La Tourista

Felipe and I moved to Mexico with 50,000 dollars, and a dream to create a self-sustainable life. During our first three years here we: acquired 17 acres of land, erected a small comfortable house, constructed opened and sold a store, raised dairy cows and made cheese, raised steers, irrigation farmed sugar cane, planted corn and sorghum for market. We worked: as a waiter, on a road crew, ran for public office, wrote a book, and went flat broke, so we’ve been too busy or too busted to explore much of Mexico.

One unexpected perk of writing vsvevg is that we’ve made new friends, two of which live close enough that we have been able to meet in person. Larry and Viny own a day spa for men in Tepoztlan. This week we went for a two-day visit. Felipe hadn’t had a vacation in five years, we were both very excited.

Tepozspa is 15-minutes outside of Tepoztlan. It’s location couldn’t be more ideal for a weekend away; so close to a small but cosmopolitan community that has somehow managed to maintain is cultural character and have amenities, like good service, a great cup of coffee, and variety of products and services. These things are unusual to nonexistent in our area. Our first excursion into the community was to attend an Indian drum concert given by the world renown artist Charanjit Chatur Lal. Larry wisely made reservations because the room was packed, but due to his forethought we had good seats and were treated to a fascinating and informative concert.

The spa and our apartment were beyond beautiful. Larry and Viny designed and decorated the entire facility themselves, including the buildings. Viny’s refined style of lighting, and landscape are perfect backdrop for Larry’s distinguished, diverse, often whimsical art collection.

They lavishly filled our apartment with gorgeous flowers and anticipated every need we may have including a bowl of dog food for my dog Elvis, who they graciously allowed us to bring, and were even willing to come and pick us up and take us home so that he could accompany us.

Elvis enjoyed good company as well. Larry and Viny have 11 dogs the majority of whom they have rescued. They have provided extensive medical care for many, and a loving and safe home for all.

For the return trip Larry suggested a visit to the Brady Museum in Cuernavaca and the ruins of Xochicalco. He has quickly learned our tastes; I adored the Brady and Felipe values indigenous Mexican culture.

All of the luxuries, art, fine dining, shopping, and culture were a wonderful treat, but for Felipe and me the best part of the trip was realizing that we are building a friendship with two interesting, socially conscious, humane, fun, and exceptionally generous people. Gracias Amigos, we only hope you enjoyed our company as much as we did yours.

I Don’t Look Back

It looks like I will be planting in the mud like a man.

This week, Larry Prater, a kind, interesting and generous man, brought both Felipe and me a pair of black rubber boots. Larry owns Tepozspa, a day spa for men in Tepoztlan, he discovered us through vsvevg and came for a visit. What a treat it was! He brought some friends and took us to lunch. We enjoyed sharing experiences of moving to, and living in Mexico, and getting to know each other. Anticipate a future post about the splendors of Tepozspa. We will be visiting soon.

Larry’s recommendation of vsvevg has put me in contact with many expats in Mexico, and others who share our interest in self-sustainability. It is a great encouragement to learn of their diverse experiences, challenges and triumphs, and also of more of Mexico’s beauty, culture and comforts that we have not yet had an opportunity to explore.

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