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House Sitting with Rick & Colleen
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We have moved our blog as of today's date and can now be found at Please update your information in your favorites file ('cause we know that is where you put us!). The new blog looks wonderful, so please check it out. All of the posts found here, can also be found on the new site. Thanks! Rick & Colleen Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2012 at Diary of a House Sitter
Source: via Colleen on Pinterest One of the pleasures of house sitting in a new location is sampling the local cuisine. Food varies greatly from region to region in Mexico and Yucatecan cuisine, in particular the Mayan dishes, offer their own unique ingredients and distinct flavors. So what is janalo’ob? It’s the Mayan word for food. The main reason food in the Yucatan is so different from other areas of Mexico has to do with the geography of the area. Until the mid-50's, the Yucatan peninsula was difficult to reach. Mountains and poor roads kept the peninsula isolated from the rest of Mexico. The port cities of the Yucatan had more contact with New Orleans, Cuba, France, Spain and other parts of Europe than they did the rest of Mexico, significantly influencing their food choices. One of the major differences is the food... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2012 at Diary of a House Sitter
Until a couple of months ago neither of us had ever seen an electric mosquito/fly swatter. If you haven’t yet come across one, it looks like a tennis racket with cross hatched wires stretched across the area where the strings would be. The handle holds two "D" cell batteries or a rechargeable plug in device. To use the swatter, you depress a button on the handle and swing it at the offending pest and zzzzap, it’s fried. Our friends Mike and Donna gave us one as a gift just before we left California to begin our house sitting adventure. Mike said we would surely need it to defend ourselves from the mosquitos in Mexico. Unfortunately, the swatter wouldn’t fit into the small amount of luggage we brought so it was left behind. When we arrived in Merida the homeowner showed us around the house... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2012 at Diary of a House Sitter
We followed our Mayan guide through what was once a large henequen field, stopping here and there as he pointed out the stone work that had transported water for irrigation. “Mayan” he would say, indicating the well-worn limestone channels. We were at Hacienda Yaxcopoil, touring one of the great haciendas and henequen plantations of the late 19th and early 20th century. As we returned to the main building, he pointed to the stone stairway and again said “Mayan”. Visiting the Haciendas of the Yucatan was something we had looked forward to as part of our adventure in Merida. We had only a vague notion of their history. Much of the land surrounding Merida had belonged to the Indigenous people and had been sites of Mayan cities, temples and pyramids. When the Spanish arrived and took the land, they created cattle ranches and farms and... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2012 at Diary of a House Sitter
House sitting in a foreign country has a variety of challenges. Not least among them is shopping for groceries. We’ve been in Merida, Mexico for two weeks now and we’ve been trying out the different local markets, mostly buying fruits and vegetables which only keep a couple of days in this climate. These markets are not traditional stores as we think of them, but groups of vendors in an open air setting, mixed in with little stands selling cooked foods, flowers, meat and poultry, and tortillas. Tortillas, one of the typical Mexican staple foods that we enjoyed in the US are purchased daily here, fresh and so hot you can’t hold them in your hand. In the US we bought them off the supermarket shelf in a plastic bag by the dozen. In Mexico, they are sold by the kilogram which is 2.2 lbs.... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2012 at Diary of a House Sitter
Having traveled in Mexico for many years I’ve seen some interesting things for sale. I am always impressed by the creativity of the street entrepreneurs. There are the guys on the street offering to take your picture with the donkey painted to look like a Zebra and the vendors that will write your name on a grain of rice or sell you some Mexican jumping beans. There are the people who want to offer you their giant iguana to hold so you can be photographed with it. Today at Santa Lucia park I saw one of the strangest ideas yet. The woman had a small glass aquarium with twenty or so live beetles crawling around inside. These were not just ordinary beetles. They were beetles with bling. Rhinestones, small gold chains, colorful bits of cut glass and paint adorned the backs of each beetle.... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2012 at Diary of a House Sitter
Are you a traveler waiting to come out of the closet? Are you a travel voyeur seeking out travel blogs, staying up too late watching travel shows, someone who can't throw away those old National Geographics? Perhaps you are already a traveler and are trying to figure out how to do it more often. Do you fantasize about living in another country full or part time? Are you considering re-inventing yourself or your life somewhere else? Wondering how you can afford your travel habit? Or maybe you just need a good vacation, not too far from home, one that isn't going to cost too much? If any of this sounds familiar, then maybe house sitting is for you. Come along with us and experience life on the road as a house sitter. Rick & Colleen Contact us about house sitting at: Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2012 at Diary of a House Sitter
We were sitting in the airport waiting for the flight home. Neither of us wanted to go back. We wanted to wash our clothes and go somewhere else that was new and different. It wasn't that we didn't like our home or enjoy our life, but something else was calling to us. The romantic thing would be to call it wonder lust.... or were we just simply bored? Maybe we'd been subscribing to International Living magazine for too long. Whatever it was, and is, it was a feeling that wouldn't go away. We did continue to go home though, trip after trip. But we kept talking about how we could get away more often. We could do house trades, or we could sell our house and all of our belongings, or we could get a house sitter, or we could rent out our house... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2012 at Diary of a House Sitter
Entering this home is like walking back in time. We leave the cars, honking horns and speeding buses behind the double wooden front doors and immediately feel the cool calm of this graceful old colonial home. The first thing I notice is the 16 foot ceilings that rise above us, braced by rough wooden bigas, interrupted by the occasional slowly spinning fan. Underfoot, pasta tiles gleam, their once bright colors softened with age, their patterns a kaleidoscope that changes from room to room. Archways, tile, wrought iron work are reminders of an era when everything was fashioned by hand. White walls more than a foot thick insulate the house from the mid-day heat. Tony and Nala, the two house dogs are sprawled on the floor, tongues out, trying to stay cool. The cats, Scooby, Mickey D, Millie and Scrappy are napping underneath the shade... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2012 at Diary of a House Sitter
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Mar 2, 2012