Tag Archives: retire mexico

Sometimes Life Is Like That

20 May

 

After a weeklong visit to Texas, we are home in Bacalar. Mother’s Day was spent with our youngest son and family. 

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Lisa, son Dylan, step-mom Terry (our wife-in-law) and myself.

Lisa had a visit with her doctor at the VA (Veterans Administration). The results of medical tests performed in December were finally discussed. The bottom line is another visit needs to be scheduled, probably in August. Let’s not get into it.
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Sophia making silly faces with Grandmas.

We had a happy hour with Austin friends who came to hang out with us. I wish I had taken pictures, but unfortunately did not. It was lovely to visit with folks, some of which drove as much as an hour to see us.  Also a shout out to blog followers Laurie and Ryan who visited us in Austin. Good luck on your plans to move to Mexico.

 

We also saw the movie RBG which I highly recommend. I doubt it will ever come to our local theater in Chetumal so we took advantage of a free afternoon. GO SEE IT!
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A most inspirational and uplifting movie.

We had a relaxing week and are extremely happy to be home in Bacalar. Visiting with family and friends is always fun.
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San Fernando Cathedral light and sound show, San Antonio.

Air travel really takes it out of us. This trip we had long layovers and late flights. It’s time to get swimming in preparation for the Laguna Bacalar open water maratón on June 16. I have been doing some serious slacking. (The Swim Across Laguna Bacalar).
This year is far busier than usual. Sometimes life is like that. Stay tuned and remember to check us out on Instagram at dos_tortas and Facebook @theadventuresofdostortas
DOS TORTAS 
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A Visit To Mexico City Airport

13 May

Many people come for their first visit to Mexico by flying into Cancun and staying at an all inclusive. The hotel staff meets you at the airport and you never have to step foot out of the compound. It may be “safe” and convenient but you’ll have a very sterilized visit to an exciting, colorful country. For the adventurer among you, I’m suggesting a more diverse vacation. Fly through Mexico City. 

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Flights to and from Mexico City connect the world.

The airport is big, modern and many airlines fly here. US airlines – Southwest, Alaska Air, Jet Blue and United to name a few.  Mexican airlines are Interjet, Avianca and Mexicana. There’s probably a dozen more I’m forgetting.
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Restaurant, hotel, taxi? Follow the signs.

All signage is bilingual English/Spanish and there are information kiosks with English-speaking assistance. Surprisingly, the average person has enough English to help you find your way. Everyone is extremely helpful.
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Helpful bi-lingual information kiosks.

There are food courts that might look a bit familiar. At the same time, most Mexican restaurants have an English or bilingual menu.
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This is Mexico?

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Look familiar? All but the cheaper prices.

There are stores with tempting treats to pass the time if you have a layover.
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Candied fruit, a local treat.

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A gift shop for those last minute purchases.

An IMPORTANT thing to remember, no matter your airport, find an ATM and take out as much money as you think you’ll need for your entire trip. Let your bank know you’re traveling. If you estimate your budget and add 50%, you’ll be good. ATM fees can add up. Although if you never leave Cancun, you can usually pay in dollars.
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Make sure your ATM gives pesos. 

From Mexico City you can travel on connecting flights to exciting destinations like Merida, Guadalajara, Oaxaca or Chetumal which is 30 minutes from our house.
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Our house is on the north end of Laguna Bacalar. Chetumal is to the south.

However you enter Mexico, by air, car, boat, bicycle or bus, come for a visit. Mexico is the ninth most visited country in the world, and a great place to retire.
DOS TORTAS
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Mexican Roadtrip

29 Apr

What does one do to rest while recuperating from a broken wrist (A Quiet Week In The Jungle)? Why go on a road trip of course!

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We have the services of a wonderful house sitter and decided to head out. Alice, my 74 year old mother-in-law with a broken wrist, is not able to do anything very strenuous.  What better place to visit than the the sleepy island paradise of Holbox.
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The island of murals.

 We visited Holbox three years ago (Isla Holbox) when our house was under construction. It’s hard to believe it’s been three years. The weather was perfect albeit a little toasty. This time, the island was hit with monsoon-type rains right before we got here. Walking is muddy, slippery and dangerous. We are availing ourselves of the numerous golf cart taxis that provide cheap transportation.
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Alice is agog with so many things to look at. We are here for a few days so no need to hurry. We’ll probably rent a golf cart and tour the island on our own.
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The center square surrounded by shops and restaurants.

There is also a boat tour to see birds and maybe a flamingo or two. Alice will be thrilled. Weather report says no rain for the next few days. Fingers crossed.
DOS TORTAS
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Festival de Body Paint

1 Apr

Living in small town Mexico, I wrote this blog three years ago as I longed to find an artists community in Bacalar. Wow have things changed.

The Artistry That Is Bacalar

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Even Frida got in the picture on our Free Walking Tour of Bacalar.

In three years since my post, our sleepy village has grown considerably. New hotels and restaurants pop up daily. There were two articles in the international news this week that mentioned Bacalar as a vacation destination. I cringe. Please stay home.

The Safest Places To Visit In Mexico

Visitors on yesterday’s walking tour were from Spain, Ireland, Australia, and Canada. Rarely do USers come here. It’s too far from Cancun and people do not have enough vacation time.

Yesterday in the Centro there was a Body Painting Festival. It was put on by a group I sketch with on Thursday evenings.

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My friend and full-time resident and artista extraordinaria Yolanda

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The phases of the moon over the Laguna.

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The body as canvas.

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So much detail. Very Mayan.

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A great time was had by all. I love hanging out with these folks. We make art together. As Bacalar grows, not all things have to be a drain on the community and the environment.  People coming together to express love and art has to be a good thing right? DOS TORTAS

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A Tiny House in Mexico Revisited

25 Mar

via A Tiny House in Mexico

I thought I’d update a few pictures of my mother-in-law’s tiny house. It’s been one of my most popular blog posts. 

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Entrance

All is well. Just a stumble. 😂 I even predicted it.

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Tiny House Plans

Alice has been visiting California and missing her cozy nest. Her kitty is also missing her.  I think I know more of what it feels like to be a house sitter as Lisa is away as well. Whatever you do this week, make it an adventure.

DOS TORTAS

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Happy Birthday To Me

25 Feb

My memory of childhood birthday celebrations is family dinners, with my mother’s lasagna always being my meal of choice. One lean year when I was in middle school I received a pair of oxfords as a gift. No penny loafers for me.

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Leaving Austin, Tx in September 2013 for our move to Mexico.

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The last garage sale before we left. Our sons and their dad and my DIL and grandson. Bittersweet.

To make up for my lack of childhood parties, I guess it wasn’t a thing in the stone age, I planned my own fun adult parties.

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Family portrait for my big 6-oh. A lot has changed in six years.

My annual celebrations included a kite-flying picnic in the park and glow-in-the-dark bowling which was a big hit. We had musical performances on the patio in Austin and even a poetry reading. But the absolute best was my sixtieth birthday in a hardware store!

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Treehouse Hardware in Westgate Mall, Austin, TX.

Formerly a Boarder’s book store, Treehouse is an upscale, swanky hardware store. In 2012 it had just moved into its current space and wasn’t doing that great. I approached the staff about having my party in their large central workshop area during store hours. I wanted to promote the store because I liked having it within walking distance of my house. Staff looked a bit confused but seemed willing to humor me. My good friends The Therapy Sisters performed and we served a large sheet cake to all comers. It was a blast and the best birthday party ever.

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Not your daddy’s hardware store.

Today is my birthday and Lisa and I have slipped off to a jungle B&B for a few days R&R. No electronics allowed. I’ll be back next week with some great pictures.

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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The Road Less Traveled

7 Jan

I recently read that dogs need two thirty minute walks daily. As a result, I am now doing for the dogs what I haven’t been doing for myself, exercising.

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Hurry Mom lets go!

The road in front of our house runs parallel to the Laguna and is sparsely traveled. Luna and Frida can run off-leash and have a blast sniffing and peeing to their hearts content. Luna is afraid of strangers which makes her act all crazy and aggressive toward anyone we meet. Frida gets stupid around vehicles, so our little Mexican country lane is perfect.

 

 

Lately there’s been holiday guests at the hotelitos up the road and more construction. As a result, walking became less fun. So when I found a trail through the jungle which avoided both, off we went to explore. I do not know who cut this wonderful path or why. Perhaps the nearby campground thought its guests might use it. I have not met another hiker in the two weeks we’ve been walking and the dogs are safe chasing squirrels, agouti, or wherever their nose takes them.

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Entrance to the trail. Luna knows the way.

For me the hike is a chance to be in the moment and relish the beauty of my surroundings. I hear birdsong, my dogs and quiet. Some days I amble, others I walk hard, using my trekking poles to avoid a twisted ankle. The dogs sleep better and so do I.

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Jungle selfies.

Here’s hoping you have a place of peace and renewal and visit it often. If it’s outside and gives a sense of adventure, that’s icing on the cake. On the other hand, if you’re huddled indoors trying to stay warm, you have my blessing. Come to Bacalar.

DOS TORTAS 

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Happy Tropical New Year 2018

31 Dec

Self-reflection and the start of a new year seem to go hand-in-hand. Goals, intentions, plans, resolve, diets and exercise programs are a part of many people’s annual tradition. Not so for me, at least not this year.

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Blooming succulent.

For many years I had the tradition of making two lists.  One was my accomplishments from the past year (courses, travels, projects, books read, etc), which I would compare to my list of intentions written on that January first. The other list was my intention for the coming year which I would then review the following January. It was surprising to compare the intentions and the accomplishments on the first of each year. Something than never made either of those lists was moving to Mexico.

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The entrance to our property completed.

I have been a very driven and goal oriented person my entire life. I never thought I would simply let it all go. There are no more lists, timelines, tracking, or weighing. At least very little. Could it be because I live in Mexico? The tropics? Or because I’m retired? Probably all three.

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Daily showers and everything blooming.

This lovely Mexican culture has definitely influenced the amount of time I spend hanging out in the hammock. Don’t get me wrong, there’s much I enjoy, daily jungle walks, kayaking, painting, gardening and my new found past time, weaving. There are very few deadlines, self-imposed or otherwise, unlike having worked a government job for many years.

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Afternoon showers.

So if I were going to give a few suggestion for 2018, hey, why not? They would be – do less, relax more and spend more time with a puppy sleeping in your lap, hammock recommend but optional. Happy New Year 2018.

DOS TORTAS

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It’s That Time of Year

29 Oct

It is that season in Bacalar, cooler temperatures and beautiful sunrises. It’s the time of year that those who reside here year round, live for.

 

The Canadians and other part-timers usually show up about the first of December through April. The hotels are full and the restaurants busy.

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In the four years since we moved here, we’ve seen a lot of growth. There are many new hotels and a wider selection of good places to eat. I’ve heard there’s even a Japanese restaurant although we haven’t been able to find it. Lol

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Lisa really appreciates the new Time Out sports bar run by our friend Kim. We get to watch football and the World Series and eat some good food in Bacalar! Imagine that.

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Love love love Mexican murals.

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We are learning to enjoy the Bacalar of today and smile at the “do you remember when…?” reminiscings of those who moved here before us. The only thing you can bank on is change.

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So enjoy whatever is here and now for you. Love whoever is in front of you. Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude. DOS TORTAS 

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