Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Gracias, Mexico

Why are we wearing these funny hats and formal clothes? Read on.

Okay, now I know the truth about my Spanish: It sucks! But people are kind, especially when I try. A few words go a long way. I constantly remind myself not to be self-conscious, just dive in. How else to learn?

Sometimes Spanish is really fun. Other times my inner child gets a little whiny. It wants someone to fix it all, to make everything clear. RIGHT NOW.

It's helpful to watch Dave in action. He knows less Spanish than I do, but he has no problem making up words, pantomiming, drawing pictures--even throwing in a Japanese or German word. Okay, that last part is unintentional. It's just the language center in his brain igniting languages he knows.

Last weekend we were at a wedding where we met a lot of fascinating people. I craved being able to talk to them more in-depth. Serious Spanish study is high on my list.

Speaking of the wedding...wow, what an incredible experience. On Thanksgiving day we flew from Cabo to Mexico City. When we arrived at the home of our friend Paul, the groom, we met a small group of his friends who served us a turkey dinner with all the trimmings--and I'd thought tacos and beer in the airport would have to suffice.


The next day, we rode with Paul to the wedding location, a town called Tepoztlán. A "Pueblo Mágico" outside of Cuernavaca, it's a beautiful place, with cobblestone streets and surrounded by mountains. It's reputed to be the birthplace over 1200 years ago of Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent god.

Up and up with Sarah.

The morning of the wedding Dave, our friend Sarah and I hiked up Tepozteco mountain (a serious climb with a 1,200 foot elevation gain). At the top are the remains of an Aztec temple. People say this sacred place has a high vibration and that there are regular UFO sightings. We didn't see UFOs, but we saw a lot of these creatures:


The wedding took place at a beautiful open-air chapel. Although dress was formal and the service was Catholic, the Beatles "Let it Be" and "All You Need is Love" played as everyone filled the seats. During the ceremony, children ran around and blew bubbles while the musicians played Ave Maria and the Hallelujah Chorus.

After the "husband and wife" pronouncement to a glorious sunset, cocktails were served on the lawn. Suddenly, music predominated by drumming filled the air, and Aztec dancers in wild costumes appeared. Their traditional, freaky masks originally mocked the Spanish invaders. Everyone was invited to dance with them.

We moved into a gorgeous hall for the reception. During dinner, the band performed opera music. Later that very same band broke out into a wild array of music for dancing. A medley of songs from Grease. Disco. Salsa. A bunch of Beatles songs, "performed" by Dave and three other guests who'd been pulled aside and shoved into costumes and crazy wigs.

The bride and groom appeared in super sexy red and black outfits and performed a super sexy tango (watch here). We danced for hours. Crazy cartoon characters and props and neon flashing accoutrements for us to wear kept popping up.

There were even fireworks!

A colorful spread of quirky desserts appeared. Champagne, wine and tequila flowed freely. At 1 a.m., we were served breakfast! And then a mariachi band strolled in.  Pablo and Rosalba, longtime friends of Paul and Mari Carmen, sang the most beautiful, impassioned song. I get gooseflesh every time I watch Dave's video that captures the moment:

My Spanish may need some work, but I certainly know how to say: "Gracias, Mexico."

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