Punta de Mita, Mexico

Punta de Mita, Mexico

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So there I was.  November. Portland. Coming out of a meeting I turned my phone on and blinked at the number of text messages. 70.  SEVEN-ZERO messages came in between 10 and 11:00 a.m.  I braced myself for bad news until I saw the final message on a group text “Beck, are you IN or what??!!”

In the span of an hour, four friends had all but booked a long weekend in Mexico and were waiting on me.

I sat staring at my phone.  I had been to Arizona in August, Savannah in September, Minneapolis in October, Portland in November. We were on our way to New York in December and had a Florida trip planned at the end of January.  Not to mention the new sod that would be going in the front yard, Christmas, and the fact I hadn’t been in a bathing suit in so long my skin was translucent.  I did the math, carried the one, figured eating Top Ramen for a month would just make me more buoyant and typed,  “I’m in!”

I packed a few dresses and got a spray tan that did nothing but turn my feet such a ridiculous shade I started calling myself “Trump Toes.” And that, my friends, is how my orange feet and I flew into Puerta Vallerta over Martin Luther King weekend.

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After a 45 minute drive where I was able to slip back into the Spanish I’m surprised I still remember, I found myself here. The W Hotel in Punta de Mita, a small resort town.

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And um…I had no trouble settling in.

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I was worried about getting bored, but it turns out I am absoluely 100% made for inhaling books while sitting under a cabana and listening to the ocean.

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It also turns out when you put the lime in the coconut you really do feel better. (PSA, the more you know, etc.)

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We scraped ourselves off the chaise lounges just long enough to eat every shrimp taco they had or red AND green chilaquiles because who wants to pick just one?

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We also managed to get ourselves off the property to go to a colorful little beach town (Sayulita) and eat paletas (popscicles) so good no one minded wearing mango stained lips for a while.  They matched my toes!

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And just when I thought snorkeling in the Pacific couldn’t  get more magical…

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…a baby humpback whale with its parents, just 20 feet off the side of our boat, brought me to tears.

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And so while my answer originally was “I’m in,” it has changed since coming home.  Now I say vamanos.  Let’s go.  Over and over again.

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Finding January

Finding January

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Parts of the lake across the street are frozen.  This week’s weather means an iced over bird bath, chapped lips and an irrepressible urge to get out of the house only to want to come right back in again.  I eat bright clementines and scoop honey from Stephen’s family’s bees to drop in my green smoothie with enough fresh ginger to make my lips tingle.

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Light floods in now that the trees have lost their leaves.  I’m mid office makeover and eagerly await a new rug delivered by our beleaguered UPS guy that even still, post holiday, doesn’t get here until after 6 p.m. I knit this wrap from Purl Soho and wait, pondering what to hang on the walls.

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Stephen makes me laugh by talking in the clipped British accent of the Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life narrator as I listen to the secrets of the universe locked inside a kernel of popcorn.  He makes soup with cornbread one night and chicken fettuccini alfredo another.  Stick to your ribs food that make walks even more necessary.  We strike out, bundled up in hats and coats.  Fisher is so energetic we have to take her to the baseball field so she can literally run circles around us.  She blinks, looking into the sun, tail wagging, panting hard, tongue hanging out of her mouth before running towards us, every step saying “isn’t this AMAZING?!”

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She may be right.  January has never been a favorite, but just like that humble kernel of popcorn I think we’re starting to unlock her secrets.