Thursday, February 19, 2015

Kino Bay Trip - Part ll

Kino Bay is a small town with not a lot to do but we did manage to do some exploring. Some of the people from Club Deportivo organized a light weight 4 wheel drive outing. It was a nice drive including some time driving right on the beach which is always fun, Part of the beach drive included a stop at the Christmas Tree shown in the picture below with Joe and I.

Another day we attended a Seri festival which was originally going to be at a later time but they held it sooner as they hear that our large group would be in town. The Seri Indians have been in the Sonora region of Mexico for at least 500 years. They are well known for their beautiful basket work and carvings made of ironwood. We bought a small carving while at the fair. We also checked out the Museum which had lot of its history and examples of their basket work.

Club Deportivo also organized a trip for our group into Hermosillo, the nearest large city from Kino Bay. We took the hour or so drive into the city and then transferred to a tour bus.

  1. Hermosillo is a city located centrally in the northwestern Mexican state of Sonora. It is the capital and main economic center for the state and region. It contains almost all of the state's manufacturing and has seventy percent of its population. Wikipedia
We had a guide who gave us info on the city. Some of our stops included a bakery, Coyota Dona Maria, where we watched them make coyotas, which are pastries with a molasses based filling. They then add different ingridents, such as apples, coconut, nuts,etc Of course we bought some to take back home with us. We saw the Zaragoza Plaza, the /Government Plaza and the wonderful old buildings of the city. We also had a lunch at Xochimilco, a steak house which specializes in carne asada. A whole wall was dedicated to the grilling of large slabs of meat. It was pretty tasty.

Of course, part of the Mexican Connections purpose, besides giving people an opportunity to see what traveling in Mexico is like is Charity. Everyone brings clothing, school supplies, kitchen items, wheelchairs, etc from the US to give to worthy causes in the area we stay at. We also have a live and silent auction to raise money for the needy in the area. This year, Joe was one of the bartenders serving margaritas and wine to get people in the mood to bid on the items up for auction. I was one of the registration people who signed then up and gave them their paddle for bidding. We then had to write down the names, item and cost of each winning bid and collect the money after the auction was over.  It was pretty successful, especially considering we had a smaller group this time.

We had a pretty good time this week, meeting new people and getting to know some we already knew a little better, a few trips, lots of good food, and just relaxing time on the beach. Now we are headed back to So Cal for a Celebration of Life for my Dad and then back to Tucson for the Escapade in March.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Kino Bay Trip with the Mexican Connection - Part l

We made an one night stop at Picacho Peak State Park. It is a very pretty campground set against the now very green hills. We got there late in the day and left for Tucson in the morning but plan to stay there another time when we can stay longer.

We arrived at Pima County Fairgrounds in Tucson for the pre ralley of our trip to Kino Bay with Chapter 8 Mexican Connection. One of the days there was to get visas down in Nogales. It was farther south than we thought. We should have gotten the visas when in the Yuma area where the border is a very short drive. Our group was smaller this time with around 50 people. A lot of the people we spent time with the last few trips didn't come this time for various reasons but we got to meet some nice new folks as well as got to know some of the other returnees a little better.
The trip down was interesting. Our group was the last one and we were the tailgunners for it. The border crossing was very easy and we got through with ease. We did have one problem on the way to our first stop. We had stopped for a break and one of our group's rigs wouldn't start. We weren't able to jump start it and ended up calling a mechanic who came out and was able to get it started. This cost us a few hours. However, we finally made it to Rancho Betania, a church run campground that is on the way to our 300 mile trip to Kino Bay. They put on a nice Mexican dinner for us.

The next day we continued on our way and finally made it to Kino Bay, which is about 60 miles southwest of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. Kino Bay RV Park is in the new section of Kino Bay and is across the street from the beach. This section of town has a lot of nice homes on the beach side of the street and a few restaurants, including Jorge's which is just across the street from the park. The park is a winter home to many retirees from the US and Canada. Some of the sites have decked out patios and casitas which are very nice.

Our first night we went over to Club Deportivo's happy hour. Club Deportivo was established in 1977
and is a social club for those who spent part or all of their time in the Kino Bay area. They also offer the only 24/7 Rescue service, the only one of its kind in Mexico and are very involved with charities in this area. As the Mexican Connection is also involved with charities in Mexico this was a good fit.
They were also a great help in organizing a few outings for our group. There isn't as much to do in this area as the other places we have been in Mexico and so this was very helpful.
As I mentioned before, we are right across the street from the beach and we took daily walks on the beach which we had almost to ourselves during the weekdays. We took a long walk with our friends from Jojoba Hills, Richard and Ann. Their dog, Rusty, and Savannah had fun off lease on the beach.
Savannah is a real beach girl. She runs straight to the water to get her paws wet and then rolls around in the sand.

We went out to eat a number of times with different members of the group, including Jorge's, which was across the street and a restaurant, Mariscos Bahia, near Old Kino on the beach. Joe and I had dinner by ourselves for Valentine's Day at a great little restaurant at the Casablanca Hotel. We both had Fish Piccata with a great sauce and rice with lime and cilantro and a delicious flan with an orange sauce. When we got here we were a little disappointed to find out it wasn't shrimp season this far down. We had some great shrimp our last trips in the Baja area and had planned on buying a bunch of it to take back home. Oh well, next year when we go to Puerto Penasco.

The next blog post will feature some of our side trips, including a 4 Wheel Drive trip and a bus trip to Hermosillo. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Selanne Weekend and onto Mexico

We are in Tucson at the Pima Fairgrounds and will be traveling into Mexico with the Escapees Mexican Connectioin in the morning. Earlier this month we stayed at Bolsa Chica State Park in Huntington Beach to celebrate the retirement of Teemu Selanne's number. We had boght a 6 game Hockey pass especially to be able to go to the game where the ceremony was to take place. We read about some other things going on related to this and so decided to make a weekend of it. We arrived at Bolsa Chica on Thursday.the 8th.

Thursday night there was a documentary on Teemu at the Newport Beach Cinema. It was an interesting film about his early home life in Finland and his early days of hockey up to his retirement. He was also there for a question and answer section which was fun.

Teemu Ilmari Selänne (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈteːmu ˈilmɑri ˈselænːe]), nicknamed "The Finnish Flash" (born July 3, 1970), is a Finnishformer professional ice hockey winger. He began his professional career in 1989–90 with Jokerit of the SM-liiga and played 21 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Winnipeg JetsAnaheim DucksSan Jose Sharks and Colorado Avalanche. Selänne is the highest scoring Finn in NHL history, and one of the highest overall; he retired in 2014 11th all-time with 684 goals and 15th with 1,457 points. He holds numerous team scoring records for both the Winnipeg/Arizona franchise and the Anaheim Ducks  Per Wiikipedia
He has two brothers, one his twin and an older brother. As a rookie playing for the Winnipeg Jets he scored 76 goals, a league record to this day.

 Friday night we went to Selanne Steak Tavern in Laguna Beach. It is a great restaurant with great service and wonderful food. It is a steakhouse and so Joe had a steak and I had short ribs with polenta. We had a side of Teemu's Mac and Cheese which we hear was very good and it was delicious. We even had some leftover to take home to enjoy for lunch the next day. We also had some scallops for an appetizer which were excellent. A little pricey but well worth it for a special night out. 
Saturday we went over to the South Coast Plaza area where they had a room set up with all his trophies and some jerseys and other hockey items from his career. The Stanley Cup was there also as he was a big part of the Ducks Win in 2007.

Then the big night on Sunday. We met Kristi and Brock at the Honda Center for the big game. They had a large tent in the parking area where we bought some souvenirs including some tee shirts. When we entered the Center everyone got a little clip on light that blinked when you turned it on. This made for an awesome effect when the ceremony for Teemu started and there were little blinking lights all over. -There were many former Ducks on the stage, including Scott Niedermayer, Saka  Koivu, Chris Pronger and Jean-Sebastien Giguere who got lots of applause.
-Former Duck George Parros narrated a video which was nicely done.. Kariya appeared in the video, to cheers from fans. He was out of the country and couldn't attend, A great moment was when Ducks owner Henry Samueli said it was a strange summer not having Teenu informing him that he was coming back again as he had talked about retiring every year after the Ducks won the Stanley Cup. All the fans chanted One More Year.All the Ducks came out and shook his hand. Finally the Jersey was raised to the rafters as Selanne and his family looked on. What a wonderful ceremony and tribute to one of the great Hockey Players of all time. Lots of tears were shed that night. Another nice touch was when the Ducks and the Jets did their practice before the game they all had on jerseys with Teemu' name and number(13 for the Jets players as that was his number when on that team and number 8 his number for the Ducks. It was a good game with the Ducks winning which was another great moment.

It was a great weekend. We went back to Jojoba for a short while and then headed down to Silver Strand in San Diego for the weekend. We planned to take the MH in for service and then head towards Tucson, which we did. Our weekend had a sad ending as that was when we got word that my Dad had passed away. We are going to have a Celebration of Life for him when we get back from Mexico. We miss him a lot.

We got the MH serviced and headed out to the Yuma area where we boondocked on American Girl Mine Rd where we stayed last year for awhile. It was a nice relaxing time with just a little rain. We are now in Tucson. I probably won't be able to do any blogs until we get back from Mexico but hope we will have some nice stories and pictures to share.