Our Earth is hurting…earthquakes, tsunami’s, animals falling from the sky and icebergs melting.
Do you ever sit and wonder where it all went wrong? I often wonder who is to blame and I get angry knowing that it was generations before us that started the snowball effect that has led our planet to be in such a state. I too take blame for my generations lack of interest in saving our planet, but proudly say I am an avid recycler, I plant trees and fruit seeds whenever I can (wherever I can!) and I refuse to eat Shrimp or Fish that is not in season (so to discourage poaching).
I take comfort in knowing the little I do really DOES make a difference and if everyone did the same as I (or more) then our planet would not be hurting so much.
March and April has seen much devastation already, with the shocking images we’ve seen come out of Japan.
The earthquake, followed by a huge Tsunami, hit the countries north populations on March 11th. The hardest hit city was Sendai, with the city being literally swept away in just under a few hours. It’s hard to imagine what being there would feel like…I mean, what would be going through the people’s minds? I just can’t imagine it!! What horror!
Well, all we could do was watch it unfold on tv and pray…hoping that those who survived would be rescued and those who did not would be found to give their families peace of mind.
Lela sat patiently, as she also watched it all unfold and so April will be dedicated to Japan. 100% of the donations will go to Japan to help families who have been left homeless and children that have lost their parents. The death toll as of Wednesday has reached a horrific 12,468 with thousands still missing. We hope we can raise a record number for these victims and help them in same way, even if it is by giving them a little hope.
On a lighter note, we’re proud to say we raised a whooping $1722 New Zealand Dollars which went to the Red Cross in Christchurch, NZ to help those who most needed it after the earthquake they went through.
We’ll have some more updates on which group will be used for Japan. There are so many charities helping out there and we want to make sure we pick one that has little, if any, admin costs, so that help is really reached to those who need it.
Wow! I can’t believe it’s taken me THIS long to write to you all about Cozumel!! Things have been a flurry of packing, unpacking, training, uniforms, new people, new friends, great new location, a new dancing chef partner and more!
I want to share all these moments with you all!
Since my departure from Mazatlan, I’ve gone through a whirlwind of changes in my life. From getting married in Vegas (more on that in a later post!), to packing up all my belongings in Mazatlan, to moving into a new place in Cozumel, to starting Salsa and Salsa in a brand new location…not bad for 4 weeks !
Cozumel is a magical place. I arrived late in the afternoon, after leaving Mazatlan at 5am (yep, that’s a 3am alarm clock!) with a stop-over in Mexico City and then Cancun. We caught a 10 minute taxi ride from the airport to our new home, a one bedroom apartment smack-bang in the centre of town, right on the ocean!
Dinner and a bottle of wine…ahhhhh…..Cozumel.
The following day was straight to it, meeting with Cruise people, hotel people and so much more! Our new dancing chef Judy was right there with me, and you’ll all get to meet her soon enough…she’ll also be writing here from time to time 😉
Training for the new Salsa Team was to begin the very next day, so I got right into OLE Mode, with Manuals, Questionaires and more. Training was a hoot! I want to share some pics with you from our training sessions. Our new Salsa Team are a fun, energetic and young team, that have proven to be quick learners and have all the enthusiasm we have looked for in our Dancing Chef culture.
I knew these guys were the “ones” when I rang that little bell for the first time and a roar of “OLE!” came from their smiling faces.
With training complete, we dared to invite hotel guests and friends to a “training show”, so our new team could practise and make perfect. A total success! I’m pleased to share with you the fact that we had nothing but good things said about the training show. Our guests left happy, yelling OLE and smiling and dancing down the stairs.
In the same week, Cozumel was filled with exciting events. Revolution Day (Nov 20th, 2010) surprised us with a glorious parade of young and old alike. We have a cute balcony overlooking the main street in Cozumel, so we happily sat there and watched the kids in their costumes. Here are a few pics of that day. So much color, so much music, and so much happiness – it’s all just so contagious, I love it!!
Iron Man Cozumel 2010 was also upon us here that week, so again, we spent time on the balcony cheering on men and woman who had already gone for the swim and bike portion of the race. The running was the last leg and their run was on the main street of town. I spent 1 hour on the computer and 1 hour on the balcony yelling words of encouragement “Keep on going!”, “Don’t give up!” and to the ladies “YOU GO GIRL!” (I got a few giggles from a few for that one!).
Thursday was our first official show, and we have seen a total of nearly 60 people in 3 days…not bad for a new tour 😉 We know that in a matter of a few weeks, word will spread and the popularity we are so blessed to have in Mazatlan, will quickly follow us here. We’re humbled by all the comments and words of encouragement we receive from guests and friends alike, thank you all.
This has been a challenge…a life changing, exciting and glorious challenge. But we’ve done it!
We’ll have Lela here too – for the first 3 months in Cozumel, Lela will be collecting donations to help build a Blood Bank here on the Island. There is no Blood Bank and locals are required to catch the ferry to Playa del Carmen, then bus it to Cancun…a trip and expense that most locals are unable to afford. With a Blood Bank here on the island, we can hopefully save some lives and make a difference to those who need a helping hand.
Keep an eye on those Lela pictures and reports…it’s going to be exciting to see what she will accomplish here!
Well, I think you are up to date now with Cozumel. We are waiting on Tripadvisor to list us in Cozumel to start our new challenge…we want to get to #1 in Cozumel too! Hehehe. 169 things to do in Cozumel…we may start at the bottom, but by-golly, we’ll get to the top, just you wait and see 😉
Head Chef Leonique made a cameo appearance this week at the Cozumel show…needless to say, we got a good injection of new energy there! Stay tuned for more fun Cozumel news!
Hope you all visit us in Cozumel soon!
With the change in the weather, we gear up for what we call Snowbird Season. All our northern amigos and amigas fly back to sunny Mazatlan, knowing the heat is now tolerable and the nights a little cooler.
Waiting for them is everything they love about Mazatlan…the people, the Pulmonias, the beaches, the sunsets, Pacifico Beer, the Flans, and of course, the Shrimp!
It’s amazing how the weather changes here. It goes from boiling hot, to unbearable humidity to perfect, all in one week! We’re glad to see the cooler weather upon us now. We look forward to lots of sun, a refreshing breeze, a few clouds to break up the rays, and nights which may require a thin cardigan….ah Mazatlan…why are all of you sitting there reading this??!!…jump on Tripadvisor or Expedia and book your tickets NOW! hahaha.
Our Local Show is up and running, so for those Snowbirds that have never had the chance to see the show, but have heard of it, now is the time to come visit. As of October 2010, Salsa and Salsa is open to the public every Monday (a non-cruise day), where we have all the fun, all the laugh and all the margaritas you can bare! Reservations are a must, so be sure to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. We look forward to seeing all the Snowbirds back in Mazatlan, you have all been missed!
OLE – Dancing Chef Pamela
Well tomorrow is officially Mexican Independence Day (Sept 16th). We have a lot of fun with this holiday in Mazatlan. From festivities to parades, our little city has it all. The parties and music begin tonight, with Mexico’s famous “Cry of Independence”, held every year in most mayor cities in Mexico where there is a Plaza or Municipality.
Extracted from Wikipedia,
“This event has since assumed an almost mythic status. Since the late 20th century, Hidalgo y Costilla’s “cry of independence” has become emblematic of Mexican independence. Each year on the night of September 15, the President of Mexico rings the bell of the National Palace in Mexico City. He repeats a cry of patriotism (a Grito Mexicano) based upon the “Grito de Dolores” from the balcony of the palace to the assembled crowd in the Plaza de la Constitución, or Zócalo, one of the largest public plazas in the world. This event draws up to half a million spectators. On the dawn of September 16, or Independence Day, the national military parade starts in the Zócalo, passes the Hidalgo Memorial and ends on the Paseo de la Reforma, Mexico City’s main boulevard.
A similar celebration occurs in cities and towns all over Mexico. The mayor (or governor, in the case of state capitals), rings a bell and gives the traditional words. In the 19th century, it became common practice for Mexican presidents in their final year in office to re-enact the Grito in Dolores Hidalgo, rather than in the National Palace. President Calderón is expected to officiate the Grito in Dolores Hidalgo as part of the bicentennial celebrations in 2010.
The following day, September 16 is Independence Day in Mexico and is considered a patriotic holiday, or fiesta patria (literally, holiday of the Fatherland).”
Today and tomorrow, we have Mexican Flags and fun Mexican colors decorating our tables at Salsa and Salsa. We will have fun pics to share later in the week. We’re really getting into the spirit of it all…and hope you will too! OLE! Enjoy the You Tube video which gave me chills when I saw it, HOW FUN!! Hope you enjoy it 🙂
VIVA MEXICO! VIVA!!
Being patriotic to Mexico means a lot to all the girls from Salsa and Salsa! Leonique and Maaike are from Holland, Pamela from Chile and Australia and Stephanie is born and raised in Mazatlan, so celebrating this holiday is a time of happiness!! We’re sharing the fun of this patriotic holiday with you and send you all happy vibes 🙂
Lela does it again. She found some relatives in West Virginia that needed some help! The month of August was dedicated to raising donations for an animal sanctuary named PIGS, A Sanctuary.
We had a lot of fun taking pictures and receiving donations from all our guests. You can find all the pictures for the month of August by <clicking here>.
Founded in 1992, PIGS is a place of refuge for abused, abandoned, neglected and unwanted animals. They specialize in the care of potbellied pigs and farm pigs, but shelter other farm and domestic animals as well. The Sanctuary currently provides a safe haven for approx. 400 animals, including pigs, horses, cats, dogs, goats and many other animals. Considering August was a slow month (our low season) we were pleasantly surprised when we opened little Lela up and found $213USD!! It’s amazing to think we got that from 8 shows!! Thank you to everyone. The folks at PIGS are very grateful for your loving generosity.
September’s Lela cause will be supporting the group SURVIVAL. For more information on the group please visit :
We did it! On Thursday we opened up our donating pig, Lela. Our Monthly ritual of opening little Lela has become an exciting part of our routine. Leonique and I play a guessing game, as to how much Lela has collected for the month. As you know, Lela was collecting for your Danny Did Foundation. Your uncle and Executive Director of the Foundation, Tom Stanton, has been a great help, thanks to him, we were able to make this happen. He sent us an article regarding SUDEP and Epilepsy, which I’m sure you would find interesting.
The NY Times published an article regarding the death of a young teenage boy (he was 19…) due to SUDEP. Just like yourself, he was taken at a young age. The article raises several alarming issues regarding the stigma of SUDEP, how it is considered controversial for a doctor to mention it to his patient unless the patient is a high-risk candidate, as it may ‘burden‘ the patient. Maybe if it was mandatory for doctor’s to mention it and make families aware of the issue, we might find less occurrences. The article is a good read and very informative and we have posted it below. Also, the resources page on the Danny Did website is a great source of information for those who need answers to their questions regarding Epilepsy.
We are doing what we can in raising awareness through social media and through our donations page and we hope that past guests and future guests will continue spreading the word. We hope the little we donate this month will help someone, somewhere and give them a little more hope than they had yesterday 🙂 Your smile gave us courage to speak up and tell people that something needs to be done.
Here is the link to the article on SUDEP : http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/27/health/27epil.html
We are so so happy to say we collected $305USD for the Danny Did Foundation. These donations were made by cruise passengers from the Mariner of the Seas and Carnival Splendor. We had a total of 8 ships this month, so considering the majority of the donations are $1’s or the occasional $5, that’s an amazing accomplishment.
We had so many passengers come up to us and shake our hands, telling us they had a brother, or sister, or friend with Epilepsy and that raising awareness was so so important. So thank you Danny…thank you for giving us the opportunity to touch so many people’s lives, thank you for being there and thank you for having found your way into our hearts.
Danny, we hope that wherever you are, you are smiling, laughing, playing and seeing what an effect your life has made on so many lives. You can see the happiness here, a collection of pictures of everyone who donated to Lela the donating Pig for the month of July.
TWO DANCING CHEFS
Pamela and Leonique
Last Thursday, we had the loveliest group of people from Carnival, but one fellow made Leonique and I laugh so much. He had obviously had a few Margaritas, and every time we walked by his table, he was making his whole table laugh, as well as yelling across to other tables and making them laugh. We always have said that laughter is important, but from laughter comes joy and from joy comes creation…
So from the table of laughter, we bring you their Salsa Creation. At first, when we were called over to try it, we were hesitant. I personally thought the worst (hahaha) and I tried to get out of trying it by saying “Oh, I had a huge breakfast…” but that was to no avail. I was given a Totopo (corn chip) and my hand was motioned to dip and eat. So I dipped…and I ate! MMMMMMMMMMM! Truly. It was delicious, so I looked at Leonique and said “You gotta try this”, which she did, and she had the same reaction “Mmmmmmmmm”.
So I won’t keep you waiting any longer. We wanted to share it with you. It was a combination of several of the salsas we made, but with a little tweak here and a little tweak there. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did. When prompted to write it down and “name” the salsa, we got a cheeky giggle and a napkin which read :
” What happens in Vegas ends up in Seattle Salsa” (Don’t ask, we have no idea!!)
1 tbls pineapple
1 tbls cantelope ( melon)
1 tbls coconut
1/2 tbls red pepper
1/2 chopped avocado
pinch of cilantro
splash of lime juice
Unfortunately, at the time, we didn’t think to take a picture, but we promise to make and post this delicious creation within the next few days. Enjoy salsa chefs!
TWO DANCING CHEFS
Who said word of mouth no longer works??!! Not us! Thanks to all your rave reviews on TripAdvisor, your photos on Facebook, your comments to your shore excursion representatives and last month’s article on msn.com naming us one of the best shore excursions in the world, we have grown in popularity and have found a newer and bigger location to accommodate the growing numbers!
Royal Villas Resort is now the new home of Salsa and Salsa, with stunning views, an undercover seating area, a large pool with a water slide, direct access to the beach, a games room, a fully stocked bar with some of the best Pina Colada’s in town and only minutes from the main shopping district.
We had our first show there with a record number of guests and the whole thing was just spectacular!
Nearly 150 guests from Carnival Splendor joined us this Thursday, all with the energy and anticipation we needed for our first show in our new home. What a blast we had! Free-pouring Margaritas, lots of mushing, plenty of laughter and lots of smiles…couldn’t have asked for a better group of people! Families, teenagers, couples, birthday girls and boys, and even a group of 21 “singles” joined us today. We even had a couple who had been married for 34 years (awww).
Here is a panoramic of the seating area just before we got started… a beautiful new setting for our salsa class, with a
giant stone wall, agave and cactus plants, enormous ceilings with great big pillars and of course, the hustle and bustle of
our new staff, which truly made today possible.
A big thanks to all those involved in making today a great success and we look forward to making Salsa and Salsa’s new home a welcoming venue to all our guests (past, present and future!). Be sure to see more pictures on our website and Facebook page.
Side Note : We’re totally stoked that we have reached 1,000 views on
our blog!! Keep coming back and be sure to comment on the posts
you like 🙂
We are glad to announce we just donated a whopping $515 to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Thanks to the hundreds of people to sent in donations via our Lela page online. You can click and visit the page anytime and see how much little Lela has collected so far and keep up to date on the new causes 🙂
July will be dedicated to collecting donations for the Danny Did Foundation, a non-profit organization that dedicates itself to the study, awareness and research of Epilepsy, in particular, Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP). DDF aggressively engages physicians and researchers in the fields of neurology and epileptology, meets with medical technology companies, and consults with epilepsy organizations.
We think it’s a great and amazing cause and we would like to show our support by making July our Epilepsy awareness month with Lela. All monies collected through Lela will go directly to the Danny Did Foundation (DDF) and hopefully the movement that exists on raising awareness of the illness. We hope you show your support too by visiting the Lela Page and making a small donation.
If you have a charity you are involved with closely, or have a suggestion to a cause that needs help, please contact us at email@example.com and let us know more 🙂
We are pleased to announce that Lela’s donation made it to Nashville! For the month of May, we collected donations for victims of the Nashville Floods. We chose ‘Hands on Nashville’ as the charity that received the donation.
Our contact in Nashville was the lovely and very helpful Shannon Finnegan Scott, who as we had mentioned on the tour, works at Cannon Productions (Production Coordinator). When we chose Nashville, we didn’t know where to start…we thought of Kenny Chesney (lol) and eventually found our way to Shannon. We told her about Lela, and she was more than happy to help and be our person in Nashville 🙂
‘Hands on Nashville’ is an organization that Shannon supports and so we looked at it and they do wonderful things, so Shannon was sent the check and she arranged a meet with Brian Williams, the Executive Director at Hands On Nashville. Brian was delighted to hear about Lela and the kindness you all showed with your donations.
We thank everyone for their generosity! We raised $457USD for Nashville, so give yourselves all a big round of applause!! We have reconstructed our Lela Page, so be sure to have a quick look! Also, all Lela photos from June onwards will be posted on the Salsa and Salsa Business Listing Page, so if you haven’t added it to your ‘LIKES’ on Facebook, be sure to click on it so view the pictures and tag yourselves.
June has been a busssssssssy month for us, with Father’s Day, my trip to the WSOP in Las Vegas and the growing crowds at the Salsa Tour, we are getting more photos than ever (which we absolutely LOVE!), we have lots to share with you. Look forward to a few more blog posts this week with some guests photos and some exciting news we have that we are waiting to announce 😉