Jorge and Laura's Wedding Ceremony, Hacienda Teya

*Note: These are all pictures taken by various guests/family members. Within a few weeks, I hope to have the official ones from the photographer! Sorry if these are a bit limited.*

Last Thursday, everyone in my family took the 3-hour trip from Cancun to the beautiful city of Merida for our wedding.

The first thing we did once we got to Hacienda Teya was the rehearsal. My awesome sisters had made me a bouquet for the rehearsal out of bows and ribbons from the gifts we got at the bridal shower.

We spent the rest of the day getting hair and makeup done, while eating some Burger King. I was pretty calm the entire day, and the stylists were telling me I was the calmest bride they’ve ever seen. I guess I just knew everything was taken care of, and I was mostly just excited to see everybody at the reception.

My family got to the hacienda around 5:30 and spent some time taking pictures.

ME! about 20 minutes before the wedding.

My Uncle John did the ceremony, with the help of a friend who translated. Everything went very smoothly. Two bridesmaids read from 1 Corinthians 13 (everybody does it, I know, but I just love that chapter!) My sister Sarah read in English, and my friend Damayanti read in Spanish.

My sister Noelle and my dad performed one of my all-time favorite songs, Rock of Ages. It was beautiful!! (I cried… not gonna lie) I hope the photographer has pictures.

During the vows, Jorge began to cry and couldn’t continue on for about 30 seconds. He was embarrassed about it, but everyone thought it was so sweet (including me). I later found out that when Jorge started crying, all my uncles/cousins/guy friends in the crowd also started to shed some tears. Awesome 🙂

We threw in some Mexican traditions, including the arras (exchange of 13 golden coins to represent how we share financial responsibilities), and the lasso (a Catholic tradition when a cord with a cross on it is placed around the bride and groom’s necks, symbolizing their union in Christ). I hope the photographer got pictures of that, too!

Before the ceremony, I was nervous it wouldn’t turn out well because of all the translations, plus the mix of traditions we were using, but I have to say it was one of the most beautiful ceremonies I’ve ever seen, thanks mostly to my Uncle John. He did a great job of having everything so organized, so profound, yet so simple. I know, I know, maybe I’m just bragging, but SERIOUSLY! It really was a perfect ceremony. A few minor glitches here and there, but mostly those little things make for great stories later.

The groomsmen

Cousin Aubrie with the cute little hand fans we handed out to the ladies... very useful to cool off and to dry tears, so I hear.

Jorge's dad taking my mom to her seat... I still keep hearing about how gorgeous my mom looked at the wedding 🙂

My bridesmaids: I love these girls 🙂

Jorge's cousins as flowergirls (dresses made by Jorge's grandmother)

Daddy and me

 

Me trying not to step on my dress as I sunk into the carpet/grass

 

Bubbles!!

My favorite part of the entire thing was the setting. As Jorge and I listened to my Uncle John preach, we had a great view of a beautiful bamboo forest behind him. Not to mention the lush plants growing all around the garden walls. If you notice, we really didn’t have many flowers or decorations for the ceremony because, quite frankly, the space is perfect just as-is.

My Bachelorette Party

I’m going to limit the pictures for this one for obvious reasons, even though my dad’s seen them all anyway (thanks to cousin Aubrie for documenting it all in such detail on Facebook haha)

Overall, nothing too crazy. Nobody threw up, there was no stripper involved, and everyone made it back to the hotel rooms at the same time (4 am) It was a TON of fun!

Me and my entourage in the hotel room before heading out

First we went to Carlos and Charlie's for dinner and drinks.

Needless to say, it was a great time.

"Logan", the "sexy" manager had a thing for misplaced quotation marks. My poor cousin Aubrie was tattooed in permanent marker (yes, it did come off before the wedding)

Meghan and Noelle 🙂

 While we were eating dinner, Sarah and Noelle asked me some questions about Jorge and myself. (Jorge had written down his own answers beforehand) Our answers matched for almost everything, but I still maintain that he lied on a few of those questions haha

me and the girls

Next, we went next door to Cancun's most famous nightclub.

There were some pretty awesome shows, including these acrobats. We also saw "Beyonce" (a hot mess), "Austin Powers" (cheesy), "Michael Jackson" (awesome) and "Jay-Z" (pretty sure they just picked out the first black guy they came across, because this guy looked nothing like Jay-Z)

Apparently Noelle was having a GREAT time.

Aubrie and me 🙂

Some *cough*all*cough* of us may have danced on the bar... and the stage.

Around 2 am, guess who coincidentally showed up at Coco Bongo?

My fiance.

And all my guy cousins.

So anyway, we hung out with them for awhile before everyone headed back to our hotel.

What’s the craziest bachelor/bachelorette party you’ve been to?

Mixed Bridal Shower

Last Monday night, my aunts threw Jorge and me a mixed bridal shower at the villas. Some of my friends came, along with my in-laws. It was such a fun time, and a little embarrassing as well 🙂

The cake table! My Aunt Bobbi handpainted some flower pots to use as decorations. Now I get to keep them 🙂 Can't wait to put flowers in them.

The cake got a bit smushed, but it was still really good!

We started off with everyone writing down advice for Jorge and me, then reading it aloud in English and in Spanish. Very cool 🙂 Aunt Amy made us a little book with all the advice for us to keep.

Amy reading the advice and cousin Meghan translating

Cousin Aubrie's advice. She is a wise, wise girl.

My family 🙂

 Next, we played the most fun and embarrassing game EVER. (I highly recommend this one!!!) I was taken out of the room while all the guys were lined up side by side. I had to guess who was who BLINDFOLDED and I could only touch them from the knee down. *sigh* I had to find which one was Jorge, and I got $5 for any other correct guess along the way.

I guessed Uncle Brandon within 3 seconds because everyone knows he wears deck shoes with no socks.

Then, I thought my Uncle John Wayne was Jorge. EMBARRASSING! Hey, both have hairy legs and muscular calves.

The most humiliating part was when I thought my cousin Sam was my sister Noelle. (To be fair, nobody had told me it was going to be men only) Sam's mom insists he has hairy legs and doesn't understand how I thought it was Noelle. I can assure you, this kid does NOT have hairy legs, and he has very dainty feet.

Next, I guessed Grandpa Brown was Uncle Trent. Not too far off.

Then came Jorge. I felt ankle bracelets, and since everyone had been from my family thus far, I kept thinking of guys in my family. I couldn’t figure it out for the life of me, so I finally just guessed cousin Shayne. I was told I was wrong and had to move on to the next person. As soon as I moved on, it hit me. Ankle bracelets. Jorge. I’m an idiot. I said, “Wait, was the last one Jorge?!” and then it was over. 🙂

Best. Game. Ever. It would be awesome to be a spectator instead of a participant haha.

Luckily Jorge wasn't upset about the ankle bracelet thing.

Aunt Amy, Mommy, Aunt Jorja, Aunt Bobbi and Aunt Marlies (We pronounce it "ant", not "aunt")

Cousin Aubrie, Cousin Meghan, Me, Sister Noelle, and Sister Sarah

What a great night 🙂

Family Vacation for my Wedding!

Well, I’m back!! And no longer single 🙂

I didn’t take many pictures this week, but that’s ok because everybody else had cameras and was quick to post them on Facebook… so we’re good! (I’ll have wedding pics up in a few days… gonna have to wait a few weeks for the “official” wedding photos, though.)

Where to start?? Hmmm I guess I’ll start from the beginning. Today I’ll show photos from my vacation week with the family. 22 of my grandparents, aunts, auncles, cousins, parents and sisters came to Mexico for the wedding, and it was a BLAST.

We stayed at Casa del Secreto, which is absolutely amazing.

I’m stealing photos from Aunt Amy, Cousin Aubrie and Uncle John Wayne. Enjoy!

Villas at Playa del Secreto

Casa del Secreto, aka "the Big House", where most of my family stayed

Lefthand view from the house's main balcony

The main palapa (my room was off to the right side)

Hot tub with a moat. Why not?

Dinner our first night... fajitas and quesadillas!

Grandma and Grandpa Brown enjoying the terrace

fun and games at the pool

The ocean view pool

Me with my cousins and sisters at my bridal shower (more on that later!)

All the cousins that were there

*sigh*

*double sigh*

We had chocolate fondue one night!

We played Apples to Apples (awesome!) and I won!

We played many games of Fishbowl (if you've never played it, you have to!)...

... and we played it using a fish-shaped bowl. How fitting!

Many games of volleyball were played, but after seeing the injuries from the first game I stayed away from the court for the rest of the week.

My sister Sarah 🙂

I talked for awhile with my dad 🙂

Each room had some pretty awesome decor. This was my personal favorite.

When it wasn't overcast, we got to enjoy the beach

Overall, an amazing family vacation

Going on Vacation… 15 Minutes From My House (That Counts, Right?)

Good news! Lately my Taylor Lautner post from a few months ago has been getting some Google hits. Apparently if you search for “Taylor Lautner hot” (not sure if it’s under images or web) my post will come up within the first few pages! Exciting.

This adds to the massive amounts of hits I get each day for this post on two of my fave childhood actors. (Apparently I’m one of the first images to show up when you type in “Rufio”. Seriously… I’ve been getting 30 or 40 hits a day on this baby for the past few months.)

Anyway, just a heads up that I’ll be absent from the blogging world until Monday, July 26. Why? Because my family is coming to Cancun for my wedding! They all fly in today. 22 aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, parents, and sisters 🙂 Life is good.

I flatter myself by thinking they’re here for me, but I’m pretty sure 60% of the reason they’re here is for the vacation. I’m ok with that! 🙂

Soooo for the next week I will be staying HERE!

And then HERE!

Wish me luck! I’ll see you soon!

Downtown Cancun: Bankrupt and Overflowing with Garbage

Berenice Polanco, the President of the City Treasury, recently stated, “There hasn’t been clarity in how the city accounts have been handled over the last two years.” By next September, there should be a deficit of $107 million pesos, despite the fact that the former mayor of Cancun, Greg Sanchez, had insisted that the city had completely recovered from last year’s Swine Flu Crisis.

Greg insists it’s because the city had to borrow millions of pesos to pay government workers during the crisis, but Polanco points out that a lot of information is missing from the city treasury’s records.

I’ve heard that a group of federal auditors will be coming into Cancun to find out what the heck is going on, and it’s rumored that up to $800 million pesos are unaccounted for.

That’s the short version, anyway.

Personally, I would love to know how such an amazing tourist destination, with a safe and immaculate Hotel Zone and loads of money pouring in, manages to go bankrupt. It takes some very special people to pull that off.

How does this affect us “Cancunenses“? Looks like over the past few months, the city of Cancun can’t pay its garbage company. The poorest neighborhoods have been hit the hardest. People have trash bags piling up outside their homes and on their streets. Trucks that used to go by every day now only go by once a week or, in some neighborhoods, once a month.

Luckily in my new neighborhood, each street has its own dumpster (instead of putting bags outside your house). Right now, the dumpster for my street is overflowing…

Wing's Army: A New Bar in Downtown Cancun

On Monday night, I met up with a bunch of my college friends to go to a new downtown bar called Wing’s Army.

Wing’s Army is situated in a plaza across from Cancun’s bull ring, right near the entrance to the Hotel Zone. Since it’s on the third floor, it has some awesome views of the city from its terrace.

It specializes in selling all sorts of international beers (not easy to find in Cancun!). Mondays and Thursdays, many of the beers are 50% off.

It’s no secret that I hate beer. Still, I went anyway to see some friends I hadn’t seen in awhile. I couldn’t stay very long, but it was a great time 🙂

**As usual, I apologize for the bad nighttime photography. You gotta admit, it IS improving!

Doggie Baths

Early Saturday evening I was hanging out at the new house when I hear yelling from outside our front gate.

“Señorita Laura! Señorita Laura!”

Turns out these girls wanted to go to Wet n Wild on Monday, so they were trying to do odd jobs around the neighborhood to raise some money. I told them if they wanted, they could come back tomorrow morning.

Sure enough, Sunday morning the girls (plus Jorge) all came back. They took Suki, Dolly and Konan to a nearby park for an hour or so (which I’m sure they loved), then came back and helped Jorge take the garbage out to the dumpster on the corner

I paid them and they left. They came back a few minutes later and asked if they could give the dogs a bath. I said they could go for it!

Suki after her bath

"Hi. I'm Suki and I'm spoiled rotten!"

Dolly's famous "wet noodle" pose

Bonus points if you can tell which end is the head and which end is the butt

Konan enjoying her first home bath

Rinsing off

Dolly: "I'm freaking out! Why am I not dry yet? Laura, help me!"

Konan: "Why is this stranger brushing me?"

Konan thought it would be a good idea to dry off by rubbing her head on the ground.

Overall it was a really fun morning! I thought it was really cool that all the girls chipped in to help out the 2 girls who couldn’t pay for their Wet n Wild ticket. 🙂