This may be news to some readers who don’t know me as well as friends and family, but mid-October means not only Thanksgiving (yes, us Canadians do it a little early, and a little differently, up North from our American neighbours), but also, my birthday! And this year, that meant a whopping 30 years old! Or is that 30 years young? Or am I at the neutral birthday zone of 30 years of age? I guess it’s whatever you make it right? Is the glass half full or half empty, you be the judge! And for further reading, Glass Half Empty, Half Full.
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So that’s what this week has consisted of! Celebrating Thanksgiving together with a bit of Mexican flare, drinking beers with lime wedges on the beach at sunset, enjoying hearing the waves crashing up on the shoreline, and watching clouds dance around the setting sun. Needless to say, it was a pretty relaxing, non-traditional Thanksgiving celebration, especially considering our main at home meal of the day was homemade beet borscht. This was followed by a random visit to city center to see some friends we had not seen since arriving back from each of our respective vacations, considering they were travelling to visit family just before we did. It was great to see some familiar faces, and catch up a bit, and spend the rest of the night wandering the darkened Sunday streets of Playa del Carmen, stopping for street Tamales and pizza at various points along the way. Matt and I are no strangers to doing things a bit differently, having been away from family for 4 years while in Montreal, and relying on Friendsgiving when not working the weekend, to properly give thanks for all we have. So this year, it was reduced to mostly just the two of us, but that comes with moving kilometers away from all the friends and family you know.
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And although my birthday, being the 15th of October, never seems to properly quite match up with that glorious Monday off holiday, it would seem I’m always a few days off, or a week. That’s just how things unfold. This year, for a refreshing change, having a birthday fall on a Wednesday, didn’t mean any days were scheduled off from work to be able to truly enjoy it in all its glory. I am fortunate to have a sweetheart for a partner, who wanted nothing more than to see me smile while ringing in my 30th year on Earth. The day was full of surprises, and for anyone that gets to know me, I *really* like surprises. Like, a whole lot. So needless to say, I was tickled pink not knowing what awaited me for the day. We woke up early, watched tv from the bed, drank some cinnamon yerba mate, had a nap and just lazed around for the better part of the morning. Before I knew it, it was time to start getting showered and packed for our adventure, knowing I was getting ready after surprise #1, so I needed my things with me.
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Then swoosh, out the door we went, walked to the edge of our street and hailed a cab. Taking taxis is fairly inexpensive in the Mayan Riviera, though public transportation is even cheaper, so that’s all relative. But it sure is nice taking a cab everywhere you want to go! And before you know it, we’re pulling up to a small building and a wonderfully sweet guy by the name of Diego, steps out to greet us and fill me in on the fact that Surprise #1 is a 2 hour massage. I have never had a massage before. Ever. Not one that is by a qualified massage therapist, and Matt thought it wise to finally change that aspect of my life. And it was glorious! It was everything one should expect and hope for with a massage. This was followed by a beer with our friends Carlos and Malin then out for Surprise #2, a fancy dinner at a cute place called El Muelle, where we split multiple appetizers and enjoyed entrées to ourselves, alongside a lovely bottle of wine. The evening there was topped off with a dessert brought out with a candle for my birthday and everything.
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Desserts didn’t stop there as we made our way to Ah Cacao for some Espresso shots poured over decadent dark chocolate chunks, before parting ways to continue on with touring around town, stopping in for drinks at one bar before winding up at our final dancing destination, Surprise #3 known as La Santanera. The bar was fun, surprisingly busier for a Wednesday night than I would have thought, which was great. We enjoyed sitting in fancy couches enjoying beers, as well as making our way to the dance floor on occasion to ring in my birthday in true Jasmin & Matt style, always getting in on the fun. And, when the night felt like it just couldn’t go on any further, a cab was waved down and away we went back home to wind down for the night. And what a night it was! What a day it was! So much so that I just wanted to share all those exciting little details with the rest of the world. So, there you have it. That has been our exciting week of celebrations.
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It should go without saying, that plenty more has happened over the last few weeks, as noted from the recent additions to our home in the photos above. There have been some pretty big purchases made for the condo, such as a brand new sofa/futon from WalMart. It is lime green and fluffy and comfy and looks awesome now that it has been assembled. Two bar stools have been added to our kitchen, which means eating dinner at the semi-island portion of the counter can now be a thing. Meals and coffee breaks can also be enjoyed up on the rooftop too, since a round patio table with 4 chairs has been delivered from The HomeDepot. All in all, we are thrilled to have the place slowly coming together. Purchased a 1000 piece puzzle to assemble and then glue and hang on the wall afterwards too. We tried our hands at making a pot of homemade vegetarian Beet Borscht twice. We worked on editing photos, and trying our hands at new lighting techniques. All in all, it has still been a relatively busy few weeks since returning home. Still always on our toes. Still never enough hours in the day.

On that note, here’s some more of the teasers that have steadily been piling up from Paula and Scott’s autumn wedding in Winnipeg. Edits are nearly complete so a full proper photo update is not fair away.
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