Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Page in the Sun

Have been meaning to go to A Page in the Sun since I moved here but somehow never got there. Today I was determined to finally go there and it was exactly what I expected. Cozy, comfortable couches plus outdoor seating for people watching (which is great on Cal. Olas Altas in the Zona Romantica). Had a lovely latte and cheesecake and found a new book to read, bought it and will return it for 1/2 price credit when I finish it.

I've found days here (at least in the summer) are lazy and quiet. Hanging out at a used bookstore/cafe is just the thing to do on these hot humid days. After a nice quiet read I wandered around the area discovering new places and headed to Rizzo's grocery store that carries lots of American brands which are expensive here. Bought some supplies and headed home for a nap and to continue my reading.

All in all, kind of boring post to the blog for now (but boring is a good thing for me now) :-)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

How cool is this?

I just learned that the Security Team for my building (they are on duty 24/7) has a trained paramedic here all the time! The one thing that has worried me is if I should have an emergency or need a doctor suddenly what I would do (have the concierge call a cab?).The paramedic, Hugo, came by to meet me. I also learned that a room is being planned for the paramedics use with emergency equipment on premises. Since 90% of the owners are English speaking all employees are supposed to speak English (all Security Team members speak English but many of the service people are still learning)

One of the ladies I met Tuesday night gave me the name of the best hospital to use if I have an emergency.

Of course, I will continue using my own doctors in Los Angeles for my tests, etc, but it's nice to know there is help only a call away (I just press the blue button on the intercom). Happy dance time again!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hot, Hot, Hot

They say summers in PV are like living in a steam bath and today I think what they say is true. I shut myself in my bedroom and turned on the zone AC tonight and I am finally cooling down. I'm told the electric bills in the summer are really high. Since they only come every other month I am expecting a shock....hope not since I do have the zone type AC and I have fans in every room...at night I set the AC to turn off after an hour and turn the fan on...I am asleep by the time the AC turns off and the fan is nice...more on that later....

Went to the orphanage to volunteer (something I had done several years ago). Had a great tour of the place (thank you Bill) but their were no babies to play with and feed this time around. I still plan to volunteer but this may take place later in the year. Will look for something to volunteer for in the meantime (maybe the American library--will check that out next week). Volunteering is good for your health (and soul) according to a book I recently read. (oh, and you're supposed to eat lots of fruits and vegetables along with doing physical activity...check on all counts)

During the summer lots of folks are gone so those who stay here year round are really special. I was lucky enough to have Colin and Bill accompany me today and after our orphanage visit Bill took us out to a lunch at Coco's (finally met Coco too--nice lady who has discovered some kind of patch that you put on your body and it keeps mosquitos off--only problem is that you have to go to Guadalajara to get them...she's going to bring some back). Coco's is a lovely outdoor cafe with trees all around. Since Bill lives on my side of town he took me home and we had a great chat about life, books and more (thank you Bill for the great conversation).

There is an expat group that gets together every other Tuesday for conversation and drinks. We've been going to the Cheeky Monkey right across from the Malacon but they are closing for a month so next get together will be at Harry's Bar (don't they seem to have a Harry's Bar everywhere--Venice, Hong Kong, etc?). Margaritas at Cheeky Monkeys are $1.00 USD and last night they gave everyone a beautiful fruit gift basket...all wrapped up with a ribbon and cellophane and a nice note thanking us for coming. Last night the crowd was smaller and it wasn't as hot (maybe 60 folks--the time before the count was about 120!). Met some nice new folks and some people I'd already met. Nice stroll along the bay afterward--something I haven't done since I got here and that is a shame because it is so colorful and charming (folks selling candy apples, cotton candy, balloons, corn on a stick, purses made out of gum wrappers...artists creating...performers doing their thing...great way to spend the hour before sunset)

Back to the expat group: One lady I met was originally from Sacramento (yay! Northern California!). She gave me lots of into about good dentists, doctors, services and more...I've been lucky to meet really nice people who have been great about sharing their 'finds' in PV.

Now back to: Today I learned that in the fall I can expect some expats and/or the International Friendship Club to charter a bus to Guadalajara for an overnight shopping trip. Although I still need some furniture I am waiting until the fall when I can do the shopping trip--the prices are lower there for furniture, art work, miscellaneous things and their are folks that can create things from photographs (so I'll be cutting up some of my design magazines)... PV has most things one would want and it's not worth schleping some things from the states which was the case when I first started thinking about moving here(dehumidifiers used to be impossible to get here and now they are easy to find--same with some other items). Will write more about this after I've had a chance to do more research.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Connected At Last

I have wireless internet which means I now have my Vonage phone connected and those of you who have been waiting to call me can call my 'old' Los Angeles number and not pay for calling Mexico (hooray!!!).

As soon as I initiallly got everything connected we had a big storm and the wireless part of my modem stopped working. I could be connected via an ethernet cable but that involved me bending like a pretzel to use it. First I had to spend time with a customer service representative via my Mexican phone and he had to indicate on my file that my wireless wasn't working so that I could exchange it for a new one...but I had to wait until the next day to return the modem (don't know why but that's the Telmex I'm growing to know and love)....So...another trip to the Plaza (I'm going to miss hanging out there so often). Brought the new modem home and, bingo! Everything is working (so far). We had a big storm last night with lightning and thunder and the wireless is still working so I have hopes that I won't be visiting Telmex too soon.

Some things I've been doing lately: swimming, Ex-Pat party (every two weeks at the Cheeky Monkey but I heard it's going to change to a new place in August as they close down until 'the season' begins again), meet-the-artist opening, writers group at the International Friendship Club building, shopping at Costco, napping and reading.

Next week I am volunteering at the orphanage--I did this a few years ago and loved it. Volunteers go for a couple of hours and play with the babies (those than can't walk yet) for awhile and feed them their lunch. Once this is done they all go to their cribs and have their naps and we leave.

I've also heard that there is a weekly charity bingo game so may (or may not) go to that.

Otherwise it's pretty quiet here. Of the 80 units there are only about 3 or 4 full time owners in residence (and I know one is on vacation). On weekends a few owners come in for a 2, 3 or 4 days. I am beginning to like the privacy and luxury of having the pool almost always to myself and having a huge permanent staff to take care of me (they carry my groceries or package for me, call taxi's, dump my trash, etc. I have a hunch things will begin to change around September when those who come for 'the season' return to PV.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Latest

I have been waiting and waiting and waiting to get internet in my home (and the phone that comes with it--it's a 'deal'). I have made numerous trips to Plaza Caracol where Telmex is located--they are the one having the monopoly on telephone service in PV. I've gone a few times on my own and, most recently, with a new friend, Colin. I have had continual assurances that I was a) getting it within a few days b) getting it that day or the next and c) getting it within hours.
None of these have come to pass and I am still making daily treks to the lobby to use their free internet.

Each time I go to Telmex and present my order for service the person disappears behind a door and comes out with a message from the Manager (see a, b, c above). The time prior to yesterday the actual Manager came out to tell me I would have service at 5pm that night (NOT). Yesterday Colin and I went there again and this time the 'Manager of their Manager' was contacted and apparently due something I do not know about they have a line problem that they must fix prior to doing an installation for me. I will wait until next week and perhaps something will happen...

That is the biggest challenge of my time here which isn't bad as each trip to the Plaza means I can pick up items that I've forgotten or didn't realize I needed.

My favorite 'find' of the week is the Yalapa Pie Store. Yalapa is a beach that can only be reached by boat from PV. There is a famouse pie store there but I have been too lazy to go there just for a piece of pie. Imagine my surprise and thrill when I saw a sign across from Rizzo's grocery store that said "Yalapa Pies". The pies are beyond fabulous. I had a lemon meringue with the meringue at least 5" high! I mentioned this to my neighbors and the next morning one of them appeared at my door thanking me for the suggestion--he also presented me with a piece of coconut pie (not the coconut cream like we see in the USA but with lots of shredded coconut). Actually writing this is making me hungry and I'd like to try another version. I think I'll take a swim and then head for the pie shop. Adios for now, J.