A Travellerspoint blog

February 2015

WEEK 8

EMPTY NEST!

sunny 29 °C

Another week in Paradise! I am not sure what we shall do with ourselves now that it is so quiet. After the last departure of Sheena and Adam we got the news from Toronto that they were approved for the apartment they wanted and were moving right away.

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We are thrilled with her taking on her new life in Toronto with Adam but she will be missed as we can't just get together on the deck this summer as we did in the past few years! It was so nice having her back home after being out in Vancouver for years. I know that this is what she needs to do for herself and we wish her and Adam well in the big city!

It has been a quiet week. I didn't win at Bingo; The * "Muelle Market" was hopping but not quite as much as two weeks ago; and even Euchre had the smallest group only 3 tables compared to 5 or 6 in the past weeks. Maybe the cooler weather has kept people in their homes! (22C)

Finally another evening to sit outside with only a slight breeze and 22C in the evening. The moon is a sliver slightly larger than last night but too hard to take a photo. This is more like it.

Dara headed out the door to join Rainer and Catherine for a walk towards Chalem and I sat there wondering why I wasn't going with them just as Dara called to ask me the same. I headed out by bus to catch up with them in Progreso. I am a slow walker but I didn't do too badly and enjoyed the beach walk on the other side of the pier. I came across these pots on someones doorstep that I would love to have in my home.

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A trip into Merida was in order this Sunday and asked Alexis to join us for a stroll around without anything specific; leaving Andy at home to work. Catherine and Rainer joined us after mass and we showed them around some of our back streets and the market. Alexis and I had a terrific find of two stings of Mayan jade at quite the bargain; such a good deal that Alexis thought he was asking per bead and not. I also found a pendant I can use together with the beads to make a really lovely creation.

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The market is quite a bit quieter on a Sunday which was good when introducing your friends to it as it can be a little overwhelming.

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The obligatory stop to watch the locals dancing in Santa Lucia while sipping a cool beer was cut short today for some reason! Alexis and I abandoned Dara and the Wenzls as Alexis wanted to introduce me to the gelato shop she had found on a previous trip to town; but first we made a stop at the chocolate shop for some goodies to send home with Dara. I will have to load up as much as I can part with as I don't want too much while I am trekking around in the interior of Mexico. I need to have room for all the goodies I will be buying from all the wonderful markets we shall be seeing.

I did get back into Merida to knit more hats and get back to buy more hammock cotton for hats to send back in Dara's bags. I found some even nicer quality that I think will also make interesting garments.

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What a way to end my blog week, but with a lovely morning learning to make wire-wrap jewelry using the bits of glass and tiles found on the beach! A friend came over with all her equipment and copper wire to show us how it is done.

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While making our treasures we heard this loud noise and suddenly there they were; looks like fun! Not sure what you call one of these "parachute gliders??"
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  • Muelle Market: meaning pier market where we foreigners can sell our wares along side a few locals

Posted by OhUiginn 16:39 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

WEEK 7

KIDS IN FULL FORCE

sunny 32 °C

Wednesdays are jam session day at Faces Restaurant, and what a crowd there was today. I am glad we arrived early. We got a great table close to the front. The musicians were glad to see Adam but not enough to start with him right away. There was a bit of a territorial feeling going on; even when this great drummer arrived he wasn't even included. It was not quite happening the way we had hoped it would and ended up leaving early.

We made up for it with a jam night to remember with 23 people in attendance. I just love impromptu events; I think they are what make me the happiest, especially when they are such a big success as it was. To see the mix of generations enjoying themselves equally was such a delight. I am really really glad that Faces didn't take him away from this setting.

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I returned home after helping with the bagging of food for the foodbank, too late to say goodbye to Liam and Eric as they went off to a cenote before catching the bus to Cancun. I think they had a wonderful time but perhaps a bit too short. I think you need to stay at least 10 days but preferably 2 weeks.

We all expedited Sarah at the ADO bus station near the Fiesta Americana,
it was fun having her around with the rest of the gang. Once the bus got underway we made our way along the Paseo Montejo, a boulevard which is designed to look like the "Champs Elyssee", for a leisure stroll. We then topped the day off with a lovely leisure lunch in the terrace restaurant of Cafe Creme.

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Finally it was warm enough and not windy to sit outside and play a fun game of Rummykub. I didn't win this time, much to my chagrin! But at least I enjoyed my last bottle of Noche Buena (the mexican end of year Bock Beer) with our chilli dinner! Oh how I wish Dara had bought a couple of cases before the stores ran out of them! It is my favourite!

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As I sit here in the early morning with the sun rising behind the house and lighting up the wall a cruise ship is on the horizon approaching the port of Progreso. It will be crazy time in town today as there is the Mardi gras parade when all the locals come out to play, and with the cruise ship a shit load of passengers are to add to the mix. We have a table booked at our usual spot at Flamingos restaurant. Let the fun begin! It is always a fun time in Progreso during the parade.

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This is Sheena and Adam's last day here it will be an exciting one for sure! Next week will be so quiet I won't know what to do with myself!

Posted by OhUiginn 20:43 Archived in Mexico Tagged beaches parties mardigras Comments (0)

WEEK 6

THE LULL BEFORE THE STORM

sunny 26 °C

WEEK 6 The Lull before the storm.

It is hard to focus on happy thoughts when we get bad news. Hearing that my cousin's cancer has metastasized and there is nothing that can be done is so hard to take in. I say this is why I come down here and relax and enjoy life as much as I can. Working until you croak isn't for me.

I am so lost for words now and I just don't know what to say to her. We were chatting today and I said some stupid things to her wishing now I could take them back. I tend to speak without thinking all that well.

Watching a horse gallop by as the sun sets behind the neighbours house is so calming. Along with a gentle breeze and the slow sound of the rolling waves it is like meditation. I am so grateful to have the life I have. I didn't manage to capture the horses on the beach but did get one along the street as we were walking home in Progreso!

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I woke up and decided I wanted to go into Merida and asked Dara to join me. I needed some more hammock cotton to make some hats that are on order and get some heavier stuff for Delores to make baskets for me. I can't help taking photos of the colonial buildings as we walk along the historical centre.

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Liam and his friend Eric arrived a little later than they had hoped missing the sleeper bus by only 10 minutes! Delays like this are one of the frustrations of travel in the winter months. Arriving early morning has it's advantages, mainly that the travelling is done at night and you don't miss out on the day in the sun. (Maybe I will do that next year. Oh wait I am not coming from Canada.)

This day started off rainy but quickly changed in time for us to walk into Chicxulub for our favourite fish restaurant. Yes we ate there again. A must with all our visiting friends.

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I love the walk back along the beach is always a nice way to end your afternoon plus margaritas on our patio; what could be better than this?

As the winds pick up in the afternoon it is the best time to fly Dara's kite that Liam brought down for him. The noise it makes is quite unnerving when it comes down so close.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FYVNJHdpH0

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Not having to cook dinner is also good and with David's restaurant nearby; offering a special meal of pork in tamarind sauce and lamb Andalusian style. Unfortunately I had no appetite so just enjoyed half a bottle of wine!! So I had fruit right??

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The anticipation of Sheena and Adam's arrival had be waking up early this morning even though they don't get here until 5:00pm. They would be arriving with the help of lovely Claudia picking them up and driving them out to our place from Merida. Upon Sheena's arrival I just grabbed her in my arms and gave her a big kiss. I had prepared them one of her favourite meals of spaghetti bolognaise and garlic bread! She claimed it was one of my bests ever!

Last one to arrive in the young blood was Sarah. Dara and Sheena went into Merida to get the car from Claudia who has graciously lent it to them for the 5 days this week. Her late arrival of 1:45 am allowed Dara to spend some one on one time with his princess, at a restaurant across from the bus station. I am sure she talked the hind legs off any burros that might have been around. This is a turning point in her life where she is looking to start her career in Toronto and has found a lovely apartment with a terrific view and the anticipation of hearing if she gets this job she would be fantastic at!

A must for all who visit is a day in town when there is a cruise ship in port. You get to have a good laugh at the tourists around town. Market Panuchos and fresh orange juice are a must for a Mexican breakfast in Progreso; it as good as the ones in Chicxulub but bigger! While the kids went to the beach for dollar beers I had coffee and a teary goodbye with Marie-Claire. She told me to cherrish the time I still have with my parents as you never know how long it is going to be,

A perfect meal at the end of a day is often one I have not had to prepare! Adam presented to us a lovely pork-tenderloin which we all devoured before I thought of taking a photo!

Posted by OhUiginn 06:38 Archived in Mexico Tagged landscapes sunsets_and_sunrises beaches buildings people night Comments (0)

WEEK 6

THE LULL BEFORE THE STORM

sunny 26 °C

WEEK 6 The Lull before the storm.

It is hard to focus on happy thoughts when we get bad news. Hearing that my cousin's cancer has metastasized and there is nothing that can be done is so hard to take in. I say this is why I come down here and relax and enjoy life as much as I can. Working until you croak isn't for me.

I am so lost for words now and I just don't know what to say to her. We were chatting today and I said some stupid things to her wishing now I could take them back. I tend to speak without thinking all that well.

Watching a horse gallop by as the sun sets behind the neighbours house is so calming. Along with a gentle breeze and the slow sound of the rolling waves it is like meditation. I am so grateful to have the life I have. I didn't manage to capture the horses on the beach but did get one along the street as we were walking home in Progreso!

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I woke up and decided I wanted to go into Merida and asked Dara to join me. I needed some more hammock cotton to make some hats that are on order and get some heavier stuff for Delores to make baskets for me. I can't help taking photos of the colonial buildings as we walk along the historical centre.

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Not having to cook dinner is also good and with David's restaurant nearby; offering a special meal of pork in tamarind sauce and lamb Andalusian style. Unfortunately I had no appetite so just enjoyed half a bottle of wine!! So I had fruit right??

EE6D86D4DE9D746784F26F8EB35962E8.jpg

The anticipation of Sheena and Adam's arrival had be waking up early this morning even though they don't get here until 5:00pm. They would be arriving with the help of lovely Claudia picking them up and driving them out to our place from Merida. Upon Sheena's arrival I just grabbed her in my arms and gave her a big kiss. I had prepared them one of her favourite meals of spaghetti bolognaise and garlic bread! She claimed it was one of my bests ever!

Last one to arrive in the young blood was Sarah. Dara and Sheena went into Merida to get the car from Claudia who has graciously lent it to them for the 5 days this week. Her late arrival of 1:45 am allowed Dara to spend some one on one time with his princess, at a restaurant across from the bus station. I am sure she talked the hind legs off any burros that might have been around. This is a turning point in her life where she is looking to start her career in Toronto and has found a lovely apartment with a terrific view and the anticipation of hearing if she gets this job she would be fantastic at!

A must for all who visit is a day in town when there is a cruise ship in port. You get to have a good laugh at the tourists around town. Market Panuchos and fresh orange juice are a must for a Mexican breakfast in Progreso; it as good as the ones in Chicxulub but bigger! While the kids went to the beach for dollar beers I had coffee and a teary goodbye with Marie-Claire. She told me to cherrish the time I still have with my parents as you never know how long it is going to be,

A perfect meal at the end of a day is often one I have not had to prepare! Adam presented to us a lovely pork-tenderloin which we all devoured before I thought of taking a photo!

Posted by OhUiginn 06:38 Archived in Mexico Tagged landscapes sunsets_and_sunrises beaches buildings people night Comments (0)

WEEK 5

FASHION SHOW AND TAMALES !

sunny 26 °C

WEEK 5 in Chicxulub

Rehearsal for the fashion show went well and I love the new venue with the higher ceiling and plenty of fans to keep us cool; a more spacious change area would have worked better.

Another successful year at the Chicxulub Fashion Show held at D'Mar events hall; a new great location. We showcased a local designer, whose clothing some people liked me in, but way too much polyester for me!

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nice but not for me

As always we had so much fun showing off these lovely cotton clothes. i couldn't resist buying another two pieces today! That is it for awhile as I have a closet full of these clothes. I have been buying them for about 15 years, and I think I like the designs from Abaca better than Dunes. I can't seem to get Olga to carry them here.

We managed to raise around 8,000 pesos (over 600$CD) on the day; plus the sale of the tickets, this is great news for the food bank.

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I am so glad we finally got to visit the Casa Museo Montes Molinas, after our dentist appt., as I have been trying to do for a few years. It was really lovely! We were fortunate to arrive just in time for the 11am English tour. This house was designed built in 1904 by the same architect who built the Opera House Contera de Peon; for a Cuban and his Mexican wife as a wedding present from her parents; and then sold to the current family after 15 years. It is still owned by and filled with the possessions of the second owners (Molinas family) . In addition to the beauty of the home and its interesting furnishings, provides some insight into the life of a very wealthy family in the sisal-driven heyday of the Yucantan. The home is still owned by the granddaughter of the family is still alive in Mexico City; who comes to the home about 5 times a year. So it is still a functioning home that is maintained nicely with the help of the great wedding venue in the back yard.

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Alexis and I love to check out Merida and made our way to the hammock shop where I buy cotton for my sun hats; as I have an order for two of them. Every time I walk around this area (one block from the main square) I feel like I am part of a bigger picture. There is so much life happening; the big old buses making their way through the narrow streets and the sidewalks filled with locals doing their shopping. This particular section of the streets could be called the "crafters heaven". There are endless possibilities of what you can find to make your Carnival Costumes coming up this month; with quite the selection of all manor of things from feather boas to lace trim of every conceivable colour and design; or glittery fabric. It can be overwhelming sometimes. Check out the wall of zippers!

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I finally joined the IWC International Women's Club. I have been going to various meetings over the years as a guest and the funds raised go to the Girls Scholarship Fund. The Friendship sub group some of which are the beach ladies, were hosting todays meeting, so I helped out with selling of raffle tickets and my sun hats; which I managed to sell three sold and two orders for different colours. So it is a good start. The discussion this month was about the website changes but the second half was talking about the kids cancer program (which I have contributed to with hats for the kids for a few years now) This subcommittee visit the children once a week with activity books; a stuff toy; and a knitted or crochet hat. It is great work being done by these ladies and the look on the children's faces when they are presented with their gift bags is priceless. I plan to help more with the hats at the Merida English Library, where they meet twice a month to share and teach how to make these hats; where I will strongly encourage only the use of only cotton or wool for their little heads to breathe better; but we can't be too picky when receiving donations.

Sheila and Ian finally made it down after being held back in Canada for family health reasons. We invited them along with a few others for a steak dinner; some were unable to attend as they were watching the Super Bowl (I am glad not all men watch it!) We had some great laughs and shared some stories. Dara always chooses a theme and asks questions of us all. It keeps the conversations quite interesting.

It has been quite the week and to end it yesterday I got invited to see how tamales are made. Last year on the Candelaria celebration we ate the most fantastic tamales. The best I have ever eaten. We asked Rosie if she could show us how they are made. Well we never heard back and then suddenly I get a phone call inviting me and I quickly invited Alexis along as she was just as keen. Well what a day to remember!
It was such an honour to be in her home as she prepared these lovely tamales coladas; there are different kinds of tamales but these are by far the best in my opinion. It all started with Anna blending white and yellow corn masa in a blender with water; she then proceeded to sieve it to only take the light liquid. After setting aside the lumpy part she would add more water to be sure she got all the starch out of it she could. Nothing goes to waste, the grains left on the second go round are fed to some nearby chickens. From here she put it on the stove in this gigantic pot over three burners that had water salt and a herb I can't remember what it is called; It is best done in a wide shallow pot to be sure it thickens evenly. To her mixture she added lard (pork fat) and stirred this constantly checking the taste and consistency of cream of wheat along with the glistening look she wanted. She makes 4 kilos at one time.. All the while the chayote broth that the chicken wings and thighs had been cooked in is reduced over the stove in a small pot beside. She demonstrated to us the sequence

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbzNKedUUpQ

In the meantime suddenly once the this was ready to be assembled and the banana leaves had been washed we stopped. We weren't quite sure what was happening as they were setting up these large tables and several hundred loaves of baguettes arrived. They had an order that had to be completed by 3:30pm of 350 tortas (sandwiches). We set up and cut these loaves in half and then spread them across these tables creating an assembly line of mayo; lettuce; two kinds of ham; cheese; tomato; and onion. Once they were done each one was wrapped in a napkin and put in bags of 25. If we had not been there to help them I am not sure they would have been able to get them done in time.

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Once they were on their way we returned to our making of tamales on these same tables; 35 of them were put into a pot and steamed for 1:30-2:00hrs in the outside kitchen!

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Late that night, we assembled at Sharon's 'conversation class" where Rosie delivered the steamed tamales that were enjoyed by all in attendance. I think this is the largest group!

Posted by OhUiginn 08:43 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

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