Thursday, January 6, 2011

Good reading....

In 2009 I decided to take early retirement from my full-time job in the healthcare profession. The plan was to take several months off relaxing, reading, and perhaps finding a new hobby. Then I would return to work on a part-time basis for another couple of years before full retirement. My employer required a six month break in service in order to be re-hired, so the timing was perfect. Not long after I was home full-time, I saw that episode of House Hunters International featuring Merida and have since spent countless hours browsing web sites, blogs, real estate sites, travel logs... you name it. The neat thing is that Alan came on board with similar enthusiasm. Every few days I would receive an e-mail pointing out a new house for sale that he found on one of the sites. Surfing the web at work!

A couple of months ago, I discovered the blog site Writing from Merida by Joanna van der Gracht de Rosado. I liked her writing style and enjoyed her upbeat vibe.  She was promoting her new book Magic Made in Mexico  -  Live Your Dream in Mexico... Since we would be visiting Merida in a few weeks, I hurriedly ordered the book and I'm glad I did. The book has three parts: her personal  story of traveling to Merida, falling in love, leaving her family and Canada, marrying Jorge, raising a family; then the ABC's -all about adapting to life in Mexico (some reeaallly useful info); and finally an interesting and well written history of Merida, the Yucatan, and Mexico in general.

 If you are new to Merida or traveling there, dreaming of living there, planning to live there or anywhere in Mexico, I recommend getting a copy. I believe that it is available on Kindle, but I prefer the real thing because la cubierta es muy bonita. Available online through Editorial Mazatlan.



  1. We bought our 'colonial' several years ago and are finally getting the plans together and are about ready to start the rehab! I remember my first visit to Merida and the search for houses... (we used Arturo Novello of Mexican International... very happy with our choice!)
    We just returned from Merida were we spent the month of December in our house (one step above camping) to get a feel for the house before we finalized the plans with our architects.
    Good luck on your visit and I hope you find your dream. Go to Merida English Library.. you can meet lots of people to talk to there!

  2. Carlos,
    Thanks for commenting. I know you must be really excited to begin your renovation. We are planning to visit MELL, attend the Wednesday House & Garden tour, and see a few homes on Thursday. Our adventure is just beginning and we feel excited and extremely fortunate to have this opportunity. John

  3. You know that Joanna's book is on Amazon now, it would really help her out if you left a review about her book there.

  4. I went go buy Magic Made in Mexico, and Amazon is out of stock! You must have driven a lot of buyers there! I made an advance purchase to encourage them to get another shipment. Thanks for the tip!

  5. I just saw that they are out of stock. I purchased my copy from Editorial Mazatlan (just Google the name and you will find the web site). Free shipping and it arrived within a few days of the order.

  6. Best of luck...our first trip was a little less than a year ago, and we are planning our third trip (gulp!) in a few weeks. The house hunt is exciting and the city is fantastic. The residents (both local and expat) are kind and helpful, and even after just a few days you begin to recognize and run into people that you've met. If, like us, you are obsessed by housing options and renovations, take a look at Like Henry, they do some great traditional renovations, and the pictures are excellent. I toggle back and forth between this site and Henry's (and all of the Witynski & Carr design books) almost daily it seems. Here's hoping that you will enjoy your stay as much as we have! Best, Wade

  7. Wade,

    Thanks for your encouraging words. I am familiar with Victor Cruz's website, but have not seen the Witynski & Carr design books. Browsed their website and it looks like I have another "favorite" to add to my growing list of resources. Thanks. I'll pass this on to Susan (Moving to Merida), although being from Texas, she is probably already familiar with their work. Dreamy stuff... Good house hunting on your upcoming trip. John

  8. Ah, thanks for thinking of me! I’m familiar with the W & C books. One day, on a compulsive whim, I bought them all - damn your convenient ways, Amazon! :-) The Christmas before last, one of my friends bought me the hacienda book, but I didn’t tell her I already had a copy. I took the extra one to my office and placed it on my side table. It’s been fun to watch people's reactions as they thumb through this totally random (to them) book, and all it takes is a glimpse of that beautiful cover to lift my spirits on a crappy day! Lucky you – getting a dose of the real deal right now!

  9. Hello John,

    Thank you for mentioning my book on your blogsite. I am happy that you enjoyed "Magic Made in Mexico" It is available from Amazon and I know they will soon receive a rather large number of copies so although the listing says the book is out of stock, place your order because it will soon be available again. Or you can order directly from my publisher Editorial Mazatlan

    Thanks again for your support! Give me a heads up when you arrive in Merida.