Long time acomin’

Long time acomin’

Friends, friends, friends. I am so sorry that I have not kept you up to date. Not only have I never finished telling you about my winter vacation — now some four months ago — but I haven’t told you the harrowing tales that have followed.

First, the months of March and April were absolutely slammed. As we prepared to move, we found ourselves having to spend far more money than we thought. What we believed to be a “done deal” in terms of our new home, was still under negotiation. We ended up paying more (albeit, not a lot more) in rent and ended up moving in to a house that had many unforeseen problems.

Gas.

The first issue involved the gas. Being in the city center, the house had originally had natural gas, which we were able to contract for and paid for the set up and installation. When they came to install the meter, however, they discovered that no natural gas was running through the pipes. And here I was thinking I had done such a great job getting everything arranged!

The upshot was that we had to buy a Liquid Propane tank and totally redo the existing gas lines to accommodate this hiccup. Of course, all of our new appliance scheduled to be delivered were ordered with natural gas hook-ups.

Changing that wasn’t so bad. Just an annoyance, really.

The next glitch came when we removed our air conditioner from our old house. The hole it left behind was enormous! Of course, this was on the Friday we were expecting to move out. The following day the landlords were coming to get the keys and do an inspection. Shit!

Thankfully, our realtor, Mauricio, was a great help. I texted him and he not only found someone to fix the hole, he came with the person and oversaw that it was done well and completely.

The move.

So, Saturday morning, we packed up the last of our stuff and headed over to the new house, which, at that time, still had no gas, among other things. Our landlord had promised the house would be “clean” when we moved in. Well, it was clean, if you are talking about the floors and freshly painted walls. But the old, nasty fixtures in the bathroom and the kitchen were anything but. They were old and nasty, to say the least.

Really nasty.

Lyn and I had prepared ourselves for this possibility, as our prior landlords were very hands-off as well. If something broke, we fixed it. Their entire role was to collect the rent. Yet, despite our foresight, we had hoped our new landlords would at least replace the kitchen and bathroom sinks. After all, we had requested it earlier in our negotiations and were told “don’t worry.”

Once we had the gas hooked up, we found out that the water heater did not work. So, off we went to Home Depot to buy a new one, one of those fancy instant ones, which we arranged with the plumber to install later that week. (More about that later.)

 

The original sinks in the nasty bathroom.

The dogs.

The first couple of days were very much like camping — you didn’t really want to use the facilities, but it was all there was. Even before the move, the dogs were getting agitated. They can always sense when things are about to change. For them, the change was much more dramatic — from a suburban setting with lots of green spaces to an urban brick jungle. Considering all that we were struggling to accomplish, we didn’t pay enough attention to getting them acclimated. A big mistake, which became very evident on our first day back to work.

Monday, both of us when to our prospective jobs. When I got back at 7:30 that evening, the plumber was at the house. He had come to complete some repairs (we didn’t know he was coming or that he had a key). That part was fine with me, until he told me that he accidentally let Izzy out. Even then I didn’t grasp the whole picture. Not only had he let Izzy out, but he was unable to get her back and she had been gone by that time for about 2 hours.

You can imagine my horror. I was dumbstruck. I immediately grabbed Sophie and started walking the streets calling for her and asking everyone I saw. Of course, the plumber felt terrible and accompanied me to look for her, which was helpful given my Spanish language skills.

The plumber and I searched for hours to no avail. When Lyn got home, he and I searched some more, but we couldn’t find her. It was horrible.

The next week was filled with tears and anxiety. We did everything possible to find Izzy. All of my students looked for her, posted her picture on their websites, encouraged their friends to do the same, and sent me pictures of every possible found dog they came across. I put up posters around town, as well as following up on every possible siting. Every day that I didn’t see her little body dead in the road gave me hope, although it was dwindling.

After a week, I really didn’t think we’d ever see her again.

Miracles do happen.

But then… a Miracle! Apparently, Izzy was so desperate — sick, hungry, injured — that she approached a woman in a parking lot who spotted her collar and tag and took her in, knowing that someone, somewhere must be looking for her.

It didn’t take long for the message and photo to reach  me. It was late at night, though, and we weren’t able to pick her up until the following day.

Izzy on the way back home.
Izzy when I picked her up from her rescuer.

Poor Izzy! When I picked her up, she was clearly very ill, listless and depressed. Lyn and I took her immediately to the vet, where they kept her for 5 or 6 hours to rehydrate her, take x-rays and blood, and start her on antibiotics. By the time we got her home that night, the poor thing was exhausted. Those who know her, know that she doesn’t like riding in the car. She hates it so much that she literally screams at the top of her lungs with her small-dog high-pitched whiny voice. On this day, however, there was not a peep out of her. She just curled up in the seat and went to sleep.

The following week was difficult, but she eventually began to rebound. That’s when other problems showed up. For example she had worn her toe pads down till they were bloody. She also had an enormous deep hole on her neck. And, when the lab work came back, her liver enzymes were through the roof! The vet suspected her liver might never improve. Thankfully, though, Izzy is one tough little girl and she has totally recovered. Until, that is, we realized she was limping still. Turns out, after yet another vet visit, that she has a broken toe. The poor child has been house bound for weeks except for visits to the vet. She has no interest in going anywhere near the front door, thank goodness, but it would be nice to get her outside so she can have a good sniff around.

More later…

 

The Anglo

The Anglo

Last time I posted, I mentioned that Lyn and I were going to Mexico City so I could sign my contract with The Anglo. The day consisted of two three-hour bus rides and one almost and hour meeting. All-in-all, fairly uneventful, yet very interesting. I was very glad that Lyn went with me. After all of the horror stories I heard about Mexico City, I really didn’t want to make the trip alone.

Of course, all the talk was just that. the trip went quite smoothly with absolutely no drama.

The Bus

The bus line we chose was Primera Plus. It’s considered the best line for this type of trip, and now I know why. You wouldn’t believe just how luxurious this bus was!

  • The seats reclined considerably.
  • The head rests cradled you head so you could easily sleep without that nasty crick you get on airplanes.
  • The windows had sunscreens and curtains.
  • There were “leg rests” that you could use to support your legs in a comfortable position.
  • They gave you complementary food and drinks before you got on the plane.
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Lyn and Donna on the bus.

In addition to the fancy bus, the bus station in both Querétaro and in Mexico City was as fancy as most airports, complete with shops, dining options, cafés, and waiting areas. Not only that, but they took security seriously, with metal detectors and security guards that checked you going out to the buses and before you boarded.

Impressive.

The Anglo Antonio Caso

The Anglo is amazing. The school we visited was in the middle of their summer programs. Lots of kids wandering about. The Antonio Caso branch is also where the administrative offices are located. To get there by taxi took about 10 minutes. The cabs in Mexico City are pink and white. The driver, of course, was amazingly friendly and gave us advice as to what to do once my meeting was over.

Once we got to the school, we were escorted into the administrative offices, where I met with the HR director, Alex. What a sweet young man, and very professional. We had spoken over Skype and by phone, so I knew what he looked like, although he was taller than I expected.

Mostly our meeting involved reviewing documents and signing them. Not much to talk about. We did cover some policies and procedures (code of ethics, professional standards, etc.), and once again he reviewed the very ample salary and benefits.

Mexico City

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Museo de la Revolución

After the meeting, Lyn and I followed the recommendations of our taxi driver and walked to the Museo de la Revolucion. It occupies a large square surrounded by cafés, restaurants, businesses and stores. We stopped for lunch at a restaurant right on the corner opposite the museum, where we enjoyed a lovely lunch.

I can’t remember what I ate, but it was yummy. Lyn had a beautiful paella. Really beautiful. The only issue was that the seafood adorning it came complete with heads and bodies — shrimp, crabs, mussels, etc. Lyn couldn’t quite handle it, so he mostly ate the rice. I completely get it; I’m one of those people who can’t look at my food “whole” either. He usually isn’t bothered by that, though. Oh well.

We didn’t have a lot of time to spend, so after lunch we wandered around the square a bit then headed back to the bus station. On that particular day, Bic (the pen company) was hosting an enormous coloring activity on the grounds. People were lined up to get in. I believe it was a promotion for a new line of colored pens.

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Bic Coloring Promo

Since our dogs were left unattended, we decided not to dally too long. We had left the door to the garden open for them, but they get nervous after more than a few hours. We didn’t want to give them a reason to misbehave.

Mexico City has a population over 25 million people. It is HUGE! While we didn’t see very much of it, we did see enough to make us want to return when we have a few days to really explore. It isn’t like NYC with all of the skyscrapers, although we did see some. It is more sprawling. From what we’ve been told, there are many “neighborhoods” where you can live and work and never need to travel beyond them.

Start Date

Back to my new job…

Technically, I started today, although I had an orientation session on Tuesday. There is a lot to know. I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed, but overall, I know I made a good decision.

I’ve been working with the Academic Director, Hector, who is delightful. He is kind, organized, patient and professional. He will be my mentor over the next few months.

My first class will start on Saturday, August 25th. It’s an adult group of intermediate students. I now have most of the materials and will be reviewing them (over and over and over) prior to class. Plus, this coming Saturday, I will be sitting in on an existing class. I’m quite nervous, but also sure that I will be just fine. I’m always nervous when I start something new.

Lyn

Meanwhile, while all this is going on for me, Lyn has also been looking for a different job. He really would like to go back to his roots and teach Math, but those positions aren’t readily available, at least not that we can tell.

He did, however, get a call from a private school in the area, Sun Hills Valley, that has a really big campus just outside of town. When he originally interviewed, they  didn’t have an appropriate position. Since then, though, they had an opening for an English teacher and have interviewed him a second time. He’s had to take some psychometric tests, as well.

His one disappointment was the pay. While more than Globoworld, it isn’t much more and the workload is a lot more. It is a formal school where he would teach four 7th grade English classes every week day. The advantages are things like summers and weekends off. But the pay was a stumbling block for him.

I suggested that he counter the offer, which he did. They are discussing it, and Lyn should have an answer by tomorrow. With his Ph.D. and teaching experience, I feel fairly certain they will do their best to meet his request.

Phew. If all of that comes together, we will actually be making a reasonable amount of money on which to live. My extra students, freelance work and pension will go a long way to keeping us comfortable here, and maybe even let us put some money back into our savings.

The Weather

I do believe rainy season is here. We’ve been having thunderstorms every night. They are quite frightening! The lightning comes down in streaks just like in those fancy photos of lightning storms. And the thunder is so loud it shakes the buildings. On top of that, it doesn’t just rain — we have a deluge! Some places get hail, which is odd given the climate here. But the rain! I don’t know where the water goes. Near our friends house, the torrents actually blasted a cement sewer cover five feet in the air. The road took a beating, too.

Poor Sophie is really struggling with the storms. She shakes almost uncontrollably at the slightest hint of rain and has taken to  hiding as far away from windows and doors as is possible. I think if she could get under the furniture, that’s where she would go. Alas, she’s a bit too big for that.

Izzy could care less.

Hmm. I guess we are all still getting acclimated to our new environment. At least now there is a rainbow in sight!

 

Almost there!

Almost there!

This has been an exciting week for us. Both Lyn and I have gotten to the final step in our immigration process. We had our fingerprints taken in preparation for receiving our FM (resident ID) cards. Once we have those, we can get license plates for our car, which will enable us to do some touring around the area. I’ve been very envious of our friends Tom and Tiffany, as they frequently go away for weekends in San Miguel de Allende, or recently, Guadalajara.

It will be really nice when our lives no longer are tied to work and home. Having the ability to travel around will make a huge difference for us! I’m not sure how much more “Grimm” I can watch!

Other news

Shhh! Don’t tell, but I’ve had a job interview for a position teaching at another school. There are so many good things about the job — higher pay, housing and food allowances, insurance and vacation benefits, etc.  The only downside is that it is also a job with a split schedule. That said, however, the benefits far outweigh the downside, so, if I make it through the process and they want to hire me, I’m going for it! The pay alone will change our lives. We might actually get ahead!

Visitors

While no one has visited us yet, I am hopeful that my niece, Isabella (aka Bells), will be coming for a visit this summer. I can’t wait to take her around and show her the Mexico that you don’t see at the beaches. Not that I don’t love the beaches! But there is more to this country than just white sand and blue water.

At the winter holidays, our dear friends, Saadia and David, want to come down. They would prefer to meet at a beach location, so we will look into that. It may be possible if I get the new job, but with our current economic position, not too likely.

I still have my timeshare, which cuts down the expenses. It is the travel that adds up. You can’t really drive to the beach from here. It is too far. So flying is the only real option. If the hotel is paid for, it makes it a little easier. We’ll see.

It would be great if they would visit us here. I am certain they would love it. Alas, no white sand and crystal blue water!

A little free time

Jack, Izzy & Sophie Querétaro
Jack, Izzy and Sophie relaxing at home

I have had a little more time to spend with the dogs recently. For a while, they were as housebound as I have been. My schedule changes, and right now, I don’t work Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the morning. And, because my classes usually start at 8:00 a.m., I am waking up earlier. That means that the puppies actually get to go for a walk and a romp at the park.

Jack in Querétaro
Jack’s new favorite place!

Every time we go, there are always other dogs. Sophie and Izzy love playing chase games with them, and it gives me an opportunity to meet people here and practice my Spanish.

Jack seems to still enjoy the adventure as well. He is always up to something! Unfortunately, there isn’t much in our “yard” to entertain him. If I ever get some extra cash, I would like to buy some plants to put outside and give him something to explore.

Beautiful weather

Last week was so hot I thought I might melt. This week, it is absolutely lovely! It gets a little warm around 3:00, but cools down quickly starting around 5:00. Lordy, how I love Mexico! Of course, we haven’t had rainy season yet.

June sunset Querétaro
My evening commute.

We have been in Mexico for almost six months now. I can’t believe how time has flown! It has taken a while to settle in, but now we are finally seeing the “light at the end of the tunnel.” We have just about everything we need for daily living, although keeping glasses in the house has been a challenge. Lyn has broken five of them so far! Oh well. I will have to buy him some plastic ones!

Nuff said! Back later.

 

 

 

 

And now, the news…

And now, the news…

It is hard to believe so much time has passed since my last post. Then again, a lot has been happening.

Over the past two weeks we have moved, traveled to the US, and begun teaching. The most arduous part of it has been getting our new home set up. So many things to consider!

First of all, everything here is stucco and brick. Just trying to put up a clock is complicated. It is almost impossible to put a nail or a screw into the walls; they just start to crumble. My fix involved going to Home Depot and buying lots of double stick strips. They work to a point, although they don’t hold much weight. I tried to put up a key holder, but it keeps falling off the wall. At least the clock has stayed up.

Air Conditioner

All of the locals we spoke to told us that you don’t need air conditioning here, that a fan will suffice. Well, that may be true, but sleeping when it is hot is just not possible for some of us.

I love fresh air, but I also like quiet, which open windows do not always allow. While we live in a small and relatively quiet neighborhood, there are younger families and people here as well. Since we’ve been here, we’ve found that weekend nights are particularly noisy from people coming home late or having company or parties.

Then there is the very large dog that lives nearby and barks throughout the night.

These considerations led us to buy a mini-split air conditioning unit. They are pricey by local standards — $8,000 pesos and up — we felt it was essential. We ended up paying just under $12,000 pesos for an LG unit, plus another $1,000 pesos for installation. Sounds like a lot, but US, it is only about $700. The same unit in the US costs over $1,000 US!

Other things we have had to purchase include more linens (sheets and towels), an iron and ironing board, clothes for work, pans, plasticware, coffee pot, toaster, and a variety of other items for the house.

Washer/Dryer

When we first looked at the house, there was only a washing machine. Many people here line dry their clothing. We prefer to use a dryer, so we asked the landlords if they would split the cost of installing a stacked washer/dryer unit. They agreed, however, they were unable to find a unit that would fit in the space, so they opted to buy a single machine that does both.

Sounds great! Not so much, though, as it doesn’t dry well. It can take hours.

Once again we had to be a bit creative to solve this problem. Our solution was to buy a tension rod that we could put above the machine in the laundry area. Then we can hang the slightly damp things up to finish drying. Of course, they will probably need ironing. Just one more thing!

Immigration

Tomorrow, Lyn and I are going to the immigration office to finish his permanent residency visa process. Fingers crossed this won’t be too challenging, although, I am not hopeful.

From what we understand, it is quite a process. I will just have to be patient. Yikes.

Poodles

poodles playing El Refugio
Poodles Playing

Sophie and Izzy are doing well here. They like the new outdoor spaces. There is a dog park with agility equipment, although they didn’t quite know what to do with that. They just like to run around a bit in the sunny grass over by the amphitheater.

El Refugio Green Spaces
Flowers in bloom in El Refugio

Since it is spring, lots of flowers are blooming. Gives me something to enjoy while they run around.

 

 

 

 

What a Week!

What a Week!

OMG, I can’t believe only a week has gone by. It feels more like a lifetime.

Work

For starters, Lyn and I both started working this week. So far, all of Lyn’s classes are at night, every night during the week. He now has several classes and has participated in evaluating prospective new students.

Me, I only have one class right now. I missed the first one because we were in Dallas. I did teach the second one. It is at a company with offices out toward the airport. There are seven students. All are Basic 1 level, so just beginning.

I really like the people at Globoworld. They are amazing. Very young, and very accomplished. They love what they do, and they have been super supportive of us.

Dallas

Then there was the Dallas trip. We left on Tuesday morning around 4 a.m. and returned Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. The purpose was to obtain our permanent resident visas from the Mexican Consulate. Lyn was successful in obtaining his, but mine presented some challenges.

If you will recall, the first hurdle was getting an Apostille copy of our marriage certificate. The Apostille is a government issued seal that certifies that the marriage is recognized internationally by all parties to the Hague Convention. It took two weeks, but I did have that.

The issue then became that I had been married before, so I still needed to prove that I am the same person on the marriage certificate. To do that, I needed an Apostille of my birth certificate.

I have tried on numerous occasions to get a copy of my birth certificate from the State of New Jersey, where I was born. The process looks to be simple until you get into it. To make the request on-line, you have to have proof of everywhere you lived and copies of marriage and divorce papers. That is where I always got stuck and gave up.

This time, I called the county office where I was born and spoke with a wonderful woman named Beatrice, who give me step-by-step instructions of how to get everything done without a trip to NJ. Since I have family nearby, they were able to do the footwork. I only had to provide a notarized copy of a “delegation of authority” allowing them to pick it up and a pre-paid envelope for the state to return it with the Apostille.

Step one — getting a certified copy of my birth certificate — has been completed, with same having been forwarded to the appropriate state agency. Now we wait. Once it gets here, I will have to schedule another trip to Dallas to get my visa.

While we were there, we also took the opportunity to pick up some AdvoCare products from the HQ Will Call. We could only get as much as we could put in our suitcases. Hopefully I can get more on the next trip.

Our doctor in Boise also called in some prescriptions for us that we have had trouble getting in Mexico.

Lastly, I was able to ship my favorite Rodan & Fields skin care products to a consultant in Dallas and pick them up while we were there.

Phew, that was a lot to fit into two days.

The Move

Lyn in the new house
Lyn relaxing in the new house.

We also moved into our new house this week. Since Lyn was working, it fell on me to get most of it done. We are still getting organized. Since the house was completely furnished, there aren’t places to put our artwork and personal effects. Fortunately, there is a small storage closet where we can keep them, for now.

We did buy an air conditioner/mini split for the upstairs. At night, there seems to be a lot of noise from the surrounding homes — people outdoors, dogs barking, cars, etc. With the windows open (which I love), you can hear everything. It has been difficult to sleep, so we decided the investment into an air conditioner would help keep things cool and, more importantly, quiet through the night.

Of course, the unit has to be installed. That will be on Wednesday.

Last week we had to have the washer/dryer installed. We are still trying to figure out how to use it.

Poodles

Sophie and her new friends at Pension 3 Perros
Sophie & Izzy settling in

They really enjoyed their time at doggie camp at Pension 3 Perros. They have settled in here nicely as well.

So, a lot has happened. There is so much more to tell you, but, for tonight, this has to be it. Still recovering from the week. Need sleep.

Nite!

 

Easter in Querétaro

Easter in Querétaro

So much to say, today, but first, I want to focus on my Sophie Poodle.

It is Easter here. Ninety-plus percent of the people in Mexico are Catholic. That makes Easter one of the biggest holidays of the year, here. In Querétaro, most businesses shut down from Thursday to Sunday. People are everywhere! Strolling down the streets, hanging out in the plazas with their families, shopping — you name it. They are out there doing it.

In addition to the locals, there are a lot of tourists from around Mexico and beyond taking in the sites. Festivities range from street fairs and church events to concerts and frequent fireworks. This is where poor Sophie’s story begins.

Fireworks

Being downtown is a blessing and a curse. It is great to be within walking distance of all the colonial buildings, plazas and historic sites, but it also means that we can hear everything. While I love the sound of the cathedral bells, the street musicians, and the crowing of the local rooster, there are some sounds that are not as pleasant.

For example, they are always working on the streets, and every night you can hear music from the plazas and various arenas around the area, sometimes well past midnight. Since Wednesday night — the start of the Easter holiday week — they have been setting off fireworks. Sometimes during the day, the construction involves destruction. It frequently sounds like things exploding or guns being fired. These noises have Sophie absolutely terrified!

For a big dog, she’s quite a baby when it comes to things she doesn’t understand. She starts shaking uncontrollably, which leads to heavy panting, followed by attempting to hide in a corner, or more likely, my lap. We have tried giving her some Xanax the the veterinarian gave us, but it doesn’t do much good. So we just try to comfort her the best we can. Poor baby!

Izzy, meanwhile, could care less. I’m hoping today will be the end of it so Sophie can relax a little before we send her off to the boarder Monday night. Yep, another big stressor. She hates riding in the car. At least she doesn’t scream like her sister. I feel sorry for these people who will  be taking care of them while we are in Texas. We will only be gone two days, but the dogs will be at the boarders for three nights, due to the timing of our flights. I’m sure they will all be fine. I just worry about them.

San Miguel de Allende

Yesterday, we took a drive in our new car to San Miguel de Allende. We’ve heard so much about it. It is only about an hour’s drive from here, although newbies that we are, we missed the turn off and had to go a little farther (duh).

First view of the cathedral
First view of the cathedral

Easter weekend was not the best time to go there. There is a really big cathedral there where thousands of people flock for the holiday. The streets are very narrow and very steep. So much so, in fact, that the police stopped letting people drive into the town. We were pretty much forced to park our car on the outskirts of the area and walk. It didn’t help that we had no idea where we were going. Like sheep, we followed the herd into town, which led us down a VERY narrow and VERY steep street. The street was so steep, that a taxi trying to drive up it became stuck.

Poor Lyn has bad knees, and the walk down was not so much fun for him. We made it, though, and found the church. Of course, it was opposite a plaza, where there were food vendors and people selling charms, rosaries and what not. I bought a couple of things — a rosary made of paper beads and some key chains to send to friends for gifts.

It turned out that Tiffany and Tom were also in San Miguel for the weekend, so we arranged to meet them for lunch. We ate at a charming cafe called Correo. Of course, it was on the street named Correo as well. A small place, it held maybe 10 tables, all apparently filled by non-natives. Lots of Americans and, I assume Canadians.

The food was traditional Mexican and delicious. We had sopas to share — soft fluffy tortillas topped with chicken, cheese and tomatoes. Delicious! The hot sauces here are quite hot. Fortunately I had a large and tasty Sangria with vodka to wash it all down! For lunch, Lyn had steak and I had albondigas (meatballs) and rice.

San Miguel de Allende market
The market

Afterward, Tom and Tiffany took us to a local market. It was huge! Inside was everything from food to home decor. Lots of traditional Mexican ceramics, pewter and tile mirrors, and, of course, embroidered clothing and purses. I passed on the purchases, although I coveted many things. Our new house is fully decorated and I can’t imagine where I might put anything new!

Moving Progress

That said, we are almost completely moved in to our new house. We brought all but one box over the other day. Having a car is great! All of it fit in our new Fit. We will still have to get our clothes and other things over there this week.

We brought the car into town yesterday. It is parked in a secure lot, which, of course, isn’t open today. So, tomorrow I will try to get some other things moved over so that when we get back from Dallas on Wednesday, we will be able to bring the dogs and cats over there and start living.

 

 

 

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

In my last post, I told you that we had decided the order in which we should proceed:

1. Jobs

2. Place to live

3. Car

Well, so much for planning. On Thursday afternoon, we found a gorgeous house to rent in El Refugió, a housing development off Fray Juniper Serró, a little north of downtown. It is brand new and completely furnished, and approximately equidistant from Juriquilla, where I hope to be teaching, and the downtown area. There are small shops and the all-important OXXO (convenience store) along the edge of the community, which makes it very attractive as well.

I still haven’t heard back about the job/demo class. I am hopeful, but I will start to look other places next week. We really need to get to work! I know Lyn is quite anxious. I sent his CV off to the school, too. We will wait to hear on that one. This weekend we plan to work on his academic CV so he can start looking for university positions. That, naturally, would be his preference.

The New House

One of the things we really liked about it, was that it was very tastefully decorated. Everything was brand new and well coordinated. There is a small grassy garden area, which will be perfect for the dogs.

While it isn’t “big,” it has plenty of space, two floors, and three bedrooms. It is an attached house, so we share walls on both sides. The construction here is mostly brick and stucco, so you don’t really hear anything. The walls are just too solid.

The same is true here in our Airbnb. You would never know that we are right off a main street. Although, some nights, when there are things going on, you can hear the crowds roar. The sounds come over the top of the building and drift down into our garden area, which is open to the entire house. Since we never close the windows (why would you…the weather here is gorgeous), we can hear it quite clearly.

The rent is also very reasonable — $750 US a month. Of course that doesn’t include utilities, but those here are minimal. Electric and gas, mostly. Water right now is free because the community isn’t finished. There is also a swimming pool (yes!) and green spaces for walking our babies.

Friday Night in Querétaro

The city is very different at night, especially on Friday nights. Everyone is out walking in the plazas. There are musicians and performers everywhere, and the kiosks and stores stay open late. The church steeples are all lit up, too, making for lovely photo ops around every corner.

Last night, Lyn and I took a stroll as well. On one corner was a man playing a saxophone with some prerecorded music. He was really good! We listened for a while, and I took some pics and recorded a little bit. I wanted to include it here with my post so you can enjoy it as well; however, it is taking too much time figuring out how to do it. (Tell you what: I will post it as soon as I get it sorted out.)

Since we had already eaten, we decided to look for a place to get some flan. We walked down to Restaurant 1810, where we had eaten once before, and had a little flan and listened to more music. There are two musicians that set up right outside the restaurant to play. One plays sax and violin, and the other the piano. Unfortunately, there was a concert going on right behind them. It turned out to be a student band. They were very cute!

There were also some performers going into a building along the square, perhaps to rehearse for an upcoming performance.

Today I am going to try to get to an bazar of independiente artists and others that our Airbnb host has organized. We don’t have a car right now, so we will have to Uber it. It looks to be between here and where we usually go to shop at WalMart.

Don’t judge! It has everything we need plus groceries and you can’t beat the prices. It isn’t like some WalMarts in the US. It is clean and usually quite empty of people. It is located conveniently in a shopping center with a small mall, Petco and Sam’s Club. There is also a Costco here in Querétaro, but we haven’t found it yet.

The Poodles

We’ve been trying to get the dogs out and about at least once every day. It is hard here because the sidewalks are virtually nonexistent and the streets are extremely narrow. The other day, Izzy hopped off and was nearly hit by a taxi! Lyn gets very stressed whenever we take them out. We have to meander around the block to avoid the crowds on Juarez to get to Av. Universidades. There is a decent walking path there for the girls. We just go a few blocks and turn around. They are getting used to it, but Lyn isn’t. It is easier when I go by myself.

The girls have gotten a little shaggy, so we bought a clipper. I just trimmed their faces and feet for now. They look better. I bet they really miss Andrea (Wizard of Paws). I know I do.