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Archive for December, 2009

Well, another Christmas in Cancun has come and gone and now we are gearing up for New Years. This year we had Christmas Eve dinner at my Mom’s newly finished Baliesque terrace at her apartment here in Cancun. I am accustomed to celebrating Christmas on the 25th but because I have adopted Mexico as my place to live and I have a Mexican husband which of course means Mexican in-laws I have been bound by their tradition of celebrating on the 24th for several years now. I have at least been able to negotiate a more civilized hour to eat dinner as normally Mexicans eat their Christmas meal at 12 pm which has always had me wondering what is the point of eating at that hour when children have passed out tired and don’t even get to eat? and speaking as an adult I generally cannot load my stomach up with food at that hour.

Anyway, this year my Mom and I prepared the food for about 16 people and it took us several days of planning and prepping not to mention all the visits to my Mom’s place to drop off things needed for the event which meant hauling up several sets of staircases as her elevator was out–my in-laws were none too pleased and they only had to go up the stairs once! 🙂 My Mother-in-law also prepared bacalao which is a dried salt cod that has been soaked for several days and then  prepared with potatoes, olives, tomatoes etc.-a Mexican tradition. She also brought spaghetti, also a Mexican tradition. My Mom and I stuck close to our traditions and prepared a turkey, a baked ham, baked potatoes, apricot glazed carrots, almond citrus green beans and many other yummy delights!

Cesar carving the turkey

Cesar carving the turkey

Aside from my in-laws a few of our friends came as well which made for a very nicely rounded out guest list. The terrace looked very festive, the food was great and the wine and tequila flowed. We even had Christmas crackers to pull thanks to my Mom and Maxine a great friend of mine who hails from England and now calls Cancun her home. There were heart-to-hearts talks, lots of hugs, opening of family Christmas gifts from Secret Santa  and dancing until we saw the sun just poking up over the horizon which signalled that it was definitely time to call it a night! 🙂 So off we went back home and crawled into bed  to be ready for a late Christmas brunch that we were doing at my place later that day to open presents and enjoy leftovers…more on that in my next blog post.

Christmas Eve bash

Christmas Eve bash

All in all a fun time was had by all! My Mom’s first big event in Cancun was a success!

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Last Friday, after seeing so many beautiful photos on Facebook of Christmas lights in Vancouver, I wanted to go out and see what Cancun had to offer this year. My Mom, Cesar and I set out walking from our place heading along Tulum Ave. towards Ayuntamiento ( Municipal Hall). On our way we heard lots of car horns beeping which in itself is not really unusual for Cancun but there seemed to be a lack of traffic to go with said horns. We were finally able to see why when a police officer on his bike appeared slowly driving down Tulum with a pick-up truck behind him and a large group of people running behind the truck. I asked my husband what was going on and he explained that this was in honour of the Virgin of Guadalupe. I took a quick photo and we continued on our way.

In honour of the Virgin de Guadalupe

In honour of the Virgin de Guadalupe

Cancun has been unseasonably warm for this time of year except for a brief period in October when I mistakenly thought that our summer was finally over and I wrote about Autumn  being here https://ashlied.wordpress.com/2009/10/21/fall-has-arrived-to-cancun/ –boy was I wrong! We are still seeing temperatures of between of 26 and  31 degrees celsius. The humidity is considerably lower so thank goodness for small miracles 🙂 So by the time we arrived at Ayuntamiento we were feeling a little warm around the collar.

Municipal Hall

Every year the city decorates Tulum Ave., and the road out to the Hotel Zone.This year the lights were the same with hanging  flashy pinatas, and a decorated tree and 2 Santas! Imagine trying to explain THAT to your child. 🙂 I felt sorry for the Santas as it was 28 degrees out and those poor bastards must have felt the heat to say the least.  This year, however, there was a new addition to Municipal Hall–an ice skating rink! That’s right an ice skating rink. It is actually an artificial rink that uses synthetic ice that requires less maintenance and I believe that it comes from Spain. It is 400 square meters and they give skates for you to use and it is free so that people can try it out. It looks like a bunch of tiles that have been placed side by side and when we saw some people trying to skate it looked like they were having a difficult time as they seemed to be walking over the “ice” rather than gliding. There was a huge line up and I imagine that it will continue that way until it closes on January 6th. A very nice gesture by the local government; however, it can’t even begin to compare to ice skating in Vancouver on Lost Lagoon Lake which I used to do with my Dad when I was a young child or ice skating in Europe with my Mom and Cesar last year.

Ice skating in Cancun

After posing for a few photos we decided to check out Parque de las Palapas http://www.cancun.com/Editorial/Parque-de-las-Palapas/ to see whether there were any Christmas lights as well. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a light to be seen so feeling rather parched we stopped at the new La Rincon de Vinos and had some spanish tapas and some wine.It is a lovely place that we often go to for great conversation with friends and we always enjoy their wine list and menu. Once we were done for the evening we hailed a taxi for home. I enjoyed seeing the lights and I am definitely feeling like Christmas is here though I must admit I am looking forward to spending next Christmas in Vancouver, in the snow, and who knows maybe Lost Lagoon Lake will freeze over again and I can go ice skating with my Dad.

One of the "Santas"

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The Legend of Lisa Hausler

Well here is my final installment of my Mom’s poems and then I will move onto more Cancun related posts again. The following poem was written in honour of my dear friend Lisa for her stagette party in Playa del Carmen. I met Lisa in Cancun a few years after I arrived so I have known her for about 12 or 13 years now. She got married in 2004 to a great guy and had a beautiful daughter 2 years ago called Lexie. She continues to bring laughter to my life and has always been there when I have needed her and she truly is the leggiest person I have ever known! 🙂

Lisa, Lexie and Enrique

Lisa, Lexie and Enrique

                             The Legend of Lisa Hausler 

                               (Otherwise known as “Legs”)       

                               She blew into town a decade ago,

                              Skirt riding high and her legs on show.

                              Being an Aussie through and through,

                              She looked at Cancun, said, “This’ll do.”

                              Fresh from Oaxaca, gorgeous and tall,

                              She became the director of Harmon Hall.

                              Smart and sassy, cool and classy,

                              Lisa reigns supreme as the ESL queen! 

                              Champagne parties, martinis too,

                              Rum and cokes, she’s had a few!

                              Playa nights; Mujeres weekends;

                              Dinners, dancing and lots of friends.

                              Roommate Ashlie and late-night chats.

                              Chandon, Missie and afternoon naps.

                              Cold water showers, floods galore,

                              Buckets and towels awash on the floor.

                              Known far and wide for her deadly wit

                              And micro-minis worn up to the hip,                              

                              Lisa is special, one-of-a-kind,

                              She’s truly a legend in her own time.

                              Then came Enrique, charming and cute,

                              Very well dressed in a tie and suit,

                              Took one look at Lisa and let out a sigh,

                              As she tossed back her hair and flashed a thigh.

                              To dinner she went, took her friends along,

                              He strummed his guitar and sang her a song.       

                              Then being a woman, through and through,                   

                              Lisa fell in love and said, “I do!”                  

     Sheilan Dove/ June 19, 2004

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"Ashlie's Song"

Here is another installment of one of my Mom’s poems. This one is very special to me as it was written for my bachelorette party and wedding on October 8th 2005. I love it because it shows how much my Mom knows me and has been a part of my adult life–it is pretty funny too! 🙂 Again, wordpress does not allow me to phrase it as it should be phrased.

“Ashlie’s Song”

She came to town,

With Missy in tow,

She was twenty-one

And rarin’ to go.

She made her plans

Had her own spot

At Pok-ta-Pok

And Double Shots!

Blonde, blue-eyed,

Feisty and fun,

She got around,

Knew everyone.

Frogs, Daddyo’s

And Christine’s,

Ashlie was a

Dancing Queen!

Cancun was home,

Spanish her “thing”

And just like that

She was settled in.

Brisas was cool

Out by the beach,

Venado a blast

In spite of the leaks!

Legendary parties,

Great dinners too,

The Queen of Cuisine

Has thrown a few!

Tequila slammers,

Jack in a cup,

Champagne with Lisa

Till the sun was up!

La Boom, the cenote,

And Playa weekends.

Chiapas, palapas,

Lots of dear friends.

Known to be loyal

With a good heart,

Ashlie is generous,

Bright and smart!

Now there is Cesar

Serious and quiet,

Except if he plays

Pictionary at night,

And when he indulges

In more than a beer

Suddenly his English

Is perfectly clear!

One day he came by

With Antonio,

And never quite left

As far as we know!

Soon Ashlie and he

Were joined at the hip

And Cesar was in

For one helluva trip!

So being La Guera

In her adopted land,

When Cesar proposed,

She gave him her hand!

By- Sheilan Dove, October 8th 2005

Ashlie's Bachelorette Party

Ashlie's Bachelorette Party

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“Ashlie’s Song”

Here is another installment of one of my Mom’s poems. This one is very special to me as it was written for my bachelorette party and wedding on October 8th 2005. I love it because it shows how much my Mom knows me and has been a part of my adult life–it is pretty funny too! 🙂 Again, wordpress does not allow me to phrase it as it should be phrased.

“Ashlie’s Song”

She came to town,

With Missy in tow,

She was twenty-one

And rarin’ to go.

She made her plans

Had her own spot

At Pok-ta-Pok

And Double Shots!

Blonde, blue-eyed,

Feisty and fun,

She got around,

Knew everyone.

Frogs, Daddyo’s

And Christine’s,

Ashlie was a

Dancing Queen!

Cancun was home,

Spanish her “thing”

And just like that

She was settled in.

Brisas was cool

Out by the beach,

Venado a blast

In spite of the leaks!

Legendary parties,

Great dinners too,

The Queen of Cuisine

Has thrown a few!

Tequila slammers,

Jack in a cup,

Champagne with Lisa

Till the sun was up!

La Boom, the cenote,

And Playa weekends.

Chiapas, palapas,

Lots of dear friends.

Known to be loyal

With a good heart,

Ashlie is generous,

Bright and smart!

Now there is Cesar

Serious and quiet,

Except if he plays

Pictionary at night,

And when he indulges

In more than a beer

Suddenly his English

Is perfectly clear!

One day he came by

With Antonio,

And never quite left

As far as we know!

Soon Ashlie and he

Were joined at the hip

And Cesar was in

For one helluva trip!

So being La Guera

In her adopted land,

When Cesar proposed,

She gave him her hand!

By- Sheilan Dove, October 8th 2005

Ashlie's Bachelorette Party

Ashlie's Bachelorette Party

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Those Were The Days

For safe keeping I decided to post a few poems that my Mom has written in the past. Also, I think that they are worth sharing even though the personal content will mean nothing to many of you they are beautifully written and should be shared. The following poem my Mom wrote for my Dad’s 65th birthday. For some reason WordPress insists on spaces between lines and it doesn’t allow me to separate the paragraphs so I hope that this doesn’t affect the flow too much 😦

Those Were the Days

Today is the big one- Norm’s sixty-five!

And the way he’s prospered and thrived.

From the family home in Heathview Road

To the rugged splendor of a ranch abode.

So many years have gone between,

Since Norm was but a gangly teen.

Riding the Norton to the Blinking Owl,

Winning at chess in a manner most foul!

Nights at Baird’s earning extra dough,

Taking a girl to a movie show.

Jurgens and College, pursuing his dreams,

To engineer and design machines.

Norm sailed to Canada one fateful day,

Saw the Great Outdoors and wanted to stay.

Went to Marathon and settled down

A young engineer in a pulp mill town

Fished for trout and bagged a moose,

Had a traveling dentist yank a tooth!

Fell through the ice-it was almost his lot,

Joined the Jaycees, inhaled some pot!

Canoed the lakes; drove a Mustang car,

Learnt to quaff rye at the Everest bar.

Black flies, shuffleboard, minus 30 below

That was his life in Ontario!

Go West young man, so Norman did

And found yet another way to live

Skookumchuk Mill, bridge with friends,

Sliding down ski-hills on wet rear-ends!

Horseback riding among the trees,

Shooting the rapids as cool as you please!

Then at Cranbrook, B.C. in the year ‘72

Ashlie was born and Devron too!

“I’m not a bloody salesman, I’m an engineer!”

Said Norm at the start of his new career.

His very first sale proved he was able,

Despite knocking over a glass-topped table!

Vancouver beckoned; it was time to go,

To be an entrepreneur and run the show.

There were factories to build, staff to hire,

And thus began the Dove empire!

Those were the days, but more was to come,

Like Megan and Amy-born one by one.

Sailing the boat among coastal waters,

Being a proud Dad to all his daughters.

Doing things that were kind of nifty,

Like learning to fly at the age of fifty.

Other ventures,other lives too,

Norm always finds so much to do.

Lots of stories someone else can tell

When Norm is 90 and still raising hell!—By Sheilan Dove

–It was a wonderful  birthday for my Dad-one that I will never forget! My sisters and their significant others, my husband and I and my cousin and his wife drove 5.5 hours through the snow to surprise my Dad and join his birthday festivities. A truly memorable occasion.!! 🙂

 

Dad with his birthday collage

Dad with his birthday collage

 

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On Saturday we had our annual Christmas Secret Santa Party at our place. Earlier in the week Cesar and I dug out our fake tree and ornaments and put the trip up and added the lights to be ready for Saturday night. I used to buy a real tree when I lived in Vancouver and I also bought one for several years here in Cancun but they import them from Canada so early now that by the time Christmas rolls around it is usually dead and not to mention it makes a huge mess as it is drying out and my cat, Simba loves to eat the pine needles and try to climb it. So now we use a fake one.

Assembling the tree

Assembling the tree

For the past few years we have held a tree trimming party and an exchange of gifts with our friends and to make it affordable for everyone we do a secret drawing of names to see who people will be buying for that year. This way instead of stressing about buying a nice gift for each and every friend on our list we only buy 1 great gift each for 1 friend. It seems to work very well. This year we held our party early as our friends Lisa and Enrique and their daughter are going to Australia (Lisa is Australian) for Christmas.

Lisa, Lexie and Enrique

Lisa, Lexie and Enrique

I spent Saturday preparing some food for the party which was to start at 8:30 pm–yeah right! As always, people in Cancun arrived late. Once everybody had arrived and had some time to eat something and catch up on the weeks events it was time to trim the tree. Lisa’s daughter Lexie who turned 2 in November started us all off by placing the 1st ornament and then there was no stopping her-she had a great time adding stars, icicles, candy canes etc. 🙂 I had set out all of our various ornaments and everyone pitched in hanging spheres and other Christmas decorations. Cesar and I had a special bag of ornaments that we hung on the tree. When we got married we started a tradition of buying an ornament in every place that we visited and we find a small spot on each one and add the date. We now have ornaments from Holland, Canada, Germany, Austria, Hungary, to name a few.

Some of our friends

Some of our friends

Once the tree was full Lexie helped Cesar add the star and voila! the tree was done and it looks beautiful! We then proceeded to unwrap our gifts. YEAH!! Everyone seemed to be very pleased this year with their gifts. After that we ate some more food and drank some more wine, beer etc. late into the night. It was a great party and it definitely kicked off the Christmas season in style.

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