Broken record


We returned from Japan three weeks ago. We loved our two month stay in Fukuoka.  It was everything we dreamed it would be and so much more. We would love to return to Japan for even a longer stay because it was so easy to live there. The cleanliness and the ease of living really impressed us both. We’re toying with the idea of spending more time in Japan next spring, but we’ll have to see. It does put a slight crimp in our budget.  Right now, we have no plans past March. In fact, December and January are wide open with plans to be in Zihuatanejo in February and March.

Eventually we’ll figure out our plans next destination. We don’t feel any sense of urgency, but if we do decide to return to Japan we’ll need to make plane and lodging reservations before cherry blossom season starts.  In the meantime, we’re back enjoying Morelia, Mexico. I’ve written extensively about how much we love this place, and I’m happy to share more.

But before we started our six month stay here, we had a rather harrowing experience upon arrival.

To summarize:

We took a 11:50 PM direct flight to Morelia (3.5 hours) from Oakland, CA and arrived in Mexico at 5:30 AM.  Customs and immigration were a breeze. Usually the line moves rather slowly so we were happily surprised when we got out of the airport quickly. I even got the dreaded red light  (which has only happened one other time).

We took a cab to the main square. That took around 35 minutes and the sun was starting to rise just as we pulled into the main square. We enjoyed some coffee and breakfast. We were scheduled to pick up the keys to our house at 8 AM.  We actually arrived around 8:30 AM to get our keys. Friends were holding them for us since our landlord is in Canada for the next six months.

When we got to our rental house at 8:35 AM, the key would not turn in the lock!  Andy could not get it to work. I told him to be very careful because we didn’t want the key to break off in the lock.  I repeated my concerns at least one other time.

Then this happened…


The tip of the key broke off in the lock!  Andy fished it out using a paperclip that he found in his bag. It was a miracle. He was able to grab it.

Wifey was not happy at all.  Wifey was exhausted. Wifey wanted sleep!!!  I told Andy, “that’s it,  if we don’t resolve this soon, we’re going to a hotel right now”.  The only reason I didn’t book a hotel was that I didn’t know if we would be able to get early check-in since it was only  9:00 AM . My jet lagged head was achy and I was not in the best mood having slept little on the plane. But I quickly realized this wasn’t the time to fight, this was a time for some fast and furious problem solving.

In quick order, we tried calling our housekeeper who has a spare key but she did not answer.  We then tried walking to a local locksmith two blocks away dragging all our luggage.  His office was closed.  Andy left a message for him in Spanish asking him to call us urgently.

Finally not knowing what else to do, I contacted a friend who owns a fantastic, local bed and breakfast. She told me to come right over and said we could rest at her place.

When we got to her place, she told us she knew the locksmith we had called, but she doubted he would answer an American phone number. She then had her staff  call him from her Mexican phone line.  He picked up on the second ring and  agreed to meet us at her bed and breakfast “very soon”.  Of course, “very soon” in Mexico is different from “very soon” in America. He arrived about two long hours later. He took our broken key and promised to bring us a new one “very soon’.  Andy and I took this opportunity to catch a bit of shut eye on Rose’s huge and very comfortable couch.  Finally, around 3:30 PM,  TEN HOURS after we arrived in Morelia, we got into our house. It was a miserable experience for sure.

Here’s what we’re enjoying about being back in Morelia:

  1. The amazing weather. The days are sunny and warm around 82-85 degrees. The nights are pleasant. Sometimes during the afternoon, horrible thunderstorms roll in, but there has been much less rain than last season.
  2. Our colonial house!  We’ve got a fantastic two bedroom house in the center of town, three blocks from the main cathedral. It’s got an amazing outdoor courtyard and a rooftop with a fantastic sitting area. The rooftop also features a lovely view of a different Morelia cathedral.

This is the view of a cathedral from our rooftop.

3. The fast paced life here. Concerts, check. Theater events, check. Festivals, yep.

4. The cafe culture. I think the cafe culture in Morelia must be among the finest in the world! Three blocks from our house people sit drinking coffee on the main square and it’s great.  It’s relaxing and the people watching is superb.

5, The ex-pat community. While it’s small, people are very friendly and very welcoming.

6. The fountains and colonial architecture. Simply stunning. Wherever we look we see dancing fountains, and stunning churches.


Old city center

We have some visitors coming to visit throughout the next six months including my sister, (staying with us) my mom, and my mom’s BFF (staying at their favorite Morelia hotel).  Please give us a shout-out if you want to come visit. We’d love to show you around.