Friday, February 16, 2018

It’s our favourite time of year, Carnaval!

The senior Isla women's group.  

There’s loud music, and outrageously flamboyant costumes, and laughter for five days.
At four in the afternoon on Sunday, the dance groups were scheduled to assemble on the old airport runway across from the Navy base in preparation for the first parade. 
Of course this being Mexico where everything starts at least two hours later than planned, there were only two groups who were on time – one being a collection of my friends who decided to debut as dancers this year.
Las Brujas de Isla Mujeres
Their ages ranged from mid-thirties to mid-seventies, and they were all born someplace other than Mexico. Las Brujas de Isla Mujeres the Witches of Isla Mujeres are all gringas, foreigners.
How did this come about?
According to Garnette Hardesty, Betsy Snider started it off by posting a video in September to her Facebook page. (Most of you will know of islanders Betsy Snider and her husband Tony Garcia because of their fabulous photos of life in Mexico.) The video Betsy posted was an amusing rendition of the Wolfshager Hexenbrut Witches Dance. She hinted to Bev Willard and Garnette that it might be a fun idea for this year’s Carnaval parade.
Our friend Melodie
Bev suggested that maybe Garnette could create a Facebook page to see if anyone else was interested in participating, so she did. Garnette and a few friends sent out invites to others asking them to join the Facebook group. 
Bev, who was visiting family in the US prior to Halloween, offered to bring back costume supplies for anyone who was interested. 
Those two actions really got the ball rolling.
Starting January 6th, the eclectic collection of women began to practice the dance steps, sometimes at the Parque Gaviota in Colonia Salina Chica, or on the Malecon behind the Cultural Center, and sometimes at the home of one of the other members.
Garnette - the green-faced bruja
At first they shuffled and stumbled over the unfamiliar routines and then they started to enjoy the dancing. They worked the choreography at twenty different daytime and evening rehearsals, so often they all knew the words to the song by heart. Without costumes. With brooms. And then with complete costumes and brooms. 
On parade day, Sunday February 11th there were twenty-seven witches set to scare the living daylights out of the crowd. They strutted and danced their way along Rueda Medina, from the airport north to Jax Bar & Grill. The audience loved them. Afterwards, the fun and laughter was evident in their many back-and-forth messages reliving the experience.
More witches - Sue Lo in centre
For the second parade on Monday February 12th, the dance troupe was a little smaller. Several dancers had conflicting obligations helping out at the opening night of the annual Island Time Music Festival. But the ones that performed for the second parade had as much fun as the first time, despite tired feet, sore knees and aching bodies.
The parade dancers included: Barbara Beck, Margaret Chiffriller, Melodie Deschamps, Esther Ellis, Charlotte Enroth, Kitty Goldberg, Jo Hall, Garnette Hardesty, Jan Johnson, Karon Kailles, Christina Keiffer, Anna Krallis, Ruth Lacey, Brenda Lamonica, Jeanette Lawrence, Lindell Lehrer, Tammi Lewis, Arla Licata, Sue Lo, Karen Mickool, Trina Noakes, Pattie Packard, Christina Rich, Layla Sanders, Ann Shannon, Cindy Tucker, and Cyndi Yates.

Colour and music!
And a final note, a special thank you note from Garnette:

There are so many people to thank, and so many behind the scenes collaborators who helped get this off the ground, to make it all happen. The Municipality of Isla Mujeres, Dr. Antonio Coronado Rojas Secretario General, Carlos Ruben Perez Martin Centro Cultural Isla Mujeres, Betsy Snider, Beverly Willard, and Steve Broin the owner of Casa Sirena.

Glenn D, Lee K, Ann, Melodie D, Steve B, Roger H, Jerry E, Peter C, Gail-M S, Margaret C, Gail M and Ashley B for their assistance with planning, music, electronics, technical support, make up, costumes, music, drivers, equipment, water suppliers, plus the after party planning and hosting.

The boys!

Most of all I want to thank the dancers for their determination and dedication.
~
What a great idea! And a great bunch of women. We hope you are game to do it again in 2019.Top of Form

Hasta Luego
Lynda & Lawrie





Beautiful costumes


~
Coming soon Isla Mujeres Mystery #3 Tormenta Isla


Friday, February 9, 2018

February on Isla Mujeres is jammed with fun, dancing, music, and food.

February is the shortest and the busiest month on Isla, plus we are currently undergoing major renovations in our little casa on the beach - so this week's blog is all about the visuals because my overworked brain just can't string the words together.

Willy and Deb at Captain Dulche's - F. Teny photo
February 2018 started off with the spectacular wedding of two beautiful friends, Deb Crinigan and Willy Chacon.

Lynda and Lawrie in the church
We, being good little Canadians, got to the church early.
Fifteen minutes later the pews were filled 


More people still arriving - the bride is waiting!
~
Then the next day was Superbowl Sunday with the underdogs winning the championship.


Philadelphia
13-3-0, 1st NFC East
9
13
7
12
41
Final
New England
13-3-0, 1st AFC East
3
9
14
7
33
 ~

A couple of days to catch our breath and it’s Carnaval 2018 starting Friday February 9th.






                                                        ~
And by the time the exhausted islanders catch their collective breath again we are into the annual Island Time Music Festival with a lot of amazing musical events taking place all over the island. 



Cheers
Lynda and Lawrie


Are you missing your little piece of paradise?
Get your Isla 'fix' with the exciting Isla Mujeres Mystery series!

There's Trouble on Isla, Big Trouble!
  

Book #2 in the Isla Mujeres Mystery Series

5.0 out of 5 stars
Fast and furious
By CA reviews on September 26, 2017

Yasmin and Jessica are back and the gold they found in Treasure Isla is still haunting them, especially when Carlos, their boss at the Loco Lobo, and Yasmin’s new lover, is kidnapped. No spoilers here, but his captivity and the girls’ efforts to free him, with the help of Carlos’s pals—including local Isla Mujeres fishermen and a Mexico City cop—are the crux of this fast-paced story. Lock has created not only a compelling and authentic setting, but a well-developed ensemble cast. The next Isla mystery can’t come fast enough.

Available on Amazon e-books $2.99 USD
or Paperback $11.99 USD

Paperback are also available on Isla Mujeres at the Jenny Penny Boutique, Art Fair on Thursday evenings, or from the author. 

E-books  available on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Smashwords


 Treasure Isla - where it all began!
5.0 out of 5 stars
Captivating and authentic
By CA reviews on September 26, 2017


This was a truly fun in the sun kind of mystery, with an authenticity that was simply captivating. Set on the island called Isla Mujeres, not far from the better-known Mexican resort of Cancun, it follows the misadventures of two girlfriends, who on a drunken binge manage to wander onto the grounds of a cemetery and find a treasure map stuck in a crevice of an old pirate tomb. Jessica, from Canada, and local pal Yasmin both work at a tourist bar/restaurant called the Loco Lobo. Soon their boss Carlos and a handsome attorney named Luis are involved in the girls’ illegal hunt for pirate gold. Toss in a bad dude running from a string of crimes in Key West, and it’s the start of an addictive new mystery series.

Available on Amazon e-books $2.99 USD
or Paperback $11.99 USD

Paperback are also available on Isla Mujeres at the Jenny Penny Boutique, Art Fair on Thursday evenings, or from the author. 

E-books available on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Smashwords





Friday, February 2, 2018

The fun differences!

Lawrie and his younger brother Freddy Medina - party time! 
Mexico, as a nation, is politically incorrect. Here greetings between acquaintances, friends, family members or co-workers are a hug and an affectionate buss on the cheek. 
It’s the culturally acceptable greeting and not thought of as sexual harassment.
Between men the greeting is usually a hand-slap fist-bump and then an arm around the shoulder guy-hug. Handshakes are rare, and usually reserved for formal, first-time introductions.

Setting up for a birthday party
Many of our Mexican male friends have no idea what to do when a foreign woman shoves her hand out for a handshake, instead of leaning in for a kiss. I experienced a number of limp, finger-tip shakes before I realized I was, in their view, behaving oddly. 
Now I just hug and smooch ‘em! 
Lawrie has always loved hugging, but in Canada he was afraid that he would be accused of sexual harassment so seldom indulged in affectionate greetings. Here in Mexico, everyone loves to hug which makes Lawrie a very happy man.
Another day, another birthday party!
To our Mexican friends family is everything. Life revolves living with or close to your family. If you don’t have children, parents, siblings, cousins, aunties, uncles, and grandparents underfoot you are to be pitied because you are alone. 

The average family home is noisy with animated conversations, loud music, and unrestrained laughter.
Faith defines life in Mexico. In most of the G-8 countries, USA, Canada, Russia, United Kingdom, Japan, France, Germany, and Italy your job and your income defines you. Here, what you do for a living is not important.
Quinceanos - complete with entertainers.
Education is valuable but human dignity counts for more. Manners and respect for others are important as a means of peacefully co-existing in a boisterous and frequently crowded household. 

Education focuses on culture, art, tradition and history. Learning to play and instrument, or to sing and dance is far more important than an expensive degree that enables you to serve coffee at Starbucks.
You are responsible for yourself. There are no high-priced lawyers suggesting a huge lawsuit for a personal injury if you trip on an uneven sidewalk, scald yourself drinking hot coffee, touch a live electrical wire, or fall into an unfenced swimming pool.
Dress well, eat well.
Canadians and Americans tend to lean more towards volunteering their help and financial assistance to local charities, with an expectation of local celebrities contributing their fair share.

In Mexico it is not as prevalent, people rely on close-knit families to help out in a financial or medical crisis.
Appearances matter but people are not obsessed with being young, thin and beautiful. Being well dressed and eating good food are far more important.
Lupita's Quinceanos.


And most importantly, family events such as engagements, weddings, a child’s first birthday, baptisms, a young woman’s fifteen birthday known as quinceaños, birthdays for any family member and wedding anniversaries are celebrated in grand style. 
The fiesta may last all night and includes amazing food, drinks, decorations, beautiful cakes, music, dancing, and possibly fireworks.
Mexico is a very special place, and we love our life here.
Hasta Luego
Lynda & Lawrie

Are you missing your little piece of paradise?
Get your Isla 'fix' with the exciting Isla Mujeres Mystery series!

There's Trouble on Isla, Big Trouble!
  

Book #2 in the Isla Mujeres Mystery Series

5.0 out of 5 stars
Fast and furious
By CA reviews on September 26, 2017

Yasmin and Jessica are back and the gold they found in Treasure Isla is still haunting them, especially when Carlos, their boss at the Loco Lobo, and Yasmin’s new lover, is kidnapped. No spoilers here, but his captivity and the girls’ efforts to free him, with the help of Carlos’s pals—including local Isla Mujeres fishermen and a Mexico City cop—are the crux of this fast-paced story. Lock has created not only a compelling and authentic setting, but a well-developed ensemble cast. The next Isla mystery can’t come fast enough.

Available on Amazon e-books $2.99 USD
or Paperback $11.99 USD

Paperback are also available on Isla Mujeres at the Jenny Penny Boutique, Art Fair on Thursday evenings, or from the author. 

E-books  available on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Smashwords


 Treasure Isla - where it all began!
5.0 out of 5 stars
Captivating and authentic
By CA reviews on September 26, 2017


This was a truly fun in the sun kind of mystery, with an authenticity that was simply captivating. Set on the island called Isla Mujeres, not far from the better-known Mexican resort of Cancun, it follows the misadventures of two girlfriends, who on a drunken binge manage to wander onto the grounds of a cemetery and find a treasure map stuck in a crevice of an old pirate tomb. Jessica, from Canada, and local pal Yasmin both work at a tourist bar/restaurant called the Loco Lobo. Soon their boss Carlos and a handsome attorney named Luis are involved in the girls’ illegal hunt for pirate gold. Toss in a bad dude running from a string of crimes in Key West, and it’s the start of an addictive new mystery series.

Available on Amazon e-books $2.99 USD
or Paperback $11.99 USD

Paperback are also available on Isla Mujeres at the Jenny Penny Boutique, Art Fair on Thursday evenings, or from the author. 

E-books available on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Smashwords





Friday, January 26, 2018

Music and laughter around the island

Lawrie and I hanging out at Rosa Sirena's Bar with friends
The great thing about living on Isla Mujeres is we can choose between dozens of venues to listen to a variety of fabulous music. Back in mid-September 2016 Lawrie and I wrote about the various artists that were at that time preforming on the island, but now we have even more choices.


Ken Wanovich - FB profile pic
After visiting the island regularly since the 1980’s Ken Wanovich and his wife Debbie have recently joined the group of gringo-residents on the island. They tossed aside their life in the USA and arrived in Mexico with a few possessions to start their new pared-down island lifestyle. We and a group of friends went to North Garden Restaurant on Wednesday to listen to Ken’s eclectic mix of classic rock, oldies, country, and tropical ‘ass-in-the-sand’ Zach Brown or Jimmy Buffet tunes. We all knew the words, and ‘helped’ Ken with his singing. It was a fun toe-tapping afternoon that exploded into full-on dancing in the tiny restaurant. Ken plays at a variety of other locations on the island, including Caribbean Brisas on Thursday evenings. Friend him on Facebook for more information.

Henry Esquivel and Jeff at Jax's - photo from FB page 
Then there is our good friend Jeff Current who, along with his five siblings, has been immersed in music all of his life. Jeff plays a wide variety of music that baby boomers like me, love. The money he raises on his “Tips for Testicles Tour” goes to Isla Animals for spaying and neutering cats and dogs. The music will get you on your feet and you will have a bit of fun for a good cause. He plays at Jax’s Bar & Grill on Wednesdays, and Barlito’s @ Marina Paraiso on Fridays. Wednesdays have become a real dilemma for us with both Jeff and Ken playing at different venues. 
Jeff is also on Facebook if you want to check his locations and times.

Rhett Thurman McGahee and Ckokoj Kiik - RS Facebook
And, very recently another good friend Rhett Thurman McGahee, a lead vocalist for a number of bands in the USA, has started performing again. She sings at the brand new, gorgeous Rosa Sirena’s Restaurant and Rooftop Palapa Bar. Rhett performs from 7 to 9 on Thursday evenings. Her stunningly beautiful voice is accompanied by Chokoj Kiik on piano. Rhett and her handsome husband Jeff McGahee are co-owners of the popular Isla Brewing Company located on Jesus Martinez Ross Avenue, across from the Comex paint store.   
Chef Willy Chacon in white - singing chef!

Located just south of the Mango Café, in a neighbourhood that is developing into a foodie’s paradise, the Rosa Sirena’s Restaurant and Rooftop Palapa Bar has an extensive lineup of musical talent, including chef-musician Willy Chacon. 

(I wonder if he sings in the kitchen while he is creating his delicious meals.) Like their Facebook page to stay connected.
We love this time of year. Fabulous music, great vocals and of course yummy food to savour while you enjoy the entertainment. 
Get out there and join in the fun!
Hasta Luego

Lynda & Lawrie


Get your Isla 'fix' with the exciting Isla Mujeres Mystery series!

There's Trouble on Isla, Big Trouble!
  

Book #2 in the Isla Mujeres Mystery Series

5.0 out of 5 stars
Fast and furious
By CA reviews on September 26, 2017

Yasmin and Jessica are back and the gold they found in Treasure Isla is still haunting them, especially when Carlos, their boss at the Loco Lobo, and Yasmin’s new lover, is kidnapped. No spoilers here, but his captivity and the girls’ efforts to free him, with the help of Carlos’s pals—including local Isla Mujeres fishermen and a Mexico City cop—are the crux of this fast-paced story. Lock has created not only a compelling and authentic setting, but a well-developed ensemble cast. The next Isla mystery can’t come fast enough.

Available on Amazon e-books $2.99 USD
or Paperback $11.99 USD

E-books also available on iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Smashwords


 Treasure Isla - where it all began!
5.0 out of 5 stars
Captivating and authentic
By CA reviews on September 26, 2017


This was a truly fun in the sun kind of mystery, with an authenticity that was simply captivating. Set on the island called Isla Mujeres, not far from the better-known Mexican resort of Cancun, it follows the misadventures of two girlfriends, who on a drunken binge manage to wander onto the grounds of a cemetery and find a treasure map stuck in a crevice of an old pirate tomb. Jessica, from Canada, and local pal Yasmin both work at a tourist bar/restaurant called the Loco Lobo. Soon their boss Carlos and a handsome attorney named Luis are involved in the girls’ illegal hunt for pirate gold. Toss in a bad dude running from a string of crimes in Key West, and it’s the start of an addictive new mystery series.

Available on Amazon e-books $2.99 USD
or Paperback $11.99 USD

E-books also available on iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Smashwords