Hacienda Tour

And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12

This morning we got up early. No coffee. We took an Uber into Merida, to the Starbucks at the Gran Plaza. We had coffee and pastry while we waited for our shuttle to come pick us up. The shuttle picked up 6 others, including Ken and Kaaren, and then drove south of Merida into the country. About 45 minutes later we arrived at a “hacienda” — which was also a museum devoted to the henequen plant from which sisal fibre is extracted. Sisal was a very important crop here from 1850 to about 1950 — as it was used to make rope and sack cloth before the invention of nylon.

We got to the hacienda and traded in our coupons for a wristband. After a short wait we were introduced to Juan, our English-speaking guide for the day. He took us through the museum, showing us both primitive (Mayan) and modern industrial methods of making rope from the sisal plant. The hacienda is a big ‘ranch’ which is completely restored by the current (second) owner of the property.

After the morning tour we were taken to a cenote (sinkhole) where we could climb down steps carved into the rock to reach the underground pool.

After swimming it was time for lunch, which was served by the hacienda’s cooks in a large dining hall. It was around 3pm when we climbed back into our shuttle van for the ride back to Merida.

The Driedgers and I were the last ones off the bus. We made a quick stop at the grocery store for a few items and then took an Uber home. Although we’d turned all the A/C off in our apartment for the day, with the blinds drawn and the door closed all day it was surprisingly cool in there.

We had happy hour and caught up with all that had happened in the world since the last time we’d logged into Facebook. Dave had made a list of movies and TV series that we should watch, so we started on that.

We tried the first episode of one series but switched to another series after that. We watched the first two episodes of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” before heading upstairs to bed.

An Indian Fundraiser

So Laban gathered together all the people of the place and made a feast. Genesis 29:22

We had a bit of an early start this morning. Dave and I thought we’d really beat the heat and get out there BEFORE seven. As it turned out, I think we made a wrong call there. I turned out that it was incredibly humid and we were sopping wet almost before we started. And we had to tee off on number 10 because the front nine was so busy! And we had to wiat for a foursome ahead of us right off the bat! We waited and waited at number 10, number 11, and finally at number 12 we jumped ahead to hole 16.

When we finished hole 18 we continued on to hole number 1. Somewhat surprisingly, once the sun came up it got more comfortable! It seemed that the sun heated up the air so the humidity decreased, and a gentle wind made conditions way more manageable.

After golf we went home just as MaryLou was leaving for the gym. We showered and read for a while.

For lunch I made a grilled cheese ‘deluxe’ (as in, it has sandwich meat on it too) sandwich. My afternoon reading was interrupted by a couple of short naps. At 4 o’clock Dave fixed us happy hour drinks. And then it’s time to get dressed and order an Uber to take us into town. We’re going out for dinner together with the Neufelds.

We leave the house at 5:45 in order to catch an Uber at 6. The roads into Merida are busy and the ride takes 45 minutes. We arrive at a nondescript-looking exterior of a private home. We’ve got tickets for a fundraising dinner to raise money for the English library here in Merida. Inside the house is dark, with candles set on the tables. We exchange our tickets for “reserved” notes that we are to place on the plates where we want to sit. It’s a huge home and there are settings for about 80 guests here tonight.

We wander around the 3 or 4 large rooms that have big round tables set for tonight’s dinner. It’s dark — the only light is the candles on the tables. And it’s very warm in the house — so we’re looking for the ‘coolest’ place. Either right by the front entrance, which will be busy, or right at the back, next to the patio doors leading out to the swimming pool. We settle on the latter.

Soon the place starts filling up. Lots of elderly English library enthusiasts. We put our ‘reserved’ tickets on the place settings on either side of us to save a spot for Ken and Kaaren. They will be our ‘buffer zone’. Already we’ve had to explain that we’re saving seats to a number of interested (and interesting!) guests.

A man from, well, he’s originally from California but he’s NOT from California but he’s lived in Montreal but he’ll soon be living in Merida for 10 months of the year, joins our table. Then a couple from Sarasota takes the remaining two seats. By the time Ken and Kaaren arrive the place is full! And we thought it would be a small affair — MaryLou had ticket #12!

Drinks are included, and so before the dinner officially begins we are served wine and beer. And at some point the lights come on (must be a circuit breaker problem — they go off and on again later in the evening). And the air conditioner above us fires up. We’ve chosen good seats, here next to the open door where we’ve got a nice breeze every once in a while.

Finally the dinner begins. We are called, table by table (oh no, we’ll be one of the last tables!) to come to the centre courtyard where a ‘buffet’ of food is available from a big round table.

The food is not too bad! The drinks are good. The Neufelds do an admirable job visiting (mostly listening) to the people beside them, but eventually the conversation around the table splits into two groups: Americans and Canadians.

Dessert is served. A little glass of rice pudding with sliced almonds (or at least that’s what I thought it was). And then people begin to leave. And soon we do too. Dave orders an Uber and soon we’re back home in La Ceiba. No time for a movie tonight. We’re booked for an all-day tour to a hacienda and a cenote pool tomorrow and we’ve got an early start.

How do you beat the heat?

For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; James 1:11

Get up early. Golf as soon as it’s bright enough to find the ball. That’s how we beat the heat today.

I got out of bed at 6. Dave wanted to go golfing at 7. I made coffee and had my yogurt and half a banana and was ready to go by 6:30. We were not the only ones who’d thought of an early tee time today, but we really never had to wait for the two gentlemen ahead of us.


We were at the ninth green when MaryLou texted that Ken and Kaaren had arrived. Ken met us at the first tee, and we golfed the front nine again, since the back nine was closed for maintenance today. By the time we were halfway through the round it was warming up quite a bit.

And then the wheels came off!
And then the wheels came off Dave’s game — or at least his golf cart!

After the round we had some cold beverages on the patio at the clubhouse. MaryLou and Kaaren joined us. Then we went back to our place and I showered while Dave made caesars for everyone. And that was lunch!

We took two Ubers to the Altabrisa region of Merida where we were all hoping to see an afternoon matinee at the cinema. Ken and Kaaren and I hadn’t seen “If Beale Street Could Talk” so we bought tickets for the 2:00 showing. Dave and MaryLou bought tickets for “Capernaum”, a Lebanese movie that’s nominated for an academy award for best foreign film. They were told that the subtitles would be in English, but after the opening credits everything was in Spanish. They ended up going bowling while the Neufelds and I sat through our movie. Well, after a million previews of upcoming movies, the movie that STARTED playing was “Bohemian Rhapsody”. But the other patron in the theatre (yes, there was only one other person in the lovely big air-conditioned theatre) rushed out and complained and got them to stop the wrong movie and start the right one. Lucky for us! All three of us sat there and looked at mostly close-ups of actors who were working their way through a VERY slow-moving plodding plot.

After the movie we met the Driedgers sitting in the foyer working on a crossword and reading a book. The Neufelds went home, and so did we. First a quick run through the big grocery store to pick up more supplies, and then an Uber home.

By 5:30 we were all back in our spots doing what we do. Dave on a crossword, MaryLou catching up on what she’d missed on Facebook today, and I wrote my journal up until this paragraph.

After supper we tried watching a movie. We started watching the recent documentary about WWI, but lost interest pretty quickly. Dave clicked through our list of new movies. Nothing. MaryLou went upstairs. Dave found the first season of “The Sopranos” and we watched the first episode. Hmmm… Maybe it’s a bit dated? I’m not sure we’ll continue that.

By 9:30 it was time to call it a day. Especially if we get up to go golfing at 7:00 tomorrow morning. Goodnight.

Sunday at the movies

I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. Psalm 101:3

Sunday morning — I woke up at around 5:30 and read for a while until I got sleepy. The next time I woke up it was 8:30. The Driedgers were on their second coffee and finished breakfast. CBS Sunday Morning was already in progress on the big TV.

The Driedgers left some time mid-morning, heading into the city centre to see a violin concert with the Neufelds. I watched my show and then continued reading my book. I made a sandwich for lunch and then found the golf channel and watched that for a while. I was hoping to go see a movie this afternoon, but the only movie on my list was playing at noon, and I’d already missed that.

I took an Uber into town at around 3:30. I went first to one movie theatre, hoping I’d see something on the playbill that might interest me — and when that disappointed I walked across the road to the big convention centre. There was a new cinema there, but again the times weren’t right.

Movies are cheap here in Mexico — five bucks or less! And the theatres are all brand new and quite nice. Dave has been itching to go see a movie ever since we got here — but the problem is that right now there are not a lot of good movies to see. It’s a dilemma for a good Mennonite like me: bargain prices but nothing worth seeing!

I took an Uber to the brand new Harbor Mall — I wanted to see the mall anyway. I already knew that the movies were more-or-less the same as what the other two theatres were showing. I walked the mall and ended up having a coffee and reading my book for a couple of hours.

At six o’clock I took a ride to the new mall near our place, La Isla Merida. I was surprised that the mall was busy — the last couple of times I’d been there it was right after the grand opening and there weren’t a lot of shoppers there. But tonight it was very busy. I went to a Mexican booth in the food court and had a plate of tacos. Then I bought a ticket to go see “The Green Book”, a movie I’d first seen in Palm Desert. (Hey, I’d rather see a good movie twice than watch a ‘worthless’ movie once!) The theatre was quite full too, and I had a good time. The people around me seemed to be enjoying the movie, laughing at the funny parts even though they had to read subtitles.

After the movie I was going to get an Uber back home, but the rates were double because of high demand. No problem. I ordered a coffee at the Starbucks and waited about 10 minutes until the surge was over. I got home at around ten. Dave was just watching the end of the final episode of “Better Call Saul”. The golf tournament was being replayed on the golf channel, so we watched some of that before going to bed.

Hooray for the weekend!

One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Romans 14:2-3

Saturday! Finally! The weekend is here. Don’t have to go to work today. Besides, there’s a big-time golf tournament so the course is closed to us today. So what should we do??

The plan was to go out for breakfast, but by the time all was said and done today (and there was a LOT said, even if not too much ‘done’) it was closer to ‘lunch’ than to breakfast by the time we had our bacon and eggs. Well, not exactly bacon and eggs either.

We Ubered a mile down the road to Los Benes, a breakfast place we’d visited a couple of Saturdays ago. I wasn’t completely surprised when we got there and had to go sit outside for a while to wait for an available table. No problem. We’d waited this long!

After breakfast the Driedgers made a visit to Walmart to shop for groceries while I went back to the apartment. I washed the dirty coffee cups in the sink and had a phone call with Alex. The kids are having a quiet weekend at home, enjoying the break from another busy week. They get Monday off because it’s Louis Riel Day in Manitoba. And it seems there’s a bit of relief from the extreme cold — so spirits are up.

Soon the Driedgers arrived with bags of groceries to put away. By now I was quite into my book — I actually haven’t read hardly at all for a couple of years, and I’ve been sidetracked with my coding project for too many weeks — but now I’m into it. While the Driedgers went to sit by the pool for the afternoon I sat upstairs and finished my book. Small Fry is the 2018 memoir by Lisa Brennan Jobs, the daughter of Apple’s Steve Jobs (voted one of the Ten Best Books of 2018 by New York Times). It was a great read. And I’ve already started the next book — one that Alex recommended today when we talked on the phone. The Driedgers are gone for much of the day tomorrow, taking in a symphony concert in Merida with Ken and Kaaren, and that will give me lots of quiet time to read (after I’ve watched my ‘Sunday morning shows’, of course).

Around 4:30 it was happy hour here at La Ceiba. We finished off the margarita mix today. I don’t know if we’re going to buy more tequila — I think we prefer G&Ts. Dave watched a couple of episodes of ‘Better Call Saul” on TV and MaryLou started getting supper ready. She’d bought a couple of kitchen gadgets as well as all the ingredients needed for a stir-fry. It seems that since she went on that ‘cooking tour’ she’s inspired to try some new things in the kitchen!

Dave was sure hoping for a good Jets game tonight, so even as he queued up a movie for MaryLou, he kept one eye on his iPad. By the time I’d cleaned up the dishes and the kitchen they were too far into the latest “Dragon Tattoo” movie for me to follow — so I wrote my blog while ‘Lisbeth’, the heroine, overcame near insurmountable odds and kicked and punched her way to victory. Not so for the Jets — they lost another one, this time in overtime. Oh well, let not the one who abstains from faithfully watching every game pass judgment on the team that loses.

Okay, it’s nearly ten o’clock and the evening breeze coming in our screened windows is (finally) cooling things down nicely. And although our ‘internet-TV’ is stuttering just a bit right now, I’m sure whats-her-name who played the Queen Elizabeth role in that other Netflix series is surely going to get even with the bad guys who are shooting up the screen right now.

All’s right with the world. Even if the good guys don’t ALWAYS win. One more glass of red wine and I’ll call it a night!

Friday, the Ides of February

When times are good, be happy… Ecclesiastes 7:14

Our internet is a bit slow tonight, so I’ll be quick: I golfed, I had a hotdog (perro caliente) for lunch at the clubhouse, got home and showered, napped, happy hour, went to Ken and Kaaren’s and then out for pizza and a little country and western music at a small corner bar after that.

Fun times on Valentine’s Day in Merida

How beautiful and pleasant you are, O loved one, with all your delights! Your stature is like a palm tree, and your breasts are like its clusters. I say I will climb the palm tree and lay hold of its fruit. Oh may your breasts be like clusters of the vine, and the scent of your breath like apples, and your mouth like the best wine. Song of Solomon 7:6-9

Okay, I guess we didn’t have quite THAT MUCH fun today!

I had just barely finished eating my bowl of yogurt this morning, when the Neufelds were knocking on the door. Rise and shine. We’re going golfing. We’re going to skip the heat of the day and go early today.

On the way to the course we were met by a LONG string of golf carts carrying women golfers to their tees around the course. Oh, oh. Looks like there’s a women’s tournament on today. I hope we don’t get shut out again.

We checked at the starter’s desk and were told we could golf the back nine this morning. Whew! Well at least that’s better than no golf at all!

So we got our golf carts out of storage and put on our golfing shoes. We filled up our water bottles and went to the 10th tee box. Two (not very speedy) elderly couples were doinking around on the forward tees just ahead of us. Hmmm… Could be a S-L-O-W morning. But we were patient and in the end the golfers ahead really didn’t slow us down all that much. Dave even added to his list of birdies on hole number 12.

When we finished nine we were directed to continue by replaying the back nine. The ladies’ tournament would be playing the front nine until at least noon. Ken wasn’t interested in repeating what we’d just completed. He headed for the showers. Dave and I thought we might as well take advantage of the slightly cooler morning temperatures and give it a go. But the golfers ahead were not playing any faster, and when a cart pulled up to the tees and the guy suggested that if we came back at 1pm we’d have the course to ourselves, well… We parked our carts in our carport and decided to go for brunch with the rest of the gang.

But Kaaren and MaryLou were just getting ready to go for a swim in the pool and sit in the sun for a bit. And Ken was still in the showers. Dave went to meet the girls and make a plan.

It was Valentine’s Day — I’d suggested that Dave and Ken should take their wives out for a nice brunch. I was happy to stay back, but in the end we ordered two Ubers and all five of us went to a waffle shop at the big new mall not far from our place. The food was okay, if not exactly ‘exciting’. After brunch Ken and Kaaren went back to their place and the Driedgers and I went back to ours.

As soon as we got home Dave and I went straight to the golf course and teed off on hole #1. Yeah, now there was NO ONE else on the course. And although it was the heat of the day, it wasn’t “unbearable”.

We started the round off playing okay, but when we got halfway around the front nine, the wheels came off. We both played TERRIBLE. What is going on? What are we doing out here? It was PAINFUL. Discouraging. Frustrating. We couldn’t wait to get off the course!

I returned my clubs to the storage shed and went back to the house. Our neighbour’s worker, Angel, was already busy washing the floors in our place. MaryLou was sitting at the table, waiting for him to finish the upstairs so she could go change into her swimsuit and join Dave at the pool. I went out on the balcony and read my book.

When the Driedgers came back from the pool we had happy hour. I went upstairs and showered. Dave and MaryLou FaceTimed with Hans and Chris in Phoenix while I took advantage of the coolish late afternoon temperatures and read my book out on the balcony.

It was already quite dark outside when Dave called me down for supper. MaryLou was heating up bowls of leftover pasta. We ate. Then MaryLou went upstairs to work on something and Dave got the Jets game going on his iPad while I washed the dishes.

While the Jets were struggling, I wrote my journal and looked at my photos. I was feeling quite tired from pulling my golf cart around the course in the heat of the day. Around 8:30 MaryLou reappeared and Dave invited her to join him to watch a Valentine’s movie that he had selected just for her. Uh-huh. I gathered my stuff and went upstairs. I finished writing my journal and then got out my Kindle and read until I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer.

Will you still need me, will you still feed me…

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12

It rained last night. There was water on the balcony railing. And it was cloudy when I awoke. I made coffee for Dave and me — MaryLou had gone to the clubhouse for a better internet connection.

I was a little after nine when Dave and I went out for a quick round of golf. We first stopped at the course office to pay for another month’s membership. It was almost ‘coolish’ and we even had a few sprinkles of rain — not enough to get wet, but enough that we had the first nine holes to ourselves and made great time. We had planned to only golf nine holes, but because it had taken us 1.5 hours to golf nine holes we decided to continue on the back nine.

We caught up with some other (older, slower) golfers on the 10th hole, and so we skipped holes 13 and 14 and finished before 12:30. Dave had a birdie on the par 3 Hole 17 (probably our least favourite hole). I found enough balls in the water hazard on hole 18 to compensate for the balls I’d lost today. And the weather had been great for golfing — only a few raindrops and the rest of the day was cloudy and comfortable.

After golf we picked up MaryLou and walked out past the front gate, to the little cafe in the almost totally empty strip mall at the corner where our driveway meets the highway. The lady in the shop brought us her little handmade menus and Dave and i ordered cappuccinos. The shop owner took quite a long time to make us our food: a croissant with ham and cheese for MaryLou and me, and a baguette sandwich for Dave. But the coffees were great and the sandwiches okay.

We had dinner reservations for tonight at the La Pigua seafood restaurant in Merida, where we planned to celebrate Kaaren’s birthday. On our walk back from the lunch deli cafe we stopped at the mini-super and MaryLou bought a small cake and candles to take to the restaurant tonight.

Back at the house I continued reading my book for a while. Then I actually had a little nap. I set the timer to wake me up at 4:30. I showered and went downstairs for happy hour. Soon it was time for us to make our way back to the front gate to pick up MaryLou’s cake and catch an Uber to the restaurant.

MaryLou had made reservations for us — but that probably won’t have been necessary. There were hardly any other diners in the restaurant. Our table decided to order a variety of seafood dishes and we’d share them all. So we sampled octopus, shrimp, scallops, crab, and fish. All good.

Then the waiter brought out the birthday cake with a big sparkler candle on it. That candle was more like a small fireworks display than a candle. The waiters opened the big glass doors to let the smoke out after the fireworks died down!

We Ubered back home. The air was cool and clean as we walked back to the apartment. Dave settled into his spot on the couch and continued watching “Better Call Saul” on Netflix. Marylou went upstairs to see if she could find tickets online for a symphony concert on Saturday. I wrote my journal and then went to sleep. I’ve got an early morning golf game scheduled for tomorrow.

Cheeseburgers, beers, and pants that are too loose!

Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags. Proverbs 23:20-21

We had an early start this morning. Ken was at our door before eight o’clock, ready to hit the links. I had to gulp down my coffee and had no time at all to do a suduko in the bathroom. Off we were. MaryLou wasn’t going to hang around the house by herself either — she was taking an Uber into Merida to spend the day with her sister.

There was a lineup at the first tee. The four old guys ahead of us didn’t exactly have an auspicious start to their game. It looked like we might be in for a LONG day. But after a few holes it became apparent that while the foursome ahead wasn’t very good, we had our own challenges. Sure, we waited at every tee, but it seemed the more exasperated and annoyed we were, the worse our own tee shots were. So we just shut up and golfed.

The early start was meant to minimize our time in the hot midday sun. It worked for a few hours. But by the time we made the turn at hole 9 the heat was on. I finished my bottle of water early and was already looking forward to the beer cart by eleven o’clock. I’ve noticed that my shorts are hanging looser every day — with all this daily hard work and massive amounts of perspiration it seems to me that I MUST be losing weight. That’s encouraging. Too encouraging. It gives me license to order a second beer with my big cheeseburger and fries at the after-golf lunch at the clubhouse patio. Something’s wrong here. My head tells me my pants are loose because my shorts and belt are expanding in the high humidity. But my gut says — oh, never mind what my gut says. I’ll see how the pants fit after I’ve laundered them.

I shot a hundred today. Not bad, but it’s not “breaking” a hundred, which is my goal. But if having fun and getting good exercise is the measure of success here, I’m doing okay.

After a leisurely lunch Ken dropped his golf shoes off in our car port and took an Uber back to his place. I showered and threw in a load of laundry. We’ll see if the shorts come out fitting a bit tighter. (I know my ‘souvenir’ Merida cotton t-shirt sure fit a bit tighter after the first washing!)

Dave started another crossword but got interrupted when his iPad need some attention. I phoned the mini-super to order two more big jugs of water and a bag of ice. The guy on the delivery motorcycle showed up minutes later and I got him to hoist one of the big jugs up into our dispenser on the counter for us. Dave tipped him 30 pesos for his efforts (about $2 CAD — on top of the $5 for the water and ice!)

MaryLou arrived mid-afternoon. She’d had quite an interesting morning, visiting an artist and checking out her art pieces and listening to her story.

I went upstairs and took care of my laundry and read my Kindle on our balcony where the dark rain clouds were making the temperature downright comfortable. I don’t think we had a single drop of rain, but it sure looked like we might by late afternoon. It was after four o’clock when  Dave called me back downstairs for happy hour. I sent another text message to our landlord to ‘remind’ him that we were still waiting for our Rocket TV to be re-activated. I was pleasantly surprised when he replied, saying ‘try it now’. We did and sure enough, it was working again! Great. Dave was hoping that we could get the Jets game on one of the channels tonight.

Soon MaryLou got busy in the kitchen, making a salad and cooking up some spaghetti and meat sauce. Our kitchen doesn’t have a lot of utensils, but MaryLou managed to find what she needed to get a meal on the table.

After supper, and another fine discussion, everyone was soon back at their stations. Dave worked on that crossword puzzle while he watched the Jets, and MaryLou got caught up with the latest news on Facebook. After I’d finished doing the dishes I went upstairs to watch the CBC National and write my journal. I’d gone to bed rather late last night and so after a bit of TV and reading a few more chapters in my book, I called it a night.

Perseverance

For the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity. Proverbs 24:16

It was another slow day in paradise. After yesterday’s hard workout on the golf course, Dave and I were taking a day off. We needed a break. Our bodies need a ‘recovery’ day. So even though it was a very pleasant (cloudy) day, we didn’t take advantage of it. After breakfast each of us found a quiet corner to do our own thing. I was too tired to write my journal last night, so I did that this morning. And I had a little FaceTime visit with Alex and Max. I started reading a new book I downloaded to my Kindle.

Around lunchtime, Dave and MaryLou headed out to the La Isla mall to do some shopping. I set up my laptop on the kitchen table and went back to work on my coding project.

The cool thing about writing computer code is that it’s okay if you make a mistake. If you make a mistake no one will get mad at you or yell at you or mark your work with a big red X. No, when you are programming you get to ‘debug’ your code. It’s a normal part of programming. Everybody does it. I sort of wish all my mistakes were like that. It’s true, I was getting quite frustrated with my project — I just couldn’t get it to ‘work’ — and I knew that it was my responsibility and that ultimately I would have to figure it out and fix it. And that’s what I did today at a little before three o’clock. I found the error — I had omitted one little comma — and I fixed it. And after hours and hours of looking through website tutorials and trying a hundred different things, it WORKS!

Pepe was walking by my open window just about that time. I had just poured myself a celebratory Modelo Especial. He stopped to chat. He suggested that maybe a bit later he might take us for a tour of that big fancy golf course a couple of miles north of us. So when Dave and MaryLou got back from their shopping trip I let Pepe know that we’d be ready to go whenever it was convenient for him.

Pepe came by just before 5 o’clock. MaryLou decided she’d rather stay home, so it was just Dave and me on the tour. We drove through the front gates of the 8-year-old country club and stopped at Pepe’s twin brother’s house. Antonio is a member of the exclusive club. He would show us around. The Jaguar Course is a signature golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus. It is ranked as one of the top courses in México.

We started by walking a few of the holes on the course, which is closed to golfers on Mondays for regular maintenance. There had been a major tournament here on the weekend so there were quite a few club marks and divots on the fairway. But the grass on the course was lush and green.

We went for quite a long walk, and by the time we got to the clubhouse and the big sport complex in the center of the country club it was getting dark. Antonio took us into the lounges and the gym and the Mark Spitz swimming pool and the clay and hard surface tennis courts. It was all first-class and very impressive.

Antonio called his wife to come pick us up from the country club. We squeezed into her car and she gave us a ride back to where Pepe had parked his car. We said goodbye to Antonio and thought that was the end of the tour. But Pepe had more to show us. He drove around the exclusive development and although it was quite dark by now, showed us some of the very expensive homes there. And then we went to an apartment complex where Pepe owns a suite which he rents out. So we took another walk to see the gym and the pool and the man-made lake, etc. It was getting close to 7pm. MaryLou was already texting, wondering where we were staying and what about supper.

We drove back into our La Ceiba country club and parked the car. We thanked Pepe for the tour and said goodnight. But no, we’re not done. Pepe wanted to show us HIS home as well. So we walked across the street and were invited into Pepe’s home. It turns out to be quite an unusual building. His house is octagonal, with a central courtyard. It’s really a lovely home, and Pepe and his wife Kiki were proud to give us a tour. We finally bid another goodnight and got back to our house. I think MaryLou had watched a movie and a mini-series on her laptop while we were gone!

Dave made special (boiled AND fried) hotdogs to go with the authentic Mexican salad MaryLou had learned to make on her recent cooking tour here in Merida. I made caesars.

After supper MaryLou went upstairs while Dave found a basketball game on his iPad. I cleaned up the dishes and went upstairs to look at my photos of the golf course and listen to music.

I went downstairs for the (Krispy Kreme) night snack. I ended up watching the Whitney Houston story on Netflix before going to bed. Patio door is open, screen door is letting some nice night air into the bedroom. I’ll go to sleep thinking about missing commas.