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Feb 20, 2006, 3:03 PM

Post #1 of 92 (51104 views)



Introduce yourself -- Part 1

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This is an idea blatantly stolen from another Mexico-focus message board.
Regulars were invited to post short bios so we could get to know each other better. The thread has drawn 47 posts and over 700 views.

I’d like to start such a thread here. Introduce yourselves. I’ll go first.

At 74, I must the oldest one around here.

I moved to Mexico 6 years ago looking for a new adventure in my retirement. And I have found it – wonderful way to spend my old age. My previous uncommon adventures include being a Mormon missionary in New England, living with a band gypsies in Chicago, and living with a group of burned out hippies in a ghost town in California. I was a nomad for many years – lived in 11 states. In between these adventures I was a broadcaster – disk jockey in my college days at the U of Denver, then an engineer at TV stations. I taught broadcasting at the U of Memphis for a while. I ended up being a consulting engineer designing large-scale sound and video systems – stadiums, concert halls, TV studios, etc. Co-authored a book on electroacoustics and publish a bunch of boring papers in my professional field. Listed in Who’s Who.

My website documents my Mexican life and my interest in building. My only regrets about living in Mexico are that my Spanish is so bad and that my health problems rule out travel around the country.

Rolly Pirate

(This post was edited by Rolly on Oct 5, 2010, 12:12 PM)


Feb 20, 2006, 3:17 PM

Post #2 of 92 (51015 views)



Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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Good idea Rolly. You were the first to respond to my request for information, thank you. I am a 54 year old Naturopathic Physician in Tempe Arizona, planning on moving to Todos Santos. I also taught for three years at the Naturopathic Medical school here in Tempe. I've two practices with one specializing in alternative treatments of ARMD (macular degeneration) with great results, the other clinic concentrated on cancer, auto-immune diseases and liver diseases. I also visit the Bajanomad site, but they are not as friendly as this site, so I keep coming here to read all your fine posts. I have been ill since last October and see limited patients now. I went in to the office today for the first time since October. Therefore, I am seeking disability and will move to Mexico. Thanks for all the good posts and thanks to all of you who responds to my previous posts.

Dr. Mike
Dr. Mike

There are hundreds of paths up the mountain,
all leading in the same direction,
so it doesn't matter which path you take.
The only one wasting time is the one
who runs around and around the mountain,
telling everyone that his or her path is wrong.

Hindu teaching


Feb 20, 2006, 5:42 PM

Post #3 of 92 (50972 views)



Re: [drmike] Introduce yourself

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Hello Rolly and compatriots,

First of all, Rolly, you are so tied into things that I am surprised you haven't noticed that you are a relative youngster. I, myself am 80, and I've noticed other posters here are well into their way to that age and I expect that we have some well into their 90's. We happy expats here in Mexico tend to live long lives. Do we have anybody over 100, and if so, can he/she attribute it to the happy, healthy, lively, life he/she is living here in Mexico Lindo?

Now as to your idea, I, personally don't like it. As you know we have a chance in our profile to include sufficient personal data to let people know about us. That should be sufficient. If not, then a private message between correspondents should handle the problem.

Secondly, can you see the clutter that all those biographies will create on this forum? David could handle that by creating a special Biographies board, but over time as members leave us (either through the aging process or by choice) that board will be a whole disc of obsolete data. How he or his successor would handle that is even a more difficult problem.

Look back at your post and the number of postings you noted on the Thorn Tree board. Do you really want that to happen here where the concentration is on Mexico, not us Mexico happy larks? I don't, and I can't believe you really do either. Please think again.

Adios. jerezano.

Ed and Fran

Feb 20, 2006, 6:10 PM

Post #4 of 92 (50957 views)



Re: [jerezano] Introduce yourself

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I'm going to vote with Rolly on this one. If the intros are kept in the same thread I don't see any problem with clutter. Like Rolly I have seen this same idea on other forums that I frequent, and it has worked well there. For those who don't feel comfortable putting too much info on the web, there's no need to do any more than what you currently have (or don't have, as the case may be) in your profile.

So I guess I'm next.....

Born in Canada (actually in Newfoundland before it was part of Canada), raised in the states, and worked in a bunch of different places and countries during my career in the construction end of the refinery & petrochemical business. First came to Mexico in '92, and worked on 3 different projects here between then and 2000. Met and married Fran (who is from here in Tuxpan, Veracruz) during that time, and in '98 we started construction on a small house next to my in-laws here in Tuxpan. Retired in late 2003 and we moved here full time.

My story isn't near as interesting as Rolly's, and I never got listed in Who's Who.


Ed & Fran


Feb 20, 2006, 6:38 PM

Post #5 of 92 (50949 views)



Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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Yo, tengo 63 años. Nací en Nueva York. Mis papás nos trayeron, mi hermana y yo, a muchos lugares y ciudades de la América del Norte. Como adulto, trabajaba como panadero y cocinero por muchos años.

Vivo en Pátzcuaro, Mich, desde los fines de septiembre del año pasado. Es una regíon muy bella.
Mis intereses y pasatiempos son: cocinar, compartir la técnica y unas rectas con otras personas; escribir a mi Macintosh PowerBook; tomar fotografías, con un énfasis a la comida, sus ingredientes, su preparacíon, la presentacíon, y más.
Hago un blog, "My Mexican kitchen", y contribuyo fotos y comentarios a diversos foros.



Feb 20, 2006, 6:54 PM

Post #6 of 92 (50948 views)



Re: [Anonimo] Introduce yourself

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Hi Guys, I am in my 50's and that's all I'm saying about that. 2 years ago, we visited PV, Guad, Morelia and the Queretaro and fell in love with it. We stayed and bought a house within days. We have been working on our house that may be a B&B some day. We got the idea as we were restoring this 300 year old house which is just a fraction of the original estate but it's pretty big. It has the perfect set-up. Since I'm a trained chef, the biz appeals to me. I love people. The Mexican people have been especially kind with their open attitudes and good hearts. Not all of them are good, of course, which we found out recently when our architect walked off the job with our money. But friends came out of the woodwork and offered help in translating, getting a crew, etc. Wow, I can't thank those enough who have helped us. I have a daughter who lives in LA and I miss her every day. But, we always say, "It's better than moving to France." And you can double that for us. Our old lives are otherwise far behind us. We feel very free.


Feb 20, 2006, 7:26 PM

Post #7 of 92 (50925 views)



Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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Our bios:
Claudine's: 35 years old, married to a Mexican, am a computer applications and language college instructor, also in grad school (again) and homeschooling 1 child this year. We started building our house in Mexico about 5 years ago while still living NOB. In a few months we finally get to go try it out.

Felipe's: 39 years old, selling the family business among other things and considering what other biz to start next. Married to an American who keeps things interesting. Looking forward to getting back home again, for how long depends on Claudine.

Actually I (Claudine) like this thread...we read your posts often and never knew Jeranzo is 80, Ed is from Canada and Rolly wrote a book.



Feb 20, 2006, 7:38 PM

Post #8 of 92 (50916 views)



Re: [TlxcalaClaudia] Introduce yourself

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I'm going to cheat. If anyone is interested enough, they will have to go to

Don Moore

Feb 20, 2006, 7:39 PM

Post #9 of 92 (50915 views)



Re: [zoeq1000] Introduce yourself

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I, too, like Rolly's idea. Here goes.

I am 61 years old and live in Memphis, TN, where I am partially retired and work about fifteen hours a week as a writer, editor and photograher for a weekly newspaper. Though I was born in Memphis, I have not always lived here. I am a former U.S. Peace Corps volunteer English teacher (Leyte, The Philippines). I went to graduate school at Cornell University in Education and Rural Sociology, then headed West. I spent 10 years in Montana and another 10 in Boulder, Colorado. Lived in New Mexico for a couple of years, too. After serving as a Peace Corps, I took the long way home and visited numerous East Asian countries. I stayed out of Viet Nam and Cambodia because of the war. My first trip to Mexico was when I was 21 years of age, and I fell in love with the country. I have been back many times, some visits of two weeks or more, most for just a few days. I remain in Memphis now to help my elderly parents, who still live in their own home with help from myself and my sister. I'd like to be living in the American West again or in Mexico. I particularly like the Lake Chapala area, San Miguel, Tepic, little Jerez de Garcia Salinas and Merida.

I speak and understand Spanish pretty well, but not fluently.

I've been a partipant here (mostly a lurker) for a couple of years and really enjoy it except when the subject turns to U.S. politics. I have my own strong political views on most of the U.S. subjects folks get into here, but I am on this forum to learn about living in Mexico.

Thanks for all you guys have taught me.
Don Moore


Feb 21, 2006, 5:05 AM

Post #10 of 92 (50870 views)



Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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I'm a 70 year old newcomer to Mexico, 1 year resident of Ajijic, though visits off and on through the years to the various tourist resort areas. Born in Eastern Oregon, raised mostly in the SF Bay area, lived primarily in the Sacramento and San Diego areas, though have visited all 50 states (cheated on Hawaii, having been there only on a troop ship) and lived in Colorado, NM, Idaho, Texas, NC, and Korea.

Taught for twenty-six years and was in the equipment rental business for another twelve. I'm probably one of the few English type teachers who can tell the difference between a skiploader and a backhoe and definitely one the only equipment people who can listen to a child read for a few minutes and come up with a plan to improve her/his reading. Teaching included primarily community college (ran learning skills centers) and high school with a smattering of University and Junior High. Ended up teaching in an independent study program in Watts, Compton, South Central LA, Hollywood Blvd (runaways), and other garden spots of LA County. Since program was for kids out of school, most were gang types or young women with children. Other brief jobs, timber cruiser in Idaho, Intelligence Analyst in Korea, journeyman retail clerk to get through college, and worked five years in produce brokerage business.

Attended UC, Berkeley (BA, Grad work), U of Oregon (M.Ed) NM State, Univ. of Houston (failed Doctoral student), and a bunch of other colleges (Idaho, Appalachian State, Cal Poly, UC Santa Barbara, and a few community colleges).

Interests include tennis, reading, travel, gardening, working with the elderly at Casa de Ancianos in Chapala, and now MexConnect. I know I ramble on too much and probably irritate some people, but it is fascinating to make the connection with so many interesting people.

My goals in Mexico are more travel, in Mexico and elsewhere, to find a way to play more tennis, to help upgrade The Casa, and to learn to speak much better Spanish.

My one achievement so far is traveling Mexico by car from one end (Cozumel) to the other (Tijuana) and back in the last couple of months, only getting lost about ten times along the way.

(This post was edited by dlyman6500 on Feb 21, 2006, 5:31 AM)


Feb 21, 2006, 7:16 AM

Post #11 of 92 (50834 views)



Re: [Anonimo] La región del Lago de Pátzcuaro

Aquí en MexConnect, en el foro dedicado al idioma español (Learning Spanish), he iniciado la publicación de una serie de fotografías y comentarios sobre la región en donde usted vive. Sus comentarios serían muy apreciados.

Gracias y saludos,



Feb 21, 2006, 7:30 AM

Post #12 of 92 (50824 views)



Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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OK, Rolly. Probably a good idea: we can perhaps be of help to one another with our various skills.

I am a 63 year old retired attorney. Purchased my home lakeside 5 years ago along with my husband, Anthony, a retired land surveyor who enjoys carpentry and fixing things. I think he's created a very dangerous neighborhood here in El Chante: he's sharpened all the neighbors' knives along with repairing furniture, building furniture, etc. etc. Talented guy.

We grew up in New York State as children - Tony lived near my grandparents in upstate New York - and were close friends all our lives. My father's job with an airlines took my family far and wide over the years. I've lived in 34 or 35 different places so far but always returned to my grandparents' farm. When I was a girl my father's work took him to Mexico City, and he took my mom and me with him when school was not in session in the 1950s and early 60s. Wow, has Mexico changed over the years!

We have 8 children living out of 10. Two of them died in 1988. For more on that, you can Google me if you are interested. Terrorism, sad to say.

Five of our children are from South America: four siblings from Colombia and one from Ecuador.

Until the 80s I taught Spanish and French. When I moved to New York getting a job with 18 years of experience was difficult, so I ended up getting my real estate broker's license and opening my own offices. When events of the late 80's changed my life, I went to law school and loved every minute of it. I worked in private practice for awhile, and was counsel to a state senator, then went to work at the NYS Tax Dept. where I was their American Indian Law expert ... also worked in sales tax matters. Great job. Loved it.

My convoluted background has resulted in having some very interesting experiences over time: a few years ago the tax department "loaned me" to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to work as a consultant of sorts on the Air India trial (an Air India flight was blown up in 1986 on a flight originating in Vancouver going to India). The RCMP guys are funny and VERY TALL. I have a photo of myself with two of them in full serge: I look like an aging midget. The Tax Department sent me to all sorts of exotic places - always off season b/c the public paid for it - so I sweltered in the summer in Tempe, Arizona where I learned about fuel oil distribution and froze in Alaska in the winter where I learned to identify counterfeit cigarettes. As I said, great job.

So, now that the kids range in age from about 20 to 45, it's my turn to kick back and let each day unfold as it will. And this is a great job, too.


Feb 21, 2006, 8:25 AM

Post #13 of 92 (50792 views)



Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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I'm 19 although I look close to 60. It's been a struggle and those years of hard knocks took their toll.
Born and raised in California but then raised myself again in Oregon, Washington and again in Arizona.

Inspector for the Tucson Water Dept. before I fled to Mexico to escape the heat of the desert. They say it's dry heat but don't believe it when they say that because it has nothing to do with reality. It's like living in front of a blowtorch.

I studied Theater Arts at Humboldt State but couldn't find a job after school.
Surprising eh? I was always hungry at that school.

Divorced, living alone and looking for a LTR.

My ideal woman?

The perfect woman. She likes to make love but not cuddle.
She drinks beer. She doesn't care what I do. She accepts that I'm a liar.
And of course, she wants to spend the rest of her life in Mexico!

PM me for personal info.

(This post was edited by Esteban on Feb 21, 2006, 8:48 AM)


Feb 21, 2006, 9:26 AM

Post #14 of 92 (50762 views)



Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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My name is Todd McIntosh and my wife (to be) and I will be moving to Morelia
sometime between now and the fall of this year

I wouldn't risk my life by stating my wifes age in public (no matter how young we are), but our average age is 47.

We have visited Morelia for the last 2 years. My wife is retiring, and
I will still be working.
I will be telecommuting to my job here in Vancouver BC.

Our plan is as follows, study Spanish for 6 months and explore
Morelia, Patzcuaro and see if this is where we want to be.
During this time we will also check out some other areas that
interested us as well. Areas that we have visited and are interested
in are San Lois Potosi, Zacatecas, Guanajuato and San Miguel.

After six month evaluate the following:

Do we still like Morelia (or Mexico for that matter) when its not a
Does Morelia like us?
Is it time to look at buying a place or keep renting.
The growth of our Spanish language skills.

While we expect to spend the rest of our lives in Mexico, we feel we have to be realistic
and understand that living here is different from the trips we have taken in the past.
We think that if we don't set the right expectation we will set our selves up to be dissapointed.

While there will be many other factors involved, it does give you a
general idea of our plan.

A little about us.

Shannon has worked in the cosmetic industry for many years. the last
few in the retail sector.
I work in sales and marketing.
We have been together for about 17 years, having met in the casino
industry when we were both roulette dealers. We are actually and finally getting married.
We have a great sense of humor and take very little seriously.
A good example of that is we plan to get married in Las Vegas by Elvis on April first!

We are avid readers,both really big on sci-fi. We enjoy a broad range
of music, and I am especially a fan of Jazz.
Shannon paints watercolours, and I enjoy Photography

Just wanted to give you a quick overview, as we will be eavesdropping
on your conversation and pestering you with questions.



(This post was edited by toddmc on Feb 21, 2006, 9:28 AM)


Feb 21, 2006, 10:21 AM

Post #15 of 92 (50741 views)



Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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Rolly, what a fun thread, I'll play too. I'm a comparative youngster at 52 ;-)

I was born and raised in San Diego, CA, but have migrated up and down the State of California for the last 30+ years including 17 years in the greater Los Angeles basin and 10 years in the Bay Area, Marin County to be exact. I moved back to San Diego shortly after 9/11 to assume some parental care responsibilities that will likely keep me here until my mom and anunt acutally pass, which they presently don't show any signs of considering.

Many years ago I was engaged to a man who owned a house in Cantamar which is about 15 minutes south of Rosarito Beach in Baja. It was just about the perfect weekend getaway. When we split up, I wasn't sorry to loose him, but I was sorry not to have his beach house still available to me. Worse still, one of his parting comments was "you'll never go to Mexico again without me". Fighting words if I ever heard any. Less than a year later I found myself going to language school in Cuernavaca and living with a Mexican family. It was without a doubt a pivotal experience for me in more ways than one. I still have a perfectly vivid recollection of sitting at the table for cena my first night and being somewhat in culture shock. Central Mexico wass decidedly not Baja. At that moment I was being confronted by a strange looking fruit stuck on the end of a fork. One of the other students noticed my look of puzzlement and told me to take a bite that I would find it refreshing. I did and found a mouthful of seeds. I must have looked startled because she laughed and told me to "just swallow the seeds won't hurt you". Thus, was my introduction to tunas and Mexico in general; the metaphore was not lost on me. I may have gone to central Mexico out of anger and spite but I discovered so much more and started down a path I have never regretted. I came back from my experience in Cuernavaca and enrolled in graduate school at UCLA to get a Master's in Latin American Studies. It is a multidisciplinary program in which you choose 3 areas of specialty. Mine were Anthropology, History and Folk Lore focusing primarily on MesoAmerica.

Life intervened and one of my coastal migrations took place and my accessibility to Mexico waned for a number of years. Luckily, life isn't static and Mexico reentered by life in a big way about 4 years ago and I haven't looked back. I've been a serious collector of Mexican folk art for a number of years and have been delighted to watch my collect grow over the last couple of years. There's a store (over priced, but good quality) called Carapan in Monterrey that is exceptionally dangerous for me...............I also collect Mexican cookbooks in English or Spanish and am looking to add the CONACULTA series. And since I really do cook, I've also found the time to cook with some pretty well known Mexican chefs and culinary specialists, including Diana Kennedy, Rick Bayless, Susana Trilling, Ricardo Munoz and Roberto Santibanez. Turn me loose in a Mexican market and there is no telling what I'll come out with. I adore the full on frontal assault on all the senses.

I've spent 30 years in some segment of the food industry including heading up multi-unit operations with up to 500 employees and a $13+ million budget. I am currently the Director of Food Service for the San Diego Community College District and have been charged with turning around a program that has lost significant sums of money over the last 20 years. Last year we managed to abate $400,000 of the annual $500,000, though break even is still at least 2 years away <sigh> A recipe for burn out if there ever was one, and more reason to keep traveling in Mexico. I recently made the mistake of perusing the real estate listings for Morelia and Patzcuaro and found too many enticing options. Someone please stop me before I think opening a B&B/cooking school is too wonderful an idea to pass up <yikes>

And lastly, I am a semi-practicing astrologer, semi-practicing only because I don't make my living at it, but I could if I were motivated enough to do so. Astrology is an ancient and elegant language steeped in archetype and symbolism and capable of providing a tremendous amount of personal insight.

With age comes wisdom, I suspect a move to Mexico will also come as well.


Feb 21, 2006, 2:23 PM

Post #16 of 92 (50664 views)



Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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I am 59 years old and have been a member of MC for over a year as a lurker. This is my first post. I am retired from the Indian Health Service (US Public Health Service) and have worked on American Indian Reservations throughout the west. I am originally from Pueblo, Colorado but have lived the last 11 years in Reno, Nevada. I have traveled to many locations in Mexico and love the country and people. I recently sold my house and plan to move to Mazatlan, Sinaloa by May 1st of this year. I am ready for a change in my life. My goal is to enroll in a Spanish language school in Mazatlan. If Mazatlan doesn't work out, then I will try another part of Mexico. I have learned much from MC which should make my move to Mexico much easier.


Feb 21, 2006, 3:43 PM

Post #17 of 92 (50642 views)



Re: [dougakin] Introduce yourself

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I;m Jean and I'm 57. We first moved to Mexico in 2000 sight unseen and with no home. It was such a feeling of freedom to leave all the old stuff behind and start anew in an exciting new country. After 3 years the better half wanted to move back to Canada so we landed in British Columba. Tried the coast, the mountain and then the Canadian desert. Over the last two years we have missed Mexico, the weather and our friends and now the other half agrees...go back home to Mexico. So we sold the house yesterday, close on March 31 and April 1 we are on our way back.

We both work on the internet so we can live anywhere in the world as long as we have internet access. I am also teaching aquafit and may do that in Mexico.

My mother died last year and two members of Gary's family had cancer in January and it all has a way of putting things in perspective. We are not happy back here and so we will go back to what we miss...Mexico.

I have a daughter in Ontario and another who lives in Bermuda. Our children now are the animals. With easy air travel out of Guad, trips to see them are no problem.

We can't wait to get back to our Mexican home.

Retirement Communities


Feb 21, 2006, 4:08 PM

Post #18 of 92 (50630 views)



Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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I've really enjoyed this thread....what a fun read!

I'm 65 and have been retired since Jan. 1, 2003 and I've loved every minute of it. I was born in St. Louis and raised in several small Missouri towns. When I was a teen, my folks moved us to Hawthorne in So. California. BIG change from Missouri in 1957. I met Bob and we married 4 months later in 1958. We've lived in Stockton CA, still have lots of relatives in that area of Sacramento, Manteca and Fresno. We have 3 children ages 47,44,& 37. They've blessed us with 9 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren and another on the way! What a brood!!

We moved to Coeur d' Alene Idaho in 1978 and we do love this area (most of the time :>) It would be wonderful to get away during the winter months though. And, somewhere in Mexico (still researching on Ajijic, Guad, SMDA, Cuernavaca and a few others) would be great to settle in for about 3 months.

My hubby can do all phases of building and worked for almost 40 years in the glass industry. I'm a registered nurse and specialized in psychiatric/mental health (see I could help ya all with those depressing days!). After I decided I was too old at 53 to keep wrestling down those 240 pound violent manics, I took a nursing job pushing a pencil. Best move I ever made! Worked for the State of Idaho in the Health & Welfare Department, managing the Medicaid program. That was a really fun job. But at 62 I decided it was time to throw in the towel....another good move!

Now I dream of the day we can come check out Mexico. Our oldest son was a missionary in Leon, Papantla, Poza Rica and Aguas Calientes for several years. We have 2 grandchildren who were born in Mexico during their time there. I was able to visit some of those cities last May and I really love the culture, people, food, and about everything I've seen and experienced. I'd just like to spend a little more time there.......soon!

MexConnect is the closest I can get for now and I receive so much from all of your posts. It's my cup of tea every day!

"Be kind, for everyone you know is facing a great battle." (Philo of Alexandria)

wendy devlin

Feb 21, 2006, 5:20 PM

Post #19 of 92 (50602 views)



Re: [CCarol] Introduce yourself

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Esteban, wipe your mouth off!

There's a little BS showing around your lips:)

52, married for twenty-five years, grandmother to Naquito, 4 who lives with us on our ranchito in Canada.

Soft spot for older men like Rolly...
Fascinated by liars, curmudgeons;
... fond of amables, simpaticos y capaz
...on this forum and en realidad.

(This post was edited by wendy devlin on Feb 21, 2006, 5:22 PM)


Feb 21, 2006, 6:34 PM

Post #20 of 92 (50566 views)



Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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My name is Walt and I'm 44.
Worked as a journalist until 26.
Saved $4500 from my meager wages
Opted to "retire" to Mexico for 1 1/2 years, back in 89' eventually settling in Oaxaca City.
Met and married wife, who is from Oaxaca.
Moved back to the US.
Got a real job.
Had kids
Will be moving back to Oaxaca this summer and telecommuting from there.

Enjoy lurking around MexConnect and learning from all you smart and entertaining people.


Feb 21, 2006, 6:51 PM

Post #21 of 92 (50557 views)



Re: [wendy devlin] Introduce yourself

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Hi, I'm Ron. I am 54 years old and live in Portland, OR - and have for the past 5 years. My wife is 51 years old. I have also lived in Missouri, Illinois, Brasil and California. The Brasil part was when I was a child, moving back to the states when I was 15. In 2003 we went on vacation to the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan peninsula. We enjoyed it, spending a week split between the beach near Tulum and in Playa del Carmen. We returned for a couple of weeks in December of 2004, staying on Isla de Mujeres and Playa.

On the second trip we rented a condo in a 8-unit building in a residential section a few blocks from the beach. It was a mixed ex-pat and Mexican area. We shopped at the supermarket and at a small verdura and fruteria and spent more time away from the typically tourist areas than we did on our first trip. The seed was planted, and we have been talking about and planning further exploration.

In April we are traveling to Guadalajara and spending 5 nights at Lake Chapala and then have another 6 nights to plan. Among the leading candidates are a couple of days in San Miguel and a couple of days at Melaque before heading back to Guadalajara for the flight back to Portland. We are planning to move to Mexico, most likely during the spring of 2010 unless we can figure a way to move that up some. Kathy is starting Spanish classes this spring and I plan to take some conversational Spanish classes to improve my vocabulary. I am comfortable in Spanish, no where near fluent, but not afraid to be in situations where no one speaks English.

Over the next few years we will explore some other locales in Mexico. I have started doing some writing about our plans to document stuff as it happens rather than from memory. This writing can be found on a blog I started recently - there is a link in my sig. The most recent entries feature some on-line resources, including MexConnect and Rolly's wonderful website has its own entry :).

Thanks for starting this thread. I am enjoying it.

Oh, a bit about the type of work we do. I am a researcher at a community college - doing student success research, state and federal reporting, market research, supporting academic program review and answering questions posed by the college's leaders. Kathy is a publication designer and graphic artist at the community college that is just south of the one I work at.

Planning for Mexico Move Blog


Feb 22, 2006, 8:21 AM

Post #22 of 92 (50471 views)



Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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OK, now is my opportunity to come out of the closet. I have been lurking here for several months.

My husband and I are both 50 and live in Santa Rosa Beach, FL. I grew up in Louisiana and have lived most of my adult life in Florida, with the exception of 3 years in Sandpoint, Idaho. He grew up in Maryland and has lived in New Orleans and Santa Rosa Beach. I have a landscaping business and my husband works in the southern gulf of mexico for a company than contracts with pemex.

We have been traveling to Mexico for years and drove for the first time in January. We plan two more trips within the year and will move to mexico in the spring of 2007. My husband, William is already in Mexico for the major part of the year. At this point we are planning on living in Puerto Escondido.

The information on this forum was very helpful during our trip in January. Thanks for the help.



Feb 22, 2006, 11:02 AM

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My wife is an artist (, and I'm managing editor at the University of Tennessee Press ( Thanks to some good real estate investments, we might be able to manage early retirement within the next few years, and we're trying to decide between Amelia Island, Florida, where we own some property, and a couple of possibilities in Mexico.

We're in our mid-50s and have visited Mexico several times: once on a day trip to Tijuana, once for a week in Cancun, a couple of times for stops on cruises (Cozumel and the coast south of Cancun). Last year we spent ten days in Guanajuato City. (We've also been on an extended vacation in Costa Rica and, while it's a lovely country, we prefer the distinctive mixed culture of Mexico.) My wife grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and speaks Spanish quite well. I'm now slightly above the cerveza-por-favor level, but not much. I know that's something I'll need to take care of if we decide to make any kind of long-term commitment to Mexico.

A friend goes to Guanajuato City every year for a couple of weeks to chill out with an old college roommate, and she encouraged us to take a look at the city. Last summer we did, and we both loved the place, although we could see some problems in considering long-term living there, especially the physical layout, which makes it picturesque but not so easy on aging joints. On the same trip, we spent a day in San Miguel de Allende, and it looked like a better possibility for retirement, although all the publicity it's getting seems to be driving up the real estate prices considerably.

This year--next month, in fact--we're going to be spending nine days exploring the Chapala/Ajijic area while celebrating our 25th anniversary. I hope we can come to some kind of decision on where to retire soon, but the process of doing the research is quite enjoyable!

I hope we can meet some of the folks from the forum during our stay.

Gary Anderson

Feb 22, 2006, 1:31 PM

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OK, this could be fun.

I'm 64, retired 5 years ago as a production manager at a large pulp & paper complex in Washington state, where I was born and raised, and have lived in Ajijic for coming up on 3 years after visiting here for the 3 years prior to that. Attended the University of Washington (engineering), played a little football while there, joined the Navy upon graduation, dropped lots of bombs on people who never did anything to me, flunked my physical, (eyesight, thank God for small favors), bailed, attended law school at the University of Oregon, hated every second of it, worked in a prosecutor's office for a couple years, hated that, too, went back to engineering, liked that and stuck with it, a career that enabled me to see every state in the US at one time or another over a 30-year span and to teach process control system design at the community college level as well, when I wasn't off somewhere on a troubleshooting assignment at the behest of the company for which I worked. I've lived in Vancouver, Ridgefield, Seattle, Longview and Whidby Island in Washington, Pensacola, FL, San Diego and Honolulu, then Eugene and Portland in Oregon, upstate New York, Memphis, Cincinnatti, briefly in the Bay Area, back to Longview, WA, and now here in Ajijic. If nothing else, it's been an interesting road, at least to me.

Interests include old sports cars - I'm slowly restoring a '63 Porsche which resides with my daughter in WA - golf, music, guitars, reading, photography, fishing on the Costalegre, travel, quaffing the occasional XX Lager with mis amigos at Tom's, and taking cheap shots at conservatives (they're such easy targets), among many other things.

As for the future, bring it on. I'm in the beginning stages of planning an extended trip to South America, and would also like to go back to SE Asia someday just to see what such places as Bangkok and Hong Kong and Manila and Singapore look like now after all these years.

"There was only one catch and that was Catch-22 . . . ." - Joseph Heller


Feb 23, 2006, 9:32 AM

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Hi, I'm 58 and proud of every day of it. (Cancer survivor.) I'm retired from MaBell because of disabilities. Take my advice, don't fall down metal staircases, not fun. I just ignore my aches and pains and get away with it unless I forget my meds.

I was born and raised in SW Oklahoma. Lived in; the Far East, California, Texas, Georgia, Washington D.C., Arkansas. Liked the Far East the best. I like to write, sew and travel.

I have a wonderful, most of the time, husband, two children, four grandchildren, and two Boston Terrier girls.

I always look for the humor in life, the positives rather than lamenting on what I have no control over. Life is too short to be grouchy!

When one door closes, another opens. Some people are so busy looking at the door that has closed, they don't see the door that has opened. Keep looking for those open doors.


Feb 23, 2006, 7:11 PM

Post #26 of 92 (31690 views)



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Well, I see the other lurkers have crawled out, so I will do the same. (I lurk not for lack of interest, but rather for lack of answers. At this point, I prefer to sit back and take in all the knowledge.)

I'm a 42-year-old, married freelance ad writer. My husband and I first visited Baja about 8 or 9 years ago. Have been back as often as we can. We're now in the process of looking for a small patch of land on the East Cape to hold on to until retirement (which I wish was sooner than it is). Right now, we're in dreary Ohio but we're originally from New Jersey. I still miss good pizza and real bagels. I guess I'm preparing myself for life on the East Cape.

We've also been to Guanajuato and loved it. But I'm tired of being landlocked and can't see living away from the water, if I have the choice. But I would love to explore more areas--especially Zihuatenejo (sp?) and the PV area.

This was a great idea, Rolly. And thanks for all the terrific info I've gathered this past year. It's been silently but greatly appreciated.

Dreaming of the East Cape...


Feb 23, 2006, 9:12 PM

Post #27 of 92 (31673 views)



Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

This is fun! I've been more of a lurker on this board than anything else, although I've posted a few times, too. I've gotten loads of useful information on living in Mexico from those of you with experience, and I appreciate it more than words can say. I'm 56, a social worker at a veteran's hospital in the US, married for (almost) 3 years to a wonderful guy who works for the FAA and will be retiring in 1 1/2 to 3 years. When he retires, I'm done, too. I come from an adventurous family, my mother and step-father moved to Spain almost 30 years ago, my father moved to Honduras, my brother met his wife in Germany and they've been living in England for a few years. For some reason I never made it out of the US. Until now, that is. I love Mexico and while we were still dating, introduced my husband to the many wonders of the country. We're now in the process of purchasing a small home in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle (closing is scheduled for next week!!!!!). We can't wait to start spending the winter months in our new home and the summers in our RV exploring the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia. Some of our time in Mexico will spent exploring the interior as well as on down to Central and South America. It's been a goal of mine for years and I count my blessings that I found a guy who shares my dreams.

Thanks to all of you who have helped make my dreams come true by sharing your wealth of knowledge.


Feb 24, 2006, 11:15 AM

Post #28 of 92 (31614 views)



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My name is Amanda, I am just shy of 25. Married to Miguel to for 6 years, we have two kids, Cynthia (3) and Anthony (15 mos).
I was born in Spokane, WA and lived in Couer d' Alene, ID until I was 12. Then we moved to Richland, WA where I graduated in 1999, attended about half a quater at Columbia Basin Community college and then worked at Godfather's Pizza for 2 years. I have two little sisters (14 and 10) who I adore. My family still lives in Richland and they are not happy that I live in Mexico.
When I was 19, we moved to La Mira, Michoacan for a year. I learned Spanish while I was there and I also learned how to make queso ranchero, tortillas, and skin iguanas. We went back up to WA in 2001 right before the attacks on NY and the Pentagon on Sept. 11. I got a job at a call center making outbound "service" calls for Qwest Communications.
We had submitted the petion for Miguel to be considered for a Visa as a spouse of a US Citizen and they called us up to Spokane to review our case. They stamped the petion with the approval seal and handcuffed Miguel and took him away. He was deported 2 months later, right before our daughter's 1st birthday. So I moved to Michoacan again, and ended up moving back to WA 7 months later so the new baby would be born in the US. Fortunatly I got my job back with Qwest and when we couldn't stand being apart anymore, I was able to transfer to Tucson, AZ which is the closest I could get to Mex.
So now we live in Nogales, Sonora. I am not sure how long we will be here. We don't really like it, we are only here so that we can save up some money to build our house in Mich, and help his dad out with the farm. We are hoping that before my daughter is in 1st grade (3 more years) that we will be outta here.
I enjoy this site and the forums, I hope that someday I can meet some of you. But not too many live in Nogales, or even in the part of Mich where we will be living.

What happens down in Mexico...Stays in Mexico.


Feb 26, 2006, 3:14 PM

Post #29 of 92 (31511 views)



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I'm David (66 years old) and moved to a house just outside Chapala in July 2004 and live here permanently. I came down from a lifetime in California and due to the AARP article, having only visited Tijuana and Cabo many years ago. I fell in love with Lakeside and bought a house on my 4th. day of visiting. I burned my California/U.S. bridges and am more than very happy here.

Divorced, no children and in a LTR with a super lady.

In my other (NOB) life I was an attorney for a while but believed too much in justice. My undergraduate is in Psychology and I did Crisis Intervention counseling for a couple of years. Too depressing.

I opened two medical clinics (10 years apart) and was the Medical-Legal Administrator.

I enjoy traveling and many years ago went to Europe with a girlfriend and Frommer's book "Europr on $5 per day." We actually did it and traveled around for four months. Myy last, and probably most interesting trip, was December 2003 when I went to Cuba. I lived a part of history on that trip and hope to go back again this year, probably for the last time before it changes.

My most fun though was building a Star Trek themed B&B named The Enterprise on Grand Cayman Island in 1991-1992 and I lived there for 3 years then returned to California leaving the Hostess to run it locally. Sold it in January 2001. Then worked for two years in a medical clinic owned by an Orthopedic Surgeon friend. I have written and had published two non-fiction self-help type books in the field of law.

That was about it for my work history except for the fact that what I enjoy the most doing, and have done it for 30+ years, is handyman work. I can build a house from the ground up and in true Mexican tradition, can fix most anything with coat hangers and duct tape. When I get the chance, I'll do handyman work locally and I work for food.

Other interests include scuba diving and flying (I have a Private Pilot license and flew a Cessna 172 for several years). From watching the movie, "Voices", I became interested in ASL (American Sign Language) so I took classes in it for 2 1/2 years at my local community college. I then taught it as a Teacher Assistant for 1 1/2 years at my local primary school.

I'm only sorry I didn't discover Mexico 15 or so years ago but I'm glad I did now and I love it.

So that's me.

"When all logical explanations have failed, we must look to the illogical for the answer.

(This post was edited by talosian on Feb 26, 2006, 3:21 PM)


Feb 27, 2006, 6:21 AM

Post #30 of 92 (31453 views)



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Hi, I am 67 years old and my darling wife is younger. She is a retired biology teacher and is from N.C. I lived almost all of my life in Florida, graduated from U of F and retired from working in a bank. We also after retiring owned a video store, a travel agency, did substitute teaching and worked at Disney World. We have traveled some to other countries. The latest was to Thailand from which we just got back Satirday. About 9 years ago we decided to sell our home in Florida and move here. We have never regreted the decision.


Feb 27, 2006, 10:39 AM

Post #31 of 92 (31405 views)



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Thanks to Rollie.

This is a fascinating thread. I like to think that I have had a varied and interesting life. All of a sudden, I feel like the most boring person who ever lived compared to some of the introductions that I have been reading.

No wonder any topic that comes up is covered so well - or not, depending on who responds and how Bubba feels on any given day. He's evidently in his glory with the current discussion of banking here and food on Chapala Web. Again thanks to all of you for the very helpful information since I have started with Mexconnect.


Mar 1, 2006, 10:40 AM

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Hi all,

Like Jerry's wife I'm a Tar Heel, at least mostly raised and schooled in North Carolina (UNC undergrad, Duke Law). Practiced law until a couple of years ago. Am now 43 and am basically a San Miguel resident, although I've been shuttling back and forth between LA (my Stateside base) and SMA for the past couple of years. Hope to settle down shortly and give myself over to Mexico and the manana (sorry, can't figure out how to do the tilde) mentality for long enough to forget LA traffic forever.
"The first question I ask myself when something doesn't seem to be beautiful is why do I think it's not beautiful. And very shortly I discover there is no reason." John Cage


Mar 2, 2006, 5:53 PM

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I am Brian. I live in Michoacan kinda near Patzcuaro out in the woods. I am mostly a hermit though I plan to change that somehow.
I moved down here about a year and a half ago from Seattle.

I am a painter:

I am off the grid... no city water or electric. I run a generator to use satelite internet. I need to install solar panels but I don't know how.
I am making a permaculture farm artspace kinda thing here.


Mar 3, 2006, 7:05 AM

Post #34 of 92 (31119 views)



Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

Hi Rolly, I think that this thread was a wonderful idea. It has been very interesting to see what has brought people to Mexico or the idea of moving to Mexico.

My name is Jonathan I am 49 and was born in West Hartford, Connecticut. Went to school at Boston University and New England Conservatory as a French Horn player. Dropped out of school to freelance, played in the Boston Opera Company, full time extra with the Boston Symphony, etc. Went to Tanglewood and the Berkshire Music Center, played principle horn with the Atlantic Symphony in Halifax, Nova Scotia, fell in love with Canada but left to play with a touring symphony in Germany, Philharmonia Hungaric. Spent the next 10 years traveling around the world with this orchestra. I developed serious and chronic asthma while in Germany, had to stop playing. Learned to be a florist while in Germany and aprenticed for 5 years. Returned to Halifax and opened a floral and gourmet food shop there, did flowers for the Queen, the G-8 Summit in `95, and quite a few movies that have been filmed here. I finally received my Canadian citizenship a year ago. My partner and I started to travel to Latin America 6 years ago, mainly on eco-tourist type trips, Costa Rica, Argentina, Brazil, Equador, Peru, and spent an amazing month last year traveling around in some of the colonial cities of Mexico, Guanajuato, Zacatecas, Real de Catorce, etc.

After 16 grueling years in retail my partner and I decided to sell our business and think about a new life in Mexico. We are trying to sell our house here in Halifax and hope to make a move within the year, taking our time to find the right situation and environment.

We are fluent in German and are having a hell of a time with Spanish, the Deutsch just keeps popping into our heads.

Again, thanks for creating such a great thread.


Mar 4, 2006, 10:30 AM

Post #35 of 92 (30993 views)



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I have been reading along on this thread for a couple of weeks now and have enjoyed it immensely. I am reluctant to reply because I am not in Mexico yet. But I joined MexConnect hoping to get answers to a myriad of picky little questions I have, and I have met with some success. So I figured maybe if I contribute to this thread that something about me, my background, my plans will inspire some of you to reply to me. I am anxious to make friends and connections.

I am 61. In was born a raised through high school in Ogden, Utah. Served a Mormon mission in Switzerland Italy, learning two foreign languages (German and Italian) in the process. Did 2 years in the US Army at the height of the Vietnam War but managed to remain stateside the whole despite having an infantry MOS. I did my undergraduate study at Weber State College in German. One year of graduate school at the University of Rome in Italy on a Rotary Club International scholarship where I studied Latin. Then more graduate work at the University of Kansas.

I lived most of my life in Kansas and consider myself a Jayhawk.

I went through a difficult and costly divorce in 1998, which left me penniless and with a lot of debt. About that same time I realized I would never be able to retire in the USA and I immediately began thinking about alternatives. I had pretty much decided on Mexico when I saw the movie "The Shawshank Redemption." At the end of that movie the guy runs off to Zihautaneo (sp?). Wow, that looked like the place for me, and no need to spend 20 year in Shawshank Prison first.

I began a very concerted savings program and am almost where I need to be, right on schedule, according to my plan. I will retire next year, about this time, possibly in April, and will join my Mexican partner in Sonora.

I own a timeshare in Cabo San Lucas and have been there several times. I know Cabo is not very typical of Mexico. I enjoyed my side trips to Todos Santos and La Paz. I have also been in and around Mazatlan, as well as much of Sonora: Guaymas, Bahia Kino, San Carlos. I know Sonora is hot and dry. I am a little worried about that. I will be free to go back to family in Idaho or Kansas during the worst of it, although I cannot imagine any place hotter and more miserable than Kansas in August.

I love to travel and will undoubtedly do a lot of it in Mexico. My partner and I both want to see and experience as much as possible of other parts of Mexico, as well as Cuba (before it changes), Central and South America. There are good flights to Europe from Mexico City. I see almost no need to come back to the USA in order to go to Europe. And the US Immigration people treat my partner, and other young Mexican males, so badly. It is a huge drain on his self-esteem and self-respect to present himself along with his visa to request temporary permission to enter the USA. He has been doing now for five years, spending summers and Christmas with me in the Bay Area. Despite owning his own house, having a full time job in Mexico, and now a long history (which I assume is recorded in the INS computers) of crossing into the US and leaving again, on time, as promised, they still treat him so badly and he is never sure if he will get in or not. What a shame.

Finding a place to live and making friends, all that stuff, my partner will have arranged for me. I am dealing with stateside issues, fussing and fretting over where and how to invest my money so as to ensure a steady monthly cash flow, trying to figure out whether or not I need a formal and legal state of domicile, what to do about health insurance (if anything), which of my belongings to try to take there with me (if any), all that stuff. And I find a lot of good answers here on MexConnect and it has been a wonderful resource for me, well, I should say the members and contributors here are a wonderful resource, and I hope to able to continue to bug many of you with my questions and concerns.

I am learning Spanish, a little here and there, as best I can from here in the Bay Area, but have no doubts I will pick it up easily once I am immersed in it. Strange thing, what little Spanish I already speak comes out with a decided Italian intonation. I call it "mi espanol macaronico."

Any of you with any words of wisdoms concerning what I ought to do about Medicare, Medigap, Mexican major medical, IMMS (Mexican Social Security), my worry over a state of domicile (to exclude any state that wants to tax my paltry tax-deferred savings as I draw them down), receiving mail in the USA (I have relatives who could empty a PO Box for me from time to time, but can I qualify for a US PO Box with a US address)?

Thanks to all of you who contribute and post.



Mar 4, 2006, 10:36 AM

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I meant to write: can I get a PO Box when I do NOT have a US address?

Sorry. I made a lot of typos in my post.


Mark Landes

Mar 5, 2006, 9:23 PM

Post #37 of 92 (30876 views)



Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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I live in California--Mexico del Norte. Near Sacramento. Where I ate dinner last night--Hermanos Lopez -- noone spoke English. Fine with me. Good food. Me, third of seven kids. College in Maui (Maunaolu), Stanford (I was a gymnast). Drafted in 66 --signed on for Army Intellligence. Vietnam/Germany. Back to school. UC Berkeley BA/MA in Oriental Languages. Three years in Taiwan. Stanford Language Center one year and later after getting married, translator at National Palace Museum for two years. Ph'D studies Univ. WA. Exported fresh produce two years. Back to school for chiropractic in 1983. Practiced 19 years. Sold practice. Currently chiropractic case manager for a disability management company (work comp stuff). Love tennis, watercolor painting, reading, lurking in MC. Spouse is from HK. We met in the East Asiatic Library at Berkeley --student workers. She practices law -- estate planning and real estate. Maybe we should come on down. Need tutoring in pre-Han texts - living trust anyone?
Kidding. The young one-Melina is getting married in May ( I see Mexico in my future; my wife wants to open a tango school in China. 31st anniversary this month. Dad will be 92 soon, mom 89. So I figure maybe I got another 30 years. Did I mention kareoki?


Mar 8, 2006, 7:47 AM

Post #38 of 92 (30755 views)



Tony - Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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Im Tony,
Born in Downey Ca in 1958. One of 7 kids. The Mexican side of my family goes way back in the
east LA area. My great grand father was a type of "sherriff" in the Mexican brick making town of Simon's.
(now is Pico Rivera) My Mom is white. I still have family in LA. Basically raised in Pittsburg Ca, a tough working
class city 45 miles east of San Fran. I have lived in Calif, bay area for most of my life. I have live in West
Oakland and in Pacific Heights and places in between (culturally speaking). I have been on the forum for
many years - 7-8 more? back in the wooly free for all days. I have been married to a Mexican woman for 15 great years,
have 2 boys. Both bilingual and dual nationality. We have been going to Mexico virtually every year for 4-8 weeks. We stay with my inlaws the
whole time. They live in the Tula, Hidalgo area. Another working class area. We insist on doing things as "Mexican"
as possible. We have traveled to many places in Mexico. My wife has a degree in tourism from the Toluca University.
We are currently having a house built near Tula. My father in law is supervising the project. We hope to have the roof on the house
by this summer - in time for us to go thru the detailing of the place when we get there. I am average bilingual.
Sincerely, Tony

"We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are."


Mar 25, 2006, 8:16 AM

Post #39 of 92 (30579 views)



Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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Been reading and enjoying. Since you folks have helped us with ideas, we should sign in on this. Daniele is the Belgian. We met in a Chinese restaurant in Brussels while I was there for a NATO meeting several decades ago. I'm Steve...almost 65. Retired from the Army and retired a 2nd time as a contractor in the Pentagon. We owned (or it did it own us?) a Belgian Bistrot for 11 years on the outskirts of DC (Occoquan VA). Daniele made the Bistrot a huge success and worked too hard...the only chef...for a place thet could serve 40 guests and we were usually full by reservations. We had 40+ Belgian beers...I was the quality control checker for these. We sold it and retired to the NC coast. We have a self catering B&B/vacation rental there. We're now into RV'ing and hope to make our first trek SOB in the fall as a reconnaissance for moving south permanently. Why? It seems that Mexico has the charms of Europe without the prices. Thanks to all of your for your advice and counsel this past year. Steve & Daniele


Mar 26, 2006, 9:15 AM

Post #40 of 92 (30427 views)



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I am 69 years old. Born in St.Louis. I lived as a child in Illinois, Oklahoma and Texas. Family moved to the San Francisco Bay Area during World War II. Grew up and went to schools in the bay area. Worked 15 years for the now defunct Redwood City (California) Tribune. Moved in 1968 to the Seattle area. Worked for the Seattle Times for 31 years.
Retired to Sayula, Jalisco in January 1999. Have been married 22 years. My wife was born in San Gabriel, Jalisco


Mar 28, 2006, 11:06 AM

Post #41 of 92 (30300 views)



Re: [Don] Introduce yourself

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Hi Everyone,
I'm Annette. My husband, Ken, and I are brand new subscribers - after a whole week of lurking. Our idiotic username is for practical reasons, rather than a need for symbiotic identity.
We're in our 50's; Ken is a New Yorker and I am a Sydney (Australia) girl. We met 5 years ago, married two years ago and my 14 year old daughter and I have been living in New York for the past almost three years. Ken is an occupational health and safety manager/specialist and I am a Special Education teacher.
So, why our interest in Mexico? I've had a love affair with all things Mexican since I first landed in Mexico City in the late 70's to visit a penpal of many years. That meeting was meant to be for a week or so but became an almost 12 month stay in San Angel, DF with extensive travelling throughout the country.
I was smitten and returned for extended periods twice after that - not an easy undertaking with no direct flights from Australia. In between times, I used to have dreams about Mexican markets, los colores, la gente, la vida! I took courses in Spanish at university level, read Octavio Paz, Carlos Fuentes, etc etc and dreamed away . . .
Ken (who had never been to Mexico) and I spent two weeks in DF and San Miguel two years ago. I had told him of the graciousness, warmth, hospitality and common decency of the Mexican people and, true to form that they were, so he too was smitten .
So, we have decided to 'retire' early and give Mexico a go. Queretaro is now on our agenda because of the Kennedy School for our daughter and also because of its proximity to Mexico DF and San Miguel. Of course, we could go to Australia. 'Not quite' the USA; better weather, National Health Care (which means almost free doctor's visits, hospitalisation, prescription medicine etc), but have you seen what Australian real estate is worth now?
Even so, we're not economic refugees. We choose Mexico because of all it has to offer. For me, it has a vibrancy so lacking in other cultures. A rawness next to a refinement which keeps life 'on the edge' and therefore worth living. "Safety" is for prison inmates, as far as I'm concerned. And by "safety" I mean the mundane.
What we are seeking is a life in Mexico that allows us to celebrate its differences rather than yearn for what we might think we miss.
"Poor Mexico. So far from God, so near to the USA" - Octavio Paz.


Mar 29, 2006, 6:00 AM

Post #42 of 92 (30229 views)



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Hi :My name is Tim I think or it may be Jimmy, well I was born in Miami, Fl and am 59 yrs old, and spent my young tender years in an Orphanage. I escaped that and have been on my own ever since. I am Retired Army 1965-1972, 1980-1995. In my other life after Vietnam, I have been a Federal Narc, managed a men’s clothing store, repaired bottom unloader silos, and on and on. I have lived in Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York City, New York State, Massachusetts, Texas, Oklahoma, Hawaii, Vietnam, and Thailand and on and on. My wife is 42 yrs old and we have been together 22 years, we have a gifted, ADDHD, 16 yr old son who has played the violin for 5 years.

We are visiting the Lake Chapala area on Jun 21 for 6 days, and if things work out will move there soon after. In 1995 when I retired, I woke up, I discovered that I don’t have to be like MIKE, I don’t have to have a new car, I don’t have to have everything that is advertised, all I have to do is be happy, have fun, and enjoy the rest of my life.

What my family brings to Mexico: My wife Janaye is an Army trained Optician, Optical Lab Tech, and is graduating from SUNY Delhi as a Veterinary Tech, she loves animals, kids, pottery, junk and general will help anyone at anytime for any reason. She plans on doing all of this in Mexico. My son Richard has always been a world’s child, being more comfortable with people from other places. He is an actor, sings, and plays, reads and writes music, listens to German and Japanese music and is a Computer freak. My job is to take care of, and to protect these 2 folks from harm as they make the world a better and happier place.


Apr 12, 2006, 8:59 AM

Post #43 of 92 (30113 views)



Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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I'm bumping this back up in hopes that more folks will join in with their bios.

Rolly Pirate


Apr 12, 2006, 6:16 PM

Post #44 of 92 (30053 views)



Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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I'm glad you bumped this thread back up because I didn't notice it until it had been up for a while and I thought it was over.

Anyway, I think we must be twins Rolly, because I'm also 74 (lol). I'm a divorced old (but young thinking) lady who loves Mexico. I was born in Houston, Texas, moved to California, then to Hawaii, then to Arizona, and then down here in 1993. I was fired from my first job (packing plums in northern California) because I ruined too many plums by sticking my fingernails in them accidentally on purpose; then I just had to eat them, of course! For most of my working life I was a legal secretary, working in all the states where I lived. I spent about 7 years working in Hawaii and loved it. Cried all the way back to the mainland on the plane, both because my boss had died and because I couldn't find another job to pay what I had worked up to with him (HI is so expensive I couldn't afford to take less). It's a beautiful state and I miss it; but Mexico is the next best place. I really enjoy the perfect climate and being able to grow almost any flowers I want.

One thing most people don't know about me is that I love snakes!!! When I was a teenager in the Los Angeles area, I worked every weekend at the Pike in Long Beach (an amusement park that is no longer there) exhibiting the snakes in an exhibit. I played with all of them but mostly with the constrictors. I know women are supposed to be afraid of them but I'm not.

I'm a single mother with a grown son who lives in northern California. Since raising a child by myself was difficult money-wise, I've learned to live frugally. For that reason, I don't have any trouble living here in Guad on just Social Security. I live very well, not luxuriously but comfortably. I have both American/Canadian and Mexican friends who I see frequently. I enjoy practicing my Spanish with my neighbors, playing cards with Spanish speakers and seeing English speaking movies. I still have a ways to go with my Spanish but I manage just fine. Heavens, my 2 years of Spanish in highschool was back in the dark ages and I lost it all in the interim; I'm getting it back slowly by osmosis.

Thanks again for the resurgence of this thread. It's so interesting to read about expatriates and their experiences in Mexico. I'm enjoying my retirement here and can't foresee a return to the US. I've been here long enough to think that I'm here for life!



Apr 12, 2006, 8:35 PM

Post #45 of 92 (30022 views)



Re: [norma2002] Introduce yourself

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I guess this is a pretty good way to coax some of us lurkers into actually posting. I've been lurking & learning for more than a year now because I've been wanting to go to Mexico for a long, long time and with retirement on the horizon, decided it would be good to hear about others' first hand experiences. My husband & I operated a business together for 10 - 12 years and ours has been a gradual retirement process as our son learned and took over the business from us. We live in a small village near the north shore of Lake Ontario in a 175 year old home which we love but is way too big for us. We have 3 grown offspring with various mates, and 5 grandchildren. We are a very close family & even tho' we are now retired we both still have interests and committments in our community, so living full-time in Mexico is not an option for us. We want to escape those depressing short, gray days in the northern winter & find that most of the places that the snowbirds(that we know) congregate are boring. When we responded to an old posting on the MexConnect forum about a house swap, we were surprised and excited when it developed into email correspondence and resulted in plans to exchange our Ontario home with a couple who live in Ajijic,(not sure whether they prefer to remain anonymous or not) for 6 weeks last autumn. Those plans had to be cancelled. Then the plan was to house-sit for 3 weeks in Jan. in Ajijic and spend another week travelling. That was cancelled when we had a medical emergency. Finally, we saw a small window of opportunity, made our reservations, booked our flights and arrived for a 2 week Mexican "taste test". We have to return to Ontario day after tomorrow but we have had a wonderful time, thanks to the unbelievable generosity of our email friends from Ajijic. We have seen places, met people, gained insights, sampled great food and had opportunities to whet our interest in the arts, crafts & culture that we could never have done on our own, especially in such a short time and with no practical knowledge of the language and customs. Our interest in Mexico & doing more travelling has been reinforced & increased, so we will keep lurking and learning. Meanwhile, it's back to Ontario to sell our house & get our new (much smaller) one built. We are hoping to find a long term rental here in Mexico that we or our family members could use when we get a chance to get away. Probably the Lake Chapala area or maybe Patzcuaro would be a good choice because of the year round climate. One way or another we will return.


Apr 13, 2006, 12:17 PM

Post #46 of 92 (29953 views)



Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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Decided to add my two cents worth even though I have been mainly a lurker for the past two years. I particularly enjoy Rolly's web site and his knowledge of all things Mexican. Everyone on Mexico Connect is very informative and I have learned much from just lurking and reading. Then there is Bubba. What else can you say? He is who he is and everyone loves him for it even if he does not give a s--t.

My name is Donald Smith. As I said, I have been a member of Mexico Connect for the past two years. I have never been to Mexico, unless going to Tijuana when I was in the service counts, and plan to visit in the near future. I am married to a German citizen, Katharina, and she wants no part of Mexico no matter how enthusiastic I am about the country. I think I am beginning to soften her up a bit and might get her to at least make a trip down to Lake Chapala for a look. I am 62 years old and work as a manager for The Boeing Company. I have been with them for 30 years and plan to retire in about three years, or as soon as the work is no fun anymore. My degree is in business management and I have thought about starting my own business when I leave Boeing. The closer I get to retirement the better leaving the work to the young folks and being lazy sounds.

Before I came to Boeing I lived in Los Alamos, New Mexico for several years where I was a policeman. I spent a lot of time in the Espanola, Truchas and Taos area even though I was a member of the Los Alamos police department. In that part of New Mexico law enforcement was pretty thin and we often did double and triple duty. It often got wild and wooly, especially late at night. Last I heard I still have a price on my head in Truchas, along with most of the other policemen who worked that area.

I have always wanted to go to Mexico and travel, meet the people and see the sights. I am hoping I can at least convince Kathy to do some extensive traveling in the country once I retire. My Spanish sucks so I am working my way through some computer programs trying to learn at least how to ask and say basic sentences when I get down there. I have been told, by some migrants I have met here in Washington, to forget the "Spanish" I learned in New Mexico. They tell me it is a mixture of Spanish, local Indian dialects, and a lot of words you do not repeat in respectable company. I thought I was well on my way to learning the language until they told me that. Oh well, I still have three years to learn some good words.

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. - Albert Einstein


Apr 20, 2006, 2:14 PM

Post #47 of 92 (29834 views)



Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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Thanks for this great thread, Rolly.
I've been lurking for 4 or 5 months while toying with the idea of visiting the Lake Chapala area with an eye toward living there part-time. I traveled in many parts of Mexico in the 70s & early 80s, but somehow missed the area around Guadalajara.
I am an active 71 year old (feel about 40 once I roll out of bed and have my first cup of coffee), mother of 4 daughters, grandmother to 9, great-grandmother to 4. Born in Chicago, but have lived in Oklahoma most of my life except for one fun year living in Rough and Ready, California in the mid 80s. I have been retired since 1999 as bookkeeper, sec'y, ofc manager, flunky for a real estate developer, and up-scale shopping center owner in Okla. City. I am currently living in the 6th or 7th house I've owned, renovated, then sold. This has been more of a hobby than a money maker and I have enjoyed every minute of it, but with the dramatic rise in prices on materials, I will not be re-doing any more houses.
I've traveled a bit - I've explored Hong Kong, Sydney, London & Paris by myself and I am looking forward to Guadalajara, although I think I will enlist the aid of a tour guide I saw mentioned in another thread for my first visit. I've been single since 1975 and have not had a problem traveling alone, but I often think it might be easier with a travel companion or group.
I love working with my hands. Just recently took up old-fashioned rug hooking (with wool strips, not the short pieces of yarn) and working with gourds. I had a stained glass shop in the mid 70s with another glass artist, she worked on the religious/church projects, I worked on the residential. But, I found the life of a starving artist a bit too restrictive (translation - not enough $$$ to sustain life) and had to quit to get a "real" job. I'm an avid reader, love to cook, and garden. I had several antique booths around town about 10 years ago and found eBay in 1998, where I have the same screen name. I closed my booths and have sold most of the "treasures" either on eBay or thru garage sales &/or flea markets to get rid of the burden of "stuff". There is still too much stuff in here to suit me and I'm trying to get my daughters to take most of it off my hands now instead of waiting til I'm gone. I still love to go to garage sales and flea markets, but now I'm just looking for wool clothes to tear apart or odd items to use with the gourds.
I hope I get to meet some of the regular posters on the forums when I finally get to the area. My Mothers 92 birthday is next month, so I will going to visit her before firming up my travel plans.


May 16, 2006, 3:36 PM

Post #48 of 92 (29714 views)



Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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I'm bumping this back up in hopes some more people will introduce themselves.

Rolly Pirate


May 18, 2006, 11:07 AM

Post #49 of 92 (29643 views)



Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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Hello, I'm Ignacio, originally born in Puebla Mexico, studied at Colegio Americano and the Jesuits' Secundaria and Preparatoria, then emigrated to the USA in 1959, when it was easy for the whole family to go with legal papers;
Finished high school in El Paso, Tx. at Christian Brothers' Cathedral H.S. (The Fighting Irish!)

Joined US Air Force in 1962-1966 (during Vietnam 'conflict') studied electronics at Keesler AFB Mississippi, Lowry AFB Colorado, and Vandenberg AFB California, worked in missile telemetry and data processing.

I got my discharge on a Friday and started working for IBM the following Monday..... worked for IBM for 34 years, until my retirement in 2000. Worked on hardware, software, and firmware, holding positions as tester, field engineer, architect, designer, ISO 9000 Auditor, micro-programmer and programmer, my last position was Advisory Programmer.

Have been retired and living here in Boca del Rio, Veracruz, for the last 6 years, and LOVE IT !

My wife's name is Alicia, she is from Veracruz, but we met in the USA and Married there 12 years ago; we have 6 children (from previous marriages) and 4 grandchildren, all living in the USA. We both hold dual citizenship and try to take advantage of this dual status both here and in the USA.


May 18, 2006, 12:17 PM

Post #50 of 92 (29621 views)



Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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OK, Rolly, since you insist. I was born in Eugene OR and lived there until graduation from U of Oregon. Moved to Portland where I spent many years as a tudent financial aid officer at Portland State. Moved from there to San Francisco, then later to Novato and Vallejo (the commute kept getting worse), where I was financial aid director at California Maritime Academy. I had the opportunity to take several 12 week cruises on the school ship Golden Bear and the opportunity to see some places I would probably not have visited on my own, especially in Asia. After leaving the Academy, I owned and operate a deli for 5 year. I even tried to go to sea, but with limited success! (ferries, ocean-going tugs and dredges). I made my first visit to Mexico in the 60s (by VW beetle from Portland to Mexico City) and that is when I had my first look at Mazatlan. I returned as a tourist many times, and finally was able to retire here about 4 years ago. I will never look back! Dee


May 18, 2006, 12:24 PM

Post #51 of 92 (22785 views)



Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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Hi, I'm 56 and planning on retiring in 2010. I live in Albuquerque and my wife and I are hoping to move to the Xalapa area when we retire. We're drawn to the area because of the weather ( I miss rain after 11 years in the desert), and the cultural aspects of the city. I also like the idea of being close to the only nuclear power facility in Mexico. I've been working as a Health Physicist for 35 years in the nuclear field and would enjoy being around people with a shared interest. I presently work for the National Nuclear Security Administration managing the radiation protection program for Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, Livermore California, Tonapah Nevada, and Kauai Hawaii. I also lead the team that responds to any radiological emergencies in the surrounding 4 states, so since 9/11 I've been busy training police and fire departments.

I started in the Navy in 1968 as the only way to get out of Detroit, Michigan and go to college since my dad didn't believe in chipping in when there was a perfectly good way to earn your tuition by joining up. I served in Vietnam on the USS Enterprise, and went to college on the GI Bill. I did my undergraduate at U of Oregon and finished at Oregon State U, then did my graduate work at U of Washington. I've worked in a lot of places around the country and have been here in Albuquerque longer than anywhere in my life. My wife is from Montpelier, Idaho near the Wyoming, Utah border, and works as a Technical Editor for an environmental firm. We've been married 30 years this August.

We raise Morgan horses and volunteer with the Bernilillo County Sheriff's Department in search and rescue. We also love dogs and have an english mastiff, great dane, bouvier des flandres, tibetan mastiff and a pit bull. Altogether 800 pounds of dog. Although I've enjoyed Mexconnect for about a year now, I haven't really posted much. I find the person I tend to most consistently agree with is SFMcCaws, which makes me an open minded conservative I guess.


May 18, 2006, 2:16 PM

Post #52 of 92 (22769 views)



Re: [davesteffes] Introduce yourself

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That was a very nice introduction. Someone told me that I write short answers. Funny, I'm pretty talkative in person unless I'm around my 23 year old daughter who can out-talk anyone I know.

I was born in Newark, Ohio, where my Sicilian grandfather met my Italian grandmother from a small country town outside of Rome. They had about 17 children, but only 11 lived. We then had six children and a very hectic family life. My Dad was a contractor and drank a lot with the boys. In winter, there wasn't much money to go around but my mom was resourceful if on the brink most of the time.

I edited my high school newspaper and went to Ohio State in Columbus to be a journalist. I changed majors several times and studied Chinese as well. I got together with a guy I had met before at a church meeting. After a brief romance, we got married in Indianapolis because you didn't have to wait three days like in Ohio after applying for a marriage cert. We helped each other grow up. And after a stint in the Army at Ft Knox, KY where he practiced podiatry and I got my degree in psychology, we moved to Ventura, Ca.

In Ventura, I spent most of my time helping my husband build his podiatry practice and took singing lessons in the meantime and performed in some operas and local theatre. After 7 years, I tired of playing mom to his little boy. To his surprise, I left (no children) and moved to LA. where I met my husband, Dave, 6 months later, also having come off of a divorce.

Dave is an aerospace engineer except that he nearly got a degree in English literature. We have a very talented daughter, the one who talks a lot. She's also a ballerina, painter and actor. Maybe you saw the Kellogg's "Apple Jacks" commercials that ran every hour daily for a year about 13 years ago. She did two of those and was recognized from coast to coast. She's still an actor, though not quite so famous, and teaches Pilates exercise for a living. She still weighs about 80 lbs thanks to her Dad's lean build.

I wanted to lose weight (for the 18th time) and got involved with a body typing system where different shapes eat different foods and lost my weight. I then wrote a program from the books this doctor had written so that others could counsel this system. I taught many seminars throughout the US.

When my daughter was 14, we signed on for chef's training in a technical school in LA. She had been home-schooled since 3rd grade because of lessons and auditions. So when I went to chef's training, she wanted to as well. We went through a sort of bootcamp where my 80 lb daughter washed pots half her size. We got through it and then actually learned some cooking. We changed schools and studied for a total of a year and were responsible for college lunches for several months. So we both got past the "this is hard work" phase to where we now love cooking no matter how much work it is.

I was a ballet mom. Waited hours, even worked my business as nutritionist/weight loss counselor around it. We saw many performances and, at 19, my daughter had had enough as had her knees. She got certified to teach Pilates and went back into acting. I became and English teacher of (mostly) illegal immigrants in LA. There were many Mexicans in the area where I taught. I started with 8 and ended up with 120 which was split into two classes. It was a lot of fun and the reason I talked my husband into visiting central Mexico.

After my husband retired from aerospace, he's 13 years older, we were bored. Our trip to Mexico turned into semi-retirement. We bought a house and, though we don't have to go to work anymore, we work on our house full-time. I recently got a housekeeper and have been able to read and post more on Mexconnect. We've worked on the house for over a year now and despite many trials and tribulations, we are nearly completely finished. So, it doesn't feel much like retirement. We've got things to do that we are interested in. We look forward to meeting new people and hearing a lot more music and doing more dancing in the streets.


May 18, 2006, 4:51 PM

Post #53 of 92 (22739 views)



Re: [davesteffes] Introduce yourself

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I like 'open-minded conservatives' Dave, good phrase. I like to make my mind up on issues based on the issue, not the party line. It's difficult sometimes to not have an easily identified label that tells everyone what you think but it makes more sense to me and it better fits the way I think.

I was born and schooled in Santa Barbara, CA, WWII saved me from being raised in Louisiana where my father is from. I have always been grateful to the Japanese for that.

I moved to SF at 17 and bounced between SF and LA for many years after that. I was kind of a professional student for a long time and then I stopped pretending to go to school. I almost managed to graduate with a degree in Political Science but life got too interesting in my last quarter at Berkeley and I wandered off. At the time I said that I lived my life along highway 101, it seemed that I spent a lot of time moving between SF and LA and I5 hadn't been built.

I've been gay all my life although at one point in the 60's I convinced myself that I shouldn't be so exclusive, it wasn't 'organic' and I had a few relationships with men. One of those resulted in a son, I thought it would be easy having a kid that I would just take him along with me like another backpack. I did that for several years although it wasn't as easy as I had thought it would be.

Growing up in SoCal and being hooked on surfing I had spent a lot of time in Mexico, mainly the Baja but also as far down the Pacific coast as Mazatlan. I spoke spanglish with a heavy pocho quotient and felt comfortable in Mexico. In the 70's I decided to take my backpack son and move to Mexico DF so we took off in my green volkswagen and drove south. I ended up living in the DF for a year, working at an ad agency and surviving but getting my life and my health screwed up. My son lived with a friend's mother in Veracruz and I would take the bus over there every weekend. It was tiring and money was really short and it was difficult but I loved the adventure and the feeling that I could make it more or less on my own. Then I got really, really sick and needed major surgery and almost died. Long story but my life was saved by a British doctor at ABC, my parents were called, my dad came and my son and I were flown back to LA. It was not a high point in my life.

Once I could walk again, I left for SF. I ended up back in Santa Barbara one more time several years later and swore if I ever got out again I would never return. Growing up in a place that others consider paradise has its downsides as it is really difficult to leave. Santa Barbara felt like a glue strip to me then, life was so simple there and money was not an issue but freedom was.

When I returned to SF I started working as a bartender at a gay bar and ended up managing several bars and restaurants for the owner. I worked for her for almost 15 years, bought a house in Marin County, stayed with the same woman all that time and we raised the backpack to be a really spectacular, smart, loving man. I'm very proud of him.

In my late 30's my best friend was in the SFPD and she started bugging me to get a "real" job with benefits and retirement. The woman I worked for agreed with her and told me she wouldn't live forever and I should think about my future. So, I got talked into applying for the SF Sheriff's Dept and was hired and went off to the police academy at 40 years old. I studied for every promotion and went through 3 ranks to Lieutenant in 7 years. I liked that job and didn't take any more promotional tests. I retired at 55 but had a couple of years of accrued time and officially retired 2 years later.

I got hooked on scuba diving in the 90's and started flying around wherever there was warm water and pretty fish. On one of these trips I found Akumal in Quintana Roo and loved it. I started spending 10 days there 4 or 5 times a year and finally bought a condo there around 1999. The plan was to retire and live there year round.

I've been with my current partner Mimi for 15 years this September. We bought an RV when I stopped working and took off to see the continent. We found we loved traveling and living in the RV and sold the house in Marin 2 years ago. We also found that we love traveling around Mexico and Central America more than we like sitting in a condo in QRoo so although we still own it we are not there more than a couple months a year. It is our only residence however, the only place we have "stuff" and that we stay in. It doesn't feel like our home though, our RV is where we live and home is where we park it.

For the last 5 years we have spent the winters SOB, usually ending up in QRoo for a couple of months but spending the other 4 months driving around Mexico, Belize and this year, Guatemala. We have over 80k miles on the RV we bought new when I retired, I figure that more than half of that has been in Mexico. There is still a long list of places I want to go in Mexico and then there are all the countries south of it. I hate the idea of settling down in a house without wheels and staying in one place all the time. As long as our health is good and we are enjoying it Mimi and I want to keep traveling. When we decide to come off the road we will probably sell the condo in Akumal and buy a bit of land and house somewhere in Mexico. I hope that is a long ways in the future.

Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán


May 18, 2006, 6:49 PM

Post #54 of 92 (22713 views)



Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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I have really enjoyed this thread, this is my first post on MC. I have learned a lot here. Okay, here goes. I am 59 next week. I first heard all about the Lakeside area in the AARP article several years ago and have been dreaming of retiring in Mexico ever since. Last year the 2 children I raised as a single parent finally took off on their own. I sold the house south of Boston and moved into town. It really broke my heart that I didn't just take off SOB as I had planned. Now I will be visiting for the first time this July, staying at the Casa de los tres Leones. I consider this to be an exploratory trip and plan to learn as much as possible about the realities of living in Mexico. I would love to buy some inexpensive fixer upper but have listened to the pros and cons and may consider renting. (also the market may be getting out of my comfort range). I have a background in arts/photography and have directed galleries. The last gallery specialized in antique Chinese furniture and contemporary Chinese painting. I left that field and have worked as a personal assistant and now an executive assistant at a Synagogue in Belmont MA. I plan to take early retirement in 3 years and move permanently to Mexico. I look forward to meeting new people and having a great adventure. I hate NE weather, the winters are dark and cold and the summers are hot a humid, especially Aug. I was raised in Montana where my grandparents had built a farm on land they had homesteaded. I do love the West coast but it has changed a lot since I grew up there. I enjoy gardening, traveling, cooking, reading and look forward to the day when I can do that most of the time. Thanks Rolly for this.
P.S. Who is Bubba? Is that Rolly?


Aug 13, 2006, 6:54 PM

Post #55 of 92 (22597 views)



Re: Introduce yourself

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I'm bumping this thread back up in hopes our new members will join in.

Rolly Pirate


Aug 14, 2006, 12:00 AM

Post #56 of 92 (22558 views)



Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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Hi. My name is Heather I am 35. I have 3 children 14, 3, and 2 months. We currently live in Portland Oregon. Which I've noticed several people who have either lived here or are from here. My husband is from Michoacan and we are selling our house and moving to Mexico. Not on the market yet but we have the sign. We have a small piece of property outside of Morelia, outside of Albaro de Obregon, which is right next to the Morelia airport. Anyway, when I say small I mean really small it is like 50' x 50'.

About me I was a secretary for about 17 years(I started when I was 16) my most recent job was as an Executive Assistant working for the City of Portland at Portland Development Commission which I left 2 years ago. I was making fairly good money but decided that my family was more important and my boss was a chaotic workaholic and expected me to be one too.

I am with my second husband (we've been together over 7 years) and he is a wonderful, hard working, peaceful, patient man, who is 6 years younger than I am. His profession is a Carpenter Framer. We've decided to move to Mexico for many reasons but one of them is that he has given me everything that I have ever wanted so I want to move to mexico for him.... So our children can KNOW their grand parents. And so that he can be near them while they are still around. Also he doesn't have to work so hard (For awhile) and also that I am basically an orphan so not much is holding me here. Except my 14 year old son who will now live with his father and come visit me in Mexico.

Anyway, we wil be taking the proceeds from our home and either taking some time off or buying a house maybe in Puerto Vallarta or maybe Morelia and just picking up our existance down there. We plan to have sort of a small house or if possible a trailer on his small piece of property (to visit) so if anyone can tell me if or how to find out if you can buy travel trailers in Mexico I would really appreciate it. I've already found lots and lots of useful information on the technology thread and really think this website is filled with lots of valuable information.

Thank you.
"You are where you should be, doing what you should be doing, otherwise you'd be somewhere else, doing something else."


Aug 14, 2006, 6:46 AM

Post #57 of 92 (22524 views)



Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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Thanks. I've been wondering what has happened. Incidentally, last night I was reading through some of your Rollybrook site. I is really enjoyable. I had read it some time ago, but had not seen it recently. Like good wine, it is worth savoring.

I originally sent this to Rolly as a PM, but decided that I wanted to call attention to his Rollybrook stuff for those who might not be familiar with it.

Hope Rolly doesn't mind.


Aug 14, 2006, 7:14 AM

Post #58 of 92 (22509 views)



Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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In the unlikely event that anyone's interested, My name is Don, I live in Michigan and am retired maintenance (skilled trades) from Ford Motors as of this past July 1.

I am 54 and speak Spanish well enough to get along by myself. My ex-wife is from Honduras, so I tell folks I had to learn Spanish "for self-defense."

The truth of it is that many years ago I worked as a game operator for a travelling carnival and went with this outfit to Puerto Rico and Panama a couple of times. This is where I began to learn Spanish phrases like, "winners get their choice of any large prize" "pick out your lucky color--the more colors you pick, the better chance you have of winning!--twenty-five cents a color--go ahead, spend ALL your money, it's only once a year!" "Throw the ball!" etc.

Also, in the times when I was not working, I picked up more useful Spanish phrases, like "this toilet has no seat!" and "Can't I just go ahead and pay the traffic fine here and now to save us both some trouble?"

Anyway, I am pleased to report that Mexican acquaintances have praised my Spanish abilities ("better than a kindergartner!").

I am hoping to travel around a bit by bus this winter. I'd like to probably fly in to Guad. or PV or wherever I can get the best fare and would then spend most of Jan thru March living out of a suitcase in cheap hotels in Aguascalientes, Zacatecas, San Luis Potosi, etc. (I can pay all my Michigan utility bills and whatnot on-line.)

My 20-year-old son is still living with me and going to college, so I am not going to be selling my house and moving south, or anything drastic like that. I'd like to spend the winter where it is warmer, though, and would like to become more familiar with Mexico. I'm hoping, within the next few years, to buy a small 22-25 foot RV.


Aug 14, 2006, 11:38 AM

Post #59 of 92 (22438 views)



Re: [db52] Introduce yourself

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Rolly, thanks so much for bumping this up. I've been reading a lot of back threads but hadn't come across this one. Reading about everyone's lives is like meeting characters from a book--except more interesting than fiction.

I'm Betty (58), married to Bob (also 58) for 33 years. We have 3 grown, married children and one adorable baby granddaughter. We live in Frankfort, KY in a house we built about 7 years ago, on a ridge with about 11 wooded acres overlooking a beautiful, rolling valley. This is our 13th home together in 33 years (not counting temporary housing). We picked this spot because it's about halfway between Lexington, where Bob works for Lexmark, and Louisville, where I worked. I'm an English prof. for Jefferson Community College, based in Louisville, but I now teach on the new Shelbyville campus just 13 miles away from home. (For five years I commuted from Lex. to Lou., a round trip of about 150 miles a day--grueling). We weren't looking to retire for another 4-5 years, but Bob may be facing a forced retirement from Lexmark next year after his 59th birthday--not a great age to be looking for employment. Having retired from the navy in 1992, Bob is fortunate to already have his navy pension coming in. When we looked at the hard realities, we realized that most of Bob's current income goes to support the mortgage on this beautiful house and property and two fairly new cars. And we asked ourselves, why? And why not an early, or at least semi-retirement? (Well, part of the answer there is that Bob, after working his whole adult life, can't imagine not working. He hasn't gotten into the mindset of "early retirement"; he still views it as "unemployment." But I'm working on that concept. I'd love to hear from some of you about how you dealt with that issue.)

So, why Mexico? We don't have a lot of experience with Mexico. Besides day trips to border towns and nearby forays (Nogales, Tijuana, Rosarito Beach), we just spent a wonderful family vacation in el bajio (Guanajuato, Dolores Hidalgo, Las Trancas, SMA) in late May/June and loved every minute of it. We didn't feel like strangers to Mexico. We have a number of Mexican friends here in KY, and Bob and I both volunteer for Centro Latino, an agency in Shelbyville that works to ease the transition for our large population of Hispanic immigrants. We already knew very well the warmth, friendliness, and generosity of the Mexican people. I grew up in Tampa, FL and studied Spanish (Cubano version) in school, then joined the Peace Corps in Ecuador after college. My Spanish is rusty but my friends help by correcting my grammar mistakes immediately! My aging brain amazes me with what it dredges up grammatically complex from the distant past, but it confounds me when I can't remember the most obvious and familiar palabras. Bob is learning Spanish gradually, though he oftens gives it a French twist since that's his only other language.

We've traveled a lot and actively seek out varied cultural experiences. Besides my Ecuador time (before Bob), we traveled all over the US and Asia while he was in the navy, volunteering for two tours of duty--one in Japan and one in the Philippines. While there we also visited a number of other Asian countries. He also has traveled extensively in Asia and Europe for Lexmark. I haven't been back to Asia since 1982, but I have been able to go with him on some of his European jaunts. Hooray for frequent flyer miles! A few years ago, some good friends encouraged us to try home exchanging like they were doing. We've been very surprised that people in other countries want to come and stay in a home in KY! We've had 6 exchanges in as many years: three in England (London, Yorkshire, East Anglia), Holland, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Unfortunately, our home exchange organizations don't have many opportunities in Mexico.

Possible plans: I'd like Bob to retire, or at least work at something from home, while I keep my job for a few more years. I have a great deal of flexible time, including the long summer break. Moreover, our college is encouraging us baby boomers to teach more online courses, possibly teaching one semester on campus and another from wherever we choose online. That's a very attractive option. We could keep a small place here, possibly a condo, and live the rest of the year in Mexico--not necessarily the same place in Mexico all the time. We have a visit to Lakeside planned for the whole week of Thanksgiving. It seems like a logical place to start or a good base from which to explore other areas. We loved Guanajuato and want to go back for a longer stay. We'd also like to check out Patzcuaro. Our children are spread out from LA to Louisville to DC, so we aren't exactly leaving them behind. And as former navy brats, they're ready to pick up and travel anywhere, anytime.

I want to thank all of you for being so generous with your experiences and information. I've been soaking it all up this summer like a thirsty sponge. Bob calls it my obsession. I've also had Amazon busy sending me every book I could find about living in Mexico--the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful. I'm looking forward to hearing about lots more.


PS I think I accidentally sent a PM to somebody. Sorry about that. Just clicked prematurely somewhere.


Aug 14, 2006, 5:31 PM

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Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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I'm Norm,82 years old,living in Albuquerque with my significant other and I have been reluctant to start this journey so far into the past of a very active life.I will summarize and lump some things together to make it easier on both of us.

I was born and raised in Chicago,quit high school after the 9th grade and mostly hung out at the neighborhood playground where shooting craps and other educational games took up most of my time.For 50cents from each of us in the crap game the area squad car didn't notice the crap game on the sidewalk(not as cheap as it sounds--remember it was the great depression).

When I was 18 I enlisted in the army and trained to be a machine gunner on a half track that mounted four 50 caliber machine guns and fired them all with the pressure on just one trigger--500 rounds of 50 caliber in just one minute.I felt very powerful!

One year later the army sent me to the Univ.of Alabama at Tuscaloosa to become an engineer. I loved the women of Alabama,but I didn't feel the same about engineering, so I asked to go back to my old outfit.Instead I was sent to Arkansas to become an infantryman.A few months later,I was in England and 2 days after my 20th birthday(June 5, 1944),I was in France where machine gunners were badly needed.

On Oct 1,1944,after 17 days in the same position in the Siegfried Line in Germany,our position was encircled and a flame thrower wiped out our company except for 13 of us who became prisoners.After walking for 7 days and being strafed by American planes while locked in a cattle car on the bridge crossing the Rhine,we arrived at a prison camp at Limburg,a filthy place where we stayed a couple of weeks,just long enough for me to get type A hepatitis.

Next we went by cattle car to Stalag VllA in Mooseburg where we lived in the shadow of the monstrous smoke stack of the Dachau concentration camp which was just down the road a little piece and belched out huge amounts of ashes which rained down on us every day.(Aside to Bubba--you didn't deal with my dirty underwear--I wore them) It wasn't until after the war that we learned the ashes that covered us every day were humans that the "civilized" Germans murdered.

When the war ended I returned to Chicago (arriving on my 21st birthday,an eventful year). My parents had both died while I was in the army so I felt pretty rootless and quickly married the first girl to come along.That was a mistake, but I had two sons before we divorced.The older one came to live with me and the younger with her, but a year later I had them both. And now I also have a daughter and 3 grand daughters of whom I could not be more proud.

After the marriage I got a GED high school diploma and went to the Univ of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana where I received my BA and went back to Chicago to work as a child protective service worker.After 2 years I went to the Univ of Chicago for my masters in social work. I began working with my first street gang in Chicago,the King Clovers and then the Egyptian War Lords. Then to New York City where I directed street gang work on the Lower East Side, and kept my hand in by working with a gang called the Sportsmen, for an experimental program called Mobilization for Youth. I then taught at the Columbia Univ graduate school of social work while I took classes for a PhD in social work.I decided I preferred to practice rather than teach,so I didn't do a dissertation and didn't get the degree.

Next I directed an anti-poverty program in Ossining,NY and then I went to New Mexico to work for the State Div of Mental Health as the State Mental Health Consultant to Law Enforcement.Following this I directed a delinquency prevention program for the Univ. of NM and then became the Chief of Community Planning for the State Dep't of Health and Social Services.

I then returned to NY to work for the Fed Gov't Dep't of HEW as the Regional Associate Commissioner for Youth Development and Delinquency Prevention.I retired as the Regional Deputy Dir, Administration on Children,Youth and Families. I went back to NM for my retirement.

I have been visiting Mexico since 1967 and thought I had seen it all until I began reading your posts on Mex Con. As for my Spanish-- I took an immersion course in Cuernavaca in 1994 and spent 2 weeks living with a family in Irapuato. I have gone back to visit that family 10 0f the 12 years since then and they say my Spanish was better in 1994. My daughter lives in Puerto Rico and is a native speaker.When I speak to her in Spanish she responds with rapid fire Spanish too fast for my ears to hear. I ask her to slow down,but she refuses.That's my story, except that I hope to come to live in Mexico Lindo next year and to visit often until then.

Oh,yes, one more thing: I think an "independent thinking conservative" is an oxymoron.


Judy in Ags

Aug 14, 2006, 7:55 PM

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Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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I’m Judy and I’m 66. I grew up in suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota. My dad was in the restaurant business. He and my mother decided to go into missionary training when I was 15. They served at the mission headquarters in Wisconsin after training and didn’t go to Bolivia until after I was married.

I’m married to John (68) whose parents went into missionary training when he was 14. He and I met in Wisconsin when I was in missionary training and he was at Moody Bible Institute.

In 1961 we went to Brazil as missionaries. He had gone there at age 18 with his parents and knew Portuguese well. We served in Brazil, first among the Gaviao Indians and then teaching at the school for missionaries’ children.

In 1971 we returned to Kansas City, Kansas, John’s home. He lost his job when the company for he worked was sold. He bought a laudromat which he built up and later sold.

I worked 7 plus years for the school board and 18 years for the City of Kansas City, Kansas. I began as a secretary and retired as a Human Resources Technician where I performed administrative duties, including training employees. I also built several data bases for the department and taught computer classes in evenings at the technical school.

We moved to Mexico in 2003. We’re still not finished building our house. The story of the decision to move, the move, etc. is in my blog at

We just got back from spending a month in the States. Boy, are we glad to be back home! The whole Midwest was in the 100’s almost every day we were there.


Aug 14, 2006, 8:48 PM

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Re: [Judy in Ags] Introduce yourself

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Truly awesome. I'm trying to get the folks at to start something like this fascinating discussion. It is their loss that they don't seem interested and can't hear this story or others like it - not many as awesome, but many that are truly fascinating.

Sorry, I made a mistake and posted this reply incorrectly. Judy's account is very interesting and recounts a full and worthwhile life, but this comment was directed at the account of nfabq, whose posting was almost unbelievable.

(This post was edited by dlyman6500 on Aug 14, 2006, 8:53 PM)


Aug 15, 2006, 6:45 AM

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Re: [nfabq] Introduce yourself

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.(Aside to Bubba--you didn't deal with my dirty underwear--I wore them) It wasn't until after the war that we learned the ashes that covered us every day were humans that the "civilized" Germans murdered.

Well, Norm, you are right that it was not your underwear that was being cleaned by the quartermaster at Dachau in 1965 when I was there and it was a NATO base with American, French, Turkish and other soldiers stationed there. We worked in an industrial laundry building that had been worked by prisoners during the war with catwalks and the works. We spent our nights in the old SS barracks.

Some interesting facts about Dachau. Dachau was a concentration camp and not an extermination camp along the lines of Bergen Belsen and, while they had gas chambers there they were never used. I was told that prisoners who died there died of natural causes or from starving or having been murdered by guards or camp administrators. In 1966 there were still a number of ex-prisoners living in the camp who had found themselves homeless after the war and were, therefore, allowed to stay there. In addition to the crematoria, they had some mass graves which had been rendered into the most beautiful parks. Pretty spooky.

There were several of us hippy type vagabond Americans living and working there then for $1.00USD an hour and a bunch of ancient German women who were much more productive than were we and could process that GI laundry much faster than we could yet they made $0.30USD an hour. It was disgusting work requiring us to sort laundry by type and throw it on a conveyor belt held together by large pins. One holds human beings in less esteem after a few months of that. Special good times awaited when GIs returned from bivouac.

The best base bar was French.. French beer from Strasbourg was $0.25 a bottle. We got drunk a lot.

Dachau itself is a charming ancient Bavarian town which just happened to have an old army base at its edge in the 1930s which was convenient for a concentration camp so that was the town´s bad luck. One night in Schwabing I was trying hard to pick up this Jewish girl in a bar and was unsuccesful. Later, she told me that she had been offended when I innocently told her I was living in Dachau. She didn´t know there was a town there and thought I was just trying to be a jerk. That must have been my all time worst pickup line. Hell, she asked me where I lived!

(This post was edited by Bubba on Aug 15, 2006, 10:42 AM)


Aug 15, 2006, 7:53 AM

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Re: [flyingcrane] Introduce yourself

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Hi Marie
Bubba is my husband Bob

(I think my wife meant this as a personal message and it was inadvertently posted publicly. Oh well. Nevertheless, what she says is true.)

(This post was edited by Bubba on Aug 15, 2006, 10:31 AM)


Aug 15, 2006, 3:13 PM

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Re: [Bubba] Introduce yourself

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Well Bubba, you're right .It was a concentration camp,their first ,to be exact.I don't know if they gassed people there,but a hell of a lot of people died there and the crematorium is the resting place of those cremated whose ashes didn't fall on us. We worked in Munich,sometimes along side of the concentration camp prisoners, and I saw them scraping the insides of our garbage cans and eating what they could scrape out--couldn't have been much when you consider how little we got.I also saw more than one being beaten to death,one for asking one of us for a cigarette. I don't think the ones killed at the worksite were taken back to be disposed of.So, whether Dachau was a death camp or not,a hell of a lot of inmates died there, one way or another.

No comments re U of A? We've been following one another.



Aug 15, 2006, 3:43 PM

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Re: [nfabq] Introduce yourself

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It was not my intention to minimize the horrors of Dachau. We southerrners have our Andersonville and, even in times of luxurious plenty we have Guantanamo and a thousand other places where people are treated deplorably. I do not find human beings to be agreeable creatures. There is no way to go up from there. Perhaps you will find communicating with "Pollyanna" Tenista and his sycophants more pleasant. However, from reviewing your posts, I don´t think you will stoop to that.

(This post was edited by Bubba on Aug 15, 2006, 3:45 PM)


Aug 15, 2006, 5:14 PM

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Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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I am younger than my age [66] and happier than I deserve to be.
Born a Brit, from my earliest years I wanted to travel. Joined the Queens army and she provided an education and the world was my oyster. All for a shilling! I have lived [for more than 5 years] on each of four continents and if travel broadens the mind and I believe it does, I am unshockable [spell checker doesn’t like it but I think it is a word!].
Met my spouse in the Yemen [she is Scottish, not Arab] in 1966 and married in Scotland 1967.
We brought our two daughters up in Africa until they needed further education and we moved to Seattle. I’m still not sure about the education, but we all flourished. Thinking my travel days were over, I found my new employer, Boeing, had other ideas and I traveled to places I never expected to visit and some I never hope to visit again!
Carrying the broadest minds around, we retired in 1999 to the wilds of the Olympic Mountains in Washington State.
My wife lasted 3 months as a retiree and returned work. After 5 years I realized if she was ever going to retire, another move was in order.
One evening in Puerto Vallarta, as the sun and a bottle of wine disappeared below the horizon, we decide to move to Mexico.
Some time later, we bought a place in Mazatlan and are in our second year here and we love it. We live full time here, never being able to do things by half. It gets hot and humid in the summer, but we also get the greenery of the tropics and the pleasure of hosting those Mexicans that have to live away from the coast. So there are two seasons, the Gringo season and the Nationals [I hope that is not politically incorrect Jennifer?] season and we love them both.
There is a book, written by Chuck Hall, entitled ‘Mazatlan is Paradise’. Don’t read this book! Mazatlan is full, go look at Puerto Vallarta! Just kidding, [I can’t bring myself to say LOL]. The book is well worth reading and the proceeds go to Mazatlan charities.
Well it is time to get this off to the Mazatlan Tourist Board and await my check! I expect Chuck will be contacting me also?
I have a weather station on my roof and if anyone is interested in knowing the weather in Mazatlan, updated every 10 minutes, check it out.
Also my blog has some of our Mexico experiences at
Almost forgot, we are, because I think this is my wife’s account: Anne [the real anneli] and Peter,

world travelers, retired.

In finishing this, thanks to Jennifer for your guiding hand
Rolly for the rolodex of information
Buba for your heavy hand, but great humor
Bournemouth for the British touch
And all you old Mexican expats for all your insightful advice


Aug 15, 2006, 7:18 PM

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Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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I think this a great site and this is a good idea-adds another dimension to the names.

I was born a Scot,served in the Royal Scots regiment and came to Canada in 1956.

I was a fur-trader with the Hudson's Bay Company,then was employed by a Cree Indian fur co-op. Later,I managed an Indian and Metis (Halfbreed-in those days) fish co-op and retail store.

The I worked for the Indian Affairs Branch,mostly with logging and sawmills,commercial fisheries,stone carving and craft groups.Later,as an on-reservation advisor in local government matters.

Most of my working life was spent "in the bush",and I travelled thousands of miles by aircraft,boat and snow vehicles-and occasionally by dogteam. All in remote and isolated areas,including north of the Arctic Circle.

I was married to a Cree Indian for 26 years,had three children( all doing okay).

My present wife,Judy,and I have been together for 17 years,and discovered Mexico on our first RV venture seven years ago. Found a great spot in San Carlos,Sonora,where I am presently chairman of the board that operates a residential RV park with about 190 resident members.

I love the feel of Mexico,and I know that if I had come here fifty years ago-I would have stayed. Maybe I would be Don Miguel by now!

Great place to be-but I still get nostalgic on Hogmanay-which is my birthday. However,a few wee drams and a CD of pibroch music helps me get over it.

Buena suerte.


Aug 15, 2006, 7:43 PM

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Re: [Bubba] Introduce yourself

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Around here,Bubba, I'm known as "the kiss of death " for my insistance on reality--I don't Pollyanna very well.But I didn't intend to imply you were minimizing Dachau,I just meant to point out there is more than meets the eye and more than one way to skin a human.As for "human beings", I dislike selectively,but I have an expandable capacity.


jennifer rose

Aug 15, 2006, 8:00 PM

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Re: [nfabq] Introduce yourself

Back on topic, folks. Please use the Private Reply feature for private, off-topic discussions.


Aug 16, 2006, 5:53 AM

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Re: [jennifer rose] Introduce yourself

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So I get to reply to Jennifer ..

Not a lurker because I just joined today after a long absence (since MC changed from an open board). I think about '99 was my first post on the old MC forum.

Anyway ... I'm a year and a half retired and almost that long living in Mexico (Melaque, Jalisco). Got my FM3 last Feburary, dealing with my first full summer of coastal weather, moving into a house from a bungalow for privacy and away from gringos. Not that I don't like gringos, it's just that many isolate themselves from the community or are just passing thru for a few weeks.

Spent the last 10 working years as the Network Admin for a Seattle Community College campus ... and sure love the lack of responsibility now. All life beyond that time is just a distant haze.

My web pages below tell about my Mexico travels for the last 6 years or so ... and our area of the Costalegre

Sparks Mexico Blog - Sparks Costalegre


Aug 16, 2006, 6:05 AM

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He also provides medical and dental care for local kids out of his own pocket.


Aug 16, 2006, 4:46 PM

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Re: [dlyman6500] Introduce yourself

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And a little help from my friends - Thanks. Look for a foto of Jania soon.

Sparks Mexico Blog - Sparks Costalegre

(This post was edited by sparks on Aug 16, 2006, 6:24 PM)


Aug 16, 2006, 8:32 PM

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Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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Well, Rolly, after procrastinating past the first edition of this thread, I guess now's my chance. My name's Doug I live in Los Angeles and hope to retire to move SOB next year. I was born close to here some 61 years ago, then around 1950, my parents packed up and moved us to San Cristobal Zapotitlán, Jalisco, a town even now still too small to appear on most maps. It's on the south shore of Lake Chapala directly across from San Juan Cosalá. They bought 2 hectareas, built a house and a chicken ranch, all on Turista visas. Did OK, too, selling fryers and eggs, till 1958-1959 when the lake rose to record levels, covering half our land. Unfortunately, it was the half that housed the chickens. About the same time their old truck finally breathed it's last, and the Mexican whose name the ranch was in got hepatitis and died. It was obviously time to turn in our 10 year old turista visas and return to CA

I attended school in San Cristobal till 6th grade then went to boarding school in Guadalajara till we had to move. Mexico has always remained embedded in my soul like a huisache thorn.

I was drafted into US Army in the Viet Nam era, spent two years in Texas. No picnic but at least no one was shooting at me. I've worked as a welder, a banker, a chef and apprentice chef (dishwasher). Married once, no children, now single.

See y'all in Guadalajara in 2007, God willing.
Tapatío de corazón


Aug 18, 2006, 2:17 PM

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Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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Other lurkers here as well (or almost). Here goes!! My husband, John, is 58 and I’ll be there in Sept. Whoever said a Sagittarius and Virgo wouldn’t work LOL.
Spontaneity, for us, is a way of life and keeps us “young”. (We got engaged within 2 hours of meeting, phoned the kids at 11:00 PM to break the news and we have just celebrated our 17th anniversary!)

We are a fun loving, and optimistic couple. We look forward to meeting people of all ages, and to cultivate relationships with many different types of personalities, as we have always done. John is a Ukrainian Gypsy, so can make the best porgies, cabbage rolls, dill buns and borscht – along with all the other hip enlarging dishes. I’m more into gourmet foods, and ethnic dishes, and I love to bake. We both enjoy preparing Japanese, Chinese (anything Asian), Greek, and East Indian dinners. John made himself a tortilla press last year and does the whole gamut from scratch, so we’ll soon be into Mexican in a big way. We really enjoy entertaining, good conversation, and of course, we must have our wine (also made from our own fruit –J makes great sake from rice and raisins).
Our other hobbies include: Photography, sewing, woodworking, carving, sculpting, charcoal and oils, and of course…our friends…the computers

Our 2 children (from my previous marriage) are married (37 and 35), and along with their husbands, have chosen to give us 3 beautiful grandchildren - all live in Western Canada. We now have two “hair kids” at home (Chihuahuas), and will have our third when we get to our new home (American Bulldog).

Hailing from Kelowna, BC, John got transferred to Vancouver for 7½ years, then to Halifax, NS, where we’ve been for almost 8.
We’ve been planning our retirement for the last fifteen years, I was going to work until I was 60 (accounting), then - “the big move”, but a tandem-cab Silverado truck decided it liked the rear-end of my Olds station wagon sitting there so prettily at a stop sign. This “crush” was just over two years ago – my station wagon died (completely totaled and “branded” – may she rest in peace), but I was lucky enough to come out of it “disabled” – hence, our move is coming sooner than expected. I can still get around, but find walking difficult (8–10 houses rt’n trip about max). Positive aspect? I’ll have a good excuse to sit and sip on a cold one with some of you while my hubby does the marketing, LOL.

Mexico far exceeds Barbados, as a final location for us. We’ve only been down about 6 times, but the people won our hearts with each visit. We would venture out of the “tourist” areas and meet/visit with a few locals, thus cementing our resolve to retire there. We knew enough Spanish to get by, but have to brush up and learn to actually speak the language. I've been taking computer lessons for 5 months now, but I'm afraid I've still got a LONG ways to go, even though I finished the course! LOL...can hardly wait to have someone to practice on.

Plans once we get there? Buy a home, fix it up (will have lost 3 yrs of my income by then, so we’ll buy down from our original plan), and start enjoying some of our many hobbies. Will sell our vehicle before the move and hope to pick up something over 10 years old, that will get us from A to B – not into status – just reliability.

Thank you for giving us this opportunity to introduce ourselves. We read many of the posts on a regular basis, and find them very informative, and others quite amusing. This is likely a new "hobby"Amber, John, Paco & Rosa
What we see depends mainly on what we look for. (John Lubbock)


Aug 21, 2006, 11:28 AM

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Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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Kate here, from Cairo Egypt, where I've lived since 1982 and currently work in web communications at the American University. I recently bought a home in La Paz, BCS, and plan to move there in spring 2007. I was born in and grew up near Akron, OH but have been a full-time expat for 27 of my 59 years. (If you count Cambridge, MA as foreign territory, as many US residents apparently do, make that 31/59).

As a former Club Med employee in the '70s, I lived and worked in Greece, Switzerland, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Morocco, and Turkey. Later travels have taken me to numerous countries on all but two continents, South America and Antarctica. I speak fluent French, broken colloquial Arabic, and bits of other languages that sneak into my attempts at Spanish dialogue. This mix 'n' match also works contrariwise (I said "sí" on the phone to my mechanic the other day).

My first visit to Mexico was in July '75 to a Club Med somewhere between Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta that I believe no longer exists. My second was in May 2005 to La Paz, first stop on my retirement-scouting itinerary. It was exactly what I was looking for. I loved every moment of my two-week stay despite very limited "survival" Spanish plus being alone and not knowing a soul. Now I'm planning my fifth trip this fall to organize Phase 2 (or is it Phase 5?) of home remodeling. As I try to explain to friends and family, La Paz has nearly all the positive characteristics of Cairo without the negatives. Apart from missing folks here, I don't anticipate major adjustment issues other than logistics of the actual move, which I dread, and organizing my finances. Otherwise, I'm ready for the change and looking forward to it with delight.

My BA is in literature and MA in teaching English as a foreign language, but my work experience and aspirations (if any) lie elsewhere.

I have a rather incongruous love/hate relationship with this forum and others that I'll get over at some point. Mostly it's because my "living in the USA" mindset is stuck somewhere in the mid-'70s. For example, I had to google for a definition of "big-box store".

Saludos desde el Cairo,



Sep 4, 2006, 12:05 PM

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Re: [not_ally] Introduce yourself

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Hello from Amber
experiment with the ALT it and type in a'll be surprised what you get.
...160 á
...130 é
161 í
...162 ó
...163 ú
...173 ¡
168 ¿
...129 ü
64 @
and the list goes on...hope this helps
What we see depends mainly on what we look for. (John Lubbock)


Sep 6, 2006, 7:08 PM

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Re: [blue] Introduce yourself

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Just joined again after a long intermission :)
I just turned sixty-two this August and I am divorced with three grown children doing well and two grandchildren also doing well.

I just retired this January after working for the Federal Gov. for many years. I live now in Kentucky and own a small farm that once was an Amish farm. When I moved here I had no electricity, telephone or central heat. I lived all winter that way staying warm with wood fired stoves and lighting with kerosene lamps. Now I have most of the amenities; indoor plumbing, electricity, telephone, but still heat with wood fired stoves.

Do to my work I lived in Europe for several years and got to visit most of the western countries like Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Italy (where I got my purse snatched), England and others. I loved every moment of it.

I lived and worked on the border at Nogales USA, for years and then moved for a better job to Virginia.

I have traveled a little in Sonora Mexico and love the little town of Alamos. My Spanish is crude, but I am determined to learn to hold a conversation in Spanish one day. The evening I arrived in Alamos I meet most of the Ex-pats as they were having an inpromptu dinner at my hotel after a cocktail party at one of their houses. I was swept up into their conversations and the feeling of good cheer as we ate beside a large fireplace with a nice warm fire. I felt as though I had been there before and I belonged there somehow.

I plan to make a trip to Lakeside this coming winter to see if that is the place for me. I have heard many nice things about it from people who had visited there.

I like a little adventure in my life, Mexico's culture, its history, and language are facinating. So many of the towns are laid out so well, with plazas, parks and mercados. So much to learn so little time.

Thanks to all for sharing your knowledge and experiences with new comers like me, it is such a blessing.


This is my address for my Mexico blog a work
in progress.


Sep 17, 2006, 2:04 PM

Post #79 of 92 (31030 views)



Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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I'm primarily a lurker on this board. I learn so much more than I can contribute out of my own meager experience.

I was a comparative literature major in college (such a valuable degree!). I was taking lit classes in German and French, but if I wanted to go further with studies in those languages, I needed to spend a year or two studying in Germany or France. Unfortunately, I was financing my own education and I couldn't afford to go. However, I could afford a 6 week immersion course in Mexico. I decided that I wanted the immersion experience, even though Spanish was outside of my field of study. I took an accelerated beginning Spanish course for a year, then I traveled to Xalapa, Veracruz in the summer of 1982 for the immersion course. I also spent a couple weeks in Mexico City and Oaxaca City.

Like another poster, I was blown away by the fact that Mexico is right next door to the U.S., and yet I knew nothing of its amazing culture. I was totally smitten. I experienced a little of everything that summer: fiestas, medianoches, burros, paleta vendors, 2nd class buses, the now defunct train, Mexican time, Mexican color and zest. I also experienced the downside: poverty, the poor pregnant serving girl at one house who cried into the dishwater, giant mounds of dirty suds in a remote mountain stream, people living in cardboard shanty towns surrounding Mexico City drawing bright green water from a ditch that received the effluent from several factories.

Unfortunately, when I returned to the U.S., it was time to get on with life (and repay my student loans.) Not unfortunately, I got on with my life, married, found a job, had a couple kids. I wanted to spend a year or two living outside the U.S., but that never happened. We have a middle class life that is fairly typical for families in our area. Because of that, I decided to take a draw on the kids' inheritance and show them something of the world, so that they would know that there is life outside Springfield, OR. We have been to my husband's ancestral village in Slovakia, to Poland and the Czech Republic. We've also been to Mexico twice, most recently this summer.

I doubt I will end up living in Mexico--we'll probably divide our time between the U.S., Central Europe and Mexico when we retire in less than four years. But we will spend a lot of time there, I fervently hope. Travel represents freedom to me. Mexico is the place where I had my first glorious adventure. I look forward to many more.

In Reply To


Sep 19, 2006, 2:26 PM

Post #80 of 92 (30951 views)



Introducing Myself

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I guess that, after all the lurking I've done and all the useful information I've derived from this forum, it is time for me to introduce myself. My name, as my ID makes no effort to disguise, is Don Merwin. I do not consider myself an old Mexico hand, although I have been visiting s.o.b. for about 30 years and have made trips there more or less annually.

In 1983, my wife Judith and I lived in San Miguel for three months. One of the results of that stay was my meeting John Howells with whom I wrote CHOOSE MEXICO which we are currently updating for a Tenth Edition.

We continue to be proud of that book which we believe has been good both for Mexico and the many retirees it encouraged to move there. The first edition asserted, on the basis of much on-site research and extensive polling of people retired there, that a couple could live comfortably on as little as $400/month. In the book we stated that prices and other information could be quickly outdated and urged readers to seek a newer edition,if the copyright date was more than a few years old. Nevertheless, we still hear from critics who ask how we can be telling people that they can live on $400. Actually, we adjusted that figure upward in the very next edition and continued to do so in each subsequent one until we decided that there is no one size fits all budget figure and ceased endorsing any minimum.

But enough about that and back to me: I started out as writer for Edward R. Murrow, went on to writing speeches for several New York mayors, doing community relations and administration for a variety of health and human service agencies, and, as a health planner, trying to bring some sense to the U.S. health non-system .

After our return from Mexico, my wife and I started Gateway Books, specializing in guides to travel and retirement for over-50 readers. About a dozen years was enough of that and we were happy to find as a purchaser a larger publisher which wanted to to acquire and extend our list.

Judith and I are now enjoying retirement in Oakland, California, held there by our overwhelming desire to spend as much time as possible with our three kids and seven grandchildren. Nevertheless, life would be incomplete without trips to Mexico each year, varying in length from 2 to 4 weeks. We have many friends in San Miguel, despite the attraction of other places such as Oaxaca, we are always drawn there for at least part of our stays.


Sep 19, 2006, 8:15 PM

Post #81 of 92 (30908 views)



Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

Hi all,

I don't know why I haven't posted on this thread before now. It's certainly lively and proves my theory that people who would consider uprooting themselves and living in foreign lands and with other cultures make the most interesting and amiable friends and neighbors!

I am 45 and a gay male living in standard-issue American suburbia just outside of Dallas. My partner, Mike, is a few years older than me and thinking much more about retirement than I am at the moment. We don't easily fit into many labels. We consider ourselves progressive in outlook and open to diverse cultures and experiences, but we are also fiercely proud of our conservative Southern upbringings (or maybe that should be, fiercely proud in spite of our conservative Southern upbringings?! - I always get that mixed up). Anyway, we are Arkansas boys and the old saying is still true, 'you can take the boys out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the boys.'

We can be boring homebodies with the best of the long time married couples - but are also open to traipsing down unexplored back roads on a whim or celebrating with newly found friends. We love good cuisine and think that good Mexican food is a divine experience. (Tip - if you ever find yourself in Puerto Vallarta, run, crawl or beg your way into El Repollo Rojo - The Red Cabbage. The chiles en nogada are the closest thing to heaven on earth.)

I speak butchered Spanish, which I am striving mightily to improve. I actually have a degree in Spanish from St. Louis University and could speak the language passably when I graduated, but, like all things, it's use it or lose it. I am working hard on using it with the construction crews who are currently helping us remodel our kitchen and den.

Mike and I are keeping an open mind as to retirement and possible new homes in Mexico. We have a list of locations that we have or would like to visit. Most of them are in central Mexico, such as Zacatecas, Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende, Morelia and Puebla. Although we love spending time in Puerto Vallarta too. I think what has attracted us most to Mexico has been the people. Our families and friends NOB look at us like we're crazy when we tell them that we can never find the peace or relaxation that we find as soon as we set foot on Mexican soil.

We genuinely appreciate the wisdom, warmth and humor we have gleaned from reading Mexico Connect. I hope you all appreciate the tremendous wealth of community found here.

Enjoy the ride,

Ken Howard
Carrollton, Texas, USA


Sep 19, 2006, 8:51 PM

Post #82 of 92 (30896 views)



Re: [kenhjr] Introduce yourself

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Welcome Ken, sounds like you will enjoy this place. My mother was proud to be an Arkansan, she was from Magnolia. I can't say I have fond memories of those annual trips in the summer to visit the relatives. I've always been rather grateful to the Japanese for making my birth in California possible.

So, do you like your cornbread sweet or not and with white or yellow cornmeal?

Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán


Sep 19, 2006, 9:52 PM

Post #83 of 92 (30885 views)



Re: [sfmacaws] Introduce yourself

Well, Mike would say, without hesitation, "unsweet."

I would also say, "unsweet," but with the proviso that the buttermilk he insists upon for the cornbread requires a pinch (and if you're from the South, you know what a pinch is, if you're not, it requires a Southern grandmother to show you) of sugar.

We would both say white cornmeal.

Interestingly, we both would insist on white cornmeal for our tortillas, as well. We abhor flour tortillas. But that's probably another thread all of its own.


(This post was edited by kenhjr on Sep 19, 2006, 10:03 PM)


Sep 24, 2006, 1:38 AM

Post #84 of 92 (30767 views)



Re: [kenhjr] Introduce yourself

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This is a great thread, and I have enjoyed reading everyone's story. Me, I'm a 52 year old musician, trumpet player and music teacher, living in Chicago, married 20 years to a mexican woman, Eva, and we are planning on moving to Xalapa in about a year. We just got back from a three week vacation in Veracruz state, and I am applying for a job at the University of Veracruz in Xalapa. I really think there would be a lot of opportunities for me there and we made some valuable connections both in Xalapa and the puerto. I have loved Veracruz for the last ten years when Eva's mom moved there from DF, the music is fantastic, the food is terrific, the ambience unparalleled. We have always agreed that we'd move to Mexico eventually and the time apparently has come. Especially if I get a job we'd leave in a second, but even if I don't it will come to pass soon. I love Xalapa and Veracruz, and music is a very respected career in Mexico, teaching even more so. (Since I am a teacher here in Chicago everyone in Veracruz called me "maestro" which is kind of cool).

Michael McLaughlin "el bolillo ranchero"


Sep 24, 2006, 11:32 AM

Post #85 of 92 (30718 views)



Re: [trpt2345] Introduce yourself

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Here I go with my first post on this board! I have already learned so much from Mexconnect and Rolly's site has become our bible.

My husband, Randy (52) and I (42) are in the process of purchasing a home in Manzanillo. He has never seen it and has never been to Manzanillo. How's that for a leap of faith on his part??

We have been married for 23 years and have 2 daughters ages 22 and 19. One just graduated from college with a Spanish/business major and the other is in college, also a Spanish major. We fell in love with Mexico after taking several vacations there. We wanted something on the west coast, and as much as we love PV and Zihua, they were a little too pricey and a little too touristy for us. My oldest daughter and I took a trip to Manzanillo this past August, just to look around and see what the housing market was like. We ended up finding exactly what we wanted and now have an offer pending. Every hour or so I have an internal freak out when I think about what we've done!

We are both originally from Minnesota but have been in Green Bay, Wisconsin for 10 years. Hubby has also lived in Los Angeles and New Zealand, but that was before he met me and settled down!
Randy was a radio announcer for 30 years and now sells advertising for a TV station as well as running his on on-line radio station ( I have been the store director for a large supermarket for the past 10 years, but have been in retail/customer service my whole life. We have worked hard and saved well and one day just said- let's move to Mexico! We haven't decided when or how, but as the temperature starts dropping here in Green Bay, I think it might be sooner than later. I hate that it is cold here so many months of the year and overly air-conditioned during the only hot days we get. I want to live near swimmable water and a beach you can enjoy.

Friends and family are divided into two camps- one group says we're crazy and gives us all their fears about Mexico. The other group wants to go with us and are jealous that they aren't doing the same thing.

I have enjoyed reading this board- it is helping me understand what we are getting into. I'm sure you will be hearing alot from me in the future. Thank you for having this forum available.
Follow my blog:

(This post was edited by karfest on Sep 24, 2006, 11:50 AM)


Oct 5, 2006, 3:59 PM

Post #86 of 92 (30610 views)



Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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I didn't have much of a chance to lurk. So if you want to know about me you'll have to go to the places where the newbies go. I let most of it hang out there because it was a practice forum.
I don't have any sexy face shots to offer (even if I did I don't have any way to post them) so about the only way you can see me is to google on "Sierramel". I'm spread all over the internet from all the years I spent using my llamas guiding tourists through the central Sierra Nevadas. There's also some older ones from when I was still backpacking.
This will sound more like a personal ad, but you asked for it......

I'm 55, short, and blond. I can sit on my braid. If I want to. Sometimes I do just because gravity sucks. I wear trifocals. I clean up pretty nice. When I'm in shape I can still hike 12 mile days in 10,000 to 12,000 foot terrain.
I have a husband, but he's not interested in Mexico at all. And I'm not interested in staying where it can get to 20 below zero in the winter - about 75 miles due north of Mt. Whitney- and he's not interested in giving up telemark skiing. We're not sure either one of us wants to live in the same house with each other anymore. I've spent 26 years living in a small ski resort 2 hours from the nearest "large" town Carson City, Nevada.
Small towns, big counties, large mountians.
He's not looking for a date - neither am I.

So, here I am at Mexconnect, living with a Widowed cousin in The Valley(!).
I decided I wanted to work on a road and car camping trip to some place in Mexico in my 4X4. And with any luck, before I keel over. It might be nice to live there in another year.

Is there a format somewhere around here that matches passengers up to rides? Yes, I know about hooking up online with strangers. My mama taught me about strangers when I was 6, and I've met a lot of people through forums geared towards particular subjects. But that was for backpacking, and this is for Mexico.

I lived in Acapulco for several months with my 1st husband, and his buddy when I was 20 and they were 22 in '69/'70. The two of them had lived in Acapulco before I met them, after they arrived in California.
We drove down through Nuevo Laredo in a '54 chevy. They had the prior experience, and I was along for the adventure. We came back by bus through TJ.

I really liked the place although I know Acapulco is not what it was when I was there:
The bullfights, the beaches, the Zona Roja (what fun!), the little old guy in a loincloth who used to dive for oysters out in front of the Hilton and sell them by the plate to the rich folks. Rum and Yoli, at a street corner table on the main drag. Living a one 1 room, 2 bed walk-up (Amueblados Sevedra) with a bathroom, hot and cold running lizards on the ceiling, and dinner included (mussels and rice) - all for $65 us a month. The palm trees, the Canadians, us riding around in the mexican local buses.

Times change though.
It seems, from all my reading, that places around Lake Chapala, like Ajijic would be more to my liking these days. I've collected books up to my eyeballs about camping in Mexico, living and retiring in Mexico. I've read them to death. I have maps, and plotted routes. I've been warned about hurricane damage, bandits, the elections. I've been given advice as to where to go and why or why not to go there or that way.

I forgot to mention I have a sense of humor that sometimes doesn't translate well in this format.

What was it you wanted to know?


Oct 5, 2006, 8:07 PM

Post #87 of 92 (30575 views)



Re: [melsie] Introduce yourself

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Wonderful post, Mel! I grew nostalgic for the High Country while viewing the Sierra photos. Great butt shots, too! Would you do that now? I certainly wouldn't, but then my butt's got a few more years on it. You go, Girl! Hope to run into you down Mejico Way one of these days.

No hay rosas sin espinas . . .


Nov 8, 2006, 8:24 PM

Post #88 of 92 (30420 views)



Re: [brianbrian] Introduce yourself

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Here are some photos of my place:

Edited to make the link clickable -- rb

(This post was edited by Rolly on Nov 8, 2006, 8:57 PM)


Nov 9, 2006, 11:55 AM

Post #89 of 92 (30338 views)



Re: [brianbrian] Introduce yourself

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Brian, you have created a very beautiful hermitage in the woods. The gardens are charming. The interiors are expansive yet warm and inviting. Did you do all this work by yourself? I must say you are not entirely a hermit, as you appear to have a number of furry 4 legged friends sharing your life. All of them look exceedingly well cared for....

Good luck in finding those worthy of sharing your journey...


Nov 9, 2006, 3:49 PM

Post #90 of 92 (30297 views)



Re: [bfwpdx] Introduce yourself

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Thanks! I like it.
I do have 11 dogs and 6 cats.... but they don't match human contact.
I do have some visitors, though I am alone 95% of the time.

Some of my visitors are pictured here:


Jan 27, 2007, 10:21 AM

Post #91 of 92 (30105 views)



Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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To be perfectly honest, I'm a bit star-struck by proxy. I have enjoyed Rolly's picturs and food porn for years. I can't think of a website that I have enjoyed more than Doña Martha's kitchen. And each and every time I say her name in my head, it is "Doña MarTa". Can you verify that she actually has that "h" in there? And why? It is so foreign to my Argentine-Spanish (they call it Castellano there) tongue. But I'm neither Argentine nor Spanish nor do I have a drop of any latin blood; I simply learned Spanish on the streets, provinces, busses, trains, hostels, semi-truck cabs, boats and airplanes (have you ever hitched a ride on a private plane?) from my years as a mochillera in southern South America. I landed in Argentina, so there the accent me pegó.

I'm 46, partnered to Jamie, who is 2 years younger, and we have 4 wonderful children, Jesse at 12, Pike at 10, Sissy/Caroline at 7 and Ellen at 5. We started travelling in 2004 when we cashed out of the Bay Area housing frenzy and I tricked Jamie into a 3 month "vacation" in Baja. After 3 months in Baja we headed to the mainland and exited some 6 months later. We managed that by not getting FMT's and getting our vehicle permit until La Paz (3 months into the trip). We spent most of 2005 travelling from Los Mochis to PaaMul (where Jamie got typhoid) and then up into the highlands. We exited via Saltillo and Ciudad Acuña. By then, I had given Jamie a bit of the travelling bug and he signed on for another year. This year we had to convince only Pike; the rest are loving travel. We can get edgy with six people in 300sq ft of space, but then all of the US and Mexico is our livingroom so that helps. Except when it is rainy and gloomy and yuccky like the East coast. But the kids are loathe to leave, and after being in the Same Place for TWO WEEKS (well, we're going on three) it seems almost insurmountable to pack up and leave. I've heard it can be done though. We're headed for the Carribean this year (missed it last year) and then to Oaxaca (which we've been trying to get to for 3 years) and San Cristoból. But we may get waylaid by Merida. The cost of fixers in that town, with the culture and beautiful bones of the homes and the history just might keep us there. We thought we'd get waylaid in the coffee (our drug of choice) country of Veracruz but we might be wrong.

Our problem in Mexico is not finding a place we want to settle; it is that we find we want to settle EVERYWHERE.

I'm not really sure I introduced myself. But if nothing else, I'm happy to be in the greatness of Rolly. Any chance you're going to restart your series with Doña Martha? That series is absolute food porn.

Hell's Half Acre



Oct 5, 2010, 12:05 PM

Post #92 of 92 (29346 views)



Re: [Rolly] Introduce yourself

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Rolly Pirate
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