A Travellerspoint blog

Fourth Week away from the cold!

Cooler weather but still pleasant enough to not want to go home!

semi-overcast 23 °C

This was a quiet week with being on my own for most of it. Dara's sister Ite broke her arm and was all alone in Florida so he decided to go and help her a bit as there is a direct flight to Miami from Merida.

Another day in Merida with my friend Linda started with a visit to my friendly dentist and then a walk around town. I had my first gelato of the season of banana lime. It was delicious. The weather had cooled off quite a bit this week and this makes walking Merida streets a bit less tiring. Linda was showing the house she manages at 4pm so off we went to be there and I got the chance to see inside the house. This lovely African American was waiting patiently at the door for our arrival. She was looking for a place to stay an extra two weeks and somewhere to rent for three months next year. She was quite taken by this place. After she left we waited for the arrival of guests coming from Detroit for a month. Once they were shown the ropes off we went for dinner. We had great plans to go to to Roscolos (a favourite of ours from last year) but as we started walking Linda remember they were closed on Tuesday's. Oh dear now where??? We decided to go to the place we had suggested to the guests and so be it if we came across them. I would not recommend this place as the prices have gone up and the food was bland.

On our walk to the restaurant on Calle 65 we came upon this building with such eiry lighting. I would like to return and take on in the daytime as well.

EF0A06380BEB40FC0AFC170F6141B9AB.jpeg

This Muelle Market turned out to be a very busy one and I finally gave in after eyeing a necklace for three weeks here and in Merida, Amber and Mayan jade. Not that I needed more Amber!!! It just caught my eye. At the market there was this bus outside with a couple and their 10year old daughter. They have been travelling from Argentina to Alaska for the past 10 years. They are half way I guess! Their lovely daughter Zaina stopped by to chat with me at the table and shared her story with me. She was born in Ecuador on this trip and is now being home schooled by her parents; mom speaks 7 languages fluently! What a fabulous adventure this child is on with her lovely parents. Their bus is called 'El Bicho Latino

EF3BE0099853BD203796C6D26F923EDF.jpeg

Saturday was back into Merida for more dental work. From there I walked to the Slow Food Market where I was picking up some smoked ham from the 'Pig Lady". This lovely German woman smokes her own meat and sells it at the Muelle Market but I just missed out on Thursday to get a piece, so she promised to have some for me at her shop. The pleasant walk along Colon past the Sanborns where I picked up two huge books to send home. I was feeling really good about being here and how I really could live down here full time. It is such a lovely city with its colonial buildings some with need of repair and others right beside looking their grand self.

EF1D184A0AD15214003996DD027C6626.jpegEF27067BEFF63823A93687002D3F3C6A.jpegEF2EF5DB9DB9A2A71498B92343A3E06C.jpegEF3728B60FB33C266A0E1549DD6399FE.jpeg

Once finished shopping for goodies I thought I would try the wonderful Korean restaurant. She used to just have a stand as did the 'Sausage Lady' and now own a business. This restaurant only opens on Saturday for the 'Slow Food' market and it is packed. At 11am there are lineups to eat there. I got a nice table outside despite it being rather cool I still prefer the outdoors than the noisy indoors. Musicians showed up to busk and made a bit of money before heading off to another location

90_EF113FA00FD927A51E405F8763128516.jpegEF174FB1A254546D56AA1B7A37693A57.jpeg

Linda found a piece of driftwood she wanted in her garden so we arranged for Tony to use his scooter to take it a couple of blocks. When we were loading it the police came to see what we were up to. This didn't bother us as it meant they were being vigilant. There have been a few robberies of late.

EF42C924EB066B266590DD7E46D32906.jpeg90_F17287A8BDC02D9D44CBC9E272574A09.jpegF1812F58E00EC1B42E299EC70DB6F88E.jpeg

My ventures into Merida are always nice. Every second Monday I go to the English Library and today was no exception. There are some interesting hats coming in. We have been working on embellishments and here are a few! Another proposal was presented to make some stuffies for the girls as the boys have their little matchbox cars.

F182C03B0B46F4244DB55F85DB1D9F73.jpeg
2174FACEF08E31B13C98D870DF8EE310.jpeg

Stay tuned for more about our visitors from home! They arrive today for a week. This should be fun!

Posted by OhUiginn 05:50 Archived in Mexico Comments (1)

Third Week away from the cold!

Cooler weather but still pleasant enough to not want to go home!

semi-overcast 23 °C

This was a quiet week with being on my own for most of it. Dara's sister Ite broke her arm and was all alone in Florida so he decided to go and help her a bit as there is a direct flight to Miami from Merida.

Another day in Merida with my friend Linda started with a visit to my friendly dentist and then a walk around town. I had my first gelato of the season of banana lime. It was delicious. The weather had cooled off quite a bit this week and this makes walking Merida streets a bit less tiring. Linda was showing the house she manages at 4pm so off we went to be there and I got the chance to see inside the house. This lovely African American was waiting patiently at the door for our arrival. She was looking for a place to stay an extra two weeks and somewhere to rent for three months next year. She was quite taken by this place. After she left we waited for the arrival of guests coming from Detroit for a month. Once they were shown the ropes off we went for dinner. We had great plans to go to to Roscolos (a favourite of ours from last year) but as we started walking Linda remember they were closed on Tuesday's. Oh dear now where??? We decided to go to the place we had suggested to the guests and so be it if we came across them. I would not recommend this place as the prices have gone up and the food was bland.

On our walk to the restaurant on Calle 65 we came upon this building with such eiry lighting. I would like to return and take on in the daytime as well.

EF0A06380BEB40FC0AFC170F6141B9AB.jpeg

This Muelle Market turned out to be a very busy one and I finally gave in after eyeing a necklace for three weeks here and in Merida, Amber and Mayan jade. Not that I needed more Amber!!! It just caught my eye. At the market there was this bus outside with a couple and their 10year old daughter. They have been travelling from Argentina to Alaska for the past 10 years. They are half way I guess! Their lovely daughter Zaina stopped by to chat with me at the table and shared her story with me. She was born in Ecuador on this trip and is now being home schooled by her parents; mom speaks 7 languages fluently! What a fabulous adventure this child is on with her lovely parents. Their bus is called 'El Bicho Latino'.

EF3BE0099853BD203796C6D26F923EDF.jpeg

Saturday was back into Merida for more dental work. From there I walked to the Slow Food Market where I was picking up some smoked ham from the 'Pig Lady". This lovely German woman smokes her own meat and sells it at the Muelle Market but I just missed out on Thursday to get a piece, so she promised to have some for me at her shop. The pleasant walk along Colon past the Sanborns where I picked up two huge books to send home. I was feeling really good about being here and how I really could live down here full time. It is such a lovely city with its colonial buildings some with need of repair and others right beside looking their grand self.

]EF1D184A0AD15214003996DD027C6626.jpegEF27067BEFF63823A93687002D3F3C6A.jpegEF2EF5DB9DB9A2A71498B92343A3E06C.jpegEF3728B60FB33C266A0E1549DD6399FE.jpeg

Once finished shopping for goodies I thought I would try the wonderful Korean restaurant. She used to just have a stand as did the 'Sausage Lady' and now own a business. This restaurant only opens on Saturday for the 'Slow Food' market and it is packed. At 11am there are lineups to eat there. I got a nice table outside despite it being rather cool I still prefer the outdoors than the noisy indoors. Musicians showed up to busk and made a bit of money before heading off to another location

90_EF113FA00FD927A51E405F8763128516.jpeg
EF174FB1A254546D56AA1B7A37693A57.jpeg

Linda found a piece of driftwood she wanted in her garden so we arranged for Tony to use his scooter to take it a couple of blocks. When we were loading it the police came to see what we were up to. This didn't bother us as it meant they were being vigilant. There have been a few robberies of late.

EF42C924EB066B266590DD7E46D32906.jpeg90_F17287A8BDC02D9D44CBC9E272574A09.jpegF1812F58E00EC1B42E299EC70DB6F88E.jpeg

My ventures into Merida are always nice. Every second Monday I go to the English Library and today was no exception. There are some interesting hats coming in. We have been working on embellishments and here are a few! Another proposal was presented to make some stuffies for the girls as the boys have their little matchbox cars.

F182C03B0B46F4244DB55F85DB1D9F73.jpegEF0BAAEBFB1E14C3BB1B27AE93CC785D.jpeg

Stay tuned for more about our visitors from home! They arrive today for a week. This should be fun!

Posted by OhUiginn 10:43 Archived in Mexico Comments (1)

Week three

Food Bank and Merida

semi-overcast

This week our focus was on the foodbank. Dara ventured for the first time to help with the filling of the bags as I was back in Merida for another dental visit! On the 14th of the month volunteers show up at 10am and fill the new blue donated reuse able bags with the same food every month. Bottle of oil, beans, rice, sugar, cookies, powdered milk, salt, pasta, and a bag of laundry soap.
Yesterday Dara managed to get to help fill the bags for the Chix Food Bank, while I was in Merida at a dentist appt. 62 families came by for their bags that are now a cloth bag that Karen Parsons brother donated. Each family is to bring their bag back empty and are given a full bag. They have to return home for their bag if they forgot it. This was really good as seeing those plastic grocery bags going out every month was not great.

8889157DCF324381551F86402AF0796D.jpeg

A walk into Chicxulub along the beach, with the Hum gang was in order today and what else we love to do is have two Panuchos each with chicken and a large glass of oj and carrot juice! What could be better!

883AC9CCF65BC13EF92BAD9F2EFCD729.jpeg

On our walk home along the road, we made a new discovery, since last year, on the wall of one side of the street Is some incredible street art. It was too funny how Dara and Andy were walking ahead of us and never even noticed this art work, and to make things even worse was Dara had walked this road several times already. This confirms that men just don't observe their surroundings!!!!

885CB009EF06017D17886EAE824256DB.jpeg90_8856AB3FD0683A4904DDE405DBFBD8ED.jpeglarge_88512EB10903ED41E84377C3B1B977C4.jpeg884B91F2CB8E545824F656B4365A7E53.jpeg8849DF96D53D05ED441D404D26FC3E0D.jpeg88481A24DA1C3A4D748AE5E72CCE1CAD.jpeg88433A4498E6AA4400D3BFF89DCD1C69.jpeg883D36D191C06DDD27040FCC85E61D2E.jpeg

What I love about sitting out on our patio is anything can happen to go by. This week it was the sudden arrival of these fishermen bringing their huge catch in to someone on shore. I got up to take photos only to discover our caretaker Tony was buying them all. Maybe they will bring us some fried fish for dinner!!!!

8835F2DCB3D3885DDFBF85FAD9C2F8AA.jpeg882BC3FEE39DCB31A9EAC3575D9507D3.jpeg883102A4D7643ADAF828A99914A10C84.jpeg

During the night we were woken by a sudden "Norte" and had to batten down the hatches. With this wind you really can't sit outside on your deck and luckily we had plans to go into Merida with our friends Ian and Sheila, to the Yucatan Symphony Orchestra for its opening performance for the 12th year. It was packed with 75% grey haired expats and the rest Mexican nationals. The Mexicans usually attend the Friday night performance, but that is at 9pm and makes for an impossible return to the beach as the buses stop at 10pm.

We were entertained with some incredible pieces and they did a wonderful job. They initiated there season with walses and overtures of two composers Austrian and the Franco-German Jacques Offenbach with the " Life is Beautiful" also known as the 'Can-can' Followed by the Arlesian Suite by BIzet with the Blue Danube by Strauss to finish it off. It was quite an exuberant 2 hours. Everyone including the musicians seemed to have a great time.

88BF434E0C22249DE53C80330826679B.jpeg88BB8971D0DC277F0FCE1D54B3A2044D.jpeg88B840EDC4FAC9FA4224C9CA1277EC7B.jpeg
Inside the Teatro Peon Contreras

88C3B2DEB95069F87CBAD3558BDF3BDF.jpeg
Santa Lucia Square with the weekly Sunday dancing

Sunday's is the big Artesean market day in Merida in the Grand Plaza. The square has two rows around the square of vendors. I just love looking at what they have to offer. I found myseld a new larger brim 'Panama hat'. Along with a few necklaces out of coconut shells and one with tawa beads (from Peru). I went looking for a black necklace and a coconut shell and found this dyed black coconut shell that I just love. I also had come across some jewelry the other day that I loved but was too expensive so I thought I would see if anyone in the market would have them. This Tawa or Tagua seed along with another that I can't remember the name! [ Tagua : The Queen of all nuts, known as ivory nut or vegetable ivory (a sustainable alternative to animal ivory).Originally grows in the tropical rainforest of northern Ecuador but can be found in other parts of South America as well.
Actually grows on a palm tree (Phytelephas Macrocarpa), the nuts is a dried seedpod of the palm, that is called vegetable ivory.]

887E5C089B2B00A374C67770FD5B9D14.jpeg180_887F9EDAFD868AD2298A43D410779547.jpeg

After a long day in Merida we caught the bus back to Progreso and Dara was asleep in a matter of seconds!

My day didn't end so well with a bout of food poisoning from some mayo dressing I had saved from an open packet. That is all I can think it was as Dara ate the same salad but didn't have the dressing. Oh what a night. I was exhausted and took yesterday easy and relaxed knitting and binge TV watching onNetflix!

Posted by OhUiginn 07:01 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Week Two

Settled in nicely

semi-overcast 27 °C

Another week here in our winter home. It is so nice to be where the weather is warmer than home. I have decided to avoid winters at home as much as possible and return when the weather is a bit warmer. Don't get me wrong I do love being in Ottawa when the weather is more to my liking.

214C76CCF08060B00A1DEA98ED02E228.jpeg215CB5C5D288FC2A4DE6DF5FCA505125.jpeg

It is quite exciting to see more and more arrivals of our friends on the flight direct from Toronto to Merida. It feels like being at Uni when the return of your friends to residence!

A few newcomers joined our Wednesday Stitch and Bitch, that started back up this week; we discovered a new way to start "toe up socks". Since they are visual and couldn't understand the pattern; so I did a demo! Looks like another good year of crafting at my home got off well!

Monday's and Wednesday's our neighbour hosts an informal language class for an hour. Here the Mexicans are to speak in English and the expats are to speak in Spanish. Dara and I often pop in to help with the conversations. We especially like to go on Jan 6th for the Rosca De Reyes celebration. AKA Little Christmas; Three Kings Day. I am going to quote my friend Alexis here as she so eloquently explained this in her blog this week

"It is traditionally eaten on January 6 during the celebration of the Día de Reyes (literally "Kings' Day"), which commemorates the arrival of the three Magi or Wise Men. In most of Spain, Spanish America, and sometimes, Hispanic communities in the United States, this is the day when children traditionally get presents, which are attributed to the Three Wise Men (and not Santa Claus or Father Christmas). In Mexico before children go to bed, they leave their shoes outside filled with hay or dried grass for the animals the Wise Men ride, along with a note.
The tradition of placing a trinket (a figurine of the Christ child) in the cake is very old. The baby Jesus hidden in the bread represents the flight of the Holy Family, fleeing from King Herod's Massacre of the Innocents. Whoever finds the baby Jesus figurine is blessed and must take the figurine to the nearest church on February 2 (Candlemas Day, Día de la Candelaria). In the Mexican culture, this person has the responsibility of hosting a dinner and providing tamales and atole to the guests."

21B489B59B40DDAE7B82B5231D88846F.jpeg

I was one of the many lucky ones to find the baby Jesus. I will have to help host the party we will have back at her place. I plan to make the tamales as I did last year with a local lady in her home. Stay tuned in Feb.

Another start to the bi-monthly "Muelle Market" had a great turn out. A few years ago I used to have my own table but now I help out a bit at the Chicxulub food bank table.

2151ECF8D2EB273E3B826720EFD6BF88.jpeg21512E829CE097301C7C839F470A33E1.jpeg

Here we can find all sorts of great crafts and homemade food from croissants to German Sausage and handmade bags to jewelry. Olga has returned with my favourite cotton clothing. I must resist as I have way too much of it already in my wardrobe. (Maybe just one more top!)

The international Women's Club has a beach sub-group called the Seaside Senoras. I offered my home for our meeting to discuss what we will be doing at the monthly meetings in Merida that we will host for the next three months; and the speakers we have found. Once a month there are also "Hi Tea" that are hosted in different people's homes and a monthly coffee meeting also held at someone's home. Stay tuned as I will attend this months today. Another event which I have so far never attended is the breakfasts at the Hyatt hotel, on the third Thursday of the month; and not sure I plan to do so. As a sub-group the GORRO Girls also meet at the Merida English Library every other Monday to knit chemo hats for the Children's hospital. If you think that there would be enough hats by now think again. This hospital serves all of the South Eastern Mexico and Belize. For some reason there are more boys than girls. Marianne and another person whose name escapes me at the moment go every Thursday to deliver the hats along with an activity book; crayons and a small toys. They also have a fundraiser of an afghan they have made and then raffle it off once a year to raise money for these items along with medicine they pay for them to take home with them for a few months.

214FB78FE5FDF249BA76F36132237252.jpeg
Seaside Senoras

2160364DB476E379D903DA9B250C7854.jpeg215F93B7E2DE983CF7458CB0CF1C36BF.jpeg215EDB4F06FF38897E3EA46DEEC03186.jpeg

The hats many have made check out the motorcycle, the car and the soccer ball hat!

215E5EF3ABEC4E7488CE7B457D68D231.jpeg215DFD6DBD195D4FC42421EB54F55884.jpeg

Here is the afghan being raffled

Euchre has found a new location this year at Sol y Mar restaurant held on Fridays. I like how relaxed the group is as this is the only place I play the game. It is just a card game and nothing more you get to socialize with some people you don't see any other time.

2155B874D7BFF5786A33618ABFF54239.jpeg90_21598221AAB9B95AAC42B5214F200C22.jpeg

The new location is really nice and no dogs!

Here we are spontaneous and do what comes along and eat where and when we feel like. We tried out Barloventos Friday Fish Fry with our friends Ian and Sheila and then on Saturday we ventured on foot to the new India restaurant; "Saboreando Comida India" with the Gang at the Hums. This is a great addition to our culinary selection in Progreso. The menu is fixed for 16$ with an Appetizer; and two courses. they are open only three evenings a week and change the menus every week. We started Jalapeño and Cumin spiced paneer cakes with a wonderful homemade tamarin sauce followed by Curried lentils with Bell peppers; beef kebobs in Bengali curry ; Beth's with tropical flavours along with Basmati Rice. The second course was just as delicious as the first with grouper Fish filets with sour real curry (to die for) and Muttakos Kari, Cabbage with Mustard and Coconut and Nimboo Bhat rice.

There is a craft market on Cruiseship Day brings out what used to be great crafters. I ventured to check them out this week and was quite disappointed; so I am not sure I will venture there again. When you compare it to the one we have in Chicxulbu bimonthly and the one in Merida, this one isn't worth my time anymore!

The cruise ship is back in today. I hear there are three this week!

Posted by OhUiginn 07:44 Archived in Mexico Comments (1)

Another Year in Paradise Begins!

WEEK ONE

overcast 24 °C

Here we go again on another winter in the Yucatan,
Welcome to my blog and I hope you enjoy reading about my stay.

It started with a 6 hour delay out of Ottawa due to weather; I am so glad we found out the night before as a 4am departure from home would not have been nice. As it was we left in a winter storm to the airport at 9:30am.

I have never seen such an empty Ottawa airport; there were only two flights departing this morning Westjet and a Sunwing. With just a little further delay due to de-icing we were on our way. Our plane was full and I would say about 25 people were heading to Merida after we landed; I did try and bribe the pilot with chocolates, to make a quick stop over in Merida to let us off but he was not convinced. I had arranged for a driver to pick up 10 of us at the airport. The others were having to take the bus and god knows when they were going to get away ( as it turned out they didn't get to their place until 3:00am). We arrived to our home at 10:30, our friends Austin and Lorraine were too late for their agent and so spent the one night with us.

Now if there is one thing I always try to remember and that is my key to the cupboard we store our things here. I have two of these damn things and do you think I brought either of them!! No such luck. I was sure I had packed one early on in my packing! I also had a dentist appointment at 10amthat I had to get to Merida for. So after throwing all I had out of their bags and strewn everywhere I ran out the door to get my bus. Luck have it a car stopped and offered me a ride to Progreso but since they were going all the way to the Casino in Merida I was fortunate to get all the way in to town.

C2DBC093D1C095A2D66C92D54BDB3B70.jpeg

The fun begins at the dentist. At home my dentist revealed that I had cavities under my crowns and one being my nice new one from last year! I also pulled out my other crown eating a tough toffee. A few more visits to Peniche will have me all fixed up for a fraction of the cost at home. I can fly and rent my house for three months for the cost of my dental work at home! Which would you choose to do?

A big trip to Costco is always a must when you arrive for the essentials and a few other items the other stores don't carry or charge way more. I buy local for most of the stuff I like. The new Costco has a 'cenote' (sink hole) in the parking lot

90_C0F21E240F7689F24782EB906823CB47.jpegC114249AC24EEF5C058EA354229E4D5F.jpeg90_C115BD620E6EFF4F4F44910BED716824.jpeg

We decided as a group of 6 we would join our friend Linda and celebrate the New Year at Lizard Joes in Chalem ( Little Texas) just west of where we are! (Last year I said I was going to go to Barlovento, but I went with the flow). Well we had included in our VIP tickets transportation to and from the place. Our delightful jovial driver mentioned his son works there as a waiter! There was a bit of a confusion as we had two tables booked one in VIP and one not. After sorting this out we were brought our drinks in plastic cups and asked to choose from chicken pasta or 3 chicken tacos for dinner. This arrived on paper plates and plastic forks. I tell you this was not a good sign. The band was mediocre despite Linda's friend Bev' husband singing with some known singer from Texas who now lives in Puerto Vallarta. He should have stayed at his restaurant and performed there. I saw lovely pictures of proper dishes and cutlery at Barlovento: We did have unlimited drinks and champagne at new year for 68$ each. The party I would have preferred had a fantastic buffet with real plates for 24$ each with drinks at half price. I go with the flow and wish now I had spoken up. I have to let it go and enjoy the rest of my stay!

90_C11A9640BEC42805C644C899134B911A.jpeg90_C121611BE1895ECC185845706A322DA3.jpegC12727AAA35E5EBB0F1038CD000014AC.jpegC13243DADD185B9E0E98ADB1A504CDC3.jpeg
image

image


We ended our week with a trip to El Patrullero Fish Restaurant in Chicxulub

C16E08F0EF3ED4CDD7D4F04CE25E4931.jpegC17D2BE6D80D10320D5B92A1EFAB0AE3.jpeg

It didn't fail us again! After trying Dara's shrimp shish kabobs I think I will order them next time as they were very tender and had a lovely smoky flavour.

Posted by OhUiginn 12:16 Archived in Mexico Tagged yucatan chicxulub Comments (0)

(Entries 31 - 35 of 64) « Page .. 2 3 4 5 6 [7] 8 9 10 11 12 .. »