Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Whats Been Goin' on.

I just noticed that my last post was only four weeks ago.  To me it seems like waaaaayyyyy longer than that.  So much has happened in those four weeks I cannot believe that is all it has been since my last post in fact I am going to check on that.  It really doesn't matter too much because the point is, the world has been spinning ever since my mom got here.  She was the official kick off of Cabo Mayhem.  As many of you know Lusso, the company who was running Villa Miguel went bankrupt.  That in and of its self was stressful, but the good news is mom is now living in Villa Miguel.  It may not be her ideal situation and at first it was a scramble and very intense, but now that she has settled in more it has been wonderful.  Last Sunday we spent the whole day by the pool.  It was my Aunt Becky and Uncle Jimmy's last day in town and we all spent the day lounging and playing at the pool.  O so exhausted herself practicing her swimming skills that she even took a mid day nap.  Which meant I had a full two and a half hours to just chill poolside and chat with Rachel while my mom dropped J&B off at the airport.  I tell you this NEVER happens.  Chill time is usually just not an option!  But on this day it was pure bliss.  And when O woke up she at dinner whirlpool side and then we all had a night time swim.. ahhh I tell you.  This was the quintessential Villa Miguel time, sucking away any stress and bringing in only tranquility.  Three cheers to Villa Miguel.  I tell you the place is magic.  Though we all know it's not magic it's mom always working behind the scenes to make sure it appears to be magic. I am learning through my own experiences how much work it can be to live and do business in Mexico but I have decided that it is the exact things for which I love Mexico that frustrate me.  Without one you could not have the other.  So you take it in stride and know that if you decide to live and work in Mexico patience is key and always always look for the beauty.  
The other part of my job right now has been doing concierge services.  Mostly it's been family that have been my clients.  Which I have been so thankful to be able to practice with them and they have pushed me to find new and interesting things to do here in Cabo.  I in return have 
pushed them to do some pretty new and interesting things as well (Ziplines, Rhino Safari(safe and secure dune buggies, aka "old people ATV's" I can say that cuz I have no desire 
to ATV and a Rhino suits me just fine), sailing (or not really just sitting on an unsailing boat, under strict instructions not to go to the pacific side to as to be sure to not spill your
 Margarita), various booze cruises, (classy and not-so-much).  One of the perks to the concierge biz that I have been participating in is now and again I get to go with my "clients"(family) complimentary to check out activities for promotional purposes, ie, fun stuff for free, and all in the name of research.  Aside from being super fun, it is actually very effective.  I am learning all about all of the activities here, and I thought I'd done it all.  Take for example the Cabo Mar for Salsa Cruise (ie, classy booze cruise), not to be confused with the Jungle Cruise which is not classy at all but super fun and only to be done with people you either like a whole lot or will never see again.  The Cabo Mar we took with my cousins crew.  Such a fun night.  James and Tammy got engaged on the boat.  They were so quite about it I had to make a big fuss.  James proposed right as the sun was setting behind the arch.  Awwww. cute.  The Cabo Mar was a pretty big boat and after a pretty tasty taco bar there was room to dance on the upper deck.  The waiters did a little dance to get the party started.Notice I said waiters, not dancers, so I use the word "dance" very loosely and mostly it was hilarious watching the guys try to keep up with each other.  They still managed to get the party started however and got most of us up on the dance floor, I think I even did the Maquerena (how is that spelled? Its that Mexican dance that won't die).  I must almost mention that the free booze was a flowin' and after diving (my first dive since France, yippy) with Swayze, and a few at the Office that day, I may have been a bit tipsy.   Which would have been showcased by me trying to spin the tallest man on the boat in my little pink beach dress.  We all had such a good time that Amy sent her parents Jim and Becky (J&B) on the boat during their visit.  I wasn't on there for that one, but they said the had a good time...though I can't imagine as good as ours as there was no engagement, no me attempting feats beyond natural possiblity in very cute attire. I have to say as much fun as the cousin crew way they were wayyyy too much fun for me.  A couple of times I had to bow out.  Its the whole I live here, work here, have a kid and need to survive for the next day thing.  That is the weird thing about living in a place where people come to get away from their own lives.  Its easy to forget that people actually live here.  But it's true, living here is sort of  like being on perpetual vacation.  I think that is why I chose it.  I have to do the things that I need to do, I can't be a beach bum, but I have access to so much awesomeness I can pretty much walk out my front door to fun.  

Now I have to say.  This isn't the way I always felt about being here.  There was quite a loooooonnnnng stretch of lonely and hard.  Like straight up crunching on rocks hard.  I can say that about the first few months because I truly feel like we are past it and holding our own as citizens of Cabo San Lucas.  O has adjusted unbelievably well to our new life here in Cabo.  Though I will say at first she HATED school.  The language and all the "naughty little brown kids".  Now she is very happy there and she is speaking more Spanish than I am and understands nearly everything.  And apparently she has the perfect accent.  As for me my Spanish is coming along.  I was taking lessons but they sort of fell by the wayside when the rest of my life got crazy busy...I should be going back now that things have died down a bit and I really feel if there is one thing holding me back it's my lack of social Spanish.  I can tell people what I want, and tell people what to do but I can't hold a social conversation and I understand less than I speak.  It doesn't help that I am half deaf from fourteen too many ska/punk rock or the like concerts.  I pretty much need silence and perfect pronunciation and words that I recognize for me to make an appropriate response.  I few lessons and a hearing aid should help that.  I was thinking of getting one of those mini-megaphones to stick in my ear and have the people at Sangria's just talk straight into...or not.

I am making friends.  Like real friends.  My bff down here's name is Rachel.  We met at yoga and became fast friends. Cue the music. We always joke that the violins start playing every time we tell how we met. 
 But really...they probably should. She is as adventurous as I am has traveled the world, is great with Ophelia and can pretty much hold her own in any situation.  We have lots of fun together and I am so thankful to have a kindred spirit who is going through many of the same 
things as I am.  She moved here in October just after me and has met some of the same challenges of living here.  When we talk to each other we learn that it is normal.  

Along with meeting 
Rachel, two of my very best buds on the planet Katie and Autumn came for a very short 4 day visit.  Short but I am so glad they managed to squeeze me in.  We packed in more stuff in those 4 short days that I had in the entire time I'd been here.  I'd been waiting for them to do a Medano beach day.  Medano is where all the Spring Breakers go and it is fun city, just to be a fly in the sand and watch the craziness ensue.  Mango Deck is where most of the action happens.
  We just sat back by the water and watched all the silly spring breakers do their thing.  But, by the end of the evening we participated in a "name the tune to the movie" trivia thingy.  My proud moment was a song from "Forest Gump" and you had to race up to the guy on the platform and give him a beer to fight for a chance to guess the song.  Well I found a suitable cervesa, sprinted to the platform, slid my butt across it, popped a beer in his hand, 
answered the question, got it right and won 
us a bucket of beers.  Very cool. Uhhhh I also sort of ended up with a giant peacock feather fake tattoo on my upper thigh.  I say it was for the love of my Katie Peacock but it was mostly because it was free and I had a buzz.
  I admit when I woke up in the morning I reacted as a sailor may have tattooing his mother's name in a big heart on his arm.  Yah you may love your mom but do you really want her permanently on your body???? I love ya Katie but I don't need your feather on my thigh for two weeks trying to hide what looks more like unkempt body hair as opposed to semi-permanent homage to my best friend.  Note to self.  Just because it's free doesn't mean it's a good idea.  Why do I keep having to make that note? In Katie's defense the whole thing was my idea. (FYI the beach pic above is Cerrito's not Medano, the one below is Medano)
As the night set in on our beach side outing we noticed that the ground was glowing where the water met the sand.  The phosphorescence had joined the party!  I never knew this but they are like teeny tiny little glow worms that light up when agitated.  I thought they were bacteria but they are bigger than that and when I picked them up they even jumped around.  They'd freak me out if they weren't so cool.  I like shit like that.  I also try to bring my Baja flora and fauna field guide with me everywhere I go but usually forget or if I do remember realize that I rarely have time to stop and study, it's the dichotomy 
between  my wish to have a bit of smarty pants science geekiness and the reality of my forgetful, somewhat ADD in constant search for fun...ness. So when  the phosphorescence showed up to Spring Break 2009you can well imagine
 I invited them to the party! (Thats Rambo the Shot Guy at Mango deck and I checking out the Phosphorescence tee hee cool, we shared a moment.
  While A&K were here we did all the Spring Break stuff we even hit the Giggling, or as we say here in Cabo, The Jiggling Marlin and Autumn and I took upside down shots.  We didn't get pictures of it but it was pretty fun and the sh0ts were pansy shots.  So it almost even felt healthy, like a spine realignment with three sips of zippy grapefruit juice.  Had a few at Sangria's.  We even got our Caricatures done.  Yahhh here's an insider tip.  If a little man, about as tall as he is wide, slightly balding with a mustache, offers to draw your Caricature DO NOT LET HIM!  Even if he offers to do it for free. (See *see note to self above).  You will forever have self doubt.  Autumn, Katie and I had just finished a most fantastic and civilized Tequila tasting (free, work perk) where we tasted 9 different tequilas.  It was like a wine tasting.  We didn't get drunk we were comparing them between 3 brands silver, respasado and anejo.  Believe me after what I saw I wish I had been drunk lost the picture and passed out never to remember how we were once portrayed.  He basically drew giant schnozzed, fake tittied ( I would say breast but that's not what they looked like) Witches of Eastwick.  Pretty much the only thing he got right was the earrings.  300 pesos later, my sweet negotiating skills, we have a laugh of a lifetime.  We couldn't even be nice.  We laughed in his face, we laughed our way down the street, doubled over in an ally way.  It was so bad I kept it.  It's hanging up on my mantel.  I will be keeping it until it is the perfect time to pass it along, perhaps a girls Christmas party gift, in which we give gifts that reflect out ladies I got plans.  Anyway those four days were filled with so much laughter and uplifting soulful moments I know why I keep the company I do.  No amount of mileage or time distances my friendships.  

And now with the magic of SKYPE we are able to become even closer.  I've just discovered it and have been able to have two conversations with Katie, and a wee encounter with Gertie and her cousin Ann and a catch up with Barb.  It is a marvel.  At one point Katie SKYPE called me, my brother gmail chatted me and I got a text from Rachel, talk about communication overload.  And to think 3 months ago I had gone an entire week without talking to anyone one but my mom. With a computer that had a total melt down almost as soon as I hit Mexican soil and couldn't get it fixed till my Aunt brought me a brand new one.  It was rough man.  Talk about isolating.   It just takes time to figure it out. It's almost like you really do have to start all over again, like breaking you down to build you up again.  Just because you think things are going to be one way doesn't mean they are going to go the way you think they should.  You can prepare as much as you want but life will throw at you what it will and if there is a lesson life wants you to learn, all the planning in the world can't prepare you for it.  My lesson was enduring Mexico truly all on my own. Thank goodness I had Ophelia, or perhaps the loneliness may have been more than I could bear.  The connections I thought I had made drifted away or weren't as I was expecting them to be.  I had to start all over. The test of what are you here for? If your gonna do this you really have to do it, this ain't no vacation honey, this is real life and you are gonna have to work for it!  Well we are getting there.  Figuring out the communication between home and here, the language of Mexico and finding a way to connect with home and here.  Easing our way through the Mexican system through business and life and somehow falling in love with it all over again.  Not every day is easy.  People think I'm on permanent vacation, but those are just the stories I tell.  The truth is I am experiencing the biggest challenge of my life.  But I never wanted easy.  I don't want to breeze through my life and think, well that was ok.  As I played with O today in a pool that is just warming up again, she practiced her swimming and we danced to my music I felt it.  Real true overwhelming happiness, accomplishment that we are thriving here.  Knowing only the first challenges have been met, the rest are yet to come, but a perfect pocket of blissfulness.  Just me and O at our home doing our thing.  

We shall see what comes next.  I am now trying to book our flights home.  We plan on spending a few months in MN.  I am going to work stateside promoting ourselves and O is going to attend Children's Country Day.  The odd thing is, even though I am excited at the prospect of home.  I'm not ready yet.  I feel like there is so much to do here.  I don't want to loose all that we have accomplished here in Cabo.  But I want O to feel like she has a life in MN as well as Cabo.  There is so much to offer in MPLS I want her to experience those things as well (just not in the freezing ass cold that lingers for half an eternity).  Not to mention a serious need for a heavy dose of friends and family. 

Ok as if this wasn't long enough, a story.  This started out all fun and turned a bit philosophical.  Lets bring it on back and make fun of other people!!! 
So my friends Rachel, Claudio and I were going to meet my cousins at Cerritos beach about 45 minutes up from Cabo.  Before we left we decided to grab some breakfast at one of my fave local joints way up in the heart of Cabo, Campestre.  Unfortunately it was closed so we took the next best thing the Cabo market which is pretty much the Mexican equivalent to a food court, but like 100,000 times better.  About 18 little stalls all in the same spot, all serving breakfast with an open area for seating.  This place is fantastic but even I find it a bit overwhelming at times.  Just toooooo much to choose from and not sure what the protocol.  As I am looking for a parking spot in front I see a couple of very touristy looking gringos.  I laugh and say "Oh they must be lost."  Still focused on not hitting the green truck that is either pulling out or pulling in, I don't know which, but I want that parking space, Rachel makes eye-contact with the girl.  She runs at our car waving frantically.  Turns out, THEY ARE LOST.  We sort of pull over with the back end still sort of in traffic, Rachel opens the window.  The poor girl sputters, "aaree you guys from around here?" Her eyes are beat red and about to burst, is it possible she's been crying? "We were looking for the marina and they took us here.  We just want to go to the marina, like by the water, do you know it is, the marina?" The marina, the safe haven for all tourists.  "oh honey you are a far cry from the marina"  the girl was so white she was blotchy.  Rachel gives her walking directions back to the marina, basically you take this street straight down she points.  Just keep walking and you will get there.  She finalizes the directions with a, "don't worry you are safe here."  She and her husband (I assume) are so grateful I think she actually hugs Rachel.  The green pick-up hasn't figured out what it's doing yet so I pull up the street a ways and we all let loose laughing.  Oh those poor things.  We can just see the story they tell their families.  "There we were in the middle of the Mexican barrio, surrounded by, by, by MEXICANS, they all had machetes, when a blond Anglo angel appears in a black jeep.  As if sent from Heaven she points the way and tell us "we are safe here".  What we didn't realize until a little later is that the walk we sent them on was to be no more, but no less scary than what they had already experienced, we just sent them on a half hour walking tour straight through the heart of Cabo.  They must've been petrified the whole way.  Luckily we didn't, send them through the really bad part, where Betty says, "The pimps, the whores and the gays live!!!!"  ALL TOGETHER??? That must be really bad.  Ha! We just sent them to where all the regular ole machete carrying Mexicans live.  I hope they made it to the Marina and weren't kidnapped on the way...