Hola loyal reader! Please join Bruce and Mary as they host their close friends Bonnie and Deb. You’ll see that they manage to pack a lot of fun into only a week long getaway. As usual, for those of you who prefer to view these posts from the original blogsite, please click here.
We were thrilled to hear a couple of months ago that Mary’s best friend Deb and our close friend of over 30 years (whoa, are we that old?) Bonnie were going to fly down from Princeton, MN (our home town) and spend a week with us. And last Friday night they flew via Continental directly into Merida, spending the little bit extra to avoid the Cancun bus ride. Mary taxied out to the airport and directed them to the taxi stand and they arrived at our casa about 10:30. I had Margaritas at the ready and I laid out botanas (according to Mary’s instructions) on the patio table poolside and we were ready to party and we did until the wee hours.
On Saturday we planned a cocktail party giving Bonnie and Deb an opportunity to meet a few of our Meridano friends. Dave the Brit was the first to arrive. Going around the table is Mary, Bonnie, and Deb.
Starting with our friend, Luca, an Italian chef, on the left, we have Carlos,Â Brazos Abierto‘s Doc and also ours, Holly, friend and coworker, Deb M and Bonnie who really hit it off, Sharon who we house-sat for in the summer of 2008 and Dave the Brit, once again. Later in the party on Mary’s laptop, we played the hilarious and always poignant John Stewart Merida skit which starred Carlos and featured a number of our other Meridano friends.
Sunday was beach day, here are Bonnie and Deb soaking it up. Mary and I are happy to be so fortunate to have the very best Progreso beach day of our lives. There was the hot sun, only a slight cooling breeze (not the sandblasting we often experience). The usual green tint to the ocean was not at all present, in fact Bonnie referred to it as Mille Lacs blue, and there was virtually no sargasso washed up on shore. And with beer and botanas, who could have asked for anything more! When the sun had sunk low in the sky we picked up and trekked back to the bus station. We briefly considered taking up our good friends Chuck and Joanne’s offer of just popping in whenever we are at the beach but I am afraid the day had gotten away from us.
After busing back from the beach we walked right by our local bar El Luceros and as we were all feeling a little peckish we stopped in for some Chope cervezas and the free all you can eat botanas. And I wonder what Bonnie has up her sleeve.
Deb, framed by her new El Lucero amigos, Christian and Enrique.
Mary and I both took Monday off from work and we spent the day exploring the art and the history of El Corazon, the heart of Merida After stopping at the Peon Contreras sidewalk cafe for cocktails we ended up here at our all-time favorite restaurante in Merida, La Plaza Serenata. Mary had arranged with our favorite mesero, server, Moises to get this balcony seat overlooking La Plaza Grande.
After our meal, Mary had our favorite cantadores serenade us with a beautiful rendition of Malaguena which for all of us evoked scenes from Kill Bill.
When Deb and Bonnie were not generously treating us to dinner out, Mary would cook up these delights. This is her Lime BBQed chicken with sides of chayote, fried with roasted Pobanos, and baked potatoes. Que Bueno!
The clean-up crew.
Mary and I were back to work on Tuesday but after Mary’s 6-noon shifts she would take the girls out and about town. This is Deb and Bonnie enjoying their sorbetas at La Sorbeteria, Paseo. This was not their only visit.
Thursday (Mary took that and Friday off from work) the girls took a tour to the Mayan ruins of Uxmal. Mary and I have been there before and it is probably number two to Chichen Itza but w/o the commercialization. I stayed home and worked as I am Mayan ruined out.
The tour included a demonstration of the craft of stripping the sisal fiber from the leaves of the henequen plant. Sisal is used for many things but the braiding of it into rope made Merida the rope capital of the world prior to the introduction of synthetics. Henequen, the green gold of the Yucatan was responsible for the fact that at one time, Merida boasted more millionaires than any other city in the world.
Ma and Pa Kelley strung out clothes lines, just off the pool, for Deb and Bonnie’s wash day.
Happily but accidentally, Deb and Bonnie’s visit included the first days of Carnaval. Luckily, playing a hunch that not many people would think of viewing Friday night’s parade from Elixir, the upscale bar above El Gran Cafe, overlooking El Remate de Paseo, we grabbed this table directly above the crowd at the corner of 47 and Paseo. In the background you can see one of the many sound-stages set up on Paseo.
This was one of the first floats to wend its way by us.
This was a particularly impressive float.
For different reasons, this was Deb’s and my favorite float.
After the parade we drifted back to the house and despite an alarm set for 3:45 for get-away-day we partied until midnight. When Mary and I would vacation with the kids, on the way home we would always have them make a list of their favorite and least favorite things about the trip. We asked the same of Deb and Bonnie. For Deb the least favorite was the gastro challenges of some of the food, for Bonnie it was the nasty welting caused by these tiny, sneaky, insidious Yucatecan mosquitoes. Their favorite event was the same, the day trip to Uxmal, but before we insisted upon a favorite event, the favorite thing for both of them was the opportunity to share old stories and get caught up with the best of friends. We agreed as we had the most stimulating conversations ranging from past life regressions to Zen Buddhism to the art of raising kids. Heck we even had a writers workshop in which we collaborated on an outline for a screenplay based on one of my short stories. I am having Christian Bale play the lead.
Over the course of the week, Bonnie and I became Martini buddies. Before they left, I made sure to train Bonnie in the fine art of Martini making. Bonnie calls Martinis, “truth serum”.
Thanks for visiting gentle reader. Bruce and Mary were sad to see Bonnie and Deb off but at least in only a few short months, they will be back to old stomping grounds for an extended visit and for a time have a chance to see them on a regular basis. Bruce loves comments, so please feel free to do so. Hasta Luego!