Indigo Orange Sunset

I wish I’d gotten better pictures of this, but I wanna post it anyway!

The other day, I was walking out of Jorge’s house around sunset. Half the sky was bright orange, giving the street a dusty-colored light to it. The other half of the sky was this bright indigo blue. It looked CRAZY.

Sorry for the bad quality! Jorge was rushing me along because we were late to go somewhere. Hopefully you can enjoy the colors, even if it’s a bit blurry!

Come back tomorrow to see pictures of my wedding invitations!

The Bikini Bizz

So this morning I was reading over at MeanBean’s blog. She has a business on Etsy making these cute little handmade bags. Today, she wrote about a book that has helped to motivate her lately.

Last year, during my last semester of university, everyone had to make up a business plan. Mine was a bikini business. I even found a friend to put together a few of the bathing suits I’d designed in order to help my presentation. I figured out how I would sell them and where and to whom. I even toyed around with the idea of opening up the business for real.

I looked into it a bit, and it requires a whole lot of permits, plus figuring out how I would get the product to customers if they ordered online, plus in Cancun there aren’t very many good fabrics, plus who would make all these suits? I felt very limited, and I kind of gave up before I even started.

But maybe I wasn’t as limited as I thought. I usually have a good idea of what people like in terms of style. AND I live in CANCUN for goodness sake. Could there possibly be a better market in the world for selling bathing suits?

A year later, I’m still left with the “what ifs” of it all. Why didn’t I continue? Was I too scared? Too lazy?

Do you have anything like this going on? Anything you were too scared to try?

Updates

Update #1: Tropical Depression Alex gave Cancun some heavy on-and-off rain Friday night and all day Saturday, but not enough to keep anyone stuck inside. It passed a few hundred miles south of us. Looks like it’s going to avoid the oil spill completely and veer west toward central Mexico. Today, there have been no signs of rain whatsoever, just some clouds. Looks like the worst is over.

Update #2: I paid the import tax on the bridesmaids’ dresses, and they should get here this week! Turns out Isaias was also wrong… the reference number for the bank deposit had NOTHING to do with my tracking number! Elizabeth, the girl I’d originally spoke to, finally sent me all the info I needed. Isaias, you are stripped of your Hurley award. You are now…

...Jack. You appear to know what you're doing, but you just mess everyone up.

Elizabeth is my Juliet. Took awhile for her to gain my trust, but she pulled through in the end!

Update #3: We’ve been getting lots of RSVPs back from wedding guests. Some people have expressed being offended about not being invited, so we’ve invited a few families out of pity, basically. Why can’t people understand that if we don’t invite them, maybe there’s a reason? I think there are always people who would have a RIGHT to be offended… but seriously? Second cousins? Friends of my in-laws? The neighbors’ cousin? One of Jorge’s ex-girlfriends?!?! (not really a problem for me, but it’s weird she would insist on an invitation if they hardly ever see eachother…right? To be fair, we are inviting her cousins.) I’m willing to be gracious, and we’ve invited people we normally wouldn’t in order to make other guests comfortable, so it’s frustrating to have all this people I don’t even know making me feel guilty. We’ve flat out said no to a few of these people, but there are a few delicate situations where you just have to give in, ya know? Personally I wouldn’t be caught dead at a wedding I wasn’t invited to… but everyone’s different I guess. (Sorry to be so negative! There’s just been a lot of that this week.) Does this happen in the States, too? Am I just being selfish?

Update #4: We signed a contract on rental house #2!! I’m so excited. I have to move out of my place by Wednesday. There’s still a ton of stuff to do, though. We have to buy a fridge and a TV (my sad little Daewoo broke down after 5 great years together), both of which we’ll probably buy on credit for now because of the bridesmaid dress incident. We also have to get cable/internet installed and get the locks changed. We also have to get new screens on a few windows, which the owner is going to take out of our rent. Lots to do right before a huge wedding. Anything else will just have to wait, even if it does mean an empty house.

Grill Turco Mediterraneo in Plaza Las Palmas

**Important sidenote: There’s a tropical depression headed straight for Cancun. Nothing to worry about, just lots of rain and wind for this weekend. No fun. However, it looks as if this depression might turn into a cyclone AND make its way across the Gulf of Mexico and over toward Louisiana, Florida, etc. Please keep the Gulf of Mexico and these coastlines in your thoughts and prayers over the next few days. Things are already tough out there, and this ain’t gonna make it easier. Here’s hoping it veers West over central Mexico. (http://www.stormpulse.com/ turn on “forecast models” and “clouds”.)**

Every Thursday, some coworkers and I go out to lunch for either doner kebabs or fish tacos.

Our fave kebab stand, which used to be pretty much just a tent with some plastic tables and chairs, has now opened its own restaurant, called Grill Turco Mediterraneo, in Plaza Las Palmas.

They have a new, larger menu:

We were watching Mexico vs France, I believe.

I love their cute little open kitchen.

An an appetizer, we usually order fries. I wanted to try something from the new menu, so we got hummus. I loved it, but my coworkers agreed it was too garlic-y. (For an appetizer, everyone recommends the fries. They’re just the right crispiness!)

As always, I got my fave: the lamb doner kebab (with onion, tomato and lettuce). With the menu change, it’s actually lamb mixed with veal. They serve this amazing white sauce to put on it. I’m still not sure what it is, but it’s amazing!

Junior size is $25 pesos, medium is $45 pesos. I can fill up with a junior and some fries, personally. The kebab in the photo is a medium.

We sat by the window and had a nice, sunny view from our table.

This past Tuesday, I took Jorge. He was skeptical about trying it at first, but he LOVED it!

The owner tells us that he has a hard time getting customers because most Mexicans don’t know what kebabs are, and they’re a little wary of eating lamb. Everyone I know who’s been there once, however, always goes back!

Depositing Money to UPS in Mexico

The bridesmaids dress adventure continues…

So I need to deposit money to UPS Mexico to pay for the ridiculous 5,000 peso import tax on the dresses. After getting no e-mail response from the lady I was in touch with yesterday OR customer service (thanks a lot), I decided to call customer service for UPS Mexico. Here’s how things went down:

-I first spoke on the phone with Daniel. I mentioned that I needed to deposit, and he asked for my tracking number. I said I don’t have it at the moment, and I can’t get it until tonight. (My mom has it and she’s at work.)

-Daniel gives me the branch number and account number.

-During my lunch hour, I make my way to Banamex (Mexican bank). I am told by the teller that no such account number exists.

This is what I think "Daniel" from UPS Mexico looks like... a LIAR.

-I go outside the bank and call again. Mariana from customer service tells me the same branch number, but gives me an entirely different account number. (Way to go, Daniel.)

-Mariana asks if I need the reference number. Why yes, that would be helpful. Turns out the reference number is the same as the branch number. Interesting.

-I go back into the bank. The teller approves the branch and account numbers (yay!) but tells me the reference number is incorrect.

"Mariana" from UPS Mexico... likes to THINK she knows what's going on... but she doesn't.

-I go outside the bank AGAIN. I call UPS Mexico customer service (this is long distance, mind you) and speak with Isaias and explain the problem. Isaias asks me for the account number they gave me. He then asks me for my tracking number. I said, “I don’t have it with me.” Isaias informs me that the reference number must include the last 4 numbers of my tracking number.

"Isaias" from UPS Mexico KNOWS. WHAT'S. UP.

Would have been nice to know that BEFORE I went to the bank.

Daniel is now on my hate list.

Mariana gets off with a stern warning.

Isaias is my hero.

Mexican Import Taxes and Bridesmaids' Dresses

For my bridesmaids, I ordered some cute dresses online, which are custom made and shipped from China.

4 of them will wear this...

... and 2 of them will wear this.

Yesterday, I got a call from UPS saying they were in Mexico City (almost here! yay!). I was then told that I had to pay an import tax on them, which is 120% of their value. WHAT?!?! That’s $5000 pesos (about 400 US dollars) in import taxes.

Since we already paid for the dresses, and new dresses from somewhere else would cost about the same anyway, we have no choice but to pay it.

So, if you see that over the next week I’m not blogging as much, it’s because I’m doing double the productivity at work in hopes of getting a bonus that can cover this charge. I’ll still be around, just not quite as much as normal.

A few women have told me that I’ll lose a lot of weight before the wedding because of nerves. Just 2 days ago, I told Jorge I felt very calm and didn’t think I’d lose my appetite.

Well… once I got the news about the import tax I couldn’t finish my lunch.

And so the stress begins…

Caribbean Carnaval Cruise in Cancun

Last Saturday, my friend and bridesmaid Viri called me up to tell me that our friend Choco had gotten some discounted passes to go on Cancun’s Caribbean Carnaval. I was PSYCHED. This party boat sets out from Cancun’s Hotel Zone at sunset, and takes you out to Isla Mujeres for a buffet dinner on the beach. The entire time there’s a super cheesy pirate show going on, which was kinda fun! On the boat, there’s also tons of dancing. (Kind of difficult and awkward, but fun nonetheless!)

We set off from Playa Tortugas (Turtle Beach) in the Hotel Zone

While we were on the beach waiting to board, Choco informed us that in order to get his discount, he had to lie and say we were from the city of Tantoyuca, Veracruz. (It was never really explained why we had to lie, but hey, it’s Mexico right?) I think someone had mentioned where the different groups on board were from, because the head pirate would occasionally shout out, “Let’s hear some noise from Tantoyuca!!” This was followed by excited cheers and lots of giggling from our group.

waiting on the beach... I spotted the moon through the palm tree above me. 🙂

The dock and our boat

The top deck of our boat

Sunset over the Hotel Zone

Moi

Me, Juan and Viri (with a pirate ship in the background from another cruise tour)

 

Viri 🙂

Once we got on land at Isla Mujeres, some of our "people" were "captured" by rogue pirates. This was followed by the cheesiest show I've ever seen. (There was some cool dancing and games throughout the night, though.)

 

The bar

 

Yara, Viri, Me, Lilian and Julieta at dinner

Overall it was a lot of cheesy fun with bad drinks and average food… but the sunset and the company were hard to beat.

Stay Away! This House is MINE

Eeek! I’ve been playing phone/e-mail tag with the lady who’s trying to rent the house since last night, and we just couldn’t get a hold of eachother. She just called me to make sure if I wanted the house or not, because she’s supposed to show it to some one else. NOOOO!

Luckily, since she saw I’d tried calling her last night, and I told her definitely yes and we’re willing to sign a contract as soon as the owner is, she said she’d tell the other people that they had already rented it. *Phew*

Also, I broke a record for page visits today! 236 and counting, baby!

And just in case you didn’t see this coming:

Bachelor Jake and Vienna Break Up

I told ya… you should have picked Tenley.

Our New House (For Real, This Time)

Ok, ya’ll guessed it. After seeing the house twice, we decided to go with the second house. Soooo that means I can show you more pictures!! Yay!

Here's the front! I love the tree that spreads out along the upper bars. I think we're gonna plant a climbing bugambilia tree on the other side and see how they get along.

The living room. A little small, so we're not sure if we're gonna try to put a dining set in there. I think we like the idea of having an outdoor table and chairs for the front patio. Love the big window! Now we just need a big curtain to go over it. And some ceiling fans.

Another view of the living room. We have STAIRS!! Oh stairs, it's been so long since we last lived together. I really wanna knock down the wall dividing the living room from the kitchen and make it a bar/countertop. Maybe someday.

It’s not a huge kitchen, but it’s a lot prettier than any other kitchen I’ve had in Cancun so far. Some cute shelves oughtta cheer up that bare wall. It has a STOVE! and an OVEN!!!!!

The downstairs hallway. Kitchen is on the left. On the right is the pantry (!!!), then the full bathroom with shower (!!!), and at the end a bonus room. I'm thinkin laundry room. I plan on having a washer-dryer for the first time... ever! No more dragging the laundry basket to the laundromat, no more line drying for this gringa! It looks like the backyard has grass... it's actually all sand-colored gravel, and the tall grass grows in if you don't cut it, apparently.

The main bedroom upstairs. The second bedroom is a little smaller, and has the same closet. There's also a similar linen closet in the hallway. LINEN. CLOSET. This is luxury, folks.

The upstairs bathroom. It's actually decent! (The downstairs bathroom looks much the same.)

So anyway, I think it’s definitely a step up from the first house we saw. I will miss the domed ceiling, though. 🙁

The Rival House Has Seduced Me

The owner of the “rival house” called my today to let me know that if I had time, I could come see it today instead of waiting til Monday. Obviously I jumped at the chance. (I feel like I’m cheating on the original house.)

It was AWESOME. Just like it looked in the pictures online… tons of natural light, spacious rooms, lots of large closets including shelves and drawers, a pantry (who in Cancun has a pantry???? Just me!), much more outdoor space, plenty of plants and flowers… *sigh*.

The neighborhood is also awesome. Very safe, a few security stands, and a park on every corner. That’s not an exageration. I’m speaking quite literally. Every corner has a spacious GREEN park (most “parks” in Cancun are concrete… LAME), filled with palm trees and shade and grass and benches and paths… *double sigh*

It’s a little further from downtown, and it’s kinda in a newer area. A year ago I would never have considered living so far out, but now that Cancun is growing so much, there’s tons of stuff around there now. There’s even a bus route that goes directly to Jorge’s university!! It’s also super close to my work. I’m also going to be walking distance from 3 of my best friends.

The house is also for sale, if we like, because the owner is moving to the States soon. We can’t buy it now, but in a year or so it could be an option if we decide to stay in Cancun long term.

For me, it’s a yes. Jorge’s going to see it when he gets back to Cancun on Monday. I think he’s gonna love it!