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What were you feeling

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for the first time in my life it felt like home - thanks to Bob Hocking, rest his soul!!!

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Friendly people, the weather, the views. The sounds, the smells, the colors, the plant life. The lack of uniformity in architecture. Having certain NOB features close by but not around every corner. The pace of life.

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Jerry Garcia lived here? Dang! I wish I'd been here then!

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The social graces (most people greet you happily when you walk by), the creativity (being able to get almost anything made inexpensively in wood, metal, brick, cement, glass, fiber, etc.), fresh made orange juice in any restaurant, the Lake and its avian inhabitants, the walkable places, the delicious $5 breakfasts, the avian jazz artists, the beautiful shining souls of the natives, the way everything is handmade including the stone streets and watching men make houses by hand, the human scale of everything.

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Thank you for some of the great responses ~ renewing my enthusiasm to get there sooner than later :)

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Yes...thank you! Most all your reasons are reasons I was hoping to hear. Can't wait to visit and believe we will rent a golf cart to get around, Since this visit is to feel our way around the Aijic area...

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And to possibly add to your delight, we seem to be getting some early rains that are banishing the haze, cooling the temperatures and greening things up. Try and make a trip to Mazamitla while you're here, it is absolutely glorious up there already.

:)

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What a fun discussion.

Does anyone else see the ironies in debating the merits of living in one of Mexico's very best places to retire and Fort Collins, Colorado that has received roughly 85 top ten rankings since just 2005 as a best place to live, raise families, best to retire to, etc. ? http://www.fcgov.com/fcfacts.php?ID=6

Both are great places, both with award winning exceptional qualities and fun opportunities.

Fort Collins has twice been ranked as the very best place in the USA to live and

the Chapala area has ranked as one of the best places in the world to retire to.

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The weather is OK, but people make the place. Best people in the world, both Mexican and Gringo live here.

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Guest bennie2

snowyo, in all due respect, ratings mean nothing. why follow the heard? (restaurant/film reviews included). you certainly arenot that type. everyone has a different situation, taste ect. chapala area has many square miles, each area is different. regards, bennie

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Just think no more stress or alot less, I remember growing-up as a kid, stores would close at 6pm on Saturday and re-open on Monday. Then my parents moved from our small community in western Quebec to Montreal, stores would stay open 9 til 9.

This coming Monday in Montreal downtown core the stores will remain open 24/7, new project, apparently to increase achalandage.

I visited lakeside last June, I found it to be so calm and stress free compare to up here.

Returning to stress free Lakeside in a week's time, hopefully to set things up to become a Snowbird and eventually a full grown expat from the land of the harsh/cold winters, I just can not spend an other winter up here.

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Another nice thing is that most who don't see it as we do have returned or are returning NOB( as soon as they can find a buyer for their houses). So, just happy folks (mostly) here. :)

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I've watched this topic but not bothered to respond to it. After a number of "vacations" looking for a retirement place in the states but never finding the right one, my wife and I came to Mexico after reading an article in AARP( a senior focused magazine. We liked the climate, the food, the prices and found a place right away. We were one of those couples who didn't rent first and got lucky. After visiting our place in San Antonio for a few weeks each summer when school wasn't in session, we moved here full time in 2011. After a year in a gated community, we wanted more of a town experience and bought a house in San Juan Cosala. All of these decisions have been great for us and we hope to stay here the rest of our lives. Each person's needs are different and I hope you are lucky too. Good luck with your search.

Gary

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I was feeling tired of driving around Central/Western Mexico for six months with a dog in the back of the car looking for "just the right spot".

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I lived in many places in Pennsylvania and Florida (and a few States in between for shorter periods). I had lots of professional friends--folks I worked with--but I found that neighbors were just too busy doing things to become involved in any real social life. Well, my one neighbor in his 90s did visit every week or so--to measure my lawn!! Hiring lawn and garden people was a nightmare. Just when they hit their stride they were out of business or just didn't show up. It gave the 90-something year old lots of opportunity to torture me. I had to stay at work (mandatory) every time there was a major snow storm (Pennsylvania) and during the tropical storms (Florida). I experienced "cabin fever" in Pennsylvania. I hated driving 50 miles each way to work in the winter in Pennsylvania. Then there was the gold paint on the house in Florida! I won't even go there!

Any rate I came to Mexico and within weeks--without having a job--I had friends! Lots of very nice friends. Friends who made it their business to care for others. No one measures my lawn. The gardener is happy to work here. The grass is cut without fail every Wednesday. I have a ton of Mexican friends now, too. My social life is full, the retirement checks show up in my bank account every month, the sun is shining almost every day, I sleep soundly and eat healthy foods--I haven't been through a fast food drive through in three years and counting--I don't have a car and I don't care about traffic, I love to take the bus around Lakeside and into Guadalajara, I can walk and be greeted by most of my neighbors. There are movies and live entertainment here and in Guadalajara that I can easily afford, I shop at real Mexican stores and markets (not the one's that have the "special" gringo prices), I spend evenings with international friends on the malecon. I could go on and on. One of my friends from Pittsburgh--a top ten livable city in the U.S.--just quoted the price of a cup of coffee at a regular restaurant in Pittsburgh. Holy smoke! The price wasn't for a Starbuck's coffee! Didn't I remember the 5 cent cup when I was young? What's happening? The opportunities to volunteer here to make the world a better place are also phenomenal. There were places in the U.S. but here they are close together and ...well, I have to stop going on like this or they will throw me off Chapala.com.

The funny thing is that all my friends from the U.S. visit and want to stay here to live--but they are too young to retire. It isn't just my imagination that Lakeside is the best place for me to retire. All those guests feel the same way.

I agree with MC. Lakeside does float my boat.

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One of my friends from Pittsburgh--a top ten livable city in the U.S.--just quoted the price of a cup of coffee at a regular restaurant in Pittsburgh. Holy smoke! The price wasn't for a Starbuck's coffee! Didn't I remember the 5 cent cup when I was young? What's happening?

I hear you about the price of coffee NOB. There is a resort area in Texas surrounded by several lakes that we like to visit, and 2 very nice and usually crowded restaurants where we like to have breakfast, one Mexican, one long time establishment. Recently we ate at both and were shocked that the coffee prices in both had jumped from $1.10 a cup(unlimited refills) to $1.50 a cup (unlimited refills). Now we never drink more than 3 cups each, so a 36% increase in price is just unbelievable. Next they will probably start fooling with the $5.99 breakfast(2 eggs, 2 thick bacon, hash browns, 2 biscuits, gravy) ! What is happening NOB?

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After spending every winter in Canada for over 50 years, you just get fed up. We would usually spend a couple of weeks every year in the Riviera Maya, and really enjoyed it. But after checking some condo prices, and seeing the results of hurricanes, we decided to check out the west coast and Mazatlan. It was nice and not as touristy, but we were there for one week in September, followed by one week in Vegas. That's when we truly saw the difference between the humid and dry heat.

So we decided to visit Ajijic in November. Wow! the weather was great! The cool mountain air with the tropical sun makes for a pleasant combination. We visited again, in February, March and June, and every time the weather was great, even with the rain.

We also liked that it wasn't 'touristy'. Also, most of the expats are really friendly, and it's easy to make friends around here.

Pete

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More food is now imported and the dollar is without any real value. It is all smoke and mirrors. We just used a Tucson dental clinic and it is nothing more than a “billing machine“. We paid in full, then they tried to charge our medical insurance companies too. We have no dental insurance, so that was rejected, but it showed their stripes and the “American Way“.

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