Monday, January 26, 2015

What I am Reading

One Summer - David Baldacci

I never expected this book to be like it was when I pulled it off the shelf. I expected a love story actually. I do hate to read the jacket or the cover of the books so as not to spoil the story.  

It started off strong and the story was engaging. A 30 something family man dying of an incurable disease. A wife & mother trying to keep the family together and survive the impending death of her soulmate. The story kept me intrigued for about 3/4 of the book and then it kinda turned into a Harlequin romance and became very predictable. Very Monday night movie-ish. I still enjoyed it but .....ick....just wasn't for me. A beach read for sure. 

The reviews were not that great for this one but I would try another book of his again. 
2nd chances for everyone!!!

Relax... Respect... Enjoy... Dorri

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Day Trip to Mexico to Buy Prescription Glasses

Ahhh Mexico.... where the drugs are cheap, the liquor is free flowing and there's a dentist on every street corner. Actually, more like 5 or 6 dentists. Welcome to Algodones, Mexico; a medical haven for thousands of Canadians & Americans who winter in Southern California and Arizona. This tiny border town with less than 6,000 residents is home to more dentists, eye care specialists and pharmacies than most major US cities. Approximately 3,000 people cross the border daily to purchase these services and products. Roughly one half to one third the price you would pay in the US. If the thought of medical care in Mexico sounds scary to you, you are not alone. We were definitely a little skeptical. I read many online reviews and spoke to a few people who had purchased glasses as well as had dental procedures done. On the whole it was all very positive. So we decided to check it out for ourselves. Day trip yay!
A 2 hour drive on I10 from Indio, CA... nice highway good drive
Passing the Imperial Dunes.... amazing sand dunes
Last rest stop before the border crossing, nice and clean with a view of the dunes
Here we come Mexico yo no queira ir, pero bueno...
Welcome to Algodones, Mexico
We parked in a large paved lot ran by Native Americans just outside the border. $8US. It is huge. I noticed some people parked along the highway and hiked it all the way to the border but on a hot day that would be crazy for the low cost of the parking. License plates from everywhere in the US and Canada. After you cross the parking lot you just "walk" in to Mexico. No lines or border patrol, just a walk way in???? So you can get in easy but can you get out haha. (PS you do need your passport to get out) You do definitely get bombarded by locals; handing you flyers for pharmacies and dentists. Some are selling souvenirs but it was not as bad as some of the blogs made it out to be. In all very easy sailing straight to the optical store.  A bit of a street fair atmosphere. Cotton candy and all. The streets are very tight and crowded and I can understand why you should park and walk rather than drive in here. 
Sign shops must do a killing down here
After our research we chose Best Optical and were very satisfied with the service and product 
Inside the selection was not as large as in Canada but still a lot to choose from 
We all had an eye exam rather than bringing our own prescriptions in. This cost about an extra $100.00 US. They were bang on and very informative about our eyes. We waited about 3 hours for all our glasses to be ready. Between the 4 of us we purchased 11 pairs of glasses. Perry averaged it out and the prescription glasses ran approximately around $300 each with progressive/transition lenses. We have been wearing our glasses for a couple weeks now and are very happy. Only one downfall is that in order to get the Anti-Glare option we would have had to wait 2 weeks and come back to pick them up. We chose not to. I am hoping we can send them away in Costco to have it added if possible when we go home. It's not a complete necessity but I would like to add it if we can. Sounds like as long as they are scratch free it shouldn't be a problem.

I got 3 prescription glasses with progressive lenses with transitions and a pair of Versace  sunglasses
View from the bench in front of Best Optical
Some of the souvenirs for sale not he streets, some beautiful metal garden art.... wish we were not flying woulda loved to have some in the Lakehouse garden

How much longer?
Margarita anyone?
We went for lunch to a small cafe called El Caliente, just down the block and enjoyed some excellent quesadillas, enchiladas, refried beans and rice.... the waiter made me a Long Island Iced Tea without the tequila and it was PERFECT..... it is very hard in the US to get a good Long Island with their weird version of Iced Tea and the addition of Tequila, shoulda had two!! We sat outside and there was a one man band Pepe playing a Mexican version of 1970s songs! Was a nice way to spend an hour people watching. We walked around, looked at some souvenirs and went into "the purple pharmacy". We had actually asked the optometrist which pharmacy he recommended and so we thought we would check it out. Very easy, you go in and hand the "clerk" behind the counter your list. I had put ours on my iPhone and he just goes thru it and says yes...yes... no... no... how many etc. We picked up a couple items for my mom and for us. I can't honestly say it was that cheap for anything we wanted. We asked the price of a few things but unless you aren't on a plan at home or you are getting something really out there we did not find it a deal. We were not trying for narcotics or crazy drugs either just run of the mill stuff. Worth the experience I guess.
Bold & Violet going out thru the cattle gate lol
About 20 miles from the border in California they have these border check stops. We have been thru them twice now, they never stopped us either time. Not sure what they wanna check you for? 
Safely home to Indio, CA....
So I think all in all it was a great day, great time, great company, great drive.....everyone felt safe there, I wouldn't wanna be there at night. We left by 5:00 or so. We are happy with our glasses and would do this again in couple years if we come back.

Relax... Respect... Enjoy....another Margarita... Dorri

Thursday, January 22, 2015

El Mexicalli Cafe 2

Dinner out at the El Mexicali Cafe II

We went out for dinner last night to the El Mexicali Cafe II restaurant in Indio, CA. Awesome authentic Mexican cuisine. The service was amazing. We had barely been seated before ice water, chips and salsa arrived at our table. The waiters were very welcoming and friendly. Strawberry Margaritas were on special so we chose those. Delicious, frosty cold and thirst quenching. Our food arrived in the perfect amount of time piping hot. The reviews on this restaurant are glowing and I am so happy we chose this one tonight. Love the cantina atmosphere. Family and bar side. Sombreros and music.

I chose Chicken Taquitos with Guacamole served with delicious rice and refried beans and salad. Absolutely awesome! Perry had Chicken Burritos with the same rice and beans. The best Mexican food this side of the border people. We will be heading back there soon. I want to try the Enchiladas next visit. 

You can find them at 43430 Monroe, Street in Indio, CA
Go.... you will not be disappointed

Relax... Respect... Enjoy...Provecho... Dorri

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Happy Birthday Ashley

A wonderful, caring, creative free spirit was born 26 years ago today. My little girl has grown into an incredible photographer, mother and wife. She never stops amazing me and I am so proud to be her mom!! I only wish we lived closer but I guess that just makes our visits so much more special! Please enjoy a few photographs of this remarkable woman. 
Love you Ashley with all that I am!!!!!! 

Born in Smithers, BC we named you Ashley Alexandra Kristin Barks - 8 lbs 13 oz you were a big girl!!
Big blue eyes and dark brown hair , you had us wrapped around your finger
Always had a smile for everyone
Always a trendsetter... love the ruby red bangs sweet pea
And sometime no bangs and natural color
And you met the love of your life Danny
Family holiday in's 5:00 somewhere
Danny & Ashley Yoga on the beach
Alligator bites yes and they are quite delicious...hmmm tastes like chicken
It's been a long day and was a much longer 
Way BRAVER than her momma I did not need a photo op with that snake thank you very much
Enjoying the Florida Everglades
Ashley and her long time soul sister Caitlyn 
The beginnings of their little nugget
Baby bump is growing, won't be long to wait now
Thank you for our little precious grandson Sawyer born November 6, 2013
Born to be a mother and a fabulous one she is
Always the ham and I think Sawyer will be too
How cute are these two?
Momma and baby Sawyer enjoying the sunshine
Dexter photobombing!!!
Thelma and Louise
Like mother like son
Chicken hunting anyone?
Christmas 2014 at the Lakehouse in Saskatchewan
I know this is Ashley's birthday page but he is just too darn cute not to have one picture of just him
Sawyer Jelly Bean we love you.....
My beautiful girl, the world shines a little brighter with you in it
Relax... Respect... Enjoy...and a very happy birthday today Ashley....Mommabear

Monday, January 19, 2015

What I am Reading

Where the River Ends - Charles Martin

A powerfully emotional and beautifully written story of heartbreaking loss and undying love.
This was my first book to read by Charles Martin. After reading the reviews I really wanted to read it. I have had it on my iPad for awhile and then decided to read it on a flight down to California. It enthralled me although call me crazy at the beginning of the book I honestly thought Doss was a girl. I had to keep rereading to figure out where I went wrong in believing that. And call me sexist while your at it as I usually enjoy books wrote from a women's perspective but I loved the way Mr Martin wrote. It was as compulsive as Picoult. The beginning of the story may be a bit slow/dry for some. This book signifies the true commitment of love and really makes you think about what you would do for the one you love regardless of how others may react. This story reminded me somewhat of A Walk to Remember as well as the Bucket List as Doss does everything in his power to follow through Abbie's dreams and wishes before her time comes. The ending wasn't your fairytale happy ever after but it was still an inspiration to read. Really made me think and take some time to appreciate what we have. 

Relax... Respect... Enjoy... Dorri

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Vacation Time Leaving the Snow Behind

Christmas 2014 has come and gone and all that remains is some glitter on the floor, sticky windows from Sawyer and great memories of our family get togethers. Both kids and their families home to the Lakehouse for Christmas. Such a treat to have Sawyer and Isla together too for the first time. Lil first cousins. Perry and I along with his Mom and Dad, Bold & Violet, headed south like geese seeking the sun and warmth. For the next few weeks Indio, California will be our home away from home. We are staying in a beautiful home in the gated community of Indians Palm Golf & Country Club. Relaxing is the top  priority. Amazing tasting grapefruits, oranges and lemons picked straight from the trees. We are enjoying the countryside drives, hiking in the desert and mountains, the pools, a trip to Mexico, and the peace and quiet!

Back yard view from the house, beautiful pools and waterfalls
Our rental car.... a Dodge Durango. Will post a pic of it, crazy no key and a weird round shifter thingy!!
Choices which way to go?
Choices which ones to buy? 
2 hours from the ocean and these are still alive and on ice.... I just don't believe they are alive sorry!!!
Love that you can buy alcohol everywhere but they must have an issue with tasters as the caps all have a security lock on them lol! PS the good shampoos have security too go figure?
Cactus on the way in thru the gate
Perry hiking in the Agua Caliente canyons on the Cahullia Indian Reserve, undisturbed natural beauty, we did a 3 mile hike here
Don't jump on me and poke me Mr. Cactus
And so we climbed and climbed and climbed
We saw 2 little short tail squirrels, hummingbirds and snakes haha! 
Just like in the grocery store
Imperial Sand Danes east of Yuma, AZ 
Rest stop before we head into Mexico
Having a good day with my sweetie pie
Our reason for going to Mexico, prescription glasses at Best Optical, they were so helpful and the glass were great and very reasonably priced
I got 3 pairs and a pair of non-prescription sunglasses. All work perfect, excellent quality, average cost approx $300 Canadian, highly recommend
Waiting for the glasses at El Caliente, having enchiladas and a very tasty Long Island Ice Tea made to perfection by our very attentive waiter. 
Good bye Mexico....out thru the cattle gate!! You don't get checked walking into Mexico at all but going out they look at your passport. No stamping though. Very simple procedure.

Back at the sand dunes. I just wanna roll in them like a cat. We are so coming back here before we leave. I gathered up a bagful for our sand jar at home
Hiked about 4 miles in the canyons overlooking Palm Springs. Zillions of trails to follow great  for hikers and bikers. Blue sky as far as you see. Up about 1200 feet some crazy steep climbs but worth it at the top 
Yep we made it up to the top
Our inukshuk "we were here". I am not sure how smart it is to pick rocks in the desert? Isn't that where the snakes sleep? lol Oh well I was careful and on this hike we never saw any evidence of any. Actually we didn't see any creatures other than birds and fellow hikers
Live laugh love isn't that what it's all about?
Relax... Respect... Enjoy....sand sand sand all around.... Dorri