“Oh, down in Mexico. I never really been so I don’t really know.
Oh, Mexico. I guess I’ll have to go!”
~ James Taylor
In April we are bringing a group of people for cooking classes, sightseeing, and plenty of swimming in the ocean and the pool at the casa we’ve reserved in Bucerias. We still have some space if you’d like to join us.
Early Bird Pricing is in effect through December 31! You can join us for $1499 per person! Learn more by clicking here.
We have been sending out a series of emails with stories from our July trip that highlight what you can look forward to should you decide to come along. If you missed parts 1-3 you can find them on our blog.
Have you ever wondered what it might be like to be visiting a foreign country where you have no phone and limited wifi and suddenly find out you don’t have access to your money?
Shelter is pre-paid and the ocean is free, but how will you eat? How will you drink?!
Can your relationship survive this fiasco?
We had just finished dinner at a popular restaurant/bar on a Thursday evening and were enjoying the live music. Many of the businesses in Bucerias are not able to take credit cards or, understandably, U.S. dollars, but cash machines are readily accessible. Kent walked across the street to the cash machine and it refused to give him money. Thinking that there was possibly something wrong with his card, I walked over to try my card, as well. Nothing.
We had no easy access to wifi while out on the town, so were not able to check in with our bank to investigate. Our server told us not to worry. We could come back the next day to pay. His kindness and trust were of the sort we found all over Bucerias. He told us that we could find wifi a couple of blocks down toward the Kiosko. Wifi was sporadic, and often required a password. A little ice cream shop allowed us to use their wifi and we logged in to the banking app to discover that not only had our bank paid our mortgage twice, but billpay was doing its job and we were getting dinged for every little payment being made and every time we’d used the card in Mexico. Surprise!
So, we walked home to count the cash we’d stashed to see if we could make it through the next few days. Things were looking pretty good!
On Friday, we were able to contact our bank via email after several attempts, and they began looking into the problem.
Simultaneously, we decided to walk the 3 km, in the heat and humidity, to the nearest bank in town that would exchange our dollars because we would not have access to our banked money until Monday. It wasn’t long before we knew that such a walk was going to be extremely challenging. I was nursing a foot injury and we were soaking wet before we’d made it to the main road. We had 7 pesos left. We knew bus fare would be 11 or 12 pesos. This was going to be a very long walk. Remarkably, we were not even a little grumpy about it.
Just then, we saw a lovely butterfly as it fluttered to the side of the road and landed right next to a 5-peso coin. That gave us 12 pesos; enough for bus fare. A little weird? I would say so!
We were elated and filled with relief when we arrived at the bank. Without our passports. It never occurred to either of us that we might need our passports to exchange cash for cash. So, there we were, 3 km from home, in 100% humidity, with the temperature in the 90’s, without any pesos at all.
On a whim, we decided to try the bank’s cash machine. Since our bank at home was going to help get everything straightened out, we were not concerned about incurring another fee. Boom! It gave us money. So, off we went to take another bus back to our condo.
The second trip to the bank was uneventful and successful! Since we were on the South end of town and dreaming about bringing a group of people back to Bucerias, we decided to walk to Casa de la Reyna, a sweet little villa that Kent had stayed in a few times before. It was now the hottest and heaviest time of day. Even the locals were wishing for a rainstorm to chase away the smothering humidity and heat. We decided we could make the walk if we stopped every once in a while for a cold drink and a rest in the shade. People thought we were a little crazy to be out walking!
Casa de la Reyna is a 2-building complex that can sleep up to 22 people, right on the ocean. It’s a beautiful place and very close to the business district. I fell in love with it, from the mosaic tiled seating in front, to the palapas on the rooftops.
As we were walking along the beach to get our feet wet, we talked about our dream of starting a culinary tourism branch of CheffyK and CA’s cooking school. No sooner had I said the words, “We should ask for a sign,” than a ladybug appeared on the sand.
Ladybugs have become a sign and symbol for us since the day I noticed that the house I was renting back in the US was covered in tiny, ugly, black bugs. It felt like an invasion until someone told me they were ladybug larvae. Sure enough, they soon became adult ladybugs. I googled “ladybug symbolism” and learned that they are a symbol of good luck and taking action toward one’s goals and dreams. I loved that!
So, when this ladybug appeared on the beach in Bucerias, Mexico in the moment that I said out loud, “we should ask for a sign,” we knew it was one. We immediately made the commitment to take action toward our goal of taking people on trips to learn to cook in new ways, enjoy micro cuisines around the world, and adventure.
So, here we are! In 4 months we will be back on that beach, this time in the capacity of hospitality and education and we are thrilled!
And, as a bonus, if you end up have any banking problems while on the trip, we know how to help, and how to help you enjoy each other in the process.
Part 5 coming soon…
Kent and CherylAnn
Cheffyk and CA
PS: Thanks to some footwork by my daughter, Sophia, back home and the helpfulness of our bank, the money issues were straightened out by Monday. We enjoyed every moment of stretching our little remaining cash over the weekend. The way a person responds to such stressors says a lot about who he is. I’m so grateful to have a partner who can have fun, be creative, and enjoy the little things with me. Plus, he makes delicious food!