Trips & Upgrades

I’m back from three trips. One to Uxmal, another to Puerto Adventuras (Both nearby to me here in México 🇲🇽) and Minnesota visiting family in the middle of winter. And a two month long house upgrade just finished. So, I’m grateful for the quiet today.

Cold Weather for the first time in over 7 years

It was my first visit to the US since 2019 before the pandemic. And right before the arctic blast which I’m grateful for.

I still had to buy a winter coat and jeans to not freeze to death. And quickly got chapstick. Here is me trying not to freeze to death before getting a coffee.

Chris freezing

Home Away From Home

We rented a home to have our adults kids come over for dinner and table games. It made for a very nice base. Much easier than a hotel suite which we’ve done in the past.

Rental House

Made Fun Of The Cold

I had some fun texting a friend, since I’m know as the tropical guy.

  • I’m feeling like I’m on an ice world outpost, and I can’t wait to return to the tropics – where the only ice we encounter is in our drinks. 🍹❄️🌴
  • Tiny frozen flakes descended from the sky on this distant ice world. Urgently summon the rescue shuttle! ❄️🚀

They have wild turkeys just roaming around which contributed to the desolated outpost feel to everything. They are surprisingly big.

Wild Turkeys

Family Health and Travel

We went to Minnesota because they all can’t travel due to their health. When we first started off living overseas we thought everyone would want to come down and visit us since it’s really nice in the winter. My mom has come down twice but that’s it. The anti-Mexican and immigration issue scared some and then the pandemic scared everyone.

And none of that is real. The immigration issue is people from other countries going thru México and trying to immigrate to the US and stay at the border. It’s a mess, don’t live near all that. And the pandemic hit the entire world. We have had way less drama here in Yucatan México on both fronts.

But, one of the downsides of expat life is aging parents that can’t travel.

Reverse Culture Shock & Prices

I thought I was going to have major “reverse culture shock” since I’ve been away full-time since 2016 and hadn’t even visited since 2019. But, the on really shock was the prices.

Except Trader Joe’s, it is as good as I remember. I went to it three times and bought all our groceries there. I even took pictures to remember it. They rock.

Traders Joes rocks

I was surprised by the mandatory tipping at some small coffee cafes kiosks. With a minimum of 18%. I’ve never seen that in México.

Restaurants and coffee shops are 2 to 10 times as much as Yucatán México, which wasn’t a surprise, but a US$100 simple breakfast for three was a surprise. Our splurge breakfast in town here in Mérida México is about US$25 for two and is more cappuccinos and honestly way better. Too fancy for our college aged kids.

Everything in Minnesota seems new and in good condition regarding buildings and roads. Lots of highways and no construction. Where here in México everything is under construction all the time and there is only one real highway in the peninsula.

Another thing that I learned was that Apple Maps is better about giving driving directions and had lots of warning of what lane to be in and turns. Much better than Waze and Google Maps. This was a big surprise to me. Hat tip to one of my daughters on pointing this out. When traveling in unfamiliar areas the extra talking by Apple Maps is really helpful.

Until Next Time

Thank you all for joining me on this journey of rediscovery. It’s fascinating how the familiar can still surprise us. Until the next adventure, stay curious and keep exploring!

Best, Chris

Freezing Chris with coffee


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