It is truly a wonderful life for a dog here in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico! In the U.S. Kahlo was almost always on a leash when outdoors and she spent a lot more time with us in the R.V.
Here at the Monalisa R.V. Park Kahlo has found a new way of life and we have too. There are a lot of dogs living here (at least 9, including Kahlo). As there is no traffic here, they all run free during the day. At first, I was very cautious about letting Kahlo join in the fun but now she runs with the pack for hours out of each day.
All of the dogs and their owners are very friendly. It is interesting to see dogs playing together in this way. Nikko, the alpha male, keeps everyone in line. Kahlo is very submissive towards him and he is very gentle but firm with her.
Another big difference from the states is that dogs run freely on the beach here. Kahlo absolutely loves this! She is a really fast runner and loves to chase and be chased by her buddies.
I love all the dogs here but I think Lucky is one of my favorites. He was a stray, in terrible shape, until Javier took him in. Javier is the groundskeeper here and a lovely man. Thanks to him Lucky is in great shape now!
We are really happy to have found this puppy paradise and I am pretty sure Kahlo is too!
This is our second visit in the RV to Ensenada and probably our fifth or sixth between cruises and car trips. We never spent more than a day, usually just a few hours. This time we’ve been here a few weeks and find ourselves loving it. What’s different? I think mostly it was our willingness to explore the city more deeply, to look beyond the smoggy, crowded big city feel or the cheesy touristy vibe near the cruise ship docks. Here are some of the reasons (razones) why.
Nuestro Barrio (Our Neighborhood)
We are staying well outside of the main city in the Chapultepec district. It has a very rural feeling with small tiendas (shops) and businesses that supply everything we need at very affordable prices.
!El Océano! (Theocean!)
What more can I say? This is what we see, less than 40 feet from our RV door. We are loving the sounds of waves crashing and seeing schools of dolphins swimming by.
Paradas Continuas (Continuous Stops)
These little mini busses are great! For 13 pesos (around 50 cents) they take you all around Ensenada and the surrounding areas. We’ve had lots of fun riding them up and down the hilly, small communities that surround the Big city. Soon we plan to take one into city central where we can visit the museums.
La Marcoplaza(Grand Plaza)
Just a short bus ride away is this really cool spot with all the conveniences of any modern mall. There always seems to be some sort of entertainment happening. There’s a Walmart, Home Depot and a really beautiful movie theater. We actually spent our first night in the parking lot here and were undisturbed. Now it’s a fun little day trip for us.
Persona Amable (Kind People)
Not just Ensenada but everywhere we have traveled we have been so blessed to meet kind and helpful people. It really does make a difference. We feel safe and welcomed here in Ensenada and look forward to exploring more of the area. If you have any experience here we’d love to hear your suggestions.
The Mona Lisa RV Park and Motel is far from the fanciest or most modern place in Ensenada but we find it absolutely perfect for BOLT!
We are right next to the Pacific Ocean, separated by a rocky breakwater. There is a stone stairway that leads down to a clean, shell strewn beach. When the tide is out you can walk along the ocean for miles.
Of course, the ocean is beautiful, but the uniqueness of the Mona Lisa is all the art work here. There are murals and sculptures all over, many of them depicting Mexican history and Toltec and Aztec sacred figures.
All the necessities of life (groceries, laundry, drinking water) are within walking distance. Plus there is a sweet little mini bus that comes practically to our door and takes you right into Ensenada Centro.
Things are a little run down but the staff is wonderful and very helpful. We have a great spot for our Winnie. It looks out onto the crashing waves and has a little table, outdoor kitchen and a palapa (thatched shade). There is really good wifi and our spot has electric, sewer and non-potable water hook ups. A spot like this in California would be at least $65 a day. Here at the Mona Lisa it is $20 a day and a month is a huge discount down to $330 a month.
We are really enjoying the mild weather, relaxing lifestyle and affordable prices. We will probably be here for a couple of months. Ensenada is a less than 6 hour car trip for our So Cal friends and there’s an airport for everyone else. We sure would love to see you!
Our time here in Southern California is coming to an end. We’ve enjoyed wonderful visits with family and friends. Now it time to hit the road on another adventure in our 1995 “Minnie Winnie” class C Winnebago RV.
We’ve decided to visit Mexico again with the intention of staying a year. We will start of visit in Baja and are looking forward to revisiting some of our favorite places and discovering some new spots. Of great help has been the newly updated book Camping Mexico’s Bajaby Mike and Terri Church.
RVing in Baja was great, lots of beautiful beaches, historic towns and kind people. We’d love visitors, please follow us and join us as we travel slowly south. Just let us know if you are thinking of coming: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are also seriously considering traveling from Baja (by ferry) over to mainland Mexico. There are several regions we are really hoping to visit on the mainland. Mexico has been consistently named one of the best countries for retirement. We’d love hearing about any experience or suggestions you may have about the mainland.
We really appreciate all the comments and support we receive on this blog. Kathy and I are so full of gratitude for our lives of love, service and travel!
It’s December, and Kathy and I have been traveling North America for over a year now. We’ve been to Canada, Mexico and 24 of the United States in our Minnie Winnie RV. As full time RVers on a budget we are always looking for great accommodations at affordable prices.
We’ve stayed in Walmart parking lots, state and national parks, casino parking lots, on city streets and in private RV parks. Right now we are staying at one of our favorite places: Mountain Lakes RV Resort. This is a private, members only park. I joined over 20 years ago when I was tent camping with my sons. This membership is really paying off now that we have the Winnie. One reason for this is that our Mountain Lakes membership entitles us to membership with nation wide Resorts of Distinction.
For $140 a year our Resorts of Distinction membership allows us 2 weeks of free camping at over 50 RV parks in the U.S. and Canada. We were pleasantly surprised at the ease in using this product. A simple phone call or visit to the website creates a reservation within minutes. We kept expecting to see hidden costs or catches but have found none. We visited the one park in Canada and several in the U.S. All have full electric, water and sanitation hook up which are included at no charge.
Each park we visited had its on unique character, amenities and community. We were welcomed warmly at each park and every stay was a positive, hassle-free experience.
All of the parks we visited had some sort of body of water. Our favorite was the one in Oklahoma, situated on beautiful Grand Lake.
Some of the parks had very distinct communities, some with options for permanent residence.
Use of recreational facilities, like miniature golf, swimming pools and basketball courts, is also included in our free stays.
Many of the parks were very close to sightseeing attractions. Niagara Lazy Lakes RV Park was less than 30 minutes away from the falls.
Kathy and I both enjoy our daily walks. All of the parks we visited were great for walking!
We look forward to visiting more parks in the Resorts of Distinction system as we continue our travels. Perhaps we will visit one in a place near you. Please let us know!
Gichigami is the Anishinaabe name for the largest freshwater lake in the world. It has been given the name Lake Superior by the United States and Canada. The Anishinaabe are the First Nations Peoples who are from the areas surrounding this great lake. They are also known as Ojibwe, Ojibwa or Chippewa. I vaguely remember hearing Longfellow’s 1855 poem about this lake and more clearly remember a racist I Love Lucy sketch. It saddens me that I didn’t know, until 62 years of age, that this is a real place and with real people.
We have had a lovely 2 weeks driving and staying along this amazing lake. Our Gichigami drive started in Minnesota, continued in Ontario, Canada and concluded in Michigan. We’ve only driven about 2/3s of the lake!
We stayed at wonderful campgrounds with winding trails that led to the lake.
Along the way we got to learn a little Anishinaabe history. They were integral to the vibrant fur trading industry of the 1800s.
In Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada there is a beautiful trail called Bimose Kinoomagewnan (Walk of Teachings) trail. Along it you can read and learn of the Seven Grandfather Teachings from Anishinaabe elders and enjoy art work, representing the teachings, from the younger generation. The teachings are love, honesty, respect, wisdom, truth,humility and bravery.
In Sault Saint Marie, Michigan we saw the locks which enable ships to travel from Gichigami to the lower great lakes.
We are now on Anishinaabe land, staying at the Kewadin RV Park and Casino. It’s a beautiful and restful place. We are looking forward to attending a pow wow on Saturday. I’m really humbled by how little I know about this area and First Nations Peoples. I’m really grateful for any opportunity to learn even a little bit more!
There are many different types of recreational vehicles and probably almost as many articles written about them. It took me awhile to learn the difference between a class C motor home (like the Minnie Winnie we have) and a behemoth class A (like the one in the hilarious movie RV) and then there are all the trailers.
There are 3 basic types of motor homes and they come in all sizes. Class As are the ones that resemble buses. They are built on a chassis and have large front and rear windows. They often have slide outs and can be quite large and luxurious.
Class Bs are also called campervans. They are easy to park and drive and are great for weekend trips. Not so good for full-time RVers like us.
Our Minnie Winnie is an older class C. The way I can identify class Cs are by their cab over design. They come in many sizes, with and without slide outs.
Then there are all types of pull behind trailers like cute little teardrops.
In Minnesota we have seen several of these ice fishing trailers. They drive them right onto the ice in the winter!
There are pull behinds that pop up into tents and pull behinds that are long and luxurious inside. I really love the retro ones!
Fifth wheel trailers are another option. Instead of being towed the coupling is actually in the bed of the truck.
I had fun taking most of these pictures here at at Lake Bemidji State Park. Kathy and I are always exclaiming over fancy new ones and really cute older ones. You can get lots of information on line or by visiting an RV dealership. We are really happy to answer answer any questions you may have.
Kathy and I are very blessed to live a life which affords a lot of opportunities for serendipity. When we were working, vacations and travel took a lot of planning with deadlines and time constraints. Retirement is truly glorious! We rarely have set time lines and we often make spontaneous plans, one day at a time.
Our puppy, Kahlo, is a great example of the gift of serendipity. We had no plans of getting her and yet she has brought so much joy to our lives!
Whale Watching in Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur, Mexico
The White Temple, Chiang Rai, Thailand
Charlotte and Pete Hill O’Neal, Arusha, Tanzania
Serendipity has given us fabulous adventures, visits to so many great places, and led us to meeting unforgettable and wonderful new friends.
Now we are in Minnesota, a place I thought we’d simply be traveling through. We love it here! There are beautiful parks, affordable campgrounds, friendly people and lots to see and do. Thanks to serendipity, we’ll be here a few weeks.
We’d love to hear about your experiences of serendipity as well as any comments, suggestions or questions you may have. As always, thank you so much for taking the time to read this blog and for your support.