Archive | May, 2016

Mother-in-Law Adventure

29 May

I’ve been wanting to take my MIL to Mahahual since she arrived to live with us in December. It’s an hour and half drive to the Caribbean coast, around the top of Laguna Bacalar, here in the southern-most part of Mexico.

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From Bacalar we traveled around the Laguna to the yellow square that is Mahahual.

A friend gifted us a night in a hotel which was the perfect opportunity to pack an overnight bag and catch a one pm. shuttle from Bacalar.

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Porto Coral on the beach.

Mahahual used to be a sleepy little village. The addition of a huge pier to accommodate cruise ships changed everything.

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We cruised the malecon, pedestrian walkway, lined with restaurants, vendors and shops. Alice, who lives to shop was in heaven.

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A creative way to display glass hearts for sale.

We found Restaurante Las Chiquitas on Trip Advisor and had a lovely dinner.

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And then there was breakfast on the beach the following morning.

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The town is pretty deserted when the cruise ships are not in port.

It was just the right amount of time for people-watching, swimming, eating and shopping. A perfect bonding trip for Alice and me. Catching the combi (shuttle) was easy. I wouldn’t be surprised if one day we find a note on Alice’s door that says “gone to Mahahual, back whenever”. DOS TORTAS

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I’m Not A Hugger

22 May

I distinctly remember the first time I saw my oldest brother hug my father. We were not a demonstrative family and I bolted upright in surprise. There were few hugs or I love you’s after about ten years old. While the embrace shook my world, it was the 70’s and I chalked it up to the times.

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My youngest brother on the left, died of brain cancer in 2000. Oldest (of 4) on right.

Fast forward many years and I now live in Mexico, the land of huggers. It is not uncommon to be introduced to a stranger and have them embrace you and plant a kiss on your cheek. BTW, you are now family.

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Alice living the good life in Mexico.

Speaking of family, I have been adjusting to life with my mother-in-law Alice who moved to Bacalar in December. She has also been adjusting to life with me. Not only does hugging not come naturally, nor does “please, thank you or I’m sorry”. I was raised a Yankee and I can be bristley, a lot;  in other words, I’m a pain in the ass.

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Visiting Palenque.

I am also teachable. I’ve asked Lisa to point out a missed opportunity to be softer, gentler, kinder. That goes for all of you too my friends. A hug or a kick in the pants can sometimes be the same thing. DOS TORTAS

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Kayak Marathon

15 May

There are two annual sporting events in our little town of Bacalar Mexico. One is kayak and the other a swim “marathon”.  

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That’s me on the left and my doubles partner Teresa on the right.

My neighbor Teresa and I practiced and completed the 5K (3.2 mile) kayak event in a lovely double borrowed from the event organizer.

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Wish it were mine!

The day was overcast and very windy. The best part of participating was finishing.

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Finish in 45 minutes.

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Turn around.

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Coconuts for rehydration. Machete provided.

The lesson learned from this experience is that I will never complete the 30K distance. Some goals are just out of reach. We did however have a great time training. Having fun can be its own reward. The best one actually. DOS TORTAS

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Rocks In My Head

8 May

When I was a kid, I grew up living on a trout stream in New Jersey called Spruce Run. It was shallow and ambled throughout Central Western Hunterdon County. My siblings and I spent many hours building dams. Hot vacation days involved stacking rocks to raise the water higher than our knees so that we could swim in the summer and ice skate in the winter.

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A painting of our 200 year old farm house in NJ. An anniversary gift for my parents made by a family friend.

When my mother died, I took her ashes to New Jersey to sprinkle in the stream behind where our house used to be. She loved it there. I hadn’t been home in years since the house was destroyed by fire.

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Rest in peace Mom.

Lisa and I currently live on the shore of beautiful Laguna Bacalar in Southern Mexico. Some days I have to pinch myself that we’re living the life we created.  To walk into the Laguna to launch the kayak or swim means a painful stumble over a rocky bottom.

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This week Luna (our dog) and I were playing in the water and I mindlessly began moving rocks to try and create a pebble beach that would be easier on the feet and paws. I was immediately flooded with childhood memories. Sitting in the water moving rocks. Life doesn’t get any sweeter.

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My dad’s favorite picture of my mom. She was twenty-something.

Happy Mother’s Day all. DOS TORTAS

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Drama, Drama, Drama

1 May

Adventures can be unexpected and come in all shapes and sizes. But must they include drama? This week I was taking Princesa Luna to the veterinarian in Bacalar. She has a rash and scratches persistently. Luna loves Dr. Joel. He gets eye to eye with her on the exam table and she just wants to lick his face off.

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In the middle of the exam, his assistant came in to tell me that the tire on my Ford 150 was going flat. Oh no! I left Luna on the table and ran out to the truck in a panic, to hear a telling hisssssss.

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My name-sake. Tire Mechanic and Car Wash Alex

I knew if I didn’t get to the llantera (tire shop) fast, I’d be tasked with changing a truck tire. I have changed many tires over the years. I can do it, I’d just rather not. Returning to the vet’s office, I was in a tailspin. He looked me softly in the eye and said, “tranquilo” (be calm), that he would keep Luna and I should go take care of the tire.

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I flew for the nearest tire shop several blocks away and was glad to see an empty bay. Eric greeted me and set out to expertly change my tire.

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The Waiting Room

I believe it didn’t take ten minutes to produce the nail that was the culprit, patch the tire and put it back on the truck. The cost? About $3.50 US and about five years off my life.

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Service With A Smile

Going into fear and drama over some perceived problem is a bad habit of mine. I would have been inconvenienced by a flat tire but it wouldn’t have been the end of the world. And certainly not worth giving up my peace and happiness. Life in Mexico is much less stressful than in the US. But as the old saying goes, “wherever you go, there you are.” So what drama have you participated in lately? Remember, “tranquilo“.

DOS TORTAS

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