Archive | August, 2016

Bark Sniff Poo Repeat

28 Aug

The exercise, entertainment and care of Princesa Luna requires daily forays into the mosquitoey jungle. We clothe our bodies head to foot and douse in repellant, especially at dawn and dusk. I don’t think she appreciates us.


The lane in front of our property.

This week I brought my camera along. Taking a picture with a dog dragging me along does not lend itself to the best shots.


There are always flowers blooming. Watch the sharp points on the leaves. Ouch.


Luna knows the way.

The path is surprisingly refreshing as the hot sun does not penetrate the jungle canopy.


Why did the tarantula cross the road?

Luna is so curious about everything. This tarantula would not hang around to play.


Lovely green wall.

There is an open property up the way where Luna and I run and play. I lust after cuttings of this cactus. I must return with my machete, gloves and NO dog.


The jungle is also home to these amazing blue butterflies. They are the size of your palm and impossible to photograph.


She doesn’t look one bit guilty. Maybe a little.

If it weren’t for Luna insisting that we go for a walk, several times a day, we would miss so many amazing things. We have seen fox, coatis, parrots and more. I guess life  in the jungle is a dog’s paradise. Ours’ too. DOS TORTAS


Sailing The Laguna

21 Aug

Living in the southernmost part of Mexico does not lend itself to many visitors. The little village of Bacalar where we live is a five-hour bus ride south of Cancun, nestled along the coast of one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Add to that the fear of Mexico that is actively promoted and it is no wonder why people choose to vacation in Costa Rica, the Bahamas or a cruise to anywhere.

This past week, our friend Karen who lives in Tulum, jumped on a bus to escape the deep jungle heat where monkeys fly through the trees, to hang out with Dos Tortas and enjoy lake breezes.


As always, having a guest is a good excuse to do something we’ve been putting off for forever…like going for a sail with our neighbors Teresa and Paul.


Climbing aboard the Gabriela.

It was the first time my MIL had ever sailed and she had a blast on our three-hour tour.


Lisa and her mom


Eco Lodge Kuunich Kaanil.

Kuunich Kaanil


It’s been on and off raining and threatening to rain. The weather cooperated to give us enough wind and not too much sun. A fabulous time was had by all.



On Laguna Bacalar starts the sky.


A Matter Of Perspective

14 Aug

A year ago we were up to our eyeballs in the construction of our house in Bacalar, Mexico, a small town near the southern border of Mexico and Belize. We had bought lakeside property in 2012 and then returned to our home in Austin, Texas to turn our lives upside down and retire to Mexico. Eight months later we kicked off the Adventures of Dos Tortas. And what an adventure it’s been!


Our bright functional beautiful kitchen today.



The floors were newly painted. Sept 16, 2015


Building the center island. Lots of sanding. Aug. 24, 2015

Our followers can’t seem to get enough pictures of our house, so I thought I’d post some before, during and after photos. It gives us perspective on how far we’ve come. Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude.


Counter on the east wall. This morning.


One year ago.


Pantry off the kitchen. During and after.

Here are a few more pictures. Some days we have to pinch ourselves.


The mistress bathroom. 


Guest Bath. Building a stub wall.

Pictures of the outside will be in a future post. Thanks for this little walk down memory lane. As you can see, we’ve come a long way baby. DOS TORTAS


Preparing For Our First Hurricane

7 Aug

As The Tortas approach three years of retirement on Laguna Bacalar in Southern Mexico, our first hurricane was predicted to arrive Wednesday evening with up to 75 mph winds and twelve inches of rain. We live about thirty miles as the crow flies from the Caribbean, separated by water and mangroves and not much else. As with all hurricanes, much depends on their direction and intensity. We watched the sky and prepared for the worst.


A Beautiful Day For A Hurricane

We hired workers to help us prepare. They cut dead branches, put away outdoor plants and furniture, tied up the kayaks and set sand bags in place. Our concern was for water barreling down the hill toward the house, if we got the foot of rain that was predicted.


Machetes Were Flying Trimming Trees


Plants Off The Roof and Kayaks Secure


Reinforcing the Dock

As predicted the rain started late Wednesday afternoon. And then it stopped. We waited. Everything we could do was done, so it was time for the TORTAS first ever hurricane party!


Dinner, Dominos and Drinks with Neighbors

During the night Earl turned south and took the brunt of its damage to Belize. Lisa slept through the wind which was hardly more than any tropical storm that blows through Bacalar. We had several heavy showers over the next few days, and that was all. Almost disappointing.


The Islands Of Belize Were Not So Lucky


Thursday morning with intense skies and waves.

While we are grateful for the lack of damage we received, we are much more aware of the amount of work it takes to be prepared. In the future, a generator, hurricane shutters and improved drainage could cut the time in half. Lesson learned.



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