Adios por Ahora Mexico!

Goodbye for now Mexico!  It is bittersweet for us to be leaving Mexico as we so enjoyed our time here and made some wonderful friends in the past year.

This is a country that we will visit again as we feel that we just scratched the surface of fascinating places to visit.  I know I have already voiced this but it is worth repeating – everyone, if given the opportunity, should take the time to experience a developing country and immerse yourself in another culture.  If you embrace the ways of another country, you may find that you will be richly rewarded and have a greater appreciation for the wealth we all enjoy in the US, even with what is now happening in the political arena and our economy (and I refuse to expound on that).

Here are just a few things that we will miss:

  • balmy, sunny weather
  • fabulous food and amazing aromas
  • lush vegetation
  • colonial cities rich in culture and history
  • striking churches and historic buildings
  • vividly colored buildings and homes
  • stunning murals painted by local artists on the sides of buildings
  • smiling, friendly locals
  • beautiful children playing outside with basic toys (balls, bicycles, sticks)
  • multi-generations walking together hand-in-hand

I would be remiss in typing this final tribute to Mexico if I failed to mention a few people we met in Lakeside who touched us deeply:  

Our yoga instructor, Ana, was a delightful, inspiring young woman who grew up in the Lakeside area, moved to Canada where she earned her law degree, and walked away from that profession, as her heart and soul drew her to sharing her love of yoga and meditation.  She moved with her husband and baby son back to Lakeside, where she hopes to share the local culture with her child.  Her spirituality and love of imparting what she has learned certainly fed us during our time in San Antonio Tlayacapan.

Me & The Lovely Ana

Tennis seems to be a sport that is embraced in Lakeside, enjoyed by young and old.  Our instructor, Tony, who grew up in Guadalajara, is fun-loving and patient.  He encouraged us and pushed us each and every lesson.  We were thankful to spend time with him over the past several months.

Tony Probably Giving Me a Pointer about My Backhand

Lois Cugini, whose picture I unfortunately do not have, is a pint-size little bundle of energy who moved to the Lakeside area 30+ years ago from Boston, MA and who still has the accent.  She owns a funky little women’s boutique and wine bar in Ajijic, very well respected by locals and tourists alike.

Opus Boutique

Lee and Lloyd are a couple from the Houston area who retired to Lakeside several years ago and are still hard at work as realtors and property managers.  They were our landlords and are a delightful couple.

Me, Lee & Lloyd

Terry happened upon a familiar looking face when he was walking the bicycle path in Lakeside, shortly after our arrival to Mexico.  He turned out to be a man who we became friends with back in Michigan 10+ years ago.  We both took an exercise class he was teaching and it was great fun rekindling our friendship and getting to know his wife Geri.  They have lived in Ajijic for the past 4 years.

We recently house sat/dog sat for them when they returned to the states for a visit.  We must admit that we fell in love with their dog Kai and had some withdrawal pains when our house sitting job ended.  The house they rent is fabulous so I thought I would share the view from their veranda.

And here is the couple lucky enough to enjoy this view every day!

Brad & Geri

And last, but not least from this trio, is our buddy Kai.  It was love at first sight for me when I met him!


Geri and Dave came into our lives a few short months ago but we felt an immediate connection with them.  They come from the state of Washington and were our next-door neighbors for a few months before we left.  They are a dear couple and we will miss them greatly.

Geri, Dave & Me (Me Sans Makeup & Fixing Hair - Yikes!)

The next picture I had to include, as it will forever remind me of Dave.  His favorite expression is “it just doesn’t matter!”, meaning don’t sweat the small stuff.  He has the most positive attitude and we loved spending time with them.

"It Just Doesn't Matter!"

Last, but certainly not least, in our small grouping of friends, is Les and David.

Terry met David when he went to Lakeside on a fact-finding mission the year before we moved to Mexico.  He had been following Les’s blog, which I encourage everyone to read  David is an accomplished photographer and Terry saw him at a local parade and introduced himself.  He said that Terry was the nicest stalker he had ever met!

Les has a quirky, unique sense of humor and a beautiful spirit, and is a fabulous writer. Terry and I are both reminded of Erma Bombeck when we read her blog and she has been told by many that she should write a book.  We think this is a must!

When we told them we were moving back to the states for a time, she wrote us the loviest email as she has such an amazing way with words.  I will quote a piece of it and mirror back to them the same message, as it applies equally to them:

“We became the recipients of an oh-so-comfortable friendship.  The type of friendship that did not need constant attending or constant togetherness.  The kind of friendship that made each encounter, chance or otherwise, like the smile a rainbow brings after a gentle rain.”

Les & David

A few more lines I will take from Les’s email, as I believe it applies to Mexico in general for us:  “Goodbyes are not forever.  Goodbyes are not the end.  They simply mean we’ll miss you until we meet again.”

Adios Mexico!

Hacienda Guadalupe

Welcome to our humble little abode south of the border!  We have settled into a 2-bedroom, 2-bath rental house in the village of San Antonio Tlayacapan (Ta lie ya ca pon), which borders the village of Ajijic. To give some perspective, since we walk everywhere, it is a 20-minute walk into the heart of Ajijic, which is the area we had focused on prior to our move.  To live here is to feel as if you have stepped back into the past about 50 years, given the cobblestone streets and caballeros on horseback in various parts of town.  Terry and I still have a difficult time believing we are actually here, then we hear the occasional rooster and that seems to bring us back to the present!

In an attempt to draw you into our world, I thought I would take you on a tour of the house and gardens within our gated walls.  Since we live in a very temperate climate, with the daytime temp hovering around 75 and a nighttime temp of 65 degrees, we are told everything grows here.  The plants are numerous and very prolific, with brilliantly colored flowers.  I have not yet studied the names of the plants that thrive here, but have already noted many that we grew during our time in Arizona.  Given the increased humidity, I venture to guess that plants here grow at a much more rapid pace.  One of our neighbors told us yesterday that if one were to cut the top off of a pineapple and plant it, a new pineapple would appear in about 6 months (hard to imagine).

We are nearing the end of the rainy season but almost daily we still receive some precipitation, or at least beautiful billowy clouds which drape down over the mountaintops.  Many of the rainstorms arrive at night and the thunder and lightning that accompany them can be quite spectacular.

So, enough of my ranting.  Let’s take a tour!

This is a view outside the gate of Hacienda Guadalupe, a very small community of 6 homes, with ours being the only rental.

Given that we live amongst other homeowners who take advantage of the perfect climate, we are enjoying the fruits of their labors.  The gardens are just lovely!

You can tell who is not a homeowner here.  Ours is a rather bland landscape compared to the rest of the neighborhood.  We may have to do something about that!

Let’s take a peek into the inside of this lovely hacienda, shall we?

This is the kitchen, where all the serious cooking is done (once it is stocked).

The living room ~ note the brick ceiling, which is called a boveda in Mexico.  It is the Spanish name for arch and is a very strong support system that insulates the house against both the summer’s heat and winter’s chilly nights.  Most Mexican homes do not have heat or air conditioning and it is not an inconvenience, due to the temperate climate.

Next stop master bedroom, with a bath, office and walk-in closet off of it.  Don’t I sound like a realtor trying to sell you something?

Note the use of the boveda once again for the ceiling.

Quaint little patio off the kitchen and master bedroom.  Great place to enjoy a nice comida (lunch).

Welcome to our mirador, the covered rooftop terrace, where spectacular views of the lake and mountains can be found.  Our guilty pleasure is to enjoy a great meal, accompanied by a lovely bottle of wine, or watch the sunset, also accompanied by a lovely bottle of wine, from this vantage point.

Here are a couple of views from our rooftop.

Did I mention that we have two bedrooms?  Plenty of room for those wishing to escape the cold winters in the US!  Until next time ~ adios!