Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Feliz Navidad

Is there really that much more to say??

Feliz Navidad !!!!

I wish nothing but the best for everyone this holiday season. I truly mean that!!!!

It's always a little strange around Christmas time - my husband and his family celebrate Christmas on the 24th of December "Buena Noche". My family and I have ALWAYS celebrated Christmas on the 25th. This is something I won't budge on. He can have every other holiday, but NOT Christmas. I like our tradition...... I don't want it to change too much. We can always add on, but we will celebrate the 25th.... Indefinitely :)

What's on the menu?? Nothing but "good old faithful".

Turkey, Potatoes (roasted & mashed), Stuffing, Yams, Cauliflower, Carrots, Salad, Etc....

I just can't change it up.

At least we can agree on one thing - REAL TREE!!! I just looove the scent in the house, and there's something about the humidity. I don't ever remember a tree smelling so nice and for so long!!! How about you??

I'll have to post some pics of the neighbours houses - Seeing Santa in Cancun is just a totally different experience!! One that will be appreciated! LOL.

Well.... time to go and get ready for the fiesta!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Owning a car in Mexico....

To own a car in Mexico…..

Okay, until now most of my posts have been REALLY positive. I now must vent…

In 1961 the government reissued a tax on owning a car in order to "afford" the construction of new facilities for the Olympics; this was called the Tenencia (from the verb tener; "to have" in Spanish). However, the tax remained to finance the 1970 FIFA World Cup, held also in Mexico. Ironically, the tax remains today.

This tax is variable depending of the car's value, number of cylinders, etc. Since many Mexican drivers default on paying this tax, government started taking countermeasures but due to this being perceived as uncontrollable, candidates to the presidency started making proposals to quit this tax before the July 2, 2006 elections including Felipe Calderón, current president of Mexico who took the charge on December 1. Tenencia remains to date though it's still due to be abolished by 2012.

Well with that all being said I was screwed! We purchased a van from a DEALERSHIP which gave us all papers indicating the taxes had been paid in full up until now. Well, well we just went to register it and found out that papers were incorrect, and the dealership was only paying as if it were a smaller vehicle. We now owe $2500. GREAT.

How does a dealership get away with this?? I just am mad. My husband and I aren’t stupid people… How did this get past us? Also, he’s mexican – he knows what to be looking for. Oh well, we have a lawyer who is looking into this for us – I’ll let you know how that goes. For now we just want the van to be working, and that it is….. J

Well, it is time for me to head out and get some last minute Xmas shopping done… Hopefully, it won’t be another 2 weeks before I post!!! I was in Toronto for business, and was able to visit some old friends from Cancun…. Ohhh how nice it was to see them!!! I’ll have to post some pics, and share a few stories of our trip!!!

Until then….. Feliz Navidad!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

El Carnaval de las Maravillas - Merida

Okay, so every year Merida hosts a WONDERFUL carnival for everyone to enjoy!! Seriously, it's for alllll ages. A few main streets get shut down for the parade to go through, most notably Paseo Montejo. Ahhh... for those of you who haven't been to Merida, look at my pictures in this post!!! For those of you who have been , you know what I'm talking about!!! Paseo Montejo is a street full of HUGE mansions.... Old colonial. Some are still used as a residence, and have been taken care of very well, others... they are used as offices, etc... It's unbelievable.

(Paseo Montejo)
The Carnival itself runs for a week. It's amazing. So lively. Very family oriented, but you see the teenagers out too. You can sit on a patio of a restaurant (you'll need a light sweater) and watch the parade go by... You will see the famous Corona float go by, then the Sol ladies and men dancing in their ...ummm... bathing suits?? !!! Then you'll see the older generations go by dancing, with a van that usually follows carrying the members that couldn't last.... Oh soooo cute!! You'll see the kids perform, wow can some of them DANCE!! At such a young age, in their costumes and they are soooo proud to let you take a picture of them - just for you.

(A shot from above some stands)
All the floats go by and they throw different gifts at you - ranging from T-shirts, to pens and mardi gras like beads!! All the while music is blaring, your waiter is serving you drinks, and you get to watch a BEAUTIFUL city enjoy life. After the parade shuts down - you can take a carriage ride around the town, listening to the music from the different performers in el centro..

Every night, and day they usually have different floats, however, they are very similar, but well worth it!!! It's free!!

During the day event you go to "Paseo Montejo" and buy allll sorts of different foods from the vendors. Fruits, beef, churros, etc... ALL available. You name it, they most likely got it!! Where else do you get to go and not have to pay an admission fee?? I can't think of one!!!

(mmm.... churrrrrrooossss)
Okay, well that is all I'm going to talk about for now as it's still a couple months away.... I'll have to re post once the date gets closer!! Maybe I'll entice you to attend!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Building una casa en Mexico

Okay, so I FINALLY have pictures of our land that we are building on here in Cancun.... Literally, it's just a piece of land. Actually, more like a jungle. I think some of my friends in Canada thought I was joking, or simply exaggerating about the jungle part... Well wonder no more. Pictures speak louder than words!! Hahaha.

One of my friends, who has only been to Mexico once (stayed at a resort in P.V) asked me if I was going to be okay living in the "ghetto". Hahahahahahahaha!!! He took one look at the pics of the "jungle" and the unfinished streets automatically assuming it's the ghetto. Hilarious to an expat!!! So of course I start explaining to him that since we are building, it is up to our neighbours and ourselves to get a street put in. It was up to ourselves to have the jungle torn down, security wall put up, etc... He was more shocked to hear it absolutely was NOT the "ghetto" - rather an up and coming neighbourhood. Hahahahaha.

(of course this is the ghetto calle my friend was referring to,hehe)

(of course I showed my friend this photo of a "finished" street around the corner)
Now, of course if you buy through a builder, or a developer - they take care of all of this for you!!

(school for the kids)
Anyways, I plan on keeping you all up to date, and posting photos as the construction will be ongoing for quite some time!!!

(our lot is somewhere around one of the trees, jajajaja)
Soon I'll finally be able to say "Mi casa es su casa"

Friday, November 28, 2008

Is Mexico Dangerous??

Okay, so it seems like EVERYONE thinks Mexico is the most dangerous place on the planet... okay, i'm a bit dramatic, but I'm sure all my fellow expats can understand what I'm getting at...

I have to be honest, YES parts of Mexico are definitely dangerous, and you won't catch me in those areas!!! However, the parts I do intend to travel, are no more dangerous than my home town!! To be even more specific, truthfully, I feel safer walking down the streets of Cancun by myself, than I do downtown Calgary sometimes!!!

I used to get annoyed everytime someone would ask me - Isn't it dangerous? Are you afraid of being kidnapped? Etc... However, now I'm happy they ask me these questions , because it gives me a chance to educate them a little bit more... I'm not saying I know everything, but if I can make them understand that it's just like any other place - I"m a happy camper!! Do your best to stay out of trouble, and you should be okay... Now a few years ago our house was broken into, but that was sort of our fault (looong story). I basically shouted to the neighbourhood we were leaving for a few days, while packing up the suv...the crews working on the homes down the street seemed very interested!! Say it with me now- DUMB, yes I was... hehe:) I mean they only stole my wedding band, and everything we had! (that is serious, and not so funny)

Neways, to quickly answer the question about being kidnapped? No, I am not worried. Unfortunately, I do not have millions and millions for them to come after. They won't waste their time on me!! I assure you.

On a little bit of a different note, and I won't bore you with the topic altogether.... I am very happy to see Felipe Calderon is following through on his word. He is cleaning house, and results will come. Of course, not while he's in control - let's just hope his successor will follow suit.

I have faith. What do you have, if you don't have faith!?!

VIVE Mexico!!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

My first time!!

Get your head outta the gutters... It's not what you think!

Today we had "infladitas" - this was my first time EVER!! Wow - they were unreal. I've had sopes a million times before, and until today - thought it was one of the best foods I've ever had!!!

For those of you that don't know what infladitas are - they are made of corn flour and fried to fluff up like a cloud. Then you had refried beans, salsa mexicana, tomatillo salsa, cheese and VOILA!!!!

Did I mention they go GREAT with red wine?? Hahaha - I'm sorta biased, to me, everything goes GREAT with red wine!!

Buen provecho!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Reasons for Mexico...

Well since I keep getting asked the same question, over and over - Why Mexico? I thought I should divulge just a few of the many reasons.....

1.) Obviously the climate. Cancun is known for having very nice weather year round, and believe it or not but it is nice that it still gets a bit cooler in the winter months...cooler than the pacific side, not cooler like Canada!!

2.) Work life balance. In Canada it is very hard to manage time between work, home, and fun! Actually, I find myself barely doing anything but work anymore. I'm too young for that!!! When I lived in Cancun 3 yrs ago, it was amazing. We'd have weekly bbq's with friends and neighbours. I WANT A LIFE!!!

3.) The music. I looooooove listening to the music. I love that I used to hear the street noise through my bathroom window when I lived on La Luna. Was it always pleasant? Not w/ a hangover, hahaha, but I love the life that I can hear.

4.) It's Cancun, not Tijuana where I'm living. I still have Wal-Mart, Costco, Home Depot, etc...

5.) Health care in Cancun is really, really good! I've never had to wait to see a Dr. and it only cost me $200 pesos for a visit!!!

6.) Accessibility. My family and friends can always come and visit. There is an international airport, and tons of places for them to stay if they don't want to stay with us!

Okay, I could go on and on, but just wanted to answer a few of the questions that most of my friends have been asking me!!!

I'm sure I'll have a few posts of all the things I hate one day too!! I'll complain about the funky smells, the bugs...ohhh how I hate the bugs. For now, I'm remaining positive!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The failing dollar... amongst other things!

Well, the cdn dollar hit a measly 82cents US yesterday. Normally I wouldn’t have been excited; however, it jumped 3 cents over night to get to the 82 centavo mark!! Anyways, we have been watching the dollar daily as we still send money down for our home that is being built. We obviously want to get the best rate we can. When talking big money, 2-3 cents is huge, and is worth paying close attention.

It’s just sooo hard to believe that a year ago today the CDN dollar was higher than the USD. I almost framed my visa bill when I got back from a shopping spree in Seattle, and saw that I spent LESS money than I thought! Now, I’m just steadily watching the markets decline… Well, at least I have a job, my health and am moving to Mexico!! Unfortunately, I still have this migraine, and the dollar may be making it worse!! Hehehe – okay, now I just sound negative!!

On to some more exciting news – Kiara (pronounced à Key-yed –a) who is my 1 yr old Shit-zu can fly onboard with me on our way to Cancun!!! This may be a known fact for other travelers/expats, but I’ve been searching and almost NO one allows pets onboard int’l flights anymore. I am sooooo happy. This has taken a HUGE amount of stress off me. No cargo for my little one!!!

In other interesting news mi maestra Leah who currently resides in Rio Verde, which is near San Luis Potosi has been sending me emails on her life and adventures in that area of Mexico. I think I may have convinced her to start blogging! Ohhh, I hope so – she is a phenomenal writer and even better story teller. The things that go on in her neck of the woods, sound fiction, but I know are fact. With her permission, I may share some of her stories if she doesn’t join the asylum; as Michele in Playa puts it!!! LOL!!

Well folks – that’s all for now!!!

Ohhh, and how couldn't I post a pic of my little angel Kiara!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008 the rumours are true

Ugghhh..... I hate to do this, because I think everyone does this, but I have to about the weather. This being another HUGE reason why we have decided to move back to Cancun.

We are currently in and out of Calgary, Canada. Calgary is known for having "chinook winds" - we in Calgary call them "chinooks". You will either learn to LOVE them, or HATE them. I am in between, yes, I do realize I just made no sense. Hehe.

Kay, well first things first. What is a Chinook Wind? Definition: The winds are caused by moist weather patterns, originating off the Pacific coast, cooling as they climb the western slopes, and then rapidly warming as they drop down the eastern side of the mountains. The Chinook usually begins with a sudden change in wind direction towards the west or southwest, and a rapid increase in wind speed. other words the definition: HEADACHE, HEADACHE, HEADACHE.

Well that is what it used to mean to me. Yesterday I was in excruciating pain, my head was pounding, and I couldn't eat. I took some Advil and one of my hubby's favourite pills for his cabeza....It sorta worked. Today, I got up and ready and left for work. I made it until noon before I left early only to sit 2 hours in the Dr's office for her to tell me it was a MIGRAINE. She gave me 2 magic pills that disolved in my mouth, and sent me home to sleeep. I'm feeling a bit better now....

Anyways, this is just another reason why I can not wait to be in Cancun permanently. No more chinooks with migraines for me. Yes, I do realize we are luckier than some other cities in Canada as we get many plus 15 days throughout our 8 months of winter. However, this Cdn chica is not made for this climate and can't wait to get down to Cancun indefinitely!! exciting. The security wall is going up around our property in Cancun next week!!! YAY - that could make the migraine go away!!

Ohh...but then there is xmas shopping with this economy.... Hmm..that will be my next post "How to buy clothes for family in Cancun, in the middle of a cdn winter".

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What will I do??

This is just a picture of a street in Merida!! I just love that city sooooooo much. Who knows, maybe one day we will end up there...For now it's just a perfect place to visit sometimes !!!

Anyways, onto my blog:

Okay, so I've received a few emails asking the same question(s), more or less.... What am I going to do? Where am I going to work? Sooo...I figure that's worth writing about!!!

Okay, when I worked down there a few years ago I was working for an American company(USA) that handled promotions in the HZ...Yes, yes, I was one of them. I ended up doing some work with MTV and had the time of my life for my early 20's. Anyways, NO, I am not going to be doing that again... I don't think my liver could handle it!! LOL...Seriously. Also, it is not something a marriage could handle!! Working in party central was a once in a lifetime experience!! I still can't believe some of the biggest places are now gone - LaBoom/Tequila Boom and Fat Tuesdays!! Man oh man we had some fun!

Well, I am going ot tell you the same thing I tell all my friends -I don't know. I really, really don't know!!! However, I have never been so excited.... We own a company in Cancun con mis suegros! Sooo...we are hoping that we have now grown it enough that we can live off of it. However, I'll probably do what most ppl do - teach english. (sigh....) It's not that I don't want to, but what if I'm not a good teacher... I also hear the hours are terrible, and the pay - well not so good.... Neways, beggers can't be choosers!!!

The one thing I am most looking forward to doing is studying spanish. Even though everyone thinks I speak it... I don't feel like it's good enough - I am enrolling in a study program for a few weeks. Just to get my bearings, so to speak. It's fairly pricey so I have already started my savings!! If anyone can recommend some good programs - please send me a msg!!! I'm looking into Berlitz and Amerispan.....

Okay, well I am off to do some research....

Hasta prontisiiiimo!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

It's first blog

After reading my favourite blog "Cancuncanuck" - I thought to myself, why don't I try this out.... Maybe someone will actually read it and find it interesting!!! Or not???

Well, it's official. My husband Gil (gilberto) and I have purchased some land in Cancun for build. They say it should take about 5 months from start to finish...My fingers are crossed!!! Gil leaves for Cancun on Friday ..... I will be stuck here in the COLD, COLD, COLD. He'll only be gone a week...

We have decided we are not moving back down until the house is almost finished. I have picked a date in my head...and hope to remain as close to that date as possible. (May 1) It seems as though it is soooo far away, but is it?? Gil is leaving before me.... estoy triste.....:(

I have taken the first major step, and by major I mean I told my mom we were leaving!!!! She actually took it better than I thought, but it could be she is still in denial!!!?? The other step(s) I have taken are on a professional level. I am a Supervisor for an insurance company here in Calgary... I let management know I would be leaving. I can't believe it... They knew the idea was always in the back of our minds, seeing as how we already lived there and have always talked about moving back!!! A few of the ladies that work for me were in tears... It was nice!(is that terrible??) I've always considered myself to be a very fair and fun "boss" - ohhh I hate that word!!! I will miss them completely, but what can you do?? I guess another reason I've picked May 1 is because we get our bonuses in April; like I am going to miss that!!!

Well..... I will have to keep posting so as to attract any audience, whatsoever!!!

We are preparing the sale of our house up here in Canada... So off to the lighting store to grab some new fixtures!!! Ohhhhh how the markets have fallen....

Cheers!!! Oh, I guess I should say --> Hasta luego!!!