And when you fly too high you get…Grounded :(

Oh, I was riding a high. Having a blast volunteering at Victoria Beer Week (so fun, highly recommend both volunteering and attending) and then when my husband and I were walking home from the afterparty on Saturday, I tripped over a small parking barrier as we cut across the park going to our house and seriously injured my leg and ankle. DAMN DAMN DAMN.

We had such a fun time with the volunteering- we did Beer and Pizza night as servers, something Ian and I were very bad at (I dropped a slice of pizza on the ground, and spilled beer by bumping into the wall, haha) but you know? It was still super fun! The vibe was good and man, we were so busy! I prefer that when we volunteer- keep me busy. I don’t want to hang around, you know?

All the volunteers were invited to the afterparty at 10:30 pm, and also we scored free tickets to the final event ‘Touchdown’ so we went there a little bit later, enjoyed some beers, seltzers and ciders (Saltspring was outstanding, so good!) and then stayed later for the afterparty. All good right? Right….Except we drank too much, unfortunately. In an effort to curb the weight gain I experienced over the months in Mexico, I have not really been drinking for a few weeks- a beer or two once a week is it. I felt so good, so into it that I didn’t realize how inebriated I had gotten.

We enjoyed free food and beers, and then left our car at the venue and walked the 4km home. A bit of a hike but safety first! All was good (basically, we were staggering around so time flew)…And then I didn’t even see the small wooden barrier that rings the park across from our house, hooked my foot under it, and fell on my arm. I twisted my right leg so badly I couldn’t move. It hurt incredibly, so horrible. I scraped my hand a little bit but my leg…So excruciating. Ian helped me get up and I couldn’t weight bear at all. It was so painful I threw up.

The next day I was in a world of hurt. My leg and ankle were non-weight bearing. I had to crawl up and down the stairs. Officially…fucked.

My ankle and foot are swollen still, and my fibula is giving me a LOT of grief. But, I am sort of weight bearing (carefully), so I am hopeful that I will recover…if not quickly, I hope to recover in time. In the meantime, I am bored out of my mind and cursing out, in the following order:

A) beer

B) myself

C) the park barrier

D) the world, in general

God, what a stupid mistake!

Make ice cream?

Now that I’m funemployed (on sabbatical for another few months, whee!), it’s time to DO ALL THE THINGS!

I have been enjoying riding on dear Oaty, running (getting back into the groove), working out, going up island with my buds to check out a horse for sale, and generally just hanging out. Oh and Ian and I are volunteering for Victoria Beer Week- more on that later this week 🙂

Basically, I’d rock being retired!!

My sister gave me our birthday present early, when I was visiting with her and our family at Easter. In the gift was a super fun treat/experience: Make your own ice cream! So, I made it!

It was a lot more time/labour intensive than I thought, as you have to first mix up the ice creams, and then pour them into pans to freeze, and then take out and shovel the ice cream product around in the trays to break up ice crystals that form. Basically every 45 minutes…For five hours. Yeesh. Nothing is worth that much man.

It did make a lot of ice cream, and I think the flavours are pretty darn good! Would I make it again? HAHAH no. I will happily buy it. It was fun to try though, but I guess I won’t skip my day job anytime soon. 🙂

Mr. Oats rides again!

Sadly I had to leave my dear Mr. Oats while I was travelling in Mexico for the past five months. He was left in the very capable and caring hands of my barn friends and his half-leasor, Chris. Unfortunately it immediately went downhill, with a series of health issues for Mr. Oats 😦 He experienced really horrible diarrhea due to his hay (sensitive to high sugar, despite how $$$$ the hay I buy is!), and then refused to eat his meds (he is on Previcox for arthritis, and Prascend for his Cushings disease), and then the worst of all worst things happened: Serious lameness due to a problem with his hoof. More accurately, my amazing barn friends would pick out his feet, and BLOOD would gush out. Needless to say he was in a lot of pain, and lame intermittently.

Of course, the day I got back I rode a barnmate’s horse too!

It was apparently challenging to diagnose as well (as it ended up being the literally perfect shitstorm: My vet was going through serious health issues, and we had a stand-in vet. Very nice but did not know what was going on!). I really did appreciate the thoroughness of the stand-in vet but GOD DAMN was it expensive while I was travelling. I had one month of 7 thousand dollars in vet bills, hay bills, board, car insurance and horse insurance. Almost none of it was from travel? Good christ!!

So, the long story was…It was close to 4 months of drama, drama, drama, drama and oh? More drama! Yay. Shoot me.

Mr. Oats says, “Drama? Me?”

It was immensely stressful and I almost flew back actually. My leasor certainly did NOT sign up for this shenangians and I felt sooo horrible that I was traipsing off in another country enjoying beaches, etc. when everyone was really struggling at home. The stress and guilt ate me alive inside. It was horrible.

To top it off, my fabulous leasor was also going through serious health issues and wound up in the hospital as well. And our barn manager who keeps the whole shitshow running? Her mother passed away as well. So, like…good news all around, right? Shiiiit. It was not good, and I felt very guilty.

I called my regular vet when we were in our last leg of Mexico and he said to just schedule an appointment with him when I got back. He was not concerned- just said as long as there is no swelling coming up in his leg, he’s fine to wait. So we waited a few more weeks (what’s a few more when he’s been off for four months, eh?) and I had an appointment with him on Apr. 14. I got back into town on the Wed. of April and he looked good actually! Much to my amazement!

For months I’d been hearing pretty bad, seriously grim things about his foot/lameness. Words like coffin bone infection, or a hoof tumour (keratoma) were tossed around. It was the worst case of all worst case scenarios pretty much every single day I was gone. Looming over me like the nastiest black cloud, it did colour a lot of my trip with negative emotions, fear, stress and guilt.

I saw that Oats was pretty darned sound, so the day I got back he went for a walk, and then I started riding the next day! Vet appointment came and the vet is known for being a bit of a gloom-and-doomer and he was like nah, this is a puncture wound. Big deep one, would have taken ages to heal and no wonder the horse was lame- it’s super painful! We then had a few weeks of more on-and-off drama, as we struggled to get the hole to close in. I left it open to give his poor chafed heels some healing time, and the second I did that, BOOM! A sliver of hog fuel got jammed in the hole, Oats almost fell to his knees in pain. I jumped off, pulled the splinter out and it gushed blood. I was SO sure this was it, end game due to my stupidity.

He was fine! I booted him though to ride the next day (sound!) and the boot rubbed the everloving shit out of his poor feet…Damned if you do, damned if you don’t eh? He developed really nasty heel abscesses and was foot-dragging lame one day. What a freaking time of it eh?

The next day, he was fine! Hah. WTF horse?

Oh Mr. Oats…we had our first lesson back on Thursday! He was such a gem, I love him and missed him SO MUCH. I now owe a LOT of favours to people, whooo boy. I am just lucky, so lucky, that it turned out ok~

Getting back to real life

I’m not actually that interested in re-hashing my entire five months in Mexico, chiefly because in my real life, I’ve already shared it extensively and it’s feeling more than a bit tedious to go over ALL of it again. So, it ends in Lo de Marcos, though trust me there were endless adventures, mishaps, great opportunities, excitement and everything.

Coming back home in April surprised some people, as I had said six months. We came back at Easter (so, two weeks early) so we could spend Easter at my sister’s new place and have Easter as a family after we had been out of country for so long. It was super nice to see her new house and enjoy some fine dining, good wine and stories!

That being said, I was SUPER anxious about getting home. I was kind of feeling like it was wayyy past due. Oats was a huge question mark and the uncertainty and daily stress was eating me alive. I had gained a significant amount of weight and was struggling with the feeling like my body was no longer my own. I needed a real routine back (hah, I say as I currently am out of work for oh, six months?). I guess I needed my home life back more than I thought.

Still, I relish the adventure we took part in and I am glad we took the time to also visit family at Easter. A nice bookend to our trip.

And how is the Oats situation? Stay tuned for tomorrow, and I’ll share more! 🙂

Sayulita and Lo de Marcos: Sometimes you can’t come home again

We’d gone to Sayulita a few years back and I LOVED IT. Sadly, that experience faded when I re-visited it close to Christmas time in 2022. Just…too busy, messy, chaotic, crowded. No thanks. It is way oversubscribed and I don’t want to add to that problem anymore. Sadly, that’s it for me with Sayulita. No thank you.

We then spent a week in Lo de Marcos, just a short jaunt up the road from Sayulita but a very different vibe. Rougher, gravel and dirt dusty roads, but a gorgeous, very quiet beach. The water is so warm, a bit rough, but very peaceful. The house we were renting was nice but it was obvious it hadn’t been kept up for new renters, as there were no chairs to sit on outdoors in the plunge pool, it seemed dusty and neglected, and there were items missing that we needed (like hot water, a bbq lighter for the gas stove, etc). Oh well! We enjoyed our Lo de Marcos time, it was very relaxing after our food poisoning experience in Mazatlan that we actually needed about a week to recover from, hah.

Mazatlan- Good and bad?

The ferry to Mazatlan was CRAZY expensive, overnight and a very odd experience all around for us. I am extremely glad I shelled out for the overnight so Gidget could feel more comfortable as well, not locked up in dog-jail for oh, 10 hours and not being let out! Yikes.

We landed in Mazatlan and…it’s a very interesting and polarizing place to me. Beautiful and dingy and gross, excellent fine dining for very reasonable and we also got food poisoning from likely listeria-tainted cheese at the grocery store ‘Ley’ downtown. Super nice areas and a absolutely miserable downtown. Incredibly loud and chaotic, with pockets of nice, calm areas. The best sunsets I have ever seen!

Would I go back? Hard no. Been there, done that. Great malecon and great lighthouse walk too! It’s just too damned loud and strange.

La Paz- better than it looks? AKA first impressions sometimes are worse

After our time in Loreto, which I really enjoyed, we headed up to La Paz, which is Baja South and right on the border of the rest of ‘mainland’ Mexico. Leaving the Baja means more paperwork (for our car) as they do not want you to sell it when you are travelling in MX.

My first impression, after sleepy Loreto? NUTS. La Paz was gritty, busy, gross, scary and I did not like the drivers- they seemed more than ready to kill you, and anyone else who messed with them. Yikes. But…once I refused to stay at the gross ‘Hotel Prison California’ and re-booked us at a better place, went for a few runs on the malecon, and we went swimming with sea lions, I was ready to re-evaluate La Paz. Nicer than you think, but can be a gritty, tough place as well. Many facets here!

Would I go back? Not sure. It’s interesting and easy to navigate for sure. I did like Loreto more on the whole, but La Paz had a lot of really intriguing options too! You grew on me, La Paz, good job 🙂

Loreto welcomes you as a friend

Compared to the relatively rough regions of the North Baja, Loreto was positively cosmopolitan. A nice city, had a real stink zone on the malecon (something I would learn is endemic to most malecons, haha) but good restaurants, good food, TERRIBLE grocery store ha, and fun stuff to do!

I would definitely go back to Loreto and I would recommend it! We did fine that like most of Baja North, it is very expensive.

More Baja and the end of camping!

After enjoying (?) camping in San Felipe, we headed a little further out and camped for a bit longer along the coast. It experience. I did NOT enjoy how cold it was, and how freaking windy! The wind sandblasted absolutely everything. What I did enjoy? The freedom to explore, to be at one with the universe here…No agenda, no nothing.

Unfortunately I am too impatient to enjoy that for too long, particularly since it was so windy and sand was driving me insane. We escaped to the Mulage Brewery and had a few beers to escape the infernal wind!

And then it was off to Loreto, mercifully a WAY NICER place than San Felipe and basically anywhere in the Baja to date.