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See You Around!

27 Apr

Hi readers,

I won’t be posting on the blog for the next week or so, but when I get back I’ll have some really cool photos and some exciting changes.

I will be hanging out on Twitter, if you wanna keep up with my mini-adventures around the Riviera Maya. 🙂 This weekend is shaping up to be pretty awesome. I’m expecting to see barracudas and sea turtles!


The Coolest People I Know

25 Apr

For years I’d always felt a little guilty for leaving the family behind and moving to Mexico. I have always missed them terribly, and I know they’ve missed me, too.

Then my parents did something that really took my by surprise.

About 5 years ago, my dad quit his 20-some year career in the mortgage business, and my parents moved to Charlotte, North Carolina so he could study at seminary. We were very proud of him when he graduated with some pretty impressive grades!

In 2011, my parents moved back to our hometown of Richmond, Virginia to find out what God wanted them to do with their lives. Both my parents began working while looking into opportunities all over the country, then they started looking even further.

During a phone call a few weeks ago, my parents told me that soon they will be moving to Bogota.


South America.


Starting hopefully sometime next year, my parents will be in Bogota for 8 months taking intensive Spanish courses, then they’ll look at missionary opportunities in different Latin American countries to see where they’re most needed. They’re doing all this with the help of the Mission to the World organization… the same organization that first brought me to Mexico 8 years ago!

Well, at least now I don’t have to feel guilty about moving so far away 🙂

I’m so incredibly proud of these people, and I can’t think of better role models.

If you want to read more about my parents, my dad just started his own blog called On Finishing Well, talking about their plans, challenges, etc. It’s an interesting read… at least for me, because my dad and I are pretty much the exact same person. 🙂


13 Mar

Must have these:

On an unrelated note… who wants to give me $295 plus tax and shipping?

Yet Another Playa Weekend

3 Dec

So excited! Today after work we’re leaving for a short weekend in Playa del Carmen. The company my friend works for has a currently empty 2-bedroom apartment there, so we’re going to enjoy a couple’s weekend. It’s going to be chilly, but fun! Hope your weekend is awesome, too.


28 Nov

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.

My 7 Links

13 Sep

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:


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


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

How to Speak Like a Mexicano: American Slang


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’!


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!


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


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? 😛 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


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


Happy Saturday Sept 10

10 Sep

Today I’m gonna copy Kristi and Krysten with a Happy Saturday Post!

I'd be even happier if I were here!

10 Things That Made Me Happy This Week

1. Doing the hydrotherapy circuit at the Excellence Playa Mujeres

2. My shimmery powder brush from The Body Shop

3. Watching Criminal Minds reruns

4. Project Runway (no spoilers please, haven’t seen this week’s episode yet!)

5. Photoplasty entries on

6. Getting my first credit card

7. Salmon and stuffed tomatoes for dinner

8. Winning $200 pesos at the Yak roulette table

9. Modern Family

10. My Starbucks buddies giving me multiple cake pop coupons

Google Me

31 Dec

Someone linked onto my blog today by searching for “Can crack taste like bananas?” on Google.

Just thought I’d throw that out there.

Happy New Year!

Call Me Crazy

10 Dec

I came across another dream house online yesterday, and I can’t stop thinking about it! It’s located in Merida.

Ya’ll are gonna think I’m insane, but here are some photos:

If I had money, here’s what I would do:

1. Put in a down payment on the house

2. While saving money to renovate, I’d rent the house out as a site for filming horror movies, because DANG it’s creepy right now

3. Renovate it for a relatively small cost because everything in Merida is cheap (I’m thinking beam ceilings, traditional colorful tiles on all floors, and maybe opening up a few doorways)

4. Move in, or sell it for profit because it has potential to be GORGEOUS. Look at that 2-story room! Beautiful.

It only costs $45,000 US.

*sigh* Someday.

Just For Fun

22 Nov

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