Tag Archives: Merida

Merida, City of Wonder

18 Feb

Merida is the capital of the state of Yucatan, and a colonial city of over two million people. The Spanish influence can be seen everywhere as can the Mayan people who inhabit the city. 

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Mayan flower vendor in traditional dress.

The tropical climate, endless cultural events, and low cost of living make it attractive to expatriates from all over the world. Within a few hours drive you can visit several magical cities, flamingo nesting sites, and Mayan pyramids.

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The ancient Mayan city of Mayapan.

And then there’s the pristine beaches. It is no wonder that Merida is one of the fastest growing cities in Mexico.

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Isla Holbox sunset. Not far from Merida.

 

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Renovated Hacienda Santa Cruz, come for dinner or a luxury stay. Painting by Teresa Bland.

There are many wonderful museums.

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Elegant Mayan woman.

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Campesino-Mayan Farmer 

Whether coming for a visit or to renovate and create your own Mexican home away, Merida is a gem.

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My friend’s courtyard art.

A busy place with Uber to help you navigate. Do let us know if you’re visiting. Bacalar is a four hour drive in a first class bus. We just might join you.

DOS TORTAS 

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Art Rendezvous Merida 2018

11 Feb

I love to wander the streets in a delicious city like Merida, taking in the sites and peering into interesting shops.

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Today I happened to glance to my right side and into a large courtyard and saw this….

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A pedal loom.

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Close up of a work in progress.

Not waiting for an invitation, I walked in to gaze at its beauty. As my eyes adjusted to my environment, I noticed large wall hangings, rugs, quilts and tablecloths. It was a store.

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No one jumped to wait on me, as is the case in many shops. No one was eager to practice their English, call me “lady” or begin the high pressure sales pitch. I climbed the stairs to find two salesmen helping other gringos, so I wandered around delightfully ignored. A bright turquoise, my favorite color, wall hanging, caught my eye and I asked where it was from. The salesman shrugged his shoulders and said he didn’t know. Some sales technique! He could have made up a good story. I’d have believed him.

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Won’t this look great in my house?

This beautiful piece wanted to come home with me ❤️. I rarely give in to impulse buying, but….who could resist? Not me! We struck a deal and off I went feeling rather pleased with myself.

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Day Four Hacienda Santa Cruz – SOLD

After a week of watercolor painting, I guess you could call it shop therapy. Saturday night was our show. Sunday morning I am off for Bacalar to my Sweetie and puppies. I am so ready for my own bed. My painting skill grows each year but it’s stressful. Until next week.

DOS TORTAS

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A Busy Week In Paradise

4 Feb

Some weeks it’s laze in the hammock, a puppy asleep on my legs and a movie on the pad or book in hand. This has not been one of those weeks.

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Sorry Frida, not this week.

Friends from Austin visited and we got to be tour guides.

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The magical palms of Kohunlich. Like going to church.

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My rendition of the pyramids of Dzibanché. Love the trees.

Friday night we attended the Baile de Carnaval para Damas “Paris 2018” (Women’s Dance) It was put on by the governor’s wife Gabriela de Rejón de Juaquín. Think Las Vegas meets Mardi Gras meets bachelorette party on steroids. We represented the non-profit Lights of Love Lisa is on the board and a project to renovate the Casa de los Abuelos (Grandparents’ House) for the poorest of the poor in Chetumal is in the works.

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The costumes were fabulous. The First Lady takes center stage.

Yesterday, Saturday we attended our dear friend Gabriel’s daughter’s wedding.

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Congratulations Karla and Jesus. What a fun night!

As you read this blog, I will be on my way to paint in Merida for a week.

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If you are in the area, please join us for our show on Saturday, February 10.

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We will be painting at wonderful Mayapan pyramids where I captured this shot last year.

Stay tuned for more adventures. You never know what we’ll be up to next!

DOS TORTAS 

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First Of All Have Fun

19 Feb

I’ve always considered myself a creative person. After all, I was an “art major” in high school which translated into hanging out with a cool crowd and having fun! In college I quickly learned that my lack of marketable talent meant bleak job prospects. I ended up with a degree in English and a blog. And so it goes.

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What all the fashionable watercolorists standing in a cemetery are wearing.

Upending our lives and retiring in Mexico has given me a chance to recreate myself. Part of that recreation, besides napping in a hammock has been watercoloring. Painting has always been one of those “back burner” dreams for someday when I retire.

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A sweet mother and child park scene. Learning about perspective.

Last week’s blog was a walk down memory lane as I participated in Rendezvous 2015. I haven’t painted much since, and I was excited to travel to Merida, Yucatán for Rendezvous 2017.

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Carolyn, our mistress of ceremonies  is a painting unto herself. The entrance to Hacienda Misné day one.

The gist is, we paint on site at a different location daily for five days. Merida is enchanting with its mercados, parques, churches, a massive cemetery and of course, the nearby beach in Progresso. The hard part was picking a subject. Each evening we critique each other’s work. It is a growth opportunity or a fork in the eye, depending on whether you take it personally.

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Progreso beach scene.

The agreement is to produce five paintings, all matted and ready to display. We had a gallery showing/party on Saturday evening and felt very accomplished and exhausted.

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My favorite of the week, a lovely little market scene.

Our happy little band of participants has varying levels of skill and experience. People always say, “oh, I can’t do that.” NOT! I’m here to tell you it doesn’t matter if you’ve never painted. My motto is, not know what I’m doing has never stopped me before. Be fearless, be bold, but most of all, have fun!

DOS TORTAS

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A Story Like The Wind

5 Feb

When our children were young, I read them bedtime stories. Little Women, The Indian in the Cupboard. I love to read aloud. Maybe it’s because my dad did too. He read the Sunday comics with a different voice for each character. He should have been a voiceover actor.

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My dad like to read, travel and he liked parades.

For twenty-three years we have continued with the bedtime reading ritual. I read aloud, Lisa listens. I wish I had kept track of all the books we’ve read.

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The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings Series, the Harry Potter books, the seven Chronicles of Narnia, the Eragon series by Christopher Paolini (I highly recommend them although we’ve never read the fourth book.) and two of my favorites, A Story Like the Wind and it’s sequel, A Far Off Place by Laurens Van Der Post to name a few.

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If I had to pick my favorite book of all time, it would be The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye. I think I’ve personally read it three times. And many, many more in twenty-three years. Why did I not write them down? I don’t think I imagined I’d be reading for so long.

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Presently we’re reading the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith.

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Not all books lend themselves to being read aloud. Choosing from the adolescent section is a good bet. We’ve slogged through many books that should have been retired early on. We’ve also shied away from anything that might prevent pleasant dreams.

This week I will be in Merida for Art Rendezvous, so no reading before bed. We’ve tried reading over the phone, but it’s not the same.

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So you might try reading someone a bedtime story, a child, elderly person or your spouse. It is the absolutely sweetest experience. And who knows, it could create a lifelong habit.

DOS TORTAS 

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A Tootle To Merida

3 Apr

Living in the U.S. gives one a certain perspective on automotive travel. It probably has as much to do with traffic, ability to find parking and one’s genetic makeup of hating or liking to drive.

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One of the Pitfalls of Driving in Any Country

While living in Mexico is not so different, it really is. For one thing, bus travel is far more convenient, comfortable and cost effective. Five hours on a bus allows you to catch up on your reading and possibly make a new friend. We took a tootle this week and visited Merida, a four hour drive by auto, just down the street and an ungodly distance by my old life perspective.

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Sunrise Outside Our Room in Merida

We stayed in our favorite Airbnb, visited Lisa’s surgeon and SHOPPED. I can go to the dark side when visiting a big city like Merida. Shopping is very limited where we live in Bacalar, Mexico’s southern frontier. Although, when Home Depot opened in Chetumal, thirty minutes away, the old timers pointed out how easy we had it building our house now, as opposed to “way back when”.

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Finally Found the Illusive Costco!

We got quite lost driving in Merida and spent way too much time in traffic. Remember, when asking directions in Mexico, make sure the person you ask knows how to drive. The little man in the taco stand can not likely give directions, unless he pulls out his iPhone and Google maps.

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We Didn’t Overdose Too Badly

After Costco we drove to Progresso, on the Gulf, just for the heck of it. Lunch on the beach proved entertaining; watching people and seagulls.

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Lisa Checks Out the Seafood Menu

For the week after Easter, things were pretty quiet in this little beach town.

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A Favorite Way To Beat the Heat in Merida

We were both glad to get home. There was a lovely birthday party next door on Friday evening for our neighbor Teresa. Happy seventieth Darling. A relaxing end to a very busy week. DOS TORTAS

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We Plan God Laughs

4 Oct

We planned one back surgery and ended up with two! After days of severe pain and numbness, following spinal fusion, the doctor reopened the surgical site to clean out the wound and remove the spacer he had inserted five days prior.

We stayed in the hospital a few more days. Any plans of returning to Bacalar over the weekend were shot to hell. While Lisa was in surgery, I got a clear-sky hospital view of the lunar eclipse.

Forgive my goofy photo. It's what happens with no sleep and high stress.

Forgive my goofy photo. It’s what happens with no sleep and high stress.

We had so much unexpected support during our eleven days in Merida. Our Airbnb hosts visited the hospital with flowers and food. Our friends Gabriel and Monica left a family reunion to be with us in the hospital. The love was overwhelming. The owner of a little hotel we’d stayed at showed at the hospital and took me to dinner. I can’t even describe what it was like to be so cared for.

Now here’s the kicker. I’m sick. I came down with a mosquito born illness called chikengunya. The main symptom at the moment is fatigue. It’s taken me hours to write this blog. So I will post a few exterior house photos and call it quits.

DOS TORTAS

Our lovely entrance. I looking for a bench.

Our lovely entrance. I’m looking for the perfect bench.

The path around the front.

The path around the front.

North side with our little stand of bamboo.

North side with our little stand of bamboo.

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Off On A Torta Adventure

21 Sep

On Friday we took a bus for our Torta adventure to Merida. After five and a half hour ride through pineapple fields and small towns we arrived for our stay. If you look at a map of Mexico, Merida is the capital of the state of Yucatan. It’s situated at the tip of the peninsula.

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We were offered the use of a lovely home that is within walking distance of the zocalo, central square. We’ve been exploring churches, the artisan market and a lovely museum.

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On Sunday the roads around the center are closed to motor vehicles. The bicycles are out on mass.

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There is a large artists market and walkers in their Sunday best.

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We will definitely be back. What a lovely colonial town. We’re off in a few days to explore more of the Yucatan on our way back to Bacalar.

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