Sunday, July 10, 2011

Anniversary Staycation

Our 4 year wedding anniversary is on Monday. My husband isn't one to really celebrate anything and I think that stems from his upbringing. They couldn't afford to have parties and gifts all the time like we are accustomed to in America. Maybe you got a cake on your birthday and on Christmas everyone drew names out of a hat and everyone got one present. When it comes to the Christmas traditions, I'm on board; I feel as though the American tradition of showering each other with lavish gifts only contributes to the entitlement issue. But no cake on birthdays? No anniversary dinner? That's no fun at all.

And so, over the last six years I have been rewiring my husband to find these days to be as special as I believe them to be. He is still sluggish to get on my bandwagon though. Which is why I took it upon myself to plan a surprise anniversary weekend for him. About a week ago I told him that I had a surprise for him. He hates surprises. He spent the last week trying to guess what it was. It went something like this:

Is it a shirt?

No babe, it's not really a present for you, it's more of a present for both of us.

Is it the entire series of Deadwood on DVD?!

Nope, that's not it either. It's something we can do together.

Well, we could watch Deadwood together...

Dude, it's not Deadwood.

So what letter does it begin and end with?

I'm not playing your games; it's a surprise.

I hate surprises. It better not be a party.

Apparently my husband's worst nightmare is that someone will throw him a surprise party. I'm not sure what that's all about. I thoroughly enjoyed watching him squirm with curiosity. I had planned to secretly pack his bag while he slept on Saturday morning. As I made my mental checklist I realized I had no idea where my bathing suit was. I looked everywhere. I went through all of the boxes of old clothes that I still haven't unpacked since we moved here 11 months ago. I even went as far to call my friends in Arizona and ask them if they remembered where I packed it. They told me to check the bathroom door knob. Funny, but no dice. Let me tell you, I may be Mrs. Organization at work but I couldn't find a towel or a mop in my own house to save my life. I had to call and ask Gordo. That really threw him for a loop. His worst nightmare may be some unexpected party but mine would be having to go to a water park right now and he knows that. He had NO CLUE why I would want my bathing suit. My response was super suave.

I... ummm... I'm really... hot? Yeah I'm hot. I'm so hot I thought it might be nice to walk around in my swimsuit.

Why don't you just wear your underwear then?

Well... it's... uh... not as... you know.

No, actually, I don't know.


Is my surprise that we're going to the water park? Are you throwing my a surprise party at the water park?!

Hahaaaa... that would be fantastic, right? Let's combine both of our worst nightmares into one. Super. I assured him we weren't going to the water park and just hung up the phone. Luckily, I ended up finding my suit hanging up in the closet next to my dresses. Makes sense to me.

First we went to dinner at Chili's. I don't care if I'm in a foreign country with countless delicious Mexican restaurants. I love me some Chili's. We gorged like the gluttons that we are. 2 for 1 appetizers, 2 for 1 margaritas. Nom nom nom. Some nachos and fajitas and a couple of jalapeno margaritas later, I told him what we were doing. I had reserved a room at the Hampton Inn and Suites here in Juarez. It was really the perfect solution considering we can't really afford to go out of town, but we really needed to get away.

The hotel came recommended by a good friend and totally lived up to the description. When we got there they were having a free happy hour. There was tostadas, pasta salad, chips, popcorn, sodas, beer and Bacardi. I felt a little silly to have spent so much at dinner, but I had thought the happy hour thing was only Monday through Friday. We managed to get a couple of beers down just to take advantage of the situation but we were just too stuffed for anything else.

The room was like... America. There was carpet and clean, white, dust free linens. There was refrigerated air conditioning and a bath tub. We hadn't taken a bath in almost a year. It was such a treat. We didn't get to take advantage of the pool which kind of made my whole swimsuit search pointless. The pool was packed with rich, 20-something Juarenses. They were shoulder to shoulder on the patio drinking Tecate with their fancy SUVs on rims in plain sight. Setting aside the fact that there really wasn't room for us in the pool, we both felt instantly paranoid around these rich kids. Who knows if their wealth comes from their drug dealing daddies or their mother with a medical degree? It's hard to tell in Juarez and a risky game when you don't know. We try to distance ourselves from that type of crowd.

It turned out that we didn't need the pool to enjoy our time though. We got drunk in the room and watched HBO and walked around barefoot (!!) and talked about our dream house and turned the A/C down to 65 degrees and took :gasp: baths. It was so much fun. We couldn't believe how much we missed these little things that seems so simple to us in the US. However, it was nice to know that we have adjusted to living without them, and realize that they are just luxurious extras. They don't make or break our existence.

We slept in until 9 and went downstairs for our "Continental Breakfast." There was chilaquiles, beans, eggs, winnies with chile and onion (that was SO Juarez), biscuits, bagels, toast, fresh fruit, donuts, cereal, juice and waffles. I'll be honest and say we had a little bit of everything. We chatted and tried to guess why people were staying at a hotel in Juarez.

What about that couple?

Oh their pissed off faces just scream "US Consulate."

And that guy? Visa appointment?

Nah, I think he's here on business. He looks scared.

And that family?

Clearly visiting Grandma.

We like to people watch. We got to do plenty of that. After breakfast we headed to the mall to catch a midday movie with friends. After an oddly descriptive explanation from my husband of how to install an escalator, there was more people watching while we waited.

Oh look at the cute triplets!

Does that woman have a penis?

Who wears their pajamas to the movies?

Is that lady white?

We saw the new Transformers movie in English with Spanish subtitles. I'm really glad that we didn't catch the dubbed version because it ended up being as hilarious as it was action-packed. I'm sure that humor would have been lost in translation.

All in all, the weekend was amazing. I highly recommend a staycation for anyone else who really needs to get away but just can't afford it. I am now off to convince myself that I am happy to have a job, and not depressed because tomorrow is Monday and I'll be back on the grind. I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! Remember to make it a great day, or not, the choice is yours.


  1. Felicidades! That was a cute post and it made me laugh a lot. Thanks for sharing. And wasn't Transformers great? I'm not usually into that sort of movie but I really liked it.

    Our husbands must have been raised in a similar environment : zero celebrating. My husband was also very poor. He hates suprises and people fussing over him. Now little by little he celebrates. He laughs about me putting up a christmas tree, but he loves that our boys get so excited.

    Again congratulations on your anniversary :)

  2. I'm so happy to hear that you guys had an awesome time! It's the simple things, really. Just getting to spend time together uninterrupted by work or other dumb stuff is good enough for me! Happy anniversary!!!

  3. Isnt it great to get away. I just wrote about me n javi getting away last weekend, it was not far, but definetly needed. I think it must be a culture thing, javier never celebrated his birthday and I took him to a restaurant one year and I thought he was going to have a brakedown when I told the waiter it was his birthday.

  4. i love your blog posts! you are hilarious! "dude, it's not deadwood" LMAO!!! i can hear you saying that in my head!i'm glad you got to get away and had a wonderful anniversary! sounds like you had a blast!

  5. Ms. Emily, you make me laugh so hard! This was great!

  6. Congratulations on your anniversary!