Tecate take 37

frozen chicago courtesy of .com

frozen chicago courtesy of distractify.com

I’ts been snowing in Chicago for the last few days. Almost non-stop. Then if that wasn’t bad enough, there were winds blowing the snow around. Yes, it did look pretty the first day, but the very next day it just looked slushy and dirty. And it was difficult to drive in as cars went sliding or careening off the road or into each other. No me gusta.!

And then if all of that snow wasn’t bad enough, last night a deep freeze set in. Apparently, for a 36 hour period Chicago will be at temperatures hovering around 30 to 40 degrees below zero.!! Enserio.?! Yes, I am very serious. Schools are closed. The airport has cancelled flights. The zoo, some museums, and restaurants and movie theatres have closed shop for the day. But not Starbucks, in case you’re wondering, you can still get your caffiene fix.!! 🙂

It’s days like the last few that I long for Playa – it’s warmth, it’s beach, hell yes, even it’s rain. Because at least I’m not freezing my tushy off.! It’s been so cold I can’t even think about having a beer or celebrating. Hence, the reason my Tecate commercial is so very late. But, in the spirit of a hopeful warmup by Wednesday and a warm welcome from Mexico, I offer today’s Tecate commercial – Bienvenida a Casa or the Tecate Commerical – Welcome Home.! Enjoy.!! Stay warm.! Y salud.!!

with a rebel yell….

It’s been 20 years since NAFTA was signed this new year 2014.! It’s also been 20 years since the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas, Mexico. I thought it would be a good time to re-post my blog about my study abroad class to see the Zapatistas. I am also including a link to an article in The Japan Times talking about the Zapatistas and where they are now.!

Enjoy.!! See you for Tecate mañana..!!



I am descended from rebels. Historically and genetically. Historically, Croatia has a long history of insurgency. It has resisted the infiltration and occupation of many invaders. The long list includes the Romans, the Venetian Republic, Hungarians, the Austrian Hapsburgs, the Ottoman Turks and the German and Italian armies during WWII. Let us, of course, not forget the communists who held Croatia in a vise-like grip for the latter part of the 20th century.

And this is how I am genetically descended from rebels. My father did not believe in communism. He wanted a free democratic Croatia. And so in 1961, he left his village in Hecergovina in the former Yugoslavia with two friends. They walked for three days straight, stopping only to sleep or to hide from the authorities. Finally, they reached Trieste, Italy where they requested asylum. My father spent a year in a refugee camp in Italy awaiting…

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ciao bye-bye 2013….. holaaaa 2014..!!

courtesy of soccerinthesand.com

courtesy of soccerinthesand.com

It’s snowing here in Chicago this evening. It started about 4pm this afternoon. The snow is expected to go through the whole night and into the new year bringing with it up to six inches of snow.!! It might even snow until January 2nd.!! The entire city will be blanketed in a crisp white coverlet by morning New Year’s Day. A very different scene from my last three New Year’s Eves (and Days) in playa.!!

I spent NYE 2011 with my first boyfriend (Tabasco) at ground zero in playa – the corner of Quinta Avenida y Calle 12. It was so crazy and jam-packed that we jostled through the crowd basically holding onto each other after dinner and drinks. It was just a little too much for me.! The next day I found myself getting ice for my boyfriend’s restaurant because they had run out of it during the insanity of the BPM festival.!! I’ve included a short video clip of that New Year’s Eve to give you a taste of the chaos.! Let me know if you can find me in the crowd.!! jajaja….

NYE 2012, I found myself having dinner with my friend K..! And once again I found myself drawn to that crazy intersection being jostled and whisked along by the crowd in a maddening and heart-thumping frenzy. Afterwards, we met up with her husband A. and some of our other friends for drinks. By then I had broken up with my boyfriend (remember the vomit incident) and was soltera.! But no worries, it allowed me to hone my flirtation skills 🙂

The next day, K. and I went with her husband to the BPM festival. The BPM festival is an annual DJ festival at Kool Beach Club. As the name implies, you need to be cool to attend or at the very least enjoy DJ music, the beach, and some beers.! We had a blast at the festival.!! What a far cry from the beach will be my day tomorrow morning..!! I have spent the past two New Year’s Days on the beach.! Tomorrow, I will be shoveling snow off my car as I prepare to go to work.!! Wow…what a difference a year makes.!!

me and K. New Year's Day 2012

me and K. New Year’s Day 2012

me posin'

me posin’ New Year’s Day 2012

A. and I walking away from the beach and BPM

A. and I walking away from the beach and BPM 2012

My last New Year’s Eve in playa was NYE 2013. I was living with my British roomie at the time and my friend D. had recently visited from Chicago. I had survived Christmas, the Mayan apocalypse, and my near death bronchitis infection.!! By the time, New Year’s Eve rolled around, I just wanted to stay home. I was tired and I had to work the next morning. Plus, I was slightly on the outs with my roomie and was seriously contemplating returning home to Chicago.!

But I let my roomie convince me to go to Sala Rosa Bar-Tapas for drinks with one of our friends and two of her friends visiting from England. It was a nice time. But I really wasn’t feeling the company or the scene. Even though you probably cannot tell from the photos below. Sure enough in less than six weeks, personal circumstances beyond my control would force me to return to Chicago. A return which has been up and down, good and bad, but in the end deeply rewarding.

NYE 2013 playa del carmen

NYE 2013 playa del carmen

NYE 2013

NYE 2013 – me and my ex-roomie

NYE 2013 Sala Rosa Bar

NYE 2013 Sala Rosa Bar

I have reconnected with old friends. I have met new friends. I have blogged. And blogged again. I have beat the minions at the storage company. I have made my dad happy. And blogged some more. I have even returned to playa for a visit.!! But I also made an important discovery about New Year’s Eve while on this path of self-reflection. Once I spend New Year’s Eve with someone, they disappear from my life. Either completely, as in we are no longer friends. Or semi-completely, as they become part of my periphery life. I see them, but I don’t really see them. We’re friends, but we don’t really hang out anymore.

So on this cold and snowy NYE 2014, I’ve decided to stay home and read. And blog. And prepare myself to clean the snow off my car in the morning 🙂 But I also wanted to be alone in order to contemplate the last year as I say goodbye to 2013 and it’s lessons. The lessons were important, but I am relieved to see the year end. I want to usher in 2014 from a place of calm and happiness and the promise and fulfillment of all of my deepest desires.! And the slightly superstitious side of me does not wish any of the beautiful friends in my life to leave me completely or semi.! So from the warmth and comfort of my couch, I wish all of you a Happy New Year and Feliz Año Nuevo.!!! May 2014 grant all of you the realization of your fondest desires – even your most secret ones 🙂