Sunday, September 12, 2021

Bella the Dachshund Describes Her New Life in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

 I Live in a Condo Now!

     My people and I moved to Puerto Vallarta in July. I wasn’t too happy about leaving my big yard in Sayulita, but it turned out to be a good place for me in my senior years. I’m 11 ½ people years old now, so that’s 80 dog years. Whew, I’m not an energetic pup any longer!
     I love to retrieve the football in the evening while my people drink wine at home. A few months ago, I hurt my back running up and down one step from our patio in Sayulita. For two weeks, my back legs were paralyzed. My Sayulita vet told me I’m not supposed to do stairs anymore.
We have Elevators Now, No Stairs for Me!
I'm a Little Afraid in the Elevator
     My mom and dad shopped for months to find a pet-friendly condo just for me. Our new home has elevators and ramps for me to walk on. I’m a little afraid of the elevator, especially crossing that crack to get in or out, but it’s better than going up and down the stairs.
I Want to Go in that Garden!
      The garden outside our condo is beautiful. I wonder why they put it up so high with a wall around it so I can’t go in there to go potty. The gardeners prune everything once a week so Mom and Dad don’t have to work so hard anymore. I walk my mom and dad out to the cobblestone streets to find places to go potty now.
I Walk Down this Ramp to the Cobblestone
     I go on short walks in the neighborhood with my people. Once a month we walk to our corner OXXO convenience store where Dad pays the CFE electricity bill and their Telcel cell phone bills. Mom and I stay outside so I can smell everything and wait to see other dogs. Mom and Dad always wear those funny-looking masks—maybe they don't like the smells outside.
We Pay Our Bills at the OXXO Store
     That's enough exercise for me in the summer heat and humidity! I have to go home and rest after that. I rest a lot now that I'm old. My condo is a nice, air-conditioned place for a nap with my babies.
I Like Resting in the Air Conditioning Now
     Can you believe my mom and dad ordered
 a vacuum cleaner from Amazon for our condo? They know I have a love-hate relationship with those noisy things. While Mom was putting the vacuum together, I kept poking it because I wanted to hear it roar so I could bark at it. Then I had to grab my moose-elk and bark to protect it. When Mom started using the vacuum cleaner, it just puffed out steam but never made a sound. So disappointing—it was just a steam cleaner for the tile floors.
I had to Protect My Moose-Elk from the "Vacuum"
I Bark, Secretly Wanting the "Vacuum Cleaner" to Roar
     I still track geckos and keep the Chachalacas away. Those crazy birds come right onto our balcony and look in our kitchen window! They're bigger than me, but I'm not afraid of them. It’s great to have something to bark at, though I get in trouble because condo dogs aren’t supposed to bark or they get kicked out.
A Chachalaca Looks in Our Window
     I’m still looking for iguanas, land crabs, or Téjones, but I haven’t found any of those critters the way I did in Sayulita. The land crabs don't come to our balcony, probably because the only dirt is in pots where they can't climb up and bury themselves. I guess the iguanas don't like to live in a big city because I can’t smell any, even in the trees around our condo. Oh, well… Dad and Mom would just yell, “Bella, Don’t Chase the Iguana!” You might remember that story from my mom's blog when I was younger.
I Loved Barking at Critters in Our Sayulita Garden

A couple of weeks ago, I was really sick, so Mom and Dad took me to a new vet in Puerto Vallarta. I got to ride down the hill from our condo in the funicular—that saved me from hobbling down ninety steps. I wasn’t scared in it and I could see clear to the ocean from up there at the top of the hill.

Here Comes the Funicular to Give Us a Ride!
Here We Go Down the Funicular Tracks!
     My new vet, Dr. Julian at Hospital Veterinario Del Sol, was so gentle I didn’t even shake when he examined me. He said I have heart failure because I’m old for a dachshund. He gave me medicine and special food. Dr. Julian told Mom and Dad that it was too hot outside for me to walk or run right now, so they carried me home in my pet carrier.

We Stopped At Andale's Restaurant for Lunch

After we left the vet, Mom and Dad took me with them to lunch. The hamburgers they ate at Andale’srestaurant smelled so good, but they said I couldn’t have any people-food. Not even one bite of meat! Not fair…

I Sneak My Bone and Moose-Elk onto Mom's Yoga Mat
     During the summer, we love doing yoga in our air-conditioned condo. As soon as Dad rolls out the yoga mats, I sneak my bone and moose-elk toy onto Mom’s purple mat. I get scolded, but only playfully, then I get a belly rub. It works every time!
I Check the Groceries, then Ask "Where's the Meat?"
     We get our groceries delivered from La Comer supermarket. It’s very handy because Mom and Dad don’t have to leave for hours to get food. A man brings it right to our door which gives me a reason to bark, telling him to stay out of our house. Then I check the grocery box and it’s full of fruit. I loudly demand to know where the meat is, so Mom shows me a bag of turkey lunch meat. I’m feeling better these days so she gives me a bite even though my new vet said no people-food. I know Mom won’t tell him that we cheated on my diet.
Our Beach and Pier in Puerto Vallarta
We live just three blocks from the Los Muertos beach and Muelle (pier) in Puerto Vallarta. Mom says there aren’t any sand crabs to dig for on this beach so I stay home when they go there. Do you remember how much I loved digging in the sand when I was a youngster? I miss that—and sitting in the sand under the table during lunch on the beach.
I Loved Digging When I was a Youngster!
     These days, Mom and Dad leave me at home where it’s cool when they go to the beach. Mom always brings me some yummy people-food when they come back, so I know they’ve been to one of the ocean-front restaurants without me. I'm okay with that.
I Bring the Ball to Mom and Beg to Play Fetch

I still like playing football and can persuade my people to throw it for me on our new balcony. When Mom throws the football, it only goes about ten feet, but that’s enough for me these days. I don’t have any stairs to jump up or down, so that’s good. I still get tired, though, after ten retrievals and have to rest. I settle into my bed and gaze out at the neighborhood. Looking at the Puerto Vallarta Old Town in the evening is very enjoyable.

Playa Los Muertos Pier and Pirate Ship

     We're glad we retired and moved to México. You can read more about our adventures in Mom’s books, available worldwide. You might like the book below, Retirement Before the Age of 59: Healthy Living in Mexico. It makes Mom happy when people leave reviews on Amazon, so I hope you will do that. Have a great summer!
     You can sign up for Mom's newsletter HERE. She sends them out every month or so. She'll probably let you know how I'm doing. 
     P.S. After two weeks of eating canned food for old dogs, I'm on strike against all dog food. I only eat people food now. Don't tell my vet!
Bella Turrell, Begging for People Food

Sunday, July 11, 2021

This is Sayulita, Nayarit in 2021

 Such an Interesting, Lively Village!

Selfie Street in Sayulita is Very Popular

     Now that we’ve decided to move to Puerto Vallarta, I find myself seeing Sayulita differently, more as a visitor who will only be here for a short time. Mostly, I see beauty. I also see and smell things that now annoy me—short-timers syndrome has begun. But, all in all, Sayulita is about the most interesting, lively town we’ve ever seen in México and we’re glad we've lived here for six years.

Musicians Playing for Tourists Willing to Pay

Beach Toy Vendor and the Crowded Beach in Summer

     Downtown, we see various modes of transportation, from one-person electric cars to horses, bicycles to motos (motorcycles), golf carts to cars and trucks, all sharing the streets with pedestrians. Since we sold our golf cart in preparation for our move to PV, we walk everywhere and notice a lot more. Walking is the best way to explore Sayulita, besides being excellent exercise.

Electric Car, Motorcycle, & Golf Cart Parked Downtown

Horses, Golf Carts, Motos, and Cars Share the Road

     While walking, I notice murals everywhere in Sayulita. If you missed my article showing some of them, check it out at Murals of Sayulita.

One of My Favorite Murals in Sayulita

     Centro, the downtown area, is a great people-watching area. You’ll see everything from the Huichol art and the people creating it, the mayor (El Delegado) at the cake lady’s street-side stand, locals hanging out at the plaza gazebo, crowds at the gelato store, street entertainers, and more. I’ll miss watching the action in town.

Sayulita's Mayor, El Delegado, at the Cake Lady's Stand

     Our tropical garden is beautiful all year, but when the rainy season starts in July, plants grow as though in a jungle. It brings butterflies, hummingbirds, chachalacas, iguanas, and many birds. One morning when the rain stopped, we had a wonderful foursome of butterflies dancing around the bougainvillea. Be sure to watch this rare video I captured of the dancing butterflies.

View from Our Patio--Iguana & a Cacique Hanging Nest

4 Dancing Butterflies Video

     The rains also bring critters out in our yard, such as the green garden frog and the land crabs. Bella hunts for the crabs and calls to us when she finds one that has come out of the soil—she has a distinctive high-pitched bark that means “crab located!” and she won’t stop until Jon captures it. Then Jon gets a “reacher” to grab the crab so he doesn’t get pinched and releases it to the jungle where it will migrate to the beach to breed.

Bella Tracked a Land Crab Hiding under the Propane Tank

     The sky can appear ready to dump rain in the afternoon and an hour later has cleared. Most times, the rain comes during the night which is a blessing as it brings a cooler morning with clear skies. But when it rains in the afternoon, we enjoy glasses of wine and watching the rain run off the barrel tiles of our roof. Here’s a video that gives you a sense of the mesmerizing, musical sound.

Rainy Season Video from Our Patio

Rain Washes the Plants and Brightens the Garden

Busy Beach on a July Weekday--Looks Like Rain
An Hour Later, the Clouds have Cleared

     When it has rained hard enough for a week or so, the river begins flowing. The dogs, and sometimes children, play in the muddy water, happy to finally cool off. The downpours also cause some old trees to fracture and fall, taking power and internet lines down.

Tree and Lines Down This Week on Our Street

     We’ll always cherish memories of our time in Sayulita, a Pueblo Mágico often described as a bohemian town. Renting a lounge chair and umbrella at Don Pedro’s or on the north beach and enjoying a margarita from La Sirena while we watch the waves and read our Kindles is one of our favorites, especially on a hot summer day. Enjoying the Sayulita sunsets during dinner at a beachfront restaurant is always a special time. As we move on to our next adventure, living to a condo, we look forward to watching the sunsets of Puerto Vallarta.

A Beautiful Sunset Behind Punta Sayulita

     Have you read “Living In Mexico Lessons Learned: Healthy Living in Mexico #3? This is my most popular book this month, thanks to many readers downloading it and leaving great reviews. Available worldwide on Amazon, it’s FREE with kindleunlimited. In the United Kingdom, check out my books on my Amazon UK Author Page.

     Are you interested in Medical Fiction? Check out my second book in the “In Sickness and In Health” series, “Pickle Jar Test: A Novel”. A love story with a little romance and information about Parkinson’s disease, follow Jake and Lindsay as they adjust to living in México with a new diagnosis and treatment.

     Thank you for reading my blog articles and books. As a self-published author on Amazon worldwide, I love it when readers leave a brief review of my books. I invite you to SIGN UP for my "Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico Newsletter", published monthly with stories about our latest adventures, my recent blog articles, and news about my books.

      Happy reading and traveling!

     Terry L Turrell, Author

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Your Subscription To My "Retirement Before The Age Of 59" Blog Has Changed

Greetings from Mexico,

     I wanted to let you know about an important change in your subscription to my blogs. You may have received my “Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico” newsletter to explain the changes, also.

     Your subscription to follow my blogs, "Retirement Before the Age of 59" and “Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico” was canceled in Google’s Blogger format. The “Follow by Email” option on Blogger is being deactivated in all of their blogs. Recently, the FeedBurner team released a system update announcement, that the email subscription service will be discontinued in July 2021. So, your subscription was rolled over into my Mailchimp subscriber list and you will now be notified of recent blogs and other news through this newsletter, published monthly, más o menos. We’re living on Mexican time😊.

   I think you will enjoy my Healthy Living and Traveling in México newsletter. To view my April Newsletter, click HERE. If you would like to SIGN UP for the "Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico Newsletter", click HERE.

   Happy reading and traveling!

   Terry L Turrell, Author

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Sunday, June 27, 2021

7 Reasons We’re Moving to Puerto Vallarta from Sayulita!

 We’re So Excited!

That Infinity Pool and View was Part of the Reason
     Yes, it’s true. We’re moving to the “big city” of Puerto Vallarta in about two weeks. We’ve lived in our casita in the village of Sayulita for six years and are ready for this change. Not only that, but we’re moving from a 3-bedroom home with a yard to a 2-bedroom condo. People ask us, “Why?”

     Remember when we evaluated many cities in México to make the big decision about where to retire? I wrote a blog article Retire in Sayulita,Mexico? What About in Puerto Vallarta? Or La Manzanilla? I listed many reasons why we love Sayulita, and they still hold true. I also wrote, “Puerto Vallarta is a big city, too big for us to choose as our home. We would rather keep it as a special place for a perfect sophisticated get-away.”

Sayulita Beach on a Quiet Day

     What made us change our minds six years later? Well, it started with health changes and the need to visit medical specialists and major hospitals and then grew from there. Here are the main reasons we’re moving to a condo in PV, as it’s sometimes referred to.

A SANMARÉ Clinic Private Room

     1.       High-quality Health Care is Readily Available and Relatively Inexpensive—Hospitals, medical specialists, and dentists are better and we’ll live closer to them. Medication is less expensive than in Sayulita pharmacies and can be purchased without a prescription in most cases. We pay out-of-pocket, so inexpensive, quality health care is important with our limited retirement funds. Pamela Thompson, a health care consultant in PV, has helped us find an excellent neurologist, dermatologist, urologist, a plastic surgeon (who flies in from Guadalajara to remove skin tumors), and a dentist. She also has referred us to SANMARÉ Health Care Group and La Joya Hospital for lab work and surgical procedures which we have been very happy with. We found we are taking taxis from Sayulita to PV and back for health care reasons more and more as we age. At 1500 pesos ($75 US) round-trip, it's getting expensive, and time-consuming.

     In addition, in case emergency service is needed, SANMARÉ and La Joya Hospital own an ambulance, which would arrive at our home in PV and get to the hospital much quicker. In Sayulita, a long ambulance response time and the hour-long trip (más o menos, depending on traffic) to La Joya Hospital could be life-threatening.

Celebrating At La Cappella Restaurant in PV

2.   Better Selection of Restaurants—While Sayulita has 120 restaurants according to TripAdvisor, we frequent about 20 of those. We are ready for some new and higher quality choices and Peurto Vallarta has over 600 restaurants. As we go out for breakfast or dinner every other day and to special restaurants when we want to celebrate, this is important to us. Lots of gastronomic exploring to do!

The Gym at Our New Condominium in PV

3.    Exercise Opportunities are Great—COVID-19 eliminated our Zumba and yoga classes in Sayulita and they have been slow to return. In the past year, we’ve done these exercises at home with instructors on the internet. We’re ready to get out for our exercise classes. Our condo has a well-equipped gym, a great feature we hadn’t anticipated. We’ll probably get more walking steps recorded on our Fitbits in PV since we love to walk on the Malecón and around the Romantic Zone.

Sayulita Beach During Semana Santa 2015

4.   Sayulita has Gotten Too Busy for Us, with Tourists and People Moving Here—It’s a great people-watching town and the evening street entertainment is fun. We’ll be back to visit for that, but the walkways and beaches have become too congested for us, especially on weekends and holidays. When I look at the photo of Sayulita Beach during the 2015 Semana Santa week, I realize it was busy when we moved here, too. Maybe we've just become less tolerant of it in our later years.

5.   Living Closer to Stores We Like to Shop At and New Outdoor Markets to Explore—Costco, Home Depot, Liverpool, supermarkets, and Wal-Mart are a short Uber ride away from our condo. While we only shop at the big stores once every month or two, it will be so much more convenient and less expensive to Uber there and back when we live in the city. We’re looking forward to exploring the Olas Altas Saturday Market, a farmers' market nearby, and Cuale Island Flea Market. As a side note, Sayulita does not have an Uber service, so taking a taxi anywhere has become expensive.

Swim-Up Bar at Pinnacle Condo

6.   We Couldn’t Find a Condo in Sayulita that Fit Our Needs Within Our Price Range—Real estate prices are getting quite high in Sayulita. We wanted a pool, to be close to the beach, handicap accessibility with an elevator (in case we need it in the future), an ocean view, a two-bedroom, two-bath unit with a balcony, and be pet-friendly (that's a limiting criterion, but Bella will be living there, too). Our condominium, Residences by Pinnacle has a rooftop infinity pool with a view of the city and ocean. The swim-up bar and restaurant service at the pool are special treats that we look forward to enjoying. The condo cost more than we wanted to pay, but we pushed the envelope of our finances and I think we'll be happy that we made this decision.

Can't Wait to Watch the Sunset from Up Here!

7.     We’re Ready for a New Adventure! Last year we gave up our RVing days when we would explore the country with road trips. We still take road trips with a hired driver and a car, but we haven’t gotten out of Sayulita much since last summer except to vacation in Puerto Vallarta. We spend so much time in PV, we decided we might as well live there! 

          I’m especially excited to live near Vallarta Botanical Gardens—one of my favorite places to go for a walk, take a rest with some peaceful reading time in the conservatory, and eat delicious fish tacos with the best margaritas! It’s only a 35-minute Uber ride away from our new home, rather than a 2-hour drive from Sayulita if the traffic is good.

   We can’t wait to move! Waiting for the condo real estate closing to happen is excruciating now that we’re packed and ready, but it’s another lesson in patience. Things move on Mexican time and there’s no way to speed them up.

Check out this nice review on Amazon for my ebook 

Retirement Before the Age of 59 

        5.0 out of 5 Stars A fresh look.

        "I had really enjoyed reading this book. Well written in a warm friendly trusting way. With a fresh look at our neighbors down south on the other side of the wall. A really great book." (Thank you, Jason, for reading my book and leaving a review to help others find it)

     I invite you to SIGN UP for my "Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico Newsletter", published monthly with stories about our latest adventures, my recent blog articles, and news about my books.

Thank you for reading my blog articles and books. As a self-published author on Amazon worldwide, I love it when readers leave a brief review of my books. Happy reading and traveling!