As I begin my last week here I wonder what is it that draws me back home. I have to say it is mostly being back with my kids. They really inspire me and I love their company. They have grown up so fast and are leading their own lives but still include Dara and me in so much of it. We are very fortunate to have that and I would not want it any other way! Spending more time here and having them come to visit us here would be great. However, I would still go back to our lovely home in Ottawa. If the snow were all gone right now I might be a little more excited!
I started off with a relaxing knitting morning with Linda again and getting to know her even better. As we sat on her porch taking in the lovely breeze on this extremely hot day, I discovered we not only have the knitting interest but also the jewelry! At the end of our session she took me inside to see her collection of beads and pieces ! WOW! Years of collecting really interesting. I thought I had lots of inventory but nothing at all compared to her. It has been a passion of hers for so many more years. adorning her work/room, bedroom and whatever space she can fill in her home. one finds containers, bowls and baskets.of her collections of yarn, beads and whatever else needed for her crafts.Like the Mexicans, she sleeps in a hammock that hangs in the corner when not in use. I have to say it is a wonderful use of space. I left her home feeling really great about this new friendship I am developing with Linda. It has been so nice to have this opportunity alone with her to get to know her better. Regretfully, we hadn't done it sooner. It all happens for a reason and we have time next year to...................................???///
As we try to use up what food we have left gatherings of friends in their homes is happening more than in restaurants! I had 4 beautiful steaks from Costco that I shared with my dear friends the Wheeler's and the Murray's, as the latter have a little barbecue. On our list to purchase for next year.
Wednesday evening I was entertaining the language class for "cena" ( dinner) Again it was an opportunity to use up some of my food and enjoy the whole group around my big table which accommodates 14, a small round table was needed for the three kids. I had spent the day preparing for this meal, (at lunch time I wanted to make a sandwich but didn't want to stop; suddenly Maria arrives with 1 1/2 fried fish for me!!!) for using the rest of my homemade spaghetti sauce with the addition of some more Perego sauce added to the half a kilo of fusilli; with half a kilo of grated cheddar cheese on top made for two great casseroles waiting to be put in the oven!. Needless to say no one went short of food. For desert I made the Pumpkin Ginger cookie mix I had brought down here with me.
I so enjoyed having mexicans participating in our dinner and not just the expats. The stories they told us were so delightful.
My set table
The language class for dinner
Packing didn't go as I hoped since there was no way I could get all I wanted to bring home in one bag even with by leaving a whole suitcase of things here for next year. Once a fair chunk completed, I went into town to get a few items at the Artisan's market, cruiseship day, always a good day to go. From there I headed to the "Muelle market" where I was to have a meeting with a few artisans for the posting on the globein website. It was busier than I thought it might be; I guess more people who live down here are taking advantage of there being so many great vendors from " Slow foods" etc.
We went ahead and decided that we would meet on Saturday morning at Nola's house to do the videoing of them individually. When we all showed up at Nola's she could not find her video recorder cord and her worker was chipping away at concrete that was not very conducive to us and a video so we packed up and moved over to Bamboo beach. They were very accommodating and let us in early. We did them on in one take, along with the few products we were going to sell for each person. Surprisingly, we were completely finished by 10am so I thought it best to go into Merida and buy the cotton for hammocks as promised.
The gift I received for helping these lovely ladies: Socorro and Doris!.
Hammocks for sale
Hammock yarn I bought
Oh my god was it ever hot and crowded in town. This area is the market area and with the holidays starting you know how that is at home too!! I was happy to quickly buy this stuff and head home; not without a quick stop in the leather shop for a little red wallet I had been eyeing. The collectivos- combie bus back to Progreso was a block closer and I was not walking that extra block in 42C full midday sun weather. Thank goodness I left when I did as the line trippled in size.
I had plans to return home and eat a tamale I had purchased in Progreso when the Wheelers insisted I join them for dinner at Barloventos so since they were treating how could I refuse my last evening with such good friends.
Upon my return home our caretakers arrived at my door with a beautiful present for me; a shell handcrafted lamp, which they had made So kind!
I then returned to packing the rest of the stuff.
On my last day here in the house I am taking the time to relax a bit and enjoy the peacefulness of the clear day with just a slight wind from the south and the sun rising! There is a cargo ship leaving the port and there are just a few seagulls flying around and stopping by the neighbours freshly filled pool; since our is chlorinated, they prefer that one to ours. All my neighbours are gone as well.
However, this peaceful, quiet place is about to be transformed, again, tonight, once the Meridians arrive for their two weeks Easter vacation! I certainly see why people choose to live here full time! There is a simplicity to your life!
The caretakers said they would help me move my bags and food over to my new digs with their trike but I thought he rode this thing. It turned out the pedals didn't work so he and his daughter Arisela walked it the three blocks in this sweltering heat, while I took the bus since it was hot and sweaty, packing. Seeing them walking that distance, made me feel terrible. Had I known I would have ordered a taxi.
I dropped off all my stuff as Jackie offered to unpack the food and I returned home along the beach to take a swim and shower before the owners arrive at 2pm. I felt so relaxed with all taken care of and not rushing to catch a flight right away. We loaded up the closet with all the items I was leaving behind and they gave me the key. They were fine with me not giving them a deposit right away for next year and just asked I send it some time in September. This of course was very fine with me.
They dropped me off with my last bag to Jackie's and we parted our ways for another year!
The view from Jackie's apt for my last four days
After a lovely dinner with Flora and Jackie we headed into Progreso for a free concert performed by the Symphony Orchestra of Yucatan in the cathedral. What an evening! The church was filled with 95% Mexicans all there to enjoy a wonderful free performance. Since this church was so huge, the ceiling must have been two stories high, the acoustics were great. What a surprise! The conductor sang the last piece. Oh! could he sing despite telling us he was not Placido Domingo.This orchestra has played with the likes of him; Sarah Brightman and Elton John. What a lovely way to end my busy day!
I could not get a response from Brin about dinner as her phone was not working; so I set off with a pound of shrimp some butter and garlic; beer and wine, to her house. How could she turn me down? She finished up her laundry which consist of using a spinner and then hangs it outside. The later part is fine but with such cheap laundry service I prefer to get someone to do the whole thing. I have managed to only pay 66 pesos (5$)each week .
Our lovely dinner consisted of my camarones al mojo de ajo - garlic butter shrimp a potato salad she prepared and an excuisite bottle of Castillo del diablo. Once we finished this delightful meal and conversation I left to go and bring the hammock cotton to Doris. I headed out in the dark night only just missing a bus. The frequency isn't as good in the evening. I stumbled upon some friends walking towards me on the street; they were worried about me walking alone at nigh. I am not concerned here. I feel very safe. Of course as soon as I started walking a bus came along so I flagged him although I was not at a corner. Wanted to get my cotton to this young lady and not have to deal with it anymore.
Walking home from Calle 6 to 44 was an interesting experience; this end of town is the poorest part of Chicxulub; with the lights on you get to see into peoples homes and so I did. It is the beginning of Semana Santa - holly week,the biggest family holiday.They get two weeks holiday and families usually gather at the beach. I came across one home with a huge gathering; someone playing the guitar and all were singing, I didn't hear a single correct note.
Interesting, peeking into everyone's home felt as though I was intruding into their lives. You see all sorts of decorations and levels of homes side by side. Everyone greets you as you walk along. I even stopped by Lupita 's, watched her cross stitching away while watching TV with her mother!
I came up to the town square that has been transformed into a fairgound; merry-go-round delighted kids everywhere. There is one ride shaped like a tea cup with this guy running along side and spinning the kids even more. Seeing this simple fair with kids having so much fun. No different from ours in our elaborate fairs .Couldn't wipe the smile from my face.
One guy invited me to try his game of small balls you throw in the hopes hopes of winning a large screen TV. If you get a number adding up to 100 you win. There were several choices of winnings.Had I tried it and paid the 50 pesos, I would have won a coffeemaker. Thank goodness I was running out of money or I might have been tempted try!
I have never seen so many cars several blocks of them lining both sides of the street. I continued my walk home saying hello to everyone as I passed them on the street.
My roommates certainly aren't party animals so when I came home at 10pm, I found them all asleep.
Sunday a day of rest and not too much else.
A full english breakfast and sitting on the terrace watching the comings and goings at the condo with my iPad while sipping a viva caramel ice coffee with Jackie, on her laptop, was a pure relaxing delight.
Not only has there been an increase in police and military presence but even the pelicans are seen in larger groups confirming all along that they are the Mexican Air Force.
It was wonderful to relax and do nothing all day just watch the ocean from the apt. balcony and take in the scenery. In the afternoon,Jackie and I ventured out for a walk along the beach so that we could say we got out. It was wonderful to see the beach houses filled with people and not so abandoned as we have over the past three months. Many were swimming in their clothes and happy kids making sandcastles .
Reservation is made for our dinner at La Recova Restaurant, for my last evening. I can't wait to try this place, in Merida, as it has a great reputation for Argentinian food It. only opens this weekend, here in Chicxulub due to Easter Week!
Monday last day!
Headed into Progreso to get a few last minute things and get in to see a dentist for a cleaning. Can you believe a cleaning is only 412 pesos - 32$ But before I headed to the dentist appt., I went all over town. I was on the bus at one point and saw a friend so I hopped off and walked all along a street I so rarely go on checking out some of the stores. One second hand furniture store (mostly junk) We found a rocking chair for Linda. We continued along till we came to a store that was at the front of their home, as so many are! This woman makes hand lotion with aloe vera and almond oil. I headed over to the market to see one of the English students and she gave me some food made with garbanzo beans and shredded chicken like a salbute but not made with tortillas; very tasty!
My second to last day view
Building on my last walk in Progreso
Malecon in Progreso!
I could not believe my eyes on the bus there was this man in his twenties sucking his thumb?
As my last day draws to an end I start to feel better about going home to see my family. The day was not very nice spitting rain and cloudy along with a Norte. I guess it is time to go!
Our dinner at La Recova was unbelievable! Flora and I walked over to the restaurant to join Brin there and have drinks and appetizers while waiting for Jackie to arrive after her meditation class. As it was Happy Hour we of course were served doubles. We devoured the botanas that are free but the waiter said he had something we should try that was not on the menu yet; tuna fireball. Well this was delicious, cubes of raw tuna mixed with soya sauce shredded nori and sesame seeds. We devoured this in no time. The drinks kept coming as we waited for Jackie who was later than she had hoped. We were not the least bit concerned and continued to chat and eat. The waiter then suggested a salmon carpaccio. Unbelievably delicious; it had chopped capers and lemon on top. We thought we had died and gone to heaven. Luckily for Jackie there was some of this when she showed up. We then ordered our 300g filet of beef either blue; rare or med rare? By this time we were on our 4th round of gin and tonics so we didn't bother with wine!! We could not believe this beef; it was like eating butter. They had tried to convince us to order the rib eye but at 35$, it was not in the budget plus it was 500g and I could never eat that much. As it was I couldn't finish my piece! As we sat finishing our 8th gin and tonic we decided to try their famous chocolate tornado.
Missing my photo!
It took awhile to come as I do believe it was baked fresh to order! Thank god we shared one between the two of us.
It is one of the best deserts I have ever had; a brownie with molten chocolate in the centre. How decadent can you get? We made our way home around 10:30. We could not believe our bill only came to 60$ a head.
This was the best meal we had all eaten in ages. I hope I am around next year at the start of the Semana Santa - Holy Week!!!!
The return home was long but would have been easy if the last leg had not been delayed for an hour! It is a long way especially when you have a four hour bus ride to the airport, but luckily it is a very comfortable seating and I managed to sleep.
Sunset on my flight home
Liam and Marianna picked me up at the airport and brought me home to a house that was left in disarray! There is one thing that really pleased me and that was I was not cold with just the sweater I had on.
Waking up this morning was hard because I knew the big job that was ahead of me. I didn't want to face the mess. I have to tidy up the house just to make it untidy again when I unpack. Home sweet home! Time to get settled back!