Feliz Navidad from the Three of Us!

Dec 23, 2008

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

The Almost-One-Year Anniversary

Dec 16, 2008

Well, it's been almost one year since we moved to Mexico and what have I learned? A lot, to be sure. I've learned things about Mexican culture that I had no idea about, I've met new people, I've had an adventure. I've learned that I miss old friends from home and that it takes time and patience to meet new friends that are going to one day be old friends. I've learned that if I stop keeping up with my spiritual practices- praying and meditating as well as journaling- I start to feel loopy and disconnected.

I guess the overwhelming thing about coming up on one year here for me is that I realize how much stuff is no longer new and different here. When we got here, simple every day tasks were hard or scary. Now I hardly notice when I go pay bills (except for the pain in the butt of going to the Oxxo or the actual phone company). In fact, the sort of things I do note don't even make it onto the blog because they've been judged mundane by me.

For instance, yesterday I accomplished a lot more in Spanish than I could have dreamed of when we got here one year ago. I went to a bank and got two checks that had been written to me cashed without incident and on the first try. Then I went to a print shop and ordered 2000 4 color brochures to be printed off-set and even selected the paper weight and navigated the deposit process. This would have been a very big deal even 6 months ago, but all it amounted to (before this blog post) was a casual mention of the fact that I got the checks cashed without incident this morning on my run with Solomon.

I even have a couple of acquaintances that don't speak good English, so I relate to them in Spanish. Of course, most of my friends are English-speaking, even if that's not their first language, it is still the language that unites the most people here.

I guess I need to go on some trips, see something new. Once yoga teacher training is over I intend to make some plans to see various places in Mexico, like Mexico City, Chiapas, Mazatlan... you name it.

We've signed on for another year at our apartment and Hans has bought an underwater scooter. Tonight he is going to talk with Bill Phillips about assisting on some cave surveying, which was one of his goals for living here. I've been diving less, but that could be due to the fact that I've been working a lot and yoga-ing a lot.

I guess that's it for this somewhat meaning-less post! Just to say that we're coming up on a year and I guess I've just had less to blog about! Ahhh, well. Maybe I should break out the camera and start posting random photos from every day. I dunno. New Year's Resolution this year is to get fired up again- fired up about meditation and prayer, job, life, love, you name it. Vrooom. FIRE IT UP, BABY!

Allie and Anna's Right Jolly Good English Tour 2009

Dec 15, 2008

I have this obsession with not just traveling, but really seeing how it is to live in other places. That's why I love visiting places with people who live there or have lived there. So this got me to thinking... Now that Anna is no longer pushing papers and making phone calls and generally stressing out in the high-powered world of Maritime Law in New York City, she has the opportunity to go home to Newcastle, England for an extended holiday during the slow season here in Mexico. Why not go with her?

So, Anna and I are now planning our Right Jolly Good English Tour 2009 (she hasn't actually had a say in the name of the tour, so don't blame her for that ridiculousness). Basically, since we're both earning dollars and will be spending pounds while we're there (yikes!), we're doing this on a major budget, which means staying with friends instead of staying in hotels. This kind of stuff is totally up my alley (or Allie- see what I did there?).

Everything is still in the initial planning phase, but the idea is to spend 2 weeks (for me, 6 for her) in England going around and seeing things. Here's the tentative plan:

Stay for a few days in London (actually just outside London) with Anna's friend Sinead. Whilst we're there, we're going to take a tour out to Stonehenge because she's never seen it, I've never seen it and it's pretty close to London.

Then it's off on a cheapy cheap flight to Madrid to see the city and stay with Anna's friend Claire (Madrid is technically not England, but just bear with me). Then we'll head up to Barcelona (also not technically England... suspend disbelief and stay with me) and catch another cheapy cheap flight to Newcastle.

From Newcastle we're going to somehow aquire transportation through asking her brother or cousin to drive us around or borrowing her mom's car. We don't want to rent a car in England because they apparently ask for your first born at the car rental place and then they want your arm and/or leg at the gas station (seriously, I think gas is around $10 US a gallon there right now).

With said transportation, we're planning to go to Robin Hoods Bay because it's pretty, then spend some time in Leeds, where Anna went to University, with her friend Stu. From Leeds we intend to take a steam railway and see the Bronte House. We're also considering heading to Edinburgh for a day, since it's close to Newcastle and Anna has a friend there, too. Of course, we're also planning to see lots of Newcastle.

I'm really looking forward to this! I've been to England once, which was just to catch a bus between Gatwick and Heathrow on the way to Northern Ireland where I was visiting a penpal. I've never really seen anything except the highway, so this should be great fun.

This will probably take place in September, so I have about 9 months to save money! In the mean time, still enjoying Mexico and I will be updating the blog with more observations about life here shortly. I promise!

Magnum: Professional Wrestler and Friend

Dec 4, 2008

When I lived in NJ I used to work out with my friend Grant Hansen. He's a great personal trainer and an all around cool guy. He always hosts a cool Christmas party and even owns his own karaoke machine!

Anyway, the other day I got an email announcing an upcoming cage fight between Freak Nasty and Magnum. Grant has always been into professional wrestling- he even knows the plots! So it shouldn't have come as much of a surprise to learn that Grant is now doing his own wrestling as Magnum! If you've never watched much WWF (like I haven't), you might not know that it's sort of like a soap opera- there are story lines that affect the wrestling matches.

Then I got some pictures in my email and he had even more on his Facebook page. I am so impressed with him for doing this that I just gotta share. Check out how fabulous he is as Magnum! I feel so cool to know such a rock star!

Oh- and he won his cage match.... perhaps Freak Nasty will have to come for vengeance or who knows... more will be revealed as the plot thickens!