2013 -- A Brief Summary

So 2013 was a pretty interesting year. We started in Mexico, visited Belize, spent five months back in Texas, visited Nicaragua, visited Costa Rica, then ended up right back in Mexico! We’ve spent the last few weeks in sunny Merida. So far, that’s the most countries we’ve ever visited in one year. In 2014 we’ll visit at least Mexico and Guatemala, not sure beyond that. So – let’s do this!

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Halloween Parade in San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico

Post by Glenn Dixon.

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Burn Rate

Planning and goal-setting have never been our strong suits. The fact that we were able to get out of debt, sell all our stuff, get out of our house and save up a lot of money is almost miraculous given our track record. So I’m going to cut myself some slack when it comes to timing. The fact is that when we quit our jobs we didn’t have an income in place to pay for our travels.

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San Cristobal, Guatemala and … China?

A couple of weeks ago we reached a milestone, the end of our first six months in Mexico. We can’t believe it has been that long already! Six months is also the standard time limit for a tourist visa. In order to extend your stay, you have to spend at least seventy-two hours outside the country before re-entry, at which time you can renew your visa for another six months. So that is what we did.

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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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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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Clothes Shopping in the Big City -- Guadalajara, Jalisco, MX

Today was a big treat – my neighborhood friend Yolanda took me shopping all around the city center area near the big cathedral in downtown Guadalajara.

There are so many stores for everything you can imagine.  There’s even a building the size of Sears or Penney’s, multiple floors, that is full, full, full of nothing but jewelry shops.  Lots of police all around that one – with big dogs, beautiful Belgian Malinois.

There are some expensive fru-fru stores, but we didn’t go to those.  I’m on a budget, and I need things for the heat and the beach.  My heavy dark pants and tops aren’t going to cut it anymore.  Usually I shop and shop and buy nothing, but today was a good day, starting with a nice little comfy artsy top for 130 pesos ($9.40).

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MY TIKI BAR KITCHEN -- 1

I know, tiki is so South Pacific and we’re in Mexico – but it’s also retro American kitsch that evokes silliness and warmth and friends having cocktails at sunset. So grab your tiki mug and just go with me! So what could be so different about food prep in Mexico? What’s the big deal? Well, for me, it is quite different and a challenge. I can’t really put my finger on one thing or one area and explain it to anyone, so there will be several articles in this series about food purchase, preparation, and cooking – and some authentic Mexican recipes that I find easy and tasty.

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Ninety Days In Mexico -- Travelers or Livers?

Random thought of the day:

I’m not a traveler, I’m a liver!

No, not that kind of liver! I should probably explain…

Most everyone doing what we are doing refers to it as travel. If we have a blog, we’re ‘travel bloggers.’ If someone asks what we do, family and friends tell them we are traveling. But we’ve been taking care of this house here in Chapala, Mexico for three months now. That’s not traveling! We live here.

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Day Trip! Tlaquepaque/Guadalajara

Our friends in the neighborhood, Jean-Pierre and Yolanda Luisser, French-Canadians from Quebec, invited us to join them on a day trip to Guadalajara on Sunday, March 25. Oh, boy! A trip to the big city with someone who knows where to go and what to see – and most importantly, how to drive in that crazy place! So we set out about 10 in the morning, first stop Tlaquepaque, a town on the outskirts that I first heard about on The Travel Channel long ago.

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