Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Vacation's rock!

Finally.... an update.

I'll be completely honest here, no room for bullshit. I'm struggling right now to play catch up at work, home, school and everything in between. Feelings of overwhelm and over commitment are recurring and I'm sad that I've burned through all of my vacation time. Back to work :-(

I'm going to start the vacation post with my feelings of arriving home, I know a little backwards - just my style. I was happy to be back in a country that regularly used toliet seat covers and tried to adhere to some kind of food standards involving the temperature that foods should be kept at. I was happy to get home and get me a big ol internet fix and look forward to going to a restaurant where when I ask for wine, they will provide me a wine list instead of saying white or red. Things I will miss - the sand, so fine that it sticks to you for days on the beaches in Cancun, wearing my comfy flip flops every single day, looking at water that is the prettiest shade of blue - I can't begin to describe it, meeting some of the nicest local people ever. I think it is the Catholic guilt that runs thickly through my veins but when I said hello to my puppies I nearly wept, to say I missed them would be the understatement of the year. They were in great hands, my in -laws came up from the desert (center of the surface of the sun) and puppy sat. I must mention that my mother in law also weeded our front yard and cleaned our house while we were gone, it truly felt like I had won lotto.

Our final walk through for fost/adopt happens on Monday and I have completely put it on the back burner (of my mind) until this morning. As I was on the treadmill, I was watching "Deep End of The Ocean" a movie from 1998/99 and though the story is not foster related I was able to draw on commonalities between the two worlds. The premise, for those of you who didn't read the book or see the movie (this one is another example of the book being way better than the movie) is about a mom who has three children and one is abducted, a son around age 2 or 3. The movie shows how the family struggles to rebuild their life and how the abducted boy (who has been living in their same city) knocks on their door and asks if they need help with yard work and he's looking to make a few bucks, aged 9 or10? Long story even longer, they realize this is their son and he is returned to his "birth parents" while he struggles to adapt to his new family and they to him - he see's the man who raised him while with his birth mom on daily errands ( the man didn't now he was abducted and yes, these ARE the days of our lives). The birth parent aspect vs. the daily parent was painfully reminiscent of aspects we have discussed at our foster care trainings. Hmmm, I feel like I could go on, alot of emotions right now about the walk through, what it represents and then there is always Mother's Day next weekend which will be a toughie for sure. This could and will be a whole other post, later in the week.

Ok, enough of that.

Are you ready for some pictures?

Why yes, I was hungry like a freaking wolf and because I LOVE Duran Duran - They are my absolute FAVORITE BAND EVER, I had to take a picture of this banner posted at the bar while we were visiting the Hard Rock Cafe. HRC Cancun is near an area that is thick with tourists but also close to some really cool tide pool areas.

My lunch at HRC - skirt steak taco's with chorizio, topped with pork rinds

and a side of heartburn.

Duane's fajita sandwhich - let's be honest, we were a little homesick and visiting for atmosphere - obviously not the food.

Ok, here we go. This is the good stuff.

SERIOUS FOOD PORN AHEAD..... We went to an amazing Argentina steakhouse whilst in Cancun and had this tasty treat. Apparently, the process is very labor intensive and take hours or days to make. They are like french fries but 90 gazillion times better.

Note - The basket holding these tasty morsels of grease and deep fried-ness is also made of potatoes. Simple minds, simple pleasures.

Duane's appetizer- tunas sashimi rolls

The bread basket, served with Chimichurri sauce and chilled herb butter. I can't believe I'm going to admit this, but I asked for another side of bread and the necessary accoutrement's to go, so I could enjoy with my Chilean syrah after we returned to the hotel that evening..

My wedge salad with Roquefort dressing

Roll with Chimmichuri sauce

The waiter thought we should be looking at the sun while it was setting, instead of taking a picture of us near the sun setting or with it in the background. Um- ok.

We were in constant amazement - every day. Breathtakingly beautiful.

A photographer, I'am not. Nice bright yellow ass in the background, otherwise - I really like this pic of Duane under the Palappa.

I know, I know - it's just water but it's so pretty......

Duane so wanted to swing or just try to hang from these long vine like plants in the interior of our hotel. His inner child was screaming to grab a hold and bolt of the ledge to see how far he would get before the plant would break.

I guess I need to get a neutral color bra???

We would walk through these doors each day to the pool.

Cool piece of art.

This was D's first time getting a stamp in his passport so he was very excited and nervous, I looked forward to my second visit to Cancun, the first 18 years ago. With trepidation and consternation we were determined to travel around and discover the Yucatan Peninsula. We had signed up for zip-lining, scuba diving and mentally planned a trip to Isla Muejeras as well as
Cozumel. We had over - commited to so many activities that we ended up doing one, well - D ended up scuba diving while I visited the spa at our hotel. The rest of our time was spent laying under a palappa by the pool reading textbooks, my CSET study guide or a magazine and sipping on a drink with an umbrella in it.

We arrived Thursday night after traveling all freaking day long. A typical travel day of exhaustion, crankiness and running to catch the next plane found us starting our journey at 8:15 AM as we left our driveway then arriving in Cancun around 7:oo PM. For a country so close, it seemed like way too long to get there.

We were ELATED to wake up the next morning and see this:

The resort was aesthetically pleasing with a lot of nice design elements and classy touches but the service & food were either really good or really bad, totally inconsistent. The cherry on this ice cream debacle of an organization with no organization was the "Vacation Club Account Executive" who repeatedly asked us if we wanted a free massage. Finally, on day two and the 30th time being asked - I took the bait and replied " Sure, what's the catch"? He quickly explained that the massage was all mine if I went on their "SPECIAL INVITATION" 90 minute tour - I politely interrupted and told him, No, No thank-you. He persisted and asked us (and everyone else) everytime we passed through the lobby for the rest of that day. D channeled his inner McGyver and found us secret egress so we could avoid the Vacation Club Nazi.

Another shot of the interior near the bar/lounge area

Lounge/bar area where we spent cocktail/study hour. If this area had free Internet, I probably would have been here the ENTIRE time. I really missed free, wireless Internet and appreciate it more than ever.

~ The End ~


Io said...

A. You look fantastic - love the hair.
B. That food looks fantastic.
C. If you decide to adopt an older child, I am available so long as you take me with on vacations.

kate said...

Heh. I'm with Io. I'm available for temporary vacation-adoption!

It looks like you had a most excellent vacation, and yeah, I'm super jealous of the ultra-fine sand clinging to your feet and the water and the beaches and the awesome food...

Damn, I need a vacation that doesn't involve pain meds... next year, maybe.

kate said...

Oh, and I keep meaning to mention-
The pic on your sidebar of the Getty Villa- is that a museum, or was it once (uh, 13 or 14 years ago)? 'Cos I swear to Gof I've been there. However, at the time, late in my freshman year of college, one of my dearest buddies was working his way through a sheet of most excellent acid, which he was sharing all around. So, if it is the place I'm thinking of, then I went there while tripping insanely hard (dude. I was a freshman in college... I was stupid... it was the mid-90s... I was just 18... away from home for the first time... all the kids were doing it, etc.), which may be why it looks totally familiar, but also why I can't be sure that it is the same place. It's up on the top of a steep hill, yes? And that picture is the courtyard and there's a series of water trenches around that courtyard and they're all lined with white marble, yes?

Or is all of that just my brain playing tricks on me?

Ally said...

Welcome home! I'm sorry you had to leave the sun and sand for stress and feeling behind, but I'm so glad you had a great trip! Your pictures are fabulous and you look so relaxed and happy!

May your week be smooth and less stressful than you're expecting, my dear!

Kara said...

You guys are killing me.... too freakin funny.

Io-Your check is in the mail, you always know just what to say.

Kate - Your wine will be in the mail at the end of the week and I'm looking forward to the arrival of wine from WS/NC.

Getty Villa/Musuem had been closed for a remodel for a while and recently re-opened. I'm unsure of when the remodel started but your timeline sounds like you might have gone to the Getty Center which overlooks the lovely 405 freeway. There is a tram ride that you take to the top which would have been quite memorable with the mind altering substances. The Getty Villa overlooks Malibu and the Pacific Ocean. I had a chance to take my cousin's 15 year old daughter and we played in LA for the day- this was one of our memorable stops. Anytime you need a tour guide in LA - sign me up, I'm the girl for the job!

Ally - Thanks for listening to my whining, it felt good to get that out. I'm feeling better, we'll see how things go tomorrow.

Barb said...


Love the yellow ass. haha.


Emily said...

I'm a day late, and a peso short! Beautiful pictures ... you guys look so happy and relaxed!! Glad you're back safe and sound!