Kris y Ken

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We retired from education in '07 and hit the road. Half the year, the cold months, we travel throughout Mexico in our Bigfoot truck camper. In the warm months we hang out mostly in Northern California having fun with our family and friends. Our other home is a Catalina Capri 26, "full mOOn" on beautiful and very sailable, Lake Camanche. Follow our travels on this blog....

 

 

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Harp Photos

 

Kris & Jon Gindick

Ken at Ground Zero

Kris at Ground Zero

Ken with "Heavy Suga"

Kris Mic'd

Ken Mic'd

Kris prepares to perform

A great crowd at Ground Zero

Musical Mind Meld

Jammin'

Some Favorite Photos

 

Kris with little Leoardo

Lupita and classmates

Ken & Kris Maruata

Leoardo y huachinangos

La Pizzaria, Maruata

Lanchas, Maruata

Pescaderos, Maruata

Buen Amigos, Jocotepec

Camper Tour, Maruata

Griselda Y Flor

Rosa, La Abuela, Lety

Jeraldo y Ken, Maruata

Verduras frescas, Maruata

El vecino, Maruata

Otro vecino, Maruata

La Playa, Maruata

Pelicanas, Maruata

La Familia, Maruata

Rosa y La Abuela

Pescaderito

Ceviche de Camaron

Camioneta de verduras

Saturday
Apr202013

Going Large..

by Kris

 

Among our first and best friends in Mexico were our Roca Azul neighbors, Russ and Ruth Ann. Many an evening they entertained us in the spacious hospitality of their impressive 36' 5th wheel trailer.  We'd dine or play games at their table, or watch a movie snuggled in their leather reclining couch. Most goodnights were accompanied by our half joking comment that if they were ever interested in selling, we'd be interested in buying. We weren't thinking of buying a 5th wheel or anything bigger than our beloved truck camper, but this was a special and very liveable rig that had a "someday" feel about it. An offhand remark by mutual friends this winter that Russ and Ruth Ann were thinking of selling was all it took...that and a trip to Texas, many days of beaurocratic hassles, and $$. No problemo.

Here she is in the parking lot of one of the many Rio Grande Valley immigration offices we visited in our attempts to get her "imported" by the Canadian owners so we could register her in the US before importing her to Mexico. Got that?

 

We had an uneventful trip back to Jocotepec other than the sixty mile an hour winds northeast of Monterrrey that blew the big awning off the trailer. She rode nicely behind our dually F-350 and the roads were good and traffic light. Driving a 36'er around the pereferico (ring road) of Guadalajara was muy interesante and unexplainable..you really had to be there. And once was enough.

Happily and permanently parked in our spot at Roca Azul with our smaller travel rig..

Love the floorplan with room for us to spread out and have company..

 Love our new cocina...room to cook together and wash and dry in style..

 

LOVE the new bathroom set-up and the bedroom has sooo much storage and closet space. Getting spoiled!

Mornings with café, the sunrise, and our hummingbirds are quite pleasant..

Now as we approach the end of our 180 tourist cards, we're having the fun of deciding what to leave here in our "home" and what to travel with us in what will be a noticeably lighter truck camper. We'll still be fulltiming in the tc our six months up north and using it for our beach trips and other Mexican exploration while here. The best of both of our worlds.

Sad to say goodbye to another amazing six months but sooo excited about coming to our Mexican home next fall. Our spring is full of beautiful colors and warm sunshine, hope yours is as well...

mOOners

Wednesday
Oct242012

Summer fun with Mom and Dad...

by Kris

 

October is the end of our time at home in the states. Visits with family and friends make the six months fly and give us great memories to last the winter. This summer we spent most of our time in Northern California with Ken's parents, Sam and Clara. The four of us are a good fit; we're all easy to please with good food, funny stories, gardening, politics, and SF Giants games. I call them Mom and Dad because I couldn't love them more if they were mine and they treat me like one of their own..I know so many of the old family stories that they feel like my history.

Mornings start with a meet-up over coffee and tea as we discuss the morning paper, last night's game, and what's up for the day. Dad offers to make one of his special breakfasts with eggs straight from the hens, freshly baked bread, or jazzed up hot cereal. When properly "sanctified" as Sam says, we go our ways with projects around the house, gardens, our camper, or whatever.

Mom creates a colorful autumn planting..

 Bounty from Dad's quite happy tomato plants..

Rosie is an equal opportunity lap snuggler and unabashed morning sunner..

 Ken and Dad enjoy guy time trolling their favorite spots on Lake Camanche in Dad's boat. October is the best for bass and Dad proudly shows off the latest catch..

Great Grandpa Sam's big smile shows the joy of a visit with his youngest squirmiest namesake, toddler Sam..

When the Giants are on tv, we're gamers. Most nights we wake Dad from a hard day's nap with hootin' and hollerin' as the Black and Orange play. My three roomies say I'm often more entertaining than the game and I own that. Occasionally I pause the tv for screen shots and get oohs and aaahs from my three favorite San Franciscans..

Last summer the four of us hit the road for an overnighter to the beautiful Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains. We enjoyed the splendid scenery, great company, and occasional dining or viewing pit stops - this one a blustery photo-op on the back side of Yosemite..

With another summer full of good memories we're packing and looking south to Mexico. Our time with Mom and Dad winds down and we say thanks for so much. We're blessed to have this quality time together. I'm thankful for the love I feel as their bonus daughter and appreciative of the man Ken is as their helpful and supportive son.

Before we hit the road, we have our last hurrah with the Giants in the 2012 World Series and we're enjoying every bit of it together.

Love you, Mom and Dad..we'll do it again next year!

Wednesday
Jan252012

Cita con un dentista

by Kris

 

Today we're leaving Roca Azul in Jocotepec, for the playas of Michoacán. After three great months of living here we've spent the last couple of days re-grouping for a road trip. An un-expected item on our to-do list was a dental appointment for me to check out a crown that came lose in a popcorn accident.

Many of our Mexican and Gringo amigos in the Joco area are satisfied patients of local dentist, Dr. Juan Carlos Garcia Martinez, fondly known as Juan Carlos. My appointment was yesterday. My time with Juan Carlos was one of my most enjoyable experiences in the five years I've spent in Mexico.

Ken and I were greeted in the waiting area by the family dog...a delightful pup who welcomed us with wags. What a great way to relieve any dental anxiety..

The waiting room was open air and very comfortable. The dental office is contained in the home of Juan Carlos, his wife and assistant, Alicia, and their four daughters, two of whom are also dentists. Juan Carlos was raised in this home (nicely modernized) and the dental operatory is in what was his mother's kitchen.

This is a one operatory office; everything is done in one room. He is with one patient - not hopping around to two or more patients at a time. It was very relaxing. Juan Carlos also has a wicked sense of dental humor...

Juan Carlos has an amazing chair side demeanor. He speaks English beautifully, but because he is so easy to talk with, we conversed in Spanish. We spoke of Mexican places we've visited, foods we love, and friends we have in common. The hour flew by. He removed the crown, cleaned it, gave me a painless injection, cleaned a bit of decay, then re-seated the crown. The cost: $380 pesos..$29 US..

Really.

mOOners

Tuesday
Aug022011

Saying goodbye...

by Kris

 

We're packing for our trip across the country to Nova Scotia. As we load the truck and camper we're unloading the leashes, food bowls, blankets, and toys of our little travel buddy, Duffie. Our 14 year old Westie is romping in the big dog park in the sky; chasing squirrels and eating more than his share of carrots.

We choose to celebrate his life with funny memories and pictures that almost, but not quite, capture the spirit and personality that made Duffie the best friend and travel campanion we could ask for...

Duffie had an appreciation for quiet moments in nature

Duffie loved the smells, the sounds, the sights....SQUIRREL!!!

 Duffie was happy surrounded by his four legged amigos...

happier hanging out with the kids...

happiest wherever we were...sailing was ok...light winds preferred...

Duffie was loyal to us, his family, and friends...even to his favorite toy, Squeaky Shoe, purchased the day he adopted us and still squeaking strong..

Our travels won't be the same without our uncomplaining back seat driver...

The sweetest deepest sleep is for pups who play hard and love hard and travel many miles...

Little Duff, wherever you are...here's looking at you ♥

 

mOOners

Friday
Jul012011

Four Years??

by Kris

 

Four years ago this weekend, we moved out of our suburban California home into our 10'6" Bigfoot Truck Camper. What amazes me about this is not that we live in such a small space but that it's been FOUR YEARS! How did this happen so fast?

We purchased our camper in 2002 to save on travel costs while campaigning our Santana 20 up and down the West Coast. Here's "mOOn" racing and leading on Fernridge Reservoir near Eugene, Oregon

The more we spent time in the camper, the more we enjoyed it and looked for opportunities to use it apart from sailing. As educators, our summer breaks afforded us weeks of time to hit the road. We spent five weeks in the summer of 2004 in Oregon...zigzagging across the state from the mountains to the coast and back, following the best weather. 

The following year, after a fun spring of planning and organizing, we ventured to Mexico. For six weeks we traveled down the west coast of the mainland stopping in villages and cities until we reached Sayulita and set up camp.

What we learned from our summer adventures was that we loved this way of life. We enjoyed not just being somewhere new and exotic, we liked the planning, the organizing, the driving, and living in our camper.

When we retired four years ago we decided on the vagabond lifestyle and felt well equipped to make it work. Apparently we have! Along the way we've adapted and evolved. We no longer haul around the internet satellite dish opting instead for now available wi-fi and  3G USB internet plug-ins. We have loaded and instantly loadable Kindles to replace boxes of books. Ken's greatly streamlined his musical gear to smaller (but more powerful) amps, speakers, recording equipment and he's replaced the keyboard with a nice set of blues harps (aka harmonicas..) Our camper has an abundance of interior and exterior storage and we're able to be comfortably liveable without clutter.  When we're off the truck - as we are in Roca Azul for months at a time - we unload our basement and the backseat of our king cab Ford F-350 dually into our cute little tent/bodega...

Our home on wheels reflects our personalities and is colorfully eclectic with an emphasis on Mexican style with fun artifacts from areas we've visited. I love waking up every morning to this warm and embracing coziness wherever we are. Wherever we are...I love that!!

There are many benefits to living in an RV and more so in a smaller (22') rig like ours...we can stay in areas (particularly remote beaches ;-) that the big guys only dream about.  We take up a regular parking space and can overnight more inconspicuously as necessary when boondocking.  And there are times when the highway conditions are less than optimal for larger rigs...

We make the most of our living space by annexing the great outdoors...our equipale table and chairs (stored by friends in Jocotepec, Jalisco in the summer) offer comfy alfresco dining and socializing from breakfast til bedtime.

Napping is taken to a higher level in a hammock swaying gently in a tropical breeze after a morning of snorkeling, fishing, reading, and blongo in our backyard...

Our neighborhood changes as we travel and our neighbors become friends...or they don't. We've been fortunate that most travelers we meet are open minded and welcoming; our cultural differences are explored and celebrated. These zany neighbors from Nova Scotia are keepers!

Four years of this lifestyle? Yes, and I am thankful for the opportunity and the experiences.

I join Duffie in looking forward to more...

mOOners