There are friendships that start so fresh and new and with such honest exchange that you feel like you each hold an end of an undetermined length of thread and at times you can seemingly see the tapestry of friendship developing out of the weaving back and forth of new shared experiences and stories. It is a precious thing to behold.
This story though is of a different weave of friendships.
A fabric where the fibers of the tapestry were not seen as a delicate weave for it was more than just the one person adding to the structure at a time. It is a layering of fibers hooked together by their very structure and then matted in place by the tears of laughter and sorrow that were added by all. The outcome is not a delicate lace but a sturdy felt. Fabric so strong that it can insulate, protect, warm and also be a piece of incredible beauty.
Today, I am meeting to give blood with my group of “moms”. They are my felt friends that know of the hidden fibers that are part of our unique framework of friendship.
We will lose a pound giving blood and then head to a restaurant for lunch and to share new stories. If we are true to form, we will be the loudest table in the place as joyful laughter is never quiet in our group. (And it isn’t just me)
So today, I am giving them all a felt ball.
It is to use as a stress ball, replacement of a dryer sheet in their laundry, a pincushion, a pet toy, or hand therapy. It can be used as any of those suggested (and probably more that I am unaware of) or simply as a reminder of the tight group of strong women that we are.
I am blessed with new and old friends and I want you to know I love you all.
When I was going to Isla Mujeres in 2014, I researched things to see and do, but really the bulk of my reading was on the places to eat. I found a food critic writer from PA that seemed to have been just about everywhere on the island over the years and had something to say about them all. I could tell from his writing and reviews that he was not a snobby eater, he just liked food, so much of what I learned for that trip was from http://www.hollyeats.com/IslaMujeres.htm
I made a hand written list of the possible places I wanted to go and BA, Syd and Jen indulged my desires to eat my way around the island.
Just before this trip with Dev, I found my well used list that had been on the first trip. It evoked such good memories looking at the extra notes I had added.
My travel companion for this trip historically has not been on the adventuresome side of testing his palate but did show beginnings of trying new items and spices in the past six months or so. There was hope.
I have to say that he did me proud and tried and liked all that we had and loved most of it. Showing true lineage, he said that the most fun was thinking where the next meal was going to be! My boy! Loving the culinary adventures along with me.
There was a major déjà vu day though. When I was on the island the first time, I had resisted ever ordering a dish called enchiladas suiza as while it was highly recommended, it looked a bit mundane. I learned my lesson on that trip as we went to Renee & Rene’s for lunch and I ordered the recommended shrimp tacos and BA and Syd split the enchilada Suiza. After tasting their dish, I knew I had missed out on a truly awesome plate of food that was beyond what I could have imagined.
So on this trip, I told Dev I needed to go to R & R and get this dish that I had never gotten for myself. He was in the mindset that he wanted to fill his seafood quota and opted for the shrimp tacos. I laughed aloud when our plates came and he tried mine and had that Holy Wow look on his face and knew that even without tasting his own, there was slim chances that his dish could surpass the flavors of mine.
I laughed because, as after all, I had been at the exact same table and had the same realization less than two years ago. We shared, but he wasn’t going to be satisfied waiting until his next trip and soon was only talking about going back and getting it for himself.
There lies the problem. Only so many meals to eat and so many restaurants to try. He fit another trip to Rene and Renee’s in between two of our other meals.
My last trip, the only spot we went to twice was La Bruja for the best seafood spicy stew ever.
It is still an incredible bowl of awesomeness that we had once again on this trip.
For someone who hadn’t tried much spice until recently, Dev certainly leaped over any previous threshold he might have had on his scoville scale.
A few times, he had a bit much and paid for it when eating (always eating it all for he never wanted to leave the good food even if it was fire breathing) and sometime a little later too.
Here is what hot looks like when your still involved in consuming it.
Dev would finish off every evening with a stop at the Churro shop that was only open from 7-11 pm and made the best home made churros ever. On the nights it was closed (and even on some that it wasn’t) he would have a dessert of a marquesita from one of the street vendors.
Our last night we shared a lovely seafood combo plate followed by of course the Churro’s – plain and filled for the last night treat.
All in all, the island has the best food consistently I have ever found in one area. You should try it.
This morning I awoke for my usual walk on the beach and to view the sunrise. Problem was, I was in Co and it was only 4 am. The puppy was also awake and glad that I was home so I decided a moonlight walk in my neighborhood would be a great way to connect back to the energy of Colorado after being on the beach for the past ten days.
I grabbed my athletic shoes and went to slip them on as I generally did prior to the trip. My feet wouldn’t even go in. I loosened the laces up a bit and still my feet resisted. Geeze Louise, had I been barefoot and in sandals so long that my feet had become wide as planks? Was I unknowingly contorting them not to fit so that I could possibly extend the vacation mindset that my feet were clearly in? Opening the laces as if putting on hockey skates, I finally managed to insert my tootsies all the way in.
As I walked around the neighborhood enjoying my lovely scenery, I was also thinking about the trip.
I received a message while on my trip wondering why the blog wasn’t being updated with the daily adventures. While, I could blame it on the sketchy Wifi at each of my locations, it was more that my days were full and my mind was in the absorption mode. Most days I wasn’t even sure what day it was.
There are times that I literally write a communication in my head as it is happening, but so in the moment was I on this entire trip that I neither found the time or thoughts to send anything off.
I will endeavor to do so now that I am back to work and holding dear to the joyful memories of the trip. I can’t guarantee the order or extent, but I do want to share some memories and photos for those who haven’t been.
So bear with me as I sort through photos and try to find the words to relay a portion of the volume of shared times with those also there.
Yesterday we slept in. Or at least we think we did. Our phones keep changing times so we are never totally sure what time it is. It doesn’t much matter since everything is on island time anyway and has its own flow.
We headed to north beach which is just around the edge from our hotel to do some snorkeling. Dev had been skeptical about the endeavor but once he got his face in the clear blue water and saw the myriad of schools of fish, he was hooked. We swam until we were prunes and decided it was time for a meal.
We could have been happy sitting at our table on Hildago street watching (and making fun sometimes) of people all day but we had asked Lalo to get us a golf cart so we could visit the south end of the Island and eat at some of my favorite spots down in that region.
Lalo had another job to help out with, so Dev, Syd, her pup Chiquita and I took off in the cart.
Devin drove with Chaquita as a lookout and backseat driver.
We made it to the south portion of the island just as the sun was setting over Cancun.
We had our dinner midway Down the island at Baseball tacos. It may sound pedestrian and in looks it very much is, but these are some of the best tacos you can ever get. They have sauces and fixings that are simply awesome. I was full after two, Syd also had two, Dev had two and then two more and all that with drinks was only $12.00 for the three of us.
Yesterday morning was cold and snow was moving in again.
Lucky for Dev and I, we were hopping onto a plane and heading south.
We arrived in Mexico to some storms of their own.
Amazingly, the shuttle driver was the same lovely gentleman that drove BA and I to the island ferry and back last year and he remembered me.
by the time we reached the ferry dock, the storms had moved southward.
We made it to our hotel and then over to Syd and Lalo’s for welcome hugs.
We had decided to barefoot it around town and so when we sat at our dinner table in the sand just twenty feet from the shore, we were able to eat our seafood cocktail and whole fish with our feet buried in the beautiful sand.
I am heading to Mexico this week so last week I contacted my friend BA whom I went to Isla Mujeres with in 2014 and who also works in a bank and can convert some US dollars to Pesos. I texted her asking what her bank’s rate is as mine was a bit on the low side. She replied in text that she would check it out and get back with me.
Then next day, I get an email at work from her. (You might remember a previous blog of email exchanges with her where topics are varied).
Her email had the subject line of: Love this Couch so Much!!
This couch is amazing. Who knew that I could get one whole cushion for only .06133 each? So if I wanted, say, a HUNDRED cushions, it would only cost me $6.14 total. Yowzer. That is a deal. As I recall, the last time I bought a couch, a hundred cushions cost me $12.00 or so. I realize that it costs me a handling fee of $15.00 to order my cushions, but still a pretty great deal. If I had a friend who also needed cushions, we could split the $15 ordering fee, too. Then we would have the best couches ever!!
I love Interior Mark.
BA Satisfied Customer
I was totally in work mode and thought to myself that she must be really bored today to come up with a story where she randomly prices out her bits of story, but hey, I can play the random email game as good as anyone, so I reply:
Ma’am, You are correct that you did indeed get the best couch ever. Unfortunately it has since been found out that those cushions that we thought were available at that low cost (and let me commend you on getting a friend to split the cost – you are a true friend) were found to be not direct from the manufacturer as we were led to believe as a reputable dealer. They were found to be returns from a donation to an animal shelter that used them in their incontinent ward. With that said, if you don’t mind considering the stains as a decorative pattern, then these are the cushions for you. Let me know as I would be willing to include as a bonus a pillow that has been shredded and threadbare. We love happy customers and want to keep gems like you.
Best Regards, Gladys Yormine
Getting into my mode of thought, she then replies to me after I have left for the day with:
Oh my! Well, boy did you find the right gal! As it would happen, I have actually been living in the incontinent ward of an animal shelter for the past 16 years! This could certainly account for the fact that the cushions not only LOOK fantastic to my eye, but they also smell just like home! I can’t wait to get home and burrow my face in there! Though, time to time, when I doze off my dear Petey comes to mind. He is right there in my dreams, one leg up and a steady stream anchoring his memory to every last porous surface I have ever owned.
I thank you for your honesty, but I’m keeping these cushions! God Bless you, Gladys.
I arrive at my computer the next morning and am cracking up at my friends email and so I reply:
I’m sitting and giggling at my computer and the room of people want to know what the heck is so hilarious. You make my days.
She then replies:
You make my day!! Hahaha! I can always count on you for fun and giggles. So…I am slightly ever-so-challenged when it comes to exchange rates. But the rate is indeed as shown below. I also checked with Syd – and on the island the exchange rate is right around 16 Pesos to the dollar. It was 12 to 1 when we were last there – or close. So do you know how much you want to get? And when are you leaving?
Then I reply:
Leaving on the 15th. Whoot! Whoot! I am going to miss you and Jen not being there but am ever so grateful that Syd and Lalo will be there for us. I texted Jen on her thoughts if I should go to Chichen Itza from Tulum while I am there. I think I will. Um, I got no rates below in my email, so is it possible you forgot to attach something or copy something? I’m not too worried. I can ask devin to stand at the arrivals from Mexico gates and see who has any pesos left over from their trips.
A while later, I get another response:
So the whole cushion pricing thing was completely lost on you? Are you already drinking tequila straight from the bottle? Here, let me help: 1 Cushion (Peso) costs .06133 each. Or, about 16 pesos to the dollar. (Cushions) Geez. At least now I know that nobody reading the emails on your end will ever suspect cryptic coded messaging.
Oh, and BWAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Cause you just made me laugh even harder!
At this point, I finally realize I am quite in over my head and can’t believe how ridiculous this has been and completely over my head. The entire room that I work with is laughing because I am laughing so hard at myself. They have no idea what has happened, but when someone is clearly cracking up and cant control themselves, then others can’t help but giggle at the laugh vibes.
I write back:
Oh My Goodness, I just laughed so hard that I caused a nosebleed! I also might have an office chair that has some pee on it too if you want one of those. I am such an moron! That was sooooo lost on me. Way way over my head. I was obviously in my snorkel gear (which it took me two hours to find last night – for real) Why are you not going to be in Mexico with us??
I am such a goober. Your intellect is far too superior for me.
Back to where this started before I just thought you were bored and making up numbers and sending me random emails…..I’m almost thinking of changing $x.00 now and splitting the fee with you if your still offering up that deal. Let me know your thoughts.
That was the end of our emails on exchanging pesos but not the end of the story.
She came over and I gave her a check for funds to change over for me and on Monday I got a text that her account had been hacked and someone in Austria (or Germany) had hacked her account and used nearly all of the funds. Good thing the bank covers that kind of loss, but it almost had me crying tears again but not in laughter.
Moral of the story is to be extra careful with your debit cards and check curiously odd emails from friends for hidden messages.
I’ll send a few photos from Isla Mujeres and Tulum Mexico.
Last year I had written about the end of the year to a friend and had lamented on 2014 ending and what great energy it had and I seriously did not want it to end. I was sad as the year rolled over as I felt destined to take steps back and couldn’t see what could be around the next corner.
Who would have thought that 2015 would be exponentially better? I certainly didn’t and can now testify the power of being open to new experiences and having it backed with the belief that those around you believe you can do something even before you do.
This year, I count a million blessings that this year has provided for me. I traveled, wrote, played, shared, connected with old friends and enjoyed the current ones and deepened the newer ones. My family supported all of my adventures. Then I fell into the mode for just a bit again of thinking that it was perhaps a year that couldn’t be topped. I was again stuck on looking in the end of year review mirror until a dear friend assured me what I already feel – that 2016 will be even more remarkable.
So let me remind you that it is a new slate and so many amazing things are going to happen for all of us that take the good out of every day and leave the bad behind.
I won’t say bad things won’t happen, that my heart won’t weep or that there will not be ugly moments – after all, there have been those in this amazing year as well. I’m just saying that we often get what we expect, so expect the best year yet!