It mostly was another hot, hot week, but we had something going on every single day – I’m grateful for the opportunity to have a full day of rest today so we can catch our breath. Here’s how our week unfolded:
- Monday: We did our food shopping this day, walking down to La Comer with a stop at the La Sabina organic store for a loaf of their wonderful banana bread (one of our favorite desserts). I’m not quite sure how we missed it earlier, but this past week we discovered a well-stocked Asian foods section at La Comer. We bought several items we enjoy and have missed, with only sesame oil being out of stock. I also filled my statin prescription at La Comer’s pharmacy. I was prepared for low prices compared to the U.S. (I was more shocked by the U.S. price) but what surprised me the most was the pharmacist just picking up a box of the pills off the shelf and handing it to me versus having to turn in a prescription and then wait or come back later to pick it up – Lipitor and other statins are over-the-counter drugs here. I also received a 20% discount on the prescription because we had spent enough on groceries at the store.
We saw and did a lot on Tuesday!
- Tuesday: We took a morning trip to Centro to visit the toy museum, La Esquina, with our next door neighbor, Jenny. The museum was an absolute delight, with four floors containing an amazing and eye-popping collection of Mexican folk toys. The imagination, design, construction, detail, artistry, color – everything – about the toys was fascinating and jaw-dropping in many cases. Besides the museum visit, the three of us also stopped on the way to shop at a small, wonderful little store filled with traditional Mexican folk crafts. I bought a longed-for embroidered dress and we also picked up some gifts for the grandkids. We also made a stop for hot chocolate and churros before going to the museum. After the museum visit Brett went to take a closer look at another building he was interested in, and Jenny and I headed in the opposite direction to visit a small but mighty downtown supermarket (it sold everything) tucked into a very small space. She and I also ogled quinceañera gowns, and visited a couple of fabric stores before heading for home.
- Wednesday: We met with the Senior Nomads for lunch at Luna de Queso (“Cheese Moon”). The food was delicious, and Brett and I were glad we ate before shopping because we would have probably bought twice as much from the extremely well-stocked deli & market attached to the restaurant. The conversation during lunch was stimulating and fun, and one of the best things we’ll remember from our time in San Miguel is that we were able to connect with Michael & Debbie.
- Thursday: One of our neighbors in the complex, Blake, is an artist, and we had planned to go to the opening day of a show of her paintings in the early afternoon, along with Jenny. However, Jenny showed up at our door in the morning to let us know she had been exposed to COVID and was exhibiting several symptoms and felt she shouldn’t go to the opening (she later tested negative though as did both of us). I decided to stay home as well as my lack of sleep for several days had caught up with me and I felt too exhausted (and woozy) to be good company for anyone, let along go anywhere or do anything. Brett felt he should still help Blake for a few hours and he also wanted to check out the Guadalupe neighborhood where the show was being held so he headed over to the gallery with her. I slept deeply for over three hours while he was gone and woke up to a cool breeze and rain coming in through the bedroom window – yes!
Said to be the “hippest” in SMA, the Guadalupe neighborhood is filled with street art – Brett snapped these examples while he was there on Thursday.
- Friday: We headed out for Centro a little before noon for our weekly brunch date, and enjoyed a delicious meal at Lavanda. It was worth the wait! After brunch we did some window shopping in Centro; stopped and viewed the Parroquia for a moment or two; purchased a gift for one of our daughters and another for our grandson at the Mexican folk craft store; and finally stopped in at the Bonanza Market for some laundry detergent, fabric softener, and coffee before taking a taxi home. It was hot again by the time we got to our apartment so we stayed inside the rest of the day.
- Saturday: We slept in yesterday morning, and our only outing for the day was a walk down the hill to the fruteria for produce.
A small reason I’ve been tiring so quickly whenever we go out is because a KN-95 mask seems to restrict the amount of oxygen I get (and need), especially when walking around. I switched back to a cloth mask and have been having a much easier time of it and not wearing out so quickly. The heat and the dryness are still somewhat problematic though so last Thursday’s rain and cooler temperatures were much appreciated. We keep hearing the temperature is going to drop now that May is over, but so far that hasn’t happened.
I also didn’t get much sleep most of the week, beginning with loud firecrackers (palomas) being set off at the beginning of the week. After they stopped though I still found myself unable to fall asleep for who knows what reason. Last weekend a child living in one of the houses just outside of our complex was killed, and the fireworks were apparently being set off to honor him. Palomas are incredibly loud, and were being set off all day and all night (like from midnight to 2:00 a.m.) making it impossible to sleep. I have no idea why the sleeplessness continued though but I slept well last night so hopefully this unpleasantness is finished.
This morning I’m thinking about:
- What we accomplished this past week: Everything on our list – it was a busy, fun week!
- What we’re looking forward to next week: 1) Cooler weather and some rain (hopefully). 2) More discovery. 3) Other than Friday brunch, a more spontaneous schedule.
- The ways we saved: 1) We cancelled our British Airways flight to England this past week and will be receiving a full refund! They had cancelled and changed our original flight so a refund was one of our options and we took it! 2) I’ll be able to file with our insurance for a reimbursement of the difference between what I paid for my prescription here versus what I would have paid in the U.S. with insurance. I’m grateful that the cost was so affordable here, and that it was so easy get the prescription refilled. 3) We received an email this week from our dentist on Kaua’i that they owe me a refund. This is the third dentist in a row who has had to issue us a refund! 4) My student loan consolidation was completed this past week and my old servicer paid in full – I am so happy to be done with them! I once again have a U.S. Department of Education owned loan, so I now fall under the CARES act and do not have a payment due until early October nor am I accruing any interest until then. I have created a plan to pay off the loan within the next five years. 5) In spite of our shopping and eating out this week we still did not go over our budget (which I find amazing). 6) I think I paid less than half again for my embroidered dress this past week as I did for an embroidered Mexican blouse 40 years ago.
- Good things that happened: 1) Lunch with the Senior Nomads was lots of fun and we learned of yet another fabulous restaurant not far from our apartment as well as a great little market. I found sesame oil there! 2) I was thrilled to find an embroidered Mexican dress at such a great price. I had a similar, much beloved blouse when Brett and I were first dating, but it was stolen out of a dryer at a laundromat and I’ve wanted another for over 40 years. 3) On our walk over to downtown on Tuesday we were able to see a tree near Benito Juarez park filled with Great Egrets – apparently the area is a rookery for these birds. We saw several walking around – they are huge! 4) Jenny made a sour orange tart using some of the Seville oranges from the courtyard and brought us a couple of pieces on Monday evening – so good! She is also adding pockets to my dress this coming week.
Our eating schedule has, as the expression goes, gone to hell in a hand basket since we’ve been here. Brett and I typically eat a light breakfast, but if we have a brunch or lunch out we usually don’t feel like eating the entire rest of the day. Even hot chocolate and churros at around noon last Tuesday kept us feeling full the entire rest of the day. Menu planning and food tracking has flown right out the window as well as I don’t know from day to day how we’ll feel or even if we’ll feel like eating. Some evenings, even though I’ve planned a meal, all we end up wanting is a little bit of cheese, a few crackers, and some fruit. We still choose healthy foods, eat a good variety of fruits and vegetables, limit our sweets, walk every day, and don’t appear to be gaining weight, but I’m seriously hoping that within the next couple of weeks we’ll be able to get back to a somewhat more normal eating routine.
We’re looking forward to a less hectic week coming up, and a chance to literally and figuratively catch our breath. Last week was a very good one but it was tiring and we’re glad to be through it. Here’s to another great week coming up, another of accomplishments, savings, and good things happening!