Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Igloos in Mexico - say what?!?!?!

Another fun adventure is in our future! While they not be real igloos they will certainly look like it when all is said and done.

We are blessed with a good family relationship with my brother and his wife. When they first moved down to Playa del Carmen we were able to stay connected by coming to visit them and becoming familiar with Playa.  Now after about 15 years in Playa the time has come for them to move on.

Their plan is to move across country to Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico's wine valley, just 15 minutes inland from Ensenada (a lovely coastal city and cruise port) and about 2 hours drive south of San Diego. My sister-in-law Suzanne has always had the dream to have her own B&B so they are going to make this dream a reality. Having spent time as Suzanne & Shawn's house guests over the years we can attest to the fact that Suzanne is an awesome cook but even more fantastic as a baker and everything she creates is done with love. It gives her so much joy to create happiness for others through her cooking and her infectious good spirit. Always with a smile on her face and a quirky joke now and then you can't help but be drawn into Suzanne's goodness. Shawn just smiles pleasantly at Suzanne's antics - you never know when she will suddenly break out in dance as a tune takes hold of her!

Their new venture will involve creating earth bag casitas (cottages) that really give the appearance of an igloo when they are complete.  They will be creating an eco friendly lifestyle using earth bag construction for their buildings. The benefits of this are:
  • easy to build with;
  • ecological - using mostly earth;
  • durable;
  • earthquake and flood resistant;
  • non-toxic;
  • uses a simple foundation.
Along with the earth bag construction they will also be incorporating:
  • solar power;
  • captured rain water;
  • reusing water in the gardens;
  • the use of natural cleaning products.
They will have a main house for themselves and 6 casitas for guests to book while they explore the wine country and the many vineyards in the valley. They have even included space for us to build our own accommodations above the 3 car garage. So the next chapter and a new adventure begins soon. We look forward to helping with the construction of the casitas and watching this new chapter unfold. 

ALL PICTURES ARE EXAMPLES from their last trip to Valle de Guadalupe, to give you an idea of what they will create.

If you are interested in learning more about this venture you can follow these links:

Ah Amor B&B

#igloosinmexico #lifeisanadventure #bringonfun #werollsuccess #liveoutloud #earthbaghousing #sustainablehousing #ecohousing

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

New friends, global connections!

You just never know who you will meet and where life will take you! Isn't that the truth. I am amazed to think that I have close friends across the globe that I can still keep in close touch with. I'm making new friends from various backgrounds and lifestyles every day! 

In the last year I had the opportunity to meet a new couple from the west coast of Mexico who love to come and spend time at the beach. Highly successful people who know that it's all about enjoying life and having a "job" that fits the lifestyle - not a lifestyle that has to work around your "job".

Our new friend JP has a very successful online business, Veterans Today Live, Independent Net Radio & Media, and he recently interviewed me on living in Playa del Carmen during the Canadian winters.

I invite you to have a listen:

Punish Radio welcomes Cynthia Bandick Temorcioglu; snowbird from Canada to discuss the reality of living in Playa del Carmen during the winter months

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Mexican living - on a budget!

Are you like us that when you are in a hotter climate you tend to eat lighter? Less is more and you just don't eat as much? Well add Mexican pricing to that scenario and you will be in heaven!

What if I told you that dinner for 2 consisting of 2 empanadas, 1 tamales, 1 salbutes and a large watermelon water was only 78 pesos! Let me translate that for you to give you a complete understanding of the value of this - 78 pesos is $5 CDN or $3.80 US - for dinner for 2!!! This is what we had for dinner just the other night at one of our favorite locations - Loncheria Dona Mary on 30th Avenue and Calle 28, don't be surprised to see a lot of locals eating here. Seafood allergies? No seafood served here.

Of course most tourists coming to Playa would probably never eat at the places we go. We don't eat at the tourist locations or any of the restaurants along 5th Avenue because the pricing is, of course, geared towards the tourists - not the locals. The thing to do is once you are acclimatized to the food and drinks in Playa, take a stroll a block or two away from the tourist streets. Have a look at all the small establishments that are everywhere and look at the people - for example, if you walk up Constituyentes to 30th Avenue; just before 30th on the right hand side of the street there are about 4 or 5 restaurants side by side; Don Sirloin's is fairly popular so you will see a number of tables occupied; then there are two more restaurants which may have one or two tables occupied then you come to El Fogon - a huge favorite with the locals and the expats who know where the good food is. You will always see a line up in the evening for people waiting
for a table at El Fogon while right next to it the two other restaurants are virtually empty. So really these people could be seated immediately at those other restaurants but they know a good thing and are willing to wait for a seat at El Fogon. Seafood allergies? No seafood served here.

If you take a walk along 10th Avenue towards Jaurez between about Calle 8 and Jaurez you will find a lot of small eating places, all with great food at really good pricing, even some with pizza by the slice (you will find the same pizza chain on 5th Avenue as well but you will notice that it's a few pesos more on 5th Avenue). The reason, I believe, that you find these small inexpensive restaurants in this area is because there are also a number of hostels nearby so the local businesses know that their clientele in the area are people on a tight budget so they cater to that.

If you're a seafood lover check out La Tarraya; it's been a favorite of ours from day one, toes in the sand with a big fish fillet on the plate - after starting with a great mixed ceviche! Or another seafood place which is really good is El Pirata however it's not on the beach.

Our motto is if it's full of locals this is where we want to eat - why? because we know the food will be good AND very inexpensive!

Personal recommendations:
El Fogon - 2 locations
Constituyentes and 30th Avenue;
30th Avenue and Calle 6 Nte. Bis,
Dona Mary - 30th Avenue and Calle 28 ,
La Tarraya - on the beach at the foot of Calle 2,
El Pirata - between 5th and 10th Avenue on Calle 40