Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How's Tucker doing? I've had a lot of folks ask since he was under the weather at New Years

Tucker, while at anchor near Stone Island, Mazatlan.  He does not let me get too far out of sight.  This post was DOUG's idea not mine.  He said it needed it's own posting.  This was suppose to be Doug's dog.  Something went terribly wrong. I'm not a phoofy white dog person!
Tucker is doing quite well. Pictured here on the dock in San Blas, Mexico, note all the stickers he has collected.

  He received yet another rabies shot before entering Mexico and another vet check. Rabies shots are required yearly in Mexico and vet checks 3 days prior to travel.  He faired well on our flight from SFO to PV even though the flight was very late leaving SFO.  Nothing like getting through customs in Mexico with a dog who needs to pee!  Forget the three suit cases of boat parts, the dog needs to pee!

I designed yet another potty system for him on the boat.  We still use the original grass matt on the other side of the mast.  This one has a catch basin.  This is suppose to work in theory.  He lifts his leg pretty much just avoiding the catch basin.  Working on Rev "C" which might just be an old small plastic cheese container right under the whisker pole.  I have to make sure that certain windows on the boat are closed before he "goes for a walk" up above since yellow liquid goes to the lowest point on the boat, which is right past the open window!
By the way he has now been trained to drop a duece on the matt.  Nice one Tucker.

Tucker enjoying the sunrise on the morning watch heading into Mazatlan

Sunset in Mazatlan after we got tossed off the bus at the end of the line near the light house

O.K. here it is, this is how I got Tucker on and off the boat when we were on the hard in the yard!  I did this without laughing.. Not...

Phew! Made it. :-)

Haul out in Mazatlan. What do I know, I'm just a chick.

I really should let Doug tell the haul out story, cause what do I know?  The haul out according to Linda..

I'm just a chick.  I don't know car parts let alone boat parts or why this and why that.  I guess I should have taken diesel mechanics 1A instead of sewing.  Everyone knows I don't sew so that was a waste of time in my youth.
3:00 PM haul out day.  Doug starts the engine.  Where are we going?  Over to the haul out.  I thought they were going to come over a look at the picture of the keel?  They never did, let's go.  Ahhh.  We have already had some trouble with bow lines, stern lines, fenders etc., it's just not quick anymore on this boat with the new solar rack on the stern.  The key is to never ever let a line drop in the water or it will get wrapped in the prop.  You add a slight breeze and backing into the lift area and I was looking a little like Bill the Cat doing a chinese fire drill.

It got the yards attention for sure that it was indeed 3:00 pm and time to lift us out.  They came down pronto.  So the idea was to just haul us out long enough for the surveyor to have a look and get a stuck valve replaced then splash. All in one day.  Sounds too quick right.  I thought so to.  After Tucker and I did a 4.12 climbing move to get off the boat we took a seat and watched.  So one has to ask the question?  Did you see that?  Is the prop suppose to move like that?

Hmm, apparently not.  That's not on the list of things to repair.  One thing lead to another and we stayed in the lift cradle in the yard all night long
What was suppose to be just in and out turned into 2 days in the yard.  The yard rates are more expensive than the slips.  We ended up on stands because they had a early morning lift and splash the next day.
Doug was able to repair the max prop.  However that is another paragraph all together:  Here goes,
He had the manual for the max prop and he read it.  Pretty amazing in itself.  The only problem with that was the manual was not for the max prop we bought (Who ever really checks).  This is pretty important because it gives you very specific instructions for setting the pitch.  (Also when he took the prop apart he took dishes from the galley to put all the pieces of the prop in to keep them together)  He justified this by saying he did not have any spares and we would be in a world of hurt if he lost anything.

So with the prop fixed, the fittings replaced and some minor bottom paint touch up we were scheduled for splash the next morning.  The plan was to go out to Stone Island and anchor.  So I needed groceries.

I ended up on the Blue bus heading to the Soriana but I got off at the MEGA market because, well I knew were I was.  So I shopped at the MEGA.  They pretty much have anything you need at the MEGA.  I bought so much stuff I had to get a taxi to get back to the marina.  It cost me 6 pesos to go to the MEGA and 70 pesos to return.  Oh well.  I got into an open air taxi.  I had to repack my groceries so they would not fall out of the taxi.  He told me to watch my stuff, I'm thinking yeah like he is going to stop if something falls out.
After grocery shopping everything needs to be unpackaged, repackaged and the veg needs to be cleaned prior to bringing onto the boat.  The boat is still on the stands in the yard.  Nothing is ever easy.  I start to go clean the veg in the marina sink then start wondering about the water, is it pottable etc.,  Short poll of several people in the marina was it was o.k.  Not without comments like oh you shopped at the MEGA you must be rich you should have shopped at the veg market.  Didn't I just ask you that yesterday?  I was just a little annoyed.  oh well live and learn.

I did a load of laundry and emptied the trash.  Good to go.
Splash morning:
With everything in place we were splashed.  There was a rookie at the controls of the boat cradle.  I really don't like people learning stuff when I'm involved.  O.k., yeah, o.k. checked all valves no leaks good to go.  Doug puts the boat in forward to head off the cradle sling and GOES BACKWARDS!
What the?  Wrong prop pitch.  The guy from the yard said "Is that a problem?" can't you just push the lever in the opposite direction?  Back in the sling, lift back out of the water.
Doug goes and gets the manual, it is the wrong manual for our prop.  Doug says "I think I know how to fix it. It'll be quick....
It's o.k. it is just a quick fix.  o.k?!?
There are really dark clouds to the west coming our way.  A big squall hits us with 30+ winds and heavy rain.  I head for shelter (actual went to buy tickets to Carnival) and Doug was still under the boat with the prop apart and my bowl.
Maybe it was a good thing we weren't trying to negotiate the tight, shallow marina with all that wind and rain.
After a while Doug says he's hungry, didn't get breakfast.  O.k. the closest place is a USA style hamburger place, be right back.  Tucker is still on the boat (Howling)  I can see the boat yard from the hamburger place.

While waiting for them to cook the hamburger I noticed the boat is going back in the water and I'm not there!  When he gave me the hamburgers I tossed the guy 200 pesos for two hamburgers and 2 colas and ran back to the yard I had a bad feeling.
Nothing like intuition.  Doug was in the water with his mask and fins on.  The rookie at the controls did not have the sling lowered enough and now it was wrapped on the prop.  I started eating the french fries, nothing like grease to calm you right down.
The guy asked me why I was so upset?  Boy did I need a JAMBA juice! (Inside joke)

So after the sling was taken off the prop and it appeared that the prop had no vibration issue we were off to the fuel dock for a final top off.  After topping off fuel and water it was time to head out for Stone Island.  It is now fairly late in the afternoon and we want to get to the anchorage during daylight hours.

It was very interesting going out into the Sea from the jetty at Mazatlan.  WOW, you are right in the thick of it immediately!  None of this hour long ride down the estuary.   We are talking rolling waves breaking left and right, wind, rolling seas and what was that noise?  Maybe we should go back....
No, let's raise the main!  Head into the wind.  I guess things were just settling in, that's what I was told and that is what I clung to.  The boat settled in and we turned and headed South with the wind at our back for a really nice motor sail back to Stone Island.  Doug went below, not sure what he does down there but I managed to avoid running into two small tourist catamarans out enjoying the last bit of daylight.

We pulled into the Stone Island anchorage and were immediately invited out for dinner by Stray Cat a boat from the (JA JA).  They came over and picked us up.  We went over to a place called BERNIE'S.  It was a wonderful place with Bernie the donkey making donkey noises.  We ordered shrimp pizza and paralyzing pina coladas.  We have been here ever since making additional dinghy repairs, cleaning the boat and reading.

Checking into Mazatlan

We arrived in Mazatlan very early in the morning.  It was a beautiful sunrise at sea.  We swung by the Stone Island anchorage.  There were two boats we recognized from the (JA JA) mexican for (Baja Ha Ha).  Stepping Stone and Tynamara were anchored.  Zach from Tynamara was up on deck so we chatted with him briefly about the anchorage.  They were leaving to head for Isle Isabella so we would not get to visit, too bad.  Hopefully we can catch them in another anchorage.
Passing the old harbor entrance and dodging the Baja ferry and two cruise ships we headed over to the Marina Mazatlan area.  The entrance is very, very small.  Wow, I kept looking at the chart.  No room for error here.  You have to enter only if there are no waves crashing and make a quick turn.  Once inside it is pretty calm and the water way opens up.  There is NO anchoring anywhere in this area so you have to know you have a slip before you go into the Marina Mazatlan.  There are several marina's here and most have openings as long as you have money to pay for one or two nights.  We were scheduled for a haul out on Thursday at 3:00 pm, it was only Wednesday but we wanted to be close by.

There was one open slip at the Singular marina so we grabbed it for the night.

An open slip only means that the boat that usually pays rent on it is "out", you might have to move your boat at a moments notice if that boat comes back to port.

We checked in with the marina and the boat yard.  We needed to "recharge" our TelCel card for internet access so we had to go into town.  The only way to get there is to walk, bike or taxi a very long way or take one of four (colored) buses.  Neither Doug or I have ever been to Mazatlan so we had really no idea which bus to catch so we took the "Green" bus or was it the "Blue" bus to a stop near the TelCel store.  It was daylight when we got on the bus.  Turns out there is also the New bus and the Old bus.  They cost different amounts of money.  Also, if the bus is full they will just pass you by.  It's nothing personal.

After finding the TelCel store we decided to venture to the "Old Historic" part of town.  Mind you neither one of us had had much sleep the night before as we did an over night boat ride from San Blas.
We got on the "Brown" or was it the "Green" bus.  It took us all around the streets of downtown, it was pretty hard to see because there were so many people on the bus.  I had Tucker and my backpack on so every time a seat close to the front of the bus opened up I went closer so I could see better.  Doug finally caught on and joined me.  After a while we had a great view of the downtown and decided not to get off the bus.  Hoping I guess that the bus would just loop around and drop us off where we got on.  Wrong...
We ended up almost to the lighthouse, as far away from where we got on as you can get in the City.  The driver said something to us when he stopped and we both looked behind us and there was no one else left on the bus.  Oh, I guess we have to get off.  Did I mention I was pretty tired?
Well what now.  Break out our little tourist map we had picked up.  Looked like if we walked up the really, really big hill we could get back to the historic zone and catch another bus.  It was actually a pretty nice walk and we got to the top of the hill just as the sun set so it was very pretty.

After the sun set I again mentioned I was really tired and now hungry and thirsty.  We continued walking.  We came upon a bar and grill in the historic district with a BUNCH of gringos sitting out front drinking. We went inside and ordered a light meal and a drink.  There was also a bus stop right in front of the bar and grill.  So far so good.  We enjoyed our meal and I downed several glasses of water just to hydrate.
When we were done we paid and were just heading out to leave and head back to the boat when the gringos invited us over to their table.  Apparently we had stumbled into "The Gringo" evening meeting place.  So with introductions all around we decided to have an adult beverage.  The group of gringos are mostly locals living in Mazatlan in town, not boat people.  Or as with the loudest gringo at the table "Greg" just out for a ride in his T-bird.  Nobody really seemed to know Greg and everybody thought that somebody at the table must know Greg but with a quick poll it turns out he just sat down at the table and starting drinking.  His voice was SO loud you literally had to sit pretty far from him or you could get hearing damage.  There was a guy who ran a local B&B, a contractor type and several others I did not really catch, just retirees I guess.  There was a lady named Doris I think that was about 86 years old.   And for those of you who watch showtime there was a NANCY BOTWIN at the table.  She was the most interesting to me.  She had a lot of history of the area and what went on locally.  She lived in a small place that was 500 years old.  I think she was the head of "Gringo's helping Gringo's".  Very nice lady.  After she gave us her life history she took us on a short tour of her neighborhood that had a lot of history.  Some of which I'm not comfortable writing about.  CSI Mazatlan - could be a new series on T.V.
After our tour of her neighborhood we went back to the bus stop just outside the restaurant.  Guess what?  Greg said we should come over and have just one more drink.  I'm dyeing on the vine but Doug says 'Sure'.  O.K. now I'm getting a little worried about getting back to the boat.  We both have our backpacks on and the dog.  Doug is carrying his laptop in his.  I guess we could just call a cab but the bus ride is really cheap.  It is now very dark outside and we are in an unknown city.  I'm drinking water and keep watching the buses going by.  I found out the last bus is 9:30, from where? here? no somewhere else.  what does that mean? What time is it now?  Which bus am I looking for?  God I'm tired.  The B&B guy offered to give us a ride, hmm I don't think so.  I'd rather catch a cab and arrive alive.  I managed to pay the bar tab, not sure how and at about that time the B&B guy jumped up and said "that's it" the last bus.  Doug literally jumped from the table to the bus.  The bus barely stopped.  I tried to follow tossing the dog on board when I realized that Doug had left his backpack at the table.  I dove back for the table and the bus started to take off.  I think Doug got the guy to stop but now he was pissed.  Ah, nothing like a shot of adrenaline to put you back in the game.

I never did figure out why the bus driver stopped.  It may have had something to do with the fact I just tossed the dog on board and bolted away.  In any event we were on the last bus.  Have you ever rode a horse who is heading back to the barn after a long ride.  Well this driver was on a mission to get back to the bus barn.  It was by far the craziest ride I have been on.  I think it was a fairly new bus because the fare was 9 pesos and the old bus is 6 pesos.  But the bus needed new shocks, probably a while ago.  The driver was flooring it in between stops not even slowing down.  Doug and I were up front so we had a birds eye view.  Whew what a e-ticket ride it was.  He did not slow down for bikes, cars, pedestrian's.  He barely slowed down when a fare wanted off.  The bus routes in Mazatlan are in a loop so if you've never gotten off at the stop you would really not know when it is approaching.  Make since?  And now it was dark so we were really on the look out for our stop.  Just when I thought the driver was out of control we heard an ambulance siren right behind us.  Now, most people pull over and let the emergency vehicle pass by.  Well this driver decided it was his ticket to drive even faster and I think he disengaged the governor on the bus.  He jumped in front of the ambulance!  The streets were now going by a warp speed.  I just looked at Doug in kind of a panic.  Doug said to the driver "Marina Mazatlan", then as we were passing the spot that looked like where we needed to get off Doug again told the driver "Marina Mazatlan" even louder.  The driver finally came to a screeching stop and said a few nasty words and we were off the bus.

He left us in a cloud on the curb of four corners.  Hmm, inny meany miney moe?  Which way?  Doug said this way see that building over there.  He was right.  I had been totally turned around and would have walked in a different direction.  We made it back to the boat safe and sound.

Checking out of San Blas Marina

Doug had arranged for our boat to be washed down before we arrived.  It was good thing, apparently with all the birds in San Blas there was a lot of bird poo on the boat.  The stuff is really caustic for some reason.  If you get some on your bare skin you know it right away.

We arrived very, very late in the evening to the Marina San Blas.  Everyone was already asleep or gone for the day.  We had no trouble getting in or getting on to the boat, the marina is very secure and the guard knew to expect us.  All was just fine with the boat.  We hit the hay and slept very soundly.

The next day we regrouped and it took us a while to get everything together for checking out of the marina.  We needed to pay the marina for some extra days and also pay the boat washing folks.  I made one more walk through town and took some additional pictures and picked up some more pesos and food supplies for our trip to Mazatalan.  I really loved the little town on San Blas.  It was very, very cute with the best taco carts around.  In the morning we bumped into some folks we had met from La Paz that where anchored in the estuary (Exit Strategy) and caught up a little.  There was also several boats still in the Marina San Blas that were still there from when we left in December (Crescendo) and (Delfinis).  The folks from Cescendo had just left to go home for a while and Delfinis was just getting done doing some boat repair. Apparently his boat had a lot of damage done to the keel when they came into the estuary so he had to haul it and do some repairs.  He had followed a panga boat past the dredge barge and got caught up in the dredge lines.  It was pretty bad news.  He was able to make all the repairs himself with some supplies he had on board and some extra bottom paint from Crescendo.  You really can't have enough "extra" stuff on board when you need to do an unexpected repair on you boat.
We headed out around 1:00 pm towards Mazatlan.  The seas were incredibly calm and there was zero wind.  It was SO calm I actually went below and made a nice chicken dinner.  I was not even woozy which was pretty amazing considering I hadn't been on the boat for a while.  We did not see any dolphins or whales on this leg.

Catching up SFO to PV by plane

We traveled light on our trip back to Mexico, well sort of, we had literally 3 bags of boat stuff, the dog, dog kennel and some underwear.  I noticed when we were in the inspection line to go through security that Doug still had his leather man on his belt.  K R A P was all I had to say.  We had to get out of line, not make a scene going against traffic in the airport and go and check our carry on $40 for the additional bag.  Expensive oversight, I tried to keep my mouth shut and just let the sweat run down my back.

Very uneventful fight on a small Mexicana plane.  They are very nice to the paying customer on Mexicana.  We get meals, drinks, a movie and a pillow and blanket all without any fuss.  It's also $75.00 cheaper to check in the dog.  I'm working on getting him validated as a emotional service dog, god know I could use that when we travel!  We flew from SFO to Puerto Vallarta.  We had arranged for a taxi from San Blas to pick us up.  It was actually the most economical choice since our plane was late and we would have missed the last buses to San Blas or Tepic and would have had to find a hotel room that allowed a dog late at night.

We had booked the same taxi driver that had taken us to PV from San Blas in December so we knew who to look for in the sea of taxi drivers.  The taxi driver from San Blas had a son who has a taxi service in PV so we were able to get in his cab, only certain cabs can come in the PV airport.  We left PV and headed to San Blas pretty late at night so there was not much site seeing to do.  We had asked the cab driver to stop at a stand to get some dinner.  He stopped at a hamburger/hotdog stand, not my first choice but I knew there was not much to eat on the boat.  The ride was pretty long 2.5 hours in the dark.  At every corner the cab driver would do the sign of the cross and kiss his fingers, made me a little nervous but I got over it.  I was awake in the back seat watching, I think Doug was asleep in the front seat.  For some reason the cab driver drove on the wrong side of the road most of the way, the only reason I could think of was that he was avoiding pot holes.  He was a very nice cabbie and I picked up his son's card for any future traveling to PV.  He also arranges tours.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sailing from La Paz to San Blas Mexico - Sailing - Spot

Sailing from La Paz to San Blas Mexico - Sailing - Spot

Hey Linda! Where are you?

Famous words from by dear friend Julia.  Would you believe I'm on the corner of Locke & Key? No, how about Bascom Avenue and Hwy 85 off ramp?

We packed up and locked up our little house on the river after a wonderful holiday season with friends and family and jumped into the trusty SIMMBURBAN.  We made elaborate plans for our last day that involved a lot of logistics.   Our first stop was to pick up Gregg & friends from SFO, home from a trip to Thailand, and drop his friends off in San Leandro and head to San Jose.  Next stop was to pick up Grandma, one last little visit and lunch.  Next stop one more goodbye to younger son Dillon.  With the Simmburban fully loaded we decided to take one other little detour and stop by and look at a Condo that is for sale.  Gregg might have been interested.  So we headed on to Hwy 85 for a quick detour.  Sputter, Sputter, cough, cough next exit.  Full Stop.
Lot's of things go through your mind when your elaborate plan comes to a screeching halt.  Good thing we still have CSAA towing intact was my first thought.  You cannot just push the Simmburban off the road.  I called and they said it would be 20 minutes and they could only take 3 passengers.

Another plan starts to form.

Good thing we have cell phones.  Doug called another dear friend Cheryl and asked for a lift from the corner of Bascom & Hwy 85 for us and all our stuff.   This is where the video should have been taken.

We had all our luggage, Tucker, Tucker's dog box, Gregg and his baggage and Grandma sporting a cane to run across three lanes of traffic on the off ramp!  Another trick for the Simms Family Circus!

Cheryl and AAA arrived at about the same time so we loaded into Cheryl's van and AAA loaded the Simmburban onto the tow truck for a trip to the auto repair shop.  Paul, Cheryl's husband drove us up to Julia's & Dave's, Los Altos for a last minute change in itinerary and plan.   We made it to dinner with the Calhoun's in Palo Alto, yummy Lasagna Dave! The next morning Julia drove us up to SFO in a terrible storm that was just the beginning of the storms that have hit the Bay Area this week.  Thanks for the ride EVERYBODY!  The truck? It was a fuel pump, a special fuel pump just 1 boat unit.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tucker you can come out now

Everyone is gone now.  By New Years Day Tucker had had it.   A trip to the vet and some fluids for dehydration and he was back in the game.

January 6, 2010
Tucker just finished off a bowl of ill gotten chicken cacciatore.  Nap time!
This story starts with a Christmas gift.., my mother in law gave me a pressure cooker for Christmas. Apparently it is a must on a cruising boat. The only problem is I'm afraid of them. I don't know why exactly, I have absolutely no experience (good or bad) with them. Last night I opened the box and took out "the cooker" and read the directions. So far so good. I had most of the ingredients to make chicken cacciatore.

I did a little substituting red wine instead of white wine and French dressing instead of tomato paste.

Once the cooker started to rattle it only took 8 minutes to cook! Of course I stood on the other side of the room and made Doug go in the kitchen and turn the stove off and put the cooker under cold water. The cacciatore was pretty good. A lot like a crock pot meal. And the best thing was that "nothing" bad happened. Funny thing was last night when I was channel surfing on the T.V. there was a show on about phobias, they never mentioned fear of pressure cookers.

I was so impressed with my first cooker meal I took the leftovers over to my in laws for lunch today. They liked it as well, but I still had leftovers.... After the lunch meal I packed up and put the leftovers in my car. I needed to stop at the store on my way home so I left Tucker and the leftovers in the car, alone, together...

Tucker is feeling MUCH better now and I guess he has his appetite back! While I was in the store he opened the cacciatore container and ate all the rest of the leftovers. His head is now a strange shade of orange. His whole head went into the bowl and cleaned the sides as well.

2010 Our first visitors of the new year at the Mudd Hut

What the.....Robert?
The Chavez's from Fresno stopped by the Mudd Hut on their way to Milpitas.  Que Tal?

New Years Eve 2009 at The Mudd Hut

December 31, 2009 Happy New Year!

The cooks in the galley
Talking about boats, boat parts, boat projects 24/7
Power boats up the Napa River.  6 hours of motoring, followed by 2 minutes of heart palpatations in the swift current!
"Fly Wright" in bound

Happy 2010!

Simms' 60th Wedding Anniversary

December 24th, 2009 (December 21, 1949) technically.

60 years ago Warren ask Ginny to be his wife and the rest is history!

They have a wonderful family and are blessed with 5 really amazing grandchildren. Not that I'm bragging.

What do you do for a 60th wedding anniversary? Why tour a castle of course. When in Napa you can tour a castle and wine taste.

With the tour and tasting completed we headed out for dinner downtown.

The Simms Family December 2009
In 2010 the Simms Family tree will grow two more branches!
Dillon Simms and Megan Shearin (March 20, 2010)
Dr. Clare (Simms) Rudolph and Carl Franz (June 5, 2010)

Our First Christmas at the Mudd Hut

December 23, 2009
After having been in Mexico since October/November it was a little overwhelming to come back to the Bay Area one week before Christmas. It was hard to think fast and even harder to plan or know what the plan was. Our home is now 90 miles away from where our kids live. I decorated minimally, just enough to have a little Christmas cheer. Notice the tree outside on the deck. It's all we had room for.

Yes, Virginia there is a Santa!

Santa had a little Mexican flare this year. He brought Mexican B grade movies, bright colored towels from "La Paz", Coconut air freshners, underware with Mexican slang words on them, who can beat that!
Napa in December 40's and lower
La Paz, San Blas 90's

Back in the hood for the annual Christmas party

December 18, 2009

The Choates - Our home away from home!

Tina, my orange friend!

We had a lovely time at the annual Brewster Avenue Christmas party. We must be getting older and wiser, because no one got lost or went missing this year! The couple that bought our home even came to the party. It was really good to see all the neighbors and catch up all the happenings, we were finally annexed by the City of San Jose. I can't say as I will miss my creepy neighbor, Mitchel, not pictured here. I will be interested in hearing updates about Mitchel and not having to deal with him firsthand.

The ornament exchange was as entertaining as ever. I continued the tradition of bringing a well endowed ornament, this time with a little Mexican flare and Cindy's of course had on shoes!

I miss our Thursday night potluck dinners.

Here is Ron deciding if he is going to drink the koolaide or not and "Our Lisa", JoJo and of course my Bastard neighbor.
Love you guys!

Time to travel by plane equals lots of logistics

Dec 17, 2009 San Blas, Mexico. We left the boat, all buttoned up, in a brand new marina in San Blas. With the help of the marina staff we hired a taxi to take all of us to the Puerto Vallarta airport with a stop at the veterinarian for Tucker's clean bill of health. The taxi ride was about 2.5 - 3 hours long. The alternative was to take the bus and Tucker would have to ride in his box with the other baggage. I wasn't sure he would pass the health check after a bus ride in baggage. I spent several days working out ALL the logistics for this trip home. We were able to get to the veterinarian, get the certificate and have lunch before our flight was scheduled to leave.
We had lunch at Los Arbolitos. I recommend the queso fondito. It's my new favorite food. Thanks Jamie! It's fun to travel with a Foodie.