We headed down to Mazatlan to meet up with some friends
and pass 8 days in an economy that was much easier on our wallets than California. Even with free lodging, the cost of food and coffee in California was shocking after 9 weeks in South America.
Oh, man, Mazatlan is amazing. Paved roads, modern cars, painted curbs, electricity, *laundromats that are reasonably priced* and SUCH GREAT FOOD!
|Out for a day on the bay on the S/V Dakota|
The dollar is freakishly strong against the Mexican Peso right now, so the cost of living in Mazatlan was roughly similar to many of the places we'd been in South America, but the standards are much more developed. Overall, it was very easy to see why so many Americans and Canadians choose to retire in Mazatlan.
|Best seat on the boat.|
One drawback (for me) was that English is much more widely spoken in Mazatlan than where we were in South America. I still got to use my Spanish and it did come in handy now and then, but often people wanted to practice their English.
|Tuna Carnitas. Just think about that...|
I was so very sad to leave the last location on our Sabbatical where I could speak Spanish every day. I *really* enjoy struggling through life in another language and the feeling of learning every day. If I had the year to plan again, I might consider doing a full year immersed in a single language.
The best part of Mazatlan was definitely spending time with our friends and getting to hang out with them on the boat, getting a feel for their dock-based life and comparing notes on their nomadic boat year vs. our nomadic stay-wherever year.
We didn't really have a strong relationship with their children before, but after 8 days, we definitely have a sense of who they are.
Getting to know our friends' and families' children has actually been one of the surprising benefits of this Sabbatical. We didn't even consider it as something we'd be doing when we made our original plan, but because we've imposed upon and stayed with friends and family along the way we've gotten to spend time getting to know all sorts of hilarious and adorable little people related to the big people we know and love.
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