Friday, December 4, 2009


Yes, that is Farenheit, not Celcius! Brrrrrrrrrrr. I arrived safely - in fact an hour early! - Wednesday night...I'm busy readjusting and getting caught up at work (only 471 emails- not bad)...will update with more Merida & Isla Mujeres adventures and pictures in the coming days...including some exciting news (well, at least I think it's exciting!)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Piss Whistler Mystery Solved!

ha! so it appears no one seems to know...and googling it won't exactly help you either! (good thing because there really were no bonus points) no worries, i didn't know what one was either until meeting one myself. To be honest, I just like saying Piss Whistler so...I made the whole thing up!

No, just kidding. Well, about the making it up part....I do like saying Piss Whistler. I mean come can one say that and not have a smile come to your face? Come on now, say it with me: Piss Whistler. If you happened to just say it out loud I'm sure it's more than just you smiling right now! (Stephanie, I can picture you at your desk saying it aloud to your computer screen!) PW and PWH are real people. They never asked to be in my blog, nor do I even think they knew I had a blog until I sent them a link to the post featuring them, so I used PW and PWH to "protect the innocent." But, I didn't just make it up. Maggie (oops, there goes the witness protection plan) really was a Piss Whistler.

So, get on with it already Jill...what IS a Piss Whistler?!?! (cuz you are all dying to know, right? i like to think so.) Well, If i remember correctly (PW correct me if I'm wrong)...when there are horse know, like the Kentucky Derby (in case by me saying "horse race" you didn't know what i meant--and if that's the case you really shouldn't be reading my blog because you have other issues you really should be dealing with!) when a horse wins the race they are taken out back for a drug know, to make sure they aren't like those Olympians, or baseball players*, that take steroids.

How does a horse take a drug test you ask? Well, they must piss of else would they take a drug test?! But, as we all know, pissing on demand...sorry, peeing, or rather "tinkling" as my mother would probably prefer I say, is not an easy task. Don't you remember being a kid about to get in the car for a long road trip?

Have you gone to the bathroom Jill?
Yes, mom.
Really? I didn't hear you. (seriously. did you really listen?)
But moooom, I don't have to!!!!
Here let me turn on the faucet for you, that will help.

What? Don't tell me that didn't happen to you too.

Well, apparently for horses, the equivalent of turning on the faucet is whistling. Mom, imagine that...perhaps you could have saved some water and just whistled to me!

So there you have it...Piss Whistler...errr...Maggie, was a Piss Whistler in her former life. It really has no relevance to who she is or to the I said, I just like saying Piss Whistler. In fact, I think that should be a Jeopardy question.

Equine for $1,000 Alex:

One who soothes winning horses in order to have them take a drug test.

"What is a Piss Whistler?, Alex."

sometimes i crack myself up! :)

Monday, November 30, 2009

This Ain't No Sleepy Fishing Village Anymore...

I remember the first time Erik and I came to Isla Mujeres. It was a surprise Christmas present for him. The tickets were free (the only perk of my previous job) and we rented Bob & Wayne's place (which, btw, I highly recommend!). Erik had never traveled outside of the U.S. except to London for business (with a side trip thrown in to Amsterdam- of course!). I had previously lived in Belize and traveled some in the Yucatan and Guatemala while living there. I knew for his first trip I didn't want to overwhelm him but, without completely offending some people who may be reading this, let's just say Cancun is NOT our style. I think it was a fluke that I found Isla Mujeres...and it was described in a travel book as a sleepy fishing village off the coast of Cancun. Perfect I thought. This was 4 years ago. That first night we arrived I distinctly remember sitting on some logs down on the beach across from Jax with tears streaming down my face. Erik, completely perplexed, asked me what was wrong. "This isn't a sleepy fishing village." I said. To him though, it was...that is, until we went to the deserted beaches of Tulum days later when he looked at me and said "now I know why you were crying...THIS is a sleepy fishing village." And a year and a half later when we bused Mexico, Belize & Guatemala he REALLY knew what I meant.

Now, any of you Isla-holics reading this, don't hate me...I get why you like the place...and this is only my opinion. It just ain't no sleepy fishing village anymore...that's for sure (and yes, I know the colonias are a whole other world). And boy, had I known how much had changed between then and now...I would have quite possibly said it was sleepy then. Yes, I get that they rely on these monstrosities that are popping up are helping the economy- i guess. call me crazy, i just can't make myself like them. I mean really...a place called Privilege...that advertises "feeling privilege?" Crap...if I stayed there I'd be ashamed of the privileges afforded me. Again, this is my blog, and MY opinion...I love the locals of Isla Mujeres, and think they are some of the hardest working people I know...I guess what I can't wrap my mind around is that they are trying to please this "cancun " image of tourists- and perhaps because we have led them to believe that's what we want. And yes, some people DO want that...but that's what I thought Cancun was for. I mean really....I'm staying at Francis Arlene - a place Erik and I stayed on our second trip and really liked (and still do)- and I have heard music blaring...I'm not exaggerating...until 3:30am in the morning from, get this...a club across and down the street named Libido! Really?!?!? Who even walks into a club named that? I honestly considered leaving and going back to Merida for the remainder of my stay...if it weren't a 4.5hr bus ride each way, I probably would be there now.

I just find it interesting that when I first planned this trip I purposefully put Merida at the beginning thinking: it's a big, busy city...I'll want to do that all first so I can just come to Isla and relax. I suppose if I thought hearing blaring music, obnoxious drunk tourists screaming in the street until 3:30am (yes, I've checked the clock both nights) and hearing nothing but American music at every beach bar I sit at, and more English being spoken than Spanish, was my idea of relaxing then...(then again, this is coming from a treehugging, latte drinking elitist- so says McCain- ha! perhaps I'm just cranky because I haven't slept at all because...oh yeah, because of the above!)

Don't get me wrong...I have enjoyed doing "nothing" at Playa Sol- despite the overpriced drinks - soaking up the sun, reading, and playing in the crystal blue waters..that part of Isla can't be beat. I could just do without the "cancunification" of it all...I suspect it's inevitable, being so close to the mainland, and I fear Tulum beaches may fall prey to the same fate. I can honestly say though, that my 10 days in a city of 1.6 million people was WAY more relaxing than this has been so far.

My apologies to any of those I may have offended. I know those of you who love Isla, love it fiercely...and I don't blame you. The locals here are wonderful, the fish is great, the beaches can't be beat. This isn't meant as a post to bash Isla. We each need our place, and I believe I have found mine.

Ok, lest you all think I'm a sourpuss, I AM having a good time. I hadn't so much as opened a book since arriving even though I brought two with me and since being on Isla I have already finished two books (not the ones I originally brought - muchos gracias mi amiga Gim)

Today I'm going to have my laundry done...not because I necessarily need to but it will be nice to come home and not have to do it all...and, as we all know, it will be great having my clothes smell, at least for a while, like Mexico!

I'll leave you with a few Isla photos...I still have so much to write about Merida and more pictures from there to post as well...I don't know however if I'll post again before leaving on Wednesday morning...I can only take this ESPN so long (but I've done my darndest to tune it out)...oh, i did see a sign last night in the main square that said they now have free wi-fi there! Wow- that is great...except there are no trees and i'm not so sure I want to sit in this tropical sun and try to type- let alone see my screen!

I will post more upon my return (and who knows, there still be another post coming while I'm here) but in the meantime I'll leave you with these photos... (oh, and really? no one knows what Piss Whistler is?)

you really can't beat the blue of the caribbean

who's ugly feet are those, anyways?

mmmm, a mango smoothie sunset

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Piss Whistler and Her Husband

Earlier this week I met what I have a feeling will be lifelong friends who may regret they ever mentioned they have a spare room! Piss Whistler and Her Husband - from here on out known as PS and PSH - are who I see myself being in a few (+ some?) years. They lived a content life in Minnesota (accent and all) running a farm with horse drawn sleigh rides in the winters (disclaimer: this is my account, and PS & PSH feel free to correct anything!). They visited Merida once and fell in love - not with each other, that had happened some years ago, but with Merida itself. So much so that on that very first trip they purchased a home here and less than a year and a half later they are living here full time!

PS and PSH are two people I truly admire (and envy!)...sure, I've only known them what? a couple of days? But it's just like this city...there is a vibe (ok, I really don't like using that word, it's just what keeps coming out- I must find a better word) and theirs is one I completely get (they may beg to differ!). Sure they are "gringos" so it's not like I've befriended "true" mexicans (whatever that means) - but you know what? so far all of the "gringos" (you know who you are!) I have met in Merida embody all that is Mexico. I think there is a certain type of person who is drawn to Merida (tilted, right Jim?) and while I can't explain it, it speaks volumes about the person.

After PS and PSW invited me to dinner that first night of meeting them I got to thinking - when I met them I had been drinking a quite strong margarita...maybe they were some crazies, and as 7:30pm approached on monday (the time they were to pick me up from the Luz and take me to their home for pre-dinner drinks) I started thinking "am I fool? they were probably just being nice, they aren't really going to show up" not to mention, it was a monsoon outside! I started eating my Pringles (my travel staple food) in case that was how my night ended. But...the DID show up. And PW even gave me the front seat of their Bronco saying "we don't want you to think we're some crazies coming to kidnap you!"

We headed to their home (which was beautiful btw) and a friend of theirs, we'll call her PWF (Piss Whistler's friend) came along as well. We then headed to Los Almos (shoot, I might have the wrong name of the restaurant...will correct later when I check). It was a restaurant listed on the "recommended" sheet the Luz gives you when you check in, but I had been hesitant to go because it was described as having a "romantic setting" Needless to say, we had a wonderful evening (speaking for myself of course...for all I know they were thinking "why the heck did we invite this girl?!") and as the evening progressed PWF said, "you know, i've already celebrated Thanksgiving with some friends, would you like me to drive you to Uxmal on Thanksgiving?" I of course, accepted immediately!

Uxmal, the Maya ruin (side note: something I just learned and have been guilty of myself...Mayan only refers to the language) site that everyone, since my arrival has asked if i've been to. I passed up Chichen Itza in favor of Celestun, and perhaps that was a mistake, but I felt as though I would have been going merely to say i did. Anyways, PWF has lived here for at least 8 years (she's actually a Mexican citizen) and from what I can tell so far is an amazing and genuine human being- I wouldn't have accepted the offer if I had thought otherwise.

Back to PW and PWH. They were headed to the Yucatan State Fair today...where they have a snow hill! Yes, you read that right. A. SNOW. hill. with real snow...well, you know, manufactured snow, but real ice.
Maybe it's odd to dedicate an entire post to 2 gringos living in Mexico, especially after having just met them, but like I said before, it speaks to this place - Merida - and once you've been to Merida it speaks volumes as to the type of people PW & PWH are.

PW & PWH...thank you. Than you for opening your home and your friendship to is greatly appreciated and warmly held.

***I wrote this several days ago..just now getting around to posting it. I made several friendships like PW/PWH while in Merida, and something tells me none of them have seen the last of me!

***BONUS POINT for anyone who knows what a Piss Whistler is...and DOUBLE BONUS POINTS to anyone who can say Piss Whistler after having a few margaritas! :)

I found them! I found them!

Any of you that have traveled here will understand. I finally found where the Mexicans are putting all of the...
LOL...need I say more? (well, probably for anyone who hasn't traveled here, but I guess you'll just have to come down to know what I'm talking about!)

I'm now on Isla and just as I said, at 3:00 on the dot I was at Picus with my feet in the sand and...well, it wasn't a Sol, but just as good

Isla is nice...the blue blue water, and white sandy beaches can't be beat, but I'd be lying if I didn't say that I left a bit of my soul in Merida and wish I were still there. I met so many wonderful people (you know who you all are) and I can't even begin to put into words everything that Merida means to me.

I have a bit of a heavy heart today - for several reasons - so I have to admit I'm not much in the mood for posting anything about Isla at the moment. After all, I don't think any of you come here to read something depressing! But, since I'm here at Jax paying for my drinks in order to get free internet I will post about Piss Whistler since I've already written the post on paper.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and was able to take a moment to realize how truly blessed we really are!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

El Mercado

Yesterday I finally made it to the market, and wow, is it ever a market! I figure it deserves its own post. I know I have said several times that my photos aren't doing justice to the subject...well, that couldn't be more true than with these market photos. It is an extremely busy, crammed, and dark indoor market, and with my little point and shoot I just couldn't get those amazing market photos everyone wants. But...they aren't half bad and they might give you some idea.
I spent at least an hour there and probably saw 1/8 of is HUGE...and seemed as though you could get lost in the maze.

One of the first things I came upon when entering was the live animal section. I took pictures, but I have decided not to post them. It was actually quite disturbing to see these animals caged up and I don't feel that I need to expose you all to them if you don't want to see that kind of thing. If any of you would like to see them so you know what I'm talking about, I'm more than happy to send a few to you. I think probably what made it the hardest for me was the bunnies...hundreds...and they were probably 50 to a cage. I'm still not sure exactly if they were for sale as pets, or for food....all I do know is that they were not healthy...especially sad since Erik and I have 2 rabbits at home as pets that often roam the house freely. Among other animals en mass were birds (parrots, finches, parakeets, etc.) turkeys, ducks, gerbils, and about the cutest darn puppies you've ever seen. I had visions of those movies you see where the person breaks into a research lab and releases all the "test" animals. I thought about it for a quick minute and then realized I'm not so sure those animals would be any better off "free" at that moment in that place. Needless to say, it was a low point of what otherwise has been an incredible trip.

But, then I moved on to the rest of the market and was in awe...

Perhaps a lot of the vendors ride motorcycles to the market?
There were literally hundreds of dollies lined up

A kilo of huevos anyone?

the stand where i purchased 2 limes
see what i mean about how narrow and crowded it is?
I don't know why, but I have a thing about empty coke bottles...
doesn't everyone need a virgin mary lit up for christmas? (one should buy stock in mexican christmas lights...they are everywhere!)
the thing about the market isn't just that it's a LOT of stalls...but it's stand after stand of the same thing for, bags, christmas lights, fruit/veggies, seafood, beans and...
stall after stall of spices...this gentleman gave me a sample bag of something- he didn't speak english and all i know is it's a spice of some kind (i guess i'll find out when i get home and try it on something!)...and he wouldn't let me pay for it no matter how hard i tried...just another reason this place is so wonderful
I've got so much to write about...including Piss Whistler and her Husband, and the amazing day I had today with Jim, but those posts may need to wait a day or two...tomorrow- Thanksgiving, I am headed to Uxmal with a wonderful woman (there's a great story about how this trip came about) and then I leave Friday at 9am for a bus to Cancun with hopes of having my feet in the sand, a Sol in my hand, and pico at Picus by 3pm. So...I'm unsure if I'll get a chance to post before I head for Isla...but one never knows...

Hasta Luego!