LA MANZANILLA, Jalisco, Mexico
It has been unseasonably cold this year in Tenacatita Bay --- cold enough that I've been wearing a fleece jacket in the mornings and evenings and wouldn't even consider swimming in the bay. The locals agree --- brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr --- the coldest any of them could ever remember but they warned us not to complain since they said we would all be whining soon enough about the heat.
How true. The heat has arrived.
I could feel it Friday morning as we organized a field trip for our La Manz friends to see what we're planning to build/create in Arroyo Seco, a tiny agricultural village located by a pretty good surf beach. By mid-morning we were standing on our empty lot in 'downtown' Arroyo Seco (for context, our friend Tia said she'd like the town more if it had two streets) in what felt like some pretty blistering heat. Once the breeze kicked in, we were fine.
For the record, we've gone from a low of 64 to 68 in the mornings to a low of 76 the past two mornings. We're now in the high 80s during the day.
I've just finished my stint at the real estate office and I'm starting my life as a 'jubilado' -- a retiree. Mornings have changed dramatically from just a week ago. Instead of the early scramble for a quick breakfast and our 40 minute walk over some pretty steep hills (and great views!) to race into the office, we're easing our way into mornings at the Mexican beach village of La Manzanilla.
We find ourselves waking up to a medley of domestic and wild bird sounds, mixed with the honk of the tortilla delivery truck and a motorcycle quad either delivering or picking up the rented washing machine across the street. It all happens by 7 a.m. or so. I've discovered I have to deliberately listen for the waves breaking on the beach --- I've filtered them into background noise and forget to listen.
One of our four adopted (feral) kitties waits on the front step for desayuna (breakfast) while the others hide in the bushes and up in the trees for her highness, aptly named Cleopatra, to have first bites. Yesterday morning was particularly loud --- four wild turkeys or wild chickens took up residence in some of our trees while they begin to reclaim a nest in the abandoned lot next door.
And, of course, the neighborhood roosters and the rest of the clan were over picking out breakfast bugs out of the pile of leaves in the yard.
Then the day flies. Last week we were on the road to either Tenacatita or Arroyo Seco every day trying to get things squared away on the lots, plus I read a couple of books (before and after siestas) and I'm back playing my fiddle.
Michael and I are getting through our checklist of getting fences up, walls constructed, wells dug, septic in on the various lots. Next winter we hope to spend time enjoying Arroyo Seco and Tenacatita, rather than just working there.
By early June we'll be heading to Seneca Lake (right after celebrating Dustin's birthday!) and get the Spirit of Louise, our pontoon boat, out of storage and back on the lake tours, get the jacuzzi fired up, re-immerse ourselves in the ease of shopping in box grocery stores within driving distance. The most fun, of course, is a summer on the lake with family and old friends and playing music with all my new fiddlin' friends.
So that's life for now --- a lot of changes down here for us but it's all still working. We have friends from Sacramento coming next week to help remind us why we live here --- we'll roll out the best of vacation activities (snorkling at Tenacatita, beach fishing in Arroyo Seco, shopping for jewelry, shoes, hammocks, exploring new restaurants). I hope to have a full report soon ....