Blogs are dead. Long live the blog.

blogiconRemember a few years back when there were so many more really solid blogs on life in Mérida? When YouTube was packed with videos exploring neighborhoods or touring a special home? As social media rose and became mainstream, we saw fewer and fewer blogs and videos. One blogger has taken her site down and writes exclusively on Facebook now, viewable only to her Facebook friends. Another has used Facebook to question the validity of blogs. “Does anyone read blogs/websites anymore? It seems that everything is on Facebook now,” he said. “Just wondering if I should save myself some time and stop with the writing already.”

Go to Google and type “Is blogging” and the sentence completes itself. “Is blogging [Read more...]

From Cape-Florida snowbirds to something muy, muy diferente

beach-chairs1Realizing that each trip to Merida and back costs roughly one potential sofa, set of cabinetry, etc. (we have yet to fill Casa Nana with any of our own furniture) we’re scaling back on trips down there this year, with a big 2015 commitment in mind. So this gives us time to re-discover all the places in New England and along the Hudson Valley that we’ve always enjoyed.

First up, a trip to Provincetown, Mass. We’ve gone every year for the last 20 years, but actually skipped 2013 as construction came to a head.

Provincetown is our road less traveled. When we first decided [Read more...]

Farewell to the office

My first job, in a photo that got damage in storage. That's me in the front with the tie.

My first daily newspaper job, in a photo that got damage in storage. That’s me in the front with the tie. Everyone standing around me was considered a friend.

Walking through our newsroom at work, I sometimes think about how I’ll miss all that buzz and clatter when I finally move to Mérida. I’m just a team player, I guess. I was just reading about people who bail out of confining corporate jobs to work independently from home, and I can understand the appeal. No one loves being home more than I do. But I’ve never felt held back by collaborating within a group with a defined role. It’s always a good meeting when someone at the table knocks me over with an observation that surprises me.

I joked with my editor, who’s aware of my Casa Nana project, that there will be a time when I’m telecommuting. I can technically access all our pages and stories on my laptop, even from Mérida. “I’ll be working from home, but you won’t know which home,” I quipped. My boss loves to laugh, but she responded to my comment with a scowl. When I finally move into Casa Nana, it will be after our work relationship is severed. She wants me in the room if I’m going to be earning a paycheck.

If we want to afford the increasingly expensive middle-class Mérida life, I’ll need an income, and it probably won’t come from an office job and a steady paycheck. If my [Read more...]

Hidden outside spaces inside the house

courtyardsHere’s evidence of more green coming in! I’m not there in person, but the photos being sent to me make me green with envy for anyone who can be there. If you’re in Mérida right now, let me commend you on your life choices. Congratulations are in order. Also, I hate you just a little bit right now. We can be friends in April, but right now it’s March and we still have snow and ice on the ground. By now, we should have baby crocuses, the first signs of spring, but this has been a brutal winter. So the architect tortures me with these photos every week.

I’m still not “over” my fascination with courtyards and terraces in a tropical setting. Up here in Connecticut, you’re either inside or out. And if you’re going out, close the door so there’s not a draft! If it’s summer and [Read more...]

Oh drat, I forgot to learn Spanish and drop 10 pounds

rosettawidePanic attack. Moving to Mérida is still part of our three-year plan. It was part of our three-year plan three years ago, too. Funny how we’re still at our same Connecticut jobs, still caring for our parents, three years after our decision to head off calamity and build a house in the Centro.

The lily pad pond is a work in progress, but the guppies have arrived.

The lily pad pond is a work in progress, but the guppies have arrived.

For now the house is more of an investment property. We found tenants (or rather, they found us) who seem really great, and will keep our guppies company for the spring and summer. This has slowed our plans, which needed to happen. It gives us time to think through everything, and in the meantime property values in Connecticut have time to further improve before we finally sell our house.

So why the panic? I still don’t know a lick of the prevailing language. I aced Spanish I and II in high school, went through three levels of Rosetta Stone and one and-a-half on Fluenz. I took a $10 trial from Pimsleur and somehow [Read more...]

The house that woke us from our house-hunter coma

I have stumbled on a vacation-rental listing for a house that we saw when it was unfinished and on the market. Looks like some smart cookie ended up buying and renovating the house, already bringing in steady income and positive online reviews. Their website indicates they’re booked up through April. 

realmerida

The house that woke us up from our house-hunting stupor.

We saw this property on our very first full day visiting Mérida in late 2010. We hadn’t even seen the city in daylight before, and had never seen structures anything like these. We hit the ground running with the house hunt. According to the real estate agent’s printed agenda which I’ve kept, this particular place was No. 6 on the list, and I remember that we were glazing over by the time we saw it. But I remember that it was

[Read more...]