New Year's Eve found us en route to the Cordero's House around 10:30p for a big feast and festivities. We'd spent part of the afternoon preparing a hearty black bean soup as our vegetarian contribution to the meal. The house was decked in the finery of Christmas lights and nativity scenes still. The long dining room table was dressed in candles and brightly colored table linens. We were a "packed house," Azucena & Rafael, their two sons, Mauricio and Alejandro, Mau's girlfriend visiting from Barbedos, Ayesha, Sarah & Aaron, Me and Mau's friend Chucho (sort for Jesus, no idea why).Mau & Ayesha
Me & Chucho
Conversation around the coffee table, followed by a tiny match with Mau's new Wii. Then midnight approached. We each took our place around the dining room table. A bowl of 12 grapes was laid out at each place setting. Per tradition in México, at the stroke of midnight, everyone crams 12 grapes into his/her mouth, making a wish for each month of the new year, and each stroke of the clock. Hugs and best wishes all around. And then, at last, we sit down to eat...at 12:00a. Can you believe it? People like to eat late on holidays here!
By the close of the meal, all looked defeated by black beans and pork shank. But somehow, somehow, we rallied enough energy to clear the furniture from the living room to make a dance floor. Rafael's new Bose speakers rolled out; they're quickly attached to an iPod and the night truly begins.
Let it never be said that you can't hoof it past sixty--because the most energetic and tireless dancers at the party were surely Rafael and Azucena. We each took a turn about the dance floor--even Chucho, who surprisingly had never danced before in his life. It was great fun.
Like most in Oaxaca, we slept in the next morning, our dogs tired from shuffling to the beats of salsa, meringue and mambo. Not all of us felt energized by the frolicking of the night before. Some kind of bacteria took hold of our little Aaron. But we were sure that perhaps a day at a spa in town might do the trick to relieve him of fever and the shakes. So we schlepped off to Los Olivos for massages and mani/pedis. Sadly, it didn't do the trick. So, what to do....? Go to Cozumel, of course!
This is Aaron's tongue from New Year's Eve. See that lil' white spot on the tip? I'm almost certain that's the bacteria, about to take hold...