Monday, December 08, 2008

Heaven And Hell

So. Where have I been the last few days. I was actually in Merida but the title of this post is more to the point. I had two very specific reasons for taking off to visit Merida on my own, which I will get to in a minute.

I left last Wednesday on the noon bus to Merida. A rather uneventful event except for the stressful moments I always have when travelling by myself. Is this the right combi to the bus station? Is this the right bus to Merida? Did I remember my cell phone? Constantly checking that my return ticket is still in my wallet where I put it. I'm a nervous, insecure traveller and hate doing it alone.

I arrived safely in Merida and whipped out my phone and successfully called my ride. About 20 minutes later I looked down the street and saw the familiar green Jeep Wrangler heading towards me. Yup, it was Jonna and Mimi to my rescue! And not the last time they would come to my rescue in those two days either! We loaded my scant luggage into the Jeep and we were off to see their house! I couldn't wait!

Readers, let me tell you. The photos that Jonna has posted on her blog do not do this house justice. It is simply magnificent. They have not missed a single detail and have put a lot of thought into every step of the process. The house just goes on, and up!, forever. I wanted to take pictures to share with you but I think that is Jonna's job and pleasure to do, not mine. If she ever offers you a tour, take it!

Next we went for a quick cocktail in front of the Gran Hotel and it was then that the Hell part of this journey started. Well, actually, it started on the bus in the form of a small but nagging headache. The headache kept getting worse and I could feel the beginnings of nausea starting. But I didn't say anything. Thinking it would pass. From cocktails we drove to where they are staying in their RV for a change into warmer clothing (Wednesday night set a new record for evening low temperatures in Merida!) and then to dinner.

On the way I said I wasn't really hungry and would settle for just a taco. We stopped at a very nice taco restaurant and as we got out, Jonna turned to me and asked if I was feeling ok. Rather than lie, I told her that, no, I wasn't. The headache and nausea were getting really, really bad by this point. And I was starting to get the chills. Jonna decided that I had just better have chicken soup. Even had I been feeling well, I would not have dared argue with her anyway!

Food came and I took one smell of it and knew I had to leave. I stayed at the table as long as I could and then excused myself to go wait outside and get some fresh air. I just barely made it down the street and past the Jeep before all hell broke loose. I had to walk by the vented kitchen window and once I smelled food again, all was lost. I stood on the curb like a common drunk and puked everything I had onto the street. It even felt like some internal organs went along too. How embarrassing.

Long painful story short, they drove me to a pharmacy where Nurse Mimi stocked me up on just about every medication the druggist would sell us. Then back to the hotel, said good night and I collapsed into bed, suffering from the shakes and chills like I have not experienced in recent memory. I was one sick puppy that night.

The next day I continued to take my fever and headache pills and layed kind of low all day, just taking it easy. I knew I had to be well enough by 7:30 PM Thursday to be at this place.

I'm sure Billie is mincing at the white balance in the above photo. Those walls really are white!

Jonna, Mimi and I got there really early and I was not surprised to see a No Smoking sign, but this way of spelling prohibido was new to me.

So why had I come all the way to Merida to this tiny restaurant to have dinner on a Thursday night? I can sum it up in just one word....Billiesblog! Yes, the famous and maybe even infamous Billie Mercer and her husband, Ned, are visiting the Yucatan and I was not going to miss a chance to meet one of my heroes in person. No sirree, not at all. In sickness or health, I was going to be there to pay homage!

See this round table in the picture below? I sat at the head of that table with Ned to my left and Billie to my right! I was that close to her!!!

What a fantastic person she is. Even more delightful and personable in person than she is on her blog. A warm, engaging conversationalist who makes you instantly feel like you have known her all your life. And talk about nice! I tried several times to get her to tell me some inside gossip about the other bloggers in SMA but not a word out of her mouth. Ned started to tell me something at one point but she just said his name in that way that Mothers have to keep their kids in line and he shut right up. Darn.

Speaking of Ned. What a brilliant surprise he was. We know little about him from the blog. After all, it's her blog, not his. Let me tell you, he is the epitome of a southern charmer. When he spoke in his gentle, slightly accented voice, all chatter at the table stopped to listen to him. Between the two of them, they had us all enthralled and wrapped around their little fingers!

But it wasn't just Billie at the table. Joining us were Jonna and Mimi, Tom and Debi from Progresso, Theresa and husband. Let me tell you, with that many bloggers around one table, the talking never stopped! I found my eyes constantly drawn to Theresa that night. I love her new haircut and do. Plus she was dressed in a simple black dress with a purple jacket with matching fur collar that absolutely made her glow. I was sad to have the dinner finally break up.

I'm back home now, of course. But still under the weather. It must be some kind of 345 hour flu that I have. But I am so glad I attended the dinner. Can you tell I had a good time!


Calypso said...

Total Bummer to be under the weather with all that going on and traveling - ugh!

Even still I am envious of tha get together - wish Anita and I had been there - one day...

Theresa in Mèrida said...

Wayne, do think it may have been dengue? That is what I think of when I hear chills and fever. I am the same way when I travel, like a mother hen counting and recounting her chicks. Do I have my ticket, does Husband have his? Is this the right bus? on and on, I'm worse at the airport, I just know that my flight will leave me behind!
Thank you for the tremendous compliment. I love that purple sweater and seldom get to wear it!

Nancy said...

Oooh, I am so jealous...all of you together for a leisurely meal! What a treat!

We had the pleasure of meeting Billie and Ned in San Miguel a couple of years ago, and got a tour of their beautiful home. And you are right about Billie, you feel like you have known her forever!

But man, you...and Theresa...and Jonna & Mimi...and Tom and, that is just too cool!

Glad it worked out and your stomach finally cooperated so you could attend.

Islagringo said...

calypso: being sick may have been a bonus in that it kept me from taking thousand of pics of Merida and boring all of you with post after post about how beautiful the city is!

theresa: i'm pretty sure that it is not dengue. i feel almost back to normal today. you should find more occasions to wear that sweater. you looked gorgeous!

nancy: like Jonna recently said, I have yet to meet a blogger in person who is not the person they appear to be in their blog. We ARE a great group of people! Maybe the next Blogger Blowout we'll all meet?

Sue said...

Ok, so I only knew part of what you were up to. So sorry to hear you were so sick, but glad you were able to participate in the things you went there to do. I have just started reading Billie's blog, so have a lot to look forward to, I think. Funny how one blog leads to another, sort of like surfing - you end up reading pages that have nothing to do with what you started out looking for. Great fun!

Thanks for sharing your story.

Jonna said...

Heh! The only pics I have from that evening are of the empty restaurant too! I think we were having too much fun to remember to take pictures. Or, we were too intimidated in the presence of a REAL photographer, Billie, to risk it.

Thanks for the good words, we were so sorry that you were sick. We wanted to just 'snap' and make you better but couldn't.

Steve Cotton said...

Wayne -- And, of course, I wish I could have been there. It is odd how close I feel to everyone im this little electronic village.

My Way said...

Even though you were a bit ill, it seems like you had such a nice time with everyone!

Thank the lord for blogger friends!

Babs said...

le.Ahh, I'm so glad to know you met Billie and Ned - I'm lucky to have them in San Miguel - two of my favorite people. In fact, my granddaughter was conceived in their home - now THAT is a story I'll save for when we meet to follow.

Anonymous said...

Oh, honey, I am so sad you didn't feel well. But I'm really glad you got to spend some time with blogger friends, I'm quite jealous actually.

I would like to go to Merida myself one of these days, maybe we can make it a road trip in my pinche van if it ever is roadworthy.

Billie said...

Wayne, Oh my gosh. You embarass me. I can't begin to say how much I appreciate your traveling to Merida so we could meet you. It was a highlight of the trip.