Episode 371 – Arrival in Mérida, Part 2

I have to start by saying that our landlord, Chris, has been amazingly responsive: a “deep cleaning” team arrived today.

We really weren’t sure exactly what to expect; standards can vary widely within North and Central America.

What I hoped for was washing the tile floors, right into the corners, cleaning out the door pockets (more about the very cool pocket doors in a later post) and scrubbing the baseboards. Washing the windows (of which there are very few, except for the decorative glass in the door panels). Washing the door panels themselves where they are grimy. Washing all the marble and polished stone sills and built-in shelves. De-greasing the light switches. In general, making the place sparkle as it should so the twice weekly cleaning lady can – with a schedule – maintain it.

It would be fantastic to have the 6 gorgeous chandeliers polished, but that’s something of a specialist job.

Chris wasn’t sure when a deep clean had last been done. He bought this property almost 20 years ago, finishing repairs in around 2012, and renting out the ground floor since then. He’s new to managing the property himself (a friend did that until a few months ago), and probably never expected EVER to have to deal with someone as chatty – or as OCD – as me. Poor man.

So what actually happened? A team comprised of Chris’ regular cleaning lady and her very hardworking son arrived just after 9 a.m. and spent the next 6 hours scrubbing. The place looks, feels, and smells exactly as clean as it should.

Plus…. we got an entire set of completely unexpected bonuses, all of which served to demonstrate how committed Chris is to his property (one of several he owns, and the most historic) and to his guests.

I had asked whether he could replace the scorched toaster and perhaps buy a serrated/bread knife (dull or missing knives are the bane of every renter’s existence).

Upon his return from this morning’s orchestra practice, Chris arrived laden with shopping bags: a new Cuisinart toaster, a shiny new stainless steel kettle (he’s convinced that a stovetop kettle is an essential home comfort), a huge deluxe salad spinner, a spice rack loaded with 16 herbs and spices, and an entire set of Kitchen Aid knives in a wooden block with built-in sharpener!

Yesterday’s new coffee maker also pictured. Ted’s caffeine addiction assuaged.

What did I do while all the cleaning was going on? Well, besides unpacking Chris’ gifts, I emptied all the kitchen drawers, washed all the cutlery and utensils (Ted dried – I’d already done all the dishes and pots and pans), and loosely “supervised” the cleaning.

Half an hour after Chris’ unexpected kitchen gifts, a brand new couch and love-seat were delivered for the living room, where a decorative but not comfortable gold velvet antique Queen Anne sofa had been. The new pieces are not only comfortable but also beautiful. I’m going to love reading in this cool inviting space (pictures to follow) where Ted has set up a workspace at the piano converted into a really nifty desk complete with secret hidden drawer that Chris demonstrated!

Look at the size of those legs – it must have been a huge piano. The living room also houses a grand piano, a harpsichord, and an antique drop-leaf desk. The short “servants’ door” behind the desk in the photo above connects the living room to what is now the master bedroom, but undoubtedly served a different purpose when the house was built.

Another half an hour and a brand new Whirlpool gas range was installed.

Was I a bit sad two days ago? Yes.

Am I absolutely ecstatic today? YES!!

We can’t wait to continue getting to know Chris during our stay here. Our chats so far have been a lot of fun – he’s a really interesting person with a wealth of knowledge about and love for music and art. It feels like there’s a real potential for a new friendship. Time will tell, of course. Five months of my chatter can wear out even the most congenial soul.


  1. We are heading to Merida next! Thanks for sharing.
    Always enjoy your articles & pictures! I have a random question as we are planning for next winter. What are the places in Europe you would recommend to stay at from November to March for warm weather (not hot) 22-26C?? A few countries in and out of Schengen area!


    • There are a few on our wish list, but we’ve yet to stay in Europe over winter. What we had to cancel during Covid was Portugal (Algarve/Albufeira), Spain (Valencia), and Cyprus (Paphos) – all not hot, but perhaps cooler than your request – more like Myrtle Beach South Carolina winter weather. Not freezing, but not beach weather either.


  2. Dear Rose and Ted, As Chris’s “big sister” I heard about the many issues before your Merida 1 posting on Wednesday. So I checked for a follow up today with a bit of trepidation, but complete confidence that you would be happy with what he could do to make things right as he could as quickly as possible. So your new post is a complete joy! I am so very glad that you are in the house now, and it will be a great benefit to Canton Mansion, with more to come!

    Liked by 1 person

    • OMG, how very wonderful to hear from you and know that you’re able to follow our Merida adventures! Your “little brother” is quite amazing, as you must already know. He really went beyond expectations in making everything right – we’re more than pleased.

      But how on earth did you find our blog?


      • Dear Rose,
        It wasn’t until you had arrived that I realized that Neil, the former house manager, had sent the information that you were blogging your travels to me way back last spring. So I had to see what was happening. Sending all best wishes to you both! Jenny

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You don’t chatter!!!!! You inform, you entertain, you empathize, you discuss , (very knowledgeable and logical and well informed ). You do make others chatter … you are an amazing listener !! Miss all that!!!!


    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a wonderful post! As nomads hearing that there are wonderfully responsive. Like you, in most places I’m cleaning the first few days of my stay.

    Liked by 1 person

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