December 31, 2009

Goodbye Mr Stress, Old Year!

There was Mr Stress before Scott and I got to El Cejas. He was worried about the arrival of his sweetie Kathy and his cousin coming from Denver the other from DFW. We stopped on the way so I could get an email I forgot and Scott also checked the computer their for airline updates! Now with the address of a new German deli that sells sauerkraut, but it's still not opened, we were off. The address is of the mother of the guy who is opening the deli, so it was a private house with barking German breed dogs and open windows!
We have joked that buying shrimp on Isla is like making a dope deal with unmarked houses, etc. Why, it's like buying sauerkraut in Cancun!
A stop for doggy diaper pads and we were ready to eat! El Cejas!
While Scott texted the airlines and family one more time, the oysters Rockefeller arrived.
Great for Scott to share with Carlos the cabbie and me. And we each had a vuelve la vida cocktail, the one that includes raw oysters. I also had a naranjada, billed as OJ with mineral water, it was actually and orange juice and mineral water slush, but much tastier than an Orange Julius!
Then I was off to Telebodega, where I found the same new 15 cubic feet fridge that Inge had bought (we compared notes this morning!) and two table lamps for 110 pesos each, which they wrapped up for me to carry and promised January 10 delivery of the fridge.
Isla Gringo and B were there, too, for an emergency replacement fridge purchase for one of their units. We wound up on the curb as I waited later for Carlos to come back from the airport. They were having no luck with finding a station wagon cab to hail! Carlos was just two minutes away when I called to see if he could carry their little fridge too! No problem, he has a station wagon.
Great good luck could not keep Isla Gringo from fretting at McDonald's as he watched the baggage handlers and the ferries, alert to any mix up.
The only mix up was here, when I forgot I had an extra bag with sauerkraut and bratwurst. I loitered around the ferry dock for an hour until the right UltraMar ferry, alerted by shore crew, came back and handed it it to me. Good bye old year Mr Stress, Happy New Year!

December 30, 2009

Looks like high season

There's a hustle and bustle on Isla Mujeres that smacks of New Year's high season. The newspapers are reporting government figures for 90 percent occupancy. Seems a bit high for the number of people we see out an about at night, but daytime traffic on the island certainly is up!
From my viewpoint, reservatons are a bit soft for January, as is the case every year. and pretty good for February. Will it last? Only time and Bernanke will tell.
A Mexican real estate agent says Americans are not buying. But, he said, Mexicans from all over the country are buying land and building new apartments and small hotels. The American word overbuilt comes to mind!

December 29, 2009

Medical progress

This is the latest view of the hospital going up two corners to the south of me. It's going to be a Specialty Hospital, the closest thing to a teaching hospital Isla Mujeres may see. Cancun surgeons will come here for specialty cases and Isla doctors can learn their techniques.
The published plan also calls for a cafeteria, both for patients and open to the public. Now that's progress because the typical hospital in Mexico requires families to feed their kin!

December 28, 2009

New infrastructure for a New Year

My green grocer from El Paraiso in La Gloria admits he was misled and I admit I took his word that SuperXpress was building a warehouse for storing meat and vegetables. No, this is the small view of the new SuperExpress that will open January 15, three corners from my house. Just out of the range of of the camera on the right.
I trust it will have an ATM, eliminating my need to go to Centro. It's a long building. In front on the other corner, with the tar paper roof, is Cocodrillo's Pizza.
Then around the bend, toward the new location of what is fondly still known as Tacos Campos, is the new community center, rapidly heading for it's grand opening. It's highlight will be a movie theater for kids.
The hospital two blocks south of me is going up quickly too! A full crew of workers was on the site early Sunday morning.

December 27, 2009

Boca's big Christmas!

Santa Claus, aka Scott, took Boca out on the town Christmas Day night, leaving Zina's Guest House around 9pm.. She went to Miguel's Moolite first. We took the diaper so no one would be offended.
She made friends with customers and ate dog food and drank water out of a cup.
Then Santa and I took her to Brisas Grill, where she sat by the wall and stared at the lobster tank in amazement.
Santa opined that Boca is just learning to be a big dog now. How true. Feliz Navidad!

December 20, 2009

Yacht Club party

Those of us who go to the Puerto Isla Mujeres Yacht Club seldom see this nice view of the dining room. Mostly we gawk at the nice pleasure craft!
So, Saturday night's PEACE, the community foundation fundraiser, showed us a different Villa Vera and a different menu. Salmon fillets in dill sauce or turkey and dressing.
My cousin Dianne Umla, who took al these pictures, and I opted for the salmon, starting with a seafood bisque. Desert was the tiniest piece of pecan pie I'd ever seen, not that there's anything wrong with that, ala mode!
Afterward, the evening continued with a poolside Christmas Party, also a PEACE fundraiser. I wasn't up for staying out late, so we were home by 9:30.
But it truly was a magical night.

December 17, 2009

Five stuffed in a cab

Elizabeth and Tom got more than a bargain cab fare to the airport. My cousin's husband Jeff also had a departing flight at the same time and he wanted to be kissed goodbye on the other side. So I called Carlos the taxista to pick up five at Puerto Juarez.
Dianne, from the lower Florida Keys, and I were going to shop while he took the others to the airport. Sign of the cross not to get busted by the union for 5 in a car, off we went. First the short distance to Sam's Club.
This was very interesting. My cousin has had anorexia for 35 years. She ran up to me with some prosciutto. "This is anorexic food! See how thin it is sliced?"
So we bought anorexic food, another sheet set, diaper pads for Boca and were at the cash register when Carlos showed up. Chedraui!
There, we shopped the imported food aisle and got miniature meringues. "They are just egg whites and sugar." But by 2pm, I was hungry. So we stopped at a food court, where Carlos and I had fish tacos and Di could load her ceviche whith fat burning chiles. The owner came by, saw her plate, and offered to replace the ceviche. No, I like it like that!
Then we were done and heading home. "Do you want to be among Parrot Heads and have a margarita? I asked? Sure. So we got margaritas and an order of grilled wings to split.
Yep, I am a very bad influence. Came home and put the food away and me, I went right to bed. Di had a cup of Dieter's Tea! No point in ruining a vacation with food.

December 15, 2009

Dog Play Date

Sunday, my cousin Dianne and her husband Jeff and I went to visit Alison at Amigos Los Animales. She and her husband, Jeff had just sent 12 dogs to homes abroad. But then, Alison came home with 8 more.
The dogs need socializing to humans and with non-pack dogs. Boca rose to the occasion. She mouthed as puppies do when they play, but no one got bit and Boca couldn't seem to get enough doggie hugs.
After 90 minutes or so, Alison had to go upstairs to do a phone interview with a Denver radio station for her new book, "No Urn for the Ashes." And we went to Miguel's, so he could meet Lora's legacy. He approved of Boca dog, who ate garlic bread while we had grouper.

December 9, 2009

Blooming aloe vera

All these years of visiting the tropics, and I never knew aloe vera bloomed. But right there on my rooftop patio, flowers.
If a few days, the flower droops and gets flouncy tips on the succulent petal. Now that I am sensitize, I see blooming aloe vera everywhere. Especially in Sac Bajo. Who knew? Not me!

December 8, 2009

A quick trip to the other side...

Cancun yesterday, starting at 3pm. Carlos, the taxista, informed me some tejones have found a new home on Bonampark behind the gas station. Hopefully the mean lady won't poison the survivors!
On we went to Sam's Club, where I was to meet Karina. We never hooked up and I looked around and took a membership. Overall, now I remember, I find it more useful that Costco. I got a 40 pack of bed covers/diapers for Boca's potty needs
They had 400 count cotton sheets. No one else has 100 percent cotton sheets now. Not Costco, not Soriana, not Chedraui. I'd have rather had a higher threat count, but...
So I got two sets and a stunningly rich sheet towels that I'll put into circulation - and steal back. They are great.
But it was sad in there. The veggies were all rotting with an official expiration of today. I got some mozzarella cheese and a 24 pack of baby bagels. Then on to Soriana's.
There, the vegetables were fresh, the meats looked good, I got deli ryes and I some plain Activia! Today is cheap produce day at Walmart; by the afternoon, Soriana will match prices on any special Walmart had. So, I think I'll just start every future outing at Sam's, got to Soriana and then Costco for it's walk it cooler, which was pretty bare last trip too.
After whirlwind shopping, I went to see an insurance agent. I have applied to get a French major medical policy from AXA for my times in Mexico. $1400 annually, 5 percent co pay, no preferred providers. That's a health plan I can live with. And it has a $30,000 rider to airlift me back to Ohio should I develop something that can't be treated here.
I just got to Puerto Juarez in time to catch the ferry. No McDonald's. So I stopped at Soggy Peso for a guacamole on my way home and met some old salts who live here now.

December 5, 2009

El Cejas!

Cancun trip tomorrow! Trips to Cancun lead me and Carlos, my chauffer, to El Cejas in Mercado 28 for vuelte la vida, a seafood cocktail that includes raw oysters. The name, translated, is return to life. And no matter how rigorous the errands have been up to lunch, we bounce back with vuelte la vida!
I am sorry my trip tomorrow will not be rigorous enough, or timed right, to visit El Cejas, the seafood palace. That's The Eyebrows, named for the owners eyebrows. Maybe he should have called his place El Gigante! Because everyone who knows, knows I am not a small woman. Baggy pants and all!
See you next trip Cejas! I think Zina's Guest House has holiday renters for the holidays for whom this is a declared must do, with an eating strategy to boot! No, the strategy tomorrow is a quick stop at a store and then a quick visit to the health insurance agent. Borrrrring and not draining at all. Bah humbug. Today's strategy is more challenging: conchinita breakfast, chilpachole lunch! So many calories!

You better be good!

Sergio decked the halls yesterday for the arrival of Santa Claus. Parades were launched for the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception. Anticipation built for the Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe. And Christmas carols filled the air. Boca, Sergio's little helper, ate papaya and ate cooked papaya for a pie and then ate papaya pie.
Everyone at Zina's Guest House enjoyed papaya in pie, season with cinnamon and nutmeg. OK, I like it a lot better than pumpkin. Who knew? Thanks for mentioning that it can be done, Michelle!

December 4, 2009

Hospital update

All sorts of workers have diligently been working on the new hospital two manazanas or blocks from the house. It will be a two story specialty hospital with surgical suites. Doctors can visit from Cancun and perform surgery while Isla docs assist and learn. A teaching hospital, it you will.
And different than most municipal hospitals, it will have a dining room. Both to make food for the patients and to feed people from outside. This is so different from most other hospitals, where family must bring the food to feed the patients.

December 3, 2009

Stop the loving!

Boca has permission to play in the front patio with the 4 to 8 year old neighbors. They tickle, they hug, they play games.
But when she's had enough, she retreats to a corner of the garden, as if to scream, "Stop the Loving!" When play is done, it is sometimes hard to get her out of the garden!
Then doggie mommie cajoles and wipes the mud off, and Boca goes back to being a house dog who chews the guts, still chewing, the guts of her stuffed sister.

December 2, 2009

Food porn

Friday is lobster on the grill at Soggy Peso. Went there the day after Thanksgiving with MD from Texas and we all had a portion of the medium tail like this, for $250 pesos a plate.
Mango Cafe is open for breakfast and lunch until the 15th, when it will open more days for more meals.
Sunday, Michael and I each had this salad. Michelle had the breakfast empanadas, which she said were fantastic! The salad came with a rasberry chipotle vinagrette. I had ginger lemonade. The Regans had hibiscus tea mulled with cloves, ginger and nutmeg. It was also so yummy. There's been more catting about, but donchyaknow I failed to take pics!

December 1, 2009

All about food! Chapoy turns 36!

I was hopeless behind in posting food pictures when I got an impromptu invitation to share a meal with Chapoy and his family yesterday on his 36th birthday. First course, chilpachole. Even 3 year old Andrea love that!
Norma was handing out napkins while just letting the juices spill down her cami top. It was nice to see Chapoy and Norma reconciled after a multi month separation. They have been back as a couple for two months and living together again for a month.
Chapoy is talking with his mom, who is back from Merida after a long hospitalization.
We had the crab and seafood soup, ceviche and there was fried fish. But a girl can only eat so much! This one anyway. Andrea packed it away.
So I may never get caught with posting my various eating excursions this month. Oh well!