A Travellerspoint blog


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!


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!


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.


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.


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.


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!


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

Week 16

My cousin Janet arrived this week.

sunny 32 °C


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.


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.


the meal was as good as ever!

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.


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!


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!


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

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.


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.


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.

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.

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.


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


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.


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.


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!

The market in this town was as colourful

Yesterday's sunset was stunning

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

Arrival of Austrians to the list of our company

Week 14

overcast 27 °C

I was again taken by the ancient stone houses and the contrast of the restoration of one next to another that was crumbling in disrepair. Both displayed their own unique beauty. And then, of course there were the doors.


Arrival late of Peter and Ella from Austria who were delivered nicely by our trusty driver Carlos.

One other tradition we have taken to with our guests is to take them to Chicxulub along the beach to have panuchos for breakfast. I have my Stitch and Sit ladies in the morning so I let Dara have the pleasure of taking them in and then they make a stop at the Wombat Hole on their return.

Later on in the afternoon the delightful Satchie arrived to give the ladies a massage. The discovery of this masseuse with such magical hands has delighted many a guest here. She isn't easy to get so booking her as soon as you arrive will be in order next year. I do have her coming once a week for the next three weeks so I will be all relaxed by the time I hit the other coast to see my parents!

Cara our niece had spent three nights in Merida making her own arrangements to get some touring and diving done. She will accompany the Austrians on Friday to see more ruins and cenotes along with a visit to the Yellow City: Izamal.

We delayed our first trip to El Corchito until we had friends here; accompanied by hot and windy weather at the house. This place is secluded from the wind and has such a wonderful canopy from the mangrove that protects you from the hot sun and the refreshing soft water of the open cenotes make for a delightful relaxing morning. The government has decided to put a restriction on what you can bring to this location now! Water and nothing else! No more lovely picnics. It was such a perfect spot for a picnic. What a disappointment but nothing can be done at the moment so we shall have to send a message to the appropriate authorities to voice our feelings.


The gang left for a nice dinner at Crabsters as I was unable to get more tickets to the event I was attending at Hacienda Xcanatun for a delicious dinner and concert with Lorraine and Jackie. This was a tribute to the Beatles where they played 17 pieces in a string quartet for 2/3 of the songs and the last third they added a wonderful guitarist who was so passionate about his guitar and his playing.


It has been a full house with our Austrian friends and our niece Cara. With the size of our house we really aren't on top of one another and everyone is able to do what they want. There was a fair bit of wind this week making sitting outside a little less pleasant than it can be. Despite the wind it was hot away from the beach and so a trip into Merida was a hot one. While the Austrians were at the Mayan Museum I went along to the see what the plans are for the old railway station. there were 6 stations where they presented the history of the area; the henequen boom and riches; and the plans to plant many wonderful indigenous trees along with some that have been around this are imported from abroad. The area proposed to be developed is 58 acres called "La Plancha" ( railway turntable) The plan is to build a park with bicycle trails and have the trains on display showing the railway history. This will also include bike lanes bringing the people from outside this area to have easy access. On Sundays there is a route closed off between 9-12 in the morning for the pure pleasure of cyclists. The proposal is to extend it a few blocks more. For those able to read this in Spanish do check it out!


Another wonderful meal was had at La RUEDA restaurant in Merida. We ordered the filet for 4 and another for 2 so we had way too much meat! The group was 11 at this long table and I should have requested to put it in a square as that worked so well at the last time we were 11. So it was difficult to have any conversation with those at the other end of the table. It was also Cara's 27th birthday so we made sure to recognize this with singing performed by William that certainly improved on the boring song. We didn't sing our usual family one as the rest couldn't join in.

We purchased only two tickets to the Symphony and there were no other decent ones left; and when I heard Louisette was coming down, Dara gave up his ticket to allow her to join me for an incredible performance of Mozart. It was so wonderful to see how emotional she was during the whole concert. This brought tears to my eyes too


The Austrians were far happier walking around the Plaza Grande and with Dara and Cara. We met up afterwards at the Santa Lucia park for a little bit of the dancing before heading to the Peruana Restaurant. It made for a nice change from the regular cuisine we get here. I would return here for sure.


With so much meat left over from the other night we were able to entertain our lovely Denis and Louisette as a farewell to Dara. It is going to be 2 months without my hubbie! How will I survive? Like i have all the other times he has gone to Japan.

Posted by OhUiginn 19:31 Archived in Mexico Comments (1)

Dara's birthday and the Carnival parade and Cara's arrival

Week 13

semi-overcast 28 °C

The week started with the annual Mardi Gras parade which we delighted in watching at La Antigua with a few friends.


Dara did turn 65 this week and we celebrated it with a few friends and some who were unable to join us even sent a little gift LOL. (Hair elastics for his long hair). thank you Lorraine for the thoughtful gift! LOL.
It was an interesting combination of people. Some of our usuals were absent at this event but it was an interesting evening. We put the two rectangular tables together and created a big square with three on either side less one where Dara was seated! He had the king of the castle chair and was overwhelmed a bit at the numbers that joined us in celebrating his big day. This milestone was reached with as little fan fair as we could but recognized itall the same. It was nice to have old and new friends sharing in this lovely meal at Faces. I must say that the steak I usually get is the better of all three we have tried. The tenderloin by far is the best there is! It is like butter! Not that the newyork wasn't good and tasty but not as tender! (Hence the name I guess!) With it being his birthday I ordered a cake that came out with the usual fanfair of the fireworks and I was so taken in by it that I never got a photo of it until it was all over. The cake was big enough to share with six other friends at another table and the rest went to the staff to have each a piece. I must also mention that the music was wonderful but not overpowering which allowed us to enjoy our conversations. I am amiss to not know who was playing the saxophone.


A trip into Progreso for a stroll along the Malecon ended with at Eladios for botanas and beer. The food kept coming!


Construction continues next door but the noise isn't so bad now that the bulldozer and generator are gone. There is this incredible interior stone wall going up that will be a focal piece on this lovely new home.


Louisette discovered this nest in her place and we are waiting for the hatching. Yes our friend Louisette and Denis arrived for a month of relaxation and recouperation


At the end of the week we welcomed the arrival of our niece Cara, Dara's brothers daughter, whom we had not seen in quite some time. After a few days of relaxing at home we took her on our usual tour of Merida on Sunday with the accompanying friend Carole here for a week. There was a huge change to the Plaza Grande Sunday Market, there was a sophisticated design with the two rows back to back with the park benches on the edge in the shade with the addition of a canopy well above your head; gone are the times of walking into the string from the blue tarp being too low for tall people!

The only part missing was the Symphony Orchestra which was not playing this week so the morning was spent walking around the market. On our way in we dropped off Cara's bag at the Nomad hostel in Centro where she is staying for a couple of nights to take in the action in town and take some organized tours to ruins and diving in cenotes. We are looking forward to her return to update us on her adventures.


The last night of our neighbour Herb's visit was spent sharing a happy hour over at Leones. It was also the farewell to closer neighbours Bev and Kevin are heading back to Manitoba to get the farm going for another year. The New York boys had spent a couple of evenings with us enjoying the lovely chile rellenos so wonderfully prepared every two weeks by Dona Marie; and a meal at the Indian restaurant finally took place after postponing it so many times. The food was as delightful as it was last year. They made a change from a fixed menu to a choice of dishes that we were able to share with each other. With William's ability to work remotely he will be staying on a bit longer. I still remember fondly the evening spent at our place two years ago with 22 people in our living room with John and Adam playing guitar; Herb and Will performing broadway hits and our little Sheenster on the ukulele! Maybe we will have a repeat next year.


Posted by OhUiginn 20:45 Archived in Mexico Comments (1)

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