Tuesday, May 30, 2017

RETIREMENT Before the Age of 59: Healthy Living in Mexico #2 eBook

Check Out These 5-Star Reviews!

"RETIREMENT Before the Age of 59: Healthy Living in Mexico #2" eBook


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Book Description
     Terry and Jon found a way to escape the rat race, retire early, and to make their money go further. This story will inspire others to quit their jobs, retire earlier rather than later, and begin living a healthier life, while having more fun and doing what they enjoy. Why wait?
Making the decision to retire early was the easy part. Deciding where to retire took more travel in their motorhome and lots of thought. The process of selling and giving away their excess possessions so they could begin living a simplified, healthier life was a journey in itself.
     Terry and Jon’s adventures while traveling in their motorhome are enough to entice one to go RV shopping immediately. Their decision to move to México may seem radical to some, but others may soon consider doing the same thing! The story of where they settled in México, and why, will make you wonder how soon you, too, will begin planning a similar escape from the chaos in the world to find your own piece of paradise in the sun.

5-Star Reviews on Amazon.com
5.0 out of 5 stars: 1 Guide to Living in Mexico
By crodger1on
  
I really liked the overview of all the places Terry and her husband considered retiring in. Good honest answers of why one place may not be the right location and why.
I liked seeing how they transitioned from retiring early, and how they did it, and the insights into a simpler life.

5.0 out of 5 stars: Great Book and Easy to Read
By Suevon

Great book and easy to read. Lots of very helpful information including run downs on specific locations in Mexico. This will be a great book to use as a reference manual when visiting the locations described.

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Check Out the first eBook in the "Healthy Living in Mexico" series on Amazon: "Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico: A Search for Sunshine, Sassy Exercise, Savory Food, and a Simpler Life"


Monday, May 22, 2017

Vallarta Botanical Gardens and Lunch at Hacienda de Oro

One of the Pleasures of Life in Mexico

Hacienda de Oro Restaurant at Vallarta Botanical Gardens

     Visiting the Vallarta Botanical Gardens and having lunch at the restaurant in the Garden, Hacienda de Oro, has been on my Bucket List for years. I'm so glad we finally planned a day trip to go there!
Beautiful Orchids Under One of Two Shade Covers
     I wrote about our first, failed attempt to tour this botanical garden in my book, "Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico" . We were driving our motorhome south along the coast of mainland Mexico, leaving the Puerto Vallarta area on Hwy 200. I was so excited to visit the Gardens that day! We had it programmed into our GPS and had planned our trip to arrive in time for lunch at the Hacienda de Oro. But when we slowed to turn into the gate, we could see there was no place to park our motorhome. We were forced to drive on by and keep the Vallarta Botanical Gardens on our Bucket List for another year.
Hacienda de Oro Restaurant and Coy Pond
     This time, I wanted to be sure there were no glitches in our plan to visit the Vallarta Botanical Gardens. Checking their website, I could see the Gardens were open. I called them the morning of our trip to ask if the restaurant would be open that day. We didn't want to arrive hungry, only to find the restaurant closed. I had read an article years ago that said the dining experience is half the fun of going to the Gardens, so I was hopeful they would be open. Unfortunately, no one answered the phone, so we ate a light lunch at a beach restaurant in Puerto Vallarta's Romantic Zone before walking to catch the bus that goes to the Gardens. That worked out for the best! The restaurant was open, but we weren't hungry when we arrived about 1:00, so we hiked five of the many trails, looked at endless exotic plants, and worked up a good appetite. By 4:00, we were ready for refreshments. The restaurant closes at 5:00, so we had plenty of time for a delicious Margarita and a Caesar Salad with Large Shrimp, all beautifully served, decorated with colorful, edible flowers. I was happy that we were able to dine at the lovely restaurant, half of the reason to visit the Gardens!
So Many Colorful, Exotic Rock Garden Plants


     One trail led from the Hacienda de Oro through a delightful rock garden with colorful, exotic tropical plants that I had never seen before. Many were labeled with their botanical names.
The Orchid Conservatory Is Amazing!



     The Orchid Conservatory was my favorite area of the Gardens. Not only were we surrounded by gorgeous orchids and other tropical plants, soothing music played through high quality speakers, enticing us to find a couple of chairs and relax here for a while. The only thing I wished for at that moment was a waiter to appear offering me a cold Mojito. I imagine if you hold your wedding there, that would be part of the package. What a treat that would be!
View From the Orchid Conservatory
     After sitting for a while in the center of the Orchid Conservatory, we realized how warm and humid it was surrounded by the tropical plants, even with large fans blowing the air through the open-air building. So we dragged our chairs over to the top of the stairs next to the entry where a nice breeze was blowing in from the valley below. The view looking outside was just as enjoyable, with several varieties of palm trees, lush green grass, and sun-tolerant blossoming plants. What a peaceful place it is; the only sounds were the music in the conservatory behind us and the tropical birds singing in front of us.
These Hanging Baskets Decorated Every Building

Swimming is Allowed in the Emerald Pools of the River
     We walked the popular trail down to the river that runs through the property. We dipped our hands in the refreshing water and enjoyed the shade for a few minutes before attacking the steep hike back to the Hacienda. By then we were ready for our Margaritas.
Jon and Terry in La Hacienda de Oro Restaurant

     We dined on the balcony of the restaurant, overlooking the river, the jungle, and the valley. The breeze coming up the river was cool and refreshing, a perfect way to relax after hiking in this wonderful botanical garden.     
Jon at One of the Two Shade Cover Areas for Plants

     On our way out, we couldn't help but take one more walk through the shade cover areas to admire the orchids and other tropical plants again. A young couple approached us, all smiles, and asked if we could take their photo. The beaming young lady held up her left hand to show off her new diamond ring and said, "We just got engaged!" I told them, "Congratulations! You look so happy", as I took their photo. A beautiful memory for them as they start their life together.
Orchids, Orchids, Everywhere!
     For more information on the Vallarta Botanical Gardens, how to catch the bus or taxi to the Gardens, holding weddings and events there, and to see the restaurant menu (small button in the upper right corner), see http://www.vbgardens.org .


The eBook "Retirement Before the Age of 59" is available on Amazon. To read the FREE SAMPLE on Amazon click HERE 

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Saturday, May 13, 2017

THANKFUL TO HAVE RETIRED IN MEXICO: The eBook About Our Journey

Out of the Rat Race and Into Paradise


eBook Now Available on Amazon!
     Jon and I are so thankful that we traveled throughout Mexico in our RV until we found the town we wanted to retire in. So I wrote this book about the transition from our hectic life in the U.S. to our relaxed life in Mexico. If you have considered moving to Mexico, or just getting out of the rat race early, you might like to take a look by clicking HERE
An Enjoyable Lunch at Hacienda de Oro in Vallarta Botanical Gardens

Book Description
     Terry and Jon found a way to escape the rat race, retire early, and to make their money go further. This story will inspire others to quit their jobs, retire earlier rather than later, and begin living a healthier life, while having more fun and doing what they enjoy. Why wait?
     Making the decision to retire early was the easy part. Deciding where to retire took more travel in their motorhome and lots of thought. The process of selling and giving away their excess possessions so they could begin living a simplified, healthier life was a journey in itself.
     Terry and Jon’s adventures while traveling in their motorhome are enough to entice one to go RV shopping immediately. Their decision to move to México may seem radical to some, but others may soon consider doing the same thing! The story of where they settled in México, and why, will make you wonder how soon you, too, will begin planning a similar escape from the chaos in the world to find your own piece of paradise in the sun.

"Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico" eBook
     Our search for sunshine and paradise started with a motorhome trip around mainland Mexico, focusing on the coastal areas. To check out the book about our six month adventure, click HERE
eBook Available on Amazon

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Bringing Your Pet into Mexico: New 2017 Laws are Being Enforced!

Avoid a 2-Hour Delay When Entering Mexico!

Bella is Ready to Get Out of Her Pet Carrier
     Flying into Mexico last week with Bella, our miniature dachshund, turned into a nightmare. We flew into the Puerto Vallarta International airport, as we have many times in the past 17 years, and proceeded, as always, to the Mexican Agricultural desk (zoo sanitary kiosk with the acronym SAGARPA) before entering Customs (Aduana). We presented the documents that have always been accepted, a current rabies vaccination certificate and a Health Certificate from a vet in the U.S. that had been prepared two days before travel. We have always successfully imported our dogs using these papers whether we flew or drove into Mexico, though they were rarely asked for when we drove across the border.
     Things aren’t that simple with dog and cat importation into Mexico anymore. We found out the hard way that there is a new, more stringent law regarding cats and dogs entering Mexico, effective January 1, 2017. Apparently, Mexico started enforcing the new requirements in February 2017 and neither our U.S. vet nor our Mexican vet in Sayulita knew about the changes because both of our current Health Certificates from these vets were unacceptable when we presented our documents to the SAGARPA agent at the Puerto Vallarta airport. It was going to be a long afternoon.
SAGARPA is the Mexican Ministry of Agriculture

     The Mexican Agriculture Department (SAGARPA) agent patiently explained the new requirements to us, then told us that we could not bring our dog into Mexico without obtaining a valid Health Certificate. In addition to the Rabies Vaccination certification, the vet must now certify (provide proof of) two additional health conditions:
    1.  The dog (or cat) is free from internal parasites (worms) and has been treated for these within 6 months of the date of travel. The products used must be reflected on the Health Certificate. We showed the SAGARPA agent the receipt from our vet in Oregon for our purchase of 12 doses of Heartguard Plus® to treat heartworms and other worms and told him that we administer it to Bella every 30 days. That wasn't good enough.
Heartworms are Spread by Mosquitoes

    2.  The dog (or cat) is free from external parasites (fleas/ticks) and has been treated for these within 6 months of the date of travel. The products used must be reflected on the Health Certificate. We told the SAGARPA agent that our vet in Sayulita, Mexico could verify over the phone that we buy Bravecto® from him to treat fleas and ticks and that we administer it to Bella every 12 weeks. That wasn't good enough. 
Bravecto® Treats Fleas, these Ticks, and Others

     The Agriculture agent continued explaining that he could call a vet from Puerto Vallarta and ask him or her to come to the airport and prepare a valid Health Certificate for us. This was the only option if we were going to leave the airport with Bella. So, I spoke on the phone with the friendly female vet (luckily, she spoke more English than I speak Spanish) and we agreed upon a price of 800 pesos ($45 U.S.) for her to drive to the airport, examine our dog, and complete a Health Certificate. She added that she might have to administer a medication on site to be in compliance and this would be included in the price.
Waiting at the Airport Gives Bella "Bad Hair"

     While we were waiting for the vet to arrive, the Agriculture Department Agent showed us a correctly completed Health Certificate and suggested that we take a photo of it for future reference. We were glad we did, because all of the information had become very confusing at this point. I later found additional information on Mexico Pet Import Regulations at: http://www.pettravel.com/immigration/Mexico.cfm
Health Certificate Requirement #1 is Unchanged

Health Certificate Requirements #3 is New in 2017

     We were exhausted from traveling, hungry, and ready to go to our home in Sayulita. The extra time this caused was difficult to handle, though we were glad the friendly vet came to the airport quickly. She gave Bella a tablet of a medication that she said would treat against both internal and external parasites and then completed a hand-written Health Certificate that the SAGARPA agent accepted as valid. We then had to wait while the Agriculture agent created and printed 2 copies of an official SAGARPA “Certificado Zoosanitario Para Importatión", one for our records and one to give to Customs as we exited the airport. We were finally on our way! 
Traveling in Our RV is Much More Comfortable than Flying!

     Next time we won’t fly into Mexico; we’ll drive our motorhome across the border. The final question to be determined: When we are ready to drive to Mexico, crossing at Nogales, AZ, we will find a vet in Arizona to do a Health Certificate. How can a vet in the U.S. who is not familiar with Bella certify that our dog is free of internal and external parasites and list the products we used? My conclusion is that I will use Frontline Plus monthly on Bella during the few months we are in the U.S. and hold her Bravecto® tablet (for fleas and ticks). Just before we plan to drive across the border, I will take Bella to a vet for her Health Certificate and have the vet administer her Bravecto® tablet and her Heartguard Plus® (for heartworms and other worms) at the time of her examination. I will probably need to be prepared for the vet to require blood and/or stool tests before administering the medications (more money and time). Then, I will make sure the vet completes the Health Certificate as required by the Mexican Agriculture Department. We’ll see how that works. We’ll also see if anyone asks for Bella’s Health Certificate at the Mexico border. They haven’t in the past, but this might be the year that they start requiring them when driving into Mexico. Anyone else have another idea?
     Edited 5/4/17: A helpful reader, Byron, supplied me with this link for current requirement for traveling with a pet to Mexico.  https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel/by-country/pettravel-mexico . When you reach this page, click on the BAR at the bottom of the page for Dogs and Cats. The Certificate Template under Option B is the one the vet can complete using their computer and then sign by hand. 
     Visit my website: www.HealthyLivingandTravelinginMexico. com for more articles about our adventures and life in Mexico.
     For more information on healthy living and traveling in Mexico, take a look at my two eBooks, available on Amazon:
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