The Mérida almost-an-expat meetup is called to order

melissafacadePaul and I spent a lovely Saturday in Cold Spring, NY, a cool little Hudson River village that was a good place to meet our good friend Melissa, another Mérida expat-in-the-making.

We’re no longer “wanna-be” expats, in our own minds at least. But we’re not actual expats, either. We still live here in the northeast, not quite ready to leave our old lives behind.

We’ve put our money where our mouths are and have each bought properties. Melissa found a real gem. It’s a little far from our East Santa Ana location, but we can walk there in 10 minutes, I’d guess. She’s near Santiago park, much closer to the Merida English Library and LA 68. As a real estate pro, she was able to communicate with her real estate agent (they aren’t Realtors, technically, down in Mexico) to get what she wanted at a great price. She’s accomplished one thing we haven’t yet. She has been able to actually sleep overnight in her own property, something [Read more...]

Welcome to Yucatán, where the cathedral is optional

rudisillcanyonBack in February, when Paul and I returned home from Mérida with Mom and Dad (ages 84 and 89, I’m sure they won’t mind my telling you), we were a little stumped when my normally effusive parents went a little quiet when I prodded them about the trip.

Now I think I know what happened.

Dad explained to me over dinner on Saturday night that “We understand now that this was a business trip, not a pleasure trip.” It was as if they were reconciling their disappointment and forgiving us. I was irate.

It seems they wanted to see more things and experience more Kodak moments. Their natural restlessness doesn’t [Read more...]

Mérida expats are the same people I’ve always known

calle51-meridaIt occurs on me how universal human nature is. You read through  history lessons and discover how little we’ve changed. We compare your present neighborhood with the community we”re preparing to join, and we also see all the same people. The English-speaking expat community comes from all over the U.S. and Canada, so you’d think we’d be engaging with cultural differences even before we meet with people from Mexico and other countries. Midwesterners are so different than Jersey boys like me, I used to think. But people are people wherever you go.

For the last 20 years, we’ve lived in an enclave that has a mix of young professionals and empty nesters. We’re neither, although we were young professionals when we first moved in … people called us “the boys,” which isn’t a term I’ve heard lately. Our nest never included kids, so I guess you wouldn’t call us empty nesters, because there were no kids to fly the coop.

What does the Mérida expat enclave have in common with ours here in Connecticut?

The local library practically runs on community spirit. The local garden club built [Read more...]

Another House Hunters International alert: Another chance to catch up in Mérida

House Hunters' not-quite-accurate map of Merida

House Hunters’ not-quite-accurate map of Merida

I got a tip today from a reader in Canada who’s pleased that he’ll get a chance to see a bit of a House Hunters International episode that was filmed in 2009 (which was a long time ago, considering how the Centro has changed since).

HHI has a “Where Are They Now” spinoff, which goes back to previous participants years after they were portrayed (accurately or not) on the program. They’re quick segments, three to an episode, so record it if you can because if you sneeze, you might miss a half-dozen details that whiz by. Since they include clips from the original show, they’re little gems to HHI fans since old scenes aren’t necessarily found on YouTube, much less on a DVD box set. The very first of six Mérida episodes, shot in 2007 with the artist named Malaya and her teen daughter, appears lost to history.

The episode ” Revisiting Latin Renovations in Belize, Panama and Mexico,” which first aired in [Read more...]

We brake for food trucks

foodtrucks2A row of food trucks along a narrow parking lot, wedged between Interstate 95 and an industrial harbor  in New Haven, Conn., was a welcome find over the weekend.

We’ve sped by many times at 55 mph, not paying much attention to the activity along Long Wharf. Paul thought maybe it was a a group of souvenir hawkers or crafters. But when we were casting about in the Elm City on Saturday, disappointed in an art exhibit we drove in for, Paul suggested we park the car and explore before we enter the highway and head home. Wow! It was almost all taco trucks! For-real looking taco trucks, too. Serving up urban realness with a side of grit and a slab on concrete.

There were at least 12 trucks to choose from. Which one is the best? Being caught off guard, without [Read more...]

We came, we saw, we blogged. Now what?

In 2010, writing some of my first posts from Casa Esperanza.

On my first trip to Merida in 2010, here I am blogging from Casa Esperanza. Since then, my hair’s gotten a bit grayer!

As we dwell more on what we’re going to do this summer to enjoy the great Northeast, before I start a heavy travel schedule in September, I wonder what I’ll write on this blog. It started as a journal of discovering a fascinating new place, then of a frustrating property hunt, and then as a home-builder’s diary. Now what? Until we start decorating, I’m running on fumes here.

I’ve been trying to focus less on my personal musings and more on more helpful, evergreen stories over at Yucatan Expat, where I’ve been contributing stories, often [Read more...]