I was gonna marry you

My uncle died from colon cancer yesterday morning. I just thought I would mention it since I’d blogged about it in the past.

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The good & bad of Oaxaca (more photos coming later – maybe this weekend)

I got sick on my travel day in Mexico. Of course I did. No shock there. But that wasn’t the bad part. The bad part was my feet! I can’t do all that walking in an airport – especially as big as one as Mexico City. I was limping so badly that the guy at the gate thought I needed special assistance for my leg! The whole Mexico City airport fiasco was a nightmare. I will never repeat it. I can get to Oaxaca by bus from Houston. I will do that next time. It must be the biggest airport ever – with 2 separate buildings. You can’t even walk to the second building. You must take a train. I hate Benito Juárez International Airport cuz it sucks. #profound It must provide a ton of jobs though. That is a great thing.

Have I mentioned that the travel part was not the highlight? The way there wasn’t nearly half as bad as the way back. Flying domestically must be a breeze.

Overall, I’d give the trip a B+ or maybe an A-. Not an A+, because I spent too much money. I’m going to do a helpful hints on Oaxaca soon and it will have shopping tips. I now know where to go to get the best deals. I’m like, totally an Oaxaca expert. :/

I’m still sick but feeling much better. My feet haven’t recovered yet though. I don’t know what made me sick. That will be included in my tips but I think it was either eating pan dulce (sweet bread) from a street vendor, consuming too much syrup*, or drinking tons of coffee or more likely me constantly checking the water temperature for my shower and not using anti bacterial gel afterwards. It’s the little things. I wasn’t thinking that checking the water with my hand (DUH!) might not be a good idea. I used my feet sometimes too. LOL.

*I have a very sensitive stomach and should have known better.

Oh yeah, that is another reason why this trip couldn’t be an A+. No lukewarm or hot water. I know some people have had lukewarm water at the hostel so it is all about timing. If/When I go next time, I have to have lukewarm water. I tried to shower with that cold water. It involved me checking it and running away. I just couldn’t jump in. I tried. Me don’t do cold showers. I feel like I’m just giving myself a cold. I know Mexico City has HOT water at their hotels. It was lovely.

I did use antibacterial gel but probably not enough. I used it only when I was out. I was only sick on airport day. Do I have to explain how much being sick while going from airport to airport sucks? It was not pleasant. But at least I got to enjoy my time in Oaxaca without feeling sick.

The one thing I really actually missed while in Mexico was MSNBC. I can’t believe it. I was sooooooo sick of that network and the repetitiveness. (When will the election be over???!) But all I wanted to do when I got back to my hostel was watch MSNBC and fall asleep. I never watch CNN anymore but they did have the Mexican version of that so that is what I watched (and the Mexican travel channel). Am I a political/news junkie or what?

I’m in a bad mood so I don’t feel like blogging on and on about my wonderful vacation. I’ve been using a lot of F bombs since I’ve gotten back. Some of it is due to me being sick, some of it is work and most of it is my living situation. But whatevs. Who cares? My fault. Everything is my fault. LOL.

I think I’m going to use Project Life to document my whole trip. Becky is right when she says “keep it simple”. Part of me wants to be creative and do a 6×8 travel journal but on the other hand, do I really want to spend money on that? After what I spent on going to Oaxaca? And I want to live on my own? Sigh. (my fault. everything is my fault). So I’m going to keep it simple and just jam everything in my Project Life binder. That binder is so huge. I would love a cute little travel journal. I can always do one later, I guess.

Disclaimer: I won a free spot in Becky Higgins’ Project Real Life class. I’m not spilling anything that isn’t on the free syllabus.

This week theme is organization. Most of Becky’s video was about her family (re: kids) organization so I didn’t learn much from that. No offense.  But it has motivated me to FINALLY label a place for dirty laundry (wow – genius!), craft/photo stuff, etc. I would take pictures but my very small place where I live is sooo small and cluttered that anyone would wonder how someone could possibly be organized there.

Now I’m going to organize all the crap stuff I got from Oaxaca in my Project Life binder before I lose it. I have so many boarding passes and receipts. That is what I’ll be doing this weekend and a few boring errands. Hurricane Sandy means I have to buy pet food tomorrow instead of waiting. I also have a feeling that it means I will have to go into the office to work next week. I doubt I will have power. The last time we were out for a week. Woe is me. Living on the east coast rulez!!!!115!!!

I apologize for this entry. I’m in a bad mood.

Oaxaca: purchases

More pics from Oaxaca. Part I was underwhelming but here it is. First let me say…no one can say I didn’t live like the locals. I just ate at a place so far from tourist land. Another thing is before I came here I said to myself, “I don’t care how much my feet bother me, I’m going to walk and walk”. This evening it was so bad, I was limping. I will carry pain meds with me from now on even though I’m not planning on walking a lot tomorrow. Tomorrow is my last day. 😦 I’m just going to revisit my favorite places.

Here are my purchases that I haven’t posted yet:

3 things
  1. A blouse. I brought it this morning and wore it for my dinner/evening stroll. I love it. $150 pesos
  2. a bookmark from a guy on the street $10 pesos
  3. wooden necklace from a clothing store. on sale $120 pesos
blouse

I probably won’t wear this much due to the way it is made. I shouldn’t have brought it. Purple is my weakness. $150 pesos

water bottles

I was so relieved to finally find something with the name OAXACA on it. One is for my sister. The other might be for my mom. She has a choice between 2 souvenirs. heh $90 pesos a piece from a boutique kind of shop.

  1. 3 postcards from the famous Amate Books. $5.00 pesos a piece
  2. necklace from a woman outside of the Santo Domingo Church. Yes, I went in! It was awesome. Details later.

  1. 2013 calender. I can’t wait to hang that somewhere. Can’t remember the price. Handmade by someone in a neighbor city (like most of these items actually).
  2. a magnet cross for my mom. $50 pesos. From Amate books
  3. pair of earrings from a boutique $30 pesos
  4. a handmade bookmark. $10 pesos

  1. A vase. might be my mom’s. her choice. 🙂 from the Benito Juarez Market. What an experience! Mostly locals shop there. Can’t remember the price.
  2. a oaxaca keychain. $10 pesos from the Benito Juarez Market.
  3. shot glass. can’t remember price
  4. a bookmark. will probably place in my travel journal.
  5. at the very bottom are $1 peso coins

Saving the best for last…….

My favorite item! We have barely parted since I brought him yesterday morning. $200 pesos. nicely made.

I got some of everything I’d planned to buy which is a shock to me. My bank account is sad though. :/ Oh well, I’m in for the night after being out walking all day. I may try to catch the presidential debate tonight. Will it be in Ingles? I doubt it.

Oaxaca day 1 in pics

I have always been bad at doing detailed posts especially for adventures like this one. So I have decided to just upload some pics that I would otherwise never post. Yes I’m on the computer on my vacation. I just spent 3 hours walking and my feet need a break. I’m back at my room at the hostel.

Like I tweeted, there was a plane malfunction so I ended up spending one night in Mexico City. I’m not happy about that because I had to pay $100 American dollars on a hotel room. However, the room was great. It would have cost anywhere from $170 – $250 in the US. (I spend a lot of time on hotels.com).

STOP TALKING AND POST PICS. okay…

clouds

Pic from either my 1st or 2nd plane ride. I love clouds.

view from my Mexico City hotel room
not mexican food

That was room service from The Holiday Inn. They didn’t have a diverse menu.

famous Santo Domingo church

I haven’t been in yet. I will go inside.

random typical Oaxaca street
oaxacan art
half of my breakfast from this morning

Real Oaxacan food. The bread was so sweet and delicious. And the coffee – OMG 🙂 It is nothing like I’ve ever had before. I have been drinking coffee daily (including a pumpkin spice latte from the Charlotte airport). But Oaxaca meal without coffee? NEVER. The food was good not great (well minus the bread and coffee). I’m still full. I probably don’t need to eat much of a dinner.

No one needs this many turquoise necklaces. I paid the equivalent of $58 (American) for those 5 necklaces. Was I duped? She tried to get me to buy much more. This is her livelihood. I was just helping her out. lol. blah, blah. WTF was I thinking? Don’t get me wrong, I loooove these necklaces but I can’t just spend like this. argh!

I noticed that I was taking all of these pictures and I probably won’t use half of them for Project life or my travel journal. So I thought why not post them here.
I’m going walking again in an hour or so. I already wish I could stay longer. 😦

Blow me one last kiss

You’re going to Mexico by yourself?!”

Me: Yep!

During my lunch hour, I showered*,  somehow managed to take my passport picture at Walgreens and then went to the post office and officially applied for my passort. I came back from lunch 1 minute late. Amazing. I received my ‘certificate of live birth’ on Monday at 10:45AM. It was ON after that. Fast thinking. I didn’t think I was going to be able to do all that in 1 hour. There was a couple (mom & daughter) in the passport office in front of me. I thought I was doomed. They were laughing and joking with the passport officer. Eventually they left. And guess what? He made me laugh to! 😉 They were also going to Mexico. Viva Mexico! I bet they aren’t going in less than a month…cause they seem like sane folk.

(*I work at home so I usually shower during breaks or lunch).

Okay. So according to the passport guy, I should get my passport by October 9. My flight to Mexico is on October 20. How crazy is all this? ARGH! There are so many things I have to do. I can’t even think about everything. I just want my passport. That is the most important thing. If I don’t get it in time, I don’t go.

Breathe.

I have to do this. I have to research that. I have to learn the numbers in Spanish past 30. Yeah, I can only get to 30. So instead of getting a break from anything, I’m adding more to my plate. I have to go to work the very next day when I come back! I get back at 9PM. How tired and worn out will I be? I hope I’m excited and thrilled but most people need a vacation after the vacation and after a long ass flight, I think working the next day will be tough. But I will.

I guess I’m going to Oaxaca, Mexico! 🙂 I don’t know. LOL. I’m only going to be there for 3 days.  The 2 other days are full travel. yay. (sarcasm). I don’t really plan out stuff but of course there are things I want to do. I’m going to try to make myself go out of my comfort zone each day. It will be nothing major. I will not venture too far out since I don’t have much time.

I’ve always wanted to go to Mexico. That has been my dream since I knew Mexico existed. Then I did a lot of research and decided on Oaxaca. It is the craft center of the world so of course I was drawn to it. They also have very good food. They happen to be known for their coffee and guess who can’t drink coffee? Me. Guess who LOVES coffee? Me. How will I resist? I probably will have a sip or two. I will also take medicine with me (TONS of everything 😉 …just in case even though there is a drug store near where I will be).

I feel so overwhelmed but who wouldn’t be if they were going out of the country on short notice? Oh yeah, I booked the hostel. I have a private room with a private bathroom en suite.

I still don’t know what to do about getting pesos. I don’t feel comfortable waiting until I get to Mexico because I have to pay the taxi driver as soon as I get off the plane. The one thing I do know is that you shouldn’t exchange money at the airport. What a learning experience this will be! I have never flown and I’m about to take SIX flights in a 5 day period. Is that nuts or what?

Don’t get me started on the checked luggage thing. I’m flying US Airways for the most part and their policy sucks. If I knew for sure I could buy luggage in Mexico I would wait until I get there so I would only have to deal with checked luggage on the way back. But what if I can’t find a suitcase to purchase? Doomed. I’m not taking much of anything so I don’t really need to take a suitcase down there. However, I do plan on buying stuff in Oaxaca (Hello! Crafts!). I will have to have a suitcase on the way back. I don’t know what to do about this…………..I know shipping stuff back to the US is not a great option which is too bad because I will be near a post office.

Btw, this trip is way more expensive then I’d planned. I would not recommend others in my situation do this. It would only cause stress. I know having expectations is bad but I really do hope this trip is worth it. I honestly don’t think I’m going to feel like all this money is worth it (but I hope so – that would mean the trip was life altering or something…). I know Oaxaca is great, beautiful etc. But it is hard to justify the cost.

But as of right now, I may not be going anywhere. Another thing is that I didn’t know I would have homework for my jewelry class so I’m trying to do that, work and plan for Mexico. I’m a little ashamed to admit this but I’m now addicted to Project Life and I try to do that daily. Some of that is good because it involves journaling. The other parts I need to leave alone. I can’t wait to do a huge layout for my Mexico trip. 🙂

I guess I should go.

I’ve been lightly researching the cost o…

I’ve been lightly researching the cost of a trip to Mexico. I didn’t bother to look for deals since I know I’m not going in 2011. I’ll be in school at that time. But maybe, just maybe I could go in March of 2012. If not definitely in 2013. All of this stuff takes time and money…but I want to go to Mexico very badly.

I can’t believe how many Americans are so terrified of Mexico. “You went to Mexico? On vacation??! Why would anyone go there? You wanted to get killed?” This came from a guy who lives in DC. You want to compare the crime rate of DC to Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico? LOL. Please. I live in a worse area than where I want to visit.

Anyhow, I’m guessing the return trip flight will cost anywhere from $1300-$1700 from the little research I’ve done. (ouch!) I’m only spending 3 nights there. I’ve fallen in love with Hotel Cazomalli but I’m willing to go cheaper if I must. That will cost about $53 a night. Add taxes to it I’ll say $200 for the hotel. Next, I need a passport. That’s another $200…I think. I haven’t checked recently. No, people without money don’t have passports for no reason. Haha. I will probably get my passport a year before I plan on going.

Not including taxi prices etc. That is a little over $2000. I’m hoping to get it down to at least $1500. I don’t know how. Even looking this stuff up is overwhelming! And then some people say no need to make reservations in advance etc. etc. SCREAM. I will definitely read more updated books about this. I love the internet for research but all the info is too much and then the opinions….
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In other exciting news, I went thrifting last week and found some amazing deals. I went to get some sweaters for winter but I only ended up with two. It was very odd but someone seemed to dump a bunch of green sweaters there. I ended up buying one but ugh, I dunno. Maybe I will stick to blazers.
I did get:

a new with tags H&M skirt
a purple & black sleeveless Liz Claiborne dress
a denim Liz Claiborne “sport” dress
1 green velvet skirt suit (looks brand new. I have no idea why it was knocked down several times – lucky me!)
2 pairs of jeans (one Levi, the other ??)
1 blouse
2 sweaters
1 sleeveless gray ankle length dress

All for a grand total of $34!!! All of the summer/fall clothes are dry cleaned or washed and ready to wear. 🙂 I’m so glad I’m no longer buying new clothes. I’m back to thrifting… maybe 2-3 times a year? I definitely don’t need to spend money on new clothes.

I’m also proud to have not brought any books from the thrift store. NO MORE NEW OR USED BOOKS unless they are reference books. In fact, I have to gather books to drop off to donate to the library next Saturday. They are having a book/cd/dvd/video drive. If I wanted to spend $2.50+ on mailing books to people, I would have posted the books on paperbackswap.com. All of the books are in good to great condition. But the thought of having to mail all of those books….um, I’d rather just donate them. I will probably post about 5 books on the site. These are “wanted” books so I know I’m going to have to ship them within 2 weeks.

Fearless

Not feeling fearless. “Fearless” by Taylor Swift was the last song I listened to yesterday. I can’t get it out of my head. I found out she has a new album coming out soon. Take a break and live chica! Back in the day (lol), we had to wait 3 years for an album. The younger the artist/singer, the quicker they pop the music out. Has anyone noticed that recently 75% of my blog titles have been song titles? NO! ;0) I need to update my music blog.
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Goals? What goals? Like I tweeted, I’ve been enjoying sports (college football and a little tennis) this weekend. I’ve also been reading Traveler’s Tool Kit: Mexico and Central America. I got it randomly from paperbackswap.com. If you believe in the universe and timing you know I’m thinking, “This is a sign!!” LOL. I have decided that Mexico will be the first place out of the USA I will visit. I want to go there before I go to the west coast. I want to go to Mexico within the next 3 years but it can’t interfere with school and getting certified.

So far the book is interesting but this is definitely not the only book to read on Mexico. One reason I love it because they encourage you to travel alone. 🙂 Since I’m a newbie to the traveling thing, I want it to be as painless as possible. Another thing about this book is they don’t sugar coat it. Traveling out of the country for the first time on your own (without travel agents also) is hard and requires a lot of planning. I am only going to one city and stay there. I think Chihuahua City is where I want to focus on. Keep it simple. Yep, I want to go on the Copper Canyon train ride.

I am seriously thinking that Central America is where I want to live/retire ASAP. Maybe Belize or Costa Rica. Not sure yet.

Speaking of traveling I’m going to the beach in 2 weeks! I would never go to the beach during hurricane season but my mom doesn’t seem to care. This is her trip. I hope the weather is nice. I haven’t even given it much thought but I should. What am I going to wear? heh.
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Back to reality. I’m supposed to be going places and uh, being amongst human beings. But isn’t work enough?? Who would want more after that? 😉 I dunno. I’m going to the post office to mail a book. I wanted to see the Pat Tillman story but it isn’t playing anywhere…not even at the indie theater. Weird. However, I could go see Get Low. It is a thriller. I love thrillers. I haven’t been to the movies in over a year. Hmm, start time is about a hour away so if I’m going, I should go.

Let’s go HOKIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!