Showing posts from August, 2008

Cancun in No Danger from Hurricane Gustav

Hurricane Gustav has strengthened to a major category 3 storm as it approaches the western end of Cuba and the Cayman Islands. The Gulf Coast of the United States continues to monitor the storm and reports indicate that New Orleans will start evacuations today.

The Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico is out of the danger zone of Gustav, I suspect we will see some rain this weekend but nothing of a storm force. It's currently breezy with some fast moving clouds, but the sun is still peeking out and it's hot outside. We were woken by a loud crack of thunder early this morning, but I didn't see any evidence of rain.

Remember to check out HurricaneCancun for coverage of the storm.

Fear of Fall

Growing up in Canada I hated knowing that fall was coming. Labour Day weekend was a seriously depressing time, it was the beginning of the end for me. No more tank tops or cottage weekends, just dull, dreary, cold, snowy, dark days. People would say "Oh, don't you just love fall, all the pretty coloured leaves on the trees?" and I would say "Are you nuts? That means they are dying!". Pretty leaves never last very long and then it's just a big bare tree waiting to be weighed down by piles of horrible, awful, nasty snow. No sunshine (or very little and gone by 5 o'clock), just slush and sludge and freezing rain and dirty acid rain icicles. Nothing in the world is so horrible as winter and fall was its pushy cousin inviting it in.

Here in Cancun I no longer dread the snow or the cold, but autumn brings its own fears. It's low season so no one has any money. It rains more. And it's hurricane season. Big, bad hurricane season.

Even still, w…

Tropical Storm Gustav

Just a reminder that we've got a special blog going for all your hurricane and tropical storm needs. This is a group blogging effort and the site will remain active as long as there are active storms in the Atlantic that may affect Cancun and the Riviera Maya. Please check us out at HurricaneCancun. I am contributing with my good friends Rivergirl and Steve in Cancun and we will be joined by friends from Akumal, Tulum, Playa del Carmen and other points south of us if the need arises. Hopefully this blog will not be very active, we don't need too many storms or brushes with hurricanes! We are currently watching Gustav as he progresses through the Caribbean, doesn't look like we are in immediate danger, but we are fully aware that hurricanes and storms are very unpredictable. At the very least, it looks like we should be seeing some rain this weekend.

Here's the latest post on Tropical Storm Gustav.

Not As Prepared As I Thought

I like to think that we are well prepared for a hurricane, we certainly have enough experience with them in our almost five years here. But alas, the internet has shown me that I am not nearly prepared enough. I don't have the CATastrophe Kit or a Dog Gone It Kit as part of my stock of supplies. I thought having a safe place, fresh water, a store of food, clean litter and newspapers was enough, but apparently kitties and doggies need a fifty foot rope and light sticks. Light sticks? Are they going to some kitty/doggie rave after the hurricane strikes? Blankets? Sorry, but any blankets in the house will be used for soaking up water, kittehs and pooch prefer the cool tiles anyway. I laughed out loud when I saw "leash" in the cat kit, but it makes the "bloodstopper" make sense to me anyway, I'd certainly have some gushing wounds if I tried to put a leash on my babies.

I'm not mocking the necessity of taking care of the fur-babies during a disaster,…

Beef of the Day

This blog is not usually a "beef blog", I don't like to complain, but yesterday I got a bee in my bonnet and can't let it go so I guess I have to write about it to set it free.

Dear drivers of Cancun,
If you hear a siren or see the flashing red lights of an ambulance or fire truck, PULL OVER. Do not drive faster, do not continue as if nothing is happening, do not stop in the middle of the freaking road, PULL OVER. It could be your mother dying in that ambulance, get out of the freaking way.

If you are going to make a turn, please use your signal. If you are not turning, please turn the bloody thing off. If you want to make a left turn, GET IN THE LEFT LANE AND STOP CUTTING ME OFF FROM THE RIGHT. Bus and taxi drivers, this means you too, you are the worst offenders, three times yesterday a big stupid bus almost hit me from the right lane and then proceeded to scream and honk at me. Stop it!

If you need to run into a store or a business, find a parking spot. Do not …

This and That

It appears as though we have weathered the virus storm on the computer, sneaky little bugger that it was! Hubby (resident geek) said that we were only without protection for about two hours, the license had expired and the spyware got in in that short window of time. Thank goodness we didn't lose much, mostly I'm upset about losing my bookmarks, will take me some time to restore them.

I feel like a few days without blogging has blurred my focus, I have too many things to write about, so I am just going to share a little of this and a little of that, nothing of any great import really.

We're in full on "Back to School" mode around here, it's amazing how many things need to be done for a tiny little person in kindergarten. We had to get him his diphtheria vaccination, the school requires documentation that all vaccines are up to date. The school also requires what we call "The Poo Test", so three days last week I had to collect Max's poo to be t…

Gack, Virus!

Having some technical difficulties, the computer got infected by a big virus on Saturday and Hubby is working his way to getting us back to normal. Still having some problems here so this is not going to be a big post (as I keep getting pop ups and errors and other evil techy things). More like a "Hi, howaya, how's your Monday and don't open anything that pops up through my messenger or mail" kind of post.

Hopefully we'll have this straightened out and doubly hopeful that none of you have been infected by something from our end. Luckily we back up regularly so we haven't lost much, but rebuilding and clearing this bugger is proving to be an ordeal.

And there is your public service announcement for Monday "Back Up Your Computers Today!"

With some good luck, I'll have a decent post for you later today. "Disculpe las molestias", "Sorry for the Inconvenience". :)

Marcha Contra La Inseguridad

Saturday August 30th at 6:00 pm, cities across Mexico will be joining together in the "Marcha Contra La Inseguridad" (March Against Insecurity), alternatively titled "Illuminemos Mexico": (Illuminate Mexico). With crime and violence rising dramatically across the country, it's vital that the citizens of Mexico unite and show the government that the people demand something be done to make their homes and businesses safer. This week the local news released a report that Quintana Roo is now one of the most dangerous states in all of Mexico, it's time to take a stand against crime and use the power of the citizen to make changes.

The people of Cancun are asked to meet at 6:00 pm in the lot near Teatro Forito, at the corner of Chichen Itza and Bonampak. Everyone is to wear white and bring a candle or flashlight. The march will be conducted in silence. People are asked to refrain from bringing banners or signs and to keep this a non-partisan event (i.e., no s…


I just had a tremendous treat. One of my students is a massage therapist at a 5 diamond hotel/spa here in Cancun. Today was her day off and she offered to come to school prepared to give massages to the teachers at an amazing rate (much much less than her usual 1100 pesos). This woman was FABULOUS. I mean truly incredible. I have had hundreds of massages in my life and this was one of the best, I feel like I am weightless. My arms could take off in flight, my legs are lighter than air, I haven't been this relaxed since my fling with Demerol after Max's birth. I'm floating on lightly scented air, with soft creamy skin and a smile on my face. Thank you thank you Miss Deysi, what a spectacular way to start my weekend.

I think I am even having trouble speaking, I feel like a big drooling Homer Simpson.....Mmmmmmm, massage......

Happy Birthday LisaLoca!

My good friend, cool cool cool club member, blogger extraordinaire and overall really nice person LisaLoca is celebrating her birthday today! Please join me in wishing her a fabulously super day, she is truly one of the best people I know and I am glad to call her my friend.

And for that, she gets a super duper tacky Feliz Cumpleaños video! (Really, this is a horrible video, like a train wreck but oh so fun!) The sentiment is real though, I promise!

Happy birthday, Feliz Cumpleaños amiga!

7 Facts About Max

I've been tagged by Momto3Flowers in a meme about Max! So, here's Seven Facts About Max that you may or may not know.

1. Max is an Aries child, his birthday is on April 12th. Before he was born I checked out some baby horoscopes and was terrified to read that he would be "the Rambo of the play group". Well, so far no steroids or machine guns, but he is rambunctious and definitely a leader!

2. Max is obsessed with superheroes. Superman, Spiderman, Sportacus, you name a hero and he will pretend to be that hero. Our pretend games and made up story times are all about saving someone who is in trouble. He flies around in his Superman cape calling me "Lois", rescuing kitties stuck in trees or kids who fell down holes. He can go full days without calling me "Mommy", I am "Lois", "Lady in trouble" or "Stephanie" (from Lazytown), but not "Mommy". Superhoroes are closely followed by policemen and firemen, his …

Whistle Blowers

Regular readers know that we've been having problems with crime in our neighbourhood and that we have recently begun having meetings with our neighbours to see what we can do about it. Last week we had two meetings actually, and I am pleased to report that people are stepping up to the plate and taking initiative. One man has taken the lead, sort of a block captain I guess and there are several of us who have begun to communicate regularly. I think the most people we've had out was 25, more than I expected to be honest. It's nice to meet more of our neighbours, there are a lot of good folk around here.

One of the first things we've been talking about is lighting and illumination, there are a lot of dark areas around here at night and we are taking individual steps to brighten things up. We've also discussed just being more aware of who is in the hood and who SHOULD be in the hood. If we see a stranger, it's been suggested that simply asking them what they …

Mega Fire!

Our trip to the beach today has been delayed and delayed. We were heading out when we realized we had a flat tire. We started off to get the tire fixed when we saw HUGE plumes of smoke so of course, being the roving reporter/chismosa that I am, we went to see what was burning. The Mega Comercial Mexicana (a large grocery store) had piles of black smoke pouring out. As we were driving past we saw more and more firemen, police and ambulances arriving. My heart goes out to the brave folks fighting this fire, it's a bad one. Hubby just said the radio announced a complete loss of the store and that people in the area should close their windows as the air is very toxic. Here's some photos, hot off the press.

Edited to add: More pics and the story in Spanish from Noticaribe here

No Manches Guey!

"No manches guey"
No manches! (No man-chez)- Used to express disbelief, positive or negative. "I didn't get paid again this week." "No manches!" or "I won the lottery!" "No manches!". This is a softer version of the much harsher "No mames" which I rarely use as it seems to cause shock and consternation when I do.

Guey (way)- "Dude". "Did you see that Miguel got a new car?" "No manches, guey!"

I'm ticked off. Pretty darned ticked off. If this wasn't a "family friendly" blog, you would be reading some fine cuss words from me. Regular readers may recall this post back from July 8th where we discovered that we had no gas, then this post from July 17th where we discovered we had a gas leak and needed to get a new tank. Well, July 18 or 19 we got quotes from two different companies and gave them to the "property manager" (aka next door neighbour) who told us she pass…

A Conversation I Wish I Never Had

Acquaintance: I'm happy my son will be learning Spanish and English.

Me: I think it's great, it's such an advantage to be bilingual or multilingual, I want Max to have as many languages as can fit in his little head.

Acquaintance: Oh God, not me, it's ok if he learns Spanish cause his father is Spanish (she meant Mexican), but I don't want him learning those other stupid languages.

Me: Ummmmmm

Acquaintance: No way am I going to let him learn Guatemalanian or Honduranian or other stupid languages. And he better not talk to any Brazil people (er, Brazilians?), their Spanish sucks, I can't understand them at all!

Me: Gaaaaaaaa, huh what? (That's me dumbstruck by her ignorance)

Acquaintance: You know, I didn't even know that Guatemalania existed til I moved down here. And I really don't want my son to learn Mayan, that is the stupidest language "Och poch choc", can't they speak normal? I know his father speaks it, but it's dumb, so…

More Crime in Our Hood

Noticaribe is reporting that an 18 year old man was abducted at the corner of Chichen Itza and Palenque (a big city block away from where we live, half a block from where Hubby works). There is only an eye witness report, someone saw three young men force a man into a blue Chevy. The witness tried to follow the car but there are no more details than that.

That scares the crap out of me. Hubby walks there everyday. "Levantons" are happening more and more in Cancun, it used to be something you really only heard about from Mexico City. I'm an idiot and searched "levantons" on youtube and saw some extremely disturbing videos, why do I do that to myself?? Don't do it, trust me.

Sunday evening I was "being vigilant" looking out the window and saw a strange sight. A man in white having a knock down, drag out fight with a concrete lamp post. He was punching it, kicking it and giving it a good tongue lashing. He would then dash into traffic and caus…

Isla Blanca Pics

We had a seriously fabulous day at the beach yesterday. Isla Blanca was dreamy! Excellent weather, no crowds and repeated crazy jumps off the pier made it a perfect day. Max is always on his best behaviour at the beach too, I wish I could take him everyday! If another little kid arrives at the beach, Max picks up his toys, heads over and says "Hola, quieres jugar conmigo?" ("Hi, want to play with me?) and hands over the shovels and buckets. Whatta kid! It's hard to say which beach we like more right now, both Puerto Morelos and Isla Blanca have a lot of great things going for them, we're so fortunate to live in this area (and so fortunate to have a car to explore and get to these little places!)

Here's some photos from yesterday's adventure....

Argh, beware all ye who enter Captain Morgan's Retreat

Hubby calls this the "Baywatch" shot

Max pondering the universe
(Ok, he was looking at a boat, almost the same right?)

Sittin' on the dock …

Olympic Pier Jumping

Silver Medalist Cancun Canuck with her
patented "Sportacus de Lazytown" split jump

More Isla Blanca pics mañana! (Click on the pic and see if you can get a look at my face, lol).

Go Canada! Viva Mexico! We Miss You Ana!

I heart the Olympics. Really and truly, the opening ceremonies give me goosebumps, the constant checking of medal counts, the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, I love it. Living in Mexico I now have the pleasure of rooting for two Olympic teams and waving two flags! Back in Canada I would be glued to the TV watching the gymnastics, the diving, and the rowing, man those Canucks can row. Ben Johnson really turned me off of the running events, though the finals are always a rush no matter who is running. Now I'll be happy with whatever TV Azteca wants to show me, I won't have the luxury of having CBC to walk me through the games. CBC has THE best Olympic coverage as far as I am concerned, far better than NBC's "USA USA USA" take on the event. CBC may be Canadian, but they show ALL aspects of the Olympics, not just Canadian athletes, whereas NBC seems to forget that there are other countries at the event.

I remember four years ago being at work and waitin…


It's been a while since I've done a kitty update so I thought I would share. I have to admit, these boys are two of the best cats I have ever had in my life (and I have always had kittehs). They are quiet and non-destructive and patient and tolerant, they don't shed, they don't scratch, they don't bite, they never ever "go" outside the litter box, they are dream kitties! They are both purr-heads, I love to hear that sound and feel their vibrations! Ziggy and Max are inseparable, it is toooo cute. I am afraid that Max might hurt him with his "love", Ziggy doesn't even meow when Max gives him a very squishy hug, pulls a tail or picks him up by his ears. Uhhh yes, I caught Max carrying Ziggy by the ears and he was SEVERELY punished, but Ziggy didn't make a peep and he spent the long time out sitting next to his abuser! (Ok, confession time, I am seriously anti-spanking but Max did get spanked for that one, my hand just flew out to hi…


I've had a lot of ex-pat friends traveling "home" lately, going back to the States or Canada or England for a vacation or a visit and it got me thinking. I have only been back to Canada once since arriving in Mexico in 2003. I don't feel the urge, I don't get homesick, there's not much that I miss. My family comes here, for them it's a treat to come to the beach and to visit/spoil Max so I actually see them almost as much as I did when I lived in Toronto and they were in Windsor. Sooo, why go back??

In pondering my lack of return visits, it got me thinking about the one visit I did make in December 2004. I was six months pregnant and really wanted to show my folks my expanding belly. Hubby wasn't able to get time off work so I was traveling by myself. Well, I guess I wasn't really alone, Max was kicking up a storm inside but he was no help at all with the luggage. The flights were booked and off I went to the airport for a quick five day tr…

Puerto Morelos Beach- Familias Bien Preparadas

Sunday was a busy day at the beach in Puerto Morelos. Even though the beach was packed, it was great to see there was no trash and no drunks causing trouble, just lots of lovely families enjoying the ocean and sand. I wonder how many of them are itching like I am today? Pinches aguas malas!

I'm always amazed at just how much STUFF people bring to the beach! There were families with multiple tents, dining room chairs, banquet tables, full garrafons of water, you name it, they brought it! So, the theme of today's beach photos is "Familias Bien Preparadas" ("Well Prepared Families"). I've posted a short video at the end of a 360 view from "our" spot. Enjoy!

Suffering Sea Lice!

Ooook, so what was supposed to be a nice post about a terrific day at the beach has turned into a "I Got an Owie!" post. If you swim in the waters around here anytime between March and August you takes yer chances with having some little critters make themselves at home in your 'kini. Sea lice (thimble jellyfish, aguas malas, pulgas del mar, sea bather's eruption) are tiny "noseeum" jellyfish that cause itchy red rashes and can bring with them other symptoms such as nausea, headache, diarrhea and general malaise. Symptoms don't appear right away, usually (for me anyway) you start to feel the itch about 24 hours after swimming. The little buggers like to get in under your swimsuits and stay awhile, so the rash is pretty centralized to the bikini areas. Uh huh, nothing like walking around trying desperately not to scratch my boobs and er, other areas! Luckily this bout is really concentrated on my ahem, upper region. It looks like I've got a re…

A Quickie

Once again I've had a schedule change in my life, I've taken on another class at school which really bites into my blogging time but will help out the pocketbook. Working until 12 instead of 10:30 makes a bigger difference than I thought! Normally I would leave work at 10:30, come home, read and comment on blogs and with luck get a blog up of my own before picking Max up at 1 o'clock. Now I work til 12 and pick Max up at 1 so it doesn't make sense for me to come home at all, I just wait at work until he is finished then bring him home. Soooo, I feel like I've lost hours of "work" time (yes, I love blogging but it does take a certain amount of work!)

I have a couple of blogs planned out, but it's going to take me some time to put them together, hopefully I'll get to at least one of them tonight. Please forgive me for the brevity (and pointlessness) of this post. I guess it's just a post to apologize for not having a "real" post.


Placido Domingo at Chichen Itza

Famed tenor Placido Domingo is set to perform a concert at Chichen Itza on October 4th of this year. He will be performing with the Yucatan Symphony Orchestra in a show entitled "The Concert of the Thousand Columns". Señor Domingo will be premiering a composition by Mexican composer Ramon Inclan, "Chichen, Chichen Itza" which was written after Chichen Itza was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

According to some reports, the concert received criticism as federal law prohibits activities that generate a profit on historical sites such as Chichen Itza. INAH, the government agency for the protection of historical areas expressed concerns to the federal government of Mexico about possible damages to the famed archeological site, asking that the concert be denied permission to move ahead. Their concerns were dismissed and the concert will proceed as planned. Ten thousand tickets will be sold through Ticketmaster, the cheapest being 500 pesos, most exp…