A Travellerspoint blog

Week 19

Last week in Mexico with my parents in Los Cabos

sunny 25 °C

A bit late in posting this but better late than never.  I've been home a week trying to do as little as possible, letting myself have a vacation after my travels. I did a bit too much yesterday moving an antique bed and am now in way too much pain to do anything more!  So here it is, my last week in Mexico:

I went to see my dad on my own today after doing a few errands.  Nothing ever happens as quickly as you would like.  It was a no at the Red Cross for assistance at home.  So now what is the alternative for homecare?  I think leave him where he is for the time being.

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At Easter my mother always makes a food hamper for a few poor families and this year there will be for 10 happy families selected by a local lady who knows the families in most need  Gathering what we needed at the store was humbling.  We approached the manager for a discount but he was unable to help us.  This year rather than buying a BBQ chicken as we did last year I thought why not get meat from my mom's freezer.  There was plenty of flank steaks and pork tenderloin to share with 10 families.  Kept it frozen until the day of distribution.  

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My dad isn't happy with the idea that he will be going out for physiotherapy he doesn't want to walk. He said he is too old to bother with the effort to get better. He just wants to stay here until the end of his time. He also told me he does not want to go home. That it was my mothers idea not his. Oh dear this is tough times dealing with parents who are getting old.  After 60 years of marriage it is hard to not be together.  I understand my mother wanting to bring my father home but that isn't what is best for either of them.  It is a transition period for them.  Learning to live apart but still see one another.  I worry about the stress this is putting on my mother and the effects it has on her health  Finding a way to convince my mother not to feel the obligation to go and drive to see him everyday. She will be heading to Victoria early May as there are a few things she needs to get done there.  
We shall see how this unfolds. I can only advise and protect the other parents rights and at the same time be kind to my mother.  Her feeling is we are ganging up against her and that is not what is happening.  Let's hope she can see that I mean well for both of my parents.  The stress of me leaving is also not easy for my mother but this is the life when you don't live nearby.

My last night in Cabo was spent with friends enjoying barbecued Arrachera; caramelized onions; baked potato; and a veggie pasta salad. Ended it with fresh honey pineapple, the sweetest best tasting!

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We stopped at the home to say goodbye to my dad. He was feeling down in the dumps. Not because I was leaving, just how he is.  Hoping the physiotherapy will go well this afternoon.

I had trouble finishing this blog as this meant my time away had ended.  I am already 10 days late with this post so here it is.  Stay tuned for next years winter blog, starting whenever we leave our home here.After 60 years of marriage it is hard to not be together.  I understand my mother wanting to bring my father home but that isn't what is best for either of them.  It is a transition period for them.  Learning to live apart but still see one another.  I worry about the stress this is putting on my mother and the effects it has on her health.  Finding a way to convince my mother not to feel the obligation to go and drive to see him everyday. She will be heading to Victoria early May as there are a few things she needs to get done there.  
We shall see how this unfolds. I can only advise and protect the other parents rights and at the same time be kind to my mother.  Her feeling is we are ganging up against her and that is not what is happening.  Let's hope she can see that I mean well for both of my parents.  The stress of me leaving is also not easy for my mother but this is the life when you don't live nearby.

My last night in Cabo was spent with friends enjoying barbecued Arrachera, caramelized onions, baked potato, and a veggie pasta salad. Ended it with fresh honey pineapple; the sweetest best tasting!

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We stopped at the home to say goodbye to my dad. He was feeling down in the dumps. Not because I was leaving, just how he is.  Hoping the physiotherapy will go well this afternoon.

I had trouble finishing this blog as this meant my time away had ended.  I am already 10 days late with this post so here it is.  Stay tuned for next years winter blog, starting whenever we leave our home here.

Posted by OhUiginn 15:13 Archived in Mexico Comments (1)

Week 18

First week in Los Cabos with my parents

sunny 35 °C

Departing early for the airport is never an easy way to start ones day and as it turned out the reason I had to do this was Janet's flight was earlier than mine but in the end her flight never even left Merida they had some technical difficulties and didn't leave at all. In the haste I ended up forgetting a few items in the fridge that I wanted to share with my mother but so be it nothing can be done. I hope the caretakers enjoyed them!

My flights were all on time and I arrived without any issues. My mother was there ready to take me to see my father at his new home as it was on route from the airport. The house is quite nice but seeing my father in the lazy boy chair asleep I was taken aback! He was so delighted to see me as he wasn't told that I was coming. After a few hours we went home to find my mothers house guest Paula there ready with a cup of tea. There had been a mix up when she booked her flights and her stay at her brother's condo. They had double booked and so the last few days when there was an overlap she needed to stay somewhere. My mother being my mother as always came to her rescue. She is a delightful lady from Richmond BC and we quickly became friends in the two days we were here together.

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I went on my own to see my father and talk to him about the finances. All is good and he really felt a bit better understanding everything. I started to look at him and wonder why he was in this home. I see how my mother feels wanting to bring him home. I will work on that in the next few days; but as time goes on I am not sure this really is the best solution for the moment. With Liam planning to come down in June so that my mother can take a break and go to Victoria, I am now of the opinion that she should at least wait until she returns to even consider it. He is well taken care of there and she is now able to go where she wants when she wants. I am not sure that is a good freedom to be giving up.

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With alternating days with visits to see my dad, I think has made it less stressful for my mom. I have managed to get him outside for a short time enjoying the weather. Not nice being cooped up in a small room all day! He tells me all his needs are met here and he is happy. He also informed me that Mom doesn't need to go there to see him everyday! I am surprised at how well he is doing.

I went to a new shopping centre called Merkado! And was in shock when I saw prices for a little cardigan at 450$US. Not my kind of prices!
There are food stalls similar to Mercado 60 in Merida but again with much higher prices. They are catering to the Californians with buckets of money! It really is a different world here

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As you can read I am of conflicting opinions. It is hard to know what is best for them. My mother is stressed with the drive to see him everyday but has the ability to go out and see people on a whim without having to worry about his care.

As more people leave here in the complex the quieter it will be and fewer people to talk to so that will create a new stress for my mother. If there was a way to see the positive of the peace and quiet and time for herself wouldn't that be nice!

The neighbours invited us to have dinner with them along with two other ladies that winter here; it was Tris last night here before she heads home to BC. Not taking photos of food as I have reached my end of stay and enough already!!
But I could have taken photos of the people. These are the people that always watch out for my mom and dad!

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Stay tuned for my last week to come after I return home to Ottawa. I hope all the snow is gone and maybe even some flowers showing their pretty little heads!

Posted by OhUiginn 21:03 Archived in Mexico Comments (1)

Week 17

Last Week in the Yucatan for this season!

sunny 42 °C

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 have been coming to Mexico now for 36 years and at times for a few years at a time. It has become a second or even third home for me as I am also very much at home in France.

In the four months here I had not been to El Faro for their Rib Night and there was only the one Tuesday left and Linda was keen but Janet stayed at home. We experienced a lovely view of the sunset photos taken by my friend Ann. Shows you how we never tire of this lovely daily event!

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A tooth cleaning was in order before returning as the cost is so much less than back home. By saving money with such things allows us to travel with the difference. LOL
But a trip into Merida just to see the dentist seems like a waste. Off we went early enough to get some shopping done before noon. Buying one bag is never enough as I always think of who might like one as well. But we shall see what I decide. I do want to leave one here and bring one home. Next year my suitcase will be void of clothing and only supplies! Janet was tired and returned home when I went off to my appointment but Linda waited for me so that we could check out the new line of my favourite clothing, Abaca! I couldn't resist buying something.

Sunsets are a daily occurrence yet I still love to take a photo. Seeing these two kids playing on the beach as the sunset brought such delight to the end of the day!

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At the end of ones stay here we find ways to finish up the food that we still have but at the same time you would prefer not to cook and just go out to a local place. I invited 7 people to come for a BBQ and have steaks left in our freezer along with a few more from Ian and Sheila. Linda brought her famous pasta salad and Jackie made caramelized onions to top the beautiful steaks on the piggy barbecue. I realized a few days before planning this party that I really didn't need to use up the food I had left I can just bring it on the plane with me to Los Cabos. So that is the plan now. I will just fill my bag with frozen meat and veggies and off I will go on Tuesday to see my parents. (I ended up forgetting some special items I wanted to share with my mom).

I really love going to the fish fry restaurant El Pescado Patrullero in Chicxulub and since Louisette had never been we went off the two of us alone. It was such a nice time sharing a plate of coconut shrimp and a medium fried fish.

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Before heading into Merida for one last crack at the Symphony with Jackie and Janet we were entertained over a lovely Sunday breakfast with a show in the water in front of my place. It seemed that there were a few that were handicapped each taking their turn on one of two horses.

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Janet and I decided to go into Merida a little earlier to take a look at the walk of flowers. "Camino de Flores" is a floral spread about 100 meters long taking up the full length of the block. The forecast for today was to be 40C and so we thought it best to investigate this as early as we could before the Symphony at noon; afterwards it would be way too hot to walk anywhere! There was overcast and a cool breeze making the 7 block walk not unpleasant and a worthwhile trip. A road paved with flowers at Parque Mejorada; what a beautiful site! They had a walkway elevated above the street so that the view of the lovely flowers and topiaries was unobstructed. This was created to welcome Spring. It is just temporary pots of flowers and plants on the road that will be removed in a weeks time. They also diverted the Bicycle Route to include coming here.

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The packing is all done except for the items that are out in the laundry. I wish now that I hadn't bothered to do that as I would feel so much better it if was all done! I ended my stay with a full body massage and a dinner out with Linda and Janet. We went to a cafe that I had not been to yet and was pleasantly surprised. Casa Vieja Cafe was such a lovely little spot that Linda had mentioned opened about 6 months ago but we never managed to go there. We all had enchiladas suiza that were so stuffed with chicken that we ended up sharing a plate and gave the second one for Linda to take home. I guess I could have added it to my suitcase and brought it to my mom's!

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Posted by OhUiginn 16:36 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Week 16

My cousin Janet arrived this week.

sunny 32 °C

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Well I didn't keep to tradition and take Janet into Chicxulub for a panuchos breakfast (she went on her own the next day); instead we joined the neighbours for one of the monthly Naval breakfast fundraisers. It was as always a lovely meal with the ladies. Every month they serve a meal from a different state in Mexico and this time it was Sinaloa. They are known for their beef but unfortunately they cooked it to death and it was not palatable for me. The potatoes and veggies were fine and so were the green and red tacos. The juice was a delightful green colour made with cucumber and mint. We certainly had several refills of that. The coffee was not something I would repeat.

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It has been windy for the past three weeks making it not as pleasant to swim in the ocean but I got Louisette to hurry her morning and went in early before the wind picked up. With our cool nights the water has cooled off quite a bit from what it was when my February guests were here.

Our last Xcanatun concert was a real delight. A group of us went early to get a tour of the place with the hopes of getting to see a room or too; but I still haven't managed to see one yet! The grounds are still beautiful and worth the time.

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the meal was as good as ever!
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It is always hard to say goodbye to friends leaving but you especially ones you really care about fortunately some live close enough to see them even back home such as Lorraine and Austin. Before heading to the last euchre of the season I joined Lorraine and Linda for a brunch a Pkor restautrant that I had not managed to get to this season! I got my first alone play and won today!! Woopie!!!

Janet was busy all day with her friend Karen from Belize. Who came all this way by bus for two nights. As we wind down our stay here this also means using up the food you still have in the freezer. We managed to get the BBQ started but we didn't put enough coals on it to bring it high enough to reach the grill so it just meant that it took a little longer to cook our sausages. Who is in a hurry here especially with my famous margaritas flowing nicely!

My last IWC (International Woman's Club of Merida) meeting of the season went well and really feeling part of this ladies group. I don't feel like a newcomer any longer and get greeted by so many who now know me. Hearing about the various viruses caused by mosquitos here was a bit unnerving. The speaker this month was Doctor Pablo RIbas Wedge who specializes in the treatments of mosquito born diseases such as Dengue I and II; along with Chikungunya and last but not least Zika, who would want to be bitten by a mosquito of any kind. They really don't stop long enough for you to identify if they have black and white stripes on their legs. Let's just eliminate them all and be done with it!

Hearing of another scholarship student about to graduate is exciting for us; 75% of the dues collected annually goes to their scholarships. It is a wonderful feeling to know we have helped a young lady in her career choice without a financial burden. This summer we will be in search of a new young lady recipient. They have to have completed one year of University and have a grade point average of 80% or higher. The committee meets with the candidates and their families to be sure there is also a family commitment.
This was followed by a trip with Jackie to fabric stores of all places! Did I get more? Of course I did and I am so pleased with my find at this new shop with such beautiful Italian linen; royal blue was what I needed to go with my silk top. I love being in the market area of Merida where the life of the city is vibrant and exciting. The crowds do not bother me is the slightest. The locals are going about their Saturday shopping for their families; it is the heart of any city.

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Word around town was that the Yucatan Symphony Orchestra was coming to Progreso and performing for free at the "Parque de la Paz" (peace park). I arrived a bit late as I had eaten at "Abierto" with Karen without Janet as she was exhausted after her long day in Merida walking all over the place. Well that was a painful hour I shall never get back and it was not the OSY it was a children's orchestra with a choir singing. We had to sneak off two by two so as not to be noticed. We made up for it by walking all the way home (4km) The evening was delightful and warm. Not what we have been experiencing the last few weeks.

After playing euchre for the last time this season I decided not to walk home but took the bus so as to get dinner going sooner but because I was texting Brendan I ended up 12 blocks past my home and had to walk back. I took the opportunity to take a picture of the new condos progress that are beside our first place; Villa del Mar. But another strange thing I saw along the way were the stations of the cross. I asked people that had them outside their home why and they had no idea as it wasn't Holy Week yet! Like so much around here they were already 45 min late!

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Oh my the Yucatan Symphony out did itself with this incredible piece I had never heard before and I was so taken by it. I had never heard of this composer before Zoltan Kodal: Dances of Galanta . Listen to this piece https://g.co/kgs/FWSN8b
I liked it even more than the Preludio piece by Liszt that followed. We spent time before the Symphony to check out the Artesan Market in the Plaza Grande. I still can't get over how much nicer the new design of the place is!

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After the concert we made a short stop at Santa Lucia Square where we found these unusual sculpture but have no idea what they signify or what they were in aid of

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There are so many lovely restaurants to choose from in Merida; I would say the only good cuisine I have not found here is Chinese. I do look forward Dim Sum shortly after I return to Ottawa. My latest find was a new Lebanese nearby the Santa Lucia square called The Pita, where they make their own pita bread and I chose a falafel stuffed pita. I was extremely delighted with this but forgot to take a picture of it.

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While Janet is off on an adventure with 4 other ladies I am enjoying the quiet day alone to write my blog and have time to myself. With the calm waters of the morning it was also an opportunity to spend time floating around for an hour with delightful Louisette. Glad we die that when we did as the winds picked up again shortly after we got out.

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It is hard to think of all that needs to get done before leaving here. One week left here in the Yucatan before heading to spend Easter with my parents on the other side of Mexico. Since I decided to leave some clothes behind with hopes not to bring anything down next year; I took pictures of what is here instead of making a list. Let's see how this works out for next time. I am hoping that the silicone beads I purchased will do their job of absorbing the moisture. We can only wait and see!

The 'colibri' hummingbirds are all hatched.
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Posted by OhUiginn 20:32 Archived in Mexico Comments (1)

On my own for a week!

Week 15

sunny 28 °C

Mixed emotions saying goodbye to Dara for 2 months while he goes on his adventure to Japan; the difference this time is Liam is along for the walk and this will make it a whole new experience.
Tried to have a quiet week but still there was plenty happening for me to not be bored on my own. I cherished the time to myself that I found relaxing and introspective. Whenever Dara leaves early I wonder why he feels the need to go sooner. It is every two years now that he has gone to japan walking for 2 months. I don't quite understand why he wants to do it three times. Each time is different and this time will be a whole new thing with our son Liam.

A weekly massage is so worth it here especially with such a wonderful Satchie. I look forward to next weeks massage.

There is a hummingbird that has a tiny nest with two eggs. One seems to have hatched but the other not yet. Weird to see.
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I had not been to Faces Restaurant, this year for their Jam session yet and boy did I pick a winner. There was a guest who is a well known vocal coach and singer from Vancouver Cecile Larochelle. We had such a treat with her lovely Janis style voice.

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Hard to believe how many showed up at the Muelle market this week. We thought is might have died down but that wasn't the case and sales were high for everyone. Many food vendors had brought less in anticipation of not selling quite as much with everyone using up the food they have before heading home; and the vendors all ran out before the morning was done.

Louisette and Denis were kind enough to invite me over for a wonderful lunch. It is nice not to have to cook for oneself. It is such a delight to spend time with them. They feel the need to thank me for just being me!

I marked down on my calendar last year to watch out for the book fair that happens around now and to my delight there was to be a talk by three English speaking authors that I have come to know at the IWC meetings. Two friends joined me into Merida to walk around this huge book fair where we stumbled upon numerous interesting stalls. We grabbed a bit of Chinese food before heading to the hall to hear our friends Joanna with her book Magic made in Mexico ( I read it a few years ago and really enjoyed it). Marianne Kehoe with her book of poems inspired by the people in her neighbourhood. The book is bilingual and so it was interesting to listen. I thoroughly enjoyed her poem: about going to a Suzuki recital it brought back the wonderful memories of our Liam and his 7 years of violin playing. The third one was Scribe by Linda Lindholm. It is an archeological murder adventure

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Another trip into Merida is always a pleasant time especially with my friend Linda. We venture around the streets heading to wherever we have decided to go on this day; the shop selling the Acapulco chairs that I love. They also sell these wonderful bags made of the plastic used for market bags with a little more piazza to them.

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Walking around I love taking photos of Merida

I bought more fabric to add to my collection of clothing copied by Lucy. By the time I leave here I will have a complete new set of clothing that will either stay here or come home with me! Next time I will have a suitcase with only food items etc that I like to bring down. The clothes will all be here already

A fundraiser for the Dinosaur sculpture they are planning to erect in Chicxulub, at David's restaurant was a folk concert performed by this lovely well known Canadian duo! Marianne Girard and Alan Fraser from Orangeville Ontario.
https://www.fraserandgirard.com

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We read in the Yucatan Today that in the town of Tecoh there was a one day Festival of Hammocks and so off we went with my second trusty driver Gustavo to search for such an event. We arrived in the town to find absolutely no evidence of anything happening. We asked around and no one was aware of any such Festival! Even the two people known to make hammocks were completely unaware such an event. Who knows what happened? We chalked it up to another adventure gone haywire! So as not to have the day a complete bust we would check out the Grutas where there are 13 cenotes to see underground, nearby but that too wasn't a great idea as you have to wear hard hat and do some crawling to get to some of these cenotes with a guide and a flashlight but we didn't last very long! Ah well shit happens!

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The market in this town was as colourful

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Yesterday's sunset was stunning

Posted by OhUiginn 17:15 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

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