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Devils and Virgins, Katrinas and Mariachis: A Visit to Mis Amores

A katrina.

There are some places so cool, so strange, so wonderful, it’s hard to imagine you didn’t dream them. Mis Amores is one of those places. Everywhere you look there are handmade devils and skeletons and virgins so perfect, so unique, you have to love them. Some people don’t get it, of course, but if you like very oddball, very Mexican handicrafts, you will love Mis Amores.

More! Devils and Virgins, Katrinas and Mariachis: A Visit to Mis Amores

We’re On the History Channel!

Bobby, Dan, and Omar, shooting in Mexico for the History Channel

Omar and I will appear on the History Channel’s new series, “Food Tech,” in an episode about Mexican food! We make our debut sometime in May–stay tuned for the exact airdate. Make sure you see all photos of the shoot below!

More! We’re On the History Channel!

Is Mexico Right for You? Take the Quiz!

The cathedral, Guadalajara.

Everyone is different, so it is impossible to tell ahead of time how you will get along in Mexico. But after years of observing and speaking with visitors and foreigners who live here, we have come to some conclusions. Take our quiz and see how you do!

More! Is Mexico Right for You? Take the Quiz!

Batman, the Joker, and Journey to the Center of the Earth

Heath Ledger.

We love our movies. New ones, old ones, good ones and bad. Every once in a while we like to comment on one.

More! Batman, the Joker, and Journey to the Center of the Earth

The Crisis in Mexico

Tortillas are 6 to 9 pesos a kilo (2.2 pounds).  They make up a big part of our diet.

You’ve heard about the food crisis in developing nations, and can feel it at home. Here is how we are experiencing it in Mexico. Make sure you read Part II below.

More! The Crisis in Mexico

The Vet in Mexico—Bruno the Kitten

Our girl Bruno.

We’ve been lucky that our animals have only needed routine care until now. Although many people mistreat animals in Mexico, there are also many, many people, including knowledgeable veternarians, that are here to help our pets. In this installment, Bruno the Kitten needs emergency surgery.

More! The Vet in Mexico—Bruno the Kitten

Travels with Coco—To Mexico and Back with Our Dog

Coco.  She has raveled more than most humans.

You will need to check the rules and regulations for your country and the airline you are flying, but this is what we’ve experienced in flying with dogs between Mexico and the United States. It isn’t hard, and folks are helpful, but it takes a little planning ahead and you’ll pay. Note: This post will get an update soon. Of course everything has gone up.

More! Travels with Coco—To Mexico and Back with Our Dog

Hairpieces in Mexico

Yep, that

This post is only tangentially about Latin America, but a good story always deserves to be told. Although I would never wear a hairpiece now, years ago it seemed like the thing to do. But did it cause troubles!

More! Hairpieces in Mexico

Can You Be Vegetarian in Mexico?

Pablo with fresh corn.

We love vegetarian food, and certainly understand and respect your decision if you eat a vegetarian diet. There are many good vegetarian restaurants in Mexico, but we think that, in general, it is a little tougher to find varied vegetarian food in restaurants here. Of course, cooking for yourself is another matter–our fruits and vegetables are gorgeous!

More! Can You Be Vegetarian in Mexico?

Swearing in Spanish

Holy cow!

Being able to swear in Spanish is incredibly useful and fulfilling–but can get you into some pretty mucky water. Everybody knows the words, but you also have to realize the weight each one carries. If you really want to improve your volcabulary we could give an on-line course, but you’d have to present proof of age (and it would be nice if you paid us). For now we’ll keep it (reasonably) clean.

More! Swearing in Spanish

Birria—Glorious Goat Stew

Gorious birria--stewed goat

When I’m in Mexico, I miss Ma’s cooking. And when I’m in New York, I miss goat. Goat, glorious goat. Everybody asks “What does it taste like?” Well, the first time I tried it I admit I thought “Ewww, this can’t be right,” and wondered if I would be able to finish. But by the second bite I was hooked. It is stronger flavored than beef or pork–gamey, even–but we just love it. Now when they ask what its like, I just smile and say “Heaven….”

More! Birria—Glorious Goat Stew

Sex and the City in Mexico

The gals.  From the S&TC movie trailer.

Mexico is hard to describe. It is so different from where I grew up, but in some ways it is so the same. Just like in New York, we couldn’t wait for “Sex and the City” to open!

More! Sex and the City in Mexico

Rainy Season is Here!

Rainy season in Guadalajara.

Surprisingly, the rainy season is a great time to visit Guadalajara. It is cooler, and everything is green and lush, and the frequent thunderstorms often only last an hour or so–perfect for a coffee break from your touring around!

More! Rainy Season is Here!

Locos for Locavores—Eating Local in Mexico

Beautiful artichokes

Omar and I are concerned about global warming and pollution, and try to eat locally and not be part of the problem. We’ve got a long way to go, but we are giving it our best shot. Trouble is, in a developing country the lack of environmental education, coupled with the very real lack of money, makes old habits die hard.

More! Locos for Locavores—Eating Local in Mexico

Our Huge Mexico City Adventure, Part II


In which we explore the town and visit the Cathedral, Bellas Artes, la Casa de Azulejos, and Churros y Chocolates. Don’t miss any of the episodes of our Mexico City adventure! Mexico City is a lot like New York. You can see Times Square, Macy’s, the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, and the Plaza Hotel in a couple of hours, if you keep moving. The same in Mexico.

More! Our Huge Mexico City Adventure, Part II

Liza Minnelli Visits Us in Guadalajara

Liza this week in Guadalajara.  Photo from El Universal.

OMG. We’ve seen and even met lot’s of stars and famous people here in Guadalajara. But no one rocked us like Liza did!

More! Liza Minnelli Visits Us in Guadalajara

Teresita—A Mexican Baptism

Ceci and Pablo with Teresita and the godparents--Pablo

Part of living in Mexico is in celebrating the milestones in life–births and funerals and weddings and birthdays and baptisms– –all with lots of family and friends in tow.

More! Teresita—A Mexican Baptism

Chai—A Mexican Café

Mely, Omar, and Tochi in Chai

There are a lot of good restaurants in Mexico, from marketplace holes-in-the-wall to famous eateries in Mexico City. We love going out–especially for breakfast–and trying something new and surprising.

More! Chai—A Mexican Café

Molcajetes—Mexican Cooking and Lava Rock Pigs

Molcajete with salsa

Have you ever seen those dark grey stone bowls and wonder just where they came from? Just south of our house, is where! Making sauce in a molcajete is an essential part of Mexican cooking.

More! Molcajetes—Mexican Cooking and Lava Rock Pigs

Ladies of the Night in Mexico

Shady ladies

I have all the respect in the world for folks who are out there making a living. But why do they always approach me with their wares? I must have a hungry, lonely look. No I don’t–I just checked the mirror and I still look like Winnie the Pooh. Go figure.

More! Ladies of the Night in Mexico

Snow in Mexico

The Nevado de Colima, by Skyscrapercity

Don’t throw away your winter coat when you move to Mexico. You won’t need it all the time, but there are days you’ll be glad you have it. Lots of snow just outside of Mexico City right now.

More! Snow in Mexico

Personal Space in Mexico

Mexico City subway crunch

One of the cultural differences you’ll notice here is that there is less personal space in Mexico. People here are very comfortable with being close together in lines, on buses, and at home. It’s all what you grew up with. Takes some getting used to, though!

More! Personal Space in Mexico

Nicknames in Mexico

Fausto (Fas), Mildret (Tochi), Omar (Isra), Daniel (Dani), Nadia, Iris (Tulipan)

You could spend a lifetime learning interesting facts about Mexico. Here is some nickname trivia.

More! Nicknames in Mexico

Kissing in Mexico

Silvia and Pablo in Los Ayala, Nayarit

Not make-out kissing–although Mexicans are sure experts at that! I mean the social kissing–that little smooch in the air over your right shoulder. What’s up with that?

More! Kissing in Mexico

Guanajuato: Adventures with Mummies

Omar at el Teatro Juarez in Guanajuato

Mexico has more than it’s share of interesting and scenic locations, but Guanajuato really is special. Historic, charming, its hills full of silver veins and its cemetary full of mummies–there’s no place quite like it. Omar and I had a wonderful few days there a while back.

More! Guanajuato: Adventures with Mummies

Mexican Food: Chiles en Nogada—A Holiday Delicacy

Chiles en nogada

The best Mexican food is made of fresh ingredients in creative and innovative combinations. They should be colorful, tasty, and maybe offer up a little surprise. Nothing fits the bill better than that traditional holiday dish chiles en nogada, in which roasted poblano peppers are stuffed with roast beef and dried fruits, topped with a creamy nut sauce, and liberally sprinkled with gleaming gem-like pomegrantes!

More! Mexican Food: Chiles en Nogada—A Holiday Delicacy

Traveling with Children in Mexico

Montse and Saul, ready to welcome your kids

Mexico is an incredible destination for familes! Mexicans love children, and you’ll find they are welcome everywhere. There are so many kid-friendly things to do in Mexico, your family is guaranteed a great time!

More! Traveling with Children in Mexico

Walking to Tequila

Tequila, Mexico

I never feel more alive than when I am on a walking adventure. The trip is at least as important as the destination, and you really see the details when you are moving at three miles an hour. You can’t cover as much ground, but what you do experience you feel at a depth that is astonishing. Especially in Mexico, on the road to Tequila, where anything can happen and usually does.

More! Walking to Tequila

Why Guadalajara?

Guadalajara.  The Cathedral from Teatro Degollado

I’ve lived in Guadalajara 14 years. I chose it because it’s gorgeous and classy, not too far from the beach, is big enough to find work, and the people are friendly and beautiful. My first visit was in the freezing rain at 1AM, while wrapped in a pink flannel sheet…

More! Why Guadalajara?

Shipping to Mexico

Gusano Rojo Mezcal

Shipping items back and forth to Mexico is not as convenient as it could be. Here are some ideas.

More! Shipping to Mexico

More Adventures in Spanish

Fun in Spanish

We’ve often written about language, and especially the mistakes we’ve made. It’s fun! Everybody makes mistakes. Don’t wait to speak until you are perfect. Get out there and start talking. As the ads say, there are 350 million people waiting to talk with you. And if you make a mistake, have a laugh over it and learn!

More! More Adventures in Spanish

Adventure, Adversity and Amazing Good Fortune—The “Wandering” Review

Young Dan in Belize

We always love to hear from readers, to exchange stories or answer questions about our life in the Mexican countryside. It is an especially nice surprise when we get “fan” mail. And when we get a glowing book review–hijole! We’re on the top of the world!

More! Adventure, Adversity and Amazing Good Fortune—The “Wandering” Review

Mexican Birthdays—Mine!

I will never get used to "mordidas."  Omar and Tochi laugh because they know I

We love birthdays–and anniversaries and graduations and Fridays. Any reason to get together!

More! Mexican Birthdays—Mine!

Cow Attack! Art in Guadalajara

Golden calf in Guadalajara

Mexico is full of surprises. There are lots of cultural treats, if you know where to look.

More! Cow Attack! Art in Guadalajara

Flying With Coco to New York

Coco is a good traveler--as long as someone else pays

Flying with your dog has its ups and downs. It has certainly gotten much more expensive since I first posted this report in 2007.

More! Flying With Coco to New York

Flying Mexicans

Mexican bicyclist by Rodo Padilla

Every culture is different. Enjoying those differences is what traveling is all about.

More! Flying Mexicans

Flying to Mexico

Mexican fruit stand

There is more than one way to skin a cat. But after years of traveling between Guadalajara and New York, I like flying in Delta.

More! Flying to Mexico

On the Safe Side—Health Insurance in Mexico

Kayaking in Mexico

Here’s an inexpensive and convenient way to make sure you have at least basic health insurance coverage in Mexico. It’s available to anyone who is in the country legally!

More! On the Safe Side—Health Insurance in Mexico

Gas in Mexico #1—At Home

Gas cylinder in Mexico

A few details on running your household in Mexico. Today we talk about gas cylinders

More! Gas in Mexico #1—At Home

Gas in Mexico #2—In the Car

We really fill up our car

Choices, choices. It’s between Pemex and staying home.

More! Gas in Mexico #2—In the Car

Flooding in Mexico

Rough weather in Guadalajara

Here in the grasslands, we are dry half the year and wet the other half. And in rainy season, sometimes we have floods. If people would learn not to throw garbage in the canals, many lives could be saved.

More! Flooding in Mexico

Mexican Spanish Names

Mexican kids by Rodo Padilla

Learning the language is only the first step–to really enjoy Mexico you have to understand the culture. One of the first steps is to learn the names.

More! Mexican Spanish Names

More Spanish–Diminutive Guadalajara

Giant petunias and Teatro Degollado

There is nothing small about Guadalajara. Flying over the city at night, from the north, the lights look practically endless. And when you are stuck in traffic and it takes two hours plus to get across town, the city is enormous.

More! More Spanish–Diminutive Guadalajara

At the Movies in Mexico

Unidentified theater goer

Going to the movies is one of our biggest pleasures. As always, things are a little different in Mexico!

More! At the Movies in Mexico

Still More Dangerous Spanish—Explaining Mayate

Mayate Beetles

Spanish is not the same everywhere. Just as Australians speak differently than New Englanders, Cubans speak differently than Argentineans. Even within Mexico there is some variation, and if you have a good ear you can tell if someone is from Guadalajara, pues, or Mexico City, mano, or Chiapas (lots of Mayan).

More! Still More Dangerous Spanish—Explaining Mayate

Container Gardening in Mexico

Omar prepares the beds...

A new project–container gardening in Mexico. Although I suspect we will spend about ten times what we would to buy veggies in Wal-Mart, the lure of fresh baby beets and carrots and vine-ripe tomatoes is irresistible. Plus it’s fun–we love to see plants grow!

More! Container Gardening in Mexico

The 365Mexico Toolbar

Violin Girl by Rodo Padilla

Just when you think 365Mexico can’t get any cooler, here comes the new 365Mexico toolbar! Pretty good for a guy who is still impressed with color television…

More! The 365Mexico Toolbar

“You Asked for It”—Mexican Reasoning

Bruno says "Huh?"

One of the joys of travel is to see how other people think, or not, in foreign cultures. Mexico is quite surreal in this regard. You get used to it, and can even enjoy it after a while–“When does the movie start?” “Soon-at 5:30.” “But it’s 6 o’clock now!” “That’s correct, sir…” Until you are in the right frame of mind, it can drive you mad, especially if you subscribe to silly notions of linear time and real life logic.

More! “You Asked for It”—Mexican Reasoning

And the Banda Played On—Noisy Neighbors

The pink house.  No one is in the park because the music is too loud.

There’s always a fly in the ointment. Ours is a family who moved in the house across the street, painted it pink, and started giving free concerts, morning, noon and night. “Oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh, Soy el lobo domesticadoooooh…” I want to drip habanero sauce in their eyes, while playing over and over Rosemary Clooney’s “Come on- a My House.”

More! And the Banda Played On—Noisy Neighbors

Mexican Groceries II–I’d Kill For a Molasses Drop Cookie (The Things You Miss Away From Home)

Our friend Carole and dried chiles

It never fails–you’ve got a craving for the one thing not on the menu. Eating a balanced and varied diet is easier than ever, if you put in the effort to do it right.

More! Mexican Groceries II–I’d Kill For a Molasses Drop Cookie (The Things You Miss Away From Home)