Showing posts from December, 2008

The Year of the Get Out of Cancun Road Trip

Being January 31st (ahem, edit that to December, thanks Scott!), I think we all take some time to reflect on the year past and all that it has brought. We've watched Max turn from a baby into a big boy. We lost our kitty Changa and gained our lovely brothers Buzz and Ziggy. We survived a nasty hurricane season without incident. We suffered some lows, as most everyone else did and we came out the other side with a smile. Mostly what I think about is all the adventures we've had. Our good fortune brought a car into our lives this year and we took great advantage, exploring Quintana Roo and the Yucatan Peninsula more than we ever could before. This by far was the best thing about 2008, discovering new places, some touristy, some off the beaten track, all with something incredible to offer. Here's a wrap up of just some of the wonderful family times we had in the "Year of the Get Out of Cancun Road Trip". *(clicking the links takes you to original posts abou…

"New" Beach, Punta Bete

Our usual Sunday routine is to get up, have some coffee, give some breakfast to da kid and decide which beach we're going to head to. Normally it's a "Puerto Morelos or Isla Blanca" discussion, but this past Sunday I was desperate to investigate some place we had never been before. After some simple Googling, I set my mind to Punta Bete, hidden away between Puerto Morelos and Playa del Carmen. There are no signs announcing this beach, we knew we would need our eagle eyes to catch the entrance, but we finally managed to spot our turnoff and down the rickety road we went. A few back and forths and turnarounds later we finally found the public beach access beside the fancy schmancy "Azul Fives" hotel. We knew there were beach clubs back there somewhere, and just wandered down the beach past the hoity toity tourists until we found "Los Piños", a rustic little place where we could pitch our umbrella and settle in.

Now, I am a "glass half full&…

Cancun Christmas Fair

Hello all, sorry for being MIA, we've been holiday busy and crazy around here. To summarize, Christmas Eve at home just the three of us with Costco catered dinner, the 25th with bestest BritFriends for a traditional English affair, a little bit of beach and a little bit of the Cancun Christmas Fair. Max and I still have a week of vacation left, the trick will be entertaining him with no money, our pockets are empty after last week!

Here are a few photos from Max's first trip to the fair. I had to take a deep breath and relax and embrace the idea that it was not going to be the nice, safe clean event that fairs are in Canada (haha, I know, country fairs are not notoriously clean or safe, but in comparison.....). We went early to avoid the drunken crowds and were glad to be out of there before 9:00, we started to see some stumblers and roustabouts in the crowd and the police had started to arrive in force. I was disappointed that they started the fair so late, I was really h…

Why I Choose to Live Here

So simple really. Here's a picture of my dad on Sunday, in my old hometown of Windsor, Ontario...(Hi mom and dad, wish you were here and glad I'm not there, see you soon!)

Now here is a photo of where I was on Sunday, Isla Blanca just outside my new hometown of Cancun.....

The choice is easy. I'll take my white Christmas in the form of powdery sand and the foam of the waves...which would you choose???

6th Folder, 6th Photo Meme

I'm jumping on the meme bandwagon here, a lazy post idea from Wayne on Isla. The dealio is to choose the 6th photo folder and the 6th photo within that folder and tell the story.

Strangely my 6th folder is titled "California Wedding" and yet the 6th picture is not in California, nor is it nuptial in any way. This here is "Mimi in Milk Box"......

Mimi (formerly known as "Guest Kitty") is actually the next door neighbour's cat, but she spends more time at our house than her own. She's a lovely little girl who upon entering our house will a) find the food, b) beg for food if none is out and c) destroy something. She's getting quite chunky what with her double feedings! She's an odd one, at 7:30 every night she cries at the door to go home. Not a minute sooner or later, she's got her inner clock all set. The neighbour knows she's here a lot and has apologized, but really there is nothing to apologize for, she's a part of …

A Cancun Company Christmas Party Classic

Saturday, last day of work for two weeks and the company Christmas party all in one day? Fantastic! Made this Canuck very, very happy indeed! As per tradition, we gathered all the students in the lobby to sing Christmas carols and in keeping with my own personal tradition, I wore a tinsel crown and made myself into a dancing fool. Good times, good times. Let the holidays begin!

The company posada (Christmas party) is a blast every year, the boss always picks a great place for it and the teachers let loose and get their dancing shoes on. This year we headed out on Caribbean Carnaval's Pirate Adventure, a booze cruise to Isla Mujeres. I've done this particular cruise a few times, but this year was quite a bit different. No tourists!!! The boat was packed but it was all local companies having their posadas. The difference? The entire night in Spanish, the crew relaxed and having extra fun with local jokes and the partiers embracing the cheesiness and really getting int…

Snow Day!

I've been asking Max what comes at Christmas and in typical little boy fashion, he says, "Santa!". When I ask him what else happens he says, "Snow! And Santa is going to bring me a fire truck." He makes me laugh whenever he says "snow", kind of an evil laugh really, the "Hell will freeze over before we live any place snowy kiddo" kind of laugh. But I encourage him to want to know about snow, telling him what it's like (without any of my usual swear words) and showing him pictures.

We got home from a ridiculously long day and he mentioned "snow" again so I googled "Toronto snow" and lo and behold, "Snowmageddon!" A big snow storm in my old hometown. Now, adding "-ageddon" to something implies that it's earth shattering, universe exploding kind of news, not just the first snow storm of the year, but the word took off on Twitter and voila, a disaster in the minds of computer junkies everywhere…

More Monsters Under the Bed- Aluxes Version

For months now we've been fighting the monsters under Max's bed. I thought we had it licked after De-Monsterizing, but the big bad uglies have reared their nasty heads and are putting a damper on our nights (and mornings and afternoons now). Max is convinced that there are not only monsters in his room, but the monsters have started to appear in our bathrooms and most recently at his school.

Last week he was VERY insistent that he had seen the monster outside his classroom. So insistent that he told the same story over and over, exactly the same details every time. I got called in to the school to discuss the story, as unfortunately his monster is naked and he thought he would describe him in great anatomical detail to the whole class of three year olds. I can't even tell you how many times I had to stop myself from laughing as he described "and his penis was hanging out as he ran around and I saw his bum with no clothes on!"

Yesterday as Max was walking into …

Posada Season

One of my favourite things about living in Mexico is the posada season. It's much like Christmas/Holiday party season, with a few uniquely Mexican rituals thrown into the mix. For office posadas, of course there is the typical "drink til you say too much to the boss" aspect, but add into it the ponche (Christmas drink of Mexico, plays the same role as egg nog in other countries), the piñata and the "pidiendo posada" song and it's a different matter.

Saturday was our first posada of the year, this one without any fun alcohol as it was for Max's school, but I'm telling you, a little rum in the punch would have gone a long way. We arrived at the "jardin de fiesta" ("party garden") around 4 o'clock and set Max free with his friends to play in the bouncy house, the climbing equipment, the soccer field, the basketball court and to just enjoy the general chaos that forty kids under 5 can create. We set about chatting with the oth…

What Happens When You Ask for Blog Advice?

You end up writing about poop. At least if you ask for blog advice from LisaLoveLoca. I'm sitting at my computer right now with TOO many blog posts in my head and nothing written. I've got ideas aplenty and zero focus. So, I ask LLL, "What would LLL do?". And she said "poop". And since I am feeling frivolous and silly, poop it is.

So, what can I say about poop? Well, number one (er, number two?) we all do it. We might do it a little differently and more frequently in Mexico though, especially if we haven't been taking our acidophilous. Ahem. (Yeah, I knew this would get messy). The softness of toilet paper was never much of an issue back in Canada, but here I find myself squeezing the Charmin, the derriere must be treated with kid gloves in the land of hot salsa. I think I've come to the point where I can identify the bacteria or virus or parasite by the characteristics of the poop, and I can self-medicate accordingly, may the goddess ble…

A Visit from a Long Lost Cousin

Back to reality today after a whirlwind of a weekend with my visiting cousin. Not only was it his first time in Cancun, but it was his first time meeting Max and Hubby and the first time we've seen each other in over 13 years! This is the cousin that I was closest to while growing up and yet in our adulthood we'd drifted apart. Actually, the whole family has drifted apart much to our dismay. We used to spend lots of time together, many family events with the whole clan, cousins, uncles, aunts and more and yet since Grandma died we haven't seen each other. I guess she was the glue holding it all together. I think it's time for someone to pick up where she left off., I'm thinking family reunion in Cancun!

It was amazing to be able to reminisce about things I have not thought about in 20 years or more. He reminded me of stupid things I did as a kid and I reminded him of the stupid things he's always done (haha). We talked about Grandma's recipes for pop…

Vultures in Cancun

No, not the aggressive sales person kind of vulture, the real live big big bird vultures. Big birds eating dead stuff in my neighbourhood! Max and I sat and watched them for quite some time this afternoon. They really didn't want to come down for their dinner after we arrived, they circled and sat on the roof watching us, definitely wary of our company. We moved to a spot where they couldn't see us and they started circling, just like in the cartoons. They would get closer and closer and then fly out again when a car came by. Tough to get a good photo of them. My zoom stinks, so the pics aren't that great, but I was so amazed to see these creatures in the middle of downtown, urban Cancun. I think I said "So cool!" to Max a hundred times. If it wasn't for the stink of the dead possum, we might have stayed a bit longer.

Spanish word for vulture: buitre

Playa del Carmen Photos

I am so behind with some of my posts, this was meant to go up last week! We took a spur of the moment trip to Playa del Carmen last Sunday to enjoy the beach and a little bit of window shopping on Fifth Avenue. We didn't last long on the beach, it was a bit chilly and the wind was whipping sand in our eyes so we wimped out and went for a walk instead of a swim.

For those who have never had the pleasure, Playa del Carmen (affectionately known simply as "Playa") is a popular tourist town about 45 minutes south of Cancun. The community is growing fast, it's changed a lot even in the five years that I have been living in the area. Many new hotels, restaurants and condo developments, it's a regular boom town. Fifth Avenue is the main strip in town, chock full of restaurants, bars and of course, souvenir vendors. It's a beautiful street really, even if you haven't got two pesos to shop with it's fun to walk around, people watch and laugh at some of the…