A Taste of Playa

This past Sunday was the annual Taste of Playa event in Playa del Carmen.

The event was held at Parque Fundadores, a beautiful area by the beach. Many of Playa del Carmen’s best bars and restaurants set up their own table, serving samples of their more popular dishes and drinks.

I’d been dying to go for months, but Jorge wasn’t as excited about it. Good husband that he is, he agreed to tag along. By the end of the day, I think Jorge was more excited than I was!


First, we went to buy our “Taste of Playa Pesos”. This little chips costs $10 pesos (or $1 US) each. With these, you could buy a drink or sample dish from the different restaurants and bars.

Jorge and I were able to try quite a lot for $200 pesos ($20 US)… not too bad!

Fried shrimp with sauce, and a side of rice with lime

"Sex on the Bar" by Luna Blue... best drink ever?? I may or may not have had 3 of these...

Cupcakes by Turtle Bay Cafe and Bakery ... God bless you

Red velvet cupcake

Overall, such a fun event! I was surprised by the number of expats I saw there (probably way more expats than Mexicans!)

We’ll definitely be back next year.

Exploring Playa del Carmen

This Sunday was one of the funnest days ever!

Jorge and I took the bus down to Playa del Carmen for their annual event, “A Taste of Playa”. WordPress is being a little screwy, so I’ll have to show you the event photos tomorrow.

We got there a little early so that we could have some time to walk around, since Playa is one of our most favorite places.

Here are some of my photos from Playa’s famous “Quinta Avenida” (Fifth Avenue) and the beach.


Check back tomorrow to see what we did at “A Taste of Playa”!

Just For Fun

I saw this over at Kristi’s blog, Mi Vida Ocupada,  and wanted to join in, so here goes…

  1. What’s your favorite Dr. Seuss book? How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  2. If you could live in any home on a TV series which would it be? Charlie’s house on Two and a Half Men
  3. What is the longest you’ve gone without sleep? Not sure… probably no more than 24 hours haha
  4. What’s your fave Barry Manilow song? The only one I know of is Mandy
  5. Who’s your fave Muppet? Gonzo and Rizzo the Rat
  6. What the habit you’re proudest of breaking? Eating Nutella straight from the jar
  7. What’s your favorite website? Hmmm probably the blogs I follow, and TMZ
  8. What’s your favorite school supply? Those big binders for all your subjects
  9. Who’s your favorite TV attorney? John Cage from Ally McBeal
  10. What was your most recent trip of more than 50 miles? I went to Playa del Carmen yesterday… I think that’s around 50 miles. If not, then my trip to see the Ek’Balam ruins near Valladolid.
  11. What’s the best bargain you’ve ever found at a garage sale or junk shop? Never shopped at one
  12. Where were you on Sept. 11, 2001? In my theater class at high school, doing relaxation exercises.
  13. What’s your favorite tree? As a Virginia girl, I have to go with dogwood
  14. What’s the most interesting biography you’ve read? Walt Disney
  15. What do you order when you eat Chinese food? Sweet and Sour Chicken with all the spring rolls I can get my hands on
  16. What’s the best costume you’ve ever worn? My mom made me a pretty sweet pumpkin costume when I was 5.
  17. What’s your least favorite word? “Literally” when it’s used incorrectly (“It literally knocked my socks off!”) It’s like nails on a chalkboard, I tell you.
  18. If you had to be named after one of the 50 states, which would it be? Carolina, I guess
  19. Describe something that’s happened to you for which you have no explanation. Can’t think of anything
  20. Who’s your favorite bear? Smokey the Bear… just a good role model!
  21. If you could travel anywhere in Africa, where would it be? Morocco
  22. What did you have for lunch yesterday? I was at a food event, so… lots of stuff! You’ll see more about that tomorrow 🙂
  23. Where do you go for advice? Jorge, my friend Fumiko or my parents, depending on the topic
  24. Which do you use more often, the dictionary or the thesaurus? I have to write for a living, so thesaurus! If foreign language dictionaries count, I’d say that.
  25. Have you ever been snorkling or scuba diving? Snorkeling in Belize

Cookout at Our Place

Last Saturday, Jorge and I had some friends over to watch the big Pacquiao vs. Margarito boxing match. I was worried about our space being too small, but it worked out really well!

Meat, quesadillas and cactus leaf all ready to go on the grill!

Making the pico de gallo

Chile, green tomato and red tomato being cooked for making salsa

We brought out TV downstairs and hooked up some rabbit ears to watch the match

Our friend Viri lent us her grill

Me and Jorge

Juan es 100% guapo!

Dolly enjoyed being pampered throughout the evening

Konan and Suki were also there... but Suki insists on staying in my lap the entire time, so it's hard to get pictures haha. Konan, however, was more than willing to pose.

After dinner (and Margarito getting his butt kicked), we cleared out the table and spent the rest of the evening salsa dancing.

Great friends, great food, great night, and great music!

Just Thursday

Just Thursday again! If you want to play along, make sure to link up at Murdock’s Mama by clicking here:

Outside my window.. it’s been raining a lot since yesterday, so a bit overcast. There’s some sun peeking through, though!
The time is.. 9:08 am
Today I feel.. mildly frustrated with work, but hopefully I can get a lot done today.
I am thinking.. about how nice it is to know my house is clean.
At the moment, I am thankful.. for my well-paying job with normal hours and free weekends.
I am going.. to watch my friend’s dog this weekend! He’s an awesome dog.
I am wearing.. my uniform. (No, I don’t only wear it on Thursdays… I wear this baby 5 1/2 days a week.)
I wish.. I were better at managing money. We’ve been able to save up for the furniture we need, but I’d love to leave some money in the bank.
I am reading.. They Came to Baghdad by Agatha Christie (I stopped reading it for a few weeks, but I got into it again last night!)
I am working on.. putting together a small Thanksgiving dinner at my house next Thursday.
I am hoping.. to catch up on Season 3 of Fringe. Jorge and I just finished watching the Season 2 DVD last night.
I am hearing.. the sound of coworkers chatting as they walk into the office.
I bet you didn’t know.. that I bought a Swiffer this week! It’s AMAZING. I still have to do regular sweeping on weekends to get the bigger stuff, but the Swiffer is great for twice during the week. Yesterday I did a big cleanup: first a regular broom, followed by the Swiffer. It was amazing all the dust that the regular broom had left behind!
One of my favorite.. colors is yellow.
Weekend Plans..
[Thursday] No idea… if the rain stays away this afternoon, I’ll probably make dinner out on the patio.
[Friday] No plans as of yet.
[Saturday] Barbeque on a friend’s rooftop terrace (yay!)
[Sunday] I really want to go to the Taste of Playa event in Playa del Carmen… time to sweet-talk Jorge!

An Expat's Thoughts on Eat Pray Love

**Spoiler alert** If you haven’t read the book or seen the movie yet, I suggest you don’t read this.

I know I’m behind everyone on this, but Mexico often premieres movies a few weeks or even months behind the US. This weekend, we finally had the opportunity to see Eat, Pray, Love.

My thoughts:

-Julia Roberts’ hair looks INCREDIBLE. I’m pretty sure they put the sun directly behind her head in every single shot. I wish I had the ability to stage myself that way at all times.

-I’ve heard that “real-life Liz Gilbert” had other issues behind her divorce that she doesn’t want to discuss in the book/movie, so I won’t judge her. “Movie Liz Gilbert”, however, had no good reason for ending her marriage, and she didn’t even talk to her husband about her concerns so they could try to work things out. She just gave up. I agree with her ex that she is a “quitter”. After she left him, I couldn’t really like her for the rest of the movie.

-The scenery was gorgeous! In all 3 destinations.

-I am using this as the design inspiration for whenever I get the chance to build my own house (pending authorization from Jorge):

-I felt like even though she supposedly went out into the world to find herself, she spent the entire time following the advice of other people. Even in the end, she couldn’t make a decision on her own… she went after hot Brazilian guy only when the medicine man told her to. Seriously? A year of “finding yourself” and you couldn’t make the most basic relationship decision on your own by the end of it? Very disappointing, Liz. If I were single and met Javier Bardem, there would be no question about it!

-I thought it was pretty hilarious when she arrived in Italy and was appalled at the idea of heating water on the stove to bathe, because that’s how I’ve been showering for the last month (our water heater is broken and the weather is getting cooler). It’s actually not bad! I just heat up one pot til it boils and mix it with cold water. It gives me an entire bucket, which is more than enough to get very clean, wash my hair and use some moisturizing body wash. I can’t imagine how much water I’ve been saving, not to mention gas! You don’t realize the things you don’t really need until you have to live without them. Oh, the joys of expat life…

-Despite my frustrations with the main character, I enjoyed the overall idea of the movie, since I myself went abroad 5 years ago to see what else was out there… and I think we all know that went very well for me! The benefits of giving in to another culture and learning from it are indescribable, so I felt I could relate very easily to this film. There were many moments I identified with, like accepting that you won’t have all the comforts of home, crying hysterically because you just don’t get it, and sitting down at a table and realizing you’re surrounded by friends, even though you came here alone.

-If any of you are inspired to travel based on this movie… do it! Seriously, you don’t know what you’re missing. Living abroad is every bit as beautiful, gut-wrenching, challenging, and rewarding as this movie makes it out to be.

My Husband Jorge’s Thoughts:

-(When Richard from Texas was telling his story) “You see! THAT’S a sad story! I don’t know what kind of crap she’s been complaining about.”

-“It feels like they just hired an emo to travel the world, then made a movie about it.”

Ah, yes… nobody says things more poignantly than my husband.

Double Rainbow in Temozon, Yucatan

I just realized that I never posted my double rainbow photos and video!!

It was from when we stopped to eat in the town of Temozon right on the way back from Ek’ Balam ruins. Jorge and I walked down the road to a furniture shop and saw a full double rainbow! It wouldn’t all fit onto one photo, so I made a video. Click here to check it out:


And here are the photos…


Cell Phones and Naked People

Here in Mexico, they have these extremely obnoxious commercials for cell phone apps.

My favorite is the one that lets you scan people to see through their clothes.

There’s also the X-ray app…

Are these available in the States, too? Or just here?

More importantly, who pays for stuff like this?

Our Wedding: Professional Photos

Here are the links to all the rest of my wedding-related photos…

Out first visit to check out Hacienda Teya

Hacienda Teya at night (spooky!)

Visiting Hacienda Teya with Mom

Family vacation in Puerto Morelos the week of the wedding

Bachelorette party at Coco Bongo in Cancun

Bridal Shower

Getting ready before the wedding

Wedding bouquets

Ceremony (guest photos)

Reception (guest photos) Part 1 and Part 2

We finally got our professional photos! I tried to scale it down, but there were just so many great shots. Enjoy!

Jorge took about 30 seconds to cry before he could say his vows... then half of the guests broke into tears as well (so I hear).

My sister and dad singing "Rock of Ages"

Jorge's parents placing the "lazo" on us

This was later referred to as Jorge's "quincenera" photo 😉

"La Serpiente" a Mexican wedding tradition where all the single ladies form a sort of congo line, going all around the room and under the veil held by the bride and groom

My sister Sarah caught the bouquet! (and Aubrie, the gracious loser)

Another favorite Mexican wedding tradition... the men form a line and get tequila poured down their throat by the groom

My grandpa singing "Cielito Lindo" with my college buddies... Aaaah, weddings 🙂

Grandma and Grandpa dancing to the mariachis with my in-laws

Just Thursday

It’s Just Thursday again! If you want to play along, just click on the icon and link up with Murdock’s Mama.

Outside my window.. sunny, with lots of light cloud coverage. Since we had our daylight savings time change last Sunday, we’ve been able to see beautiful sunsets from my work desk window in the afternoons. I’ll be sure to share some photos as soon as I recharge my camera battery haha
The time is..9:36
Today I feel..happy because one of my best friends/coworkers just came back from a 2-week vacation.
I am thinking..that my eyes are really itchy. Stupid allergies.
At the moment, I am thankful..for our professional wedding photos! Just got them Monday night 🙂 Here’s a little preview…
I am going.. to work really hard this month to make money for Christmas.
I am wearing..my work uniform.
I wish.. I had curtains in my living room. I feel bad for the neighbors who have to stair into my empty living room every time they walk by.
I am reading.. They Came to Baghdad by Agatha Christie
I am working on.. more revisions and translations at work… boring.
I am hoping.. to keep losing weight!! (although I guess I won’t really know until I get a scale… but do I really want to obsess over pounds? I dunno.)
I am hearing.. office chit chat.
I bet you didn’t know.. that I saw the women’s US soccer team play a game in Cancun last Saturday! Not a lot of people there, so we got to sit front and center for only 50 pesos 🙂
One of my favorite.. drinks is hot chocolate!
Weekend Plans.. as usual, I have no idea until the weekend is already upon me haha. Tonight I’m getting together for drinks with 2 other expats, though! Excited 🙂