Thursday, March 24, 2011

Gator and The Gang Take Mexico: Parte Una


Waaaaaay back when the Big 3-0 was still looming at me in the distant future, I began browsing the internet for a suitable beachy birthday destination.

 I was determined that my 30th birthday was to be the best birthday yet, and I knew I had to be the F bomb out of Texas (and my office!) ON A BEACH, with my most FAVORITE amigos, to accomplish my mission.

This was roughly back in February 2010, a short 8 months before ‘El Dia Grande!’  I had my wee heart set on Jamaica for my ‘birthday bonanza heard round the world'...  At least until a few inconsiderate rat bastard drug Lords took a few small cities hostage and began kidnapping unsuspecting citizens... AND THEN my groovy visions of jamming out with the local Rastafarians quickly disappeared.

Undeterred by terrorism or thuggery, Mexico was deemed the cheapest safest option, and I chose the Riviera Maya as the fantastical destination in which my birthday magic would unfold.

I sent out a mass email inviting all my closest friends and family to celebrate this momentous occasion with me, and lucky enough, a few choice suspects signed on.  The final Gang of merry party goers included:  Dub and Nina, Anthony and Trisha, G Money and D (aka Tiff), and of course my beloved JS.  Little Bella Poochie Pants was left at home to guard the casa, much to her beady eyed chagrin.

I received a few pre-party emails from The Gang along the lines of: “If ONE more patient/person/parent tells me about the Biker-Stripper-Underground Casino bar burning down in Mexico, I will undoubtedly lose my S-H-I-Z, man.  STAND BACK.  I may have to unleash a S-H-I-Z storm. ”

I also received no less than 2 emails a day from my extremely vigilant Mother (who probably quit sleeping the minute I revealed to her my nefarious plans to travel abroad) about the horrors awaiting us in Mexico.  The panic reached a crescendo when I began receiving printed articles from my own patients outlining the dangers hidden behind every tree, rock and backwoods booze shed along the Mayan coast line.  I actually had good fun snatching those lovingly printed pages from their nervous, clammy little fingers and perfecting my, “BOO YAH! My Mom already beat you to this one!” dance, all the while assuring them, as tempting as they sounded, I would try my best to stay wide of any strip clubs or poker joints.

I had a tough time not jumping onto my desk and shouting, “I’m going to Mexico, nah, nah, na, nah, na… “  “Settle down crowd of adoring patients!  I’m going to an AMAZING (most likely VERY safe) all-inclusive resort.  I have a few things on my agenda and not one of them includes shady bar hopping and/or leaving my resort.  My plans do include:

1. Sitting my ass on the beach with a cold beverage in my hand.

2. Eating whatever the F bomb they serve me.

3. Shaking my tail feathers if/when the urge strikes.

Truth be told, I really wasn’t scared of being hijacked or held up, but hurricane season had me freaked-the-F-out.  After suffering a mild chest seizing panic attack over the forecasted inclement weather, my home girl G Money talked me off the ledge with a well phrased, “You can’t change the fact that you were born in the height of hurricane season.  Just look at it as an adventure and CALM DOWN.  It will be amazing!” And then I hired her as my official Weather Wonder Girl.

And AMAZING it was.

Day one:

JS and I swooped by my girl D’s place on our way to the aeropuerte and she kept my caffeinated, animated, thoroughly over energized self company as we chatted it up at a high rate of speed.  Amazingly enough we never ran out of steam.  We were one big series of high pitched run-on sentences stretching from Austin, Texas at 5am until we reached Cancun at 11 am.  The fact that she’s a morning person was a stroke of brilliant luck because my Dear JS is a GD grizzly bear until about 2 pm.


I have no doubt that JS was ready to stuff cotton in our mouths his ears and/or jump straight out of the moving car/ airplane, for most of that marvelous morning.

The Grizzly prepares his tunes to drown out our yapping.

Best buds! And what excellent teeth!

There was quite a large scene and a truly heartfelt reunion inside the Cancun airport when I spotted Dub, Nina and G.  Unfortunately that moment was not captured on video, so I shall do my best describe that beautiful scene in words…

My hair was (naturally) blonde with an extremely healthy luster as it glistened under the fluorescent lights.  I spotted my long lost friends standing at the luggage carousel at the exact moment they too spotted me.  I gracefully (frog like) lept into the air and (screeched) shouted for joy.  I dashed around luggage carts like a (rabid border collie) skilled athlete and (plowed) ran straight into their group to smother each of them with hugs and kisses (slobber).  After their terrified bulgy eyes returned to a somewhat normal facial configuration, we hit Customs and D, being the great friend and very good sport that she is, joined me immediately at the bar for a little imbibing.

This was a very wise move, but the true stroke of genius was stocking up on ‘roadies,’ before we made our hour long van trip south from Cancun, down the Mayan coast line to our final destination of Playa Adventuras and the Catalonia Riviera Maya.  I had suffered an extremely long and dry van trip along that same coast line the previous summer, and seeing as I ain’t no dummy, I was not willing to repeat that unfortunate mistake again.  I took the jump seat (any other option would have left me barfing out the window) and quickly became air control, DJ, Antagonist to the driver, and in-flight entertainment.  Dos Cervezas and Gator got a little goofy, much to the enjoyment of our fellow travelers.  This is where I also coined my most excellent creed for the length of my vacation, “Chew this meal well, because you may see it again later.”  (Again, this wisdom was acquired from my previous Mexican scandal adventure.)

More air?  Louder Spanish music?  How can I be of service?
We arrived, checked in, met up with Anthony and Trisha, ate, drank, lounged on the beach and thus concluded our activity for the rest of our vacation!

Just teasing.  Sort of.  Too Be Continued...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Spectacular Gator Saturday

Saturday morning I woke early, 6:30 am to be exact and proceeded to doze on and off until it was time to bolt from bed and perform 20 minutes of preparations in less than the actual five minutes I had allowed, to make it to my exercise boot camp on time.

I was a few minutes late so I eagerly performed 25 atomic push-ups (think nervous little feet balanced on a big ball and jiggly arms straining as you roll your knees in and out, with an F Bomb and a push up in-between) for my tardiness.  That'll teach me.

After class I drove downtown to get fitted for some sa-weet ass sneakers at Hill Country Running in hopes that they might fix my gimpy ankle that is currently being held together with gobs of kinesio-tape.  (Think new-age duct tape.)  Driving straight there would have been much too simple and timely, so instead I unwittingly drove right smack into the middle of a 5K run and 8 billion road closures.  I realized I had chosen a crap course of direction when they fired a cannon over my car and I nearly shat myself.

8 million squats, 3 million lunges and spending poop loads of dough on new sneakers makes a girl hungry, so I ambled over to Lift Cafe and had a lovely brunch date with myself in gale force winds and some much needed glorious sunshine.

Right after I took this picture my tacos and coffee were simultaneously caught in a gust of cold wind and smashed to the side walk.  Just kidding.  I scarfed my tacos down supa-fast to avoid that heart wrenching scenario and finished my lovely skinny blackberry latte in the comfort of the warm indoors, lounging on a fabulous sofa.

While lounging on said wondrous sofa I pondered my options for the rest of my day:

1.  Shop for some new clothes.  Good news!  None of my clothes fit because I'm getting super fit.  Bad news...  NONE of my clothes fit so until saggy drawers and shapeless tops are back in-fashion, I sort of look like a homeless person but smell a LOT better.

2.  Shop for JS' upcoming 35th birthday present.  He is asking for the new iPad, so technically #2 on my list should read:  Rob bank THEN buy JS' present.

3.  Attend a Belly Dancing Workshop.

Can you guess what I chose?  Let me give you some hints.  I totally DETEST shopping for clothes and I have yet to develop the skill set to successfully pull off a heist. 

Yep.  Off to belly dancing I bravely went.  Blame it on the caffeine and all that secret syrup.      

After speaking with the instructor (I mean really...  What's a girl supposed to WEAR to a belly dancing class?) I dressed in black spandex capris and a black fitted top so as better to observe my core.  A belt or scarf for the waist was also suggested to better observe what one's hips are doing.  Lucky for me I already stole from my mother own a spectacular rhinestone and silver studded, black bedazzled belt to finish my ensemble. 

Our class consisted of one yoga princess, one terribly uncoordinated Gator wearing a bitchin' belt, one Vampire, (she looked just like Rachelle Lefevre, aka Vampire Victoria from the Twilight series) one Mom and our super famous instructor April Rose.  April performs all over the world as a member of the Bellydance Superstars.  She is the epitome of beauty and grace as well as a wonderful instructor (and my newest idol crush).

Photos Courteesy of 

Seeing as I was terribly over-caffeinated and I'm always kind of a bundle of super spastic nerves anyway, I simply couldn't refrain from busting out my jazz hands right in the middle of our really sexy choreographed dance.  The group giggled and I told April she could thank me the next time she was on stage in Spain and had the urge to bust out her own Mary Katherine Gallagher moves.  That my friends, will be my own personal contirbution to the Bellydance Superstars and multi-cultural art.

When we completed our workshop I volunteered to video tape the rest of our group dancing so that my spasticity was not forever immortalized on film.  What?  You think I wussed out, don't you?  Whatevs.  I have my future political career to think of.  Ha!  AND let's take a minute or twelve to say thanks to the Sweet Baby Jesus there were no iPhone cameras or Facebook when I was so much younger and SO MUCH dumber.  Amen.  

Halfway through our two hour workshop I discovered a new meaning for muscle discovery.  My ribs burned, my scapulas kind of wanted to fall off and my bare feet were getting a wee bit raw.  I had to quit shaking my groove thing a couple of times to make sure that the God awful sensations coming from the bottom of my tootsies were not in fact impaled shards of glass...  Who knew tiny bits of glitter left behind from someones dance costume could be so pokey?  I also discovered that my legs look sort of horrific in my most favorite black workout capris and I have since decided I should never wear them out of the house again.  Sad day.

That being said, I had an incredible time and I totally impressed myself with the smidgen of coordination that I actually do possess.  I was pleased that I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and allowed myself to be silly, feminine and sexy.    I think I may try to find more classes or a good DVD so I can continue my dancing.  Annnnnnnnnnnd, according to JS I could still use a little more tutorial...  Later that same night I was cooking dinner in the kitchen (gasp!) while he read his paper in the living room, when he said, "Ummm, honey...  I can't see what your hips are doing from here...  But judging by the look on your face, I'm totally intimidated."