A River Runs Through It

A River Runs Through It

One of the things I like about living in the Col. Centro Histórico de Querétaro is that there is a river that runs down the center of Av. Universidades with walking paths on both sides. It reminds me a bit of the Boise Greenbelt, except that here the water is not as nice and it isn’t as “green.” There seems always to be a soapy foam in the water, as well as various discarded items (i.e., trash). I think the foam may be due to the people constantly scrubbing the statues and features along the path, but I can’t be certain.

Sophie & Izzy on Av. UniversidadesThe warm climate here also invites people to sleep outdoors on the many small retaining walls and benches that line the walkway. They also use the fountains to bathe and clean their clothes. Not the most sanitary approach to living, but some people must do what they must do.

It is one of the sadder aspects of living here — seeing the homeless and disabled people begging on the streets. We try to keep change handy for when we pass them. Just like in Boise, sometimes we walk on by and send up a silent prayer for them.

Our Anniversary

Yesterday was a very significant day for us. Our 20th Anniversary. I am so lucky to have found someone who makes me smile every day and gives me such joy. (I think he feels the same. I HOPE he does, anyway!)

Lyn at AlioliTo celebrate, I chose what looked to be an upscale restaurant for dinner. Alioli is located on one of the more touristy streets downtown. It is a lovely setting with comfortable seating and a beautiful view of the alley where so many locals sell their wares. Unfortunately, the food was a bit disappointing.

The cheese platter was lovely, with five different varieties of cheese, fruit and candied nuts. The menu had a wide variety of unusual items, such as barbecued octopus, etc. I’m not that adventurous when it comes to food, though.

My disappointing dinner at AlioliFor the main course, Lyn ordered the short ribs, which he liked immensely. I ordered the Creamy Chicken, which would have been more appropriately called Creamy Chicken Bones. There was absolutely no meat on it! The waiter told me it was because it was a small bird. So? You still have to have something to eat and you can’t eat bones.

Lovely view from AlioliUnlike in the US, the restaurant did nothing to compensate us for it, so we paid the check and left. I don’t think we’ll be going back there anytime soon.

The Interview

Among the other highlights of the day was my job interview at the International School of Querétaro. The school has a large campus in a town called Juriquilla, which is about 5-6 miles north of the center of the city. They have upwards of 1000 students and more than 170 teachers and staff, sports fields and a swimming pool.

The position I interviewed for was to teach English in the Middle and High Schools. I loved the two women I interviewed with. The first, Blanca, is the director of the school. She was having a tough day due to the death of one of their teachers over the weekend. It was her job to tell the students and teachers. My heart went out to her!

Marcela, the second, was the Academic Director. She was very nice and very professional. She asked me a lot of questions and seemed to like the fact that I had a marketing background and good computer skills. My lack of experience was also seen as a benefit, since it meant that I would bring fresh ideas and energy. A lot of the teachers there have been there for more than 10 years. That, I thought, was a good sign.

The next step will be for them to arrange for me to give a demo class. They will let me know when and what topic. Yikes! I will be quite nervous, however, that usually passes once I get in front of the class.


One of our dilemmas is that we have to return our rental car today. Yesterday we spent a lot of time looking for a car to buy. They are less expensive here, but the process is more complicated than in the US. Once you pay, it can take 48-hours for them to deliver the car to you. And, it appears we may have to get additional visas in order to buy a car.

I’m not quite ready to do that yet, so we are going to Uber for a while.

Lyn and I agreed that the process we should follow is 1) get jobs, 2) find a place to live, and 3) get a car. So that’s what we will do.

UGH – Continued

UGH – Continued

It has been a few days since I started telling this story. Hopefully I can get it down now without crying or tearing my hear out!

So, on Friday, 2/16, we closed on our house. That was the simple part of the day. When we were done there, we went immediately to the UPS store on Vista, where Elisabeth got on the phone, once again, with the Boise hub manager. A few minutes later, he came in person.

The short version of the story is that someone at UPS screwed up and never should have told us they could ship our things. And, because of the strict rules about shipping to Mexico, the best case option would be to downsize even more and donate the rest. The hub manager even offered one of his trucks to deliver all of our things to whatever charity we chose.

With no other options, Lyn and I began methodically going through each of the 30 boxes. Anything made in China was an immediate no-go, meaning that any electronic devices (like my Bose Soundlink), some of my favorite designer shoes and clothes, and gifts that had been brought to us from China by friends, were not allowed and went directly into the donate pile. Since whatever was left was going “expedited,” i.e., air freight, we needed to be brutal in what we kept.

Ultimately, we got it down to nine boxes. We had to keep things like our diplomas and my tennis rackets, and we dutifully went through our remaining clothes and worldly possessions to ensure that whatever we kept would meet customers restrictions.

The entire ordeal took eight hours — an entire day! Every item in every box was cataloged so there would be no confusion. Copies of our passports, drivers licenses and a letter stating why we were shipping the items was included in each box. When it was all done, the remaining boxes were weighed and measured, Cost to ship — $2700. Of course, with the way things are between the US and Mexico, we may never see any of it.

After spending the day at the UPS store, I felt like I had made a new friend of Elisabeth. She was so kind in letting us camp out in her shop all day and use her supplies. I know it was a major inconvenience. At the end of it all, though, we are 21 boxes lighter and leaner.

We did, however, have to buy two extra suitcases so we could accommodate some additional shoes and things that we wanted and knew wouldn’t otherwise make it. Together we had five checked suitcases and two carryons. Oh, and two pets.


I haven’t written about the poodles in a long time. The good news is that they have both arrived safe and sound in Queretaro. Sophie travelled two days to get here, but arrive she did, as did Jack the cat. We were quite relieved to see them and to once again have all of our “children” with us.

Here are a few pics for you. Izzy and Mocha went with us in the cabin while Sophie and Jack went Cargo. Izzy enjoyed the food in first class, as well as being let out of the crate. Despite giving her veterinarian prescribed Xanax (thank you Dawn!), she whined considerably. She may have slept about an hour, as did I. The flight attendant was very accommodating, despite federal regulations to the contrary. I think it understood it was better for all involved and on the plane if she was loose and calm rather than crated and crazy.

Mocha stayed very quiet in her kennel under the seat. We put a blanket over her, which helped. She, too, was medicated, although the meds worked much better on her than on Izzy. She was pretty stressed after arrival. Hence the clingy photo at the bottom. She’s better now.

Jack didn’t seem phased at all. Here he is rolling around on the windowsill in our new temporary digs.

Sunday: Day 2

Sunday: Day 2

Mexico is a Catholic country. Not surprisingly, therefore, many places are closed on Sunday. Today we learned that people who don’t work on Sundays include our 24-hour security guards. Fortunately for us, I was able to use my foot to dislodge the rod holding the gate down and open it. Otherwise we and our groceries would still be standing out there! A young man in the apartment closest to the gate told me later about the Sunday issue and promised me he would get a key for us tomorrow.

Before we were so challenged, Lyn and I wandered around Villa Vallarta — the shopping center across the main road from our apartment and where the school is located. We met a gentleman named Arturo who works at one of the shops. Most people are very kind to us, but even more so when we tell them our plan to move to Mexico. Today we learned that moving to Mexico will make us “salted feet,” i.e., locals/natives.

We then rode the bus to Marina Vallarta, where the cruise ships come in. It is also home to the 24-hour WalMart. The MEGA store close to us is more than adequate for most of our needs, but the WalMart has precios baja (lower prices) and carries even more goods than the MEGA, including food.

I have taken to the habit of carrying my foldable sacs with me, so we took the opportunity to do a little grocery and other shopping. First on the list were pillows. The ones here are ok for sleeping, but inadequate for reading. So pillows, pillowcases and some cleaning supplies made it into the shopping cart. I also bought some sharp knives (don’t get me started on the kitchen here) and some additional forks and things.

Once again, I cooked. This time spaghetti with meat sauce. It is nice to eat in. As much as I like to eat out, I enjoy my own cooking and know it won’t make me ill. As time goes on, I expect to have provided this apartment with spices and utensils that most normal adults use everyday.

House Update

Last night we received the first offer on our home in Boise. Cash, $5000 over list. Wow. First offer. There has been one more, and another is expected tomorrow. Looks like the house is going to sell!


Sophie and Izzy have been cooling their heels at Kassie’s house while the house is being shown. They seem to have settled right in!