Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Adventures in Shopping

I'm not a drapery person at all. I don't like dark rooms. But I do prefer night time sleeping in a room where I don't feel like somebody is shining a flashlight in my eyes so that's what lead to our shopping adventure. We decided to put up a black out drape in the spare bedroom. You know, we are having guests and we want them to get a good night's sleep. Lights from the jardine across the street shine in the room at night.

Just like always, I knew Chapur had a location downtown. Could we walk directly to it? Of course not, but we could hope to get close enough to be able to spot it. We've walked by it numerous times. It's in the walking gauntlet. We found it without too much extra walking and had to go to the top floor for home goods. And I spotted drapes over in the corner. The cool thing about shopping here is that there are plenty of people to help you. And they genuinely try to help you. Whereas it seems like in the US, customer service is going away but here it seems to be plentiful. I really like personal service. We looked and found what we wanted. The perfect size and all. It was a pair that measured 80 inches (not centimeters) across. So the salesperson takes the item you want to buy and walks over to a desk, writes up a ticket and then takes you and the merchandise to another desk where the cashier rings up the purchase, you pay, then you get to actually take possession of the merchandise. Just the way it goes.

We needed a curtain rod now, but Chapur doesn't sell those. The sales lady told us to go to the esquina and we would find Parisina. They would have them. We had shopped and bought from Chapur, but neither of us had ever gone to Parisina. It is mostly a fabric store, but we found curtain rods up on the second floor. We found what we needed and took the rod downstairs to a cashier. But as soon as we got in line, it was taken away from us by an authoritative looking gentleman and he took the rod over to a girl where she scanned it, printed out a piece of paper and handed it all back to the guy. We're following everybody around like two puppies. He takes the rod and the paper to another desk and hands the paper to the girl and places the rod to the side. She uses the paper to ring up the sale, we pay her and she turns around and gives the receipt to the authoritative looking guy. He takes the receipt and walks over to the rod and looks at the stuff piled around it like he doesn't have a clue which item we are trying to purchase. I knew what was going through Terry's mind and vice versa. It is rather humorous but we know there is an end in sight. Be patient. Eventually, we are handed the rather long rod and are free to walk out the door with it. You would have thought Terry was carrying a loaded gun as we walked through town. Every person we met on the street would stop and look at him. We aren't sure if they were just curious or just genuinely concerned about what the heck that long thing was.

We got home and opened the package. Remember me saying the pair of drapes measured 80" across. They didn't. They measured 37" each. Made in China! They looked like crap. Just to move ahead here, I ended up going back yesterday and getting another pair. Of course they are the same with the exception of being a different color. But, they blend and will have to do. They do serve their purpose.

To end our day of shopping, we walked to Chedraui and bought groceries and a new microwave to replace the one the ants got in and destroyed the electronic stuff. Terry tried to work on it but it was beyond repair. Since we bought a microwave I got to ride home in a bici-taxi with the groceries and microwave while Terry walked home. I felt so special being  transported - living in high cotton!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Just One More Night

Can't upload pictures so will try and get them in here later...ugh! I can't even upload to Google's because I am trying to do this blog from free parquet internet services and it limits your ability to upload. Oh hell/oh well!

Still in Hopkins, Stann Creek District, Belize
We rented a golf cart one day for a couple of hours, and after walking the beach north and walking the beach south, we could now scope out going these directions from the road. You may think that two hours in a golf cart isn't near enough but Hopkins isn't a very big place. Plus, we got off of the beaten path while south and it seemed that there was water in this $10/gallon gas. (that is what Belizeans pay for a gallon of gas; we didn't have to pay for gas at all) So when we came sputtering into Coconut Row they told us to grab another golf cart and go for another couple of hours. We did! As we drove through town several of the shop owners came out and wanted us to stop and buy. Our answer: We promise. We will be back. By the end of the day we had stopped and bought from all those we promised we would. Nothing big but embroidered potholders, conch shell soap dish and spoons, a napkin holder made of cane, carved slate wall hangings, and the infamous Belikin magnet! Our last stop was at the coconut sellers stand where the two dudes used their machete to open the coconut with a big douse of rum poured in.

It was time to make a decision. Do we make plans to check out tomorrow or do we stay another night? We decided quickly to stay another night. The tradition of staying another night started way back when the kids were little. When on vacation, kids never want to leave. So when they started saying they wanted to stay another night, Terry secretly would go to reservations and request another night. The kids would be delighted when he told them we didn't have to go home yet. We still do this today.

Bocawina Park
So for our extra day we got up and had breakfast at Tina's. Terry ordered the Belizean special - he thinks it was the first time he had fish for breakfast except for maybe grabbing a cold piece of leftover fish from the frig. His breakfast was kind of a creole sauce prepared fish, black beans and fry jacks.  I had an omelet. We were getting a ride to Bocawina Park today to do some hiking in the rainforest and check out the waterfalls. Bocawina is less than an hour from Hopkins. I guess our Americanism kicked in when we got to Bocawina. We thought we would be required to have a guide, be in a group, and have a lesson in rainforest safety. There was none of that. We paid our $5 entry fee and they told us to turn left and stay on the trails. You didn't have to tell us to stay on the trail as it would take a complete idiot to try and walk through the thick foliage where who knows what all may live. This was real. We never heard or saw another soul as we climbed up, up and up until we came to the first set of falls. It was about an hour and a half climb. We hung around and took pictures then started to ascend further up. It didn't take us long to realize we didn't want to go another 2 1/2 hours up to the second set of falls. I know...we should have...but...we headed on downward. On our descent we did run into a group that was heading up to rappel down. They also have the longest zipline in Belize here. I would have ziplined but Terry wasn't up for it, and it wasn't worth it for me to go alone. So we went down to the base and grabbed a beer and a rum punch instead! There is a primitive but beautiful resort made up of individual palapas and a restaurant - The Wild Fig. We sat outside where they had a misting system to keep us cool. Met another couple and talked with them. They had found the Bocawina Resort through Groupon.

When we got back to Hopkins, we went to Tina's again for a late lunch. I wanted to eat Garifuna food and she was serving darasa. It is made by grinding up green plantains, mixing with other ingredients then steaming it. Many of the Garifuna dishes are made with this mixture and served as mashed potatoes, dumplings, or as mine was...creole whole fish with the darasa underneath it and oozing out the sides. It was good, rich and very filling. Terry had conch sautéed and served in a creole sauce with rice and a huge helping of coleslaw. Both were excellent. We spent the afternoon vegging on the beach.

Travel Day
We got up and packed and walked the 3-4 blocks to catch the 7am bus out of Hopkins. On travel day we never eat breakfast, live off of fried plantains, and limit our water intake. We were traveling from Hopkins all the way into Belize City on the chicken bus and there are no bathrooms. In Dangriga, we had a 10 minute wait for the next bus to Belize City. I asked the bus driver if I had time to go to the bathroom and he said 'yes', but there was a long line and I gave up as I feared I would get left. You just have to learn to hold it! We took Ritchie's Bus Service from Dangriga to Belize City and after two years we once again got to see and marvel at the Hummingbird Highway. We arrived in Belize City about 10:45...still not sure if we were going to go to San Pedro for the day and night and catch the water taxi back to Mexico, or how in the heck we were going to get north. I looked up and saw an ADO bus pull in. We found the ADO ticket area and found out the bus was going to Cancun via Bacalar, Tulum and Playa del Carmen. We booked to get off at Tulum, just knowing we could get back to Merida from Tulum. When you ride the ADO bus from Merida to Belize City you book and pay for your entire trip. But, when you leave from Belize City you pay for the portion of the trip to get you across the border and then you pay the Mexican ADO ticketing office for the remainder of your ticket. Interesting! Leaving Belize and entering Mexico takes two bus to leave and one to enter. Every trip we have taken across the border we end up paying a different amount. It is as if they never know exactly what to charge you when. This time, we didn't get charged the normal entry fee and we aren't sure why. Last trip we had to pay it.
Our first stop was in Bacalar which is only about an hour north of the border. It was about 4:30pm. This is where we would pay for the remainder of our trip. When we talked to the ADO ticketer we realized we could go directly to Merida from Bacalar. The next bus, which originates in Chetumal, would arrive at 5:45. We talked to the bus driver to explain our change in plans so he could keep his records straight. He completely understood why we were making the change so after a little discussion with the bus driver and the ADO ticketer we were set to go from Bacalar to Merida. We watched it rain as we waited for our bus, and ate fried plantain chips. We could have eaten, but the last thing we ever want to do is risk eating something and then get sick on the bus. A girl did exactly that on the way to Merida. We arrived in Merida a little before 11pm. Upon arrival at the house, we admired the newly-installed balaustradas and the tile that had been laid by Beto. We were happy to be back! We celebrated the long but safe journey and the work Beto had done with a rum drink then headed to the clouds.  

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

We Missed Slugfest but Made Mangofest

It's Tuesday in Hopkins, so I have been told. Actually, now it's one day later.
We left San Pedro on Sunday morning and had beautiful weather to fly.
Flying over the citrus groves near Dangriga
However, I have to say anybody that comes to Hopkins, you really need to take the Hummingbird Highway at least once to come this direction. It is too pretty to miss. We will most likely take it via bus when we start heading back north.

We were able to check into our beautiful new digs extremely early - one of the beauties of traveling during the low season.
It's a winner - the Guesthouse

After being here for a few days I can tell you without a doubt Hopkins is the most laid back, non-touristy place I have ever visited as a tourist. Next down the line is Placencia, Belize. When we had visited Placencia two years ago, we walked away saying it was the most laid back. Not any more.
We came to Hopkins on a whim and at the suggestion of a local woman we had met two years ago while leaving Placencia on a bus. She and her husband were both Belizeans that lived in NYC now. The way she described it made us both put it in our memory banks for a trip in the future. And here we are.
Our view from the 4th Floor Mirador
The Mirador

Mirador View looking east...mountains in the background

We pick our mangoes for breakfast from here

I can now describe it the same way she described it to us. What is the allure? Hopkins is located on the mainland of Belize, directly on the Caribbean but protected by the reef system off the Belizean Coast. It is south of Belize City. The village is made up of Garifunas. They are Black, pretty/handsome, speak their own language and are the nicest, friendliest, most genuine group of people we have ever met. They live as one with nature and are very proud of their heritage and village. One of them explained to us how they operate. They take care of each other and if there is ever a 'bad apple' that pops up either from within or from the outside they won't last. They take care of it. And I don't mean in a violent way; I mean like how every parent used to be parents to kids when you grow up in a small town. You can't get away with doing anything bad. They do not tolerate misbehavior. You can read more about their history here. Yesterday Terry and I were sitting by the beach in the lounge chairs when two little girls about 7 or 8 yrs. old came walking through on their way home from school. One of them could not keep her hands off of Terry. She first touched the skin on his arm, then she started rubbing on his head. Then, she reached down and started touching his belly. We also let the boys riding their bicycles home from school hang on to the side of the golf cart going down the street to get a free ride.
Hopkins is beautiful. The beaches are beautiful and clean, there are nice guesthouses, restaurants are all little wooden buildings mostly with outside seating for a few. There are places to eat and drink, and a few true hole-in-the-wall but really cool bars. 

It is a place to come to and get re-acquainted with yourself, nature and to re-think the definitions of "happiness" and "success" and "the meaning of life". We haven't left yet and I am ready to come back. It is a place for reading and doing nothing. It is a place where we thank the Garifunas for sharing their beautiful village with us. Although there are many natural wonders such as waterfalls, caves, and ruins nearby. So there really are things to do, don't get me wrong. We are staying smack dab in the middle of town in a beautiful guesthouse. Locals in their wooden homes surround us. Clothes drying are on one side of us. We pick our own mangoes in the morning, and Mathew (one of the workers here) climbed a tree and got us a couple of coconuts yesterday. He used his machete to open them, we drank enough of the water to make room for some rum then he poured in the rum. Makes for a great refreshing drink...but watch out as it sneaks up on you. But, we're competing with the woodpeckers for the coconuts. Not so much competition for the rum. We're surrounded by food - mangoes, sea grapes, guava, and cashews.
We got up yesterday morning and took a long beach walk north. This morning we took a long beach walk south. There are "fancy resorts" and expat housing to the south. It is all pretty and shiny. Lots of building going on and I imagine some growing pains are being felt. The resorts are outside of the village and self-contained. We scoped out the marina on the Sittee River down south. It was very pretty and the river is beautiful. 
Upon our arrival, we were told about the Mangofest. It was going on the day we arrived. How cool is that? We were missing Slugfest 2017 but able to make Mangofest in its place. Sunday evening we walked the short walk to Mangofest and had mango rum drinks, ate conch fritters, ate cheese fries, ate Italian sausage burgers and met James. He and his wife left Canada a couple of years ago and opened Gecko's in Hopkins. He is from St. Lucia originally, dark-skinned and just as nice as the native Garifunas. We ate at Gecko's last night - fried fish, plantain chips and coleslaw while we talked to him about his move and the restaurant business. He said it is always a challenge getting fresh produce into the village. Thus, he was serving plantain chips instead of the planned potato fries. We were totally ok with the plantain chips. Drumming is a big thing here. The music is Carribean/reggae kind of music. At the Mangofest they had a dance contest and we saw some big black booty being shaken in a way I didn't even know was possible. Slugs, did you shake your booties at Slugfest? You see absolutely nobody on a cell phone.

We had casually mentioned at the office that we would like some more of the conch fritters we had at the Mangofest. This morning we were told "Shannon" at Luba Laruga (Garifuna for the sun coming up) was making conch fritters and conch cerviche for us. Just go down to the Luba Laruga for our noon meal. Sure enough...he had it all ready for us.
We really hated missing Slugfest, but thank goodness we had Hopkins and Mangofest in its place.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

It May be a Fruitstand or It May be a Pub Crawl

There were a lot of "It May be a Fruitstand" moments over the course of the next two days. We stayed on Ambergris Caye with Joanne and Larry for Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Friday morning we all got up and Joanne made a late breakfast before we headed out to go exploring. The exploring quickly turned into a pub crawl.

We rode out to the gravel pit where we saw "Arkansas" driving a huge backhoe. We had met him the night before at the eatery where we had dinner. He never saw us watching him but now we know he really is the Gravel Guy of Ambergris Caye.
We loaded up in the golf cart and they "re-explored" and we experienced for the first time all the things on the north side of the island. After lots of golf cart riding and looking we headed as far north as you can go in a golf cart which ultimately puts you taking a narrow path along the edge of the water. We started out at the bar at Tranquility Bay way north. Joanne and I swam while the guys got caught up over Belikens and whiskeys. We all grabbed a drink to go and the next stop was another bar called El Norte. I remember that because I bought a t-shirt there. We chatted with the bartender who was from Canada and recently bought the tiny (I mean really tiny) bar. Joanne and Larry had visited this bar on one of the previous days but the bartender/owner was not there. Only his compadre who we are yet to figure out his story. But, he is building houses here and had wanted to show Joanne and Larry the house he had for sale. Evidently when they had left the bar Larry and dug way deep into his pockets and pulled out a Belizean $1 coin (US 50 cents) and left it as a tip. Not meaning to be a cheapskate but just getting confused about the value of the coin. Well, after staying here for quite a while, we decided to load up and head to the next place. I was with  mysterious compadre guy getting my t-shirt at this time so I missed it but evidently compadre guy was so taken aback by the cheap American the day before that he had filled in the bartender. The bartender, not knowing he was talking directly to the culprit, started ragging on "some guy that left a $1 coin as a tip yesterday". Joanne blew beer out her nose and Larry never said a word about it being him. OK...time to move on.

It started to get a little foggy after this, but I know we made it Rojo's Lounge and it was open. We discussed how in just a few short years this was pretty much the end of the line for going north. Rojo's used to be out in the middle of nowhere, but now they have the greatest bar ever and it is nice. Great drinks, great bartenders, and nice-looking guys that go to this bar. We met and talked with people here for quite awhile. We got invited to a Pub Crawl the next day. Sounds like fun! But wait, we are on a pub crawl now. The parrot is pretty cute too. I would say we all let our hair down for sure. There was another bar where we had drinks and eventually ordered food. Terry said it was either Paco's or The Tiki Bar. I think we all knew it was time to go home now.

So, getting back to the Fruitstand. During the day, we saw so many interesting things that you have no idea what it is or what the significance of it is - half-completed buildings, where did all those unmatched shoes come from that washed up on the beach, the beautiful birds you have no idea what they are, the list goes on. Larry and Joanne told this story about one time Dad and Larry were traveling together and they passed a half-completed building on the side of the road and my dad casually said he wondered what that was gonna be. Larry's response was that "it may be a fruit stand". Of course Larry had no idea what it was, and my dad didn't either so who could dispute the other. But of course Dad did dispute it. It became the catch-all for anything you don't know the answer to. "It may be a fruit stand." There were a lot of "It may be a fruit stand" moments on this day of golf cart cruising the outback areas of the north part of the island.

We slowly got moving on Saturday, headed into town for breakfast and some shopping. It remained a fairly slow-moving day...thank goodness! You need those ever now and then. This day seemed to go by very quickly. We spent the afternoon lounging by the condo pool and ended up eating dinner around the pool. Joanne and I finished off the rum punch she had been given while we lounged in the pool. Terry and my plan was to get up early Sunday morning and catch a taxi into town. We were going to sneak out quietly letting Joanne and Larry sleep in peacefully. We had made reservations on a Tropic Air flight for 7am. When we found out the cab tare was $50 we decided to make Larry wake up and take us into town instead...yes, we are cheapskates. It was hard to leave good company but we had places to go and we knew Joanne and Larry wanted to have their time alone for enjoying doing whatever they wanted to do without us being underfoot the whole time. We made a pact to do a little more scheduling and coordination next vacation meet-up so we could do a little more joint traveling.

Good-by to Joanne & Larry and Hello to Hopkins, Stann Creek District, Belize

Monday, June 5, 2017

Belize or Bust...was Almost a Bust

We headed out of Merida bound for Chetumal on a 7:30 am bus. That was on Thursday. It is a very relaxing but long 6 hour bus trip. The Mexican first- class buses are luxurious with plenty of seat room and leg room. The bathrooms are so never have to touch anything to get water for hand-washing or to flush the toilet. You just wave your hand over the little button with the cute pictures. Pretty fancy, huh? We had decided to make this trip on the fly when we realized that our presence at the casa would not make the work go faster or smoother. Beto has the keys to let himself in and we think he has at least a general idea how we wanted the tile floors to be laid out. Furthermore, Beto has full artistic license to do what he wants. I mean we aren't there so who knows what Beto will do. I think he's going to miss us being there making tortas for him every day though.

The smooth and uneventful ride to Chetumal was a little different than our water taxi ride to San Pedro from Chetumal. We boarded on time and left on time, but after about 15 minutes the engine sputtered and stopped running abruptly. Terry immediately said it sounded like a prop shear pin. We were dead in the water rolling from side to side and a few people were looking a little green. Jamie, the gay guy we have come to know over the years as the cabin overseer jumped up and immediately told everybody to stay seated. It would just take a few minutes to fix. That was when the arguing started. It was a strange couple we haven't quite figured out. He was a big guy, a Mexican guy. She was a tiny little live wire, a Mexican woman I had named "Busybody" before we even left. She couldn't sit still and was constantly asking questions of everybody in the terminal beforehand. It seems they had been estranged, he had contacted her and said he wanted her to come home. She did. But he was texting F'ing somebody at 5 in the morning. Who the F was it??? She demanded to know. My statement was ---Well, we'll be seeing this altercation on YouTube.

After a few minutes they stopped arguing or maybe the engine, one of them, drowned them out. We were back on our way but slowly. The normal hour and 45 minute trip took 2 and 1/2 hours but we did make it to San Pedro. Got through customs and our plan was to look for Larry and Joanne and hope they were waiting for us, but if not, we would walk over to Ruby's Hotel and get a room for the night and find them in the morning.

After getting through Customs, we exited and looked around but didn't see them and we were just about to head out walking when we spotted them in their cute little yellow golf cart being very still and trying to be stealthy. They were going to come up behind us once we started walking and listen to how we trashed them for not caring enough to even meet us at the dock.

They had put in a full day and we had traveled all day so we were all hungry. Headed the 8 miles out to their gorgeous condo and stopped off at a little roadside eatery for drinks and something to eat. Their specialty - lionfish. None of us had ever eaten lionfish even though we had heard about it. Oh, my! It was so delicious. And the drinks were cold. We were all so excited we were all talking but I don't know who was listening.

Headed out to the condo and I have to say it was an early night. We were ready for a good night's sleep and a couple of days of catching up. Pretty nice of them to let us crash at their pad for a few days!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Otro Vez...Otro Vez!!!

Yes, construction projects in Mexico go differently than in the U.S. so you just have to change your expectations and in the will be perfectly happy.
We went on a little walkabout to Playa del Carmen and points beyond for our 30th Anniversary. It was nice!
We tried not to get our expectations up too much about the work on the house but we had been gone since last Thursday...we expected to look up and see some results. Well, we did look up and see some results. Just not what we expected.  When we left the house Herberto was busy working and all was clipping along. We came back home yesterday morning early. When we arrived at the house there was somebody working on the roof but not Herberto. We really aren't sure what all may have happened when we were gone, but we know a couple of things for sure. Beto had replaced Herberto and Beto wasn't continuing the job Herberto started...Beto was tearing away the work that had been done. There were balaustradas erected across the front of the house, but some were missing and you could see where the chiseling and chipping to remove them had taken place. When Beto saw us in front of the house looking up he immediately kept repeating "Otro vez! Otro vez!" We knew that meant another time, but we didn't immediately make the connection. Then it dawned on us...he was working to put the balaustradas in place another time. We really didn't ask any questions and it really doesn't matter, but obviously the balaustradas didn't meet Paulino's standards and somebody else is now working on the job. Beto has tools. He has a saw and yesterday I saw him using a tape measurer and making his pencil marks where he can evenly space out the balaustradas and make them look right. He did explain they had originally been placed too close together. Eventually it will all get done...and we know that.
By the end of the day he had chiseled out all the balaustradas along with the center cement pillar, made his new forms and poured concreto. Perhaps mañana we will have the permanent balaustradas in place, but we have no expectations.

So today, we are deciding where and when we will go for our next adventure. We are thinking down to Belize to re-visit a few places and scope out some new haunts.

If you read the previous post you know about the electricity outage. We found out later it covered parts of the whole Yucatan Peninsula - parts of Campeche state, Yucatan state and Quintana Roo and was a rolling blackout due to the extreme heat. All is good now!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Happy Sweltering 30th Anniversary, Sweetheart

Tuesday, May 23rd was our 30th Anniversary. Let me tell you, that's a long time to be married to one person. It deserves some special attention. We had decided Monday evening that we would get up and go to Progreso and spend the day on the beach then spend the night at this cute and quaint little posada we had found one block back from the malecon. We were going to have drinks on the beach, go out for dinner and make our day special. By Tuesday morning the plan had changed. We decided to just hang in town on our anniversary, but go buy bus tickets to Playa del Carmen and spend some time on the beach and celebrate there instead. But we would leave out on Wednesday.
Herberto, the Albañile, showed up early in the morning to begin some work on the house. The balaustradas for the front exterior got delivered and were the perfect size. Work was beginning and we were taking a trip. Life was good! We walked over to the ADO bus station to buy our tickets and got back to the house about 10 in the morning. I was in the kitchen and it just seemed to get hotter and hotter. That's when I realized the ceiling fans weren't turning. None of them. The electricity was off. That's the thing about Mexico. There is something about the hotter the temperatures the more likely there will be an outage. Temperatures had steadily been climbing since we had arrived at the casa and temps were in the 105-110 range. You know, May weather in Merida. Before the summer rainy season begins and starts cooling things off.
So we spent our anniversary sweltering in the heat. At some point Terry reached over and hugged me and I think my exact words to him were "Don't touch me!". 
It was so sweltering hot we couldn't even comfortably lie down. The mattress was too hot. Terry couldn't use his computer because it would automatically cut off because it got too hot. I tried painting to sweat kept dripping on my painting so I stopped. We spent the day lying in the hammocks rocking back and forth trying to make our own breeze. At some point, a guy came by and knocked on the front gate. He was selling hand-made flowers out of corn husks. Little did he know it was our anniversary and he would make a sale when Terry went to the gate to talk with him. But that just seems to work out that way down here.
We laughed and made jokes about the heat. City workers from next door were outside trying to get cool and they pretty much had a free day to just hang out. They were ok with it all. What else could we do? We wouldn't dare open the refrigerator or freezer door because we wanted to at least have our ice last for a good, cool cocktail around 6 or 7, just in case electricity didn't come back on. I was really worried about how in the heck we were going to sleep in the sweltering heat. And it seemed a good part of the city was experiencing the outage so to try and find a place with fans or a/c wasn't going to happen.
The one thing that kept us going was hearing Herberto up on the roof building the forms, mixing the concrete, carrying it up the stairs, and pouring it in the forms. He worked tirelessly all day long. He stopped long enough for a 30 minute lunch break then was at it again. No afternoon siesta even on this sweltering day. Every time I heard the sounds of him working up in the sun on the rooftop, I would just think about how much hotter it was up there compared to inside the house.
We did manage to have enough ice for cocktails around 6 and when we came back in the kitchen to mix up round 2, we realized the fans were turning. We had made it! We made it to 30 years and we made it through the sweltering day. And, we would be going to Playa del Carmen mañana   . Seriously, do I have anything to gripe about?! Much of Merida didn't even know the electricity was off. It didn't make any difference to Herberto for one. Seriously, Happy Sweltering 30th Anniversary, Sweetheart!