Hola loyal reader. Please join Mary and Bruce as they celebrate their first Christmas, sin familia, (without family) in their adopted home, Merida, Yucatan. For those of you who prefer to view these posts from the original blog-site, please click here.
Well Christmas is many things to many people but I have to come clean in that I have always been a Bah, Humbug sort of guy. But even to me Christmas without the kids and family is a little strange and for Mary, it’s beenÂ flat-out difficult. It has not been unusual to round the corner of this mansion that we house-sit to find Mary, in a moment of introspection, crying a little. You’d think the plus side to our lonely x-mas would be the lack of stress, not having to deal with last second shopping (Mary got all ours done online, weeks ago) and the logistics and turmoils (and fun) of all the family gatherings, but no, grasshopper, we have had plenty of stress these last couple weeks. Hmm… you wonder, I thought all Kelley did was brag about living in paradise. Well that is all so true except for this time of year. This is when the owners come onnn down.
Well exactly how does that impact us, you ask. Well let me give you a little context. This Spanish Colonial casaÂ is approximately 6000 square feet under roof with a courtyard and swimming pool terrace. Adding complexity to grand size is the fact that this house is essentially three houses. The part of the house fronting the street is well over a hundred years old and has the classic 18′ ceilings. The second house is the courtyard and the two suites, I am not sure when they were added on. Finally comes the new part of the house, including the master suite,Â massive media room, and swimming pool which were built three years ago by our good friends Omar and Vania,Â for the current owners. Where the complexity comes in is this house is served by three water and two electrical systems so no mechanical work is ever simple. We are the house-sitters, we live here and do the day to day duties. The muli-talented Omar and Vania are the property mgrs. Any maintenance issues that we cannot handle, we report to them. Their team of workers, including a plumber and electrician, take care of them. If there are issues that affect our daily lives (no agua for example which has happened several times) their men are Johnny-on-the-spot. However as Omar and Vania are very busy with many other projects and ventures, anything not an emergency goes to a “punch list”.Â This punch list gets quite long. And the owners expect no issues when they get here.
Mary started cleaning this house over two weeks ago and starting one week ago we have had workers coming and going at all hours of the day, we have been held hostage in our home. Since no one speaks English, Mary has had to coordinate all of this in Espanol. Tomorrow, Sunday, our mission will have been accomplished and we will take up exile in the Yucatan Vista Hotel as the owners’ party makes their annual pilgrimage to their Mexican home, and we cannot wait to be on vacation from all this. But in the meantime it is Christmas down here as in every Christian country and we are observing it in our own way, sans kids, que lastima!
A doormouse’s view of the the 30′ tall Christmas tree at El Remate.
The Christmas lights on Calle 60, Merida’s main drag.
The scene at the Governor’s palace.
La Plaza Grande.
The view of the park from one of favorite restaurants, La Plaza Serenata. After work on Christmas Eve we taxied here to treat ourselves to a Christmas dinner.
Of course you know we’re going to have a food shot! This is Mary’s Chicken Cordon Bleu. It was delicious (I ate half of it)!
Our new friends Gordon and Gemma. We were just about to settle our bill when they entered the the dining room and we offered them our table, the best in the house. We had an instant kinship with this couple as he is a Scotsman and she is an Irish woman, and as they pointed out, my nameÂ Bruce, is Scottish and Kelley is, well you know.Â They now hail from Vancouver.
Christmas day for us has been work, work , work with Mary putting in a work shift and doing the final house readiness as I periodically fill in for her. Thank goodness the moderating has been minimal, I guess even the internet trolls take a day off for Christmas.Â After the work shift we call all the kids and even I become a little verklempt as we experience our first Christmas without family. AsÂ I write this, with church-bells punctuated by fireworks in the background, Mary is doing the final packing for our exile/vacation. Then we will head up to La Plaza Serenata for some grub. I hope they really are open and didn’t just tell us what we wanted to hear. In closing dear friends, we wish you Feliz Navidad y un Prospero AÃ±o Nuevo.
Thanks for visiting gentle reader. Please tell us about your holidays, Bruce and Mary would love to hear about them.Â Hasta proxima semana!