Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It was a party!

My moms 50th birthday bash went off without a hitch, and boy oh boy was it a blast!!! My mom had around 100 of her closest and oldest friends and family here to help celebrate. It was great seeing so many people that I hadn't seen for a while. It was especially fun as I was able to speak English, Croatian and Spanish!!

                                                        How good does she look?

The party was this past Saturday and it was held at my parents place in the City. The party was caterered by Red Tree Catering (I'd include the hyperlink but something is seriously wrong with my keyboard). For anyone in the Calgary area these caterers were amazing. I'd recommend them without any hesitation. We had a group of 7 people come into the house in the early evening and started setting everything up. We had 4 servers, 1 bar tender, and a chef with their staff. It was truly unbelievable. They even cleared up almost everything before the end of the night!
                                These cakes were actually from Brulee in Calgary

Our menu was great as it was just some appetizers. We served : Portobello mushroom and Asiago tortilla cakes, Artisan Cheese Macaroni, Carrot ginger soup shot, Tiger prawns, mini Yorkshire pudding,  and Halibut fish n chips (to die for!!).

The bar was also FULLY stocked, and everyone was greeted with a gorgeous glass of champagne served with a hibiscus flower. Not only did the hibiscus look beautiful, but it helped sweeten the champagne just enough. It was a huge hit.

The party ended around 4 am which is always a good indication that people were enjoying themselves. Regardless of the blizzard that was coming in that night. Brrr....

                                         My cousins and some girlfriends
I love milestone birthdays, and it was so nice to see a huge smile on my moms face the entire evening. She looked gorgeous, and most certainly makes 50 look good. I can only hope that I'll be as lucky as she....

                                 Me and my mom at 4am exhausted
What did you do for your last milestone birthday?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring. What spring?

I arrived in Calgary early this morning with our puppy Kiara, and my Bff S picked us up from the airport. What a trooper! Kiara was an angel on the flight, and again the flight attendants told me they didn't receive one complaint - thank goodness for gravol. LOL!!

It was a balmy -3 celsius so not too cold, but still a shock to my system. Poor Kiara was shivering in the car ride, and didn't go out until we woke up this morning!!

Hubby is meeting us on Friday and may only be staying for the weekend as he is starting a new job, and they really want him there for Monday. I hope he doesn't have to go back as we spent $800 on his ticket and would really feel wasted if he's only here for the weekend.

My mom's 50th birthday party is this Saturday and it's going to be HUGE. I'm going over to her house later today to surprise her as she thinks I'm coming in on Friday with hubby. I can't wait to see her reaction. I'm the only daughter out of 5 kids. I also happen to be the oldest, blah!

I will have to write another post about this, but I can't leave you hanging - I'm a student AGAIN. More info to come in my next post!!!!

Off to get ready so that I can surprise my momma tonight!!! EEEE can't wait!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Another change

By human nature I am a creature of habit. It's not that I don't like change, as I do. I'm a Gemini - we love change. However, there are certain situations that I do not deal with well. Por ejemplo people.

If you recall, our cleaning lady Elvie is pregnant, and had to stop working with us recently. Thank goodness I had the disaster of the electricity to keep my mind occupied as the weeks leading up to her final day were tormenting me. Serioiusly. I grew so attached to her, and was very sad that I wouldn't be seeing her on a daily basis. A tad dramatic. I know.

The good news is we have her cousin working with us. In all honesty her cousin is actually a much better cleaner than Elvie. However, Elvie had my trust, and her cousin will now have to earn it. After our incident with our awful cleaning lady last year it's sad for me to say you now have to earn my trust. I'm sure she will, and I hope I'm not wrong. I really like her... :)

Another change coming is that my Dad and Joy will be leaving us for Canada next week. Very sad for me as they've been with us for about 10 months. Unfortunately, Joy's health is really not doing well, and she needs to go home to Canada and receive the help that can be offered to her on that side. Well, if it weren't for that reason I would be even more sad. The selfish part of me is going to miss them so much, but now is not a time for me to be selfish. I'll just have to get used to the idea. That's all. Actually, we will be going home with them as well for a surprise visit for my mom's 50th birthday!! Can't wait !!!

What about you guys? Are you okay with change? Or do you relish the thought like myself?? 

Monday, March 14, 2011

CFE = ugghhhhh

Disclaimer: The following is a true story, and summarizes my personal experience with the CFE (Comison Federal de Electricidad) last week. For me, it was truly unbelievable.

In my last post I blogged about a wonderful week spent in the Riviera Maya. Yes, we had a more than wonderful time, but there is more to the story of course. Originally we were supposed to go away for a weekend. Nothing more than a quick getaway, and so the story begins....

The Saturday morning we were set to leave our doorbell rang and it was the CFE coming to check the electrical meter on our home. Or so we thought... The fellow first told hubby they were there to replace our meter with a digital one. Hubby advised we had no time, and were just about to leave. The fellow flat out lied and said no, no, it will be very fast but we can't proceed without your permission. FINE. Hubby gave in, why? I have no clue.

All of a sudden there are 5 guys infront of our home, and we also notice the CFE at every house on our street. This is 8:30 am on a Saturday morning. They turn our power off, I can't shower, I can't get ready, I can't do anything. Even our cleaning lady couldn't work as without power our water pump doesn't work. Just sit and wait. Sit and wait some more. About an hour and a half later one of the fellows comes into our  home with a camera and starts to take snap shots of all of our A/C units, fans, TV's, lights, etc...

What next? The "jefe" who originally told hubby they would take no time at all advises us he is cutting our power off indefinitely. Why? Appaerently our meter had been tampered with. We asked what he meant? He said it appears that our meter is broken, and was tampered with some time ago... We tell him we've only lived in the house 6 months. He says he can tell it was done some time ago, but he was turning it off anyways. Are you kidding me? He tells us we can either "pay up" OR wait until Monday to go into their office to deal with it.

We have no time to argue, but hubby says we will wait as we are going away anyways. I couldn't believe it. We would be without power until at least Monday. We speak to a few neighbours and every single one of them were asked to either pay up, or they'd cut the power too. Most didn't pay as they didn't have the cash on them at the time. Can you believe that? How is this even possible? Our neighbour is 8 months pregnant, and you are turning her power off on a Saturday when you know damn well they can't do anything!

Soo... Monday morning hubby drives back to Cancun and meets with the CFE. He was there for 4 long hours and is told we have to pay a bill. Why? Well, since your meter was broken we are going to take the usage from the previous year and apply to your bill. Are you kidding me? The previous year there was a family of 5 living in the house. How can you even compare us to them? We can do whatever we want was the story we were given. No lie. Also, they informed at earliest if we paid the $17,000 pesos (roughly $1500USD) in full by the end of the day we would have our power back on Thursday. Hubby miraculously got them down to $13000 pesos, but come on! That is a lot of money we have to fork up for doing nothing wrong.

Our power was hooked up again on the Thursday when we returned from our hotel. However, what do people do who can't just go away for a week? How can you live without power? How can they just turn your power off and get away with it?

The worst part is I was'nt even surprised, and I'm not even mad anymore. I actually wasn't even as mad as I would have been a year ago. This saddens me as I'm obviously becoming more and more used to the way things are done. Corruption. It exists at every level. If we would have paid the mordida we would be feeding it, but we are still the ones who suffered. How can we even be sure our meter was tampered with? Maybe the guys tampered with them?

Ugghhhh..... Sorry for the long post. I tried to make it as short as possible yet capture what exactly took place. We were screwed.

I still love this beautiful country, but man oh man is it a challenge at times like this.

Has this ever happened to you before?? I hope not....

BTW... After all of that the meters were never even replaced!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I'm baaaacckkk!!!

I haven't written a post in over a week or so, but I have a real good excuse. I went on a mini-holiday!!

Where do people who live in Cancun go for holidays? Well the Riviera Maya of course!! Okay, not all the time, but many times throughout the year we take advantage of the wonderful resorts that surround us, and sneak away for a few nights. 

This past week hubby and I (along with my dad and Joy) left Cancun for 6 nights, and 7 beautiful days. Seriously, we only had rain once and it was for the latter part of the day.

We spent one night at the Barcelo Maya Palace which was wonderful. I would recommend this hotel to ANY one with children. The resort has an amazing water park for kids, a full size soccer field, tennis courts, ping pong tables, water sports, play ground, etc... Seriously, the list goes on and on. The rooms are pretty nice as well. Very clean and modern. The mini-fridges were stocked with juices, cervezas and peanuts. We paid a premium rate and were served top-shelf alcohol so that was very nice as well. Overall, we would most definitely return as 1 night was not enough.

We spent the next 5 nights at the Secrets Capri Resort. Now we`d only stayed at the Secret`s Maroma in the past so our expectations were high. We were not disappointed. The Secret chain is unbelievable. Top notch in our opinion, and especially for an all-inclusive resort. The beach is not as nice as Maroma`s, but not many are!!! However, the resort itself? Very intimate with only 230 rooms (or so).

Secret`s Capri, like Secrets`Maroma, is an adult only resort. It has 5 restaurants - seafood, steak, Japanese, Italian and a buffet. The food is incredible. No kidding. I actually preferred the food at Capri to Maroma. Typically all-inclusive food is pretty bland, and basic. Not here. From the breakfasts which are FRESH FRESH, to the snacks, lunches and dinner. Yummmy.

Another way to determine the quality of the hotel? When NFL players are staying there you know it isnt' too shabby of a place. Love, love, love.

I have so much more to tell you all as a lot has happened in the past 2 weeks, but a few deserve their own post for sure!!! I'll be sure to write some more posts this week now that I'm back home in Cancun.

Hope you all had a great week :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Another weekend

Do you ever have those weekends where you have so much to do, and not enough time? Well that is exactly what happened to us this weekend!

Friday night we went out on our friend`s `booze cruise`. I haven`t been on the boat for almost 8 years!! We are invited week after week, and finally I convinced hubby it was time to go. I was especially excited as my girlfriends were going to be there as well.

The boat departs the dock around 7:00pm and lands near Carlos n' Charlies around 9:00 for dinner, and drinks. On the boat we listen to music, have drinks, dance, and do a lot of people watching. Interesting as everyone thinks it's always the young Spring Breaker's getting all wild and crazy, but nope. I saw more boobs then I've seen in a while, and all of them were much older than mine!!! Makes me laugh as they are just some woman having a whole lotta fun!!!

Saturday we went to our friends place to hang out by their pool and have a BBQ. This is a great way to spend a "hang over" day. I'm lucky as I wasn't hungover, just VERY tired. The morning was cloudy, but that cleared up and we were able to enjoy the sun for most of the afternoon. Afterwards, we all had some BBQ arrachera and limonada to end the day.

Sunday was Oscar day. My amiga Stace and I decided we would watch the Oscar's together a few weeks ago. Hubby and her novio Serg decided they would take advantage and play FIFA 2011 for 7 hours. Yup, I said 7 hours. This was their dream come true....Win, win really.

I'm already looking forward to next weekend as we are headed to the Bacelo Maya Saturday night. We will probably have a frew friends over Friday, and then head out early Saturday morning.

What about you guys? How was your weekend??