X is for Xcaret

X” is for Xcaret. Xcaret is a pretty cool attraction on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Not too far from Cancun. They call it an “eco-archaeological park”. It’s one of those tourist attractions your hotel will try to set you up with, which was how I found out about it.

I was on vacation with a friend in Cancun a few years ago. I’m past the point of spending my vacations just drinking and partying. I like to explore the place I’m in. My friend is older than I am. She likes to learn about new places too, but at a much more relaxed pace.

We decided to check out Xcaret since it looked like it had enough things to do so that we could both do different things and neither would get bored.

I was really into the whole idea of drifting down the underground rivers, snorkeling with dolphins (extra $$$), and checking out the Mayan ruins. She was more into watching the local dancers and talking to the other tourists while drinking a few cold ones. 🙂

We met up when I took a break at the end of a river run. I went quite a few times before I was ready to try snorkeling. I was disappointed with the snorkeling tho, it was really nothing special. At least not where I was. I saw lots of rocky limestone lagoons, I don’t remember seeing coral. Plenty of fish, but not a lot of variety or color. Maybe I just missed the good stuff?

Neither of us did much exploring of the terrain. I did take a walk around the lagoon, but it was very hot and I couldn’t wait to get back in the water. The landscape was just not that interesting to me. I saw a lot of iguanas and a few brightly colored birds (but I couldn’t ID them). We both really enjoyed watching the shows. The dancers were fantastic.

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One Word Photo Challenge: Drink

The word for this weeks One Word Photo Challenge is: drink.

Delicious, icy cold margarita. Yum. 🙂 I enjoy a good margarita anytime, but even better on a beautiful day on a beach in Mexico.

A to Z: TEFL

Todays post for the A to Z Challenge is: TEFL-teaching English as a foreign language. This is something I’ve been considering since we first went to Thailand to find the cause of the tsunami when I was still working for Oceaneering.

I really loved Thailand and wanted to figure out a way to move there. I started looking into what it would take to move there permanently. I found out that I would not be allowed to work as anything other than an English teacher.

Of course, if I wasn’t working- if I wanted to open a business and hire locals, or I was rich enough to ‘retire’ with a steady income- then I would be welcome. I just wouldn’t be allowed to take any job from a local.

Turns out, it was pretty much the same story in every other country I looked into. 😦

For years, taking the TEFL course was in the back of my mind. I was interested in doing it, but as long as I was working offshore, I just couldn’t justify giving up that lifestyle.

Well, things have changed drastically around here lately. I got laid off last September. I did manage to find a job after that, but it didn’t last long. I work a couple of days a month up in Houston. I’m still hoping to get a call to go back offshore any day, but it’s getting harder to keep that hope going as the days keep passing with no calls, no response to emails or online applications, nothing. 😦

I finally went to take the course and get certified in TEFL. I had a great time while taking the course in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico a couple of months ago. I got to teach and I actually kind of enjoyed it. I think once I get used to it, I might like it.

I came back home because I was supposed to ship out for a short job. Short, but long enough to stock up the savings again. I had planned to go right back down to Mexico to start teaching. I had to put that on hold. I’m still waiting to ship out. 😦

Graduation!

It’s over. The time flew by so fast. My time in Puerto Vallarta is coming to an end.

I went to class this morning only to have any last minute questions answered and to receive my final documents. I got my TEFL certificate and letter of recommendation. I have an official TEFL website now and it doesn’t look too bad. Check it out! Let me know what you think. 🙂

We had our class photo taken with our newly minted diplomas, and that was it!

Los Arcos to Las Animas

Sunday the whole group of us from our school went out sailing Bay of Banderas on a friends boat (thanks again Memo!). We had a great time.

We left around 1030 and came back in around 1930. We cruised from the Puerto Vallarta marina down to Los Arcos. We set out a couple of fishing rods and trolled along as we made our way. We passed schools of fish and a few dolphins along the way. It was so nice.

We stopped for a swim at Los Arcos, a big bunch of rocks just offshore. The water was a clear blue-green. There were hundreds of fish swimming around. There were a few other boats there before us and people were busy feeding the fish, swimming, kayaking, and just generally having a good time.

It was so nice to dive in and luxuriate in the cool, clean, clear water. I swam around and took pictures of the fish. I wasn’t brave enough to try swimming through the arches and caves, but some people did.

We headed back out to sail some more after our nice swim, we were on our way to Las Animas Beach. Raul kept watch on the boat as the water taxi ferried us in to the beach. We had lunch over a couple of big margaritas at Los Conos.

The beach was actually pretty busy. Los Conos is right up on the beach. The view of the boats swaying on the bay and the kids making sandcastles on the beach was so relaxing. The few peddlers who wandered by were mostly entertaining, especially this one guy with his pet iguana. He was hilarious. 🙂

The restaurant was busy and the staff was a little overwhelmed, but they brought us our drinks quickly and the food was good. I had cheese quesadillas. I’m not big on seafood and that’s more their specialty. Everyone’s fish and shrimp looked very well prepared and no one complained about the food. 🙂

The water ferry took us back out to the boat and we clambered back aboard the Bella Maria. As we were getting underway, friends pulled up to say hi. They were in a little speedboat (the Calypso) and just out having a good time on the water.

We challenged each other with beer and raicilla, whistling and dancing to loud Mexican music. We rode together for about an hour before they got tired of poking around so slow with us and took off for home, leaving us in their wake. Who cared? We still had plenty of beer. They did make off with the last of the raicilla tho. 😦

We sailed back towards the marina as the sun set to port and the full moon rose to starboard. It was a magical time. Everyone was in good spirits and happy to have spent the day together.

Final Week

Class will finish up this week, so things will be busy around here for a couple of days. Actually, I’ve been fairly busy all along. I haven’t been posting much (and probably won’t be) because the internet has been really bad the last couple of days and I can’t stand sitting here trying to work (and not able to get anything done) while I should be out enjoying Puerto Vallarta.

Saturday I spent the morning taking it easy. I had breakfast at the little cantina downstairs, picked up my laundry, picked up a few things at the store. I took the bus down to the marina after it started cooling off a little bit.

I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t bigger. Other than that, it was about what I expected. Lots of expensive shops and plenty of tourists. A few big yachts but most looked like they were actually used and not just show boats like a lot of them you see in Miami or Houston.

As expected, the gates to the docks were locked. I couldn’t get down to the boats to talk to any crew members. I figured there wasn’t much hope, but still worth a try. I wouldn’t mind working on a private vessel again. It might even be fun for a change.

I wandered around for a while, hoping to find a good sailors bar where I could hang out for a while and get the scoop over a few drinks. Sorry to say, I didn’t find any place that looked likely for real sailors to hang out.

I rode the elevator up to the top of the lighthouse (El Faro). I thought I might have a snack and watch the sunset. It was a gorgeous view. They only had chicken wings and I just wasn’t in the mood for those, so I took a few pictures and headed back down to wander some more.

I met a nice guy from Tennessee. He was a former USCG mariner so we had a pretty good conversation. It was nice talking to someone who ‘gets it’. I really miss being on the water. Most people just don’t understand. It gets in your blood.

I had a nice steak dinner at a place called the Rincon de Buenos Aires (Argentinian Steak House). They had a special offering of green salad, baked potato and skirt steak for 195 pesos. I paid about $15 for dinner and a drink.

The steak was great, cooked perfectly and plenty big. I could hardly finish it. The baked potato was big, but they didn’t put anything on it but butter. I asked for sour cream and they brought some, but it was not the same thing we get at home. The salad was big, but they only had Italian dressing and it wasn’t really very flavorful. They brought out a bread basket with chimichurra sauce, but I didn’t want to fill up on bread.

I did really enjoy my steak, but I wasn’t real impressed with the restaurant other than that. First of all, it was very hot. I was dripping. The hostess tried to help me by pulling my table (which was up against the wall in a dark corner) out so that it was under a ceiling fan. I appreciated the effort, but it didn’t help much.

The waiters were all polite and helpful, but it was very busy so they were slow to come by. A man at the next table flagged them down for me once after I had been waving at them for about 10 minutes.

It was definitely a very popular place. I would go back for the food, but only if I made sure beforehand it was a slow time.

Sunday morning we got to go out sailing with Erica and her friend Memo. He has a beautiful sailboat and kindly offered to take our whole class out sailing for the day. I’ll have more on that later.

Today was Monday. Back to school. I got my last 2 teaching assignments this morning, and so spent some time working on my lesson plans this afternoon. I’ve got early classes tomorrow and Wednesday, and we have another essay due Wednesday too, so I’ll be busy for the next couple of days with school work.

It’s already 2300. I need to get off here and get some sleep. I need to get up EARLY tomorrow! 😦

Marina

Last night I went to watch the dancers again (will upload photos later). I got there 45 minutes early and STILL couldn’t get a seat where I could see to take good pictures. So I stood again for the whole show ( 2 hours +45 mins). My back was killing me by the time it was over, but I did at least manage to get some decent pictures this time.

I met my friends from the TEFL course there and we wandered down the Malecon afterwards. We stopped to have dinner and a couple of margaritas. I had plain and they had strawberry. Instead of salt on the rim, they had spicy pepper! I’m glad I stuck with the regular. They were strong! Dinner (for 1) and 6 margaritas for $15! Our waiter turned out to be from Houston.

Doesn’t it make you wonder about our supposed economic recovery (and “free country” status) when so many Mexicans are leaving the US and finding things much better in Mexico? I’ve certainly found things much better here than at home. I would love to live here permanently and I’m seriously considering it. That’s the whole reason I’m getting certified in TEFL. It will finally allow me a way to get out of the US.

I’ll just have to adjust to a serious pay cut (about 90%!) and so far I’m not really ready to accept that.

Today, I’m going to the marina. I’m hoping I can get in to wander around the docks and talk to people there. I’d like to find out about the possibilities of working on some of those yachts. If I can’t get down on the docks (which is more and more common today and a SERIOUS disadvantage to those of us who work aboard), then I’ll try to find a bar where the sailors hang out.

I’ll try to find  out through word of mouth if anyone is looking for crew, or if there is someplace with a bulletin board, or if there are any other hang outs. That has worked for me before. When I finished high school on the sailing ships and was supposed to have a job working my way home on a ship from London and it fell through, luckily I found a job helping out on a Thames sailing barge for the summer. I had the best time that summer!

I wouldn’t mind doing something like that again. 🙂

Sopa de Fideo (Mexican Noodle Soup) Recipe | SAVEUR

The thin vermicelli-like noodles called fideos add starch and body to this elemental Mexican tomato soup.

Source: Sopa de Fideo (Mexican Noodle Soup) Recipe | SAVEUR

Sunset

Today we had ourselves videotaped. We were all nervous in class and spent every minute practicing our grammar points and introductions. We went over to the other classroom (out of the glare) and we each got to present our grammar points in front of the camera. I’ll put up a link when they make it available.

Afterwards, I taught my one student again, we reviewed adverbs and adjectives and then had a few conversations to try and get the idea of how we show interest in English across. I think it went pretty well. Tomorrow we’ll start a new lesson and then it’s the weekend!

I went to watch the sunset on the beach right behind my apartment. There was a girl sitting out near the water with her little dachshund puppy. I enjoyed watching it running around and having so much fun.

It was a beautiful sunset, the tide was low today so I didn’t get soaked like last time. It was nice, with a little breeze and watching the sailboats, birds and the little puppy on the beach. Puerto Vallarta really is a great place to spend time. I could definitely see myself staying here for a while. 🙂

Farmers Greens

Here’s another entry for Jennifer’s Color Your World challenge for the color green.

I took these photos at the farmers market, downtown Puerto Vallarta last Saturday. There were plenty of ‘greens’ to be seen. 😉

Sunday Surfday

We’ve all been looking forward to our excursion to Sayulita and Nahui. We took off at around 1030 this morning, it took around an hour to get to Sayulita.

It’s a funky looking little town, with narrow winding cobblestone streets. Brightly colored 2-3 story houses line the roads. Shops selling clothes, jewelry, crafts, tourist and surfing stuff seemed to be the majority of things to see. There were plenty of bars, restaurants and coffee shops around too.

In the square, they had set up a market with local artists selling their wares. This was the most interesting to me. They were teaching a bunch of little girls how to weave, and they even had a yoga session for the kids. That was fun to watch. 🙂

The beach was very crowded and full of surfers. It looked like a good place to learn to surf and I guess it must be, since I saw at least 3 different surf schools in the 10 minutes I spent on the beach!

Sayulita seems like a cool little town, but I think a little too crowded for me, and for sure too touristy! I had enough of that in Florida.

So, we piled back into the car and headed to Nahui. It was a nice drive through forested mountains, catching glimpses of the blue-green ocean every few minutes. We arrived to a full parking lot and I was wondering what happened to the nice, quiet isolated beach we were hoping for?

The view from the edge of the cliff behind the parking lot was stunning. The ocean was clear all the way to Tahiti! You could see the mountains lining the bay far off in the distance and a couple of islands way offshore. A few sailboats were out enjoying the beautiful weather offshore.

We found the stairs (thank god) and wandered down the beach til we found a good spot up near the rocky cliffs to camp out.

The water was cold at first but after a minute it was perfect. The waves were a lot bigger than I was used to. We just don’t get large waves in the Gulf of Mexico (except when there’s a hurricane coming close). The waves stirred up a lot of sand and there really wasn’t any calm water til you got out past where the waves started breaking.

I never did manage that. I got washed around pretty good for a while. Gave it up and took a break. The sun started getting to me so I went back in the water for a while. It was OK if I stayed close to shore.

As the afternoon was ending, we were all pretty beat and ready to head back home. I was nodding asleep in the car til we would hit a sleeping policeman going a little too fast. Whoa! That’ll wake you up!

PS- There are a lot of photos in this post, but they’re not showing up here. You’ll have to click on the original post on my other blog to see them. Go to http://www.captainjillsjourneys.com. That address is the proper address for my blog now.

Color Your World: Gray

I heard about Jennifer’s Color Your World challenge from Cee, her beautiful flower photos showed up in my reader and caught my eye. I had to click through to see the rest of her photos. 🙂

Today’s challenge color is: gray. Here’s my best shot. 🙂

I took it a couple of years ago. I was supposed to fly out to the rig for work, but they had canceled the helicopters due to the heavy fog. So, we rode the crewboat out instead. This supply boat was following us out the channel, they passed by pretty close to us as we exited the Fourchon jetties. This is one of my favorite shots. I’ve even put it on some of my business cards. It’s one of Aries Marine’s vessels: the Betty Pfankuch.

I doubt I’ll be able to participate in this challenge every day. I’m in Mexico and in school and I don’t want to spend all my time here on the computer. It does look like a fun challenge, so I’ll join in and play along when I can. Here’s the link with more info, and you can sign up if you want to. 🙂

Mardi Gras on the Malecon!

Yesterday I finished early and went down to the Malecon in time for the Mardi Gras parade. I walked around the pier and watched the sun set, watched the pirate ship come in and talked to some of the artists.

When the sirens started going off, I followed the crowds up the street to watch the parade go by. I posted tons of photos on here, but they’re not showing up. If you want to see them (and you do!), go look at my new blog! www.captainjillsjourneys.com

It was pretty good. Much smaller than what I imagine New Orleans or Rio to be. I liked the fact that anyone was welcome to join in. I loved that there were hardly any crowds. It was great to be able to see everything clearly. I was able to get some decent photos. The only problem I had was that they were moving by so quickly and a lot of them were dancing. It was hard to get good, clear, sharp pictures.

Everyone was having a great time. The costumes were ‘fabulous’. I loved watching the dancers. Those guys were really hot! Too bad they were mostly all gay. I kept thinking to myself, “what a waste!” The crowd seemed pretty subdued for a Mardi Gras parade. Maybe it was still too early? I do notice the crowd here in Puerto Vallarta is much older than in New Orleans.

After the parade, I went back to the Malecon to watch the pirates shoot off their fireworks. I’ve noticed they usually start right after 2100, they waited til after the parade. I’m not sure why since the fireworks only last about 5 minutes.

The clowns were putting on a show at the arches again and there was a pretty big audience. I wish I understood Spanish better so I could really get what they’re saying. Clowns are funny anyway, but these particular ones seem to talk alot. 😉

I got home in plenty of time to get a good nights sleep (but stayed up late on the computer again).

Playa Colomitos

We loaded up the van and headed out of town to Colomitos Beach. Driving along narrow, twisting mountain roads, we caught glimpses of the ocean between beautifully built houses and ritzy resorts. We passed by Los Arcos, and not too much further came to the turn-off for Bocas de Tomatlan.

It’s a funky little fishing town, most well known for the beach side restaurants and as the place to catch the water taxi for more remote beaches up the coast. Laura found her own shoe store!

From Bocas, we hiked up and over (and around and down) the path to Colomitos Beach. I had to stop and rest a few times, my legs were getting shaky. It’s not the way to go if you’re knees are weak. I should have just taken the water taxi.

only about 1/4 there!

only about 1/4 there!

I was SO ready to dive in the water, it looked so inviting. And I was so tired, hot and sweaty from the hike. I wished I could’ve just jumped in from the hills, but figured I might really hurt myself. The beach was clean and surprisingly crowded. After that hike, I thought it would be empty.

As soon as we hit the sand, we dumped our stuff and ran into the surf. It was COLD. But only for a minute, then it was just perfect!

I was disappointed not to see more interesting sea life. I only saw a couple of fish flit by on the sandy bottom. There weren’t even any fish around the rocks.

Colomitos was getting more crowded, so we decided to move on. To the waterfalls? Or the next beach? Since the little stream that cut through the beach wasn’t even able to reach the sea, we figured the waterfalls wouldn’t be too impressive at this point. We decided to head to the next beach.

A couple more students from our school made the trek with us with their cute little girl and their puppy. I felt a little embarrassed that she could make the hike with no problems and I was huffing and puffing all the way. But I did eventually make it. 🙂

Again, it was worth it. Another gorgeous little sandy beach, divided by rock piles at each end. The views back towards Colomitos and Puerto Vallarta were beautiful. The beach was much quieter. Our group was pretty much the only one there.

We had a few snacks, walked up the beach, swam some more, relaxed into the sun and sand, and when we were ready to leave, we just waved at a passing water taxi. They drove right up onto the beach and picked us up for the ride back to Bocas.

We had a late lunch at one of the little beach bars; fajitas, fish tacos, tostadas, seafood cocktails, coconut shrimp. All very fresh and they served big plates, so much food I could only eat about half. Very reasonably priced too.

We finished up and headed home. I’m staying in tonight, I have to get up early for class tomorrow. My last observation before I start teaching. (oh nooooooo…)

Fiesta Mexicana!

Friday night was the Fiesta Mexicana! Lot’s of good food and drink to sample from all the local restaurants. Different spices and flavors from all over Mexico were on offer. Tacos, fajitas, moles, pibil, burritos, tortas, corn, flan, ceviche, shrimp, fruit drinks, beer and margaritas.

Tables were set out in the park and decorated with candles and colorful linens. Lights were hung and live mariachi music kept things lively. They have this party every Friday night, starts at 1930. I’ll be back next week and hope to get a seat.

There was a pretty good crowd, especially to watch the dancers in their colorful costumes. They were all students at the dance school, but they did as well as any professional troupe.

More on that later, for now, the food!

More Malecon

Another beautiful day and a sunset on the Malecon.

Saturday was a busy day on the beach, there were a lot of entertainers out today. I saw people dressed up and playing statues, aliens, clowns. There were lots of local families out along with the tourists. All the restaurants and food stands were busy. It’s a great place to chill out and watch the sunset.

Malecon

After class yesterday, we went to the beach for a bit. Then shopping for ‘appropriate clothing’ for the classroom. Then we met our teacher back at the school to take the bus to the Malecon and Old Vallarta. (I don’t know how to put the accent marks).

S takes a dip in the ocean

S takes a dip in the ocean

The Malecon was nice. It wasn’t very crowded last night, but there was a good mix of local families and tourists from all over. We walked down the cobble-stoned ‘boardwalk’ and checked out the interesting artwork along the way.

They had sculptures (real and fake- people made up and pretending to be statues). They had sand sculptures along the waterline, some breaking up from the weather over time and some newly made.

sand artist finishing his creation

sand artist finishing his creation

There were plenty of bars, restaurants, shops and food carts (which looked delicious!). I noticed shrimp BBQ, corn on the cob and in cups, tacos, burritos, fresh fruit juices, flans, even what looked like cheesecake. YUM!

I will be back!

We walked by a park where our teacher told us they held a farmers market on the weekend and a coffee-shop/bookstore (English and Spanish). We walked up into town a couple of blocks and saw a very interesting shop with fantastic art by local indigenous people.

Some of the art was made with yarn, some with beads. Some were sculptures, some were flat and hung like paintings. The colors were brilliant, vibrant and imaginative. Inspired by the hallucinogenic visions given by the peyote cactus.

We were on our way to dinner at Derby Burgers. I think we were all starving by then. 🙂

They had a large selection of burgers, even a vegetarian option or two. They all came with a choice of sweet potato fries, regular fries or salad. I had a steak burger (without the steak sauce). The sauteed onions and mushrooms were a perfect complement to the juicy, perfectly cooked (med-rare) burger.

We all cleaned our plates. No complaints, but the Aloha Burger (with pineapple) was unexpectedly spicy.

We were all stuffed and since we had class in the morning we were ready to head home. I got in about 2300. Too bad I stayed up til 0300 on the computer!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea

Riviera Maya near Cozumel April 2013

Riviera Maya near Cozumel April 2013

I was in Mexico for a conference (moving overseas by International Living). It was great but not nearly enough time to enjoy these beautiful beaches;-)

Exerpt from an article by Jeff Berwick in the Dollar Vigilante

I hope he doesn’t mind but I really love the articles Jeff posts in the Dollar Vigilante. I completely agree with him that it is a good idea to find some way to get out of the US before its too late. I am trying my best to follow that advice but for the moment, I’m still stuck here. I cut this out and pasted it here, it is referring to other parts of the article but this is the best part…

LULLED INTO COMPLACENCY

The first two people I mentioned above have their eyes wide open and know that it is time to get out of the US and the west in general.  The third is like many people I have met.  2008 scared them but the money printing since then has lulled them into a sense of complacency.  But, this is absolutely not the time to be complacent.

There are so many indications of a rapid increase in tyranny, especially in the US, that I believe we are near another major event.  There are already capital controls in the US… although they have been deftly hidden.  FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) is now making it nearly impossible for an American to get their capital outside of the US.  Most banks and brokerages on Earth already won’t accept Americans because of it.  And every week we see more, including numerous gold storage facilities also turning away Americans.

One of the only ways to get your assets securely outside of the US as an American now is to buy foreign real estate.  And, I expect, even that will soon be shuttered.

And, the time to get a foreign passport is also running out as the “Ex-Patriot Act” continues to worm its way through congress.  Ex-Patriot is an acronym.  It stands for “Expatriation Prevention by Abolishing Tax-Related Incentives for Offshore Tenancy Act”.  You can’t be more clear than that.  There will soon be a law in the US that prevents expatriation!  If you aren’t running to get a second passport now, and have the means to do so, I don’t know how much clearer I can be about the urgency.  TDV Passports, of course, is here to help.

And now, look at what else is happening.  Some libertarians have moved to New Hampshire for the “Free State Project” to try to start a libertarian community and the local government has applied for military style armored vehicles for the explicit reason to quell this… even naming the Free State Project explicitly as being a threat.

Also, in the last week, every major bitcoin provider, person or company in the US has been subpoeanaed in New York.  You can read more about that here, “Every Important Person In Bitcoin Just Got Subpoenaed By New York’s Financial Regulator” at Forbes.  Bitcoin is an amazing revolution in money but I saw that writing on the wall in the US a few months ago when I helped found a Bitcoin ATM and then quickly withdrew… good thing or I did or my name would’ve been on that list.

I would have been in a much better position than most on that list from persecution, however, as I do not hold a US passport and hold a passport, through TDV Passports, in a much less aggressive jurisdiction as well as having all my assets outside of the US.  But I realized quickly that this was too dangerous of a thing to be involved in at this time.

Already too many people have stood up to the American empire, like Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden and Adam Kokesh.  Manning looks set to life in prison, Snowden is still in limbo and seeking political refuge in Russia and Adam Kokesh remains in a cage to this day after his house was raided by numerous men in black outfits, helicopters and tanks and a mushroom was planted.

Now, even the secure email provider that Edward Snowden used, Lavabit, shuttered their 10 year old business after being attacked by the US government for the crime of allowing people to communicate without them being able to read everything they send.  Even that was not enough though as today the founders of Lavabit are being threatened with arrest just for shutting down their business!

Countless times per day, police are killing and raping people and shutting down businesses in the US.

Here is one of the latest from Huffington Post:

A small organic farm in Arlington, Texas, was the target of a massive police action last week that included aerial surveillance, a SWAT raid and a 10-hour search.

Members of the local police raiding party had a search warrant for marijuana plants, which they failed to find at the Garden of Eden farm. But farm owners and residents who live on the property told a Dallas-Ft. Worth NBC station that the real reason for the law enforcement exercise appears to have been code enforcement. The police seized “17 blackberry bushes, 15 okra plants, 14 tomatillo plants … native grasses and sunflowers,” after holding residents inside at gunpoint for at least a half-hour, property owner Shellie Smith said in a statement. The raid lasted about 10 hours, she said.

Local authorities had cited the Garden of Eden in recent weeks for code violations, including “grass that was too tall, bushes growing too close to the street, a couch and piano in the yard, chopped wood that was not properly stacked, a piece of siding that was missing from the side of the house, and generally unclean premises,” Smith’s statement said. She said the police didn’t produce a warrant until two hours after the raid began, and officers shielded their name tags so they couldn’t be identified.

DO NOT GET COMPLACENT

It is our job here at The Dollar Vigilante to keep abreast of what is going on and I can tell you personally, the US is one of the most dangerous places on Earth at this moment in time to live and keep your capital.  And forget about making money.  The land of opportunity is no more.

Even trying to operate a lemonade stand without a permit results in numerous government goons arriving, people ending up in handcuffs and arrest threats being made.

Lemonadefreedom.com just started up to make this starkly clear.  John Stossel, one of the only reasonable voices on Fox News also went through the process to open a child’s lemonade stand.

Here is what it takes in the land of the free for a child to open a lemonade stand:

1) Register as sole proprietor with the County Clerk’s Office (must be done in person)

2) Apply to the IRS for an Employer Identification Number

3) Complete 15-hr Food Protection Course!

4) After the course, register for an exam that takes 1 hr. You must score 70 percent to pass. (Sample question: “What toxins are associated with the puffer fish?”) If you pass, allow 3-5 weeks for delivery of Food Protection Certificate.

5) Register for sales tax Certificate of Authority

6) Apply for a Temporary Food Service Establishment Permit. Must bring copies of the previous documents and completed forms to the Consumer Affairs Licensing Center.

Do you know what the process is to open a lemonade stand in Mexico, Chile or most other non-western countries on Earth?  You need some lemons and some cups.

IT’S ALL OVER BUT THE FEMA CAMPS

I’ve been way ahead of the curve here.  For more than three years now I’ve been advising to get your ass and assets outside of the US.   I even did an interview with Adam Kokesh where I advised him to get out of the US and come to Acapulco (Preview) for his own safety.  He’s now been kidnapped and is sitting in a cage.

There will be no political solutions to the collapse of the US empire.  My upcoming book, “Escape from Amerika” further states this.  It’s all over except for the FEMA camps and likely another false flag event to shut the whole place down like a prison.

The End Of The Monetary System As We Know It (TEOTMSAWKI) cometh.  I don’t know what else to tell you except that I have already gotten out of the West and taken all the same advice that I offer here (and in our paid newsletter with even more detailed information).  I’ve put my money where my mouth is.

And, if you are logical and rational and have done your research, you know I will be right.  Sadly.

If you have an IRA either cash it out (preferably) or if you are unwilling, put it into a Self-Directed IRA (TDV Self Directed IRAs again can help here) and get most of your assets outside of the US.  You can even buy investment property in foreign countries… GGC being my own #1 pick – although I am obviously biased.  But if you go down to Chile, see the free-er market in action, the economic growth and the location (it is Napa Valley in the 1940s) you will see clearly what I see.  It’s that blatantly obvious.

As for me, I just arrived in Acapulco and another TDVer is in town and we’re going for a drink to discuss life, love, liberty and freedom.  All my favorite topics.

Now is not the time to get complacent.  Things are about to get real messy again and this will make 2008 look like a cakewalk.  Mark my words.