Episode 390 – Dos Días Romanticos en Mérida

Last week in level 1 “survival Spanish” class we worked on a Valentines Day vocabulary theme, and Alfonso, our teacher, suggested that the coming week would be “una semana romantica”, so I thought I’d track our celebrations this week.

February 12th is the anniversary of the first time Ted asked me to marry him, back in 1976 after we’d only been dating for 6 weeks. Well, to be honest, he asked me to go on a honeymoon with him – I presumed the getting married part.

1976. Yes, we were once THAT young.

Ever since then, February 12th has been the day we celebrate our relationship, and Valentines Day two days later kind of gets ignored.

I do 99% of the planning of everything we do, but February 12th has always been Ted’s initiative. This year was no different. A couple of days prior to the 12th, a new event appeared in our shared online calendar: “dinner with my sweetie”. Location: someplace nice”. Time: 7 p.m.

On the evening of the 12th, we got as dressed up as is possible for our very casual Mérida clothing and Ted took me out for a walk, eventually ending up at Rosas & Xocolate on the Paseo Montejo. R&X is a beautiful rose pink building with chocolate brown trim that houses a boutique hotel, and a restaurant that has been featured in both Epicure and Food & Wine magazines. It really was the perfect choice for a celebration dinner. (Good job, babe!).

We were seated on the lovely treed patio at a table strewn with fresh red rose petals. The decor is all rose and chocolate themed, with red-trimmed chocolate brown linen tablecloths, and matching linen napkins embroidered with red roses.

Out of chronological order, but the bottom right photo is Ted’s Mayan dessert coffee made with Xtabentún liqueur (a Yucatecan specialty) and whipped cream.

Left top to bottom(my dinner): ceviche of grouper, octopus and shrimp in fresh lime juice, garnished with the radish,cucumber, and avocado; seared chili-crusted tuna served with asparagus, lima beans and cauliflower in a soy and honey glaze; dark chocolate soufflé with almond crumble, crystallized rose petals, and rose ice cream.
Right top to bottom (Ted’s dinner): lamb cochinita tacos with pickled red onion; duck breast with leeks, potatoes, and mushrooms in a hibiscus flower and chocolate reduction; chocolate tart garnished with fresh berries, accompanied by coconut spongecake and cardamom ice cream.
Not shown: the bottle of Cinzano prosecco.

Our “romantic week” continued with a trip to the large city market to pick up ingredients (and dessert) for dinner with our friends on the 13th. In Mexico, Valentines is also a time to celebrate “amistad” (friendship).

Both pets and pet food are available. Yes, these ARE pets – cockatiels and rabbits – live chickens to eat are in a completely different area of the huge market.
There is a distinct area for sweets – lots of meringues and marshmallows in incredibly bright colours. They looked much better than they tasted.

On Valentines Day itself, after an early dinner at home, we headed to the Olimpo Cultural Centre for the weekly Tuesday night (free!) trova concert, this week featuring an really terrific trio called Los Cardinales, accompanied by a drummer who was the son of the bass player. Traditional Yucatecan trova is always a guitar trio, but occasionally – as tonight – they’ll add some percussion.

The repertoire for Valentines Day was songs about love, including a fabulous version of ¿Quién será? , written in 1960 by Mexican composers Pablo Beltán Ruiz and Luis Demetrio – a song we know with its more recent English lyrics as “Sway”. Although Ted didn’t record that particular song, he did record this one:

After the concert, we treated ourselves to real gelato (as opposed to Mexican-style helado, which we usually enjoy) at Pola. I had tongue-tingling chocolate with chili, and Ted (specifically because it was Valentine’s Day) had the ¿Quieres ser mi novia? flavour.

All the amazing flavours!

Sadly, mid week wasn’t at all “romantica”, as I got hit with some kind of intestinal bug, complete with all the non-lovely symptoms you’d imagine, as well as ferocious bouts of chills – which are somehow especially annoying in 32°C/90°F weather. I really, really hope the culprit wasn’t my gelato, but it was the only different item in the day before’s diet.

Oh well, we had our couple of days of romance!


  1. Aaaaahhhhhh! He is so special! You are so special! Together you are 🥲🥲🥲🥲🥰🥰🥰🥰 beyond words. Love you so much! Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Even more than the food! Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx



  2. Re: “…well, we had our couple of days of romance…”
    And Ted, once again, aced the “sorta-anniversary”! Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Enjoyed the video. Hope you are feeling better. 



    Sent from my iPhone


    div dir=”ltr”>


    blockquote type=”cite”>


  4. Hey Rose! Thanks for the latest post. I was struck by your crediting gelato as the cause of your intestinal troubles. My wife and I were just in Panama City and also got the same from eating gelato.

    Perhaps the raw eggs? Or the less than perfect refrigeration?

    We are now on our Viking Panama Canal cruise having an unexpected sea day and heading for Belize.

    I think of you often while on this cruise after reading so many of your Viking cruise posts.

    Hope you are AOK soon!

    Jeff Barnes

    Liked by 1 person

      • Actually we were scheduled to dock in Roatan Honduras, but we were unable to tender into port due to rough seas…the captain deemed it unsafe.

        I was thinking about you again this morning- specifically how you kept yourselves from overeating and over drinking on such a long cruise. We are done with our eleven day cruise tomorrow and I feel as though I have been eating excess calories every day and am certain I would gain a lot of weight on a much longer round the world cruise. It seems like one would need boundaries – what did you and Ted do?

        Perhaps you have described this in a particular post…if so; a link to that would be appreciated!



        • I don’t think we ever consciously shared that. What we discovered, though, was that the first 7-10 days were the worst. Somehow even knowing we’d see menu items again, there was this ridiculous fear of missing out and we ate too much. After that, we simply realized it was silly and stopped. One strategy was to eat all our dinners where food was plated for us, rather than in the World Café (we reserved that and the pool grill for lunches). The plated portions were never huge, we felt pampered, and we never felt the need to ask for seconds. My cruise weight gain was more due to alcohol, which again after about day 10 I slowed WAY down on. Total weight gain after 141 days: 5 lbs each.
          No, we didn’t use the gym. We DID walk laps of deck 2 and did as much walking as possible on excursions.
          Hope that allays your fears and you’ll try a world cruise someday!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s