with the small group we will travel with down to Ensenada. They break it up in small groups so the whole group of rvs are crossing the border all together. We had a hamburger dinner one night and a happy hour the first night with some of the group we hung out with last year.


On the fifth of February, we made the easy border crossing. There had been a major slide on the toll road and so we spent most of the trip down on the free road. A little windy through the mountains but not bad.



We had no problems going through Ensenada to Estero Beach Hotel/Resort , where we are staying. There is a hotel as well as a rv campground. Our 49 rigs filled up the place. Some had to boondock in the parking area right next the the camp sites. We are not exactly right on the water as there is a large marsh in front of the campground but the first of the two rows of sites do have a view of the water. There is a nice walkway that goes to the room where we will have meetings and happy hours and then on to the restaurant which are across from the water. A nice resort, though we liked our sites right on the beach and water at San Felipe better.

Our first night included happy hour where we got some information on activities for the week. Tomorrow is a tour of the city which I will discuss in the next post. We had a delicious buffet dinner of tacos, enchilladas and chile rellanos with rice and beans. Oh, and some yummy margaritas. There was a mariachi band and we definitely felt we are in Mexico.

Stay tune for the adventures to come.