Mairi Moon, Woman With Wings

My son, Xaq, gave me this Blog for Christmas in 2003. He wrote at the top of the opening page, "You are my favorite mommy, and I think the entire internet should know just how cool you are. So here is your very own blog, so you can spread your love like peanut butter. Not too much peanut butter, though. I like jelly better." So this is me, Mairi Moon, Woman With Wings, spreading my love like peanut butter, with lots of jelly.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

The Other Memorable New Year's Eve

All this time later, I am now going to tell you about the other memorable New Year's Eve.

My husband and I got married in September of '86, two weeks before my parents moved to Mexico City (my stepmother was in the foreign service and was sent there for two years). So, as a wedding present they gave us round trip tickets to Mexico City. At time, it was only $40 round trip from Mexico City to Acapulco, so we decided to visit my parents for a week, and then go to Acapulco for a week for our honeymoon. However, life being what it is, we couldn't get away until Christmas, which was OK, because it meant we got to spend Christmas with my folks, which was fun. There apartment was absolutely incredible. Their guest bathroom was as big as the living room in the apartment David and I were living in at the time. The shower was so huge that he was able to step into it and take a picture of me (neck up!) without getting a drop of water on himself!

But, this is not about Christmas in Mexico City--this is about New Year's Eve in Acapulco!

So, we arrived in Acapulco a couple of days before New Year's Eve, on a puddle jumper that seemed as safe as a 747 once we compared it to the mini-bus that took us from the airport to the hotel, careening around mountain passes on two wheels. When we arrived at the hotel, we were greeted with sweet alcoholic drinks in coconuts with little umbrellas sticking out of them, which made us feel much better about everything--not instantly, but within a very few minutes! We checked into our room and set out to explore our surroundings, and one of our goals was to scope out a place to spend New Year's Eve. This was an amazing hotel. It had a thatched-roof seafood restaurant on stilts above the ocean, with a live mariachi band. It had a swimming pool so large that it had an island in the middle of it. The island contained a bar that you could swim up to and sit on stone stools under the water, with your elbows on the bar above the water. There, with the cool water lapping at your waist and the warm sun on your back, you could order a pina colada and watch the bartender hack open a fresh coconut and a fresh pineapple, throw chunks of each in a blender with some ice, and whip up the most heavenly drink you ever tasted. It didn't even really need the shot of alcohol, but what the heck--this is vacation! There was a spa, outside, enclosed in rattan partitions, so that you could have a full body massage (for $22!) while listening to the surf nearby and the mariachi band in the distance, smelling the sea salt in the air, feeling whispery little breezes dance across your skin. You could have one of those pedicures with the little mini-whirlpool bath and the foot massage for $8. But the piece de resistance, for our particular purposes, what the restaurant on the very top of the hotel. This was an elegant, plush, spacious restaurant with white linen and pewter appointments, with a jasmine-scented candle floating in a crystal bowl on each table, with a live band playing gentle jazz. We thought about scouting around outside the hotel, but when we peeked in and saw this, we decided just to stay "in" and eat there on New Year's Eve. We were also told that there would be an area cleared for dancing, and so special festivities. So, I bought a little black dress in the hotel boutique (for pennies!), and we arrived at the appointed hour of 8 o'clock for dinner. We were seated at a two-top which was beautifully set with white china, and on top of each plate there were a noisemaker, a mask, a party hat, and one of those little bottle-popper thingies that you sort of fling without letting go, and a cap goes off loudly as streamers fly out of the fat end of the bottle. It was a price fixe menu, so we were relieved of the burden of deciding what to eat, and just sat there as course after course of delicious food arrived (nouvelle French cuisine--you know, each thing is like two bites in the middle of a huge plate, but so beautiful that you forget you are not getting full), with wine in between. Each course was served by two tuxedo-clad waiters who brought us each a silver-domed plate, and, after an expectantly still moment, lifted the domes, et voila! I am a foreign service brat, and I have attended many an even for visiting heads of state, ambassadors, and other dignitaries, but I have never had such a truly decadent experience. We ate, drank, danced, we had our picture taken by a roving photographer (with masks and hats!), until almost midnight, when things started to get a little more raucous. People began to pick up their noisemakers and blow on them. Champagne was poured. The band got a little less mellow. Then, at one minute to midnight, the vocalist began to lead a countdown, and as he did so, to our utter astonishment, the tiny white lights in the room were extinguished and the roof of the hotel began to roll back, so that by about 20 seconds before midnight the ceiling was replaced with a canopy of stars around a fat yellow waxing moon, in a blue-black sky. The collective gasp was audible, but was quickly drowned out by cheers and exploding little popper bottles which shot streamers into the air as 1987 entered in.

Yeah...That was a great New Year's Eve, too! Even better than the other one, because the guy really WAS a keeper!

So that's me, Mairi Moon, woman with wings, waxing rhapsodic about my honeymoon, 17 years later!