Warm sun. Palm trees swaying in tropical breezes. Turquoise waves rolling up on caramel-coloured sand.
That’s what I left.
Biting chill in the air. Leafless brown trees braving strong winds. Solidly frozen Jack-o-lanterns leering at me from the front steps.
That’s what I’ve returned to.
My week in Mexico on the Mayan Riviera seems like it’s a world away when I come back to the winter that is moving in, here in northern Alberta.
That is the way of holidays, isn’t it? No matter how amazing and wonderful the trip was, within a few days, sometimes a few hours, of returning home, it seems like you never left. The familiar surroundings, routines, and responsibilities of your life wipe those holiday memories into some hazy and hidden corner of your memory box.
Thank goodness for pictures. That's when it all comes flooding back. And I’m almost there again. On the beach. Listening to the waves crash. Nothing to do but hope the ice in my mojito lasts until the last sip.
Oh, it was a wonderful week. And exciting too, to be in Mexico during the Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead). It’s not nearly as frightening as it sounds - actually three days of celebration, costumes, treats and people thronging the streets for la Fiesta.
At La Hacienda restaurant at our Aventura Spa Palace resort, we were served an appetizer of guacamole, prepared tableside by smiling Mexican waiters and doused with flaming tequila. It was as much fun to watch the process as it was to eat the creamy dip, the sharpness of the tequila marking a zingy counterpoint to the richness of the avocado.
Here is my take on that flaming Mexican dish - minus the flames. (You'll have to provide your own smiling waiters.)
2 ripe avocados
1 plum tomato, finely diced
2 Tbsp (30ml) fresh lime juice (about 1/2 large lime, or 1 regular one)
2 Tbsp (30ml) red onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp (15ml) tequila
1/2 tsp (2.5ml) cumin
1/8 tsp (.6ml) cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp (1.25ml) sea salt
2 Tbsp (30ml) chopped cilantro
Tortilla chips, crackers, or cut vegetables for dipping
Cut the avocados in half, remove the pit and peel, and mash on a plate with a fork until chunky smooth.
Transfer to a bowl, and stir in the rest of the ingredients.
Serve with tortilla chips, baked pita chips, crudites, and of course - a shot of tequila.