Sofa shopping: Our eyes are bigger than our sala

Nasstrom sofa

The Tokyo sofa from Nasstrom, seen here with some swatches, just baarrreeely fits in the sala.

We drove all around yesterday looking for the perfect sofa for Casa Nana. I had already done some reconnaissance work from back at home, separating the wheat from the chaff before we even arrived. Still, it was a busy day.

We first went to Nasstrom, which appealed to me because their furniture is made in nearby Umán. They supply Ikea with furniture built to their specifications, but I don’t think this is “Ikea furniture,” other than the Scandinavian lines. For one thing, no assembly required!

I came for the Linnea sofa, but stayed for the Tokyo. Our sala isn’t overly large, just enough room for some seating between the terrace and interior courtyard pond, so we have to beware [Read more...]

Settling into everyday life in Mérida

Costco in Merida

The Costco in Merida is better than the one back home.

We are here for just a week, but that doesn’t stop us from playing house in our new house.

There is something about rolling your shopping cart into the hot parking lot that feels like a rite of passage for a wanna-be Yucatán transplant.

Good friends (thank you, Good Friends!) took us to the Costco, the true center of expat life in Mérida. Oh, did you think the true expat center was some place cultural, with local significance? Nope, it’s the Costco, a place where meridano and expat agree is the place to load up on household essentials like family packs of bathroom tissue and bottles, or boxes, of wine. If you want to live like a local, you’re going to be going to Costco.

We went on a Saturday morning, which we were warned is a kind-of “family time” there, with mom, dad, grandma and the kids crowding the aisles for the free samples. But we got there at 10:30, ahead of the crowds. As we left an hour [Read more...]

Honey, I’m home

Casa Nana MeridaWe were walking around like we owned the place.

And we do, we do own the place. This was the first time we walked around in it. Alone, not sharing the space with construction workers.

We were handed keys. Just three keys, out of 20-some that open various doors around our house in Santa Ana. That will have to be [Read more...]

A bolt out of the blue hits us where we live

calle47sunsetIt’s all over the newspapers and social media. Yesterday a big boom alarmed the residents of El Centro Hysterical. “Súper trueno” causa alarma en Mérida, was the headline in Diario de Yucatán. “Trueno” is lightning thunder.

Reading one story, I became a little alarmed myself. The story was typically vague until it depicted a damaging lightning strike, and it spelled out the address… the same calles that mark my street and cross streets. The address I’ve been memorizing so the cab drivers know where to go. My exact block! Flying concrete, broken [Read more...]

Ooh la la, Mérida

La Musa on the Paseo de Montejo at Calle 43.

La Musa on the Paseo de Montejo at Calle 43. Bring your bike and they knock a little off your tab.

My friends wonder out loud what Paul and I will be eating once we make the big move to Mérida, and I want them to know that it won’t be all tacos and enchiladas. Despite my attempts to educate my poor unenlightened friends about Yucatecan food, they don’t know much about it.

So how do I go beyond that and tell them that I’m also going to be enjoying other cuisines as well?

La Musa, a French-inspired café, opened recently on the Paseo and Calle 43, very close to our home. I think it attracts more of a local, younger crowd. If we’re the only aging expats in line, so be it.

The Facebook group Bienvenido a Yucatan gave them a little shoutout, and a friend whose [Read more...]

The search begins for furniture that I don’t hate

Sofa dimensions for Casa Nana, MeridaIt’s time to start scouting ahead for furniture. Sounds like fun, right? Not really. Not in Mérida.

I keep hearing that selections have improved. So why do I have such a hard time finding, in my price range, a sofa I don’t hate. Even a lot of the sofas out of my price range look like designs that played out years ago north of the border.

Right now, I’m shopping online, so I haven’t seen anything in person and I haven’t tested Yucatán’s notoriously stuff cushions. Our time in Yucatan is always precious, and furniture shopping can be a huge time-suck. So I’m using the Internet as much as possible, contacting [Read more...]