Los parques de Mérida

Parque de Santiago
Parque de Santiago

One of the many things I have come to appreciate about Merida is the multitude of parks, green spaces, and walking paths.

Parque de las Américas

It seems that no matter what direction I walk, I will eventually come upon some type of park. It’s really lovely!

Parque de la Alemán
Parque de la Alemán
Parque de la Alemán
Parque de la Alemán

Yesterday a small group of us visited Parque de la Alemán. This space is really great because walkers can walk and skaters can skate.

As I embark upon Girl Treks 21 Day #blackhistorybootcamp walking challenge, I’m grateful for all the parks and walking paths surrounding me.

When Life Gives You Radishes…Make Pickles!

In this case it was my lovely neighbor/friend, Tai, who gave me a small bag of radishes. I love salty, spicy, briny foods and since I had a free Saturday afternoon I decided to make some pickles.

I make quick pickles which are really easy. Using any vegetable or vegetable combination, quick pickles are soaked in brine in the refrigerator as opposed to the more complicated outdoor fermentation process. Quick pickles do not require canning and are ready to eat in a day. They last several weeks in the fridge, although ours don’t usually last that long.

I made 4 different pickles today and the simple recipes are below. They all use a hot 50/50 vinegar to water liquid for brining. I don’t use precise measurements for this type of recipe. I taste as I go along. Be careful with the salt!

Be creative, use combinations and amounts that you wish. Your pickles will be a delicious adventure!

Radish Carrot Pickles
Combine chopped carrots, sliced radishes and white onion chunks. Season with a tablespoon each of pink salt and chopped garlic. Add whole red peppers and banana peppers. Pack into clean glass jars. Pour the heated mixture of white vinegar and water over the veggies. Close, cool and then refrigerate.

Sweet and Spicy Red Cabbage Kraut
Combine chopped red cabbage, a tablespoon of chopped ginger and 3 grated apples (any kind). Add a tablespoon of salt. Pack into clean glass jars. Pour the heated mixture of apple cider vinegar and water over the veggies. Add honey to taste (I used 4 tablespoon per jar). Close, cool and then refrigerate.

Asparagus Spear Pickles
This is the easiest pickles. Trim the asparagus. Add salt and red chilis to taste. Pack into clean glass jars. Pour the heated mixture of white vinegar and water over the veggies. Close, cool and then refrigerate.

Radish Carrot Relish
This is my all time favorite! Finely slice radishes, carrots and purple onions. Add garlic, salt and whole black peppercorns to taste. Pack into clean glass jars. Pour the heated mixture of white vinegar and water over the veggies. Close, cool and then refrigerate.

As you can see I am not a professional chef or recipe writer but I hope you will try one of these recipes. Even better…create your own pickle combo! Please share if you do.

!Chichen Itza!

Chichén Itzá is a complex of Mayan ruins on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. We loved our visit to this sacred and amazing place, currently listed as one of the 7 wonders of the modern world.

A massive step pyramid, known as El Castillo or Temple of Kukulcan, dominates the ancient city, which thrived from around 600 A.D. to the 1200s.

Graphic stone carvings survive at structures like the ball court, Temple of the Warriors and the Wall of the Skulls.

We had a great guide, who took us all over the complex. He was very informative and full of facts about the ancient city and culture.

We learned about Chacmool (also spelled chac-mool) is a particular form of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican sculpture depicting a reclining figure with its head facing 90 degrees from the front, supporting itself on its elbows and supporting a bowl or a disk upon its stomach. We were able to see these figures in several places including at the top of structure pictured above.

Chichen Itza is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s really an architectural wonder. The temple has 365 steps—one for each day of the year. Each of the temple’s four sides has 91 steps, and the top platform makes the 365th. Devising a 365-day calendar was just one feat of Maya science. Incredibly, twice a year on the spring and autumn equinoxes, a shadow falls on the pyramid in the shape of a serpent.

There’s a sound and light show in the evenings which we hope to come back for someday soon.

If you want more information or have any questions about our visit to Chichen Itza please write us at boltraveling@gmail.com. As always, I hope you enjoyed this post. I enjoy sharing our travels with you.

A Visit to Centro

We’ve been in Merida over a month now and are starting to explore the area.

Exploring safely in the time of Covid means making careful choices. We are selecting areas where there is lots of open air space for walking and that are not too crowded.

Of course we wear masks, are careful to keep our hands sanitized and maintain social distancing.

Today I’m posting pictures of a trip I took into Cento (the historical center of Merida).

I really enjoyed walking around the colorful streets, seeing old churches and just enjoying the beauty of this city.

There are lots of vendors, selling clothes, food and drinks. I bought some lovely Mexican style blouses.

Kathy and I are looking forward to exploring more of Merida and the Yucatan. I’m looking forward to sharing our adventures with you! If you have been to the Yucatan before please give us your suggestions for places to visit.

Day Trip to Progreso

My dear sister, Kimberly, will be leaving Merida in a few days. It was a hot day today and a beach trip was just what we needed! Less than 30 minutes away from Merida is the little beach town of Progreso.

For a 200 peso (10 USD) Uber ride we were dropped of right at the beach.

It was lovely seeing children playing and people of all ages enjoying themselves.

We walked along this lovely pier.

Of course I had to get my feet wet. It was really wonderful to walk along the sand!

There are also lots of stores selling clothes and souvenirs.

Progreso is a really nice way to spend a hot day, see some sights and take some pictures. I’m glad we went!

Mérida is ranked the 3rd-most-friendly city in the world

Check out this article at https://yucatanexpatlife.com/merida-is-ranked-the-3rd-most-friendly-city-in-the-world/

LOOKS LIKE WE MADE A GREAT CHOICE!

The pandemic means that we are not having a Kwanzaa celebration this year. It has been enjoyable to review pictures from Kwanzaas past and to re-read and re-share this post.

https://boltraveling.com/2019/12/29/furaha-kwanzaa/

Nuestras Primeras Dos Semanas en Mérida

Tomorrow will be 2 weeks since our arrival in Merida. Because of Covid concerns we haven’t done much exploring yet, outside of getting to know our new neighborhood. Here is a summary of our first two weeks in pictures.

First off, We love our little orange house and the small compound in which we are living.
There is a lovely park one block away with walking trails. I am really enjoying my morning walks an seeing my neighbors and their dogs.
There is a GREAT BIG mall within walking distance too. It has EVERYTHING including an enormous supermarket (Soriana).
There are all kinds of restaurants in the area including a pretty good pizza place (yes, they deliver).
Equally close is another, smaller, mall with a fully stocked Walmart.
There is a beautiful community of Black folks here. They had a gathering in the park on Sunday which included a toy drive. Kathy enjoyed meeting some new folks and seeing some old friend and dropping off some toys.
We have a tortilleria right across the street from us, which is wonderful.
The place I was most excited to discover was right next door! There is a wonderful little tienda that sells fresh fruits and veggies, and egg. They even have a butcher!

So, our new life in Merida is comfortable, quiet and beautiful…all we could ask for during these difficult times. We look forward to exploring and sharing more as the weeks progress. Stay safe! Love and light to all!

?!Merida!?

My friend, Olivia, gave me the inspiration for this week’s blog post. She asked some great questions which I will answer here.

The value of questions!

How was your time in Vietnam? It was wonderful! Vietnam handled the Covid crisis very well. It was very safe. Da Nang is beautiful and affordable. However, we came for a month and ended up staying for 10. We were concerned about having to review our visas every month and the strong possibility that we would eventually be denied.

Beautiful Da Nang!

Will you ever return to Asia? We hope so. We love Asia, especially Thailand and Malaysia. Plus there are several countries we still want to visit (India, Sri Lanka and Cambodia for sure). But if 2020 has taught me anything it’s that nothing is for certain.

Yep!

What was your impetus to move to Mexico, in the middle of a pandemic? How did you choose Merida? Merida is one of the safest cities, not just in Mexico but the world. While the pandemic is of course a concern, we chose Merida because of it’s relatively low Covid numbers, thriving black ex pat community, affordable housing and proximity to family and friends in the U.S.

In or out of a pandemic Merida is very safe!

How are you feeling today? We traveled for 2 days, 4 planes plus all the packing and preparation. We are exhausted and jet lagged but grateful to have arrived safely. We tested for coronavirus before leaving Vietnam and were both negative. We plan to isolate for the recccomended 10 days and will wear masks and practice social distancing until further notice.

Covid Testing, Family Hospital, Da Nang

One question Olivia didn’t ask but I wanted to share on briefly is: What was traveling like during a pandemic? It was really surreal and a bit anxiety producing. Most of the airports were REALLY empty until we got to Houston. We treated ourselves to better seats, lounges and a hotel stay during our Houston layover. We wore masks at all times and my hands are so dry from all the washing and hand sanitizer. Overall our travel was a positive experience, for which we are very grateful!

Ho Chi Minh City International Airport
All Nippon Airways Ticketing Desk
Vietjet Travel Lounge (only 3 people there, including us)

Thank you Olivia for helping me to clarify what I wanted to share today, our 5th day in beautiful Merida.

Casa Dulce Casa

Tạm biệt Da Nang!

We came for a month and you were gracious enough to allow us to stay for 10. You have provided us with a save place to shelter, delicious new foods to try, beautiful places to visit and kind people to meet. But now it’s time to say tạm biệt (goodbye).

Kathy and I are excited to begin the next phase of our journey in Merida, Mexico.

2020 has made travel difficult to say the least. But it has also strengthened our resolve to stay out of the United States. We looked at several options, none of them perfect and decided on Merida.

Merida is the capital of the Mexican state of Yucatan. It is known for its colonial architecture, tropical climate, Caribbean atmosphere, and frequent cultural happenings. It is less than a 30 minute bus ride from the beach. It is frequently sited as one of the safest places, not just in Mexico, but the world. There are many cenotes which I am super excited to visit!

Especially wonderful for us, Merida has a thriving Black expat community. We are fortunate to already have some good friends there.

So on December 2 we embark on this new adventure. We are well prepared with face masks and shields and lots of hand sanitizer. We do ask your prayers and well wishes and look forward to sharing all about our travel experience and our new home.