Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Taming of the Beast - Mawidge in Monteway

It's finally happened: my biggest (as in years) brother got hitched. I was pretty certain he would be a bachelor for life. Then, the most incredible thing happened. He found the perfect woman.

A few years ago he quit his job in Spokane and moved to Monterrey, Mexico. He met his future wife through work, and now the rest is history. Jeff, Everett, and I traveled down there to partake in the celebrations, and had such a wonderful time. Let me explain exactly how fun it was in terms you can understand: the 12-hour trip with an infant was worth it. We are blessed to have such a wonderful woman join our family, and feel even more honored to be accepted into her family.

I can't take credit for any of these wedding photos. As I mentioned before, there is no use taking out your camera when Uncle John is around. He will capture the most stunning, intimate moments that no one else seems to notice.

"Mawidge is a dweam wiffin a dweam. The dweam of wuv wapped wiffin the gweater dweam of everwasting west. Eternity is our fwiend, wemember that, and wuv wiw fowwow you fowever.” 
-The Princess Bride

Beautiful bride with the world's sassiest and cutest flower girls.

The happy couple. Mawidged.

And then the most insane dance party happened. There was even a mosh pit.

I noticed some pretty interesting differences between the weddings we do in the PacNW and Mexico.

  1. First of all, the bride had a million bouquets she switched between over the course of the day. I know there must be significance to this, but I have no idea what it is, and I was too embarrassed to ask. However, I have a feeling that me posting this here will eventually give me an answer.
  2. The wedding started LATE. The ceremony was at 8:30pm, and dinner didn't start until around 11pm. That being said, Mexicans sure know how to party. They were dancing until the wee hours of the morning. If you stuck around long enough, you were served breakfast.
  3. It's completely normal for only family and the closest friends to attend the wedding ceremony, then half the town shows up for the reception. If this happened at my wedding, I'd be like, "Bitch, you be eating all my food, but you didn't even come to my wedding!" No one down there seemed to mind, so I didn't get offended by the hundreds of people who magically appeared at dinner. 
  4. Because there were so many people (and maybe some randoms) attending the party, the family had to hire security. The postal service is a fickle thing in Mexico, so you never know who will get a hold of an invite. The address is there, meaning someone who gets their hands on one knows exactly where to find nice wedding gifts. As a precaution, there was security at the bride's house on the days leading up to the wedding, and security at the reception made sure all the peeps (and presents) were safe.
  5. The dancing and music were legit. Those Mexicans know how to move, unlike us Americans...

Since we were doing so much wedding shiz, we didn't really get a chance to do any sightseeing around Monterrey. However, I did have the opportunity to visit a couple years ago. At that time, my brother took me to all the best touristy places. The following photos are a little old, but still accurate.

Monterrey is tucked beneath some breathtaking mountains. Pictures cannot do their majesty any justice.

Remember the Hipstamatic App back in the day? I took this photo with whatever hipster "lense" came free with the "camera".

Downtown Monterrey is the perfect marriage (mawidge) between the old and new. Modern architecture can be seen beside antiquated buildings, and the city's appreciation for art and culture is easily viewed in all areas of the town.

The Macroplaza is the forth largest plaza in the world. Take a walk on this stretch and view a canal that offers boat rides, fountains, light installations, art, and even a water park. This was my favorite spot in Monterrey.

Chipinque is a National Park of sorts. The area offers hiking trails overlooking the city of Monterrey, and a peaceful setting that allows visitors and residents to explore the mountains overshadowing the city below. If you're lucky, you will even spot some wildlife. We saw a baby black bear eating out of a garbage can. It was so natural.

The canyon outside of town presents stunning views of the mountains. This is seriously a rock climber's paradise. We saw a few companies offering climbing opportunities, and maybe some day I will try to scale one of the many cliffs. My previous visit was shortly after a hurricane swept much of the canyon away. It is my understanding that the road doesn't usually look like this.

Grutas de Garcia is a short drive from Monterrey. My brother and I took a tram up the side of the mountain, where we were taken on a tour of mountain caves. The stalactites and stalagmites were pretty impressive, and some were even decorated with lights. If you do not speak Spanish, you will have a hard time understanding the tour guide's jokes. I had no idea what he was saying, but my brother was laughing frequently.

The tour guide insisted that we pose like this.

Old Monterrey is a walkable distance from the Macroplaza. This is the neighborhood of every gay's dreams. Old buildings are being restored to their past grandeur, making unique and beautiful homes in the heart of the city. Look at all that potential!

Overall, I have been incredibly impressed during my visits to Monterrey. We were introduced to some amazing food, found beautiful and local art tucked away in the most unlikely places, and enjoyed the friendliness of everyone we encountered. Although this is not every traveler's dream destination when planning a trip to Mexico, one will not be disappointed if they end up in this town of rich culture and rugged mountains.

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