Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Brief reprieve

So many thanks go out to that packing maniac Janet. Yesterday while we were waiting to get piles of money from the cambio across from My Place, and while I was moaning and groaning about how I have to be out of here today, the 31st, and lug my crap via the family truckster over to Elizabeth's and then lug it over to Puerto Juarez to the ferry and on to Isla to stay for 2 more days with Victoria, that crazy Jan Jan suggested that I call my landlord to see if I couldn't just stay a couple more days. Quick math revealed that it would cost me about $17 US a day to do just that, so I phoned Martha. She told me not to worry, that I can stay til the weekend as she was going to Aguascalientes and wouldn't be needing to get into the apartment until she returned. Sweet mother of Jesus! So now it is Tuesday morning, the 31st, and where the previous plan was for me to be out of here, my suitcases travelling around greater Cancun in the back of the Odyssey until Liz got home from work, they (and I) now sit in Los Picos #4 until Thursday. Thanks, Janet, airhugs!

So I went to Isla on Sunday night around 5pm and met up with Victoria and her friend Duane. The beer and tequila were free so I indulged a little, and got the 10:30 ferry home. It was a bit of a pain getting a taxi from Puerto Juarez, but I got one and all is right with the world. Today there is a possibility of me running down to Playa del Carmen to meet up with them again, but I will wait for a phone call. Isla was bustling - good to see. So is Cancun.

My neighbor Laura loaned me the dvd on Wilma - a local production company put together a video with a few interviews (in Spanish) and a whole lot of footage commemorating the biggest storm in our history. I watched it and cried. It had great music in the background and the pictures and devestation were obvious, but it was the way the video made you FEEL that gave it its impact. I suppose that to the non-Cancunense it would be interesting to view. But for the person who lives here and experienced it, it was very emotional. Before I go I am going to run out and buy it.

That's it for now. Not sure that I will be blogging much in the coming weeks but I might, so check back in. Most definitely will be relaying a follow up from the States when I get back, anyway. And this may not be the last blog from Depto 432 either, now that I have a few more days left around the supermanzana.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Wrapping it up...

Janet is on her way over now to help me pack. What a drag. No denying it, I am a packrat. I am gonna have to work on that I think.

Really it's just clothes and stuff. And then garbage. Lots and lots of garbage. Ugh.

The coming week is going to be a drag for someone like me who is so used to routine. REALLY looking forward to it. Okay, not really.


Saturday 5:12pm

Janet came right about the time I finished that last sentence (posting time below). And she left just about 20 minutes ago. I am freaking exhausted and I have to go to Puerto Juarez to see if I can see Vic before she gets on the ferry to Isla. SO going to take a nap in a minute.

We packed flipping everything except for laundry that needs to be done. Janet is a packing machine. She has had to pack herself or her family like 10 times since June. It's amazing. I now am staring at 3 huge suitcases and a brown duffle, and my walls are bare and it's pretty sad in here. Reality is sort of hitting me, but it will more when I don't have an address anymore.

Exhausted. Going to go lay down for a bit. Didn't yet pack the hammock thank God. I can't believe I am almost out of here.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Posted under duress

Geez, sorry.

You know, when you are sitting around doing virtually NOTHING for the last 5 days, you tend to forget you have a blog and a handful of readers.

So what did I do? I know I ran around with Joe, Janet and Sergio a few days... I know I had sushi one night for dinner... I know I haven't been for groceries in a while... I CERTAINLY haven't started to pack... I really am not sure what else I have done. Tuesday there was an IWC meeting to discuss elections for next year and the current administration (essentially useless). Today Janet and I got pedicures and eyebrow waxes that couldn't have come sooner (and I fucked up the appointment time - it was for 10am and I heard 12n and when we waltzed in at 12n after a fabulous coffee at Sencio they all expressed their concern for our tardiness. Luckily they were able to fit us in... I feel like such a tool).

So here's the plan: tomorrow Janet comes over and helps me pack the crap that I have. Sunday in the day I will go hang out on Isla Mujeres with Vic (she gets in tomorrow evening). Monday or Wednesday (not sure which one yet) I will go on a tour of Ciudad de Alegria with Anita as I have been threatening to do it and I really want to go see it. Tuesday I will move out of Los Picos #4 (how sad, huh?) and into Elizabeth's apartment (isn't she the BEST?? A million thank yous to that Liz!) for two nights, and then Thursday I will move over to Isla and stay with Vic (as her boyfriend is going home that day). Then Saturday, I will get up, take the 8am ferry, taxi to the IWC meeting at 9:30am, and after that move into VCI. I will stay there until Saturday the 18th and then I will be the heck out of here. To rainy, dreary, grey Portland. Oh glory.

There will be some fun along the way - of course I will be tan again. And Cyndi Lou Who will be coming in on the 12th. I get to see Cynthia Davis sing at VCI on Wednesdays, that's fun. On the 11th I am hoping I will have some friends come by The Pub for a farewell beverage or two (but I hate planning that stuff, I am really not that popular around here). And then there is the fun of dragging a newbie around Cancun for the first time.

So I haven't updated because I am boring. I doubt I will be able to blog much during my VCI stay because internet has to be bought. But I will continue with this thing after the return and we'll see just how exciting returning to the Pacific NW really is.

Thanks for watching.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

I made it!

I made it through a Friday and Saturday night without staying out until the next day! I am so proud of myself! Friday I didn't do a dang thing (which helps tremendously) and Saturday night I went to Manolo and Erick's house with Janet and Joe and another couple for cocktails. Got there around 9:15 or so and got home around 2am. Two drinks only, pleasant conversation, lots of laughing, and home to a good solid night's sleep. Maybe it was just a phase. I am sure I don't have anything to worry about.

This week's agenda - packing. I have to figure out a separate suitcase to send back with Victoria and then weed out all the rest of the stuff that won't fit in the other 2 suitcases that I will be taking back. Then I have to farm out the rest of the crap I have accumulated and make sure that I have one suitcase that is primarily vacation clothes. Well, maybe I'll just live out of both. Counting down now. My current motivating factors are a) a stove and oven, b) a garbage disposal, c) my Dansko clogs and Coach bags and d) a Starbucks on every corner. It's sort of become a mantra.

I love it here, I really do, but I have found that if you convince yourself that the next step is a good one and that you are making the right choice, then it's all good. I see me returning to live here again, just don't know when. It is a fact that there is no accounting for the unknown, and Lord only knows where I will be mentally in a year. Or six months. Or whatever. Gotta just go with the flow and have faith in what you want, even if you don't know what that is.

Change is good, and I love a challenge.

Off to Caliente to watch football for the rest of the day, it's sort of a bummer when it's so close to the end. But the next thing you know, pitchers and catchers will be reporting. Good news all around.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Bordering on out of control..

I really can't be trusted. It's just that simple. I need to get out of here just to preserve my sanity.

Okay it's not THAT bad. But we met up at Laguna Grill's Tragara lounge on Monday as planned. Not too many people showed, but Lynda and Kelly did, and apparently that was enough for me to change my mind about going to stupid stupid Corona Bar. I told them I was only staying for one but when we got there, they were offering $200 peso all-you-can-drink and you know, it's a bargain. So what the hey. Big drinking night ensues. I met some white guy later in the night and then, well, long story short, home at 10am. My new record. I should be so proud... Now before you start thinking, wow what a tramp, let me assure you that my virtue is still intact. It was actually more of a sitting around and talking sort of a situation than anything else. I swear. Needless to say, getting home at 10am means that Tuesday is a wasted day and then even Wednesday I barely left the apartment. I think I am just killing time or something.

Janet is home now (got home early in the evening yesterday) so she is coming by later to hang. I am dealing with the most aggressive ants on the planet and I hate my kitchen. I have a) no oven, b) no stove, and c) a counter that every other day is covered with those stupid little ants that only ONE THING KILLS and I no longer have that one thing. And since I will only be here for something like 11 more days I am certainly not going to go out and get it. So for now, I just live with blasting the little fuckers with Raid every other day and then laying paper towels down to make a sandwich, which is what I am living on since I have no flipping stove or oven. Ready? Yeah, I'm ready. I'm drinking too much, I can't cook any decent food, and my boredom factor is OVERWHELMING. It's no wonder I stay out all hours. Not helping right now that it is totally overcast.

Victoria shows up on Isla Mujeres on the 28th, so that will be a nice break. Then I move out of here and into somewhere, Lord knows, I guess I'll get a hotel in centro for a couple days. Then I move into VCI. Thank God. I am totally going to dig living in an apartment that has no issues and an electric oven that I don't have to flipping light every time I want to boil noodles. Maid service will be pretty nice for a change too.

I got my CFE bill by the way and yes, I had a major credit on it, so no CFE this time around. Thank God for that as well. I knew I was overpaying last time around.

Okay that's it, my bangs are drying and I need to blow them out before they are uncontrollable. Maybe it's better that I sum up my boring weeks all at once...

Monday, January 16, 2006

This is what happens when you wait a week to blog

Hm. What's been going on? I am completely avoiding the beach until I move into VCI, it's such a pain in the ass to get down there that unless I do it daily at this point it won't do a thing for me. So why bother. Soon I will be stumbling distance from the pool and beach so I will just get my tan back then. This way I don't have to shave. It has been chilly (well, for me, downright freezing) so it's not like I'm wearing shorts or anything.

Thursday I made an appointment with Anto for a haircut - hadn't gotten that done since sometime in October. She did a great job as usual. I didn't get a coffee (my tradition) there though as I was bussing it back and screw that on a crowded bus. I stopped at Sushi-Ken on my way home and that was that.

Friday I did some running around with Joe I think. We ran some errands and got some of his necessary documentation for his FM3 renewal, and stopped by his accountant to make him an appointment for later that evening. Found a guy in there that spoke English and was happy to translate at the meeting, which is good for me since there is no way I could have helped. I got home sometime around 4:30 and made some soup for dinner, and just started to get into chill mode when Chris phoned. He was in centro (he lives out in Punta Sam) and was wanting to have a couple beers. Sounded good to me.

I met him at El Chat off Tulum at around 7:30, then from there we went to The Pub. This is an Irish-inspired pub in Plaza Infinity (off Nichupte, the mall-ette where Dharma Spa is) run by a guy from Colombia who was educated in England. Chris tells me the guy spent his inheritance on this place, and it looks it. Very nice place - lots of wood and a great bar and back bar, comfortable chairs and tables, huge screen TV showing futbol, that kind of thing. Clearly attracts the higher class. We had some beers and a tributory shot of Jameson's, and then Chris got a text from his landlord saying she thought that Cynthia Davis was singing at Roots tonight. I told him, no, there is a headliner, Brownman, that I had heard about, and that some friends of mine were going to see. We tried to see if we could score a good table, but thought we would just take the chance instead.

When we got back over to Roots (a jazz club down the walk street from El Chat), we walked right in, and I saw Cynthia and hugged her hello and asked if she was singing at all. She said no but this kid just started and he was great. My girlfriend Kelly spotted us and snaked her way through the crowd - she had two chairs at her table with her husband Jorge. This kid was freaking amazing. He is Trinidad-born and NY-raised, and had some musicians with him from Cuba. His venue arranges the accompanying musicians, but these guys sounded like they had played together for years. Check him out at www.brownman.com, no lie, this kid was incredible. During his intermission he actually hung out and chatted with the four of us the whole time, so that was fun. Chris bought a cd and we all got on his mailing list, then he jammed for another hour or so. Awesome. He couldn't hang with us much after the show however, as he was due to be in Cuba at noon the next day.

So after Roots, the four of us continuted on to El Chat again, just because it was close. It gets a little murky here, but suffice to say we continued drinking. We really were having a good time but the problem is there are no limits - in the US, closing time is closing time. In Mexico, they generally don't throw you out til you are done drinking. The rest of our group wanted to go somewhere I wouldn't have liked (strip club..) so I begged off. I know this much: I was home in the 4:30am range and I am not really sure how. I woke up fully clothed, lights on, etc. That's nice.

I had a 9:30am IWC meeting of course (because it only seems to make sense that I would be out all ours before a meeting), so I hosed off and tried to convince myself that I wasn't going to go. Kim called and by the end of the conversation I was back to going. She came and got me and off we went. The meeting was sort of a fog anyway, and it ended up that Helen and Alicia and I sat around and had a drink (you know, because I needed one) and stayed until about 1:45pm. Alicia dropped us off at Helen's and I helped her up to her apartment (she has osteoporosis and arthritis among other things) and then I grabbed a cab back to my own apartment.

Joe was supposed to be coming around right about 2:30 to pick me up and take me and Sergio to Playa to look at a restaurant there. He came by around 2:50 and we stopped for a slice at Costco, arguably the first thing I had eaten since last night's soup (because though I picked at some bread at the meeting and had a tamale, I can't really remember it). We got to Playa around 4:15 and met with the owners of a place called La Diez. One of the partners was looking to sell his share of it. We checked out the whole operation (it's really cool - they have taps on like 6 tables - self serve draft beer. Very cool) and then got to know the owners. We hung out for a few hours and made it back to Cancun around maybe 8 or 9. I camped out on the hammock and then went to bed around 10:30 - exhausted and fired up to sleep like a rock. I did.

Sunday we watched those two incredible football games - hung out with a gambling fool named Tyler - I say fool only in conjunction with "gambling". He is from Canada but we have seen him for the last three weeks at Caliente, he's been on vacation making money gambling on sports. Yesterday turned out to be not such a successful day for him, but in the end he was "only" down $1000 US so he was pretty happy - a slight scenario change would have placed him at $6000 down for the DAY. Crazy shit. After the second game ended he was hungry - he wanted Ruth's Chris but we talked him into Laguna Grill and had a great meal (though Joe wasn't too jazzed about his choice and I have been in the bathroom quite a bit already this morning - you want to know that too, right?). Home around 10pm and almost straight to bed.

I am now back to normal physically I think, and I feel like I am caught up blog-wise. Tonight we go back to Laguna Grill to meet some posters from Trip Advisor and Cancuncare - tourists and locals. Meeting around 8 and then the rest will move on to Corona Bar at 10 or so, but not me as I flipping hate that place. It's a Monday, I am determined to behave. This all-night stuff needs to end, good Lord.

It's the 16th and that means I am 33 days out. I hate thinking about it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Ee gads

I'm booked.


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Up to date

Sooooo... what's new? Last week was oddly busy for me. I got home from Merida on Tuesday night as you know, then Wednesday I spent around here I think for the most part, getting some chores done. Wednesday night I went to Caliente with the Ceruttis to watch the Rose Bowl - what a great game that was! Since I don't like USC as a general rule, I wasn't that concerned with the outcome, though it would have been nice to see them go undefeated. But it was also nice to see them lose. College football is a complex issue.

Thursday I hopped the ADO to Playa at around 10:30am and met up with my friend Angela - Angela works at First American Title, and we worked together in the Main office before I moved down here. She was down for a wedding for just a few days, with a couple of friends. It was a really nice day. We walked around and shopped some, had a bite to eat, then hung out at the beach bar at Playa Ancar and had a couple of beers. They walked me back to the bus station on Ave 5ta around 6:30pm or so. They had plans to go to Chichen Itza the next morning, so I am interested in hearing how the rest of their trip went. Really good kids (early to mid 20s so of course they are kids) with great attitudes and it sort of gave me hope for some reason. I even overlooked the fact that they're Beavers. Perhaps I am aging...

Anyway I got home around 8pm and chilled for a while. I love the Playa trip as it costs like $7US round trip and it's just really convenient. Friday I had plans to meet a couple from Alaska who were down staying at the Royal Sands for the week. I had read a post on a message board looking for info on moving down, and for some reason I answered it (I never do, the whole explanation is just exhausting). We corresponded for a while before they came and then ultimately landed on meeting up on Friday for lunch. It was chilly in the zh so I bussed (BUSSED? Oh my hell I MUST be broke!) down to the resort and met with them. They are a successful young (mid to late 30s?) couple and they are looking to maybe move down in a couple of years for about a year or two. We talked about the differences between living here and in the states, some of the documentation requirements, the pluses and minuses of bringing a car vs buying one here. I had set them up with Carmen (a realtor friend) earlier in the week so they were happy with having met with her. I think lunch lasted around 2 hours or so, then I swung by the salon to say hi to Anto, then hopped the bus further south to the Solymar where Janet and Joe are living.

It's not a bad property. I am so spoiled by the Royal Resorts that it is hard to look objectively at other resorts, but Solymar is not so bad. Janet and I hung out for a while and I hopped a bus (I am insane) back at about 5pm. Solymar is pretty far down the zh, so the bus was pretty much empty when I got on, but by the time I got to Ave La Costa in centro it was wall to wall people and it took some pretty intricate contortions to get off the bus when I did. The busses here just don't stop packing people on - not uncommon to see people standing right next to the driver on the drive. Sardines have it better.

So I have been running all week, but I get a text from Kim saying she was toying with hitting La Taberna for her last night out before Margaret (her daughter) came home from Colorado. I agree it would be a good idea. We met at 7:30 and headed out. It was a good crowd - though I wasn't planning on a late night. Lynda texted and said she heard we were there, would we be there for a while as she felt like going out. Come on down! Arturo met with us after work, and the usual CancunAssist crowd was there as well, in its various stages. After a while it got too smokey for some, so Lynda, Kim, Arturo and myself made our way over to Los Arcos and sat outside. Steve joined us, and then after a couple more beers we all trooped to the bar next door that is upstairs (don't know the name) and has a great cover band. Steve (from Nottingham England) told us that whenever he walked in they played a Coldplay cover, and they didn't fail us. Soon we had pretty much the whole table that started at La Taberna over at this other bar. Good music, great people. Elizabeth was convinced at about midnight to join us, and we hung out there until about 3:30am. People started sort of drifting out, so Lynda, Elizabeth and I decided to hit Canta Bar, a karaoke bar over in Plaza Las Avenidas. There was a line and a cover but Elizabeth is wiley and she got us in for free.

The place was a big warehouse with no atmosphere and a shitload of people, so we got some drinks and made our way upstairs, then chilled and watched the people below. It was a karaoke bar but not many people sang and there wasn't much rhyme or reason to it. I won't go back. Their book was a joke. Joe needs to get My Place up and running soon, Cancun needs it. Special thanks to Elizabeth and Kim for being my bank that night, and Lynda as well for throwing down for a beer or two - I know I am not supposed to go on about, Liz, but it's a big deal to me so consider the subject officially closed. You guys are the BEST.

We hung out there a couple more hours and of course when I was dropped by taxi back at my apartment it was 5am. Great. 5am, for the love of God I am 40... Needless to say I spent most of Saturday alternately sleeping and drinking water. Absolutely useless day, which is why I don't like staying out so late. Thank God this trend only just started, I don't know if I could have kept it up for a whole year.

Sunday was a football day - spent at Caliente with the Ceruttis. Joe won some cash and made a good connection regarding the business, and so we went to dinner at Alfredo's. Jamming food and service. I told Joe and Janet that if we are ever feeling low and unpopular, Alfredo's is the place to go for a good ego boost. They just fall all over us. Sometimes you need that.

I stayed in Sunday night (for God's sake) and then yesterday was sort of an errand day. It's Tuesday now, so I am all up to date. Janet goes to Boston tomorrow until Monday, but I am sure I will find some trouble to get into. No real plans for today anyway. Just hanging out and not working, because that is coming. Hijole...

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Merida 2

Inside the cathedral. The picture is just a teeny tiny view of the grandeur of it, but since I am shocked that I was even able to post pictures today, you'll just have to use your imagination for the rest of it.
Below is the gallery in the Governor's Palace. Stunning.
In front of the Palacio Municipal, which flanks the Main Plaza along with the cathedral, the Governor's Palace and Casa de Montejo. This was the Yucatecan dance performance.
Tuesday we got up and got moving around 9:30 or so, had some breakfast at a little place around the corner (cheap and good), then walked down to see another museum - you know, I am horrible with the names of some of the places we have seen, but this one was having to do with musical history - Kim, again, I need your help, you have the map and the notes! It was smaller but again very interesting. There really was nothing UNinteresting in anything that we saw. It was really nice to get some culture. It was nearing 1, checkout time, so we walked back to our hotel and checked out.

Arturo has a friend from work who is from Merida and was in town for his vacations, so they made contact and agreed to meet in the lobby of our hotel. We piled into the car and drove north on Calle 60 to the Paseo de Montejo. This is a beautiful tree- and sculpture-lined boulevard that is home to some big hotels and grand historic homes. It is not like the streets in centro in that it is wide, four lanes with a median. More modern businesses and establishments mixed in with the historic buildings, it was truly spectacular. We drove the paseo and some surrounding neighborhoods, then parked and went to the Museo de Antropologia. What other words can I use to describe it? If you like museums, anthropology, history and socialogy, you couldn't ask for more from the sites that we were able to fit in on this trip.

From there we were given a choice: either visit the ruins at Dzibilchaltun (good luck with that, still can't say it) or visit the town of Progreso. We figured that in the amount of time we had before we needed to head for home, Progreso would have to be the winner, as Dzibilchaltun would most likely require more time. Both were reasonably close - perhaps a 20-25 minute drive. Along the way we passed the Plaza Las Americas (MUCH different than I remembered from 1994 - very busy, surrounded by stores and businesses, a freaking Wendy's AND a Carl's Jr! I still can't get over that). Very modern and quite the contrast from centro.

Progreso rocked. It was everything that you would want from a beach town - malecon, bars and restaurants, street vendors, and a fabulous beach. We walked the malecon a little and stopped for a treat, a marquesita con queso de bola (kind of like a waffle cone flauta with swiss cheese inside) and then on to a beach front restaurant/bar. We had some lunch - lots of antojitos (papadzules again, yay) and a couple of beers. It was nearing 5:30 (we had hoped to be on the road by 4:30) so we got back in the car and headed back to Merida. Progreso will see me again, no doubt about it. I know I live in Cancun, but Progreso just did something to me.

On the way back into town, Arturo decided to do a little maintenance on the car (a tire thing, it's no big deal, and I just don't want to go into why or what), so Kim checked her email and we hit a tienda for some Pino Negra (sweet!) and a little dulce for the ride home. We said our goodbyes to Carlitos (I'll see him again, he is my neighbor here in Cancun) and hit the road. Took the toll road home, and made it in around 3 hours. That is about when the Cancun-bashing started, I think.

Merida is just so much more than Cancun. I love Cancun for the beach and the blue water of the Caribbean, and I love centro and my 'hood and all that, but Merida just has so much more to offer everyone. I know we were all affected in our own ways. This was just a phenomenal little getaway and I am so glad that I got out here before moving back to Oregon.

Just a little irritated that I didn't do it sooner.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Kim, Arturo and I took a little side trip to Merida Sunday the 1st. It was big fun. I had not been in 11 years and let me tell you, things have changed a lot and a little since then.

We made a reservation a day ahead at the Hotel Santa Lucia - $350 per night each room. Good central location and it's nice to have a destination in mind. We left Cancun taking the free road at around 10:30am give or take. I like the free road in that you drive through a lot of little towns - but that also means more topes, more speed reductions and more time driving. In many places there was still a lot of water from Wilma, casitas half submerged and on most buildings you could see where the flood waters reached the sides of the buildings. Amazing to see. We got into Merida maybe around 3 or so, and easily found our hotel. Centro has not changed. I love it. I love the way the buildings are right on the sidewalk - and how everything is so narrow and looks so old. Time has progressed obviously with so many internet cafes around, but other than that, at first look, it all seemed the same. I like that.

I had a near siting - I am going to be cryptic so don't ask for an explanation - of a look-alike so look-alikey it was almost frightening. I wonder if someone was trying to tell me something.

Anyway, after settling into our rooms (their bathroom stunk from the sewer - not pleasant. Mine was fine but that's how those old hotels are), we set out on foot to find a place to get some food. We went to the Main Plaza - Plaza del Armes I guess, surrounded by the Palacio de Gobierno and the Catedral de San Idelfonso - the oldest cathedral on the American continent.
We grubbed (finally got my bottle of Pino Negra!) on some comida yucateca - panuche, tamal, cochinita pibil, pollo pibil and my all time favorite, papadzules. We then walked around the area and people- and building- watched. A TON of tourists there, I was surprised, not having remembered so many from way back when. It's a good thing - glad to see that Americans come to Mexico to actually see some culture and history instead of swilling down cheap booze at SeƱor Frogs.

We spent that first evening listening to music in front of Parque Hidalgo (I am pretty sure that was the one, I could be wrong. Kim?) and having a couple of beers watching the people go by.

The next morning we agreed to check out of the Hotel Sta Lucia and find something else. The smell was just too much. We had breakfast at the Cafe Habana around the corner (awesome coffee) and then checked out some hotels. We landed on the Hotel Reforma on Calle 59 - a bit closer than the Sta Lucia but not really by much. The building had some great character and was old - very charming. The rooms, well, at least Kim and Arturo's didn't smell! Mine was okay, twin beds, big hole in the ceiling, but a room is a room as far as I know. Plus the parking was much closer and I think that made everyone feel better.

We checked out the Macay Museum - spent some time in there. It was beautiful, and huge, and free (amazing). After a few hours in there we set off for the mercado. I had been there years ago, and I knew that they had recently built another building for it, so I wasn't sure what we would see. The walk there got busier and busier with less tourists, fine by me, and finally we found it. It has changed in that the original one was emptier, so we crossed over to the newer one and checked it out. Not as much charm but the same stuff.
All the concrete-ness of it all was sort of sad to me, but business is business and they are not catering to the memories and whims of some chick from Oregon.

Later we went to the governer's palace with its huge murals and paintings depicting some of the history of Merida and the Yucatan. We spent some time in the cathedral as well, it is an absolutely breathtaking structure. I am having a hard time uploading the picture so I'll do it on another post.

Grabbed some dinner (crepas chaya) at a Vegetarian joint across from Hotel Reforma, then we went back to the hotel and chilled for a little while. After a couple beers, we headed back to the Main Plaza and watched a Yucatecan dance show. Very fun. Picures of that in the next post too. By then it was 10pm so we went back to the hotel, had some beers in Kim and Arturo's room and then hit the sack around 11 or so.

Time for a break. I will continue with more pics and Tuesday's activities in the next post.