First Stop . . . Viva Mexico!

"Oh my word, what have I done?" I cried to my daughter on the crackling phone connection as I stood alone in front of a Tortilla Factory on a dusty road in a tiny, remote fishing village in Mexico. Protectively clutching my purse and trying to roll my suitcase over the ruts and cobblestones with my cell phone wedged between my ear and shoulder, she said, "Mom, what did you expect? You're in a third-world country!" Click. The phone went dead and I looked around as I silently FREAKED out. With my previously cute but now sweat-soaked sundress and little wedged sandals that were caked in dirt and completely inappropriate for the environment, I realized I didn't BLEND. My look screamed "Tourista!" I imagined the locals were looking at me, laughing and calling me Gringa under their breath.

I couldn't have been further from the truth, but that comes later.

First, let's go back a few months to see where the story started and what led me to that pitiful low moment.