"You don't get smarter as you get older. There is just less stupid stuff you haven't done.~
Well it was fun to celebrate another birthday by the Caribbean yesterday, July 4th. There was a lot of activity yesterday with people coming and going. Al's parents arrived a few hours after Mom, Lara & Alex left. So sad to see them go on my birthday. Oh well, these teens are responsible and have to get back to their summer jobs. It was so nice to see Ray and Pat again, and for them to enjoy some family time with their grand-kids. (And us for that matter!)
What a lovely birthday I had. Other than seeing some of my family off (not the good part), I was greeted with the offer of a margarita on the house at the small cafe right outside our condo. I sure love the manager Teresa who is so welcoming and hospitable. We hit happy hour at another spot, and before I got up to leave, they delivered a tres-leche piece of cake with a candle (a trick candle that would not blow out for love or money or big puffs!) I also had to wear
the sombrero too! They sang Feliz Cumpleanos and gave me lots of hugs. What a wonderful moment. We then went for lunch to a really nice Italian spot and the service was fun and welcoming. Al & I shared THE best Greek salad, with the best feta & goats cheese we've ever had. Then we shared a chicken saltimboca which is stuffed with fresh ham covered in a mushroom sauce. Our stomachs yelled up a big thank you.
We were back at the condo for a few minutes when the doorbell rang. It was my friend Edith (the condo manager) with fresh lilies and roses along with a lovely tiramisu for my birthday. Awww! We had a drink together on the balcony overlooking the ocean awaiting the arrival of Ray and Pat. Then I was taken out for a birthday dinner, & the staff arranged for a mariachi band to serenade me too! Then another birthday cake on the house. What a day. I was filled to the brim with love and birthday wishes. (Thanks Ray & Pat for the birthday dinner!) We then sat out under the stars on the balcony with Ray and Pat and enjoyed catching
up on life.
Hola Mom (Joanie macaroni!), I was sad to see you go home on my birthday. I warned her not to cry; cause then I'd cry. It's not like we won't see each other for a while. It's just hard to say good-bye after a lovely time together. Anyhow mammy I hope you had a good time. I know it can be busy with a group with all sorts of likes and dislikes, and who wants to do what at which time. But you trooped along quite well. I so loved our 'girl time' on Tuesday. Pedicure, lunch together, sitting quietly on our balcony watching the boats go by. Sounds like a song. BIRTHDAYS
You know when you think about it, this is a day that the Mom who gave birth should be celebrated and feted. Not the person who was born i.e moi. What the hell did I do to deserve all the attention? Mom did all the work tending to this garden that produced such a lovely little rose. (Wink wink). All I did was was be a lazy tenant absorbing all her food, then I just showed up rather unexpectedly without announcing
my exact day and time of arrival. I kept her wondering and walking the floor with labor pains till noon on July 4th. And I had the nerve to show up wearing nothing. How rude! I wonder Mom, did I shout HOLA when I was born? Was I holding a mini margarita? Hahaha! That might be the reason I don't remember being born. Hiccup. 😊 😊 (I joke about margaritas, but to be honest, I've had 2 in 9 days. It's more Al's drink of choice these days.)
Mom loves to tell the story of the day I was born. After having 3 sons, they brought her this little 6 pound 6 ounce baby, FINALLY in a pink blanket. A girl! She claims she was pretty happy to finally have that girl. Although she finally got her girl
, this girl ended up being quite the tomboy. Playing competitive softball, going fishing, digging around in the dirt, following my older brothers (and hiding behind trees so they wouldn't see me, and when they did they'd yell GO HOME...
The labor does not end in the delivery room, the labor lasts a lifetime once you are a mom. Now I
know all about the giving of birth and raising of children and oh the worry worry worry. It's a life sentence you are never paroled from. (And I say that with love).
Anyhow, on my special day yesterday, I raised a glass to my Mom and Dad. For having me, for raising me, (and not giving me away 😉 and continuing to give me so much love and support. Insert a little sniff sniff here! Kleenex? Anyone? Help a gal out here! WHAT THE HELL ARE WE DOING TO OUR OCEANS & BEACHES?
In 2015 when we were here in the summer, something happened that had never happened to this area before and to this degree. There was an influx of sargassum (a form of seaweed). (Not 'sarcasm'. Me & my sarcasm have been here longer than the sargassum and it NEVER goes away! HEH HEH).
This sargassum is no laughing matter though. The old locals told me in Spanish they'd never seen the likes of this seaweed in their lifetime. You can sometimes see the big mats floating out in the sea. Underneath these floating mats are like green grapes (official name is 'air bladders)
keeping it afloat.
Our beautiful picture-perfect beaches and turquoise waters have increasingly been fouled by these mats of decaying seaweed that washes ashore. In some places like Tobago, they have termed it a natural disaster. From the Dominican Republic in the north, to Barbados in the east, and Mexico's Caribbean resorts to the west, have since been trying to deal with this situation as tourism declines. South Florida is really being hard hit with it over 2 feet in places. No one is getting off easy it seems.
And once it starts to decompose you want to run from it as it smells like rotten eggs. However, what makes this is tricky to remove is along the way it collects marine life. These floating mats are home to (and source of food for) a huge variety of sea life. In fact, several creatures, like the Sargassum fish (a type of frogfish), are born, reproduce, and die solely within this environment.
The thing is, depending on wind shifts, the beaches can clear up. We've had some sargassum in front of our condo but they are doing a pretty good job of staying ahead of it. Last few days
have been pretty good. But tourism all over is suffering because of this stuff. Overall tourism is up in Mexico last year by 4 million folks. So that's good for people relying on the tourism industry (like I am now.) However, happy to say that there are many many spots around this area that do not have any major issue so that allows people some choice for water sports,activities, floating etc.
Many of the big resorts have the money to buy the big expensive surf rakes. These machines can pick up 95% of the sargassum, and other algae on the beach. The one thing thankfully the rakes don't do is pick up the surrounding sand which would then further erode the beaches. But these machines are mucho expensive.
We all know (hopefully most of us intelligent folks) that we are ruining our oceans. Don't get me started on the water bottles and 6 beer pack plastic wrappers that are also a huge source of pollution in our oceans along with killing off turtles, marine life etc who choke on said 6 pack plastic and plastic bags. The guy Dave who Al dives with, spends his days off diving
to retrieve trash.
What is SO hard about buying a reusable water bottle and bringing it with you? I do not for the life of me get it. We are also buying something that is FREE! Water! In Mexico all condos and resorts have purified water so that's no excuse to be buying bottles & then not even having the courtesy or respect to throw them in the garbage cans readily available. I hate plastic bags too. We have reusable bags we bring with us. And it takes everything I have to walk away from smokers on the beach who insist in using the beach (and or water) to throw their cigarette butts. Oceans are our lifeblood. The beach isn't your friggin' ashtray. I know people assume that cigarette butts are biodegradable. They are not. Cigarette butts are comprised of cellulose acetate. While this is a plastic that may break into smaller pieces, it will never biodegrade. Listen I realize cigarettes aren't the major problem here, it's just part and parcel of the COMPLETE disregard for the beach, & the ocean that gets to us. People are so nonchalant & disrespectful, throwing their butts, their garbage, and so forth
anywhere they please. They really don't give a rats ass. We've been given one earth and we each have to do our own part to at least not make it worse.
I tell you it's devastating to see something so beautiful as the turquoise azure sparkling Caribbean (and other seas, rivers, lake) being chocked to death by self-involved humans. It'd be a wonderful idea to take said offenders and send them down to the bottom of the ocean to remove all this garbage. Hey I'm onto something here! OK I'm done. Thanks for listening 😊 Sally Nature. DAY TRIPPING
Chankanaab (Maya name that in Spanish means "small sea") is a coastal cenote located within the National Marine Park of Cozumel where the family enjoyed a full day of snorkeling, diving, swimming, walking the botanical gardens and enjoying the spectacular reef. What a beautiful spot on the island. It is very reasonable to get entrance to this nature park, and you will feel like you've walked into a lush oasis. The water is so clear many feet down that you can see your feet. What a gift to spend a day there. Our kids left all electronics at
home so they could fully enjoy the park. It's about 40 minutes by ferry to Cozumel. It has it all, and you can comfortably spend a day with a family. (You will have to grab a cab to the park.) And the ferry is spacious, with a bar, and live music - not too bad of a journey over to paradise!
After a day of sun and surf, later that night we enjoyed dinner on our balcony. The night sky was so bright we saw Mars.Yes you can see Mars with the naked eye. And what a sight to behold. Apparently 2003 was the year this red planet came closest to the Earth in some 60,000 years. It can outshine most stars, and in 2003 it was pretty spectacular in our sky. It's really hard to outdo brilliant Venus, but Mars will become increasingly brighter throughout July, and by late July it will appear as a red dot of brilliant flame. So 2018 is Mars year again! Our kids were SO impressed to sit on a balcony 3 stories high up, with the stars overhead and see Mars there as well. Look up the schedule of these celestial wonders.
It's impressive. JULY 5th. (Julio in Spanish)
Well folks, the day is hot and humid but overcast. For lunch we went to a food park close by where they make the best pulled pork on a fresh ciabatta bun with pickled onions and a spicy sauce you can top it off with if you so desire. It costs 24 pesos or in Canadian dollars around 75 cents. Where can you eat something like that for less than a buck? Made with love I tell you, with that slow roasted pork so succulent and tender. Their fresh buns melt in your mouth as they warm them up on the grill. Then they pile the pulled pork sky high on the buns. We brought them back to the condo to enjoy on the balcony and everyone was totally silent as they ate. They are that good to shut a few of us up 😊 Ray and Pat enjoyed lunch at a beach bar a few doors down. First day here they've got to baptize the place.
So I think you've had enough of me. I'm going to grab my riveting book, head to the balcony to look at the
ocean, listen to some Latin jazz softly playing next door, and feel the breeze wash over me. These birthdays can take a lot out of a girl!
PS we have a snowy white egret (bird) flying by. Al got a picture of him dipping his foot in the water. Look to see his yellow eyes and matching yellow feet on the pics posted. Lordy lordy life is good to see an egret, & the pelicans swooping by our balcony. Nature at its best waving to us.
If I have to turn a year old boy oh boy this was the place to do it. Thanks for all the wonderful birthday greetings. Today is also Al & my 21st anniversary of our first date. It's time to go clink a glass and remind him how lucky he is. Right? Al you lucky guy let's raise a glass to us! Whatever you are celebrating today, or if you are just enjoying a summer day, we salute you too.
Signing off till I annoy you sometime in the near future.
The 2 lovebirds and the cheering section! (PS Blaine & Diane, enjoy your trip - be safe. And Blainey,
let the wind blow through your hair in that fantastic convertible 😊 Love you both!!!
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