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So, where is Progreso?

15 Apr

When we tell people we have bought a house in Progreso, Mexico we usually get enthusiastic but somewhat confused congratulations. This is primarily because they are not quite sure where it is. Is it on the Atlantic side, the Caribbean or near the Texas border? Even when we describe its location in the Yucatan people still seem to have only a vague conception of Mexican geography. So for all those who want to really know where we will be heading here is a map of the region. Progreso is on the Northwest tip of the Yucatan Peninsula about 25 minutes by car north of the city of Merida.

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Over the next several posts I will highlight of some of the many wondrous places to see and visit in the area. It is a land rich in culture, history and nature. So stay with me.

Meanwhile, on the home front, after a few tense weeks we have finally managed to close on the sale of the property. We really do now own a house in Mexico. How amazing is that? Work commences on some necessary plumbing, electrical and structural repairs on Wednesday. Though not particularly exciting changes from a design perspective they will make our lives a lot better. We are, for example, getting a water softener installed and also upgrading to a solar hot water system. We are also getting the roof resealed and a protective coating applied which will make it nicer to sit up there and enjoy the evening ocean breezes. Ladder anyone? A lot of concrete also has to be dug up around the house to improve drainage so that will open up all kinds of landscaping possibilities. The gardener in me is very excited about that! And there is a crack in the swimming pool which is a number one priority fix! Got to have that pool ready to go when we arrive. So all in all we feel things are headed in the right direction.

Mexican Easter Bunny? The Tehuantepec Jackrabbit

31 Mar

The Tehuantepec jackrabbit is the most endangered hare species in the world (2)(5) (6), and, like other hares (Lepus spp.), is recognised by its long legs, large hind feet and huge ears (2) (7) (8), which can measure up to 12 centimetres in length (2). The hair is coarse (2), and the feet are well furred (7). The upperparts of the body are a rich ochraceous buff, washed through with black, and the back of the neck bears a buffy stripe, which separates two narrow, black stripes that extend backwards from the base of each ear. The ears are buff coloured, with whitish tips, while the throat is yellowish and the underparts and flanks are white. The legs and rump are pale whitish to grey, and the tail is grey below and black above (2) (5). In spring, the fur may become more worn, with the upperparts faded to a more yellowish colour and the black stripes on the neck visible only as black patches behind the ears (2).

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To read more about the go here

Starting to dream about design.

29 Mar

Just heard from our lawyer and the glitch that has been holding up closing on the house should be fixed by Wednesday so, fingers crossed, things should be able to move forward then. So I have been allowing myself to dream once again. I ordered several books from the library for inspiration. First up is this one, Casa Yucatan, by Karen Witynski and Joe P. Carr.

Casa YucatanLusciously illustrated and well sourced, this book is the perfect starting point for understanding the colours, textures and styles of  the Yucatan. The cover photo is of a walled courtyard which I could create between my two casitas here. Hard to imagine? Well, I like to dream big!

Hows this for a palette? The house is already yellow and white so adding a few punches of pepper colours will add just the right spice. Don’t think old colonial Mexico think more hot mid-century modern.IMG_3275

 

Love the Multi coloured steps. I see this on the stairs leading up and down from the terrace in the hot pepper palette!

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One of these for the concrete couch on the terrace. Perfect!

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I would love to have stairs like these leading to a roof top deck.IMG_3313

And finally, I can just picture this in the large casita.

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Can’t wait!

Easy, Fantastic Homemade Salsa

27 Mar

We are testing out our TIM, or “This Is Mexico”, attitude which our friend G says we must adopt when something inexplicable happens. So, with our best TIM attitude we are staying calm and not worrying at all that our closing date of March 16 has come and gone and we still do not officially own our house. Shrug, TIM. Que sera sera.

In the meantime, lets make salsa! I was taught this easy recipe by Nancy who is married to an El Salvadorian named Alfredo. It is so good!

IMG_3262Start by placing half of a large can of whole or diced tomatoes in a medium bowl.
IMG_3264Add pickled jalapeno pepper slices. I usually go with about seven. Try fewer for milder salsa or more for spicy hot!
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Puree the tomatoes and jalapeno slices. Add the juice of one lime and the rest of the can of tomatoes. Chop with a knife into bite size pieces.
IMG_3260 Using the chopper attachment, chop one half of a medium onion together with about one half cup loosely packed cilantro.
IMG_3266 Add chopped onion and cilantro to tomato mixture
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Add about half a cup each of black beans and frozen
niblet corn. Mix and allow to sit for one half hour to let
flavours meld
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Serve and enjoy!

IMG_3272            Yum!

Why Progreso?

12 Mar

Two years ago the Winnipeg Free Press ran an article about Progreso, Yucatan, Mexico which said what a lovely, friendly and affordable vacation destination it was. True to my obsessive/compulsive tendencies I clipped it out and filed it away. Then last year I was talking to a good friend about the pros and cons of retirement. I was resisting ending the working chapter of my life because I did not feel ready to kick back and do nothing all day. Meanwhile, my already retired husband was really wanting to escape the frigid Canadian winters. I felt my working was holding him back. So, with some trepidation, I said go check out this place called Progreso and showed him the article. After a little Web surfing we found him a comfortable, inexpensive, studio apartment in a lovely place called Casa Sol Mar which we booked for the month of January, 2013. Off he went, first flying from Winnipeg to Cancun, riding the bus for four hours to Merida, then taking a cab to the beach town of Progreso. It took him several days to find his comfort zone but once he did he loved everything about the place. He strolled along the malecon, explored the market, toured the side streets, sampled the local cuisine, and began to meet a lot of amazing people. As his month away drew to an end he knew he wanted to stay longer, maybe even forever. He extended his trip for another month and began to look for ways that we could make Progreso a part of our lives. That included searching the real estate sites. Now, as everyone knows, if you’re not in the market for a new home don’t search house listings because you are sure to find one that you just love. And that is just what happened to us.

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