Sunday, March 10, 2019

Musings from our swimming pool

It’s been one hundred and ninety-four days since I have used our swimming pool on Isla Mujeres. The last time I was in our pool was August 28th — about a week before my love, my life, my universe died on September 3rd.

Today I poured myself a glass of wine, dangled my feet over the edge and thought about my life — my life as Lawrie’s widow.

It’s a tough job.

He was so well-known, so loved, so happy, and so easy to love that just seeing me brings tears to the eyes of our friends. They don’t know whether to cry, to hug me, to talk about him or to just pretend that life is really fricking lovely. 

It’s okay. Just hug me. I cry every damn day, at least ten or twelve times. I am happy that you remember him with such love.

Many of my male friends are reluctance to speak his name because they are afraid of crying in public.

Well, there is one thing you may not know about my funny, capable, smart, and very tough guy. He cried, and I loved him more for the ability to publicly express his feelings.

The first time I saw him cry was in 1982 when we were watching the original movie ET at the old Stanley Theatre on Granville Street in Vancouver BC. He had tears streaming down his face. 

He never ever felt the need to apologize for his feelings and to me that showed me his strength. He knew he could cope with a lot of shit, and crying in public wasn’t going to diminish his abilities in the slightest.

As one dear friend said, “When I look at you I realize a piece of the puzzle is missing.”

Yep! A huge piece is missing.

Monday, February 25, 2019

All 4 of my novels hit the top 60 list of Mexico writers group.

These Sunday morning lists give me a lift.  Once again all four of my Isla Mujeres Mystery novels made it into the top 60. 
Temptation Isla #10, 
Trouble Isla #20, 
Treasure Isla #27 
Tormenta Isla #38. 
Working on Book #5 - which might be called Thrilling Isla (still thinking on that ....) Thanks again for your support, and reviews, and following my author's profiles on Amazon, or Goodreads, or Bookbubs. Your support is greatly appreciated. Cheers Lynda and Sparky

Here's the link.

Mikel Miller to Mexico Writers
the Feb. 24 Sunday snapshot of paid Kindle sales rankings by members of Mexico Writers. Nice moves also this week by John ScherberDv BerkomMark StatmanJeanine KitchelJudy KingPenn WallaceTerry L TurrellCarmen Amato, and Monica Rix Paxson. Congrats to all!
1. Dreamland – Sam Quinones
2. House of Broken Angels – Luis Alberto Urrea
3. The Devil's Highway – Luis Alberto Urrea
4. Just For The Birds – Jinx Schwartz
5. The Apocryphal Gospels – Gustavo Vazquez
6. The Secret Wife – Janice Campbell Paul
7. Glad Farm – Catherine Marenghi
8. Love Under Fire – Jinx Schwartz and 20 other bestselling authors
9. Into the Beautiful North – Luis Alberto Urrea
10. Temptation Isla – Lynda L. Lock
11. Mexico City: An Opinionated Guide – Jim Johnston
12. The Hummingbird's Daughter – Luis Alberto Urrea
13. The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. – Sandra Gulland
14. Millionaire Expat: How to Build Wealth Living Overseas – Andrew Hallam
15. Just Follow the Money – Jinx Schwartz
16. The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul – Deborah Rodriguez
17. Twenty Centavos – John Scherber
18. The Lady in Gold – Anne-Marie O'Connor
19. Absolution – Dv Berkom
20. Trouble Isla – Lynda L. Lock
21. The People's Guide to Mexico – Carl Franz (Felisa Rosa)
22. Mary Magdalene: The Life and Legacy of the Woman Who Witnessed the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus – Gustavo Vazquez
23. The Hidden Light of Mexico City – Carmen Amato
24. Poet in New York – Pablo Medina and Mark Statman
25. Troubled Sea – Jinx Schwartz
26. Rain of Gold – Victor Villasenor
27. Treasure Isla – Lynda L. Lock
28. Say Her Name – Francisco Goldman
29. The Game of Hope – Sandra Gulland
30. The Everything Tween Book: A Parent’s Guide to Surviving the Turbulent Pre-Teen Years – Dr. Linda Sonna
31. Just Pardon My French – Jinx Schwartz
32. Just Add Water – Jinx Schwartz
33. Millionaire Teacher (2nd edition) – Andrew Hallam
34. Millionaire Teacher (1st edition) – Andrew Hallam
35. Mistress of the Sun – Sandra Gulland
36. Where the Sky is Born – Jeanine Kitchel
37. First Stop in the New World – David Lida
38. Tormenta Isla – Lynda L. Lock
39. Living at Lake Chapala – Judy King
40. The Cartel Strikes Back – Penn Wallace
41. Hetta Coffey Collection Boxed Set Books 1-4 – Jinx Schwartz
42. Into the Heart of Mexico – John Scherber
43. Living in Mexico Lessons Learned: Healthy Living in Mexico #3 – Terry L. Turrell
44. Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe – Sandra Gulland
45. Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing – Ted Conover
46. 43 Missing – Carmen Amato
47. Murder Strikes Twice – Penn Wallace
48. El Narco: Inside Mexico’s Criminal Insurgency – Ioan Grillo
49. Kabul Beauty School – Deborah Rodriguez
50. Just the Pits – Jinx Schwartz
51. The Dead Pool – John Scherber
52. Queen of America – Luis Alberto Urrea
53. Living in San Miguel: The Heart of the Matter – John Scherber
54. Hat Dance – Carmen Amato
55. Escuela de belleza en Kabul – Deborah Rodriguez
56. The Nag Hammadi Library – Gustavo Vazquez
57. This is Mexico – Carol Montgomery Merchasin
58. Gangster Warlords – Ioan Grillo
59. The English Speaker’s Guide to Medical Care in Mexico – Monica Rix Paxson
60. Dark Return – Dv Berkom

Friday, January 25, 2019

Murder and Mayhem. Romance and Revenge. Isla Mujeres Mystery series

Sparky in abandoned garden at Pirate Mundaca's estate
Writing has always been in the background of Lynda’s life, including magazine articles, a weekly blog with over half a million page views, and an award-winning bilingual book for children. 

The Isla Mujeres Mystery series, set on the tiny island she calls home, is her newest writing adventure. Her books are available in paperback on or e-books on Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, and Nook.

Giant sea turtle returning to sea after laying her eggs
TREASURE ISLA BOOK #1: A Caribbean adventure set on, a tiny island off the eastern coast of Mexico. 

Two twenty-something women find themselves in possession of a seemingly authentic treasure map, which leads them on a chaotic search for buried treasure while navigating the dangers of too much tequila, disreputable men, and a killer. 

The colonias - neighbourhoods of Isla 
And there is a dog, a lovable rescue-mutt, Sparky. 

TROUBLE ISLA BOOK #2: A thrilling new adventure. 

New Year’s Eve is a magical time on Isla Mujeres, especially this year after the stormy events of the past few months. After their chaotic hunt for the pirate treasure, and a close encounter with a serial killer Kirk Patterson, Yasmin and Jessica deserve a lady’s night out. Hungover from a night on the town, it is late in the afternoon before Yasmin starts to worry that her boyfriend Carlos hasn’t been seen all day. And then the texts start coming: “Give me what I want!”

TORMENTA ISLA BOOK #3: Murder and mayhem. 

Marinas (Navy) and sniffer dogs
A mysterious disappearance of a local man and the looming threat of multiple hurricanes headed towards the peaceful Caribbean island of Isla Mujeres creates havoc in the lives of Jessica Sanderson, her friends and her rescue mutt, Sparky. Diego held up his smartphone and silently showed her the screen, pointing at the NOAA graphics. Her eyes opened wide in surprise as she looked at the screen, then a frown crinkled her brow. “Really? Three hurricanes?” “Si," he responded, "Pablo, Rebekah, y Sebastien.”

TEMPTATION ISLA BOOK #4: Romance and revenge. Drug cartels and human trafficking.

“Take them all out!” Rafael Fernandez said, sweeping his right hand in a side-ways motion as if he was knocking a pile of papers from his desk to the floor.

“As you wish, Don Rafael.” Alfonso Fuentes’ jaw muscle twitched with tension.

“You don’t agree.” Fernandez snarled.

Alfonso Fuentes’ jaw muscle twitched with tension as he considered his answer.
 Depending on Fernandez’s mood the flick of a finger or a chin pointed at a victim could quickly end that person’s life. At the moment there were just the two of them but only a shout away were several younger enforcers, who were keen to remove the old dude thought to be blocking their upward advancement in the ranks. He knew. He had once been one of those hungry wolf-pups eager to remove the aging alpha male. 

And The Adventures of Thomas the Cat / Las Aventuras de Tómas el Gato a bi-lingual book for children. The book won Silver at the 2016 International Latino Book Awards.

You can find out more about Isla Mujeres Mexico by following my blog on Word Press

Come join the adventure! 
Cheers Lynda and Sparky

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Book 2 in the Isla Mujeres Mystery Series: Trouble Isla Delivers

Trouble Isla

Review by Jeanine Lee Kitchel
By Lynda L. Lock
CISS, 2017
Available from Amazon Books: Paperback
Do you want to be transported to a small island in the Mexican Caribbean and follow the ongoing adventure of two feisty young women who accidentally uncover a notorious pirate's secret in an ancient cemetery during Mexico's Day of the Dead celebration? Trouble Isla, Lynda L. Lock's second book in her Isla Mujeres Mystery Series, will allow you to do just that. The story picks up where book one left off, with protagonists Yasmin and Jessica warming up for another round of thrills and spills on picturesque Isla Mujeres, a short ferry ride from tourist Mecca, Cancun. As author Lock describes it though, Isla — as the locals call it — is a world apart.
Tomb of Pirate Mundaca on Isla Mujeres
Well-grounded in fact as is book one in the series, the author, who calls Isla Mujeres home, shares her knowledge of not only 16th century pirate lore but also Mexican and island traditions. Her fly-on-the wall perspective of the cross-cultural juxtaposition of locals interacting with a daily invasion of tourists and expats is honest and telling. And the influx of this mass of humanity to their island paradise must clearly be a distraction for resident locals. Though hundreds of jobs are created by day-tripping tourists, as explained by the author, one hopes that the promise of steady employment can offset what must certainly have upended a previously tranquil lifestyle.
In Trouble Isla, the story links back to a close call Yasmin and Jessica had after their unexpected discovery of a mysterious message at the grave of the island's infamous pirate, Fermin Mundaca. The graveside note was left for his precious La Trigueña, a 16-year old island woman with whom the 51-year old pirate had fallen madly in love. Though the feelings were never reciprocated, Mundaca's unrequited love for the girl shapes the basis of the mystery series. As explained in Treasure Isla'sprologue (book one in the series), even with death at his doorstep, he yearns to assist La Trigueña by leaving behind a map of buried treasure stolen decades earlier from Veracruz battleships that he hid at his lair on Isla Mujeres.
Complete with a quirky cast of local characters, centering around Loco Lobo, the restaurant-bar where Yasmin and Jessica work, Lock weaves her tale of suspense. The book is a fast read and the story takes place within a short window of time, roughly five days.
Though book one, Treasure Isla, wraps things up nicely for any one-off reader, the author leaves the door open for a possible continuing story. And continue it does. In the sequel, Trouble Isla, a surprise plot twist brings danger to Yasmin's doorstep and the tale unfolds into a page-turner of trouble and uncertainty. Lock's dialogue, peppered with Spanish slang and local patter, is nimble and punchy as the two best friends playfully banter with each other, their customers, and the occasional love interest.
After reading Trouble Isla, I now look forward to devouring book three, Tormenta Isla, in the Isla Mujeres author's series. Book four, Temptation Isla, is coming! Stay tuned and prepare to be entertained. The Isla Mujeres Mystery Series is available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback editions.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Buy all three with one click!

June 21, 2018
Format: Paperback 
Verified Purchase

Anyone that loves Isla Mujeres will enjoy this series. 
The author makes it fun to recognize familiar places. 
The mystery of each book is also captivating! 
I suggested buying all three books at one time, 
as you will want to continue reading!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Freddy Medina: “Quiero renombrar la caravana de Navidad en honor de Lawrie.” (English blog posted on Oct 30th)

Lynda and Lawrie 2011

Esta semana nuestros buenos amigos Freddy Medina y su hermosa esposa Yadira Velazquez (Eva) fueron a nuestra pequeña casa en Isla Mujeres.

Freddy dijo, “Quiero renombrar la caravana en honor de mi buen amigo Lawrie.”

Me quedé sin palabras.

Freddy siguió, “Sin su ayuda, esta caravana nunca hubiera pasado y quiero que todos lo recuerden.”

Sugerí porque sus nietos de Lawrie siempre lo llamaban “Elmo”, por qué no nombramos la caravana “La Caravana Navideña de Elmo”.

Este año Freddy puso la fecha viernes, el 21 de Diciembre, empezando a las 5:30 pm. Aquí les explico como empezó todo.

El Inicio- Septiembre 2011

“Qué chido. Nos invitaron a una fiesta de Halloween el 31 de Octubre 2011, en la casa de Curtis y Ashley de Villa la Bella”, dijo Lawrie mientras leía la invitación en voz alta.

Un mes después, el cartero local llegó en su moto a nuestra puerta con un saco enorme de algodón etiquetado con el nombre de Lawrie y nuestra dirección.

“¿Qué es eso?” pregunté, sin saber de las compras por internet que hacía Lawrie.

Eso era un disfraz de Elmo mandado del fabricante Claudio Mascots Oficial Lima Peru, un disfraz grande, peludo, rojo fuerte con una cabeza grande y ojos de plástico. Era increíble. Hecho hermosamente, y una replica exacta de Elmo.

Hace años cuando el nieto mayor de Lawrie estaba aprendiendo a hablar, pensaba que el nombre de Lawrie era Elmo y el apodo se quedó. Los niños iban a visitar en Diciembre 2011. Lawrie decidió aprovechar el uso del disfraz; para la fiesta de Halloween y dar la bienvenida a nuestros nietos en el muelle de Ultramar.

 El disfraz de Elmo fue un éxito total. Durante los próximos dos años, Lawrie lo usó muchas veces cuando fue a buscar a sus parientes – sobrinos, sobrinos nietos, hermana, cuñado y amigos – en el muelle de Ultramar. Elmo-Lawrie fue invitado al primer aniversario de Barlitos cuando estaban en la Avenida Hidalgo todavía.

Todos querían tomar fotos con Elmo; los niños, los padres y los abuelos. Hasta algunos de los personajes dubitativos que pasaban tiempo en la esquina por las noches querían una foto con Elmo.

Luego en 2013 nuestro amigo Freddy Medina nos preguntó si podía prestar el disfraz  para una fiesta de cumpleaños para un niño especial en la isla. Freddy estaba tan feliz con la alegría que le dio al niño que él sugirió la idea de una caravana navideña presentando Elmo y nuestros disfraces nuevos de Micky y Minnie Mouse, comprado por otra fiesta en Villa la Bella.
Freddy Medina - Elmo
La primera caravana fue divertidísima. Solo había ocho o nueve vehículos y una docena de motos mas o menos.

Nuestro jefe, Freddy llegó tarde y los carritos de golf se habían formado en una cola muy organizada hacia el norte. Debimos organizarnos hacia el sur para ir a las colonias primero. ¿Qué íbamos a saber? Todos éramos nuevos con lo de la caravana. Eventualmente cambiamos la dirección hacia el sur para ir a los vecindarios muy poblados. La caravana iba por las colonias en una ruta muy interesante que el conductor del primer vehículo había planeado solamente en su mente.

No teníamos ninguna idea de lo que estábamos haciendo.
Lawrie Lock & Chuck Watt
La emoción en las caras de los jóvenes. Los abuelos y padres corriendo a buscar a los niños para ver a Elmo, Mickey, Minnie, Bob Esponja, el payaso y el Grinch. El ruido, la confusión. La risa.

 Lawrie y yo habíamos comprado cinco libras de dulces, pero en la mitad de la ruta, les pedimos a nuestros conductores Chuck y Marcy Watt, que pararan de emergencia en Dunosusa para comprar cinco libras mas de dulces.

Lawrie & Lynda Lock, con Sparky
2013 también fue el año que aprendimos a quedarnos en los carritos de golf y no bajarnos con los disfraces puestos. Lawrie había entrado en un grupo de personas para saludar a los niños, cuando un grupo de adolescentes borrachos pensaron que sería cómico para agarrarlo, tirarlo y atraparlo-varias veces. Imagínense un hombre usando un disfraz de todo el cuerpo con una cabeza muy grande tirándose para arriba y abajo en un grupo de personas. Solo en México!

Dos horas mas tarde nuestro grupo cansado se dispersaron en el centro por Rueda Medina. Por casualidad, el vehículo de Elmo se estacionó cerca del punto de inicio de la caravana navideña del Presidente Municipal de Isla Mujeres.

El Presidente le sugirió a Freddy que Elmo debe acompañarles en la caravana. Freddy, que acaba de pasar dos horas bailando en la parte de atrás de una camioneta usando el disfraz completo estaba completamente sudado hasta su calzón con sudor.

Sin embargo, no se le niega al Presiente. Y siguió, bailando y gritando “Feliz Navidad” por dos horas mas. ¡Un Elmo nuevo nació!

En 2014, había mas gente que participaba en el grupo sumando veinte vehículos mas o menos. Freddy arregló con el bus cómico para que la gente acompañara y fuera parte del grupo sin tener que manejar.

El bus cómico es un vehículo muy viejo con dos niveles, decorado con luces de colores y tocando múscia a todo volumen. Iba por las calles de la isla por algunos años, el operador cobraba un poco de dinero para llevar a la gente en un tour alrededor de la isla por la noche.

Ese año seguimos una ruta planeada por la altura del autobús de dos pisos. Los cables eléctricos que se cuelgan muy abajo en las calles siempre son un desafío en México. La solución típica es que una persona se pare en la parte mas arriba del camión o vehículo con una escoba de madera para levantar los cables para poder pasar.

¡Siiiii, levantar cables con corriente con una escoba! Se pasa todo el tiempo. Pero cuando hay una caravana, no hay tiempo para levantar cada cable que está bajo y pasar, así que los pasajeros se agachaban para pasar.

Fue mas fácil para encontrar una ruta diferente. Otra vez, la experiencia fue increíble- el ruido, la gente, los perros, los niños y la música fuerte. Ese año regalamos quince libras de dulces a las multitudes.

Para 2015, pensarían que tendríamos la ruta organizada. Mas o menos. El bus cómico estaba disponible otra vez que significaba que nuestro tour era similar al año previo, hacia el sur, quedándonos en la calles principales y terminando en el centro cerca del Restaurante nuevo Muelle 7 que queda en Rueda Medina.

Teníamos todos los personajes usuales en la caravana, además de Batman-Jimmy. Santa John Pasnau y Sra. Claus Valerie Pasnau silenciosamente se juntaron en medio de la caravana dándoles a los niños una alegría adicional mientras Santa saludaba y decía, “ho ho ho.”

2015 fue el primer año que teníamos una escolta policial en forma de 4 motos que intentaron con muchas ganas para mantener el grupo junto. Fue un poco como arrear los gatos, que si has tenido un gato como dueño, sabrás que es una tarea imposible. Algunos de los vehículos se descompusieron. Algunos de los conductores doblaron mal. Y también teníamos vehículos que no estaban en la caravana entre nosotros, causando mas confusión. La risa de los niños y sus padres sonrientes valieron la pena.

Y luego hubo la caravana del 2016, el sábado 17 de Diciembre, nuestra cuarta caravana anual. Tuvimos camionetas, carros, docenas de carritos de golf, dos moto taxis y algunas motos, pero no había el bus cómico. Parecía que por fin, murió el bus. Teníamos a Elmo, Santa, Sra. Claus, Mickey, Minnie y una Tortuga Ninja. Había por lo menos cuatro o cinco perros incluyendo a nuestro Sparky, vestido por la ocasión paseando en sus carritos decorados. Había docenas de gorros de Santa, decoraciones compradas y decoraciones hechas. Música. Luces. Dulces.

Sin el bus, nuestra ruta era mas flexible. Íbamos al sur de nuestra casa por la colonia Salina Chica, por Salina Grande, La Gloria, por las calles estrechas cerca de la calle principal, doblando otra vez hacia las colonias enfrente de Oscar’s Pizza, seguimos por la calle principal por Chedraui y hacia el centro. Pero no habíamos terminado todavía. Nuestro líder nos llevó por las calles de Madero, Rueda Medina, Abasolo, Guerrero, Juarez, Matamoros y Rueda Medina otra vez. Al final, nos juntamos en la explanada en el centro.

¡Wow! Nuestras caras dolían de sonreír tanto. Nuestras gargantas estaban secas por reírnos tanto. Fue la mejor caravana hasta entonces. Había cincuenta vehículos mas o menos en total. Muchas gracias a todos que participaron en una celebración divertida y familiar. Ustedes son lo que hace este evento tan especial.

Elmo-Freddy & Elmo-Lawrie Lock
En 2017 Lawrie y yo regresamos a Canadá para celebrar la Navidad con toda su familia. Él tenía problemas de salud  y sentimos que podría ser su ultima oportunidad para celebrar una Navidad con la familia Lock. Rob y Julie felizmente se disfrazaron  como Mickey y Minnie en el 2017 y en las caravanas del futuro.

Si quieres ser parte de la loca diversión, contacten a Freddy o a mí en Facebook. No olviden en la lista de compras las luces navideñas con pilas y si es posible sistemas de música. Es muy complicado comprarlos aquí a veces.

Freddy Medina 
El disfraz de Elmo de la fiesta del 2011 reside en la casa de Freddy Medina. Es una casa muy buena para Elmo. 

Gracias por ser la loca persona con buen corazón que inventó este evento.

Y gracias a Freddy Medina por honrar a mi cariño “Lawrie” por cambiar el nombre de la caravana a “Caravana Navideña de Elmo.”

El Elmo-Lawrie Lock original estará con nosotros en espíritu.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Freddy Medina - "I want to rename the Christmas parade in memory of Lawrie"

2011 Elmo makes his Isla debut
Just this week our good friends Freddy Medina and his beautiful wife Yadira Velazquez (Eva) stopped by our little house on Isla Mujeres.

Freddy said, "I want to re-name the Christmas parade in honor of my good friend Lawrie.

I was speechless.

Freddy continued, "Without his help this parade would never have happened and I want everyone to remember him."

I suggested that since Lawrie's grandsons always called him "Elmo" why didn't he call it Elmo's Christmas Caravan.

This year Freddy has set the date to be Friday December 21st, starting at 5:30 p.m.

Here's how this whole parade thing happened.

The Beginning - September 2011

“Hey, cool. We’re invited to a Halloween party October 31st 2011, at Curtis and Ashley’s house Villa la Bella,” Lawrie said as he read aloud an email invite.

A month later the local postman arrived on his delivery moto at our front door with an enormous cotton sack tagged with Lawrie’s name and our address.

“What the heck is that?” I asked, oblivious to Lawrie's recent on-line costume shopping.

That - was an Elmo costume shipped from the manufacturer Claudio Mascots Oficial Lima Peru; a large, furry, crimson-red, costume complete with big head and google eyes. It was amazing. Beautifully made, and an exact replica of Elmo.

Years ago when Lawrie’s eldest grandson was learning to talk he thought Lawrie’s name was Elmo, and the nickname stuck. The boys were coming for a visit in December 2011. Lawrie decided he could get double-duty from the costume; the Halloween party, and greeting our grandsons at the Ultramar boat.

The Elmo costume was a huge hit. In the next two years it was used many times over by Lawrie when he greeted arriving nephews, nieces, great-nephews, great-nieces, sister and brother-in-law and friends at the Ultramar ferry docks. Elmo-Lawrie was invited to the Barlito’s 1st Anniversary celebration when they were still on Hidalgo Avenue.

Everyone wanted their photos taken with Elmo; kids, parents, and grandparents. Even a few of the slightly dubious characters that hang around on the street corner late in the evenings wanted a photo with Elmo.

Then in 2013 our friend Freddy Medina asked if he could borrow the costume for a birthday fiesta for a special young boy on the island.

Freddy was so overwhelmed by the happiness of the young lad that he suggested the idea of a Christmas parade featuring Elmo and our newest character costumes, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, purchased for yet another Halloween party at Villa la Bella.

2013 Elmo-Freddy makes his parade debut

The first parade in 2013 was hilarious. There were only about eight or nine vehicles, and a dozen or so motos.

Our jefe, Freddy was late and the golf carts had lined up nice and neat, facing north. We were supposed to be facing south to head into the colonias first.

What did we know? We were all new at this parade stuff. We eventually got turned around heading south towards the densely populated neighbourhoods.

The parade bounced through the colonias on a higgledy-piggledy route that the driver of the lead vehicle had mapped out in his head.

2013 Parade route - Alexis' photo

We had absolutely no idea what we were getting into.

The excitement on the faces of the youngsters.

The grandparents and parents running to find the kids to come see Elmo, Mickey, Minnie, Sponge Bob, clowns and the Grinch.

The noise the confusion. The laughter.

Mickey and his driver Chuck Watt
Lawrie and I had bought five pounds of candy, but part way through the route we asked our drivers, Chuck and Marcy Watt, for an emergency stop at Donasusa to purchase another five pounds.

2013 was also the year that we learned not to get out of the golf carts in our costumes.

Lawrie had waded into the crowd to say hi to the kids, when a group of inebriated young men thought it would be uproariously funny to lob Mickey Mouse in to the air and catch him – a few times. So picture this, a full-sized man, in a full-body mouse costume including a very large head being tossed up and down in a crowd. Only in Mexico!

Lawrie, Lynda and Sparky

Two hours later our tired raggedy group disbanded in centro on Rueda Medina. Elmo’s vehicle happened to park near the assembly point for the Municipal Presidente of Isla’s Christmas cavalcade.

The Presidente suggested to Freddy that Elmo should join that parade. Freddy who had just spent two hours dancing in the back of a pickup truck wearing a full-body fur-suit was soaked through to his underwear with perspiration.

However, one does not say no to the Presidente. And away he went, dancing and shouting Feliz Navidad for another two hours.

A new Elmo was born!

2014 parade - little Minnie Mouse

In 2014 we had more people join the group bringing the total to about twenty vehicles. Freddy arranged for the funny bus for participants who didn’t want to drive but wanted to be part of the event.

The funny bus is a two level dilapidated vehicle, decorated with coloured lights and blasting loud music. It haunted the island streets for a few years, the operator charging a small amount of money to take people on an after-dark tour of the island.

2014 Funny people in the Funny bus
That year we followed a route dictated by the height of the double-decker. The low hanging electrical wires are always a challenge in Mexico.

The typical solution is to have a person stand on the top of a truck or vehicle with a wooden broom to lift the wires out of the way.

Yep, lift live wires with a broom! Happens all the time. But when it’s a parade there just isn’t the time to lift every low hanging line and sneak past, while the passengers duck below the seatbacks.

It was easier to find a different route. Once again the experience was amazing - noise, people, dogs, kids, and loud music. That year we tossed fifteen pounds of candy to the crowds.

2015 Mrs. Claus and Santa
By 2015, and you would think we would have the routine figured out. More or less, mas o menos. The funny bus was once again available which meant our route was similar to the previous year, heading south, staying the main roads and finishing in Centro near the new Muelle 7 Restaurante on Rueda Medina.

We had all of the usual character costumes in the parade, along with the addition of Batman-Jimmy. Santa John Pasnau and Mrs. Claus Valerie Pasnau quietly inserted themselves in the middle of the lineup giving the kids an additional thrill as Santa waved and said, “ho, ho, ho.”

2015 our escorts

2015 was the first year that we had a police escort in the form of four motorcycle cops who tried their very best to keep us all together. It was a bit like trying to herd cats, which if you have ever been owned by a cat you will know is an impossible task. Some of the vehicles broke down. A few drivers turned the wrong way. And still others had non-parade vehicles cut in between, causing more confusion. The laughing youngsters and their smiling parents made it all worthwhile.

2016 Participants lining up by our casa
And then there was the 2016 parade, Saturday December 17th – our 4th Annual Christmas Caravan.

We had trucks, cars, dozens of golf carts, two tuk-tuks and a handful of motorcycles, but not the funny bus. It seems to have finally died, expired.

We had Elmo, Santa, Mrs. Claus, Mickey, Minnie and a Ninja Turtle.

There were at least four or five dogs including our Sparky, dressed for the occasion riding in their decorated golf carts. There were dozens of Santa hats, decorations bought, and decorations hand-made. Music. Lights. Candy.

2016 Mrs. Claus and Santa

Without the bus our route was more flexible. We wound south from our casa along the Salinas Chica neighbourhood, into Salinas Grande, Las Glorias, through narrow side-streets along the main road, turning again into the colonias across from Oscar’s Pizza, popped out onto the main road by Chedraui grocery store and back into centro.

 But we weren’t finished yet. Our leader took us on a cross-hatch route along Madero, Medina, Abasolo, Guerreo, Juarez, Matamoros, and Medina again. At the end we gathered in the square in centro.

Wow! Just wow. Our faces hurt from smiling. Our throats were dry from laughing. The best parade yet. There was somewhere around fifty vehicles in total. Thank you so much to everyone participated in the celebration of fun and family. You are what makes this event so special.
Elmo-Freddy and Elmo-Lawrie

In 2017 Lawrie and I returned to Canada to celebrate Christmas with his large extended family. He was having health issues and we sensed that this might be his last chance to celebrate a Lock family Christmas.

Rob and Julie Goth happily stepped in to become the new Mickey and Minnie for 2017 and for any future parades.

Elmo's Christmas Caravan is usually the last Saturday before Christmas Eve, but our intrepid leader Freddy Medina sets the date. If you want to join in next year just contact Freddy or me on Facebook. Don’t forget to add battery-powered Christmas lights and a music system to your shopping list. Buying them here is very hit-and-miss.

Elmo getting his annual - post parade bath

As for the Elmo costume of the 2011 Halloween party, it now resides at Freddy’s house. It’s a very good home for Elmo. Thank you for being the good-hearted, crazy person who thought up this event.

And thank you Freddy Medina for honoring my sweetie with changing the name to Elmo's Christmas Caravan.

This year Freddy has set the date to be Friday December 21st, 2018 starting at 5:30 p.m.

The original Elmo-Lawrie Lock will be with us in spirit.

Elmo-Lawrie and Lynda - 2011

Available as e-books and paperback on 

July 12, 2018
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase Book 3 of the Isla series follows the crowd as they survive a punishing storm that not only strands islanders and endangers their homes, boats, and businesses but also introduces a drug kingpin’s operations there. Realistic storm sequences kept me flipping pages. Relationships are the glue that gets everyone through the turmoil, with new characters expanding the ensemble I loved in Books 1 and 2. Nice set up at the end for Book 4, which hopefully will be out soon!