Heneghans Abroad

Corrie, Mary, and Mike are living in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Separated at Birth

Merry Christmas everybody,

Mike, Corrie, and the Bear

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sucks to Reformat

Bummer. Huge bummer.

Not sure how great the pics were on our SD memory card, but we'll never know, as they are gone now. Anybody else have that problem?

It is what it is, no living in the past.

With just a few days left until Christmas break, we wanted to send out a message about our November exploits. Sans pictures.

Speaking of formatting, I'm in no mood to organize paragraphs , so you'll just have to embrace the bullets.
  • Corrie and I have discovered the best thing for our marriage (besides separate laptops): a babysitter every Friday. Inspired by our friends the Picketts, we head out every Friday, 4-10pm. Sounds early, but we pack in a lot, including sunsets, beverages, din-din, etc.
  • Not sure what's more annoying: applying Off! every night (Mary included) to fend off the skeeters that strafe the room every night or the molasses-level progress of our Spanish acquisition.
  • 80 degrees and sunny pretty much every day now. Hauntingly awesome.
  • A Heneghan first: we got a fake tree this year, though surprisingly, they actually have real Christmas trees for sale down here. Best part: Corrie and Mary made all the ornaments. Pretty cool to see Mary's hand shapes all over our tree.
  • One reason I'm able to write this blog tonight: Corrie is out carousing with her friends at Book Club. Apparently, not only can Corrie read--apparently it's like TV?--but she is a scary-fast reader. She's like the W.O.P.R. from "War Games". Corrie heads out with the chicas once a month and "talks about books". We all know what that's code for.
  • Semester one is almost done for me. It's been a fun year so far, as most of my co-workers are only a little bit ass-holey (just kidding, people). Actually, biggest challenge has been adjusting to high school students, AP in particular. Apparently, they take finals. Who knew?
  • With weekly regularity, I have cuts on my legs from our Mexican softball league. We are in the playoffs right now, so you read between the lines.
  • Saw a commercial today for the IU vs. Kentucky basketball game tomorrow. Kinda cool.
  • Biggest Heneghan news since Corrie started regularly cooking family dinners: MARY PEE-PEE'D IN THE POTTY TONIGHT. Nuff said.
We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. Anna, Catherine, and Bruce, we look forward to seeing you soon. Bruce, I saw a Marlin the other day, and he said, and I quote, "Bruce Conner is a pussy." I can't make this stuff up.

Love to all,

Mike, Corrie, and the Bearcub

Saturday, November 21, 2009

3 months in 20 seconds

Just playing around with a new program I came across.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Family Invasion: Mom, Jeanne, and Peggy

Corrie, Mary, Jeanne, Peggy, and my mom at the Puerto Vallarta marina.

I dropped my mom off at the Puerto Vallarta airport this morning. Mom visited for almost 13 days, flying in with Corrie's mom and aunt a couple Tuesdays ago. Jeanne, Peggy, and my mom came laden with gifts, both physical and not, including hugs, family pictures, clothes, Indiana treats--carmel apples!--and lots of love.

We squeezed in all the gossip, meals, Halloween parties, laughter, bus rides, and trips through the Mexican countryside that we could. Here are a few snapshots of our time.

Entering my school's annual Halloween party. It was huge. And yes, we took the bus there. In costume.

Mom: M&M Jeanne: Karate-man

Mom haggled with the silver guy. Got him to come down from 900 pesos to 300.

Mom and some of the gang that I teach with at our "Moe and Johnny's", but beachside.

Mike, Corrie, and Mary

Friday, October 9, 2009

Family Invasion: Maureen and Beth

Loyal readers,

After four days of raucous fun, my sister Beth and her daughter Maureen have left us to return to the grind back in Indy.

Continuing a Brogan tradition, my sister surprised Maureen just a day before arriving with the news that they'd be coming to visit for a long weekend. What's cooler than skipping a bunch of school to go on an international journey to Mexico?

How about:
  • Dinner, terrace-side, along one of Vallarta's many rivers, free (virgin) Pina Colada included?
(these are virgin tequila shots, I swear)

  • zipping through the rain forest canopy (that's Maureen) or rappelling (Beth) down waterfalls?
  • leaping from boulders into the Bay of Banderas waters (apparently a young Lou Ferigno type was there too)?

  • or a day spent in the sleepy surf town of Sayulita, including icy mango margaritas* and spicy chilequiles, all served beachside with your toes digging into the sand?

(This isn't really Sayulita at all, but this one's got the whole gang in it, and I knew you'd dig that)

It's really tough to say what was the highlight for us--Maureen, in all of her newfound teenage glory, might even have the gall to claim her fledgling Facebook account creation as the highlight--but I think the brief video below captures what made this visit so special for us (relax, I turn the camera the correct way after a bit).

Thank you for coming, guys. We truly miss you already. We love you.

Mike, Corrie, and the Bear

*Though Maureen did not partake of the mango margarita, she very easily could have at numerous occasions. There were a variety of bar touts--guys who try to work tourists into the bars to spend money--who clearly thought she was much older than her tender age of 13.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Tour, part Dos

Howdy all,

After a deluge of mail in our little Mexican mailbox, I have finally gotten around to posting the second part of our apartment tour. It's even more exciting than the first.

It's 2 minutes of ol' fashioned Mexican "Yee-hah", mixed with a splash of "Oh Yeah". Maybe just a smidge of "Oh no he didn't"...okay. Stop it. Just stop it. There's really no good way to dress this up. You see the bedroom. You see Mary's room. That's it. Oh, and some very droll commentary.

The highlight is, as always, the cameo by the Mare-Bear.



Mike and family

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Tour, part I

As we approach our two month anniversary here in Vallarta, it occurred to me that it's about time to follow through on a promise: to let folks take a gander at our apartment.

It's not much, but it's ours.

When Gerry Selitzer, our very congenial boss, drove us up to Marbella Suites, we really didn't know what to expect. We both had all kinds of scenarios running through our heads--would there be bodies? Would it be clean? The Bumpus hounds? It was all for naught.

Besides our propensity to drop very breakable lamps, glasses, and more lamps on our tile floors, Gerry has put us in a very happy home.

Our group of condos sits among a grove of palm trees, bougainvilleas, and other tropical plants which shall remain nameless. Lizards, geckos abound. Geckos come and go freely within our house. No joke, they are Mary's favorite pet.

They've got a couple pools here too, one being about a foot deep, which Mary just dominates! Actually, she has taken to pool life way too easily, jumping in whether we are paying attention or not. There's a Mexican Doc Councilman here (Google it) who is just itching to teach Mary how to swim. Mary's about got it on her own.

So, enjoy this brief vid of our shadowy abode. More to come...


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mary in Vallarta

One of the more difficult aspects of moving down to Vallarta, and there were many (see "Selling your house during a shitty economy"), was how Mary would live and adjust in a brand new place. On one hand, she's not even two years old, so in many ways she's probably more flexible than Corrie or me. No established friends to leave behind. No school to transfer from and to. No softball league or favorite restaurants to miss. On the other hand, there were new doctors to find. Clothing and toys to haul down or rebuy here in town. And of course her doting grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Leaving them behind was difficult, to be sure.

I did want to give you at least a small snapshot of how she's getting on down here. She is extremely excited to be staying home with Momma, and quite possibly even more excited when her new nanny, Ya-Ya, stays with her. Can't get enough of Ya-Ya.

Being a year and a half old now, Mary is doing and saying all kinds of crazy stuff that just leaves us laughing, usually. She is definitely a pretty funny kid. Bold too. For example, in the picture below, she went down every single slide you can see. By herself.

She got her first haircut as well.

As for Mary and friends, here in Mexico, we have only to go down to our pool here at Marbella for her to find new friends. The Mexican children--adults too--are so genuinely curious and kind to children. It has been humbling. The question we get the most? "Nino o nina?" Boy or girl? She has also made a friend--if she could just be a little more gentle--with Ella, the daughter of some of our new friends, Karli and Mark Picketts. They went to a great birthday party today. Mary and Ella tackled all those water slides together today.

And when friends fail you, or your parents just aren't enough for you. There is one tactic that every parent has at their disposal: shameless bribery.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

¡ Viva Mexico!

The staff looked on while Jerry, my boss, blew out his
birthday cake candles.

Friends and family,

Last night Corrie and I had our first night out without the Mare-Bear. September 15th is Mexican Independence Day, so our school--the American School of Puerto Vallarta--rented out a catamaran for staff, family, and other hangers on. A friend of ours suggested a babysitter--a mother of two teenagers named Ana--and we were off.

The boat was pretty big, big enough to hold a couple hundred guests, a fully stocked bar, a buffet, and a make-shift dance floor. All were used plenty. We arrived at the port at 8pm, greeted by menacing clouds and a rainbow. As luck would have it, our ship, the Beach Boy, had a roof, so rain or shine, we'd be fine. This also being the birthday of our boss, Jerry, and librarian Jenny, it looked to be an especially festive evening.

The Beach Boy motored out into the Bay of Banderas as night fell. The rain stopped and the booze flowed. This was our first time out on the water and we were impressed. The bay is a giant crescent moon, lined with green mountains. At night the lights shone brightly, and this being Independence Day, it was especially thronged with people who'd come downtown to see "El Grito". El Grito is when the town mayor reenacts the Mexican call to independence, "Viva Mexico", first proclaimed 199 years ago by Hidalgo (I think).

After a buffet of mole chicken, chicharron (pork rinds. Much better than it sounds), frijoles (refried beans) and more, we pulled in close to the Malecon, which is the paved beachside walkway where the main festivities were held. There we were able to watch the fireworks explode over our heads.

Dancing note: I have much to learn from the Latinos. Much. Especially our P.E. teacher, Joel.

Corrie and one of our new friends, Kim.