Handling Sandy Hook while Living in Mexico

The Connecticut school shootings on Friday really shook me up. I spent Friday afternoon looking at news sites at work, reading updates and crying at my desk.

The weekend was alright. I got my mind off it for the most part, but there were many moments where I found myself in a bit of a zombie-like state. Anytime I hear any kind of reference to kids or playing, my mind immediately flashes to those classrooms for a brief instant before returning to normal.

Reading about the heroic acts of the Sandy Hook staff has helped restore my faith in humanity. I think those stories affected me more than the shooting itself.

After having several conversations with groups of Mexican friends (where I mainly kept my mouth shut and just listened) and seeing Facebook posts from many foreign friends, it seems the rest of the world is appalled at the lack of restrictions on gun ownership in the US. At the same time, many friends mentioned that Mexicans also have easy access to guns, it’s just not the legal kind… so why do these mass shootings keep happening in the USA, but not in Mexico or elsewhere? (with the notable exception of Norway 2011)

I hear people are starting to blame video game violence, TV, movies, etc, but here in Mexico they’re much more exposed to violent images. Here, you can buy a newspaper off the street and open it to find pictures of maimed corpses, yet Mexicans don’t go around shooting up schools and movie theaters. Why America? I don’t know.

Even though I live in Mexico now, my heart is still with the US and I’m so proud to be American. It’s a hard time for us all, I guess.

How are you coping?



Sunsets and Flyboarding on Cancun’s Lagoon

I have a confession. I’ve lived in Cancun for over 7 years, but I’ve never been out on the Nichupte Lagoon. Never taken a boat onto the lagoon, never been parasailing, etc etc etc. I’ve only ever looked at the lagoon from a distance.

So of course I was thrilled to be invited to the Sunset Boat Parade this weekend. The Sunset World brand (they own properties like Hacienda Tres Rios and several “Sunset” resorts in Cancun and Playa del Carmen) was renaming some of their properties and hosting a boat parade on the lagoon and the ocean to celebrate. The Sunset Lagoon hotel is now the Sunset Marina Resort and Yacht Club, and the Admiral Yacht Club is now the Sunset Admiral Yacht Club and Marina.

I arrived at the Sunset Marina Resort and Yacht Club at about 4 pm, and spent some time catching up with some friends and snapping pictures of the marina. I’d never been before, and it was stunning!

Soon it was time to view the sunset over the Nichupte Lagoon, and all the guests pulled out their cameras to get an image of this amazing Cancun sunset. I took a few pictures then put my camera away to just enjoy it for a few minutes.

My absolute favorite part of the evening was seeing the flyboard demonstration. I’d seen videos of flyboarding before, but I’d never seen it in person. Oh. My. Gosh. (Contact the Sunset Admiral Yacht Club and Marina if you want to do this as badly as I do!)

Once the sun had dipped under the horizon, it was time for the main event: the boat parade. It was such a blast, with an open bar (hello Tequila Sunrise!), an entertainment team, dancing and even fireworks. We started in the lagoon, took the canal out into the Caribbean Sea, then traveled along the Cancun Hotel Zone coastline for awhile before going back.

I’m not the best nighttime photographer, but here’s what I could do with my trusty cell phone:

Part of the boat parade following us on the Nichupte Lagoon

Fireworks over the Cancun Hotel Zone

Fireworks over the Cancun Hotel Zone

What a great night with sunsets, friends, drinks and music on the water! If you’re ever in Cancun, I highly recommend looking into a sunset boat cruise with the Sunset Admiral Yacht Club and Marina… and maybe invite me along if you go. 😉

**Most of these pics are unedited! It really was that beautiful. Check out the Sunset World Pinterest Page for more incredible photos of this event.**


Jorge Lives It Up at Cancun’s SoyCerveza Beer Fest

Last Friday and Saturday, The City Beach Club in the Cancun Hotel Zone hosted SoyCerveza, an international beer festival on the beach. (For my non-Spanish speaking amigos, “SoyCerveza” translates to “I Am Beer”… not “Beer Made with Soy” haha)

There was a reggae band, a DJ and a cool lounge atmosphere in the evening. We stayed til 1 am, and the party was still going strong! Entrance bracelets were free, but to try beer you we had to purchase a tall glass for $50 pesos. Beer could be purchased in a sample amount (20 pesos and up) or as a full glass (80 pesos and up).

I didn’t have any because I hate the taste of beer, but Jorge was in heaven. His favorites were the Canadian and German beers, but he enjoyed some of the cheaper Mexican beers, too. Mexicans tend to drink only lighter beers at parties and get-togethers, so Jorge took advantage of the event and ordered his beloved dark beers.

I saw a ton of friends there, and it was a great night listening to music and sitting on the beach. I’m positive Jorge will want to go back next year!

Have you ever been to a beer festival?


A Romantic Christmas Surprise

Jorge and I didn’t buy a tree during our first 2 Christmases as a married couple, mainly because we knew we wouldn’t be home on the 25th because we always travel to the States.

This year, we’d also decided not to buy a Christmas tree and just hang up the usual outdoor lights. On Friday night, however, Jorge came home with a surprise Christmas tree for me. It turns out he’d been hiding tree decorations and lights for the past week!

He had asked me awhile ago what my favorite Christmas colors were, so he got me gold and red. I was so busy at the time when he asked me that I didn’t stop to think why he would ask me that. It was a good surprise.

On Sunday afternoon we finally got the chance to decorate it. It took awhile because one of our series of lights wasn’t working, so we spent several hours going to Cancun grocery stores in search of Christmas lights. (Every single one was sold out… what the heck??) Luckily Jorge’s dad had some extra lights, so by early evening we were good to go!

Apparently Konan thought I was taking a picture of her.

The “presents” (which are actually just empty boxes I wrapped) are there to hide the tree base, which is being propped up by a can of tuna. The tree guy who screwed the tree to the stand apparently didn’t realize it was lopsided. Whoopsie!

With the lights off 🙂

I love walking into my living room to the scent of Christmas tree… even when it’s 85 degrees outside.

What colors did you use on your tree this year?


Sunday Morning Coffee on Paseo de Montejo

Check out the other parts of our weekend in Merida:

Breakfast in the Santa Ana market

A Walk through Merida Centro

Looking Up at Paseo de Montejo’s Mansions

Another Wedding in Merida


Every Sunday morning, Paseo de Montejo in Merida closes off one side to traffic so that residents and visitors can enjoy rollerblading, biking and dog walking along the tree-lined avenue. It really is a beautiful thing to see with tons of kids, adults and doggies going up and down this street, right by the historic mansions.

On our weekend in Merida, Jorge and I spent Sunday morning at a Starbucks on Paseo de Montejo watching the world go by!

Have you been to Merida on a Sunday?

Another Wedding in Merida

Check out the other parts of our weekend in Merida:

Breakfast in the Santa Ana market

A Walk through Merida Centro

Looking Up at Paseo de Montejo’s Mansions

Sunday Morning Coffee on Paseo de Montejo


The main purpose of our recent trip to Merida was for the wedding of our friends Raul and Andrea. They were married at Santa Lucia church in Merida’s Centro, and the reception was at the Fiesta Americana Merida. Sorry I don’t have more pics, but we were pretty busy eating and dancing!

Rest assured that the reception had all the traditions of a Mexican wedding… the single ladies snake train, the bouquet toss, the garter toss, throwing the groom in the air and taking all the groom’s clothes off in the men’s room (Not kidding. I have to write a special blog post on that one!)

Another important Mexican tradition is the “recalentado” (roughly translating to “the reheating”, like you’re getting the party fired up again), which is a party you throw the afternoon AFTER a big party. Usually it’s a casual affair with some beers and tacos. Andrea and Raul’s “recalentado” had two comedians, salsa dancing and two cakes. Lots of fun!

Have you ever been to a Mexican wedding?

Looking Up at Paseo de Montejo’s Mansions

Check out the other parts of our weekend in Merida:

Breakfast in the Santa Ana market

A Walk through Merida Centro

Another Wedding in Merida

Sunday Morning Coffee on Paseo de Montejo


The Holiday Inn where Jorge and I stayed on our trip to Merida is located on the famous Paseo de Montejo, a tree-lined avenue just north of El Centro. Paseo de Montejo has beautiful monuments, great bars and even a McDonalds, but it’s best known for its historic mansions, mostly from the 19th century. I took pics of a few of them to share with you guys:

The Anthropology Museum

A beautiful blue house located 1 block off Paseo de Montejo

I loved the gate on this house, 2 blocks from Paseo de Montejo

Some of the smaller mansions reminded me of wedding cakes!

A pink mansion with the biggest yard I've ever seen, about 2 blocks off Paseo de Montejo

The twin Camara Houses on Paseo de Montejo

We thought it was strange that many of these homes are now owned by Mexican insurance and cell phone companies! So long as they continue to preserve the mansions, that’s ok with me. 🙂