A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: OhUiginn

Another month has flown by

Jorge and Lesley’s Wedding in Mexico City

semi-overcast 24 °C

The arrival of many more friends has added to our delight of being here in Progreso area. Once the phone theft and the ID cards got sorted we were able to get back to normal. Our friend Rainer’s and Catherine returned after two years in Costa Rica and are delighted with their little casita! Only two blocks away means they will be frequent visitors to our pool and beach once the weather warms up enough to swim.

Walking around Progreso you always discover new things when you venture off the usual route

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I always get so much joy helping out the families in Chicxulub at the monthly Foodbank distribution of the food to 46 families. Just a small gesture on our part to this little town.

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Our good friend Ian celebrated his 80th birthday at the end of December without too much fanfair as he had hurt his knee after the Grey Cup game. So we had a lovely celebration here to mark this momentous occasion. He is in great health and continues to delight in coming here for 20 or so years. Missed of course were the Wheelers who were back home in Burlington but we FaceTimed them to include them in our festivities.. Various meats were cooked on the little Miss Piggy and she never fails to delight us with her cuteness.

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The highlight of this month has to be the trip to Mexico City to join in the celebration of marriage of Jorge and Lesley in the church with Jorge’s parents Jorge Sn and Martha; family and friends. There were about 12 that came from Canada to celebrate with them; this included of course Wayne and Pamela Somers ( Lesleys parents) They were the most gracious hosts one could imagine and it was wonderful for Jorge, Lesley and little Michael. This was our first Mexican wedding and thoroughly enjoyed!

We left Merida midday to get to CDMX in time for the dinner the Paras family was hosting. It happened to be at a Yucatecan Restaurant with the same name as the one in Merida; Los Almendros; (which happens to be the first authentic restaurant Alexis and I tried on our first trip to Merida). The food was good and the company fantastic. I was surprised at how many of Lesley’s family had come to be here. The mariachis were a delight as some may have watched in my post on FB.

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We had chosen our favourite neighbourhood Condesa to stay in an Airbnb and were not disappointed with our choice.
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After walking around our lovely area enjoying the wide boulevards, Andy and Alexis stayed back at the flat

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We stumbled upon this lovely church in our neighbourhood

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while Dara and I joined our old friends Elsa and Mario for lunch a La Trattoria Palacio in Platón in Col. Polanco. It is always such a lovely time with these two. Knowing them for so long has made for a lifetime friendship!
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The highlight of this day though had to be the dinner hosted by the Somers family at the stunning Hacienda de los Morales also found in Polanco. To think this was once a home to a very wealthy family. The pictures do not do it justice. The meal was superb 5 course dinner. I love the way the soups are always served from a terrine with the dry ingredients in the bowls.

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Wedding Day in Tecamachalco! With it being at noon meant there was no time for any markets in the morning as we too had to get ready! The church was filled with family and friends of which some were dressed to the nines! Glad to have a shawl to keep warm as it was freezing in there!

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Dressed up for the wedding was fun! Check out Dara’s new shoes!

From the church we headed to a lovely reception in Polanco. This area has the highest concentration of wealth in Mexico I think!
The reception meal was again very very good. I think the pictures tell it all

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The following day was another busy day! We walked to the Zona Rosa to the antiques area only to realize the big market is on Saturday so off to the Lagunilla Market we went after wandering along Paseo de la Reforma which Was closed for bikes for the day. What a difference seeing this usually busy road full of people enjoying the freedom to bike roller blade or just walk along the sidewalk as we did. At first glance we were quite disappointed at Lagunilla as we had been dropped at the building where it had nothing but baptismal, quinseniera and wedding dresses. This certainly was not what we were looking for and just as we were about to give up on our morning we came upon the street that was closed off and filled with four rows of stalls filled with such wonderful things. It went on and on and after an hour of walking to the end we only managed to get two rows done in a bit of a rush. I found some lovely amber! Like i needed more of this stuff. It was calling to me. Yes i need to feel the item reaching out for me to buy it.
Andy found a lovely Indonesian shirt!

Then we went our separate ways! The boys joined our friend Alfredo for the Bull fight and Alexis and I went over to the Paras home for lovely Tacos in their back yard! It was sunny and wam and a delight sharing a table with Jorge’s aunts! His mother is one of six sisters.

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Here are two photos provided by Dara from the bullfight!
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Our last day in Mexico City was spent walking around the neighbourhood before we joined Alfredo for lunch at the Club Industriales in Polanco. Dara had worked with him over the past 35 years.

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An old aqua duct still standing in the centre of the city!

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The Cathedral is spectacular. Lots of photos to share with you

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It has been a cool and windy month here if the Yucatan but that invites more visits to Merida as it is much cooler than it can be the rest of the year. Sleeping has been easier with the cooler nights and quite enjoyable. This is the longest time I have slept with a blanket here in the 7 seasons of winter here! Not complaining mind you as I know how it has been worse up North. Looking forward to warmer climes next month.

Posted by OhUiginn 16:27 Archived in Mexico Comments (1)

Time continues in Yucatan

Chapter 2

sunny 27 °C

We have managed to get it down to 46 families being helped by the “dispensa” each month from 89 the first year I came. This is a good thing as it means the village people are so much better off now than they were 7 years ago. As I stamp the cards for each family and send them over to get their hamper of goodies I wish them a “Feliz Navidad” and get a smile with the look of gratitude. It gives us all such pleasure to provide them with just a little happiness for the holidays. for many of the children this will be all that they will get for Christmas but the community is full of kindness and mutual support.

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Decorations in the mall in Merida

Sitting by the wall in my chair knitting I was observing two pelican couples. On couple would take off together and plunge a the the same time for their fish, then float around a bit before taking off in unison. This went on for four or five times in front of me. The second pair were not so coordinated they took off together at time and dove together but once or twice one of them would take off sooner and the other would have to catch up before diving for their fish. Nature mimicking humans couples lives! What a relaxing time here. Colm is really enjoying the tranquility and lack of rushing anywhere!

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After an afternoon of playing Euchre at Davids restaurant we walked home for a couple of drinks on the patio. These turned out to be quite expensive drinks. While we were enjoying the lovely view and company unbeknownst to us there was a thief lurking in the house only 10 feet away inside the house taking what he could as quickly as possible. It never occurred to us that anything had happened until a few hours later once everyone had gone home. First I spoke with Mari the caretaker and she was telling me about how she had seen someone in the garden and when she came out he ran and jumped to wall. At this point we were all still unaware of the fact he had already robbed us. We still never thought anything of when Lorraine called to see if we had found her phone. Once I went to make a call I suddenly discovered my phone and wallet was missing from my purse that had been sitting on my bed. With a phone call backs to Lorraine to verify her wallet situation and discovered he had been into her purse that was hanging on a door handle and taken both items from hers as well.
We called the police right away a vehicle with four cops were here in 5 min. This continued to multiply until we found ourselves surrounded by a dozen of them including their guns. It was a bit like Argo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant with four police cars. Twelve policemen, eight report books, photographs from the front and back and interviews... being the biggest crime of the year and everyone wanted to be in the newspapers about it. It was too late for the drones to take off so those were held off. Pictures of possible suspects were shown all around and we eventually decided the culprit looked like me so it really should not be a big problem and we all went back to having drinks and snacks that couldn’t be beat.
After about an hour of back and forth with the police we then went to celebrating our caretaker Mari’s birthday. Yes that is grated Edam cheese on top. And it was in the middle too. It was delicious. The new baby grandchild is 6 months old and a sweetheart. Her name is her grandma’s backwards Iram! I like it!

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Dara headed to Merida the very next day to replace my phone without even batting an eye. I was ready to buy a refurbished phone but he wasn’t having any of that. He hoped on the bus and headed to the Apple store in Merida. When he go there he was a meager one hour too late for the iPhone 7 and was not feeling that generous in getting the 8. There was one more option in Merida and that was another Apple store in Merida. So off he went taking an Uber to the other location at Alta Brisa where they said they had 7 left. Not the colour preference I had but at this point I’m not complaining and a lovely red leather case to go with it.

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Colm decided to venture along the beach to Chicxulub on his own; when Dara returned he was a little concerned as he had been gone a few hours and this was not more than an hours walk. He went scurrying along the road with hopes he would find him and sure enough he did. His adventure had been a good one with talking to locals as best he could and other expats he met all along the way!

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A visit to us isn’t complete without a lunch at El Pescado Patrullero. Colm decided to walk there again but wanted to go early enough to take his time. We would meet him there. Expecting it to be busy as it was holiday weekend but as it turned out it wasn’t the case.

Christmas Day was a nice quiet day. We managed to all video chat on messenger with my parents and Liam missing but it was so nice to be in 4 different time zones and able to see one another all at the same time
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We hade a lovely dinner with friends at Faces Restaurant as see on Facebook!

So here is where the new drama begins! We booked our trusty driver Carlos to pick Colm up on Tuesday morning to take him to the airport. I went along into town with what turned out to be Jorge as Carlos was off taking others to see the Mayapan ruins.

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As soon as I walked in the door at home there was an urgent call from Sheena in Canada that Colm was denied boarding the plane as his papers were not in order. We had to call and get another driver to go and fetch him at the Merida airport and all the while I’m getting ready for my guests who were arriving for a Boxing Day party A different driver was sent to get him so Colm didn’t recognize him so it took a bit of time before they were linked and on their way back here. His return was just shy of when my guests were to arrive.

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This was a bit of a distraction at the party when they first arrived and Dara was taken away to go online to sort out the requirements of the Canadian government. It seems that a dual citizen of Canada travelling on the passport of their second citizenship cannot travel to Canada..... except.... well no you cannot apply for an eTA, an F1 (suggested by Westjet) but down in the bowels of the http://www.someotherthing there is a note by the people at CBSA that you have to get a temporary permission that lasts just four days. May they be delayed getting into heaven as long as it took to find that information!
It all worked out in the end with a new permission fromCBSA via email, a mad rush to get a bus ticket to Cancun and a new ticket.

But .. this is a story about Alice- remember Alice... Well while at the party I get a notice that my phone has been located but it is too late to go as the place was closed . I called the police anyway and they told us to come to the station in the morning to report this and they would go to the shop to see if they had it. Once that was confirmed Dara and Austin headed on their adventure.
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Dara’s version of the events... Austin and I met having travelled secretly on separate busses then covertly, carefully, with seriousness and looks of consternation went by for to the police station to meet with the police station fellows. Well they turned out to be disguised as bombers or fire station men who also had a hotline to the police station Comondante so defore we knew it the finest police station truck was dusted off and the rear seats cleaned and dusted and in we went (really they did that). Trying to look not too obvious we cruised the zone past the iPhone recorded location then proceeded on foot with the police station men trying to be invisible despite their rifles and bullet proof jackets. Donning our general Austin Mutt and Dara Jeff postures we shopped around and tried to buy an iPhone to no joy so eventually we went back to have another secret meeting with the police fellas then stormed back with them into the phone repair shop. We have a lovely chat about phones and robbers and thieves and all the possible disguises and cover stories used by criminals around the world and realized that perhaps the iPhone was under a pile of garbage over near the market ... so we all shook hands and went over to the market for more investigations with the machine guns kept at the ready in case someone with an iPhone might try to make an escape! Austin wore his best moustache and was going to buy three other phones and some mangoes but that was not possible. We met again with the police and gave them Canada pins for all their diligent detective work so they could claim membership in the RCMP someday then we went off to have another lunch that couldn’t be beat! ... but ok this is a song about Alice!

remember Alice !! ALICEEEEEEEEE. .. and we can all sing about the iPhone robbed in Progreso when it comes around again on the guitar..... strum strum strum..
You can get anything you want in a Progreso market — except an iPhone!

Ok ok so I sometimes exaggerate just a little. There were no drones but the rest it true! Dara.

Posted by OhUiginn 06:33 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Season 7 in the Yucatan.

First month away!

overcast 25 °C

Blog December 2017

A month has past since i left Ottawa and went to Los Cabos to visit my parents along with the company of Sheena for the first week. It was so nice to have Sheena along to help me with seeing things a bit differently than i have been. She is a better communicator than I am and can learn a lot from her. We had some alone time as well as time with my parents together.

Having seen the home my father was residing in I decided to make a change. I spoke to Ernesto the guy caring for my dad; after his other client had moved out. I asked him to manage the care for my father but here in their home. I also insisted that cancerous growth be removed. Within two days it was all arranged and taken care of. We had made an attempt to have my father home while Sheena was there to celebrate my father’s birthday; but the two days was not a success. I was determined this was going to work. I have to say it seems to be going very well. My brother David arrived two days before I left for Merida. So my parents were able to enjoy another family member for the next week.

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While we were there we celebrated my fathers 85th birthday with a wonderful Chocolate Tres Leche Cake

Before leaving we had a lovely dinner out with our long time friends Manuel, Laura including Erika and her husband Axel and their delightful new son Santi; in Los Barilles about an hours drive.
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My last sunrise of this trip:
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Merida airport felt like arriving home. From the time i landed to the time I arrived at the home I was renting was a mere 30 min. Our lovely friend Linda was patiently waiting my arrivaland unfortunately It was late for her and she still had to travel back to Progreso. We shared the pleasantries you do when you see a friend and then I crashed into bed. The two weeks in los Cabos had exhausted me.

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Linda returned on the next afternoon for two days in Merida staying with me at the house. A lovely leisurely lunch was enjoyed at the Korean restaurant with another good friend Jackie. She had come in to join me for this meal. Being recognized at the restaurant really is a wonderful feeling. After meeting up with Linda we went venturing around town checking out the lights around town. The square was lit up nicely but no nativity scene this year! The Remate at the bottom of Paseo Montejo was all lit as well as the boulevard in preparation for the next night of Noche Blanca. Dinner was not a disappointment at Olivia restaurant and a lovely stroll home help work off the meal.

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Unfortunately Linda was not able to stay out with me on the Noche Blanca and so i wandered around for a couple of hours on my own. The atmosphere was absolutely wonderful. I grabbed a chocolate smoothie on Santa Lucia square while listening to some live jazz followed by a sushi dinner at Mercado 60. The streets were full of families enjoying this wonderful night. The main road “Calle 60” had been closed off for pedestrians as it is on a Sunday morning. This certainly made it a pleasant stroll. I had hoped to take in a free ride on the Paseo in a horse drawn carriage but the line was too long. So i decided to call it a night and took the free shuttle bus to near the house i was staying.

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My venture into implants has begun with the tooth i had removed in the summer. I could not believe how easy this all went and i would highly recommend it to anyone thinking of getting one. It being a fraction of the cost here I would suggest you come down here for a vacation and it will cost less than the total cost at home for a tooth. The walk to my dentist office was such a pleasant one along Montejo!
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Being in Merida I took advantage of the International Women’s Club coffee morning. Feeling just fine that morning i chose to walk the 10 blocks instead of taking an Uber. Dara was arriving that afternoon and so once i cleared out of the house i headed to the trusty Costco for our big purchase. I don’t think there was a spare inch in the van with all our purchases and the suitcases of 6 people.

Unfortunately I became ill the next day and slept 20 of the 24 hrs for two days running. That is now behind me and getting back into my routine. My brother in law joined us for two weeks over Christmas.

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The Christmas Muelle Market was a great success. Cooler temperatures helped in making it a very pleasant day and my sales were just fine for my first market. My little tree with small hat ornaments were a hit, selling all 16 of them. I thought i was going home with 3 of the 6 elves but last minute Olga saved the day and bought them. The large family of four are still up for grabs but a friend said if they didn’t sell at this market she was going to buy them. So all good! The market had several new vendors selling their wares and it looks like the season is off to a great start.

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What a way to end a month here in Mexico away from the cold of winter in Ottawa. We celebrated with the poor families of Chicxulub handing out their monthly food and a huge hamper filled with so many goodies donated by so many generous people who help out with the Chicxulub Food bank. 26 Volunteers helped out today with the distribution of gifts to the children of this town. A group came from the local school to receive a gift along with an orange that had been donated to us at the Orange Fesival in Oxcucab

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Watching this one child seeing Santa at the end of a long stretch, and start running to see him and be wrapped in his embrace was so precious. I was unable to take photos of this as I was at the table where each family had to check in for their food bags.

Wishing everyone a great holiday season and awaiting Andy and Alexis’ arrival at year end..... Andrea

Posted by OhUiginn 14:10 Archived in Mexico Comments (1)

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)

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