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If you didn’t take advantage of We Move Forward into 2012′s lowest promotion price don’t worry there is still time. The offer has been extended until January 31st!

Read more about this awesome event in Isla Mujeres in my previous blog post We Move Forward into 2012

*** I am not being financially compensated for this blog post. The views and opinions are strictly my own

We Move Forward into 2012

As most of my readers know I am originally from Vancouver and 17 years ago, at the tender age of 22, I made the bold (and slightly terrifying) decision to pick up my roots to move to a totally, different  country to what I was accustomed.  It meant learning a new language and adjusting to a new culture and lifestyle.  As a woman, and especially as a foreign woman, it was difficult at times to adapt to the ways of my new-found home.  I chose to live in Cancun for many reasons, one of which was the climate. Maybe that sounds a tad superficial, but I found that the warmer climate boosted my sense of well-being. I felt renewed and enjoyed the endless sunny days and blue skies.

A beach-side view of Isla Mujeres

Over the years, I’ve become acquainted with other like-minded, strong women from all over the world who also chose to make Cancun their home. And like me, they too have encountered their share of obstacles that go hand in hand with being a woman in Mexico. It took a while at first, but I can now say that I feel fully integrated into my adopted country, without having to give up my personal identity as a Canadian woman. If anything my experience of living here has made me a stronger, more patient person. I love my life, the colourful culture and the people I’ve met here through the years. The great weather doesn’t hurt either!

And so with that short background story I will get into the purpose of this blog post. Several months ago my youngest sister, Amy, who is an editor for a university magazine in Canada, emailed to tell me about an upcoming event in Isla Mujeres called “We Move Forward into 2012” that will be hosted in Isla Mujeres …a short ferry ride from Cancun. Apparently Amy had interviewed an alumni student, one 0f the facilitators of the event that will be taking place from March 8th-10th. I immediately checked out their website as I am always interested in what is going on in my neck of the woods. I remember thinking “Wow!  What an interesting event for women. How empowering!”

Isla Mujeres

Then about two weeks ago I was contacted by a woman called Janeen Halliwell, who had been referred to me by Kelly McLaughlin, a fellow Cancun blogger; A Canuck in Cancun (check it out J).  Janeen was interested in finding local bloggers to help spread the word about “We Move Forward into 2012”. I immediately told her that I would love to get involved as I believe that this event will be truly special. It’s about bringing women together to discover their true potential through workshops and key speakers: an opportunity to meet women from all walks of life and perhaps forge new friendships, while enjoying the beauty of tropical Isla Mujeres.  What a ‘funtastic’ way to dive into 2012. I was also struck by how small a world it is, since Janeen turned out to be the alumni student that my sister had interviewed several months ago. Go figure! Call it a coincidence, a fluke or fate, but something tells me that I was meant to share this event with my readers.

“We Move Forward into 2012” will take place in beautiful Isla Mujeres from March 8-10th. For more information please click here  http://www.wemoveforward2012.com/

And I have also been authorized to share with my readers a very special promotion:

We Move Forward into 2012 by giving you the gift of our LOWEST PRICE PROMOTION!

Register for WMF 2012 between January 1 – 12, 2012 and receive $212 off the cost of this experience of a lifetime! You pay only $483 for 3 days on The Island of Women to nourish your body, mind, soul and spirit.

This is a time-limited offer for a space-limited event.

Act now and you will be among a special group of women who are kicking off the New Year by investing in themselves and their future.

Visit www.wemoveforward2012.com to learn more and register.

If you have never been to Isla Mujeres click here to watch a short video about the island provided by We Move Forward into 2012 http://bit.ly/sQxkg6

I hope that you check out their website and share it with your girlfriends, aunts, sisters and any other special women in your life. It looks like a wonderful event and a great reason to spend some time in the sun.

*** I am not being financially compensated for this blog post. The views and opinions are strictly my own.

A Christmas Story

As some of my readers may remember on occasion I post my Mother’s poetry. She has a wonderful gift and through the years I have enjoyed reading her poems on my Birthday cards, Christmas cards and when I got married.

So I couldn’t think of a better way to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

And this year I think that she really outdid herself with “A Christmas Story” so without further ado I present the following:

 

A Christmas Story

 

TWAS a frosty winter’s night

And everyone was tucked up tight.

When at the door came a rat-tat

Too snug was I to see who’s that.

“Bob Cratchit” the wife said,

With a poke in the ribs,

“You’d better get up

It might be his Nibs!”

So quickly down the stairs I fly

In case it’s Mister Scrooge come by,

It wouldn’t do to have him wait

He’d dock my wage and no mistake!

But on peeping out the door

It was a stranger that I saw.

He had a beard and wore a cloak

And didn’t look like regular folk.

“Kind sir,” says he, in words of old,

“We need to shelter from the cold.

We’ve travelled far and lost our way

And do not have a place to stay.”

So not knowing what else to do,

I lift the latch and let them through.

In came a Lady, heavy with child;

Her face was gentle, sweetly mild.

I begged the Lady to sit herself down

And wrapped her in a shawl I found.

Then stoking the fire, what did I see?

Two pointy feet up in the chimney.

“What the dicken’s,” I cried,

 When out of the flue,

A jolly Old Elf popped into view.

He gave a wink and said with a yawn,

“I’ll nap for a bit, ‘til toasty and warm.

The reindeers stand ready up on the roof,

So, we can dash off in a flash of a hoof!”

 Before I had quite got over the shock,

I heard most distinctly another knock. 

I flew to the door and on peering out

Saw Three Wise Men lurking about.

“If you please, may we enter within,

We’ve followed a Star in freezing wind.”

I had them sit, made everyone tea,

And never was there such a company.

Just when I hoped to have a good natter,

On the doorstep, appeared the Nutcracker.

Moustached and tall, he marches in

And a pretty Miss pirouettes after him.

I draw up chairs, they too sit down,

Crumpets and tea I hand around.

And once again, there was a knock

It was a Shepherd and his flock.

Oxen too and a donkey I saw

All crowded together at the door.

I stood in a daze at the hullabaloo,

Scratching my head at what to do?

Watching an Angel alight in a twinkling

And Rudolph’s red nose merrily blinking,

I began to worry what next there’d be?

P’raps a Partridge in a Pear tree!

I ran to and fro, was all in a dither,

Until the Lady bade me come hither,

“Surely there’s room out in the hall.

You could lay down some straw

And make it a stall.”

That’s what I did, and all was well,

And that’s my Story of the First Noël.

‘Tis time to put this tale to rest,

And wish you Good Cheer

And a Happy Christmas!

 -SADove

Dec.-11-11

 

On October 8th 2005 I got married in Cancun surrounded by friends and family in the Westin Regina Hotel. It was just 12 days before hurricane Wilma (category 5) made landfall in Cancun and wreaked havoc on my beloved city. Luckily, for hubby and me, we were long gone by then and enjoying our honeymoon in Thailand but for many of our loved ones they had to ride out the storm. That was 6 years ago but still my wedding day is fresh in my mind. I remember people telling me that the first year of marriage is like being on a constant honeymoon but that was not the case for my husband and me. For us it was more like growing pains until we finally settled into a comfortable groove and it was only then that I realized that I was very lucky as I had married my best friend. The following years have just gotten better and better as we make our way through this life together. He makes me laugh (which is so very important), he has my back, and he is a kind gentle, intelligent, patient soul. We are actually quite different from each other in many ways but I think that is what in the end makes us work so well together.

So, on our 6th wedding anniversary we decided to treat ourselves to a weekend away at El Marina El Cid Hotel in the Riviera Maya just 20 minutes away from home.  We came across a great deal on Clickonero for two nights with an ocean view suite and VIP Premium Club status that we just couldn’t refuse. With packed bags we set off Saturday to celebrate our anniversary. I had already done my due diligence beforehand by checking out the hotel on Trip Advisor and as always there were incredibly positive reviews mixed in with some terrible reviews. The most common bad review was about the food but since hubby and I often visit all inclusive hotels in the Riviera Maya we knew what to expect in general.

When we arrived we checked in at the Premium Lounge, which is usually used for time share owners, and also to try and book people into doing a time share presentation. I used to sell Time Share….please don’t hold that against me J so I promptly let them know that a) I was an ex-time share saleswoman and b) I had no interest in being tortured—ooops I mean toured. We were taken to a suite that was more than what we needed for 2 nights but greatly appreciated. We had a living room, small kitchenette, 2 bathrooms, and a large bedroom with two balconies overlooking the ocean. There was even a bottle of red wine and a colourful fruit basket on the dining room table.

We quickly stripped off our clothes and hit the pool. WOW! What a pool! It was huge AND practically empty as we are in low season right now, which suited us just fine as shockingly there aren’t any sun umbrellas at all around the pool just on the beach L We found a few chairs that were in the shade as the sun had begun its slow descent behind the tall buildings of the hotel and we dropped our stuff and dove into the refreshing water. Let me tell you it is a great pool….large, with tepid water, a huge play area for kids and children alike with water slides and a fake cliff that you can dive off into the deep man-made abyss below. I, of course, immediately wanted to try the slide out and dive off the “cliff”. As I whipped down the surprisingly fast slide that at one point I believed I was going to fly over the side, I let out a loud laugh as I hit the water. Next up the “cliff” I dove off and plunged into the separate pool below. After, my adrenalin rush had subsided we ordered a few frozen tropical drinks and settled into our chairs.

El Marina El Cid

Our first night we went for dinner at one of the a la carte restaurants and had a decent meal. Unfortunately the food at El Cid is not that great (just like the reviews stated) neither the a la carte restaurants nor the buffets were much to our liking but since we were only there for two days it didn’t bother us too much. If I were staying for a week I would never survive and would have to leave the premises in search of better meals. The staff on the other hand we found to be very friendly and eager to make our stay a pleasant one. At the end of our weekend we felt rested and content and ready for the work week ahead.

How do you spend your wedding anniversay?

Birthday parties are always fun especially when you are a kid! I remember being so excited about my birthday party that I used to make myself sick. My Mom would organize such great parties with amazing cakes, which I don’t think that I could ever enjoy, because I always worked myself into such a state of excitement beforehand.  Those were the days when we lived for our birthdays and for our friend’s birthdays.

Jardin de Fiesta! Party Venue

Two weeks ago we went to a good friend’s of our son’s birthday party. He turned 6. Hubby and I don’t have any kids yet though we are in the process of “trying” –translation…lots of sex! Kid’s birthday parties in Mexico are very different than what I remember in Canada. I have been to a few of them during my 15 years in Cancun and they all seem to have one thing in common. In Mexico a child’s birthday involves the whole family, friends of the family and parents of the children. WOW!!! You do the math…. When I was a kid birthday parties generally meant, a few kids, a theme, games, cake, presents, and then your parents picked you up. If you are already reeling from the idea of the number of invitees now imagine that your child is in a class of 30 kids or so and that the custom is that you invite all of the kids to the party…now times that by parents and friends! Are you starting to get the picture?

Musical chairs

This particular birthday party was held at a jardin de fiestas (entertainment venue), which is quite common, as where in the world would you fit all of your guests otherwise? There was a swimming pool, a basketball court, an area with chairs and tables under a large palapa and a grill. And like most jardin de fiestas they are usually found off the beaten track as savvy investors buy up large parcels of land (cheap) and install a pool, a palapa, or sometimes a large hall to hold various events and then rent them out.

The Birthday Family

For Nico’s birthday they provided home-cooked food for everyone. At other events, which I have attended in the past, they have either been catered or a grill-man has been hired to cook the food at the party, which the hosts have brought in advance. Generally speaking guests bring their own alcoholic drinks but other non-alcoholic beverages are often provided. Last weekend there were about 60 guests of which 25 were children. It was a fairly hot day so the majority of the kids and some parents enjoyed cooling off in the pool, while others played on the jungle gym, while the adults sipped their drinks in the shade swapping stories.

Whacking the piñata!

After filling our tummies with cochinita, pastries and other snacks the games began for the kids. First up musical chairs and then some other familiar games ensued. Next the much anticipated event began—the piñata! All the kids lined up single file according to height (to give the little ones a chance first) in front of the strung up effigy of Batman. A resounding “whack, whack” proceeded as each child took their turn striking “Batman” until finally “he” exploded and candy fell everywhere. In a frenzied-like state the kids fell upon the floor to gather up as much candy as they could hold in little plastic bags.

The piñata aftermath

Once the piñata festivities came to an end it was time for dessert!! As Nico blew out the candles on his Spiderman decorated cake his face was unceremoniously pushed into the chocolaty, gooey, spongy cake, which is the custom in Mexico. For anyone who has never heard of this it is quite normal in Latin countries for the young and old alike. It usually starts off with people chanting “mordida mordida mordida” (bite bite bite) after the birthday song has been sung. The song that is always sung is Las Mañanitas.

Estas son las mañanitas, que cantaba el Rey David,

 Hoy por ser día de tu santo, te las cantamos a ti,

 Despierta, mi bien, despierta, mira que ya amaneció,

 Ya los pajarillos cantan, la luna ya se metió.

Que linda está la mañana en que vengo a saludarte,

 Venimos todos con gusto y placer a felicitarte,

 Ya viene amaneciendo, ya la luz del día nos dio,

 Levántate de mañana, mira que ya amaneció.

Translation:

This is the little morning song that King David sang

Because today is your saint’s day and we are singing it for you

 Wake up, my dear, wake up, look it is already dawn

 The birds are already singing and the moon has set

How beautiful is the morning in which I come to greet you

 We all came with joy and pleasure to congratulate you

 The morning is coming now; the sun is giving us its light

 Get up, it is morning, look it is already dawn.

The birthday boy!

Once everyone had enjoyed some cake hubby and I left and the party continued with Nicolas opening his gifts and as the last guests left the party the little ones were handed small party bags with a few gifts of appreciation from the hosts. It had been a lovely day spent with friends and I was once again reminded of some of the reasons that I love Mexico.

Another year has come and gone and once again hubby and I will be celebrating by eating pozole and drinking tequila but this time we will be spending it with his family instead of hitting the Zocalo. Viva Mexico!!!

Mexican Independence Day. Viva Mexico!!! Today is a very important day for Mexico and I wanted to share with my readers some historical background on what September 15th and 16th mean for Mexicans and those of us who have made Mexico our home. Tonight my husband and I will be going out for a traditional  bowl of pozole and then we will head over to el Ayuntamiento (town hall) to join in the festivities which include firworks and "el grito" which starts at 11pm and maybe even a stop at a … Read More

via Ashlie's Cancun Blog and other stuff!

Well, hello there everyone!! It sure has been awhile since I last sat down and blogged about my experiences in Cancun. My last post was at the end of June just before hubby and I left for Vancouver for our annual vacation to my hometown. There are many reasons that I stopped blogging for a while which I won’t bore you with today but suffice to say I finally feel ready to blog again. I hope for those of you who take the time to read about my experiences that you enjoy  our latest Cancun adventure.

Last Sunday hubby and I set off in our SUV along a dirt road to the end of Isla Blanca excited because we were going to “fly” that day. Sometime ago we saw a strange “flying machine” high up in the air over the Caribbean ocean and I exclaimed to hubby “I must must  must do that” We found out that a relatively new company to Cancun had brought “paramotor” to our sandy white beaches. Basically speaking a “paramotor”  is a quasi-go-kart for two with an  aircraft-type propeller and a parachute which is attached to it enabling one to fly.

Fly Me Cancun

Cesar getting ready for take off

We arrived at our destination, which was a beautifully untouched area of soft white sand surrounded by a deep turquoise ocean on one side and the calm green shallow waters of a lagoon on the other side. Daniel, one of the owners, explained to us what to do and what not to do on our flight and proceeded to strap Cesar into the “flying machine”. With thumbs- up from the pilot the “paramotor” set off along the beach until it took off and slowly climbed higher and higher into the cloudless blue sky.

Airborne!

When it was my turn I eagerly took my place and as we set off my heart skipped a beat as we left the shore behind us. As Isla Blanca and the people gathered around on the ground became smaller and smaller I felt a sense of utter freedom and wonderment. I marvelled at the beauty that is Cancun. The vibrant colours of the ocean and lagoon where they joined together took my breath away. Suddenly the pilot touched my shoulder and motioned to the right and I saw a huge turtle gliding effortlessly through the water alongside the shore. WOW!!!

Amazing View!

As our flight came to an end it seemed less than the allotted 15 minutes only because one can easily lose themself in the moment of pure freedom and beauty. We landed and after thanking all involved we set off on our way.

Beautiful!

It had been an incredible day. It reminded me of just how beautiful Cancun is, which can be easy to forget when you are working here and living day to day. As I write this I am transported once again into the sky and that sense of utter freedom and endless possibilities.

Videos of our day: Taking Off  and Hubby Airborne

For more info: Fly Me Cancun 

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