Sunday, October 31, 2021

END OF LIFE PLANNING WHILE LIVING OR TRAVELING ABROAD--Particularly in México (Part 1)


Planning for Death While Abroad 

     What happens if we die while visiting or living abroad? What do we do if a loved one dies while in México? These are not comfortable thoughts but are important to plan for. This is Part 1 of the End of Life articles, planning for death while living or traveling abroad, particularly in México.

     Jon and I recently attended Pamela Thompson’s End of Life talk and found the information to be very helpful. Pam has many years of experience with health care and is the Patient Service Coordinator at Sanmaré Clinic in Puerto Vallarta. She also has a great deal of experience aiding with the process of death at Hospital Joya, sadly a common occurrence during COVID-19.

     Pam has helped us make appointments with doctors, dentists, and surgeons, appointments for lab tests, ultrasound, and MRIs, and provided information about eye care and eyeglasses. We've found her services to be priceless. Many foreigners agree.

      With Pamela Thompson's permission, I have summarized Pam’s talk and added some points of my own. Part 1 includes steps to take before death. Part 2 will be steps for your spouse or another family member to take after your death. Some of this information is specific to Puerto Vallarta, but most steps below are very important regardless of what country or area you travel to or live in.

1. Register with your home country consulate

U.S. Citizens: United States STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program)

A SERVICE OF THE BUREAU OF CONSULAR AFFAIRS

U.S. Department of State link: https://step.state.gov/

               ·       Set up an account: Allow plenty of time and patience! This is a typical                            government site—it took me three attempts.

·       Register your travel plans and/or address in Mexico

·       Register your emergency contact (a designated family member other           than your travel partner)

·       Register your travel partner or spouse

     Jon and I were elated when we finally succeeded and received this STEP Enrollment email. But really, we had only completed Step 1 of this planning process. There’s more work to be done.

Step 1 Success: STEP Enrollment Email Received

        2. Secure your important documents in your home safe. Give a designated family member a key or code to the safe so they will be able to manage the required Mexican procedures after your death.

              ·       Codes and passwords for computers, phones, email, etc.

·       Real estate escritura (deed) which states beneficiaries. A Mexican will is not necessary unless you have assets besides real estate such as a bank account.

·       Instructions for cremation or burial, written and signed by you. (Having a witness sign this document might be wise.)

·       Passport

·       Will prepared by an attorney in your home country

·       Marriage certificate, if applicable

·      Your personal information including a copy of your residency card, Mother’s and Father’s complete names, and where they were born (city, state, country) which will be needed to obtain the death certificate at the Civil Registry

             ·     A plan for pet care after your death

Planning for Death at Celis Funeral Home

     3. Whether cremation or burial in México is desired, visit your local funeral home to make plans. In Puerto Vallarta, Pam Thompson recommends Celis Funeral Home to arrange this and prepay. The cost of cremation at Celis is currently $1050 USD (non-refundable). Celis works closely with Pam and Clinic Sanmare to deal with the bureaucracy of death in México. (If death is due to COVID-19, cremation is required within 24 hours.)

     4. Preparing a plan for pet care after your death is very important. Write the instructions out and put them in your safe.

     5. Let your designated family member know about your plans and desires after death and the location of your safe.

     I recommend, from my personal experience with my mother’s estate, that you leave sufficient cash in the safe so that family members can deal with necessary expenses, including tips to Mexicans who assist them with procedures and paperwork after your death.

     Part 2 of this End of Life series has been published. Thank you, Pamela Thompson, for your helpful summary, which finally got us motivated to take the above steps. This will help our spouses and other family members after we die in México and give us peace of mind now.

     Have you read Living In Mexico Lessons Learned: HealthyLiving in Mexico #3? This is my most popular book this month, ranking highly in Amazon’s Mexican Travel (Kindle) category, thanks to many readers downloading it and leaving great reviews. Available worldwide, it’s FREE with kindleunlimited.

     I invite you to SIGN UP for my Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico Newsletter, published monthly, más o menos, with stories about our latest adventures, my recent blog articles, and news about my books. If you’d like to take a look at my recent newsletter, you can read it HERE.

     Thank you for reading my blog articles and books. As a self-published author on Amazon, I love it when readers leave a brief review of my books to help others find them.

Terry L Turrell, Author

     Happy reading and traveling! Stay safe and healthy.

     Cheers

     Terry

Sunday, October 24, 2021

OUR 12 FAVORITE PUERTO VALLARTA RESTAURANTS--So Far! (Part 1)

 And So Many More to Try!

A Taste of Europe in Puerto Vallarta

     One of the reasons we love Puerto Vallarta is the huge selection of quality restaurants. TripAdvisor claims there are 1000 restaurants in PV and I’m sure that doesn’t include all of the taco stands. We’ll be busy trying to get to all of them!

     We live in the Romantic Zone, also called Old Town, so we can walk to hundreds of great restaurants. Going out for dinner is one of our favorite excuses to take our daily walk, often getting two to three miles recorded on our Fitbits by the time we walk to and from a restaurant, plus fifteen to twenty minutes of aerobic minutes walking up the hills.

     My criteria for a favorite restaurant are delicious food for a fair price, good wine, a pleasant ambiance, and a clean restroom. I’m convinced that if the restroom is clean and well-stocked with soap, running water, toilet paper, and paper towels, then the employees wash their hands and the kitchen is also clean, probably. Some of the restaurants here are starting to add grab bars next to the toilets for the elderly and handicapped. We don’t need those yet, but the day will come, so I make a mental note of which restaurants have added these though they aren’t required by law.

1. Kaiser Maximilian

    When we’re hungry for something besides Mexican food, and we want a peaceful, air-conditioned dining room on a hot, humid evening, Kaiser Maximilian is frequently our choice. An Austrian bistro with an Austrian menu, it offers a nice variety from beef to vegetarian and an extensive wine list in addition to the full bar. Seated in our corner table, the photo behind us of Vienna, Austria is a beautiful backdrop for our dining experience and memory photo.

     The beef tenderloin I ordered was wonderful. Jon enjoyed their rack of lamb—again. Next time we go for dinner, I want to try the pan-roasted duck breast, or maybe their version of “Wienerschnitzel”. So much variety to choose from! And one of these days, we’ll go to Kaiser Maximilian for breakfast—I’m on a quest to find the best Eggs Benedict in Puerto Vallarta.
One of Kaiser Maximilian's Pleasant Dining Rooms

Yummy Dessert at Kaiser Maximilian

2. No Se Nada

     No Se Nada is one of our favorite restaurants for Mexican food. The food, service, and ambiance are wonderful. Photos are helpful, but this one needs to be experienced to fully appreciate what a gem it is. No wonder it’s rated #8 of 1000 restaurants in PV!

We Started with this Healthy, Nicely-Presented Salad
I Enjoyed Chef Jonathan's Special Pork Chop
Jon had the Beef Dish, Beautifully Presented and Tasty
It was Fun to Watch Our Chefs Work in their Clean Kitchen
Jon And I Look Forward to Returning to No Se Nada

3. De Cantaro
De Cantaro Restaurant's Sign

     When it’s Jon’s turn to choose a restaurant for the evening, he often chooses De Cantaro, an open-air pub with delicious food grilled over a wood fire. He usually orders the grilled half chicken and always enjoys it. My shrimp tacos were especially good—and inexpensive. They are listed as an appetizer but the three tacos are a meal for me. The shrimp are grilled rather than fried making them healthier. These were served in blue corn tortillas which are tougher so they don’t fall apart while eating the tacos. Maybe I’ll try the grilled octopus next time.
Jon's Grilled Chicken and Espumoso
Shrimp Tacos with Blue Corn Tortillas

     Restaurants 4 through 7 of Our Favorite Restaurants in Puerto Vallarta—So Far! is coming soon. Stay tuned!
     Have you read Living In Mexico Lessons Learned: HealthyLiving in Mexico #3? This is my most popular book this month, #6 in Amazon’s Mexican Travel (Kindle) category, thanks to many readers downloading it and leaving great reviews. Available worldwide, it’s FREE with kindleunlimited.
     Thank you for reading my blog articles and books. As a self-published author on Amazon, I love it when readers leave a brief review of my books to help others find them. 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.
     If you’d like to take a look at my recent newsletter, you can read it HERE.

Happy reading and traveling! Stay safe and healthy.

Terry L Turrell, Author

Friday, October 8, 2021

Selling Our Sayulita Home, A FREE Book, Goodbye Bella

The Sale of Our Cozy Sayulita Casita Finally Closed

     After living in our cozy casita in Sayulita for almost six years, Jon and I decided to sell it and purchase a condo in Puerto Vallarta. Boy, did we get some lessons in real estate transactions!

We Enjoyed Living in Our Cozy Casita in Sayulita

Real estate sales in México take an immense amount of time and patience, more now than ever. We repeatedly asked our realtor, “Why?”, sent more requested documents, and then waited. We asked, “When?”, and waited some more. Why was our closing date being postponed?

The pandemic was blamed for paperwork delays. Hurricane Nora at the end of August created havoc, flooding, and more postponement. A very busy real estate market in Puerto Vallarta and Sayulita was often mentioned as the cause of holdups. Preparation of the bank trust, a document required for ownership of property by foreigners, dragged for weeks. And then, it was El Grito de Independencia, the Mexican Independence Day on September 16, a major holiday that lasts at least a week. The meeting to close the sale had to be rescheduled until all attorneys, realtors, the buyer, and both Jon and I were available to meet at one time for the official signing of many documents.

     Finally, on Monday, September 20, the El Grito festivities were finished. More than three months after... to continue reading, click here.

Bella, Our Sweet and Sassy Dachshund

September brought some joy, and then sorrow.

     On September 12, as we began to accept that our beloved Bella’s health was declining, I wrote the article, “Bellathe Dachshund Describes Her New Life in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico”. 

     Bella has always been full of energy and spunk. Even as her body was failing, she continued to use her antics and sassy ways to make us laugh. To continue reading, click here.

Don't miss this FREE book promotion, beginning October 7, 2021, for a limited time only! Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico: A Search for Sunshine, Sassy Exercise, Savory Food and a Simpler Life (Healthy Living in Mexico Book 1)

Thank you for reading my books and blogs. My books are available on Amazon worldwide. If you enjoy them, please leave a brief review on Amazon. I wish you good health and happiness.

   Cheers,
          Terry