San Cristobal de las Casas -- Second City

Living in San Cristobal for almost two months brings up many interesting contrasts. When you arrive, you see one city; but as you live here, you begin to recognize another quite different city. I begin to realize that, here in the state of Chiapas, I am walking around as a fabulously wealthy person among the poorest people in Mexico . I am as guilty as any vacation tourist of brushing off the vendors, who are trying to support their families, and sometimes treating them as if they are flies on the table.

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Puerto Escondido

House sit? On a private beach? At a yoga retreat that hasn’t opened yet? There are calm rock pools to swim in out of the crashing surf? The work part is to walk the dogs on the beach and feed them and the cats? OH, YEAH! So after concluding our house sit in Chapala, we made our way across the large landscape that is Mexico. Our visas were to expire before the house sit concluded, so we needed to get to Guatemala for three days so that we would have another 180 days in Mexico.

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Acapulco!

Acapulco has always held an allure for me. My parents honeymooned there in the early ‘50s. I had an image of the place, expectations. Those expectations have been dashed a bit, but it was still quite a place. Acapulco Bay is just gorgeous. Beautiful calm waters, boats moored, nice sunsets and sunrises. We stayed in the old part of town, preferring to experience the real thing instead of opting for the big new hotels and resorts frequented by the new jet set with lots of money.

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Scooter Ride to Las Grutas

Hey! Let’s take the scooters out and see the caves, Las Grutas! So Shelley, the owner of Croozy Scooters, got us – consisting of Dixie, Mandy, Shelley’s son Justin, his sweetie Sam, and Shelley – all fitted out with scooters and helmets, and away we went through the streets of San Cristobal and out to the highway out of town. Beautiful ride, once we left the city traffic, and we cruised on down the road, with Mandy in the lead since she knew where we were going.

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The Cars of Mexico -- Good Enough -- Part 1

Initially I was just going to write something about cars, but I have also been contemplating a broader theme regarding Mexico, that of ‘good enough;’ so I guess I will go ahead and make this post the first part of that broader theme. And now for the car part… Ha! I’m so hilarious! (get it?) The place to start is with one’s American expectations. Now that I have been living in Mexico for six months, it is difficult to remember what my expectations were to begin with.

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Tales from the Tiki Bar -- Rambutans!

I bought a special treat at the market this afternoon. They look freaky but are delicious!  

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Mexico City Revisited

We visited Mexico City in 2008 and it’s an exciting city with lots to see and do, so we had to revisit while we were on our way, eventually, to Guatemala. Thanks to Trip Advisor we found a great hotel in a great location for little money. From the outside it looks like a flophouse between a newspaper company and an Oxxo convenience store, but it’s actually a nice retro hotel on the inside, complete with an old crank-handle-and-cage elevator with a security guard running it 24 hours a day.

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My Tiki Bar Kitchen -- 4

Today let’s do a couple of different but out-of-the-ordinary recipes, both easy and delicious! That was one of my requirements for Lorena, simple. She came through on most occasions since I managed to communicate that I’m no cook. So put on your apron, pop a cork (always cook with wine!), and jump right in!

ATUN! (ah-toon)  OR A NEW TAKE ON TUNA SALAD

Atun is the Spanish word for tuna.  I’m not a big canned tuna fan, so I wasn’t excited about it – until I tasted it.  The way the Mexicans do it is to my liking!  I’ll list the full recipe, but you can do it without some things and jimmy it around and it’s still really good.

  

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On The Road Again

And now, at long last, the next phase of our journey begins. The last few weeks have been busy. Our homeowner dropped in for a two-week stay and initiated a flurry of activity! We ran around getting automobile repair estimates and looking for replacement kitchen sinks and cleaning the house in preparation for the new property managers to take pictures. We also showed the home to a potential renter and took both dogs and both cats to the vet.

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San Miguel de Allende

We arrived safely here after a rather hair-raising bus ride in a very luxurious coach. Our driver was apparently in rather a hurry to get here on the winding country highway. Glenn was bothered by this a lot more than Dixie was. We passed an area where farmers were walking behind their old-school plows pulled by horses or mules, but by the time I realized I should take a picture, we were in ranching country.

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