Happy 2018!

That Time I Went to Mexico and Didn’t Drink

I’ve been to Mexico four times in my life. The first three times, I spent a lot of my time there drinking my face off. Now, let’s be clear here: I was never that girl, doing unsafe, stupid, drunken American things in Mexico. Even under the influence, I was still a rule-follower through and through. But, most of the time I spent in Mexico was spent drinking lots of beer, tequila and even wine. Here are some photos that I dug up to show you:

This first trip was to Cancun in 1999-ish. I’d never been outside of the US and had never seen beaches or ocean water that looked like anything other than poor (Bless its heart) Texas’, muddy, dirty beach and Gulf of Mexico situation. I was totally enamored by the crystal clear, blue water and the white sandy beaches. I drank lots of beer on that trip and just to give you a sign of the times, you only needed a birth certificate to get into Mexico at that time. I took my cute little honorary birth certificate with my infant foot prints stamped on it with me and was told that it wasn’t an “official birth certificate” and, therefore, I wasn’t allowed to travel to Mexico. Well, this WAS 1999, so I asked nicely, “Oh, please?” and some nice person at the airlines said, “Oh, okay, sweet heart. But when you get home, get an official copy of your birth certificate for the next time you want to travel to Mexico, mkay?” And away we went to Mexico. My, how times have changed.

My second trip was in 2003. We flew to Cancun but stayed at Isla Mujeres, which is a lovely, quiet island. We headed directly to the Sol Beer distribution center on our golf cart and got I-don’t-know-how-many cases of Sol to enjoy while we were there. On this trip, I got the honest-to-God “Montezuma’s Revenge,” made exponentially worse by a hangover. It wasn’t pretty, but luckily only lasted a few hours.

This was a trip to Playa del Carmen in 2007 for my best friend’s wedding. There was a lot going on during this trip. For starters, we’d just had a baby, so I was in a bathing suit a mere 5 months after giving birth. I was incredibly self-conscious about that and not feeling my best by any stretch of the imagination. Also, I was dealing perhaps a bit poorly with new motherhood and already drinking more than usual on any given day at home. This wedding was lots of fun, but I went “balls-to-the-wall” (if you will) and drank a lot. We’re talking tequila shots and all, which wasn’t my normal drinking pace. I fell down at one point at the reception and had a black. blue and green bruise on my hip the the next day.


And here I am just a few weeks ago, back in Playa del Carmen. This was my first trip back as a teetotaler. and I noticed a few things:

  1. There’s not much to do at an all-inclusive resort except to eat and drink. We were offered champagne upon checking into the hotel and the drinks didn’t stop flowing from there. I watched people walking in the pool with their drink in hand, then walking over to the swim-up bar for one or two more; lather, rinse, repeat. Might I also point out that precious few of these people ever got out to use the bathroom? Ew.
  2. I was looked at strangely by most of the staff when I repeatedly ordered water or sparkling water. Finally, it just got easier to order a soda or a virgin drink at times. That seemed to appease the staff a bit more. Who was this “wheta” (white girl) and why wasn’t she drinking?
  3. Drunk people can be pretty gross. One afternoon, we left our kids in the game room and went over to the adults-only section of the resort. There was a hell of a party going on in the adult pool and it was pretty gross. Women hanging all over men, drunk ladies dry-humping the poolside DJ, hootin’ and hollerin’ like you wouldn’t believe. It made me yearn for the family pool with only grumpy toddlers refusing to wear floaties.

So, I did it. I went to Mexico and I didn’t drink. That’s something that I never thought possible. I read a lot. I thought a lot and I daydreamed a lot. I thanked my lucky stars to be in the place where I am today over and over. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Happy 2018!

Vacation Favorites–2017

We just returned home from almost a week in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. It was gluttonous, decadent and lots of fun.

Long story short: I needed my stretchy pants for the trip home.

Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen


Thankfully, I did have a few supplies with us that proved to be invaluable while we were on vacation. For starters, no matter how much sunscreen I wear in Mexico, I always burn like a tiki torch. But, this year, I managed to keep both myself and my family generally sunburn free. I attribute it largely to this product:

Walgreen's Sunscreen
Walgreen’s Sunscreen


Y’all this stuff is NOTHING fancy. And, I grabbed two travel-sized bottles of it at the checkout the day before the trip  because the travel-sized bottles were bigger than most travel-sized sunscreen bottles (but still FAA-approved) and the miser in me was digging her heels in at the thought of having to purchase over-priced sunscreen at the resort.

It turns out that this sunscreen smells devine. It has a vanilla-y, amber-y, sophisticated scent that is nothing like most sunscreens I’ve ever used. Weird, right? I wanted to wear this sunscreen for the scent alone (a little dab behind both ears). It also wasn’t greasy, dried nicely and, best of all, it worked. I will be running out to buy more of this to keep in our pool bag. The price certainly can’t be beat either. So, run to your local Walgreens and buy this stuff STAT.


Next is a high-end sunscreen (that was not an impulse buy, like the Walgreen’s sunscreen) that I purchased for my face.

COOLA Mineral Suncare

I invested some time and researched good facial sunscreens for this trip. I wanted something that was lighter weight than my usual CC cream (Your Skin but Better CC Cream with SPF 50 ) but that still had a little bit of color to it and protection. I also wanted something that felt light on. Ideally, I wanted a facial sunscreen for beyond this vacation as well–something I could wear, for instance, when I walk the dog during the day. Yes, this stuff was a smidgen pricey, but dang it if it didn’t work. And it goes on smooth–almost powdery feeling–and doesn’t make your face oily. In fact, you don’t feel this stuff on your face at all. Best of all, I didn’t even get so much as pink on my nose the whole trip. And we were in the sun from sun-up until sun-down every blessed day.

And, last but not least is a makeup bag, invented by a member of my family:

Makeup Junkie bag (I purchased a size medium) $31


Makeup Junkie inside view
Makeup Junkie inside view


My husband’s cousin’s wife (you still with me?) was frustrated with all of her makeup bags. They were either too tall and she lost things in the bottom or they were too small and didn’t hold anything. Out of frustration, she sat down at her sewing machine and whipped up a bag to solve all of her problems. A quick post on Facebook to show off what she’d created and boom–an empire was born! Her bags are in over 500 boutiques now and she’s been successful beyond her wildest dreams!

Makeup Junkie bag in action

Image Courtesy of Makeup Junkie’s Facebook Page

I had been wanting a Makeup Junkie bag for awhile and decided that this vacation was a good reason to get one. Boy, was it handy! I too really enjoyed being able to quickly see and grab whatever it was that I was looking for inside of my bag–even my tiniest chapstick, among my eye shadow pallet and containers of lotions and potions. I also easily fit my Makeup Junkie bag in my purse and had no problems getting my cosmetics through security at the airport.

Also, I’m in love with the adorable fabrics she chooses for her bags! And the tassel…tassels are my love language.

Purchase Makeup Junkie bags HERE-tell her that cousin Jenny sent ya!

I have a few more blog posts brewing. For starters, this was my first time to go back to Mexico as a teetotaler. That was an interesting experience and, I’d be lying if I said that it was easy, peasy, lemon-squeezy the whole time.

Also, I had a friend pass away recently due to a prescription drug addiction. I’m heartbroken and counting my many regrets about the times that I maybe could’ve done something to help. That’s a blog post for another day indeed. Stay tuned…