Category Archives: Travel

Mazatlán At Last

Mazatlán Sunset

Hi all.  The blog and magazine will have a temporary address in Mazatlán, Mexico for the next couple of months, or more.  Now that we are here, it is impossible to predict when we will be back in Canada, although it is tentatively February 22.

As incorrigible travelers, Lori and I have been champing at the bit to get back on a plane and go anywhere.  We booked 10 days in November and blasted off here, just prior to finding out that Lori was able to work there without an issue.  We then booked January 4th to February 20th on WestJet, found accommodations, and hunkered down in Calgary for Christmas.  Almost immediately, WestJet scared the crap out of us.  We received an email with a flight change.  We opened it with both eyes squeezed shut.  After squinting with one eye, we saw that it was all good.  Our February 20th flight was cancelled, and we could re-book for February 22nd with no charge etc.  That worked for us, 2 extra days!!!.

Then Omicron!  On our November trip, it was just appearing and when we arrived back in Canada on December 1. I, of course, was randomly chosen for a mandatory PCR test.  The first few days were in isolation as I awaited the results of my second test in 3 days.  Predictably, they came back negative.  Now we waited in total suspense as our leaders tested the political waters on yet another lock-down.  Sensing impending travel issues, we re-booked our flight from January 4 to January 1, then watched the various apps for flight cancellations. 

Once again, we received an email, this time as we were at an airport hotel on New Year’s Eve.  Again, squinting paid off as it was only a notification that our flight was delayed by 2 hours.  Another sigh of relief. 

The next morning, we arrived at the airport, only to be confronted by check-in lineups about a mile long.  Puzzled, we asked an agent what was going on and let him know we had checked in online.   He said we did not need to line up with the rest and to get our baggage tags from any open kiosk, then proceed to the self baggage check in.  It turns out that there were issues with vaccination records being uploaded in the online check-in process.  We had noticed that when we were doing it the previous day but played with it until it worked.   Breezed through this as the machines were basically empty, the baggage lineup was also empty and there was no one in the security line.  Basically, we were now getting a 2 hour breakfast window. 

Next hurdle was getting on a plane.  We got to our gate just in time for a flight notice on the PA system.  After gulping, all they did was repeat what we already knew, our 9:45 departure was delayed until 11:45.  Considering it was 10:25, the notice seemed unnecessary.

The flight started boarding on time, then went for de-icing prior to take off and then we were in the air.  Loads of weight off our shoulders.

On landing, we had the most successful entry into Mazatlán that we have ever had.  Off the plane in 5 minutes, entry document completed and submitted to passport control in another 5, a luggage wait of less than 5 minutes, no line up at the taxi counter and a taxi right there with it’s trunk open.  We cleared the airport in record time for Mazatlán.  A good sign for the next couple of months.

As for our first few days, it is a pleasure to be here.  The weather is obviously fine.  The true upside is the vibe.  Restaurants and bars are open, people wear their masks as in Canada, temperatures are taken at most venues, but people are upbeat and having no issues with the protocols. 

We have settled into our routines, and will function as we did in Canada, just warmer.  I will be posting as much as possible, including multiple reviews on what to do, see and listen to in Mazatlán. 

And Back

Took a break to sort 97 bazillion pictures. That can take a while, but I am done. Will be back at it, hopefully tomorrow.

Tip of the day. In the age of digital photography, sort and catalogue your pictures weekly? I was sorting pictures from 6 years ago.

Logan’s Pass, Glacier National Park, Montana

Travel Thursday – Saskatoon – From July 2011

As I struggle to collate and create several years of photo and video files, I once again add a post from the past. This is a note about our old home town of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and dates from their annual Jazz Festival, this one in 2011 and features an outstanding Saskatoon player, Jordan Cook.

This week is the week for The Saskatchewan Jazz Festival in Saskatoon.  Not only does it bring in the name acts, it also showcases Saskatchewan talent.  One of these talents is Jordan Cook.  For some reason, the province has been blessed with many talented musicians who continue to impress.  The list is long, but some of these are, Northern Pikes, Colin James, Jack Semple, Deep Dark Woods, Kyle Riabko the list is endless.  There was a show last night in Saskatoon that I would have loved to have been at.  It featured Jordan Cook and The Sheepdogs.   The video attached is Jordan Cook playing live.

The Atlantic Meets The Caribbean – From July 2013

Even after all these years, this still amazes me. The contrast in color between the Atlantic and the Caribbean is amazing, and the waterfall effect on the reef was something I will never forget.

Some very raw and rough footage I took of a reef off the coast of Barbuda in the Caribbean sea.  What we are seeing is a reef where the Atlantic Ocean (dark blue) hits the reef, waterfalls over it and becomes the Caribbean Sea (light blue).  Very loud so turn down the sound.  I apologize for the bounciness of the clip, but a sailboat, or any boat for that matter, is not a very stable platform to shoot a video from.  We had anchored in this vicinity overnight, and enjoyed the sights and sounds through the evening and morning.  Pretty impressive.

My Reverse Bucket List ; Evacuation

Time for something completely different. A reverse bucket a list, a list of accomplishments that I never ever wanted to do. First up, being evacuated due to a forest fire.

British Columbia is known for it’s hot summers, especially in the interior. Forest fires are no strangers in this environment. In the fall of 2017, B.C. was on fire, multiple fires throughout the province, one of which was real close to our recreation property near Cranbrook, B.C. As dangerous as things were, it was still kind of interesting,

For eample, the water bombers cruising over Moyie Lake and depositing their payloads on the fire up on Lamb Creek.

Then a turn for the worse, an evacuation alert. We were put on alert, meaning instant evacuation from the RV resort. As luck would have it, the fire was getting visibly worse.

The Smoke

That evening (pre-covis) we had some friends in for supper. Around the 3rd bottle of wine, it happened. EVACUTION!!! We had zero miniutes to clear out.

The Glow

The fire was obviously an issue and ominous. Luckily it was dark, and we followed the tail lights in a very slow parade to Cranbrook.

Not something I ever wanted to happen and the first entry on my reverse bucket list.

New Denver, BC – Slocan Lake

Originally posted on our old place. Beautiful place to have a picnic lunch. Stunning views.

A shot of the view of Slocan Lake at New Denver, British Columbia. Drove down to this area from Revelstoke on August 4. Beautiful drive with lots of terrific scenery.

Lake Louise

We posted this in 2012, I believe, on our old page. Slowly moving the best over to this one.

Living in Calgary gives us ample opportunity to hit the Rocky mountains when the urge strikes us.  Banff is an hour from our front door and Lake Louise a little further down the highway.  This shot was taken in Lake Louise in late May, just as winter is loosening its grip on the lake. Lake Louise As Spring Takes Over.

Travel Thursday – A New Feature

Photo by Ian Panelo on Pexels.com

I have added a new feature to the menu to simplify (hopefully) navigation to posts on various places we have been. In the menu it is simply titled Bucket List. Basically it will put everywhere we’ve been in one place and link to a key post about the location. Kind of like a quick table of contents.

Mazatlan – Day 4

Once again a full slow day,

First things first. We were out of cream. The assistant to the assistant was tasked with job of obtaining same at Soriano’s. After getting rained on 3 or 4 times, mission accomplished and the social director and her assistant were once again basking in the glory of half and half cream in their coffee. On the upside, I didn’t need a shower.

I was then informed by the social director that my hair was too long and a haircut was required. A person to cut it was located and 100 pesos later I looked awesome, or back to awesome.

At the same place, the social director fixed a broken nail on on her “John, go get this” pointing finger.

Carrying on, we took a stroll to the Melacon and caught a taxi. Interesting drive. Driver had quite the cough. Being in the front seat, I spent most of the trip holding my breath. Our mission in Centro was a watch battery. Unfortunately the shop was not open.

On to lunch. We are at a beautiful little place, Macaws in Centro near the Fremont hotel. Lunch was good. As we ate, the heavens opened up and it began to pour.

We decided to beeline it to Edgars, home of the 20 peso beer. If you want Dos Equis though, that will be 21 pesos. On the way we had to duck into cover from the rain. It did give me a chance to inspect some outdoor electrical work. Finely installed and maintained. Seldom does one see such work.

Once we reached our destination, I was advised of a serious issue in the establishment’s washrooms. Apparently, someone has stolen both toilet seats in the woman’s washroom. A travesty I tell you. To solve the issue, I will be creating a Gofundme page to raise money for replacements. Luckily the men’s room was immune from this brazen thievery. Based on this evidence, I have to assume the job had been perpetrated by a female gang.

After a couple of pops, we decided a milkshake was in order. The rain was intense and left rivers throughout the Centro area.

Then to Arturos for the, according to Buddy in Elf, the worlds greatest milkshake. ( I know he said coffee, but I claim poetic license as the author).

After a wonderful milkshake (secret ingredient alcohol) we headed back to the condo for a lovely lasagne dinner courtesy our host. To finish the evening we had a night cap on the deck and watched another spectacular sunset.

Followed shortly thereafter by this.

Yes…a waterspout. Seen tornadoes before, but never on of these. A sight to see.

Until tomorrow. Hasta La Vista.

Mazatlan- Day 3

The photo is last nights sunset from the Assistant’s deck.

A simple day. The social director was not on top of her game. I thinks it’s called a hangover. Visited La Catrina and watched Super Bowl. Basically posting to keep up the numerical order.

Great football game and a loud and raucous crowd at the bar. Good time.

Day 4 will be coming later today and is a bit more active.

As this is an itsy bitsy post, I’d like to introduce the characters and also highlight some upcoming reviews.

The Social Director. The Lori part of JohnLoriEh and my life partner in crime.

The Assistant to the Social Director. My favourite sister (only?) Janice. Also our gracious hostess for the next while.

The Assistant to the Assistant. Our favourite (only?) brother-in-law, Kirk, also our gracious host.

The scribe is myself, the John part of JohnLoriEh!

Janice and Kirk spend winters each for the last 7 in Mazatlan.

There will be a few more added as they arrive in town and I award them with titles.

As for upcoming reviews, My intent is to gather up similar things and do a series of reviews in 1 post. Music, restaurants and bars will be the main topics, and I could add others as I think of them. This is a fascinating city with lots to do and great vibes.