The Journey to Mexico

the-journey-to-mexico

My husband retired early and I quit my job in order to fulfil a lifelong dream of escaping the cold Canadian winters and live in a warm climate.  We rented out our house and moved to Mexico for a year. After the year is up we may decide to stay in Mexico or travel on to another destination. I have decided to write about my journey and my new life adventure.

Moving to another country and starting over is one of the most terrifying yet exhilarating adventures ever. Life as I know it will change – and I’m not just talking addresses and laundry detergent. I’m well aware that everything won’t be a fairy tale. There will be challenges, but also rewards. It’s something that if I don’t do it, I will always regret it.

I gave most of my clothes to my local homeless shelter, sold or junked most of my possessions, except for a few totes of important things that I have put into storage, and sold 2 out of 3 vehicles.

My husband, myself and 2 cats drove from Alberta, Canada to Todos Santos, Mexico. And what a drive it was! It took five days, with the cats yowling constantly for hours.

Day 1 – October 26:  Morning temperature was 3°C. Left Fort McMurray, Alberta at 3:59 PM arrived in Edmonton at 8:15 PM. Will stay here 2 nights to visit with my husband’s sons and their families.

Cats are not sure what to think as they have never been in the car and not been in the carriers. Peko crawled into a carrier that had an open door. Reever keeps going between the back, which has litter box, water & beds. They yowled everyday for 3-4 hours non-stop before finally going to sleep.

Cats in Car

Day 2 – October 28: Morning temperature was 6°C. Left Edmonton, Alberta at 9:00 AM arrived in Helena, Montana at 6:00 PM.

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Day 3 – October 29: Morning temperature was12°C. Left Helena, Montana at 6:35 AM arrived in Cedar City, Utah at 6:30 PM.

Passing through the state of Utah. I expected prairies but there really was no flat land, all mountains. I can see why the USA is called America the Beautiful. The never ending landscape is breath taking.

Day 4 – October 30: Morning temp of 9°C. Left Cedar City, Utah at 7:35 AM arrived in Saint Felipe, Mexico at 8:35 PM.

Crossing the border went much better then I expected. I had purchased my Mexican Tourist Visa online and printed it off. The border agaent did ask to see the receipt, very thankful I had printed it too. AFter stamping the visa we were on our way.

He never even asked about the cats which was a little disappointing after spending hundreds on vaccines and certified health certificates. Better safe than sorry though.

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Day 5 – October 31: Morning temp of 23°C. Left Saint Felipe, Mexico at 8:00 AM arrived in Loreto, Mexico at 8:00 PM.

This leg of the journey was arduous. There were many detours due to road damage from two hurricanes earlier in the fall. There were washouts and bridges completely destroyed. The detours were just dirt paths. Then there was the winding roads up and down mountains. We drove our Jeep and I cannot imagine driving that part of the journey in an RV.

bridge

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washout

Day 6 – November 1: We decided to stay here an extra night in Loreto, our bodies needed a break from sitting in the car, hour after hour, day after day. Spent the day exploring around Loreto. It’s a quaint little city of 13,000. I think the cats & humans alike are happy to just relax after a crazy day.s in the car.

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Day 7 – November 2: 19°C Left Loreto, Mexico at 6:53 AM arrived in Todos Santos, Mexico at 12:35 PM. After driving over 5000 kms we finally arrived at our destination.

todossantos

 

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The Man Cold

the-man-cold

Guess what?! Yesterday my husband woke up with a cold. Not just any cold though, a MAN COLD.

What’s the difference between a cold and a man cold you ask? Well let me tell you.

A cold is what we normally know as a stuffy/runny nose, cough, a few aches.

A man cold is all that plus a whiny, grown man who can’t quite grasp why he feels so awful. He feels like he’s dying and the world is coming to an end because he feels so terrible.

A man cold isn’t fun, especially for wives. You’d think the man was on his death-bed or suffering a horrific illness. Nope just a cold. But, a man cold because you know, men can be such babies.

Fire!

Fire! Not something I ever expected to happen to my house  but that’s what happened exactly two weeks ago today.

When my husband and I arrived home from work my daughter was in the process of cutting veggies for her dinner. Hubby grabbed a beer and I got a glass of wine and we headed out to the deck to relax away from the sounds of my daughter chopping.

We had only been outside for about two minutes when hubby said, “She’s burning the house down in there!” I turned my head and smoke was billowing out the patio door. We jumped up and ran inside and were horrorfied. My daughter had put a pot of oil on the stove to heat and went back to chopping veggies. Needles to say it caught fire. I looked for a cover to put on the pot but not finding one I grabbed another pot and tried to snuff out the flames. Since it was not a tight fit the oil continued to burn. I told my husband to grab the baking soda but, being a man who is not familiar with baking, he couldn’t quickly locate it. When I removed the pot my daughter did the unthinkable – she poured water on the flames! At this point the microwave was melting and the cupboards near the burning pot were turning black. My thought process was to get the pot away from the wood cabinets before they caught on fire. So I grabbed the burning pot and took it to the patio. I could smell my hair burning and knew my face was burned. My husband couldn’t find the baking soda but grabbed baking powder instead. I told him to put it on the flames anyway. It worked.

We went inside to survey the damage. The house was filled with smoke. I went to the bathroom and luckily my hair was just badly singed and my face only a little red. No one seriously injured. The house on the other hand is.

The disaster clean up crew got to work the night of the fire and are still at it.

The actual fire only damaged one cabinet, the microwave, range and counter. The smoke damage is more disastrous as the fire itself.  Every item and object in the house is cleaned, down to the last pencil, by the disaster workers. Every item is put on an inventory list, even down to a stick of  butter and a chicken drumstick in the fridge. Our central air ducts have to be sealed by HVAC pros. All the walls and ceilings on my main level and upstairs have to be cleaned, sealed and repainted.  All carpets, the sofa/love seat, and mattresses/pillows need to be replaced. We lost all the food in the fridge/freezer plus all food in the cupboard that were in boxes or plastic. I also lost an entire collection of spices. Luckily we have full replacement value insurance.

The insurance company is providing a condo for us to stay in but I just want to go home. It will be at least three more weeks before the house is livable.

Below I’ve included a video that  you MUST watch.  It’s very short… but it shows what can happen if you put water on a kitchen grease fire.  I was so very lucky!

Message To My Daughter

Letter to my daughter

My wonderful daughter… today you board your flight to Bali, Indonesia. You have made the decision to go abroad to volunteer with those less fortunate than you. There are few things more noble and rewarding in this life. I would be lying if I said I won’t worry about you because I will. I am so proud of you for being strong and independent, for working hard for what you want in life. Go be amazing, be brave, be bold, be courageous, be adventurous because you are meant to discover, to learn, to experience it all. On a practical note, don’t do stupid things over there. Everything you do has some sort of consequence. Please understand that even though you are 19, you are still very young and inexperienced in many things so think twice before doing anything—come to think of it, think three times to be safe. Everyone gets duped at some time or another. Please be careful. Be aware of people who might take advantage of you because they have some personal hidden agenda. Be safe. Have Fun. And remember, I love you. 

 

 

Technology Is Changing Humanity

How many conversations pass you by because of your phone? We live in a world where friends, loved ones can sit side-by-side and never talk at all. And when we do talk, we show the phone and say, “Did you see this?” I am beginning to hate my phone and my husband’s phone. During commercials we used to talk, now he picks up his phone, checking for the latest update. My daughter texts me from her room instead of coming downstairs. It’s a mad, mad world we live in.

Happy Father’s Day

Happy_Fathers_Day

 You worked so hard to provide for us when we were small and along the way you taught us life-long skills and how to follow our dreams. I am grateful my children have the opportunity to hang out and learn from the wisdom of your years… your love of the environment and building things. I love you dad. Have a wonderful day with the children and grand-children who are blessed to be there with you today.

 

Happy Mother’s Day Mom

Happy Mother's Day

Dear Mom,
I have given you many beautiful and sparkly Mother’s Day cards over the years. I make sure the verses convey my feelings.  But those sentiments are the thoughts of another person. These words come from my heart.
As I was growing up, you may not have realized it then, but everything you did, every word spoken, every action taken, every gesture…I was taking it all in, soaking it all up like a sponge. And I did not realize how important it would all become until I became a young mother myself. Everything you did served as an invaluable life lesson, shaping who I was, creating who I’ve become. You have taught me so much.
And oh how you love your grandchildren. You babysat while I worked and never turned down a chance to watch them at other times too. Where do I begin to thank you for all you’ve done?
So, Mom, thank you for loving me, for believing in me and for helping to shape who I am today. I am proud to call you my mom.

Happy Mother’s Day to the most beautiful woman I know. I love you! ♥

Home… It’s Where The Heart is

I wonder… is home where you were born?

OR

Is home where you live?

A quick visit back to the city I grew up in over the weekend has reminded me that I have a new home. Home in a deeper sense than the house you live in. Home with different significance than the city you were born in. But it’s my home-place. It’s where my new life, with my new husband started. And I can honestly say – it’s good to be back home.