Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Carnaval: The Sunday Parade

I waited over two hours for the Carnaval parade.  You waited a week for my photos!  I told you manana, but what that really means in Mexico is not tomorrow

Once the parade started, it flowed like clockwork.  Floats and dancers with performers of all ages!

It took me awhile to realize this was a Star Wars themed float.

An adorable queen of the float! 

Shake it girls! 

They practice their dance routines for months leading up to Carnaval and the costumes are amazing!

I love the healthy attitude towards body image in Mexico.  Beauty comes in all ages, shapes, and sizes.  I hope this never changes!

Another young queen.  She's beautiful!

These girls are loving it!

 But it's been a long day!
Love the colorful costumes!

These guys may have been hydrating with something other than water, but they're still rockin' the routine!

We were so happy to be on Isla Mujeres this year to experience Carnaval!  We never made it through any late nights in the square, but by golly, we stuck it out for the parade!

Hasta luego!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Carnaval: The Waiting Game

When will we learn?  Perhaps never?  Being prompt is so culturally ingrained in us that if a show or parade starts at 3:00 p.m., that means we really need to be there at 2:30 p.m. to get a good seat.  Well Dorothy, we're not in Kansas (or Arizona) anymore.  I'm sure some of you know where this post is going.

We'd made up our minds that we were on Isla Mujeres during Carnaval and we were NOT going to miss the big parade!  It was scheduled for 3:00 p.m. Sunday.  Rationally, I knew that 3:00 p.m. didn't really mean 3:00 p.m., but why take chances?  In November, we showed up 15 minutes late for the Dia de la Revolucion parade and it was halfway down Medina before we got there!  (That was a one off.)

Around 2 p.m., this clown car with boom box zoomed past on the street below.  A thought went through my mind that the parade could be starting early, so we'd better hurry!

We rushed around and were out the door around 2:30 p.m.   With no empty taxis to be had, we started walking.  About halfway to El Centro, some kind neighbors in a golfcart stopped and offered us a ride.  Soon we were seated on the wall along Medina just north of Mininos. 

We suddenly realized we were totally unprepared for the event.  We had no drinks!  Craig rushed off and soon returned from Bally Hoo with a huge margarita in a Big Gulp sized styrofoam cup and a tiny bottle of water for me.  I quickly decided I liked the margarita and we shared.

Within a half hour, around 3:30, we began seeing indications there might be a parade today.

A vendor passed by with donuts/pastries on his head???  How did I miss this opportunity?

A little later, a man on a unicycle pedaled up and down Medina.  The southbound side of the avenue had been shutdown for over an hour, so surely the parade was still on!

This cutie sashayed up and down the sidewalk, her runway, several times.  If she wasn't the official kinderqueen title holder, she should have been!

Around 4 pm, two trucks passed by on the opposite side of Medina.  Finally!!!  They must be lining up somewhere!  Our expectations rose.

Confusion reigned as dance groups performed in front of Mininos and other spots on Medina, then disappeared with no sign of an organized parade. 

Another small Carnaval Queen, this one more official, passed on the sidewalk.  At this point (around 4:30 pm), I was almost sure we'd missed the event.  Slowly viewers started leaving with the certainty that today's parade was not to be.  Soon the group we'd been sitting with gave up and meandered away.
We stayed with two other friends who'd sat down for a chat.  A friend tried to quiz the policia directing traffic at the crosswalk as to whether the parade had been cancelled.  He smiled, but didn't understand our English. 
At 5 p.m., it became comical.  People were walking around comparing notes trying to figure out if the parade had been held somewhere else.  Oh well.  We had no place else to be and people watching is always fun!

Anyone need an onion with their margarita???
True to form, the event planners fired another volley!  A truck with two large cartoon policia passed by on the opposite side of Medina.  They had us on what we called the gambler's schedule when I taught behavior modification.  Throw something out there at random moments to keep the participants waiting for their reward!

Excitement once again grew.  Finally, after two hours and ten minutes, the parade appeared!  It's what they call a milagro in Mexico!

The parade was on!  Good things come to those who wait!  Being in Mexico reminds us to persevere and outlast!  LOL 

Stay tuned for the Carnaval parade photos manana.  (Just remember what manana really means!  Wink wink.)


Thursday, March 30, 2017


Sometimes you just happen to be in the right place at the right time!  Here are some serendipitous moments from our February/March trip.

By the way, I translated serendipity to Spanish and serendipia popped up.  Acquiring a new Spanish word never hurts!

We were at Bally Hoo for a late breakfast and noticed a small panga come ashore with their fresh catch.  The lobsters were plopped into an ice-filled cooler and within minutes the fishermen were inside Bally Hoo and the manager was picking the ones he wanted.  (And yes, this was in February during the legal lobster season.)

Another February morning I was out early and just happened to catch the sun peeking through the mermaid.

During the two hours when we were waiting for a Carnaval parade to begin, this guy was rockin' it with some ladies dancing in front of Mininos!

Another day after lunch, I caught these little boys on the boat.

One evening, I remembered I wanted a photo of the new Isla Mujeres sign on the malecon when it was lit.  People love to pose with the sign, and this happened while I was waiting my turn.  Perfect!

Serendipity = a fortunate happenstance, a pleasant surprise.  I'll take it!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Everyday Isla

School girls walking down Guerrero in the afternoon.

Squeezing a van around a truck delivering concrete blocks on Matamoras.  How did the rearview mirror clear the truck?

Eloy on his daily rounds selling salty snacks.

The Tuggui man selling treats.

Hanging at the beach (no pun intended).

One of my favorite vendors on his daily rounds.

Daytrippers in colorful hats!

A malatero on Guerrero.

Speedy beer delivery to the Face Bar.  I love watching these guys toss the cases of beer up and down.

Blowing the conch at Mininos.  Day is done!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Murals Everywhere

Back in the early years of our travels to Isla Mujeres, I was fixated on taking photos of political ads on walls. If you look carefully, you can still see the names of past El Presidentes on old walls around the island.

The island's evolved and now it's a game to search out new murals to photograph every trip.  Some of these have been around for awhile, but I just happened upon them my last two visits to the island.

I'm a Frida lover.  This mural's at Tres Mentiras on Hidalgo, a great place to imbibe Isla Mujeres Brewing Company beer and eat street tacos! 

Part of a lovely mural painted on the courtyard wall at the Rocamar.

Jenny Penny's been painted with a new mural!  Love it!

This lovely mural's finished now.  The artist was painting it when I was on the island in November/December.

I'm not sure if this is a banner or a mural, but its placement gave me a good laugh.  The King of Kings in the cemetery now presides over a Coco Loco business.

Mural on the Medina side of the airport.

Mural on a casa in El Centro.

Sidewalk murals.

Mural on the wall by the cultural center.

Mural on Casa D Ghetto or Casa D Chetto in El Centro.

More Tres Mentiras artwork.
Mural on a Juarez casa.
This one's on the malecon side of the Cultural Center.
Another on the Medina side of the airport.
Mural on the side of a colonia casa.

The steps.

Tres Mentiras.
Craig's favorite mural.
I know I'm in trouble for that last one!  It's a cloudy blustery day in Arizona, so I need a laugh!