Spring Break Cancun Craziness

Well this past 3-day weekend was crazy, to say the least!

Friday night we went to Party Center in the Hotel Zone with some of Jorge’s guy friends to see some of the Spring Break 2012 action.

Line outside Coco Bongo

This shirt was a Christmas present, and it didn

Mandala - filled up!

We wandered around Party Center for awhile, then decided on XX Bar because it was cheap, and the only place that wasn’t 100% packed yet.

**Note to my female readers: Dancing on bars is fun, but I recommend wearing jeans, not miniskirts. It may seem fun at the time, but you won’t like that YouTube video filmed by some stranger once you’re home from vacation.

**Note to my male readers: Don’t dance on bars. Ever. You may fall into the concrete bar pit like this one shirtless body builder we saw. Hilarious for us. Not an easy embarrassment to shake off for him.

The best part of the night: I got hit on! Since I’m always out with Jorge, I haven’t gotten hit on much in the past 5 years. 30 seconds by myself at the bar, and I was turning guys down. Nice to know I still got it!

We left XX Bar around 4 am and snuck into went to Plaza Forum for some late-night pizza. Yum!

5 Year Anniversary Surprise

Can you still celebrate dating anniversaries once you’re married?

Well, we did it anyway.

On Friday we had our 5 year dating anniversary, and Jorge wanted to take me on a dinner date to a surprise location. I wore my favorite yellow dress because I don’t get many fancy occasions for it.

I was really excited when we got there and I found out we were going to Elefanta, an upscale Indian restaurant at Plaza La Isla. We had a table under a palapa by the lagoon, which was lovely. About halfway through the meal, we felt water misting our feet. The waiter explained it’s their bug repellant spray to protect the legs. Pretty cool.

We’d never had Indian food before, but it was DELICIOUS. We started with potato and cheese naan bread, then had saffron and cheese shrimp and some kind of amazing spiced chicken for the main course.

I didn’t take many pictures because who wants to take pictures on a date? Plus “romantic lighting” isn’t very photo-friendly. You can check out Elefanta’s photo gallery, though. It’s a really, really beautiful restaurant.

All I have for you is a shot of my view of the lagoon:

I love upscale restaurants, hotels, etc, but for some reason I always feel out of place in fancy venues. What if the waiters find out that I’m not rich like the rest of the customers? That we had to save up for months for this dinner? That this is my only (sort of) expensive dress? That we took the city bus to get here? Totally irrational. But I love going anyway ๐Ÿ™‚

 

**Update: By “popular” demand, here’s a picture of my favorite yellow dress:

Sunday at Cancun’s Playa Delfines

Jorge and I spent Sunday at Playa Delfines (Dolphin Beach) in Cancun. It has been years since we hung out at the beach in the Hotel Zone! Usually we prefer Isla Mujeres, Playa del Carmen or Puerto Morelos, but I’m glad we finally came around and decided to enjoy our city for once.

Jorge Probably Just Knows Me All Too Well

Remember how Jorge and I went out to a bar this weekend? Well I was super tired and left early around 2 am. Jorge walked me out to get a cab and told me “Don’t forget to call me when you get home so I know you got back ok!”

Well… I forgot.

I probably forgot because I was busy keeping the dogs from slamming into the back of my knee and causing me to collapse on the tile floor (happens a lot when I walk into the house).

Then I went straight to sleep (and by “sleep”, I mean read Hunger Games in the middle of the night) and turned the sound off on my cell phone so I could sleep in the next morning without interruptions.

Aaaand Jorge called me 10 times.

Finally around 3:30 a.m. I noticed my cell phone was lighting up, so I answered. Jorge told me he had been calling me non-stop and was really worried for my safety. How sweet!

OH. WAIT.

If he was so concerned about me being assaulted by a taxi driver and/or home intruder, why did he not come check on me after AN HOUR AND A HALF of not answering my phone?

I mean… I would have felt bad that he had to cut his night short because I forgot to call him when I got home… but still!

Then today my cell phone dies at the office (grrr). I just get an e-mail from him saying, “When you didn’t answer my calls today, I was worried you were kidnapped by a taxi driver.”

And yet he never showed up at my office to check on my safety.

I mean… I would have felt horrible that he had to take a bus to my office to check on my safety because my cell phone died… but still!

And this is exactly why I shouldn’t be trusted with a cell phone.

**Update:** I just confronted Jorge on this via e-mail, and his response was “Well if you’re kidnapped by a taxi driver what can I do? It’s not like you’ll be at home when I get there to rescue you.”

Touche.

APPROVED!

Remember how Jorge was applying for his US tourist visa? This morning he went to the American Consulate in Merida for his interview and was APPROVED!

We had heard that the consulate was being more lenient recently in giving out tourist visas. They’re usually quite strict to make sure nobody wants to go on a tourist visa and stay in the country illegally, and Jorge had already been denied once before. (**Fun fact: The gentleman who approved him today was the same person who denied him the visa 2 years ago!**)

Jorge told me about his interview, and he thinks the following tipped the odds in his favor (judging from the interviewer’s questions and reactions):

  • He’s married to an American working in Mexico. I always thought this would make him look like more of a risk, but apparently the interviewer seemed pleased to see my FM2 card and our marriage license. Last time he applied and was denied, we were not yet married.
  • Our recent trip to Brazil. Jorge mentioned we’d recently gotten a Brazilian visa and traveled, and the interviewer checked our Brazil visas and passport stamps. I think it looks good that he has traveled out of the country recently and returned.
  • Jorge graduates university in January. He’s all done with classes, but he has to be in Cancun in January to officially graduate, meaning he can’t stay in the US right now.

He did mention that he was just going to visit my family for Christmas. We’d debated downplaying the fact that he had family of sorts in the US as it makes him more of a risk, but in the end honesty is the best policy, right?

I already bought our tickets to fly home for Christmas. I’ve been waiting 5 years for Jorge to see where I’m from and how amazing my mom’s cooking is. I hope he’ll be able to put up with me, my 2 sisters, mom, grandma and 4 girl cousins… he’ll be “bendito entre mujeres”, as they say in Mexico. Can’t wait!

Thanks again to all my readers and Facebook friends for being so kind and supportive of us. Any expat here with a Mexican spouse/partner/significant other knows just how important these visits are. All of our friends have been so excited for us. Thank you.

And a Very Merry Christmas to the American Consulate!

I’m traveling to my hometown of Richmond, Virginia this Christmas to see family, and I’m so excited about it! I haven’t seen my family since last December, which is the longest I’ve ever gone without seeing them. While I love my life here in Cancun, it can get very hard being away from family (and with “family”, I include my mom’s cooking) for so long. I also haven’t been to Richmond in I think 3 or 4 years, and I really miss the city sometimes.

I’ve always dreamed of taking Jorge with me to Richmond and showing him around everything I grew up with (plus the man needs to try my mom’s cooking, obvs). When my parents were living in Charlotte a few years ago, he applied for a US tourist visa and was denied.

This year, a Mexican friend of ours (hey, Tomas!) who had already been denied a visa twice was able to get his. This gave us a new-found hope, and we’re going to try again for the tourist visa.

Jorge and I spent over an hour last night filling out his online application form (I may or may not have fallen asleep near the end, sorry Jorge) and today he’s going to pay for and make his appointment.

With all the illegal immigration into the US, I understand why the US government has to be so careful about who they let in. I just wish there was some way I could prove that all I want is a family Christmas with my husband… not to bring nuclear weapons into the country, evade taxes or participate in human trafficking. (They ask a surprising number ofย  questions on the application to make sure this is not the case.)

So anyway, keep us in your prayers and thoughts over the next few days as we try to sort this all out. My sister has already written a letter to Santa Claus.

Rio de Janeiro Honeymoon: Christ the Redeemer

 

On Thursday morning of our trip to Rio, we got to see the famous Christ the Redeemer statue. I’d read on Trip Advisor that you should go as soon as they open (8:30 am) to avoid crowds, otherwise you could be waiting several hours just to buy a ticket for the train up the Corcovado mountain.

So we took a bus from Copacabana very early and got there about 8:45 am… absolutely nobody there, except a few people who were on the bus with us.

the "line" for tickets ๐Ÿ˜›

Even though we didn’t have to wait in line, a decent crowd with several large groups had arrived by the time we got onto the train a few minutes later. The train takes maybe half an hour to go all the way up the mountain, and there are tons of amazing lookout points along the way. If you ever go, I recommend sitting in the seats facing backwards for the best view.

Jorge falls asleep after 5 minutes in any form of transportation. I envy him.

When we got to the top, it was pretty chilly. I remember stepping off the elevator and looking up at the back of the Christ the Redeemer statue and almost crying in awe. We were at the top of the world looking at one of Brazil’s most impressive monuments. There was a small crowd there that got steadily larger over the next hour or two (glad we went early!), and we spent our time enjoying the views and taking pictures.

lots of hang gliders that morning!

Once we were done taking pictures, Jorge and I went down to the cafe for a coffee. Once we saw a simple coffee was ridiculously expensive, we just pulled some apples out of our backpack and sat down to enjoy the view.

I know I live in a big tourist destination and I can spot a tourist trap from thousands of miles away, (Ok, pretty much our entire trip was uber touristy) but I don’t care. Our morning at Christ the Redeemer was one of the best mornings of my life. Absolutely amazing.

Operation Chile Cat Part 2

Two weeks ago, Jorge began Operation Chile Cat to rid our front tree planter of cat poop. With just one night of chile powder set around the ledges of the planter, it seems we were partially successful. As it turns out, we had TWO neighborhood cats pooping in our planter, and now that number has been reduced to ONE.ย  *evil grin*

Saturday night we heard about 10 minutes of yowling from outside, and I just chalked it up to some “naughty business” going on with the neighborhood cats. Jorge looked out our front window to see 3 cats sitting outside our front gate, looking at our house and yowling. I think they’re on to us.

At the recommendation of my reader Johanna, we decided to kick it up a notch by using coffee grounds. Last night, Jorge poured chile powder and coffee grounds around the planter, then sprinkled some in the dirt.


Game on.

An Insincere Apology to Cat Owners Everywhere

So Jorge hates cats. This hatred goes all the way back to childhood, when the neighborhood street cats would tear open his family’s garbage bags and litter the remains outside their front gate.

In our current neighborhood, several of our neighbors have cats that they let roam free. We didn’t have a problem with this until they started pooping in our planter.

Tired of cleaning up cat poop (why does our life seem to center around animal feces?) and having a smelly front patio, Jorge came up with a Master Plan.

Chili powder.

Excited and with just a hint of crazy in his eyes, Jorge picked up a small bottle of chili powder at Walmart last night. It was time to put the Master Plan into effect.

He scattered a line of chili powder around all the edges of the planter so the cats would have no choice but to land in it if they wanted to poop in our dirt. I heard him mutter, “Espero que esos cabrones vengan HOY.” (“I hope those bastards come TONIGHT.”)