Archive | April, 2013

Have fun * learn stuff * breathe * repeat

28 Apr

The Adventure of Dos Tortas has required endless planning, list making, scheduling, re-scheduling; it’s mind boggling! My Excel spreadsheet is long gone, replaced by a calendar on the dining room table. BTW, in case you haven’t noticed, it’s almost May! With a goal of leaving town by September 1, vamanos muchachos.

This past week saw two HUGE checks off of THE LIST (at least in my head). I found an outfit for my daughter’s wedding! Planning a wedding in the middle of our “adventure” hasn’t been the easiest. I am thrilled for my daughter and she and her fiance are doing all the work themselves. Finding the perfect outfit had me more stressed than I could have imagined and my goal is “NO STRESS”. So, wedding outfit, CHECK.

Actually, the biggest and most stressful, at the top of our to-do list and the least under our control has been the sale of our house in Bastrop, TX. This week we got an offer with a contract. Selling this house has required much faith and breathing and frankly not much fun. We learned that all the best planning still didn’t come out the way we expected. It’s been a real nail biter and a lesson in living with uncertainty. Even though we don’t close until June, it’s a huge CHECK off of my list.

…and now, reminders of why we’re doing all this:

Large tree along the lake.

Large Tree Along Laguna Bacalar.

Big lush bromeliads

Big lush bromeliads – Casita Carolina

Growing everywhere

Yellow Flowers Growing Everywhere

Blooming Succulent Hummingbird Attractor

Blooming Succulent Hummingbird Attractor

Dia de la Tierra

21 Apr

This week we celebrate Earth Day 2013. I remember the first Earth Day in 1970, the year I graduated from high school. I was surprised that my father would join a group of students picking up trash in Ken Lockwood Gorge near my childhood home in New Jersey. I thought only young people cared about the environment…LOL!!

In researching the Pueblo de Bacalar, I was curious about the town and what it would be like to live there. Austin is a green city and people are very conscious about the environment. I know from our travels that the rest of the world isn’t always as committed. One thing I discovered about Bacalar was an Earth Day Celebration from 2011 that I wish I could have attended. People coming together to celebrate the earth, the laguna and their comunidad. In a declaration of intent, residents committed to protecting the earth, the inclusion of all people through non-descrimination, and the education of children to continue the work. The faces in the pictures are mixed in ethnicity, race, age and resource. During our visit to Bacalar in December 2012, I noticed blue recycling barrels everywhere. There were bi-lingual notices asking people to protect the lake by picking up trash.

Seemed like my kind of town.



People Coming Together

People Coming Together

Ritual to Bless the Earth.

Ritual to Bless the Earth.

Earth Day photos by Jacqui McGrath

Chucking it all and moving to Mexico

14 Apr

Spring weekends like this one are frequently thought of as, “the reason I moved to Austin”. Not too cool and not too hot. I enjoy it before the scorching, dry summer starts. On Friday I was riding my bike home from work anticipating this lovely weekend when a thought popped into my head crisp and clear, “we’re really going to do this!”. It made me laugh out loud. We’re moving to Mexico! We’re going to build a small house on a beautiful lake and retire. OMG.

I want to thank my friend Karen. It’s one thing to read a book about someone who chucks it all and moves to a foreign country, but it means so much to me to KNOW someone who’s done it, to talk to them and visit them and say, “I can do this” and then doing it.

We had another garage sale yesterday. Poco a poco, little by little. Time to start seriously packing things that we ARE taking. It will make staging the house for sale easier. Off to enjoy the rest of this lovely weekend. Next spring will be a whole different story.

Lovely Sunrise

Lovely Sunrise

Bacalar Rising

Bacalar Rising – Time for a Swim


8 Apr

When visiting the town of Bacalar, populated 11,000, situated about thirty minutes north of the Mexico/Belize border, I didn’t expect to find so much personality and ambiance. Since we do not eat out a lot, it wasn’t the restaurants but the people, the lake, the mercado and Fort Bacalar that captured our hearts. The town itself is situated on the laguna with Fort Baclar at its edge.

“After the town was sacked by pirates in 17th century, the Fortress de San Felipe Bacalar was completed in 1729, and may still be visited today.”

Pirates? Yes, apparently the mangroves made it possible for long boats to work their way inland from the sea and attack the tiny pueblito. So they built a fort, with deep moats to protect the villagers. Today it houses a fascinating museo chronicling the history and the development of the area. The site has been used to make movies and entertain tourists for years. While living near Fort Bacalar wasn’t our first reason for choosing to retire in this quaint town, it certainly will entertain the many friends who promise to visit us.

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