Archive | October, 2016

A Friday Night In Smalltown Mexico

30 Oct

What is there to do for a retired expat on Friday night in a sleepy little Mexican town, far from the nightlife of Cancun and Playa del Carmen? While my wife was enjoying an evening of gringo poker, I thought I’d take myself out for dinner and a walk around the park to see what’s shaking in Bacalar.

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The gazebo in the heart of downtown Bacalar.

It was early by Mexican standards. Families would be out as soon as the sun went down and the evening cooled. Vendors were setting up shop, probably looking forward to the Day of the Dead activities next week. Memorial alters will be on display around the park featuring candy skulls, family photos and lots of marigolds. It is an annual competition and a huge draw that brings people into town to participate or view. There were few tourists about this evening and sales were slim pickings.

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The first vegan restaurant in Bacalar.

I ambled over to El Mango y Chile. I very much want to support local entrepreneurs who try new things that bring flavor to Bacalar. Dani and Jesús, the owners, are go-getters and the food is yummy. They also have a food blog mangoychile.com with lots of healthy Mexican dishes.

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A lovely patio overlooking the Laguna.

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Someone out on a sunset sail.

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A street dog with sweet eyes and a thumpy tail was under a table. I want to take them all home.

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The classic “burger” that come with the best fries in Bacalar.

My dinner was yummy. The location is perfect and I hope the restaurant thrives. No walk about is complete without a stop at one of several new heladerías that have popped up around the square.

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A must stop for any and all visitors. The owner is Mr. Personality and fun to talk to in English or Spanish.

Cappuccino ice cream was the choice this evening before I caught a taxi home. There is probably more action in some of the bars if one is looking for it. I do wish that there were live music and a dance venue, but that would require us to stay up past 9:00. I would consider it, believe me, except in Bacalar, nothing starts until 9:00. Ah, for a night of youthful energy once a week. I don’t think it’s asking too much, do you?

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Home Sweet Bacalar

23 Oct

Returning to Bacalar, the Laguna of Seven Colors, along the Costa Maya of southern Mexico after two and a half weeks in Northern California has been bittersweet. I loved seeing our grandson daily. His eyes lighting up when he saw me was wonderful beyond words. We read books, went for walks and ate Nana-made concoctions for lunch. It is a grandparents’ lament whether you live in the States, Mexico or anywhere the young ones are not.

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Blueberry smoothie for breakfast, yum. Even this picky eater couldn’t resist. Score one for Nana.

Returning to Bacalar has been noticeably quieter than a home with an eleven month old. Residents have a reprieve before high season brings tourists and snow birds. There is less income for locals, restaurants and hotels, but more peace.

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Favorite restaurant El Manatí got a facelift while I was gone.

Weather is divine, upper 60’s (20C) at night and 80’s (31C) during the day with an afternoon shower to keep the garden green with splashes of color.

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Blooms start out white and actually turn pink! Amazing.

Cutting from a cactus that will get very tall.

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Bird of paradise in bloom.

September completed our first year living in our lovely home. We are enjoying the tranquility and continue to marvel at the life we have created. What is in our crystal ball? A family reunion in November and trip to Texas in the spring. For now we are loving everyday from striking sunrise to breathtaking sunset.

DOS TORTAS

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The Joy of Spanglish

16 Oct

While I journey back to Bacalar on this lovely Sunday, please enjoy this creative blog on the joys of living in Mexico.

Mexico Retold

I love speaking Spanglish. Actually, I am not sure if that is true because most of the time I don’t even realise that I am speaking Spanglish, so can I  really say that I love it? I find it very helpful to be able to speak Spanglish with friends because some words are simply better for explaining things than others and I want to use those. If these words happen to be in Spanish when I am speaking English then I want to use them, and vice versa. The problem comes when I am around people who are not bilingual. I find myself starting to struggle, I have to think more, I pause more as I speak, mainly because I am searching through my brain for words and phrases that I have stopped using. They are resting far at the back of my brain, taking a siesta if you will.

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I…

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Last Day In California

16 Oct

Enjoy photos from the art crawl I attended with my kids and grandson on my last day in California. It was a rainy day so we didn’t get to many studios in Sebastopol. Time to get home to Bacalar. The blog will be back to normal, whatever that is, next week. 

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A neighborhood of yard art. The mermaid’s tail is made of can lids.

Patrick Amiot artist

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I want the taco truck!

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Surf’s up.

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Ready for the Day of the Dead.

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Love this one.

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This acrylic artist sure captures dogs.

Mylette Welch artist.

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So sweet.

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The dog on the bottom left reminds me of Luna.

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Baby Max.

DOS TORTAS

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Nana’s Visit To California

9 Oct

Visiting friends, children and grandchildren in the States is a bittersweet part of retirement life in Mexico. Please enjoy a few pictures while I head out this morning to car shop with my daughter and her husband during my vacation to Northern California.

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Taking selfies with dear friends.

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Riding in the back seat with Maxwell.

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A fun time taking pictures at the pumpkin patch.

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The children’s museum.

Max is a great one handed walker who took seven steps to Grandma Lisa on Skype last night. Lisa is holding down the fort in Bacalar. We have a new fence going up while I’m gone.

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A grainy photo of the new privacy fence between us and the neighbors.

In an effort to settle the ongoing conflict with our neighbors, we have put up a fence to keep Luna in and curious eyes out. We now have a small stretch of privacy fence that will have a planter with lovely vines along it. (See Standoff With The Neighbors-How It’s Done In Mexico)

DOS TORTAS

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A Mural As Political Statement

2 Oct

The murals in Mexico and specifically Bacalar bring art to the streets and into every day life. (The Artistry of Bacalar). The newest mural graces the wall of restaurant El Manatí, owned by our friends Isa and Abram. You may remember them from a previous post (The Artist Next Door).

Danae Brissonnet,  a visiting muralist captures the political tension of the developing Bacalar and the ramifications for people and environment. Families are being pushed from their homes to make way for hotels, restaurants and stores selling to tourists. The fragile ecosystem of the Laguna is threatened by motor boats, pesticides and fertilizers all used to support growth.

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Meting Dannae and hearing her talk about her amazing mural was a real treat.

The giant piñata is swallowing up the people and spitting them out into new housing.

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The scary face of development swallowing the poor.

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People displaced from their homes.

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I loved the colors and detail.

The giant piñata rests on the fragile stromatolites that are Bacalar’s equivalent to coral reefs and are a Mexican national treasure. While the piñata is big and scary, it is itself fragile. The choices of the people of Bacalar, the tourist industry and the visitors to this Pueblo Majico will determine its future. DOS TORTAS

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