In Life, Sometimes You're the Dog, Sometimes You're the Lampost

Published: July 2nd 2018
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Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canucks!

As usual I came prepared to tout my country on its special day in Mexico. We have Canada leis, hats, tattoos and flags proudly waving in the breeze. Yesterday July 1st also would've been my Dad's birthday. As you know (or most of you know,) my Dad passed away last July. I am thankful we got in one more birthday before he left us. Lordy that man loved his birthday. I think he loved it because most of us would share that special day with him, on Canada Day. My Dad loved his ball caps, so here's to you Dad. It's pretty blinged out (which of course Clemmie would never have worn...(haha wouldn't that have been a sight. It's 'blinged' our for Mom to wear in honor of both Dad and Canada Day.)

To say we have been having THE most wonderful time is a vast understatement. The weather has been as usual, exceptional. Do you remember that one hit wonder Hot, Hot Hot by Buster Pointdexter? "Ole ole - ole ole / Ole ole - ole ole. All around me feeling hot hot hot.' But I tell you the breeze has been perfect. ('Breeza' in Spanish.)

We've toured around, & walked the soft sand beaches. Have ate and drank like kings on a pauper's budget. We've visited old friends, listened to live music, have read, floated in the pool...And spent a day at Xel Ha Waterpark. Floating through mangroves, swimming with marine life while in lagoons, swimming through cenotes (underground rivers into gorgeous caves) and ziplining into the crystal clear waters. All this will put you in a wonderful state of mind.

Speaking of reading, I am wife extraordinaire. I always read book reviews and came across THE book of the year. So I reserved it at the library for Al. Al is totally enthralled in this book. Al usually doesn't flip through a book as fast as I do but this one he just can't put down. Anyhow for those of you wanting a summer read, check out The Force by Don Winslow. He wrote the Cartel (the most important crime saga of the millennium.) The Force is based on years of research deep inside the New York City Police Department. Basically think The Game of Thrones with cops or the Godfather with cops. It's that good.

Is there any better feeling than to be on vacation with a great book? AND a great wife? That Al is the luckiest lad walking the beach in Playa 😊 HEH HEH HEH. If I say so myself, and I do.

We've enjoyed some wonderful food. From as simple as nachos and wings on the beach, to rotisserie chicken with baby potatoes and all the fixins' from one of the best chicken places I've ever had food from. We've enjoyed flambe steak and seafood, garlic shrimp with white wine and aijollo chili peppers to fresh fish of the day with capers, olives, tomatoes and onions. That fish had me at hello (er hola). The one luxury for me is food. I love to entertain and cook for guests but that Monday to Friday routine cooking for the family is for the birds so I am not doing any of that on vacation. This chef/cook/bottle washer has hung up her apron on this trip thank you very much.

Last night with our Canada Day gear on, we headed to Babe's Noodle Bar and enjoyed the most wonderful Thai food. You can have THE tastiest margarita for around $4 Canadian. The curries are fantastic and inexpensive, and I ordered a seared tuna with avocado, cilantro, jalapeno, and green onion that blew my socks off. (OK so I wasn't wearing socks, I was wearing a nice pair of sandals, but had I been wearing socks...well you catch my drift.) Don't miss dining here if you find yourself in Playa. I had a few bites of Al's Indian curry and it was heaven.

After we took a walk up to listen to some Cuban music, and stopped for dessert and a glass of bubbly at Chez Celine. A French bakery that is mucho excellente. There was a lone sax player playing and he was top notch. I got his card. My plan is for him to serenade Al & I on the beach one night. Ain't that living it up?

It was the best family night being out and about wearing our Canadian pride literally on our sleeves.

Voting Weekend in Mexico

Wow we know how to pick 'em i.e. vacation time. We were here in 2012 when the national election was going on, and the young charismatic Peña Nieto became el presidente. The national election was yesterday, and the masses voted yesterday to vote out the elites. They take the election pretty serious here by banning the sale of alcohol even for tourists. In order to get a drink like last night, we had to order food which wasn't an issue due to the Thai meal we had. However, some other tourists were not so happy if they had already eaten at their condo or resort. However, it's not the poor waiter's fault. As if he wanted to have a dry 2 nights so he could go without tips.

So the leftist López Obrador took the presidential prize here in Mexico by a landslide. He promised to reshape the nation. Promised to end corruption and blah blah blah. The results represents a clear rejection of the status quo in the nation, that many Mexicans feel has not served them. I tell you, to get a pulse of a country, simply hop in a taxi. Those guys call it right every time. We talked to one last night and he was a pretty informed man.


So a new development also brings me back to Playa. The owner of the company I work for is getting antsy to do other things. They were developers back in the day for the condo hotel I stay at and other properties that she is a rental specialist for. Now they are developing townhouses back in the USA. They are in the process of selling these townhouses, and once this batch are sold, they would like to do some long term travel. I am humbled and very proud to say she'd like to hand over the business over to me. How this is all going to work, and if it will work, will have to be worked out. I've got the energy and hunger for it. But it's complicated, so like a jungle, I will have to weed my way through it to see where it leads me. All I know is she's making it very easy for me to do this, so hopefully this will work out to benefit it us both. So part of this trip is business, with me taking a closer look at how everything operates especially if this gal is in the driver's seat. Vroom vroom. We are also going to be doing photos of a condo part way through. So we'll have one foot in vacationland, and one in workland. Trust me, it's not work while I'm here in my special place.

Courage Doesn't Always Roar

This job I speak so highly about, came to me in a very out of the blue way. I first met the owner of the company back in 2009 when I was looking at renting a posh oceanfront villa in Mexico. Through many emails, sharing the same sense of humor, and a love of Mexico, in a short amount of time I ended up working with her writing blogs for her company which is out of Denver Colorado. I can tell you that first blog I wrote for the company had me awake at night. Since then my role has grown in her company. I love the blogging but I love the social media aspect, and the marketing. And to see my marketing pay off, to hear when bookings are up, to hear how much people appreciate the info I provide really warms the cockles of my heart. (Especially when I meet people staying here that say 'oh you're that blogger...thank you!) *I'll remind you all again. THIS is my personal blog - my work blog is 'professional' as this seems to cause some confusion for family & friends. (Lord knows I'd be fired for posting these shenanigan blogs on the company's website!! 😊

Getting this job (it's not work to me) came at the worst time of my life. I was adrift. I was lost. I was a shell of a person. Yep right after my brother Bill died suddenly in 2010. It shook me to my core. I can honestly say my 'tenacity' (see below) failed me. This blogging gave me new life. It allowed me to pull myself together again. To smile again, to have purpose. (That's not to say Al or my kids did not give me that. I already had so much due to them, but this was all mine.) And I never turn down a challenge. And ever since, I have been treated like gold by the owner. She can't do enough for me. And this has allowed me to share what I've worked for with family and friends. To bring people here to show them what I see. It's not about the ritzy oceanfront accommodations (although they don't hurt at all!) It's about sharing time with those I love. To get away from it all, leave the worries behind and make memories that last a lifetime.

Tenacity has served me well in my lifetime. I didn't grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth. The closest I came to a silver spoon, was when I got stuck in the head with a fork at the dinner table when I was a kid. Or was it me that hit my sibling in the head with a fork? My sister Cindy may remember if you are reading this! Heh heh. Well anyhow, you catch my drift. I have done quite a few interesting things over the years, and worked in many different companies. I've had many tough times too. As my above quote said, sometimes I was the dog, and sometimes I was the lampost. Or the fire hydrant. I prefer to be the dog. Actually I prefer to be a cool cat 😊

I got my first big job when I was around 19 and lucked in working as a manager at an advertising business where I met one of my lifelong best friends Sandy. (Remember those good old days San???) I had lots of jobs before that but this was the cat's meow. But the next job I got not long after was even better. I was a manager of a high-end award-winning recording studio. I got promoted rather quickly and was making some big money then, with the dangling of a carrot to make a partner one day. This job allowed me to buy a house which was a huge deal for me.

The company then opened a multi million dollar high-end video company across the hall which I also ended up managing.I had double-sided business cards at the time! The workload and stress was intense. These owners put a lot of faith in me for my age to do a job that a few before me could not handle. I booked the recording studio for big agencies, booked the talent for radio commercials, arranged the sound producers schedules. I had to keep track of music rights, and billings. I met some big celebrities at the time. I once arranged lunch for Howie Mandel who was in town to do a PSA (that's public service announcement for all you non-advertising folks.) I was put in charge of a multi-million dollar renovation of a new studio they were building.

I was introduced to a world that was very foreign to me. The husband wife owners were very wealthy, and took me, a small town girl and exposed me to a way of life that I'd never seen or experienced before. Lavish cocktail parties, invites to their million dollar home in the Glebe which had my eyes popping out of my head. Nights out at the National Arts Center watching plays and performances. Rich lunches and dinners out at swanky dinner clubs/restaurants that politicians frequented. Rides in their fancy convertibles around the city. Opportunities to visit hoity toity spas on their coin. Catered dinner parties with expensive bottles of wine. Trips to their opulent 'chalet' in Mont Tremblant (wow that blew my wig off. Well I wasn't wearing a wig but if I would've surely been blown off by the grandeur of this place. Don't ever underestimate how you can thrive when you are a fish out of water, let me tell you. It was a magical time for me.

OMG. Reminds me of my first trip up to their winter chalet. (I had a chuckle this
morning over that memory.) They left me at the chalet to go skiing one day, (I wasn't much for skiing. I wanted to just soak up this amazing chalet out of a magazine.). They told me the Champagne and caviar was in the fridge (I had no idea about what caviar was, but I knew it was what rich people ate. So I gave it a try. It was the weirdest tasting thing. It tasted like salty bubbles and I could not for the life of me figure out what the hell all the fuss was about. I'm sure I spit out $100 worth of it.

Anyhow, they told me to use their en-suite Jacuzzi and turn on the stereo system and light their fireplace and enjoy myself. Well that sounded like the best deal of the day to me. I was beyond giddy with excitement. I was livin' the life of the rich and famous.

Unbeknownst to me, you do NOT add bubble bath to the Jacuzzi. So I hop in there, I am sipping my glass of bubbly and the next thing the friggin' bubbles are bursting up and out. It was like I a foam bomb went off. The foam/bubbles started to cover the floor and seep out under the bathroom door. I'd never seen so many bubbles in my entire life. I'm sure they were up near the ceiling. I tried to open the bathroom window but it was frozen shut. Holy crap batman - I was in panic mode over this fiasco.

So there I am using half the stupid towels in said luxury chalet to clean up the damn bubbles. I looked like Santa Claus when I was done. Covered in foam head to toe. I was so embarrassed and upset fearing they'd cut short their ski day and come back and find me in this predicament. By the time they got back I was red in the face collapsed on the couch after doing a 100 loads of laundry, folding and putting them away like nothing had happened. The Champagne bottle was empty I'll tell you that much. On the other hand, their bathroom floor probably was never was so sparkly clean at it was that day. To this day I break out when I see bubble bath 😉

Anyhow, back to that tenacity thing. If it's one thing I'd like my kids to have, is that spark of tenacity. To forge ahead regardless of the view and the road ahead. Luck is just another word for tenacity on purpose. Whether you are short on money, credentials, silver spoons, act like you know what you are talking about. I don't suggest they pretend they are brain surgeons and make up fake diplomas and then learn how to do brain surgery from YouTube! Sometimes acting like you know what you are talking about will buy you some time to learn or accomplish what you need to, in order to get what you want.

Success comes in many forms. I am not rich, but I'm rich where it counts. To have the family I have, to have the children I have, to have met my life partner who treats me so well, who believes in me no matter what, and forgives me my faults. (Well there's not many of them so it's not like it's a big challenge for him. There's a big grin looking at you right now.) Success to me is to love and be loved. To have health, to have your parents along with you as you raise your family. To have friends you laugh with and you can cry with. (Martha, my sister Cindy, Sandy, Danielle, Susan, Manon, Linda, Maureen, Blaine, Shauna. In no particular order as you are all great. And sorry to anyone I missed because there are so many heroes in my life.

Bottom line is, success is building a life you are proud of.

Lunes (Monday)

So it's 5:50am and I am out on my patio watching the sunrise. It's so peaceful. The birdies are chirping, the waves are gently lapping at the shore, and the paddle boarders are slowly making their way out onto the calm Caribbean. Ahhhh. It's a glorious time to have a chat with myself! To hear myself think again. I sound fabulous!!!! Well I'm actually typing up this blog, while taking in Mother Nature's bounty. God I love this time of morning here. That's when I can rouse myself from a deep sleep. Of course the girls are fast asleep. All of them are now in their teens so we all know what that means. SLEEP. Thank god for the condo having enough bedrooms so everyone can sleep when they want, as long as they want on vacation. And separate bedrooms helps for anyone who likes to snore. As long as that person is not in my bedroom snoring. Laugh and the world laughs with you. Snore and you sleep alone. 😊

Well I've tugged on your ear long enough. I've posted some pics of our last 4 days. I don't think there's any incriminating photos of me so we are all good.

I hope all you guys who celebrated Canada Day did it up big. I hope none of you are nursing any bad hangovers.

Might I take a moment and thank someone I do not know, who took the time to write me the most lovely comment on my blog. It may seen boastful to post it, but hell I'm gonna do it anyhow because it really put a lift in my step. As I've said before, my blogs are a nice journal of our trips. I'm not traveling the world climbing mountains or trekking through Africa like so many gifted bloggers on TB. So to have even one person who doesn't know me praise me up, well I'll take it. (To Cindy from Pennyslvaia, I have to say after I read your comment I bragged about it all day to whoever would listen. I am SURE there was eye rolling from my family! Just joking - they all read your comment and thought it was very nice!! Many thanks to fellow TBloggers like Dave, Bob, RenAndrew etc etc for throwing me a comment here and there. (See her comment at the very end.)

Signing off to have a cup of coffee and enjoy the solitude while I can. It is in the quietest of moments that great reflection can be had. (Speaking of reflection, lord god I just passed a mirror and scared myself. Time to get myself fixed up here!)

Sal and her mariachis. (Forgive any spelling or grammatical errors. Auto correct can go straight to he'll. 😉 Spell check is 'impotent'. One spelling error can ruin your life. A husband sent this to his wife by text. "Having a wonderful time. Wish you were her."

*PS as usual, hit previous entry to read other blogs. For those of you incapacitated, in jail, and you've read the phone book - have at it!

you are a talented writer!
hi Sal. I have been a fan of yours since I first started browsing the blog entries for the Playa area. I found your info very interesting and informative and actually put it to use a couple of years later when my husband and I (finally) traveled to Playa on our own adventure. Also got to see Cancun last year. Just read your most recent blog. I wanted to let you know that I think you are a very talented and funny writer. You must be a great story-teller and interesting dinner companion! Also, as a photographer myself - I am also very impressed with your photos. I hope to read more of your travel adventures! Life is so busy - we don't get to explore as much as I'd like to. It's at least fun to live vicariously thru your eyes and your words. Enjoy your time in Playa! Sincerely - Cindy in Pennsylvania.


2nd July 2018

informative blog
very informative
3rd July 2018

And thanks for posting your vacation blogs here onTB...
you are one of our shining stars. Thanks for sharing so much about your professional life and your bright future.
3rd July 2018

And thanks for posting your vacation blogs here
It's awfully nice of you Bob (Home & Away) to thank me when this forum has allowed me to chronicle my trips with my kids. So back at you and thank you so very much. I am so happy to be part of this group. I don't know how you and the rest of the group manage to keep up with so many fascinating blogs being generated each day. I am humbled you thought to post such a nice comment. :) (More bragging to Al & my girls. Love it ;>
11th July 2018

So you are not just a smile
Interesting to read your career journey, Sal. I find career opportunities are a mixture of being in the right place at the right time, knowing when to take a chance, a lot of luck, persistence and attitude. If you have balance and the smile to go with it, now that's a bonus! Thanks for sharing. Best wishes with the potential that may be forthcoming.
12th July 2018

So you are not just a smile
Well I guess I do have a smile, but I'd like to think I can bring a bit more to the table Dancing Dave! Life is such a journey and sometimes we need to pull an Ace out of somewhere. You always make my day when you leave a comment. Can you see my smile now??? :) :) :)

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