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hkrause last won the day on May 1

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About hkrause

  • Birthday May 6

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    West Ajijic
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  1. Yes, I saw this post yesterday and shared it. Turned out to be absolutely correct. I wonder how long this weather pattern will persist... https://www.facebook.com/METEOROMEX/posts/pfbid0YEWhxPYcYwrtRPBfWukrHSUaxjvU6wtQgjd4bktRroafxYUJ7YLToBk8rV4G3Xtjl
  2. We have AXA insurance through Jesus Tejada. I believe he handles other insurance companies also and will evaluate which is best for your situation. Have had 3 accidents, all handled to our satisfaction. Only blip was that with one accident in Ajijic, it took the adjuster awhile to arrive since they were stuck in traffic in Guad. The other two incidents they arrived in reasonable time (one a bit north of Joco, on the way to Guad, and the other in Guad). Jesus came to our house to discuss insurance options (we also have health insurance through him) and make arrangements. Since then, we have handled renewals via email and phone. He speaks perfect English and was helpful in dealing with the insurance company when we had accidents and had difficulty navigating the phone menus. Agent's card attached for reference. On the accident north of Joco, car was damaged but drivable. We were nervous about the damage, however, so the insurance adjuster came with us to drive the car home to Ajijic, to be sure we got there OK. I thought that was pretty good service.
  3. The complaints are perpetual, and a well-worn hobby of those who come here, then want the door closed behind them. We started researching the area about 15 years ago and I swear all the complaints going around now (Pueblita, traffic, growth, infrastructure, etc) were around when we started looking, but with different names and danger levels. Does anybody remember when Walmart going in was going to be the death of Lakeside? The sky was falling then, too. Things change. If we had settled someplace in the US instead of here, that place would probably have changed and our reasons for selecting that spot might have been compromised. Certainly some of the issues we're seeing Lakeside weren't around or were less severe when we moved here (I remember timing our drive from home in West Ajijic to Walmart... it took 7 minutes with light traffic). Are we going to move away because it takes longer to drive through town, or because of the other reasons listed above? Probably not. At least, not yet. There were various reasons we chose to move here instead of somewhere else, and many of those still apply. The climate is still awesome and we're continuously amazed that we're able to live comfortably in a house without HVAC. There is still a "small town" feel to the area, where we frequently run into people we know and develop great relationships with small vendors and shop/restaurant owners. Overall, the local population and most of the expats are pleasant and enjoyable to be around (and we try to add our own positive energy to the mix, to keep that going). There are fabulous cultural activities, celebrations, and wonderful art everywhere. We're a mountain range away, but still close enough to get to an international airport and large city when we need those things. We have enough dining options that we could eat at a different place every day of the year and not have to repeat. There are great resources for foreigners living in an unfamiliar land... LCS, American Legion, helpful expat population, local businesses that make the effort to cater to expats and English speakers. Good medical care can be had at a reasonable cost. And affordable living, overall, compared to where we moved from in the US. Yes, the cost of living has gone up recently compared to what it was in recent years, but it's still lower than when we were first researching a move here (when it was only 12-13 pesos to the dollar). Some of the changes happening have been positive. We complain about Internet outages, but that's partly because we've come to rely on Internet access now that several options exist for high-speed connectivity (compared to when I got here and Telmex slow-speed was the ONLY game in town, if you were lucky enough to get Telmex service at all since they ran out of phone numbers for new homes). People moan about Walmart, but it still serves lots of customers and provides a helpful one-stop, familiar shopping experience for newcomers who haven't yet developed a network of smaller vendors for their needs. So many people whined about the construction to put in a bike path, but look at how useful it is now, and how many people are riding bikes along there on any given day, including a huge number of eBike users (and shops). When we elected to live in West Ajijic, people wagged their fingers and told us we'd regret the decision because it was "so far away" from everything. Now we have great restaurants, shopping, gas stations, and resources that let us stay on this side of town if traffic is heavy, or if we prefer to walk/bike to something. Efforts to conserve the lake have helped reduce water usage and maintain a more usable lakefront, compared to several years when it was dry at the malecons and the shoreline was a hike, if you even wanted to bother. This is just a partial list, and I suspect some people might prefer to look at the negative side to anything I mentioned, but there ARE positives to growth and change... if you want to find it. That doesn't mean we don't have challenges if we choose to live here. Infrastructure is lagging behind other development and needs to be addressed... it seems they elect to buy a cart before having a horse sometimes. Traffic during busy times of the year is becoming somewhat annoying, although it still takes less time to drive from West Ajijic to Chapala than it did for my daily work commute in the US (and the scenery along the way is much better!). We may consider getting eBikes to simplify some of our trips since we have a safe path for them now. I feel badly for those who have water problems, although we haven't experienced the problem ourselves. I hope people will learn to conserve water and adjust usage to make the best of what we have available, and maybe government will consider putting some restrictions on heavy use, such as new pools. Meanwhile, we don't consider the problems to be severe enough that they outweigh the positives of living Lakeside. We'll continue to monitor the situation and see where the future takes us. As for La Pueblita/Margaritaville... The original developers had a good basic idea, I think (including the settling pond to help handle wastewater). They obviously had some money and weight behind them to start, considering how far they got in the construction process. It would have been nice to have a continuing care facility here for the aging population, along with shops, doctors, and resources to service them. It's too bad that initial plan didn't work out as we might have considered a move there ourselves when we needed the care. However, since the project came to a halt with construction incomplete, I'm (personally) glad that another company has picked up the reins and will move it along to a functional housing and retail development instead of letting it rot as a raw concrete eyesore. I'm also happy that people who invested to buy property there might get something for their money eventually. How much more of a burden on resources it will be remains to be seen, but I doubt this will be the straw that breaks the burro's back in terms of us deciding to stay or move away. And I can guarantee that another 10 years from now will see continued development along Lakeside, as well as spread south of Joco, east of Chapala, and north toward Guad. Hopefully those in charge will wake up to the need for upgraded and expanded infrastructure so the community remains viable. Hopefully the development and increase in value of properties won't price locals out of being able to live amongst us (a greater concern for me). And hopefully those who decide to move away find someplace they consider more pleasant and liveable... keep us posted about where you end up!
  4. It's getting more difficult to drive through Lakeside from west Ajijic because of the traffic, but it's still less time to get most places than it took for a 1-way commute to/from work every day where we used to live (30-40 minutes on a good day). If I get tired of slow traffic on the carretera, I can always go the scenic back route and trade for slow cobbles. LOL! Better still, more development west of Ajijic means easier dining and shopping without having to drive through town as often. The longer it takes to get through Ajijic, the more practical it is for us to head toward SJC and Joco for our needs. Thank goodness we're retired and don't need to be anywhere in a hurry most times. Cost of Living... We originally moved here partly because I retired early and wouldn't have Medicare for several years, so it was financially impractical to stay in the US. I have basic Medicare now but haven't looked at supplements or any add-ons because we never figured to use it. Without private insurance, medical costs here have become difficult, but they haven't been bad enough for me to look at options back north. I wonder if I should? We could probably eat cheaper in the US, but not as healthy as we'd be drawn to fast food options. Other living costs would vary, depending on location and lifestyle choices. Culture... Political divisions in the US have become horrible, although really we still deal with it living here... just from a distance. We continue to be politically involved and vote, and the laws affect our retirement savings, our family and friends. That wouldn't change no matter where we live. We still enjoy the culture and people of Mexico, although I might be frustrated if we were involved in politics here. I suspect that enjoying the "culture" of somewhere in the US would be much easier as a retired person than when we were working. Much of enjoying anyplace is in one's attitude. Climate... Ah, here's a big one! To equal (or come close to) the beautiful weather of Lakeside, we'd probably need to live someplace in the US that's unaffordable otherwise. California coast or Hawaii come to mind. The weather here is wonderful relative to the cost of enjoying it. Fortunately, we're not bothered by the altitude, and we're a fairly short drive to the ocean (not an option from Kansas City, where we're from). I'm not sure where in the US one could have a house without HVAC and still be comfortable. The mountains and year-round blooms are certainly NOT something we got to enjoy back home. We're not in Kansas any more, Toto! So, all things considered, we don't have any immediate plans to move back north. Not saying that wouldn't change at some point, but for now we're still happy here and realize that every place has pros and cons.
  5. I had this done at San Antonio hospital. I was having severe problems with sciatica from being mis-aligned after hip surgery. Went to PT, where they dismissed me after a few tries, saying I needed to seek treatment from a surgeon. I spoke with a surgeon recommended by my doctor... he said I needed surgery to fuse 3 vertebrae. A second surgeon also said surgery would be best, but gave me other options as well, including the injections and joint-treatment meds. I was told they would be a temporary solution. I've had sciatica in varying degrees off and on for 40+ years, but this was certainly the worst. While considering options, I did some stretching and exercises at home, plus wore a back brace, which seemed to help quite a bit... maybe something slipped back in place? We were going on a trip that would require some walking, so I opted to have the injections to help insure I could travel without too much pain. That was September 2021. There didn't seem to be much change since the sciatica was relieved on its own before the injections, but I made the trip and haven't had problems with it since. Hard to draw a conclusion about the effectiveness of the injections in my case since I was improving before I had them, but I've been happy with the overall results, and with the SAT surgeon who took a LOT of time to diagnose, evaluate, and talk in depth about various options. I felt comfortable working with him and the hospital, where I got an MRI as well, as part of diagnosis. The surgeon I spoke with is Dr. Gonzalez Ross, who specializes in back issues. His father, also at SAT, does knees and maybe hips, so there are two Dr. Gonzales... you can specify Dr. Ross, the son, to see the one I spoke with. Best of luck with your own situation. Be sure to speak with multiple people about various options and try least-invasive first. I was told that surgery, with plates, screws, a cage frame, etc. was "needed," but would only last 10 or so years, which leaves me wondering what happens after that. I was also told it make problems more likely above/below the original surgery, possibly requiring more work later. In my opinion, putting that off as long as possible is a better option, as long as issues don't cause other problems in the meantime.
  6. Thumbs up on the Wyze cameras (available through Amazon US or MX). They have several types, indoor and outdoor, as well as a video doorbell. You ran connect and view up to 4 cameras from their smartphone app. The pan/tilt camera has a motor that will allow viewing a wide area and if it detects motion it will follow the person around the room. Smaller, less expensive units are stationary and must be positioned where they'll do the most good... some planning is in order. They have infrared, so can view in the dark, and include speaker/microphone so you can communicate through the app and listen as well as view what's happening (there is a bit of delay, so carrying on much of a conversation isn't great, but I assume this would be the case with other cameras as well). You can set the app to notify you if it detects an event... motion, change in light, sound, etc. If you do this, BE SURE to exclude the Wyze app from your "Do not disturb" time so it will notify you ANY time there's an event, including night time when you might be asleep (a neighbor had a security camera that detected a break-in, but they didn't get notified because their phone was set to Do Not Disturb while they were sleeping). Observations: We have cats which will trigger the motion sensor on certain occasions, but not others. You can adjust camera position and/or sensitivity to decrease such notifications. Also, any event triggered by a pet (or other event) that is common at your house can be reported to Wyze for analysis and adjustment in future updates. I do seem to receive fewer "false" notifications since I've sent several of these to the company. Changes in light will trigger an event, so rainy season lightning storms are likely to notify you while sleeping. Likewise, if you have outdoor security lights that are visible to the camera, they may send a notification if the light(s) come on. The camera will also detect a light change from a shadow moving. This can be used to your advantage if properly setup, or it can be annoying if your lights are triggered by outdoor nocturnal wildlife... plan accordingly. I find it's helpful to leave a light on in the vicinity of the camera to minimize notifications from lightning and other changes in light. Everyone is concerned with internet download speeds, but keep in mind that security cameras need to UPLOAD video and audio in real time to be useful, so make sure you have a reasonable upload speed so you can view your data remotely... no good to get a notification if you can't view the video clip or check your cameras to follow up. Note that these comments aren't specific to just this brand of camera and should be considered with any brand that you look at. Some of the features of the camera need to have a data card installed, and/or require a monthly fee to access videos remotely. The fee for Wyze is per camera, but seems reasonable (to me) for the peace of mind offered, especially since the cameras are pretty inexpensive to start with. Be sure to check the subscription fees before purchase to make sure you're aware of total cost for using them. Same applies to any other camera(s) you might consider.
  7. What a mess that "alternate route" is going to be if anybody takes this to heart! I'm looking forward to the Feria after its hiatus... I'll find a way.
  8. We're on our 2nd Honda Fit. The first we brought down from the US, but couldn't keep because it was from Japan and we had to sell when we went permanente. Loved it enough that we got another, made here in MX. We are sad that they're not going to be made any more since we'd probably buy another when the time comes. That said, things we like about the Fit: 1. Flexible enough seating and plenty of headroom for both myself (5'1") and my husband (6'0"). 2. Lots of visibility through many windows, which is important when driving around Lakeside, and when parking or backing out of parking. 3. Small turning radius makes it much easier to parallel park on super narrow streets. 4. Plenty of space inside to carry just about anything we need to carry, including the rear seating surfaces that tilt upward, providing space for tall items like plants. 5. Unless we're carrying passengers or a heavy load, we can manage almost any tope we've found, as long as we slow down enough and are careful. 6. Top model has almost all the niceties we need... electric mirrors, windows, cruise control, Bluetooth radio, CD, etc. (do wish it had a backup camera, though) 7. I like the CV transmission with its smooth shifting 8. We've had good luck getting it worked on when needed, although part of this is from using S&S to get it serviced 9. Quiet inside, and hasn't developed many squeaks or rattles, even though we've had accidents in it. 10. Econo mode makes it pretty fuel efficient. 11. Pretty easy to get in and out, even with my bad knees and cane, unless you happen to have a really odd parking spot 12. Insurance cost is reasonable 13. Reliable and trouble-free for the most part 14. Resale on our first Fit was surprisingly good, and I suspect this one will be as well Things we don't like as much about the Fit: 1. Seats can get a bit uncomfortable on long drives... like 4+ hours. Pillows and extra padding help. 2. Wish it had a backup camera, although I suspect one could be added if we really looked 3. The cup holders (quite a few) could be placed better, depending on what you're carrying 4. Since it's lower to the ground than some cars, I have to be very careful when going over dips and steeply angled surfaces When we moved here, we also had a Pontiac Vibe (Pontiac version of Toyota Matrix), which we loved for various reasons. However, even though it wasn't very large, we couldn't parallel park it on narrow streets because of the turning radius and the fact that the nose was just long enough that the front would catch on a curb when it swung out. So even though there are "small" cars that might be good, one of OUR tests when buying would be whether a new car would be maneuverable enough and have enough visibility to get it parked in the village when needed. Another consideration is insurance cost. According to our agent, insurance follows the vehicle in MX, not the driver. And insurance cost is based on consolidated costs the company has to pay for that same type of vehicle over the previous year (or historically). Therefore, surprisingly, some of the more expensive vehicles to insure are ones that are commonly used by taxis or professional drivers since there are lots of them, they're frequently stolen or have parts stolen off them, and they have a higher than normal accident rate. Doesn't mean these are bad cars, but just that the insurance costs are higher than one would expect. Therefore, another lesson we learned when car shopping in the future is to be sure and check what insurance will cost for a particular vehicle before purchasing it. Overall, if we were shopping today I'd certainly check to see if there were any leftover Fits still available and grab one if so. It fits our needs and lifestyle quite nicely, but everyone is different of course. Happy shopping!
  9. We flew out of GDL at the beginning of this month and returned via CBX bridge at San Diego. At GDL, the INM office had us fill out just PART of the form, but it was needed. We kept the other half for re-entry since we were coming back a different way. At least for now, DO GO to the INM window to inquire and fill out paperwork before heading to your airline counter or gate.
  10. Did you know some people get enjoyment from watching the chaos they cause when others react to them flinging do-do? They specialize in stirring the pot so they can watch others scramble when it boils over. The best way to handle these "Trolls" is to simply ignore them, as difficult as that may be... They know what buttons to push to get reactions they need to feed their desire for attention! Discussion groups are the bridges these Trolls hide under. Can YOU cross the bridge without feeding the Trolls? Not pointing any fingers, but I'm sure we can all think of some people (plural) who fit the mold. This board is a valuable resource for people seeking useful information, but I left for quite awhile because of the number of discussions that turned into Troll feeding frenzies. When you respond to a post, here or elsewhere, please take a moment to consider whether you might be bait, with somebody laughing their butt off because they managed to push your buttons. And THANKS to all of the wonderful people who do their best to be helpful in their positive posts, comments and moderation. Your value to the community IS recognized, even if it's not stated often enough! 👍
  11. Another vote here for Dr. Claudia. My husband and I each had both eyes done (each eye on a separate day... she will NOT do both at once). As others have said, preliminary work is done in the Chapala office, which is a problem if you can't climb stairs. If stairs are an issue, I assume she could do the preliminaries in Guad, where the surgery is done, but you'd have to check with them. You may not want to go to Guad, but consider this... how much is your eyesight worth? Cataract surgery isn't something you want to go bad, so it's critical to have the best care possible, and having somebody drive you to Guad a few times to get that is a SMALL price to pay for having things done correctly! We had a neighbor who had her cataract surgery done by another (NOT Dr. Claudia) surgeon who some people have had good luck with. That doctor messed up her eyes so badly that nobody here could repair the damage. She ended up having to sell her house and move back to the US for specialized work so she could have somewhat normal vision again. I cringe every time I see people recommend the doctor who damaged her eyes, but sometimes it works. Beware! I have since heard other word-of-mouth horror stories about that same doctor. With the strong libel laws here in Mexico, you are not likely to find published negative comments about BAD doctors, but it's helpful when you find so many positive reports about a GOOD one! Pay attention, and don't cut corners when it comes to the possibility of losing your vision. (And, no... don't PM me for a name since I would be concerned about those same libel laws myself. Just pay attention to the positives!) By the way, we were told that there's a law requiring cataract surgery NOT be done on both eyes at once, just in case something were to go wrong... you wouldn't want to endanger both eyes at once. It's a little inconvenient having to mess with one corrected eye and one uncorrected for a few days between, but it's for the best. Grin and bear it. Best of luck on your research and eventual surgery.
  12. A few doors west of Panchos in Riberas. I don't recall the guy's name, but we've had really good luck with him fixing things, and he'll tell you up front if he can't. Location is right about here: https://www.google.com/maps/@20.2924256,-103.2165374,3a,51.9y,179.9h,83.25t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sxVwcOHyw6XLjWgbfdmmIyA!2e0!7i16384!8i8192
  13. If you Google "La Pueblita Ajijic" it will bring up a map of where it is. Don't know the name of the project in La Floresta (maybe someone else does?), but you can find it on Google Street View at this link: https://www.google.com/maps/@20.2952504,-103.2534713,3a,67.4y,185.97h,84.13t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s8jY9iNvUoxe-_3QcfZEAdA!2e0!7i16384!8i8192 Construction by the Coke plant is called Punto Laguna. You can find info at their website, here: https://puntolaguna.huelladesarrollos.com/ The Radisson project is shown on Google Maps as "Hotel y Condos en el Lago de Chapala El Dorado," and you can find info here: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Hotel+y+Condos+en+el+Lago+de+Chapala+El+Dorado/@20.3014398,-103.2381379,18.5z/data=!4m8!3m7!1s0x842f46cb163a6ac9:0x3f3e21c3a0f4abd3!5m2!4m1!1i2!8m2!3d20.301767!4d-103.2394259
  14. Ask at the herb shop downstairs from there. I believe that business and the office supply store are run by family members of the lady who ran Maquina. After she closed, she just sold pastries out of the shop downstairs (run by her mother, I believe). The building (and I think the train decorations) is owned by another relative. Note that I may have my facts all messed up, but there is some connection between the 3 businesses, so they might know how to put you in touch.
  15. Are these generators noisy when running, like a gas-powered unit would be? If the B&S unit has been so reliable, why would one choose the Generac... features? price?
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