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My ‘dogs’ are tired

My ‘dogs’ are tired

21-Jan-2020 Martes, Cozumel. Once again we walked over to the cash machine at the bank and it was empty. 5th time in a row. There must have been over 20 people in line in the bank waiting for a cashier. Oh well, we still had a few pesos left.

Onward to Sam’s Club. We know they take credit cards.

Sam’s Club

Street Dogs

Center for Animal Control
Sterilize your pet
There is not enough households for all
Be part of the solution

BTW I signed up to help at the Cozumel Humane Society free clinic event to spay and neuter family pet dogs and cats. Their goal is 1,000 pets. More to come…

Cozumel Meet Up is an expats and visitors group that meets every Tuesday. Today it was at the Cozumel Rum Company, a little over a mile away.

Bugs Today’s count: 12 Total Count: 43
The Volkswagen Beetle was discontinued in its native Germany in 1978, but production continued in Mexico for an additional 25 years. And so one of Germany’s most famous automotive designs has become a Mexican icon.

There is a blue Bug in this picture on the left in the shop….
The little pug dogs are real popular here.

Just for a little variety …. How do you feel about boats?

Buenas noches

My ‘dogs’ (feet) are tired. We put on a lot of miles today.

Hechos Graciosos (Fun facts)

When Spanish Conquistador Hernan Cortés arrived in 1519, the Aztecs believed he was their returning god, Quetzalcoatl, and offered him the drink of the gods: hot chocolate. Cacao was a highly valued commodity in pre-Hispanic Mexico

We have friends!

We have friends!

20-Jan-2020 Lunes, Cozumel. Tough day for Mary. She left her camera at la casa. At least she remembered she had her teléfono móvil (cell phone) midday for a couple of pictures….

We have friends! Breakfast was at Sunset with new friends Linda and Dennis. They are renting a car so we jumped in the back seat and drove around the island with them. The waves and water were spectacular.

Mid-afternoon chalises of rum punch, mojito and gin and tonic on the far side (east side) of Cozumel.

I forgot to take a picture of Linda and Dennis. I’ll sneak up and get a picture of them next time we get together.

Bugs 6 for today. Total Bug count is now at 31. And two got away 🙁
Thanks Linda for stopping the car so I could chase these down.

Buenas noches

Time for you to quit working. This retirement life is great.

Hechos Graciosos (Fun facts)

The Chihuahua, named after a Mexican city, is the smallest dog breed in the world. Relative to their bodies, Chihuahuas have the biggest brain in the dog world.
DNA studies show the Chihuahua has European origins; historians believe the breed was brought to Mexico by Chinese merchants. Archaeological finds indicate the Chihuahua has Mexican origins and is a descendant of the Techichi, an ancient breed dating back to the Toltec civilization.

——————-

Today we have been married for 35 years and one day. Yesterday was our wedding anniversary.

Paradox

Paradox

18-Jan-2020 Domingo, Cozumel.
Paradox: a situation, person, or thing that combines contradictory features or qualities.

San Miguel, Cozumel is a paradox. The disparity between the poor and the rich is quite large. Intriguingly the two reside intermingled in many neighborhoods.  We are frequently told personal security is not an issue and to just be situational aware. We’ve walked all over San Miguel from the downtown along the water east to 65th Ave, south to north and never felt unsafe. However, as I look around home security is everywhere from the wrought iron gates to the razor wires and high voltage electrical fences on perimeters.

Home Security

Economy Glass

Designer Glass

Barbed Wire, Razor Wire and Spikes

High voltage electrical fence

Traditional Security – Thorned hedges

And then there are the dogs for security. That’s a whole new topic for another time.

Disparity – My eyes see so much more than I will let my camera will show.

The middle income and more well off.

Bug count: 5 Total count: 25

Extra Credit – Not a Bug but still a VW
Traffic downtown was crazy busy this afternoon. This guy for whatever imaginable reason was standing in the middle of the road directing traffic. No entiendo (I don’t understand)
Dick’s Dive Bar is a Green Bay Packer Bar. The sound quit half way through the game. This is what happens when the bar owner is a Packers fan. HA! They lost.

Niñas

Murals

The start of new murals

Buenas noches

Hechos Graciosos (Fun facts)

Mexico’s Real Name is Not Mexico
Mexico’s real name is the United States of Mexico (Estados Unidos Mexicanos). The country is divided into 31 states, plus the Federal District.

The Capital of Mexico Wasn’t Mexico City Until 2016
The majority of people have always thought that the capital of Mexico is Mexico City. The actual capital was Distrito Federal (DF) – the Federal District, In 2016, the city officially changed its name for CDMX (Ciudad de Mexico). The earliest printing press in North America was used in 1539 in Mexico City.

Cozumel is in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo.
Quintana Roo is located on the eastern part of the Yucatán Peninsula and includes Cancún, the islands of Cozumel and Isla Mujeres, and the towns of Bacalar, Playa del Carmen and Akumal, as well as the ancient Maya ruins of Chacchoben, Cobá, Kohunlich, Muyil, Tulum, Xel-Há, and Xcaret. The Sian Ka’an biosphere reserve is also located in Quintana Roo.

Hoy es Sábado, dia de mercado

Hoy es Sábado, dia de mercado

18-Jan-2020, Cozumel – Hoy es Sábado, dia de mercado. (Today is Saturday, maket day.) Once again we were off by 8:00 AM.

Hardware store

Haven’t seen this one before. We see a lot scooters in this situation. 🙁

El Mercado Municipal (Central Market). This is a primary market for the locals.

This señora was hand picking through the cooked meat to find the exact pieces she wanted to buy.
We stopped for breakfast at one of the cantinas in el Mercado Municipal. Desayuno (breakfast) was great.
Internationally men are all the same. They wait on the corners for their esposas.

Off to the shops near Parque Benito Juarez for coffee.

Tienda de piñatas. La mujer los hace aquí . ( Piñata store. the woman makes them here.)

Mary first had to stop and buy uno sombrero.

A pequeña amount of marital discord was displayed during the sombrero transaction. I wanted the hat. It was simple as that. Dale started point out that there was a small amount of dirt or bird poop on it. I didn’t care I WANTED THE HAT. He kept on pointing out the bird poop. On and on and on. He wouldn’t shut up! I was getting angrier and angrier …… I WANTED THE HAT.   So he bought it for me.

Today’s Lesson – Pointing out bird poop is bartering down the hat, NOT intended to piss off your wife.
Muchas gracias Dale. Lo siento. (I am sorry.)

Mayan mural on side of shrine building
See the sign on the side? There is a Jewish temple up stairs.
Lattes at Cozz Coffee listening to the soothing sounds of Sade singing Smooth Operator in Español (See my new sombrero on the chair!)

We are getting the hang of it. After our mid-day siesta we ventured out to pick-up Dale’s phone from the repair shop and stop at the cash machine. Failed at both. The cash machine was empty for the forth try in three days and the phone part now won’t be in until martes (Tuesday).

Our late afternoon stroll wasn’t a total loss. There is always something interesting to see.

Today’s Bug count: 12 Add the 12 to the 8 from yesterday for a 2-day total of 20. (I don’t retake their pictures if I’ve already taken their picture)

Murals along the way

Following up from last Thursday ….
Our brilliant idea failed. Courtesy of the Trump Mexican policy it is no longer possible to take a cruise liner from Mexico to the United States. MSC Cruises closed down their local offices last year they were no longer able to operate out of Cozumel.

Buenas noches

El Mercado Municipal where we ate this morning es ahora cerrado (now closed).
Mexico really has a lot of Bugs

Mexico really has a lot of Bugs

17-Jan-2020 Friday Cozumel – We were off walking very early to Grand Park Royal hotel to see an 8:30AM presentation on Royal Holiday Resorts.

We really liked what we saw in the presentation and were very, very close to becoming a members. It was a good value but we just couldn’t figure out how to make it fit in our life style. We’ll reconsider in 3 years.

The Grand Park Royal hotel has the largest palapa (thatched roof) that I have ever seen in my entire life!

Homeward bound. Sunsets restaurant is becoming one of our favorite places to rest and watch the world.

Sunsets restaurant. Ed and Peggy from St. Paul MN. They are on one of the cruise ships in the harbor.

Happy hour ended at 3:00 PM. Nos fuimos. (We left.)

Today was rainy off and on. This lucky horse has a rain coat! Also notice the shafts on the carriage. They are made of PVC, not wood.

México tiene muchos Bugs. (Mexico has a lot of Bugs.) These pictures are just from walking around today.

Hermosas Casas (beautiful houses)

Buenas noches

Brillante idea!

Brillante idea!

16-Jan-2020 Thursday Cozumel – Brillante idea! What if we took a cruise ship back to Florida the end of February instead of flying back to Florida? Search the internet or walk to the International Cruise Terminal? But of course, walk to the terminal. Today we were off to an early start at 8:00AM. We were NOT walking gringo hours (mid-day) again.

Via Avenida Rafael E. Melgar it is 3.7 km (2.3 miles) walk to International Cruise Terminal .

This establishment went out of business before they even finished painting it. 🙁
Hurricane proof billboard – cinder block and stucco with a plastic sign overlay

International Cruise Terminal of Cozumel

The tourists in the International Cruise Terminal market reminded me of shooting fish in a barrel.
We finally found someone to talk to.
Alas there is no place to inquire about or purchase cruise line tickets at the International Terminal. He suggested we contact a Travel Agency or try the internet. Maybe mañana.
Royal Holiday resort has an amazing palapa (thatched roof). We had to go in and see it. A day pass to the resort is $60 USD per person. The short version is that we are going back tomorrow for a formal tour. If we take the tour we can purchase a day pass for $30 per person, usable anytime we want. The day pass includes use of all facilities, private pools/beach plus all food and drink between 10AM-6PM.
Besides that we get a free breakfast tomorrow before the tour!

LOL Dale is too old for us to qualify for the FREE day pass deal. You need to be under 65. At least we got half off and we plan to get our moneys worth.

It was 4 hours later, noon when we returned home for our siesta.  Dale’s knees were barking at him for the long walk.   For the second time today I thought I should have married a younger man; but I wasn’t thinking about knees back then.

Buenas noches

México no ha sido barato para nosotros

México no ha sido barato para nosotros

15-Jan-2020 Wednesday Cozumel. México no ha sido barato para nosotros (Mexico has not been cheap for us.) AT&T kindly let me know that I had exceeded my limit phone limit and they were cutting me off now that my bill was over $500.00 USD.

While I was trying to straight out my AT&T plan Dale dropped his phone cracking the screen and messing up the LED display.  Dale searched the internet and found repair shop open 9AM-9PM with good reviews down Avenida Pedro Joaquin Coldwell (30th Ave) a little over a mile away. Like any true Minnesotan we first had to drink our coffee and discuss the weather before heading out shortly after 10:30AM.

Along the Way. Avenida Pedro Joaquin Coldwell (30th Ave)

Topes – Speed bumps. The more the bumps the bigger the hump.

This is a lovely little, festive girls clothing store. The dresses are made sewn right here in the back of the store

The cell phone repair store was closed when we got there. Thinking they had gone for lunch we decided to explore a little more and continued north on Avenida Pedro Joaquin Coldwell (30th Ave), east on Calle 8, south on Octobre Norte (65 Ave) then east on Transversal de Cozumel. One big giant square …. 4 MILES

1:30PM we checked back at the repair shop. Still closed so we hung out at Burger King til 2:00PM sharing a drink and dining on hamburguesas con queso. At 2:00PM the store was still closed. I texted them and they said they open at 3:00PM.  We walked the 1+ mile back to Casa Cereza in the HEAT and HUMIDITY.

Today’s lesson – Only really stupid tourists walk around in the heat of mid-day. Stay en su casa and take a siesta. After a much needed siesta and waiting till the sun started going down about 6:00PM, we headed back to the phone repair shop.

Ay, caramba! The phone will cost $230.00 USD to fix.We pick it up Viernes (Friday).

Thankfully the evening walk back was much cooler.

Auto and motor cycle detailing shop down the street from Casa Cereza.

Buenas Noches

2 Gringos from Minnesota

2 Gringos from Minnesota

14-Jan-2020 Tuesday Cozumel – a.k.a. Day four on our own.

Mark and Tanya the Terrific gave us a crash course before they left. Most of the locals communicate through WhatsApp and Facebook. There are some great Facebook groups that they recommended:
* Cozumel 4 You
* Cozumel4All (Without RULES)
* Meetup Cozumel
* and most importantly Taxis Cozumel

Dale, with his innate sense of direction is all over this city. Me, not so much. We’ve started to carve out sections of the city by walking the perimeters of major streets /calles, then diagonally, stair stepping through them the following days.

BIG LESSON NUMBER 1 – All the streets calles south of Avenido Benito Juarez are odd numbered. All the calles north of Avenido Benito Juarez (aka Transveral de Cozumel) are even numbered.

On day 6 we were pros. Good enough to help lost tourists.

BIG LESSON NUMBER 2 – There is a reason people in the Latin American countries take a siesta en la tarde (afternoon). It’s HOT and muggy.
Take your walks temprano en la mañana (early morning) or tarde después (late afternoon).

Meet Up Cozumel

The Meetup Cozumel was at the Hemingway lounge and restaurant which is about a 40 minute walk away. Dale wanted to catch a taxi to our first event so we didn’t arrive sweaty and smelly. This time I was able to master Taxis Cozumel. The first time I tried to get a taxi I put in the wrong address. Smart guy. He still found us.

The Marine Police (Navy) were in front of us part of the drive to the restaurant.

We walked the 3.3 km (2 miles) back to Casa Cereza. We arrived home sweaty and smelly.

Buenas noches

Passenger Ferry Terminal – Ferries docked for the night. Tiny lights in the far background are Playa del Carmen.
Epiphany is over

Epiphany is over

13-Jan-2020 Monday Cozumel – The grocery stores were filled with ‘King Cakes’ when we first arrived. Epiphany is over and the decorations are coming down and King’s cakes/Epiphany Cake (roscón de reyes/pastel de epifanía) are no longer being sold. Dang I should have bought one.

Blatantly plagiarized picture of a King’s Cake ( roscón de reyes)

The  rosca de reyes in is traditionally eaten on January 6, during the celebration of the Día de los reyes magos (Epiphany or the “Day of the Three Wisemen”). The roscón de reyes has an oval shape to symbolize a crown.

A baby Jesus figurine is placed inside the cake. Whoever finds it must take it to the nearest church on February 2, Día de la candelaria (Candlemas Day), which celebrates the presentation of Jesus in the Temple. Whoever finds the baby Jesus figurine in their piece of cake usually agrees to host a party on  Candlemas Day.

Municipal De Cozumel

Looks Minnesota
The Christmas trees in all the restaurants have shed all their needles. They still are beautiful with all their ornaments (except this one with the dead chickens)

I had to watch this guy take down the star at the top of the tree…….

Make sure you blow out the above picture to see how the ladder is positioned.

The next main event is Carnival February 19-26. We can already hear the crews starting to practice in the local squares.

BTW… Where did you watch the Kansas City and Texas game last Sunday?

Una cerveza y una sangria(50% deep red wine 50% lemonaid)

Life is good. La vida es buena.

Casa Cereza

Casa Cereza

11-Jan-2020 Saturday Cozumel – I decided to pick up the blog again.  Life is just too interesting to go without comment….. Rather than a daily blog like I did on The Loop, this one is most-likely going to be irregular thoughts at irregular times. The internet infrastructure throughout much of Cozumel is not strong enough to meet the demand. Service is sporadic.

Casa Cereza

We are staying at Casa Cereza, my cousin Mark Kirschenman’s place on Cozumel, until the end of February. Appropriately named. Cereza is Spanish for cherry and Mark’s last name is cherry in German.

We arrived on Tuesday January 7. Mark and his terrific wife Tanya where here until Saturday morning and showed us around. The first thing I learned is that the name of the town is not Cozumel. It is San Miguel. May all my lessons be this easy.

Casa Cereza is located near the D
Mural on a wall.
Yucatan Peninsula and Cozumel

On our own…

We made it to Dick’s Dive to catch the Vikings game.

An $8 coozie for the beer es mucho nessicario. The cozies come with a mystery free drink inside. Dale’s mystery free drink was a shot of tequila.

Catch the Vikings shirt. The bartender (owner) in back has a Packers hat on. Packer backers are everywhere. You just can’t get away from them.

Buenas noches