An Announcement!

This little blog continues to grow thanks to friends, family, fans and loyal readers.

I have so much to share with you all that this blog is no longer big enough to hold everything that my big mouth has to say. So… I’m proud to announce the new Gringation’s Cancun Blog Facebook page! Here, I’ll be sharing little tidbits, posting beautiful photos (and a few not-so-beautiful photos), sharing links on Cancun news and talking about culture.

The new Facebook page will be a great place for fans to get to know me better, and for me to get to know you better!

And to share our love of Cancun and Mexico, of course.

Like the blog? Click here to like the new Gringation Facebook page!

Hope to see you around!

 

Gringation’s Blog Updates

Things have been very busy over here in “Gringation-land” over the past few months, and I love it!

Here are a few updates so you can see what’s going on with the blog behind the scenes:

 

New Website

I have a pretty cool new blog layout, which many of you have asked me about it. No, I did not design it myself. I have absolutely no talent with anything involving colors, design or computers. The setup and layout was all done by my friend Carlos Flores (zr.drgn@gmail.com), and it’s beautiful! Thank you Carlos for such a speedy and attractive setup. (And a special thanks for answering all my stupid questions.)

The amazing blog header was done by Angie of Strosgirl’s Designs. The mini-me in the header looks just like me! I even have the same bikini, sarong, purse and flip flops. Perfect.Β  It’s gotten so many compliments!

 

Sponsors

If you look to the right-hand side of the screen, you’ll see that there is a new area for blog sponsors. (The “Your Ad Here” buttons were also designed by Angie!)Β  My very first sponsor is photographer Monica Lopez, whom you may remember as the photographer for our Trash the Dress shoot.

Monica also photographed my cousin Shayne’s wedding in the Riviera Maya this May. Click here for the professional photos!

Monica is also doing several weddings for friends of mine throughout 2012. So exciting! Go ahead and check out her site (Jorge and I are on the main page!!) by clicking her icon in the sponsors section.

If you’re interested in advertising on Gringation’s Blog, you can check out my Sponsors and Advertising page.

 

Blogging by Gringation That’s Not Here

Lately I’ve been doing more freelance blogging, which I’m very excited about. I’ve already posted a few of these on the blog, but here’s a full list so you can check out some more of my travel writing. Just click on the image to follow through to the link:

A Weekend Getaway in Akumal (on MexicoToday.org)

Cancun As I See It: An American Testimonial (on CancunIsSafe.com)

Top 5 Tips for Summer Break in Cancun (on CancunIsSafe.com)

My Whale Shark Tour post was featured on the Dreams Resorts blog!

 

Twitter

I now have over 1,000 Twitter followers! Nothing too important there, it’s just kind of exciting. You can follow me at @CancunGringa

 

It has been so cool to see this little blog grow, grow, grow over the past few months.Β  Thanks so much to all my long-time readers and my newer readers for all the support, comments and e-mails. I’m passionate about showing the world how much I love Cancun and Mexico, and I’m so glad you all have let me share that with you.

My 7 Links

So I was recently tagged in a My 7 Links post by Grrrl Traveler (aka Christine). Normally I don’t participate much in these things because I’m lazy, but I really like the theme and Christine is one of my favorite bloggers. I think hers was actually the first blog I ever followed. She’s currently backpacking through Asia! If you’re not reading her blog, you should be.

As any blogger knows, sometimes you’ll write an amazing post, get tons of readers, then the post gets buried somewhere in your archives, never to see the light of day again. My 7 Links by Tripbase is designed to “unearth” some of those old posts I once loved so much. Here goes:

MY MOST BEAUTIFUL POST

The one post whose pictures I love going back to look at again and again is Playa Norte on Isla Mujeres.

MY MOST POPULAR POST

I think the post that generated the most buzz (and one of my personal favorites) was:

How to Speak Like a Mexicano: American Slang

MY MOST CONTROVERSIAL POST

Not controversial for most of my readers, but I guess many would disagree… my take on a sad event in Cancun.

Dear Michelle Malkin: Quit Hatin’!

MY MOST HELPFUL POST

One of my very first ever posts! (So even long-time readers may not have seen this one) Learn how to use the word “madre” when conversing in Mexico.

How to Speak Like a Mexicano: Madre!

A POST WHOSE SUCCESS SURPRISES ME

Also from my very first few days of blogging. I came across some recent pictures of Atreyu from The Neverending Story and Rufio from Hook, so I posted them… apparently the photos from this post are among the first to show up on some Google image searches. I get about 30 – 40 hits A DAY from this post, almost 2 years later. Crazy.

Childhood Crushes: Atreyu vs Rufio

A POST I FEEL DIDN’T GET THE ATTENTION IT DESERVED

Ya know, it’s hard to tell what readers will enjoy sometimes. Random stories about my dogs will fascinate them, while some of my most adventurous posts will flop. Seriously, who understands you guys? πŸ˜› A few months ago I did a post on a cenote tour in San Crisanto, Yucatan that I loved, but didn’t get much attention on here.

Cenote Tour in San Crisanto

THE POST I AM MOST PROUD OF

Probably my Xel-Ha post… I dunno why, I just really like the pictures!

Xel-Ha


Mexico Today

Anyone who reads my blog knows just how much I love Mexico. It’s a beautiful country filled with incredible people and amazing natural resources. Regular readers have seen me get very frustrated whenever Mexico or Cancun come under attack from the media. For the last week or so, my Mexican and foreign friends here in Cancun have been talking a lot about a recent article by MSNBC Travel called “Time to Say Adios to Mexico Travel?” The article refers to Cancun as an “increasingly violent hotspot” (ha!) and even includes a poll asking readers if they’d travel to Mexico. 72% said no. That makes me so incredibly sad.

How on earth are we going to convince 72% of the population that Mexico is, in fact, a safe country? How can I get them to see what I see when CNN, FoxNews, MSNBC, etc, are out on a smear campaign to post sensationalist stories to draw in readers? Over the past few years, Mexican and expat bloggers alike have been fighting back by commenting on articles and voicing thoughts on their own blogs, but our voice has been relatively small compared to the powerful media we’re up against. The frustration of defending something you love so much only to have few people believe you is very disheartening.

A few weeks ago, I got an e-mail from Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide stating the folling:

“I’m writing today on behalf of the Mexico Tourism Board’s Marca Pais – Imagen de Mexico initiative, to invite you to join the Mexico Today program.Β  The program will empower writers like you to share Mexico’s true stories with the people who need to hear them the most … Marca Pais – Imagen de Mexico, is a joint public and private sector initiative designed to help promote Mexico as a global business partner and an unrivaled tourist destination. This program is designed to shine a light on the Mexico that its people experience every day.”

How could I say no?

I’m proud to annouce that I will be working with Ogilvy and the Mexico Tourism Board in their Mexico Today program, along with many other Mexico bloggers! I’m so excited that we finally have the voice and the resources we need to accomplish what we’ve been trying to do for a long time now.

While this is a paid position, everything that I write will be my own opinion. I’ll be meeting up with most of the people involved in the Mexico Today project this weekend on al all-expenses-paid trip to Oaxaca, and I can’t wait to get started! I’ll give you all the details on my trip as soon as I get back next week. Click here (or on the badge onΒ my right sidebar) to visit Mexico Today’s Facebook page.

If you love Mexico as much as I do, I hope you follow along with the Mexico Today team as we try to reclaim Mexico’s reputation for what this country truly is: a fascinating place with incredible beauty and a warm, unique culture.

β€œOnce the dust of Mexico has settled on your heart, you have no rest in any other land.” -Anita Brenner, Mexican author

Just Thursday

It’s Just Thursday with Murdock’s Mama! If you wanna be cool and join in, link up at her site:

Outside my window… we’re all soooo excited in Cancun! For the first time in a long time, we have minimal clouds πŸ™‚ Welcome back, sunshine!


The time is… 9:53 am

Today I feel… a little overwhelmed with things to do at work, but there’s no rush, so I’m good!

I am thinking… that I wish I were either still in bed, or at the beach!!

At the moment, I am thankful… for a free trip to Las Vegas next week! My oldest sister is getting married πŸ™‚ It’s going to be AWESOME.

I am going… to eat fish tacos today!! Wooo!

I am wearing… new earrings! Jorge is selling this really nice catalogue jewelry, and yesterday I got 2 new pairs πŸ™‚ Look, they’re little rain clouds! How cute is that?

I wish… that the world would protect its natural resources more. Shame.

I am reading… Book of the Dead by Patricia Cornwell (months later… I know, I know)

I am working on… learning to cook! I’ve already perfected mushroom quesadillas, guacamole, zucchini with feta, caesar salad and grilled cheese with tomato. Nothin amazing, but dang, it all tastes good.

I am hoping… to buy a house in a year.

I am hearing… my boss talk about his trip to Cuba. I’m jealous!

I bet you didn’t know… that Barack Obama was five minutes from the house where I grew up yesterday, giving a conference πŸ™‚ I still can’t get over that. I’m easily impressed.

One of my favorite… restaurants is PF Chang’s. I could really go for some lettuce wraps right now. Really wish they would open one in Cancun. *drool*

Weekend plans…

Thursday: get-together with some Cancun bloggers!! Yay! Followed by a going away party for a friend who’s going to study a month in Madrid πŸ™‚

Friday: Jorge’s soccer match in the evening, followed by dinner somewhere with the team

Saturday: No idea

Sunday: Probably doing laundry and catching up on Season 2 of Glee (Don’t tell me anything! I haven’t seen anything yet!)

Cafe Marakame

First of all, thanks to everyone for their awesome comments on my last 2 posts!!

It was AWESOME reading about everyone’s dream home. How cool is it that everyone’s idea of a dream home is SO different?? Not a single one of them was like the rest.

And it’s always nice to know that everyone hates Bob as much as I do. πŸ™‚

Last night, I got together with Lauren from On Mexican Time for some drinks. We may or may not have gone through 2 *small* jarras de sangria.

We went to one of my fave places, Cafe Marakame. Whenever I go here, I feel like I’ve stepped onto the Quinta Avenida in Playa del Carmen. It’s like a fairyland in the middle of the city! They have an outdoor terrace, an indoor area with AC, and an upstairs balcony area.

The drinks are great, the food is ok, and the ambiance is unbeatable.