This year I did something I’ve never done before. I escaped Christmas. In the days leading up to “the big day” I baked the cookies and gave out the tips to service people. I went to a few parties and bought a little gift here and there.

But right now, as you perhaps are cleaning up ribbons and wrappings, I am digging my feet into the warm sand. Just a three day escape to change things up.

It is my way of announcing to the world (and to me) that “things have to be different around here.” [Read more…]

 

Last year, as 2017 began, I wrote a post called The Year of Living Passionately.

I must say, I got what I asked for. It was passionately intense. It wasn’t passion pretty, it was passion difficult. It involved my daughter writing, finishing and presenting her thesis. A “surprise” hip replacement surgery and the months long rehabilitation afterwards. My son started a new job in Cancun (code for: I helped him outfit his flat) and my daughter left for France to see if she wanted to settle there. (She does). A bucket list trip (meaning: big and expensive) to Alaska that ended with me [Read more…]

 

It seems that in the past few years I find myself saying, “Christmas has to be different this year.”

For years, I prided myself on creating the same, classical and elegant Christmas every year for my children. Isn’t that the point — to create memories and tradition? I rejoiced as I strung the tiny blue and white lights and set up the tree and the nativity.

Lately, Christmas has become a minefield of emotion and memory. [Read more…]

 

As I write this, on a Sunday afternoon, a loaf of banana bread rising in the oven is perfuming the house with that inimitable baked smell of love.

Meanwhile on top of the stove is a cast iron frying pan in which I’m smothering a spatchcocked chicken under a plate weighted with cans from my pantry. [Read more…]

How would you like to find one of these in your bathroom?

My last few posts have been introspective and heavy….so I thought I’d entertain you this week with a story that will make you happy you don’t live in Tropica.

You all know about my love/hate relationship to Tropica.  I’ve written several posts on it…and that my idea of hell is having a toloc in the house, which happens several times a year.

So, imagine my surprise dismay shock! disgust! when I walked into my bathroom, which is the furthest room away from the walled-in garden of my house it could possibly be, to find a f***ing toloc hanging out behind the toilet. [Read more…]

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I am not living the life I imagined. I think a lot of people can say that.  For some, that’s a good thing. Or, it can be not so good.

Specifically, I’m contemplating the price of “paradise”…and if I want to pay it.

Tropica is in the news as the perfect place to live, work and retire. Real estate porn – colonial houses, pools, hammocks, low cost of living are why baby boomers are pouring into town. While the press extolls the beauty and virtues Tropica I’m thinking of going in the other direction.

[Read more…]

 

In Tropica it’s always guest season. Living in a vacation destination means a lot of houseguests. I enjoy picking people up at the airport and having the stimulation and fun of visitors.

Being a good houseguest is an art, but it can also be a learned skill. If you have friends living in interesting places, and you are lucky enough to be invited to stay, it means you can travel all the more. So it behooves you to treat your hostess like the treasure she is.

[Read more…]

cancunfall

Q: How can you tell it’s fall in Tropica?

A: The beaches are empty.

Fall in Tropica.  The tourists are gone.  Kids are in school.  The hotels on the Riviera Maya are empty and prices are the lowest they’ll be all year.  The snowbirds haven’t arrived yet.  The air has finally cooled down to 80F/26C.  The Tropicans are in bliss.

I’m filled with nostalgia for crisp air, sweaters, and the flaming colors of leaves. How I miss the autumn of my childhood in the U.S. Palm trees are always green. Halloween, which isn’t a Mexican custom, has drifted in nonetheless and is fighting with Christmas for floor space in Costco. Not a pretty sight.

[Read more…]

Pool

Beware, this pool looks cool, but the water is hot as…

If it’s fall in Tropica, it’s bochorno.  Sultry, stuffy, sweltering, sweaty, steaming, suffering, suffocating, swampy. Oppressive. Impossible. Giving up.  Giving in.

It’s 7 a.m. and drops of sweat are sliding down my butt as I sit writing this.  I am sitting still.  It’s 7 a.m.  I just had to repeat that.

[Read more…]

coqui-coqui-yucatan-mexico-yatzer-20

I’m usually never at a loss for words…but yes, my friends, I have succumbed to the inertia that is the essence of the word: summer.

What is summer like in a place where it feels like summer all year round?  Even in Tropica there are subtle seasons. School’s out just like everywhere and life slows down even more. The weather is, if you can believe it, hotter and stickier. Meriland empties out like Paris in August, with everyone going to their beach houses on the Gulf.

[Read more…]