Almost 7 months in

We have been here for almost seven months now, having arrived on January 30, 2014.  Here is a little report:

Housing

We moved into this longer-term rental back on May 1st.  It is a two story, 3 bedroom, 3 bath house.  It has ceiling fans in every room and a mini-split air conditioner in each room.  More about that when I discuss the climate.

Climate

It is stinking hot :).  The average high temperature this time of year is in the mid-90’s and we are coming on to the highest humidity time of the year, aka the rainy season.  We are slowly acclimating to the weather and are becoming accustomed to sweating profusely at the slightest exertion.  Fans help a lot.  We have AC, but we do not use it much.  In the last week, for example, we ran it for a couple of hours in the study one afternoon.  We think if we used it much we would become prisoners of the indoors and we do not want that to happen.

Day trips

These are happening, but not as often as we thought they might.  I have blogged about a couple of them.  The next one will be, I think, to Sisal, a Gulf Coast town.  The coast, with its nice sea breezes, is a good choice this time of year.  We also plan to go to Dzibilchaltun

 before too long.  With its museum, Temple of the Seven Dolls, cenote and restaurant it sounds interesting.

Visitors

We have had some company, and more is on the way.  This September our adoptive grandson, Jorden, will be here for quite a while, spending a couple of weeks with us, three weeks at an intensive language school, a couple of weeks doing volunteer work and then some time with the rest of his family on el lado Caribeño, the Caribbean side of the penisula.

Two friends from California will be here for Hanal Pixan, the Maya day of the dead.  Syl is Mexican and her husband John is from Georgia, so I guess it made sense for them to meet in California :).  We have been guests at their home, in a delightful part of California’s wine country, and we look forward to hosting them.

We will have other guests at USA Thanksgiving time, friends from Oregon who we met via a travel forum focused on Playa del Carmen.  After some time here in Mérida, we are going to visit Isla Holbox with them for a few days, which will include Kathy’s 60th birthday.  It will be our first trip to Holbox, but Jeff and Julie spend some time there last year.

Buying Stuff

Shopping is working out very well, for the most part.  Food shopping is no problem, what between Superama, Costco, the local (Santiago) mercado, the Chen Bech mercado where I buy fish, and the weekly Saturday Slow Food Market.  There is an adequate supply and variety of good everyday wine at between $6 and $12 US a bottle. Furniture, well….

We have been looking for a couple of chest of drawers, without a lot of luck.  Many homes here seem to have built-in shelves.  Kathy has some sketches and next week we are going to ask for bids from several furniture builders and see what we come up with.

Overall

We are happy here.  It is warm and we are in the pool everyday – near the start of the day for coffee.  Kathy is doing her pool exercise regime as I type this and I typically spend an hour or so every afternoon in the shady part of the pool.  If any of you gentle readers are consider a move to the tropics, I would suggest assigning a high priority to a swimming pool.

Kathy went to a two week intensive Spanish class, but has done little language learning since then, though we incorporate some into our daily lives.  She is picking up on more and more of the language and plans to return to classes Real Soon Now.

That is it for now.

Day trip to Celestun

A couple of weeks ago we took a day trip to Celestun, on the Gulf coast.  We had been there before, during our first trip to Merida in November, 2006.  On that trip we took the bus there and then took a boat up the estuary to see the flamingos:

DSCN3731That day there was a bus waiting when we got off the boat, so we headed back to Mérida without seeing much more.

On this trip we spend a little time on the beach, eating tasty garlic shrimp at La Playita.  For the record, the difference between the large camaorn a mojo de ajo and the small one is the size of the shrimp, not the size of the serving.  We recommend the large.

On the way there we went through Hunucmá.  It is a nice drive.  On the way back we took the bypass which is quite a bit quicker.  Here are some photos of our day:

Lunch time viewP1080454Kids on the beachP1080455The old man (me)  and the Sea
P1080459
The leaning tower of Celestun
P1080467
The pier and the leaning tower – nice beach there

P1080466