Thursday, March 31, 2011

First Official Bump Picture

Taken at 20 weeks, Valentine's Day:

The weeks were going by so quickly. I was energetic and busy, around the house and with meeting people, and generally enjoying this "bloated" period, that I don't have much to add.

Chile Tips

In General:
  • Chile is not cheap.
  • You should have low(ish) expectation for food (then you might be pleasantly surprised).
  • It is a very modern country and anything you forget can be bought on arrival.
  • Customs official are picky about food products, so don't bring them in.
  • No matter what season you come in, you will need winter clothes (at the very least for wind/rain). The south is cold, and even Santiago gets chilly at night all year round.
  • Unless otherwise noted, all accommodations refer to double room with private bath.

Good luck and enjoy!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Love is in the Air

Our last week in Santiago, we could finally share the news! And boy was that exciting! Everyone was really excited, and it was fun to not have to hide our little secret anymore.
When we got back to Mexico, we had a couple of weeks of non-stop emailing and phone calls. And it was super fun! Everyone was really excited; our friends were supportive, and we got a lot of virtual love. It was also nice to be back home and comfy again. And to be totally honest and around with M's classmates and our friends here. So while January is a month I don't usually love, it was wonderful, and the high kept us going for several weeks. Add to this a return of energy and I was in happy-ville!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

An Alternative View, Part 2

You know hormones? Well I've never been a very big fan of them, especially when they get out of control. You see the next 3 weeks, (weeks 11-13 if you're trying to figure it out) I was a cranky, sensitive mess. I never really got the high end, no elation here. Just normal or some form of bad.
We spent the first week touring by car. And it rained a lot, and I don't really like being in a small car on gravel roads for a lot of hours a day, with no music. It was pretty dismal. And M still had to deal with my attitude problems. Because we were staying in cabins and I was freezing my butt off. And we had to cook our own food because there was no where to go out to eat. And I really don't like cooking on vacation. And my poor guy tried so hard to make it a fun adventure: We got appetizers for dinner, your favorite! And I'll do all the prep work! And you can have a non-alcoholic beer!
(looks good, right?)
But I was a downer, even when I was kind-of having fun. Little did we know that the best was yet to come. For some reason, I was set in my mind, that if you go to Chile, you have-to hike the Torres del Paine. Luckily M convinced me to book lodges so that we wouldn't have to camp. But man, was it rough. We still carried around packs and I had NO energy. Top that off with rain, wind that knocks you off your feet, and sleeping in bunk beds (when you have to get up to pee in the middle of the night) and it was a doozy. Honestly, the only thing that kept me going, was getting to the next lodge so that we could be one day closers to done with the trek, so that we could GET OUT of THERE! That was my motivation. I was over the beauty, the nature, the adventure. All I wanted was some real (non-hiking) food and a comfy b&b bed.
(keeping it real)
The last few days after the trek were actually kind of fun. I mean, nothing could be as bad as that trek, so you know...Unfortunately my knees were a little ravaged so we didn't get to hike as much as we hoped, but it wasn't so bad. And the buses were ok, except for when I threw up at the end. But we were going back to the big city! Food and shopping and lounging on the computer in bed all day fun!!!

(city happy)

Monday, March 28, 2011

An Alternative View, Part 1

I already blogged about our trip on my travel blog. And yet, something personal and private was going on, that no one could hear about, but now I can definitely share. We arrived in Santiago, Chile. And thank you Higher Being, wherever you are, but I was eating normally again. We totally did the normal touring stuff, mixed in with a lot of family time (read: eating time). But we were a little concerned that I was starting to look "fat". I'll let you judge for yourself:

And we got totally excited seeing this piece in La Moneda cultural center and talking about how we could get a Mexican carpenter to make us one:

It was kind of fun being a little smug in those days. M took a picture of this on an old car in Valparaiso, and thinks we should get one like it:

It was also a little awkward. Not having any wine in a country that makes a lot of good wine. Not having a pisco sour toast. Being suddenly dis-interested in going out to sushi. Luckily we were going with the fact that M's family didn't know me very well, and probably wouldn't notice that this behavior was a bit out of the ordinary for me. And anyway, it was time to get on the road...

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Doctor, The Shock, The Parents

I gave myself one week from the BFP (Big Fat Positive) to find a doctor. I did some internet researching, some checking up on the Wives Website*, and finally came to the conclusion that I needed to make a call. So I called a girl we met here that I honestly barely know, to get the name of her OBGYN.
A week later I was in the office with M, nervous, nauseous, and venturing into the unknown. But it was the nicest doctor's office I had ever been to. The doctor was about the nicest I have ever met. And he loved that M is a med-student. So we got on with it, and before I knew it I was having a vaginal ultrasound. And exiting with my very own picture of a yolk sack.
So we celebrated, again. Kind of. We went out to eat at a nice place and discussed for realz this time. And I confided my hesitation to share the news. They're going to say we're irresponsible; we're still in school, we have no house of our own, we have no jobs, we're living off of loans. But that, apparently, was totally unfounded. Because when you tell your parents they're going to be grand-parents they get excited, and happy, and a little shocked. But they're happy for you (and them).
Two weeks later, we re-visited the very nice doctor, and heard a very nice heartbeat, and as we were preparing to go on a very nice trip, we told the parents and the siblings, and everyone was very nice. And my nausea was petering off and that was very nice too.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thank Goodness for Blockbuster

The first few weeks were seriously HE- double hockey stick bad. For once I was really really really happy I didn't need to work, or do anything, really. The house progressively descended into disarray. All I ate was bread. Plain or toasted. With butter or if I was really wild, cream cheese. But I couldn't enter the kitchen; see food let alone smell it. I definitely wasn't cooking. And I avoided the grocery store like the plague. The best I could do was try to leave the house for a short walk once in a while. But I made sure to cross the street if I was going by a restaurant. Poor M, he was back to his bachelor days of pasta-tuna salad (and yes it is as gross as it sounds, but you get all your nutrients with little work).
The one comfort I had was our couch. And internet forums to pass the time. And tv. But mostly Blockbuster. I rented movies like nobody's business. And when you don't want to move off the couch, even the bad ones are not so bad. Thank goodnss for our premium membership. That month alone paid off the whole year.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Something weird is going on. It's the week before, and no PMS, I mean nothing, nada, zilch. This is odd and I knew something was up. D day comes and no Aunt Flo. So like it should be really obvious, but I'm seriously in denial. There's a weird twinge I'm feeling on one side, and it's not really a cramp but something, so I must just be a few days late, or something. I tell M. Even though he pretends not to, he knows. And I know, but I wait it out until Aunt Flo is officially one week late.
During an evening walk, we stop at the pharmacy, and apparently in Mexico pregnancy tests are held behind the counter. Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit! That's awkward. So I ask M to help me out, and he talks to the ladies and they pull out 3 tests. M picks one up. It is made by his uncle's company. He says it's a sign- it's going to be positive. We were going to wait to try until visiting said uncle, and now. Well, without taking it we already know.
The next day, that line appears so fast I'm going to sh*t myself. But M has a big test that morning, so I don't say anything until he gets back from school. And then we celebrate. Or something. More like freak out at a sushi place. Together. With lemonade and seaweed salad.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Better Late than Never

So I thought I quit blogging. But then I didn't. And I have all these things I want to share. So we'll back track a bit and then continue on once we're all up to speed! Alrighty?
Oh, and welcome!

Unidad Deportiva Revolución

Our latest adventure took us all the way across the street to Unidad Deportiva Revolución, a public sports complex and site of the 2011 Panamerican Games Headquarters. The place is huge, but you have to pay an extra fee to use the specific facilities so it's not as affordable as it first seems. Nevertheless the exploration made for a good change to our walk, and really showcases Mexican public spaces at their finest, ha!

We started at the defunct bobsled track:

Enjoyed the flowering trees behind the miserable field hockey field:

Checked out the slightly dilapidated archery stadium:

And topped it off with a little rusted rock climbing wall:

Not to burn too many calories, we went home, and made some of these:

which keeping with the theme of the day, came out a bit shabby themselves, but were tasty nonetheless.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Yet Another Centro Excursion

Our second full day as tour guides, we spent in the Centro Historico. We actually made it into the Teatro Degollado for the very first time. And of course we visited the Governor's Palace, the Cathedral, and did a little bit of strolling. We had another fabulous lunch at La Chata- just can't really go wrong with them, and a paleta (popsicle) for dessert, as the afternoon sun was slowly melting us away. We browsed some of the pedestrian streets, and were astounded at how much variety of "stuff" you can really find downtown. It really never ceases to amaze us. And we made a short stop at the jewelery market on our way back to the car.

The Teatro Degollado:

Government Palace:

and murals by Orozco:


tourists in plazas:

and impromptu shopping:

and popsicles:

The rest of our visit with M's parents, we spent around our neighborhood, checking out the local shops, walking down our construction laden street, and seeing where M spends lots of his time- school.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Yet Another Tequila Excursion

A few weeks ago M's parents were in town for a visit. So we made the rounds, to some of the Guadalajara must-sees. First up was Andares. I think this is a great first place to visit, because you realize you're in a civilized country. It sort of throws away a lot of the illusions that people have about "Mexico". It was the first place that we were taken, and it really is so pleasant to walk around, you can't not be impressed. After a little of that, and seeing our home neighborhood, our visitors were ready for some real Mexico.

So our first full day, we went out of the city to Tequila. D got to switch it up and we toured the Sauza factory. It was very very similar to the Cuervo tour. Perhaps a little less refined, but you saw more of the actual process so it's hard to compare. We had a little stroll around town, and a great lunch at La Cholula. And so the busy day ended with the scenic drive back to town on the "libre" highway, which was surprisingly in great condition.

With the Cuervo at Jose Cuervo Factory

On Sauza Factory Tour

In Tequila main plaza, outside La Cholula

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tiyulon Movie Review: Around the World in 80 Days- 1956 edition

A British gentleman takes on a wager to go around the world in 80 days. Set in the late 19th century, the man with his helper Passepartout, employ various means of transportation as they make the journey.

The Tiyulon Take: Better than we expected; old fashioned stereotypes (racial/class/ethnic etc) are surprisingly amusing and the old school filmography make the whole film surprisingly engaging.

Inspired by this movie, I'm going to make a mini-bucket list:
See a bull fight
Fly in a hot air balloon*
Take a train in America
See a Cirque de Soleil show (Inspired by Passepartout)

I think I'll give myself a 4 year deadline on these, one a year if you will**.

Has a movie inspired you to do something new? visit a new location?

* Although this has never been so enticing, we might have to extend the deadline for this one.
**Also we're going to pick up the 2004 edition and the book by Jules Verne

Saturday, March 5, 2011

San Francisco - Part II

And then we were off to the waterfront, to see some ships on the piers, have a seafood lunch at Fisherman's Warf, swing by Girardelhi chocolate central, and oogle at the street cars and trolleys. A perfect San Francisco tourist tour!

We also made it to the wedding that evening, the reason behind our wonderful trip!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

San Francisco - Part I

Our second day in the Bay area was chilly but sunny, and so we headed to the big city- San Francisco. Our first mini stop, was at the "painted ladies" where the intro to Full House was filmed. You know: "what ever happened to predictability?"...

All four of us were pretty impressed by the "hilliness" of the city. To the point of it being a bit freaky driving down some of the streets.

M and "our" Cube:

And then we were off to our first big attraction- the Golden Gate Bridge:

"I see it!"

We drove across and stopped for a bit on each side.

[to prevent picture overload- the rest of the day will be in a separate post].

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bay Area

Last week, we went on a fabulous weekend trip to the Bay Area in California. Our flight with Volaris was acceptable and uneventful (so uneventful, in fact, that on a 4 hour int'l flight we didn't get any meal). But we were happy to have a direct flight, so we picked up our Nissan Cube and made our way to Sunnyvale/Cupertino. We got off the highway, driving by Apple offices and content to be surrounded by some of our favorites: Peet's, Targeé and more.

The day was a rainy one, so we decided to forgo the big city tour, for a short visit to the Stanford campus. Somehow, we found ourselves outside the art museum, so we escaped the rain and enjoyed a quick visit. By the time we were done, the rain had almost ceased and we got to walk around a little bit on campus, before heading back for the wedding Welcome Dinner and quality time with good friends.

The museum:

Around Campus: