Look at me, I’m in Mérida! (No, I’m not.)

instagram680I’m fooling everybody, but not myself.

I’m pretending to be in Mexico right now, although I’m actually vacationless in Connecticut, working on a magazine project and some books for clients. People staying at the house through the entire month of July are feeding me photos daily. It’s heaven.

So now I have revived my Instagram page with daily photos! From little detail shots to [Read more…]

Visiting Mexico: What held me back 22 years

Cancun near the time I considered going. It took another 22 years before I got around to visiting Mexico.

Cancun near the time I considered going. It took another 22 years before I got around to visiting Mexico.

Pardon me if I go all Sophia Petrillo on you.

Picture it, 1988, Ocean City, New Jersey. I’m two years out of college and I’m ready to take my first vacation on my own. Something where I fly somewhere. I’m unattached, so this is a solo adventure.

I think, I keep hearing about Cancun, a fairly new resort that was built because its beaches were considered really beautiful! No matter I’m living in a beach community at that moment, and never visit the beach. The 23-year-old ’80-guy me can’t [Read more…]

Adjusting to our tropical home

The Buddha keeps calm while we go crazy.

The Buddha keeps calm while we go crazy.

We’re living in Mérida only sporadically, but already we can share with you our biggest challenges in adjusting from a snug little wood-frame Connecticut two-bedroom “cottage” to a partly-antique, mostly new-construction cement-and-rock indoor-outdoor-living home in the tropics. [Read more…]

What should I pack? I’ve been wrong before

Our basement looks like the stock room of Williams-Sonoma.

Our basement looks like the stock room of Williams-Sonoma.

We haven’t done a thing to get our Connecticut house ready for an eventual sale. Until yesterday, when I half-heartedly dragged a trash bag into the sun room to begin clearing out some clutter.

I grabbed some old magazines to toss away, paused, and returned them to the table. Then, I left the bag on the coffee table and went into the other room to watch TV.

Actually, two days before I grabbed two hardcover books that I had bought 15 years ago and never read. I was going to take them to work, where we have an informal slush pile of books to give away. Then I put the books back on the shelf. Will I be [Read more…]

Impulse buy at Pier 1: Our table

Could this be the table?

Could this be the table?

Building a four-bedroom house in the tropics took a long time. Furnishing it and finding art and decór will take a long time, too. Maybe longer.

We jump-started the process by buying our former tenants’ furniture, and thankfully for us they have great taste and an eye for quality. (Shoutout to the former tenants, yo!) We came up empty scouring the furniture stores for a sofa, so our designer found one, and she designed a master bedroom bed for us as well.

This trip, we’re again sans wheels, and our first priority was stocking up the kitchen with cookery, and things [Read more…]

A cook’s tour of Mérida’s housewares stores

Restaurant kitchen stuff is upstairs at the Almacenes Anfora.

Restaurant kitchen stuff is upstairs at the Almacenes Anfora.

Here’s why we wanted to live in the Centro. I wanted to be able to walk to things, and indeed, we walk to the Paseo de Montejo and Santa Ana market almost every day. If it’s early, before the heat rises, we walk to Walmart, which is about a mile away. Maybe we’ll get a cab back home if we’re lugging too many things.

But if it’s too hot, or the destination is too far, here I begin to start bumming rides. I haven’t [Read more…]