Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bienvenido a casa, Food Lady!

Harumph. Some welcome.

This is our car, at YVR, covered in 3 feet of snow. Since all the other cars were covered in 3 feet of snow too, it was kind of difficult to locate in the parking lot.

The more observant of you may have noticed the tow truck in the background. It was there to rescue our car, which in addition to being buried under a mountain, was also stone cold dead.

Chucks and an autumn jacket were inappropriate homecoming wear, given the snowy state of our fair city. Best Place on Earth my fanny!!

THIS is the best place on earth:

The Caribbean is possibly the most beautiful place I have ever been. I didn't know water even came in that colour! It sure has our oceans beat by several bazillion miles. It's even kind of warm, if a bit wavy-crashy. A rogue wave (never turn your back on the ocean) in Tulum caused me to flash my sister's boyfriend (never wear a bikini AND turn your back on the ocean), but snorkeling in Puerto Aventuras was heavenly. The water was calm in the bay, and it was literally deserted ... it was just me, and a whole lot of extremely curious and friendly fish who swam right up and kissed my mask. Meanwhile, my mum was back at the pool downing fruity boozy things, and my stepdad was clinging in terror to the side of the fishboat that took us to the snorkeling place.

But you sort of can't blame him. On the way to the snorkeling bay, he was fishing and caught two of these:

Barracuda. With really big, sharp, pointy teeth. And they were angry. So you can see why he was reluctant to get into that same ocean!

Everywhere I went in Mexico, I befriended dogs. We went into Playa Del Carmen and wandered around, and I made friends with this little cutiepie button sugar lump that I named "MINE!!!!"

She was dirty, and super skinny, and very mangy and was obviously someone's dog as she was "protecting" their property. But she was also about 6 months old and as wiggly as an orgasmic eel and keen to make friends. I thought she would make a beautiful compadre to Wootie Boots, but my parents would not let me take her home. This was a theme throughout our entire trip: "No Food Lady, you cannot have that dog either." Harumph.

Bye bye MINE!!!! :(

When we went to Tulum, I also made some friends there. I called them Guy and Bunny. First Guy appeared at my side and strolled along the water's edge with me, and after about 20 minutes Bunny appeared out of nowhere and joined us. And we walked and walked, while I threw sticks for "my" new dogs and got lots of snuzzles, in between wrasslin' bouts.

The dogs live very differently in Mexico. There doesn't apear to be any leash laws in Tulum, so while these two fellas obviously belonged to people, they were free to wander around the beach at their leisure. I never did see their humans. They also know not to come up to the hotels along the beach.

I was thinking about how much a dog like Mr. Woo would like that sort of lifestyle (it would terrify Tweed, who can't do anything without checking with me first) but I also felt a bit sorry for the dogs there too. Even the owned dogs were dirty, and had ticks or patches of mange, and they were all skinny. And every single one of them had testicles the size of bowling balls. Apparently neutering is not a priority in Mexico.

There is a really interesting group called VIDAS ("lives") that is composed of volunteer veterinarians and staff who travel around the world administering vet care to dogs and cats in low income areas. They are very active in Cancun, Puerto Morales etc. Our fishing guide's girlfriend works with VIDAS.

I didn't see nearly as many street dogs in the Yucatan as I saw in Puerto Vallarta last time I was there, but I did see loads of cats. And every single last one of them appears to be retarded. They too are mangy and ticky, but they are also mostly cross eyed and have weird broken meows. They all look like they are drunk.

This fella was slinking around the Mayan Ruins in Tulum:

And this big bruiser was yowling at us in Akumal:

"No Food Lady, you cannot take home the cats either."

*shakes fist at cruel parents*

I saw just one border collie in Playa, and it was only an inch tall. It was herding a small flock of ducks in a creche outside someone's house:


One of the coolest places we went to was something called Crococun Zoo in Puerto Morales - once upon a time it was a commercial crocodile farm, where the giant lizard things were raised for their hides. But as the crocodile is now an endangered species, it has become a crocodile sanctuary, where they breed and raise crocs for re-release in safe areas.

Ummm hi! No fence between me and this mouth, btw.

Crococun offers guided tours to the public, to help sustain its conservation efforts. You get to walk in and amongst the crocodiles and even hold the little ones.

What you cannot see in this photo is the lump of poo in my stepdad's pants. HAH!

You can also hold snakes. In this photo, my stepdad looks very concerned ... not because he is holding a snake, but rather because our guide told him the snake was about to SHED. English is not Carlos' first language, so he thought the snake was about to SHIT and he was kind of worried it would shit on him.

We had the BEST guide named Frank, who was from Belize. He saw how excited I got when I saw the Xolo dogs, so he brought some up out of the pen for me to snuzzle.

And then I got loads of Xolo Snuzzle Time.

They feel really cool, cuz they have no hair. They were all warm and shizzat, and this one was super friendly and licky.

Look at that face!

And look at THIS face!

There were other super cool things to play with at Crococun as well. I got to pet and feed deer:
*dies from cuteness*

and feed monkeys.

It was the best Christmas Day EVER. So if you ever go to Puerto Morales, make sure you stop in for a tour at Crococun. You can read more about the park here. And make sure you ask for Frank as your guide, cuz he was great!

All week long at the hotel, I tried to catch one of these things, called an Agouti.

I figured Wootie would really really like one a whole lot. They look like rabbit/pig/deer/guinea pigs and they were all over the hotel grounds. But the little suckers are super fast and too hard to catch.

Mexican crows:

and toucans

and parrots. Oh my!

And now I am back with my own Canadian beasties, and we are out 'enjoying' weather that looks like this:

It's a little difficult to reconcile!

Feliz Navidad and Prospero Año Nuevo dear readers!


Buzz's Food Lady said...

Looks like you had an awesome trip! Always fun to return home to a huge pile of snow and ice, too....ugh...

Kathleen said...

Muy bienvenidos a casa, Food Lady. It's summertime and HOT down here on the other side of the equator. So weird for Christmastime. I have hard time finding the Christmas spirit when it's so hot. I'll bet the snowdogs were thrilled to see you again!

Deb said...

You ASKED for snow! You took the dogses to Cypress to play in the snow. You then leave for Paradise, and we are buried in the snow YOU wanted.
Damn you Food Lady!! :)

Anda said...

Welcome back from Paradise! Now that's the perfect way to spend Christmas, I agree! Wonderful trip and the pictures are delicious! Did you get to pet those monkeys? :)

I am sure your 3WAAW + Dounut were excited to get you back - did they even recognize you under your tan? :)

The Border Collies said...

"Did you get to pet those monkeys? :)"

Actually no - some of the monkeys are wild, and the tame monkeys are chained out of reach. It sounds mean, but the "tame" monkeys are rescues from irresponsible owners. They can't be let loose because they don't know how to feed themselves, and climb to the top of the trees and never come down, and also they fight with each other and kill one another. So the "tame" monkeys are on long ropes attached to their collars tied to trees and don't really come close to people. But the WILD monkeys come right up for food, though they don't want to be pet.

I have not gotten Nutz back yet. My dog sitter was kind enough to bring my dogs back to me, as I can't get my car out of the snow, but my cat is still at her sitter's until some of the snow melts this week.

I apologize to all Vancouverites for wishing for this snowfall. Who knew I was so powerful???

Jean said...

Welcome home! It's great to hear about your vacation and see the pics of Paradise. However, I've missed your stories and pics of Tweed and crew, so selfishly I'm glad you are home - snow, slush, rain, ice and all.

Fenway said...

Wow. The trip looks like a living Disney movie, complete with a Bambi!

We saw agouti in Guadaloupe and they are commonly called RATÓN. We saw lots of run over ratóns that we nicknamed flatóns.

Can't wait to see the pics of your 3 snow angels.

The Border Collies said...

"We saw agouti in Guadaloupe and they are commonly called RATÓN."

In the Yucatan they are called SEREQUE. It took me about 3 days to remember that, as every time I saw them I just squealed "eeeeeeeeeee! cute!"

Fenway said...

Food Lady....

We just downloaded a perfect song to celebrate your's called Dogs Are Everywhre by Pulp.

Check it out on iTunes. I'd forward it to you, but that site is so buttoned up and protects their music, so I can't.

MaskedMan said...

Memories! :-)
You need to get out to Hawaii sometime, though. Everything is either GREEN! or BLUE! Anchored in 80 fathoms off of Maui, I could see the anchor lying on the bottom. That is some amazing water!

Or, failing that, try some other slices of the Caribbean. I recommend, espcially, Belize, the Florida Keys, and Puerto Rico.

Karma, on the snow. :-p It must've been a bit of a shock, considering, to have gotten your wish whilst you were away. Your region isn't particularly noted for that heavy a snowfall, but this year decided to go out on a memorable note. Least-wise, you made it home, and the pups have had some more snow timz!

The Border Collies said...

"You need to get out to Hawaii sometime, though."

I have been to Hawaii and I can't say I'm a fan. It just feels like a large American city that happens to be surrounded by pretty green ocean. I am very fond of Mexico, especially the Yucatan as the Mayans are an extremely friendly people, and I plan to go to Belize at some point as well.

MaskedMan said...

"I have been to Hawaii and I can't say I'm a fan. It just feels like a large American city that happens to be surrounded by pretty green ocean."

Then you didn't get far enough away from Honolulu. Scuba off the leeward side of the Big Island, or maybe Maui or Kauai would've been more what you're looking for.

The Border Collies said...

"Then you didn't get far enough away from Honolulu."

That's true, I didn't. It still didn't really rock my world though. I'm glad I've been, but I have little desire to return, even though I did cool stuff - swimming with sharks and whatnot. I'm a Mexican gal at heart, I think :)

Black Jack's Carol said...

I suspect I can speak for all your readers to say we welcome you back, even if Vancouver airport didn't.

Amazing post. So glad you enjoyed your well-earned break. Apart from the fact I'm miffed at your weather-summoning powers, I'm nevertheless really grateful for the guided tour and superb photographs. Those dog and kitty pics were heartbreakingly poignant.

Sweet~Ceana said...

I am jealous. We went to Colorado and it was 9 degrees. You picked a much better destination.

I can only imagine the bark screaming that would have insued if you had brought Woo back an agouti. It is so tempting I might just drive a couple hours across the border and ship one up to you for shits and giggles. ;)

Ruby Isabella said...

I'm Ruby Isabella from Australia. What amazing travels. Thanks for the pics and travel stories. It is funny to see dogs frolicking in so much snow while we're lounging around in the heat.

riosmom said...

What a wonderful way to spend Christmas - I can believe it was the best Christmas ever. The pictures were worth the wait for you to return and post again.

Did the pooche's warm welcome make up for the cold airport scene?