Mexican Neighborhood Shopping

Culture, Sunday Sol

One of my favorite things about living in Mexico is the different options of buying food in my neighborhood. We have the normal chain grocery stores and restaurants nearby too, but I’m talking about those times when you don’t feel like getting out of your sweats or even the house, or maybe when you need that one item to make a recipe. For those times, you can’t beat neighborhood shopping. Most of mine is done at the bottom of the hill where I live just a short drive away. I guess I could walk, but returning UP the hill would require some athletic training on my part.

First off, is the “Little Store” at the bottom of the hill where I live. This is where I can buy fruits/veggies, queso, tostadas, leche, etc. The basics can be found here.

But before I head to the “Little Store” for my fruits/veggies, I check out the “Little, Little Store” first. This is actually a store set up in a home driveway. They sell strictly fresh fruits/veggies/herbs that are delivered daily so they are usually fresher than the other.  On the weekends, they also sell fresh juices.

Also at the bottom of the hill are a couple of food tents. These are restaurants that are permanent, but don’t have buildings. They set up a large tent with plastic chairs and tables.

Barbacoa tacos are really popular for Sunday mornings here in Monterrey. If you’re not familiar, barbacoa is cow tongue. It’s cooked until it’s the texture of a slightly greasy shredded beef. It’s delicious. We are lucky enough to have a barbacoa cart that sets up every Sunday in our neighborhood.

Then there are the individuals who park their cars/trucks or simply park themselves on the side of the road and sell their goods. Ive bought coconut water from a truck, watching them machete and drain the water to give to me. I’ve bought tamales cooked in banana leaves out of a stranger’s car trunk. I’ve bought baskets and brooms from Indians, as well as empanadas and seeds from young people.

In my neighborhood I see all different kinds of people selling food and goods to make money. I’m happy to buy from them whenever I can. It’s part of the daily life in Mexico. The convenience doesn’t hurt either.

 

Insomnia Moments

Sunday Sol

Women of a certain age not only get to experience heat flashes on a regular basis, but insomnia too. I’ve been waking up randomly in the middle of the night for a couple of months now. Trying to get back to sleep when you are COMPLETELY awake is futile. I don’t have a 9-5, so I decided to embrace my insomniac moments.

And guess what? I found there’s a peacefulness that calms me during these times. I’ve developed the nocturnal habit of having a hot cup of tea and watching the city through my window.

 

The middle of the night seems to be one of the few moments when my dog actually wants to sit on my lap.

This is both a joy for me and a curse. I never realized how much I move around until there’s a sleeping dog on my lap that I don’t want to disturb.

 

If I’m not drowsy after this, then I usually end up spending my time reading. With no distractions, lots of reading can happen.

 

It’s also a great time to work on my blog writing blog post ideas like I am now. It’s currently 4:33am.

 

And if I’m feeling particularly motivated, kitchen organization has not been unheard of at this time.

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A Day in Hidalgo Mexico

Culture, Sunday Sol, Travel

Yesterday, we went to Hidalgo which is about a 45 minute drive outside of Monterrey. It’s a small town that Sr. Elizondo grew up in, but it’s now also  become famous for its rocks to climb. Climbers from all over the world come to El Potero Chico to climb. When we were there, we had the pleasure of chatting with climbers from Switzerland, Argentina, and the U.S. The rocks to climb are all at the front of the park and to me look like they are straight up 90 degree angles.

(The construction at the bottom of the picture is not at the park, but from where I took the pic.)

Sr. Elizondo’s sister owns La Posada. It’s a place for climbers to stay. She’s continually upgrading and adding on to it. Every time I go La Posada keeps getting bigger and better.

La Posada has both a camping site and small rooms to rent on the property.

There’s also a couple of sweat lodges and pool. The pool was a smart addition as people now come in the summer as well. (You can’t climb on a hot rock.)

It has a small restaurant with really good food and she added a coffee bar due to high request from climbers. I can personally vouch for the tacos gobernador. Delish!

Her latest construction (as seen in the first pic on this post) is a two story kitchen and dining area for climbers to use and make their own food if they choose.

 

French Yogurt Cake, The Wrong Way

Cravings

They say yogurt cake is the first baking French children learn to do because it’s so easy. So, it’s a little embarrassing mine came out wrong.

This is what a yogurt cake looks like when you forget to add the baking powder.

Looks fine from the aerial view, but then…

this is the side view. A not as pretty, super dense cake.

Luckily, it’s still tastes good.

Signs I’m Getting Older

Sunday Sol

 

  1. I wake up early now just because I like to.
  2. The arches on my feet take time to stretch out when I first get out of bed.
  3. Some doctors and dentists are starting to look like they just graduated high school.
  4. I’m off the diet train and jumped on the health train.
  5. I go shopping and feel like I already have everything I need.
  6. I add ice to my glass of white wine (but only at home!)
  7. I will marathon watch American Pickers if I see it on.
  8. I’m inspired by fashion icons and trendsetters, but no longer want to be them.
  9. My best friend’s favorite hobby is knitting.
  10. I’m okay with all of the above.

My Biggest Travel Snafu

Travel

My biggest travel snafu happened about 5 years ago. What was one mishap spiraled into  3 major issues on one trip. And these 3 issues had major financial consequences.

Our flight (Sr. Elizondo and I) to Europe had a layover in Canada. At the time, Mexicans were required to have visas for Canada. Did you know visas apply even when it’s a layover of less than 2 hours and you’re not leaving the airport? I didn’t. When we landed, we were sent to immigration and explained our error to the agents. Canadian Immigration was not as sympathetic as I thought they would be. As the clock was ticking, we were stressing. After what seemed like forever, they finally gave us the visa at a price of approximately $200. We raced to our next flight. (Important side note: We told them our flight home also came through Canada, so the visa needed to include that day as well. They understood…or so they said.) Anyway, the irritation and anger dissolved on the flight and we were on our way to Turkey!

Turkey exceeded our expectations and we had an awesome time. We were both sad we only had a few days there. We taxi’d to the airport to catch our flight to the next country. We’re at the ticket counter and the airline employee lets us know we are at the wrong airport. FYI: Istanbul has 2 main airports. Unfortunately, we did not have enough time to taxi to the correct airport which is across the bridge on the Asia side of Turkey. I thought Sr. Elizondo was going to kill me. We had to buy 2 new tickets to get to Berlin. Ugh…. After receiving a small tongue lashing, all was well again.

The rest of our trip was great. We enjoyed a few more countries. Now it’s time to go home and again we taxi to the airport in Vienna. It’s all good. We get our tickets, were waiting in line to board, we give the airline person our tickets, and she won’t let Sr. Elizondo on the plane. Apparently his Canada visa was for 7 days only. We were well beyond that timeframe. NIGHTMARE! Again, we race to the airline customer service who will not re-route us for free or with any discount whatsoever. The question becomes: do I take the original flight and Sr. Elizondo gets another at full price; or, do we fly home together…? $4000 later, we are flying home together. We’re no longer speaking. Sr. Eduardo is beyond angry and I’m in a puddle of tears from guilt. Needless to say, it was the longest flight home ever.

BTW: We’re still together and happy. However, we NEVER EVER talk about what happened.

 

 

Product Recommendations That Smell Great

Beauty, Home

Time for another post of product recommendations I can give.

Scentsy. These room fresheners smell divine and the scent fills large rooms. (The knock off wax blocks I’ve found at the grocery store are not as good.)

 

Marc Anthony Argan Oil for hair. This stuff is ok for hair, but I love to use it as a body spray. This product smells sooo good and has a very slight shimmer to it that’s really pretty on skin.

 

H&M candle that smells great and fills the room. I also bought Original Citrus, but it’s not as strong a scent.