Driving in Mexico


Driving in Mexico – PLEASE PAY ATTENTION

Driving is a challenge

When you get into Mexico and you decide you want to drive, be very careful. They drive a little different down here and you really need to pay attention.

I have a few tips that will save you from getting mad, or going insane, or crashing.

I have this thing I call “make a lane”. That’s when you are driving along and traffic is starting to back up and the cars behind you will take to the right side of the road and the left side of the road even though they are not lanes. You will suddenly be driving in a four-lane road that just minutes ago was a two-lane highway. Sometimes the new lane is just parking lots on the side of the road, but they become the road. It’s best not to freak out its just the way things go down here. Another thing to get used to is what I call “Zip in” it happens when you leave at least 7 or 8 feet between the car in front of you empty someone will zip in the space really quick with no blinker and no room for you to do anything except brake real fast and back off. Don’t get mad it’s just kind of normal. Do not try to block the lane from people going by, like I see happen in California sometimes, as you just might just get into and accident and it will probably be your fault. Just chill you will get to your destination as you always do. The Mexican people hardly ever get mad while driving in Mexico they just drive and get to where they are going. Honking is for gringos, every time I hear a car honking, I look and its usually a gringo.


You know when you pull into a parking lot and the spaces are mostly taken and you come up on a car that has pulled in all crooked and taken two spaces. Let it go. move on its not your problem. do not leave a note or stomp around all pissed off just go find another space. I have no idea what the people are thinking, but it’s just another thing we in America find weird, but down here we just get over it.

Another crazy thing is when you are driving on a two-lane highway with a double yellow line it doesn’t mean don’t pass. Oncoming traffic will sometimes ride the middle of the double yellow line while they are right beside other cars coming the other direction until they get an opening to pass the car in front of them jumping into your lane and back into theirs hopefully not crashing into you or anyone else. 

If you are going up a hill, or going around a big corner don’t think the bus or big truck, or a few cars behind you are not going to pass you on a double yellow line road as they will if they think they can make it. It has happened to me many times and it totally freaks me out thinking someone is going to be coming over the hill or around the corner. Try to relax and pay close attention and slow down a bit in case they have to come back into your lane. 

Something else you will want to review over and over is the letterals which is turning right to turn left. Yup pull over to the right to make the left-hand turn. Most Gringos stay in the lane without moving over to the right with their left-hand blinker on to turn left which is the signal in Mexico for people behind you to go ahead and pass you. Which turns out to be a big fat crash for you by turning left and the guy passing you. YOUR FAULT!

 Something else you should know before you get into a car in Mexico is when you come to an intersection with signal lights DO NOT GO IMMEDIATELY WHEN IT TURNS GREEN. Wait and look BOTH WAYS before you enter the intersection, because there is usually a car or two or three that will keep going through the red light. Just relax and be calm and your turn will be soon. 

Make sure if you are staying in Mexico for 6 months or more to get a drivers license. There is a chapter in my new book that explains all about it.

Robertos’s Bungalows previous owners Earl and Jane Miller now have two new rentals www.lacasapinapina.com





Robertos’s Bungalows was one of the best places to stay in San Pancho. The owners Jane and Earl sold to some awesome people Mara and Juan from Guatalajara.

They have remodeled the Bungalows and it is beautiful and we have built a new home and two large rentals.

We took everything we learned from 14 years of running the Bungalows and now believe we have two of the best rentals in San Pancho. Beautiful views and awesome suites. Come visit us and kick back by the pool and enjoy life the way it should be lived.

Animal Woman


Animal Woman

So you’ve heard of Wonder Woman, Super Woman, Cat Women, Bat Woman, Spider Woman, Invisible Woman, but right here in San Pancho we have Animal Woman!

Well let me introduce you to San Pancho’s own Animal Woman. Many folks call her the turtle lady. Which is what she is known as here in the village. I believe we should call her Animal Woman, because she loves animals. https://www.project-tortuga.org/https://www.project-tortuga.org/

    This beautiful woman cares about every single living thing that is not human. I know she likes humans, but she likes animals much more. What she has focused on for the last 10 years here in the Jungle besides turtles is all living bugs, snakes, butterflies birds, whales, cats, dogs, bees, raccoons, spiders, crabs and anything else that breathes. 

    We met a long time ago and if you are lucky enough to meet her you realize that her whole world evolves around taking care of animals that are broken and those who have lost their families. 

    Today we stopped by the turtle sanctuary here in San Pancho to see if she knew what to do with a big nest of bees. We explained what the nest looked like and the kind of bees that were hanging out. She said don’t disturb them, as they are very necessary for our area. She said go home and we will be there soon. 

    She came by our home to gather up the bees nest that has been getting larger by the day and tons of bees. She and her friends successfully removed the nest and all the bees and brought them to their new home. (Anywhere but my house is good) Before I met her I would have sprayed them with Raid and then chopped down the nest and killed them all. I have changed, because of her. While she was here to get the bees she was walking by the pool and bent down and scooped up a little moth and she blew its wings dry and set it down in the sun and a few minutes later it flew away. Now I have started looking for bugs and moths that have landed in the pool. After drying them in the sun many of them fly away. 

    Last week I was driving by her on the road out to the jungle with a friend and she waved us to stop. She asked if we could do her a favor and as always I said maybe. I believe it’s not a good idea to say yes without finding out what the favor is, because I’ve had some pretty strange favors asked of me. She says will you take this snake and release it out in the jungle? Then she hands me a big jar with a towel draped over it. I look in the jar and there is a very pretty little snake (I don’t like snakes) and she says keep the towel over the jar, because the snake is really stressed out. She said please take it to the jungle and release it to its new home. 

    We drive off with the snake and release him or her into the wild. If anyone in the village has an animal that needs help she is the one they call. 

She is one of a kind and the whole village loves her! Animal Woman!

Brought to you by Earl Miller- http://www.lacasapina.com

Sanpancholife.com    Newsletters, website and videos




Louder Barkers in Mexico?


The question I ask you is…

Do Mexican dogs bark louder than American Dogs because they can?

When we first got here to Riviera Nayarit MEXICO 15 Years ago I noticed a real large mangy dog population everywhere roaming the streets in all the villages along the ocean up the coast from Puerto Vallarta.

Most of the dogs looked pretty much the same, small white and about a foot and a half tall that had turned brown and black from the sandy dusty streets. It seems as though someone came and dropped off about three to four dozen of the same looking dogs to each village up the coast then left.

A lot of Dogs here sleep in the streets and will not move when you drive down the streets in your car. I think it’s, because the dogs party all night staying awake barking and running all over town and down to the beach and by morning they are really tired. Mornings are kinda quiet most of the time. At the beach they act just like the tourists, as they are everywhere playing, running and swimming and just having a blast.

I kind of like the idea of a free for all dog World. We came from such an uptight dog world in the U.S. It is so much different here than in the states. I’m sure the U.S. will soon pass new laws where you will have to have your dog on a leash even in your own home. Now that I have been here for a bunch of years things have changed. The dogs still run wild and it seems as though each and everyone in the village joined in and adopted one or got one or two new breeds of dogs for themselves, but I will say it seems that almost every dog has an owner.

If they pass a law here like in the states about every dog needs to be on a leash…..I’m going to open a leash store here in Mexico and get rich. Lately our neighborhood has started to look like a summer spa retreat for dogs of every breed, as there are people walking dogs everywhere. They are really not bothering anyone, but me. I can’t help it I have to tell the truth I just get a little (no a lot) irritated with all the barking.

We got ourselves a bark fest day and night. I’m really not sure what they bark about, but they must be having fun. I actually think they know it irritates me.

We have a little tiny dog a few doors down that doesn’t know she’s little. Every time a dog walks by she loses her mind. Then with her little squeaky bark all hell breaks loose, as she is having the time of her life.

One day I walked over to my neighbors a few houses down and I saw a couple dogs standing on their back legs barking into megaphones pointed right at me. Maybe it’s time for U.S. laws to start coming down here on the coast of Mexico.

No -No – No——-Not on your life….just going to go with the flow. I’m just going to imagine it as real loud bad disco music.

Love me a bunch of happy Mexican dogs.

A neighborhood dog
My dog Cassy




As former owners of Robertos Bungalows, we received the certificate of excellence for more than 6 years. We continue this excellence at Casa Piña. 

We are so happy to share the news that owners of Roberto’s Bungalows. We have sold the boutique hotel and have spent the last year building our new home and rentals. With excellent views of the mountain range all around us from the both suites outdoor patios. We paid special attention to all the years of making the hotel the best place to stay in San Pancho. We welcome all of you to experience our Suites and our magical village. We have always treated everyone as family and will continue with our new Suites. Please book early, as the dates fill up fast.

No Show!


What we didn’t see at

the movies! With a lesson well learned.

Jane and I decided to go to the movies today to see Bohemian rhapsody. We wanted to go to the new lush theatre (La Isla) in Puerto Vallarta.

We headed out very excited to order meals along with popcorn. I’ve been told that the seats are the most comfortable imaginable. The drive took about an hour which is always very scary….

Got to the Mall, parked and headed up to the theatre. We walk in and it looks awesome and they tell us when we get to our seats a waiter will bring us a menu. I’m very excited thinking about what I’m going to be eating when the Rock and roll starts.

The cost is $5.00 each, so I pull out my credit card, because I’m ready to order up some unhealthy snacks and dinner. The girl says Oh our system is down, so we can’t sell anything unless it’s cash. I can’t believe my ears…. We ask her where the ATM is and she says there isn’t one here at the mall. What? Are you kidding me? This is the most high end mall within hundreds of miles. NO ATM….

She tells us that just down the highway is another mall (about 1 mile) and they have an ATM in a local Irish bar. We are just totally blown away. We don’t want to get in the car and drive to the ATM. Well all this for nothing… Let’s go home… As we are leaving down the escalator Jane says “hey I have about $100.00 in U.S. Cash. We head back up the stairs to the theatre. We both are smiling from ear to ear thinking about red vines and popcorn and maybe some milk duds. We walk back in and real loud I say “problem solved and the clerks are smiling and we say…. We have a bunch of American cash… Both the clerks smiles went away and the lady says…. We’re so sorry… We don’t take American money.

We walk out totally defeated and decide to go home and try to forget why we drove a couple hours for absolutely nothing. And in the greater scheme of things…. we had a really great adventure and a real good lesson learned. Any time we spend together is a gift and usually learning a new lesson

Hawaiian Shirts…….. WHY?


imageHawaiian Shirts… why and where they came from.
This story takes place in a movie theatre a bunch of years ago. I was watching a movie called Patch Adams. The movie reminded me a lot of myself and how I like to take care of others and make people laugh. The movie was about half over when I noticed something and it was that when ever Robin Williams would come into a new scene and he would have a Hawaiian shirt on it would make me smile. I started to think about it and I came up with a great idea. I was going to go home and throw all my shirts out and buy nothing but Hawaiian shirts. I thought that if it made me happy it would do the same for other people. It would make them happy and they would say something to me and it would give me a chance to talk with them. Well I decided to go to the mall and buy some shirts and my wife was still not convinced. She told me not to throw out my shirts until I knew that it was the right thing to do. She is always one step ahead of me, but this time I had a real cool feeling that this was going to be the start of something new. So at the mall I bought 3 really nice Hawaiian shirts and took them home. In the morning we were headed to San dieago so my wife could meet up with her parents. So in the morning we headed to the airport and I had my first very cool Hawaiian shirt on and it made me feel great. It was black and had pineapples all over it. We stopped off at a restaurant in San Jose, California on the way to the airport and while we were there I went to the mensroom and when I was walking out this mean looking biker about twice my size was coming towards me and I moved out of the way. He stared at me and I thought he was going to say something mean to me, but instead he said “hey nice shirt man” and I smiled and walked out. When I got back to my table I told my wife what just happened and she smiled and said maybe I was right. Well we got to the airport and got on the plane and while we were in the air one of the attendants came by and said “hey nice shirt” and I was kinda blown away. We landed and headed off to the hotel to meet up with Jane’s mom and dad. When we got there we were checking in at the hotel and the lady behind the counter looked up at us and smiled and said “hey nice shirt”. I was beside myself, because each time someone had said nice shirt I got a chance to engage into a small conversation with each one. In the morning jane and her dad were headed to a prison and her mom and I headed on the train to Mexico. When we got back we headed to old town san dieago for some Mexican food. We ate at a great restaurant and while we were seated someone walked by and said “nice shirt” and all excited I told Jane’s folks what was going on. After dinner we decided to go to a play that was in this real nice round theatre. The play was called forever plaid. The play was really fun and while the play was going on I noticed one of the guys in the play every now and then would look up our way. I thought he knew someone around us. We were about ¾ the way up the round in the theater. Very close to the top row. When there was a intermission the guys in the play were making adjustments to the stage and the one guy who kept looking up into the crowd was now putting up some poles with strings of lights on them. I saw him look up in out direction and all of a sudden he was coming up the stairs to the top of the auditorium and he stopped at the end of our row. I was convinced he was coming up to say hello to someone sitting by us and he started excusing himself to move in front of all the people in our row. When he finally got to us he looked down at me and said “hey man that’s a real nice shirt”. I was totally convinced that this was no coincidence. This was the final confirmation that I was to go home and throw all my shirts away and just buy all Hawaiian. I have since that day wore only Hawaiian shirts and have almost 300 to date. Hey “nice shirt” is music to my ears!