CDMX Part Cuatro: The Final Chapter

Here we are my Lovers. The final week of the adventure that was Remote Year Earhart. 51 weeks. 7 days shy of a full rotation of the earth that I spent circling it with 50 47 42 39 35 32 of some of the most quality humans I ever met in my life. Earharts. Braveharts. Danceharts. My Harts.

With most of my core group still business retreating it up, I took Monday to spend some time with the ladies in RY that mean so much to me. It started with a bistro lunch work date with the Dinster where we talked life after RY over a bottle of Beaujolais. Later I cheffed it up for my Medellin roomies, SaraBear and Kiminy, along with Kellz Bells and Momma Gorks. I threw together my signature roast chicken with some mashed potatoes laced with ooey gooey Oaxacan cheese while we sat in their kitchen indulging in wine and memories. I’ve always been a guys girl, but the last 51 weeks had taught me that there are amazing women in my life, and all I have to do is trust them enough to let them and the result is life long relationships with strong, beautiful, caring ladies who empower and enlighten me. I’m so grateful to those on RY that pushed me to tear down that wall, my distrust of female figures, because it led me to the friendships I had in that moment along with a hundred other moments on RY that I never would have had otherwise.

As Tuesdays go, I was busy with work calls the majority of the day. I found time for some outdoor cafe working and even snuck in a mani/pedi before my favs got back home. House and heart full again.

WhatsApp Image 2018-07-16 at 00.04.10

artwork credz Mel

Wednesday brought the unveiling of the hard work Yancey Pants had put into our farewell video, but not before a screening of a surprise video from our former city teams, a heartfelt and hilarious congrats from those who had provided recommendations, experiences, laughs and love along the way. After we watched our send off from them, we were given a first (and second, then third) showing of the video below. Yes, we cried. We also laughed, smiled, and felt the weight of what we had achieved in the previous year. I dare you to watch it and not feel the same.

As we all cleared out, Kiwi, M and I convinced Momma V to join us for a carnivorous feast at Sonora Grill. The venue itself was an eclectic mix of 80s and 90s music videos paired with a Bern’s like offering of steak galore. We over-ordered, overshared, over drank and over loved. On our way back home, we stopped to grab some drinks (because we hadn’t had enough), but its after hours and Marky and Kis have to bribe the gas station cashier to sell to them while V and I wait in the sketchy cab.

Thursday was B U S Y as I tried to balance work with running this month’s PI event alongside Duffs. The afternoon found us Ubering far from our Condesa bubble to a double cart trip to Walmart (my first Wally World all year) to stock up on food and booze for our rooftop bar and bbq to raise money for Yugen Build. After we filled our carts with snacks, beer, tequila and charcoal, we headed back to the workspace to set up for the night. I had to excuse myself to join M in a frustrating attempt to procure a whip for tomorrow’s balloon adventure, adding to the already stressful nature of the evening. Beer without ice, beer pong without beer pong balls, a ticket system with no tickets, charcoal with no lighter.. but somehow, as these things always do, it all came together at the last minute. I parked myself at my familiar spot behind the bar and doled out beers and shots to a stellar turnout to raise money for the Yugen Build. Kiwi was on the grill charring hot dogs and brats to soak up the drinks, and Kiminy and Kellz had arranged for entertainment by La Laura Guevara, so we swayed to her velvet voice as DL and Flickty took the beer pong championship. The night ended with Rappi burritos and leftover beer. Hey, too much is better than not enough, right?

The next morning (and I mean morning), M and I loaded up in the previously mentioned rental to head to Teotihuacan for a hot air balloon ride for two above the pyramids. Recall in week 1 I had decided against this adventure at that time, but its and RY staple, a CDMX must see, and we weren’t going to miss it. We arrived to a chilly morning, and it wasn’t long before we were soaring high in the skies above the former Aztec ruins. The views were breathtaking, and the ride exhilarating, albeit a bit scary because the foundation was straw, so every movement felt as if we might fall through. We landed our balloon and M tried to work out our next meal with the tour guides. I’m both grateful and resentful of his advances in Spanish – on one hand, he gets done what we need done, but on the other, because of his fluency, I’m never pushed to use mine. Either way, we ended up with breakfast and were hooked up with a tour guide for the pyramids.

We spent the next few hours in the grueling sun touring the moon and sun pyramids amidst the Teotihuacan ruins. I have dressed WRONG for this windy day, and several times in ascent and descent, I give the fellow tourists around us a show. You’re welcome pyramid goers.

After our ruins tour, we load up to grab lunch at La Gruta, a neat little restaurant nestled in a cave.  The atmosphere is beyond amazing, even if the food is mediocre.  We’re both practically falling asleep at the table, and have a combined battery percentage of 3% in our phones (read: maps), so we devise a plan to get back to CDMX on our limited juice, both personally and technologically.  I took the first shift, so we weaved our way back to the highway with both phones dying before we even got there.

82QFhhzsTEyVgWsZ0T+BPQ

Between the two of us, M is definitely the one with the better sense of direction.  Much like my Spanish, I haven’t had to rely on my own merit because he’s so good at it that I just trust and follow him.  The problem with this is that in true Markolepsy fashion, he’s now lightly snoring in the passenger’s seat and I don’t have the heart to wake him.  But I’m an educated woman, so I can figure this out, right?.  We aren’t close enough to the city yet that there are signs for CDMX, so I decide to just follow the signs that point to the airport…. and quickly land us on a road that is not the highway we were previously on.  M wakes up long enough to ask a local “Dónde está la Ciudad de México” who replies “Derecho, Derecho, Derecho” (straight straight straight), and he’s back to Marky nap land while I follow the old man’s instructions.

Problem number two: this road isn’t straight.  It forks.. in a very unclear V fashion… a lot. Still not having it in me to wake M, I just make the best decision I can at each fork, hoping that some context clues (mainly the plates of the cars around me) are leading me in the right direction.  Thankfully they are, because soon I am passing the airport, and before you know it, we’re in a city like atmosphere.  The adventure is far from over though, as CDMX is a large city, and we live in a very small part of it… somewhere…. not close to where we are.. and neither of us has any clue how to get from point A to point B… so after a couple of failed attempts, we pull into a gas station and buy a phone charger.  Google maps FTW.

Safely back to our Condesa ‘hood, we drop off our rental car and hustle over to Cicatriz Cafe to meet DL and Kiwi for a (second) mezcal tasting, and this time I walk out with 6 bottles of the rocket fuel to take home with me and share with friends.  Momma Joe eventually joins us and we plan to hit the pool hall after swinging by our favorite taco joint.  After several tacos and a nearly 20 hour day, suffice it say M and I never made it to pool.

Friday is our last official day of RY.  I’ve already got a busy day planned between packing, getting my last set of coordinates, checking those if us staying an extra day or two into our bonus BNB, but when M proposes we go hit a few of the sites we haven’t seen yet, I agree.  While I was waiting on him to come scoop me up to head downtown, I figured I would start packing.  I started toward my closet to grab my suitcase, and was suddenly stopped in my tracks.  It was as if someone has built a brick wall of all of the emotions, thoughts, feelings and implications of the fact that this is the last time I would pack my suitcase as a member of Earhart.  I was frozen, unable to move another inch towards my suitcase. So I did what I do when I’m hurting.  I wrote.

Once I processed what was going on internally, I was able to throw a couple of items in a suitcase before M was shouting beneath my balcony, my very own modern Romeo, hurrying me into an Uber.  Once we got downtown, we grabbed a couple bikes and pedaled around, marveling at the sinking buildings of CDMX, which was built over a lake and sinks an average of 8 inches per year.  I’m due to be inked with my last set of coordinates, so I bid M adieu and join Sarabear and Dre by Day  (the designer of my current set of digits) at the shop to complete my set.

photo creds Dre By Day and Marky Mark

Friday night…. we were together.

33764346_10156504595807427_3811480181789425664_o

The weekend came to a close as we all slowly departed over the next few days.  Each goodbye got a little harder, and after a week in the Yucatan, my last see-you-later was said at the Cancun Airport, where I walked around, hollow and dazed until my flight was called.  Even at the last minute, I was gripped by a need to panic, not board this flight, not end this year. But everything I learned this year would be for not if I didn’t take it forward and use it to continue living the best life I can imagine for myself.

So, after:
21 Countries
39 Flights
4 Overnight buses
8 Trains
18 Hotels
20 AirBNBs
5 Hostels
2 Homestays
18 Boats

I closed the Earhart chapter.  But if you think that means this is over, you haven’t been paying attention.  And boy are you in for a treat.

Until next time my Lovers,

Specifically Yours,

SR

Pics are up to date!

CDMX Part Tres: T Minus Two Weeks

We’re getting down to it My Lovers.  The last two weeks of the adventure that was Remote Year Earhart.  Though my Harts will live on in my heart forever, our time together did dwindle.  And here’s what we did with week three in CDMX.

At some point back in Split, I had voiced to Starbucks that my favorite scotch was a Balvenie 12 Year Doublewood, and unbeknownst to me, he had looked in every liquor store he walked into along the way for that exact bottle until finally, in month 11 – Bogota, he found said bottle and procured it as a thanks for all I had done throughout the year.  I was extremely touched by this action (and slightly confused, as I couldn’t pinpoint said conversation), but I believed that a scotch like that was best shared with friends – and what goes better with scotch than steaks.  I organized a night with my three favorite guys to cook steaks and enjoy the bottle – but I quickly realized that I had more than three guys in my Earhart life that would appreciate this, so before you know it, the night had blossomed into a full blown guys night, complete with a second bottle (a McCallan 12 year) and a smattering of cigars to go alongside.  After an initial steak ordering mishap, we ended up with KILOS of meat, which I promptly cooked up beside my risotto for an evening with the boys.  The steaks were tender and juicy, the scotch was smoky, and the company was second to none.  We ended the evening with invites to others and rooftop chats, capped with a second cooking of the mis-ordered meat. Languages are hard guys.

fullsizeoutput_22

The next day we had a track that consisted of a tasting of mezcal.  We gathered at Cicitriz Cafe where the owner indulged us in both his knowledge of the local liquor as well as a generous tasting of his signature bootleg collection.  I excused myself for a work call, missing out on a particularly good round, but the host made it up to me when I got back by bringing out some of his private stash, the good stuff, bottles I would eventually purchase to take home.

Wednesday I deviated from my #freshink Friday tradition to tag along with Mel, Becks and Meilz for our Earhart inking.  Mel had come up with a fantastic design that both her and I got, and even to this day, I haven’t gone one day without a compliment on this tattoo. It is my favorite, for sure.  I just hope this isn’t the beginning of a sleeve…

That night was Duff’s birthday celebration, the last Earhart birthday of the year.  There was plenty of the aforementioned steak left over, so Marky and I got to work on cooking birthday steak tacos, complete with Oaxaca cheese and many satisfied customers.  The crew sat around, celebrating our resident optimist in proper fashion.

Thursday was date night, and Marky had outdone himself by getting us reservations at Pujol for a Michelin Star dinner for two. The boy even showed up with a rose. I was impressed and flattered to say the least. We had eight courses of delicious cuisine with the wine pairing, of course. The signature dish, the mole two ways did not disappoint. Afterwards we found a whiskey bar that was VERY generous with the Balvenie 12yr Doublewood pours, after which we stumbled off for late night tacos where we decided we were too whiskey laden to attend DL’s frat party, a decision he made us both pay for.

Friday was lunch calls with Marky, Kiwi and the best chilaquiles in CDMX. Kiwi accompanied me back to mine, where we perused photos from the year while he did his wash. There was only one load of laundry, which means we didn’t even make it through Europe before the clothes were done. After our trip down memory lane, Kis left with all his clothes clean and the roomies and I settled in for another pantsless, Rappi kind night. We throw on some chick comedy, open a bottle of wine and post up on the couch. Crushin’ Friday night.

Saturday we hopped on a bus and headed to Las Estacas, a natural reserve outside of CDMX for our final farewell of RY. The day was far from perfectly executed, but it was perfect for us. There was lunch by the lazy river followed by love and reminiscing. Polaroid camera were brought out, keg stand were taught, and a “romantic” float down the river was interrupted in the most Earhart fashion. The Mommas and Thrill threw some trivia at us until it was time for our evening BBQ, which looked like it was going to get rained out. Never a group to shy away from a little rain, we rallied and set up the fire, weather be damned. After brats, beers, marshmallows, music and whiskey, we got back to story telling and Earhart praising. I’m always humbled by this groups willingness to open up about what they have gone through on a personal level as a result of being a part of the tramily.

IMG_8482

As you can imagine, movement on Sunday wasn’t a lively as Saturday, but we all managed to find our way to a pool, throw around some pigskin, and catch up with some crashers from Kaizen and Meraki before boarding the bus back home.

I had the apartment and the evening to myself, as my roomies and three other closest Harts had taken off on a business retreat. I settled into my comfy PJs, threw on some Netflix and got to writing a bit. Before I know it, there is an intense hailstorm outside, and I have to run out to our balcony in said PJs to save some items that were baking in the sun out there. Thinking that would be the excitement of my evening, I nestled back in. About an hour later, I hear a noise…. it’s familiar… a low wub, wub wub… I know that sounds… it takes me about 10 seconds to realize its the earthquake alarm.

SHIT.

Previously mentioned comfy PJs is really a white satin night slip, and its raining outside, so I take the next 10 seconds deciding that I don’t need to be going out in the rain in this.

SHIT.

Now I’ve got 20 seconds to change, get downstairs and outside. Not enough time. Time to find shelter inside. The last time the alarm went off, Mel had decided my interior closet was the safest spot inside, I so grab my phone, crouch inside the closet, and prepare for another few minutes of nothing, like the last time. Then I hear the building start to creak.

Its all in your head, Pino, it’s fine.

But its not in my head, and the three doors I’m crouched in between start to sway in their frames.

FUCKFUCKFUCK.

Yep… I start to panic.

Run outside! STAY WHERE YOU ARE!

I’m frantically texting our roommate chat, letting them know exactly where they can find my crushed remains after my epically bad decision to stay indoors.

Am I overreacting? Of course, because in a moment, the swaying subsides, the door stand still, and I emerge from the closet unscathed. Lovers, I had survived my first earthquake, a 4.0 that occurred several miles outside of CDMX central.

It was quite the way to finish out week 3 of CDMX, and with only one week remaining in the adventure of RY, I’ll bet you’re more excited to read the next chapter of CDMX that I am to write it. The final week… all the feels.. and to share it with you means reliving it, all the feels, all the memories. I miss my Harts everyday. But don’t fret my Lovers, though this next and final chapter of RY Earhart will be difficult to write, I will deliver the last week in all of its pain and glory.

Stay tuned.

Specifically Yours,

SR
Pics are less and less, but there’s still posted.