Saturday, June 18
This day we had no planned activities until late afternoon. The host family was very busy with preparations, decorating the church for mass, the salon for the party and decorating themselves via hair dressers, nail techs, and "gowning up."
The rest of us had the day to ourselves, so TL, the kids and I spent the day going to the market for last minute gifts to take home to friends. Well, all except poor Philip. He was sick. Yep, he had Monetzuma's Revenge! We are not sure why. I wonder if he forgot and drank tap water. Perhaps it was simply that his young system isn't as ready for the foods it isn't used to. But for whatever reason, he was a sickie-poo. TL stayed with him, and I took Lexi to do the shopping, and we got 'er done!
I have to make a disclaimer here. On this day, I didn't take as many pictures as I usually would, because I was really concentrating on just having fun. I took a lot of video footage for the reason that I wanted to make a CD for my ex-husband and his wife, since they weren't able to be there (his health). The quality of the videos is actually poor because of the lighting, but I'll share a couple of touching ones. Many of the pictures I'm going post are borrowed from friends and family who have posted to Facebook. I will be eager to see the professional photography!
Philip was feeling better in the late afternoon and said he wanted to go to the party, so we gave it a try. We all got gussied up, hailed a taxi and set off for the cathedral. We arrived early, and simply found places in the pews to wait in the cool interior of the church. There was a mass going on the the chapel which was right off the sanctuary, so we just waited, visiting quietly and watched the tourists who were visiting.
While we waited there was some excitement. At the door of the church was a lady who we assume was there to more or less greet people and give directions. After we were seated, there was a commotion at the back and we turned to see a man throwing water from a bottle on the woman! Since we didn't understand enough Spanish, we don't know what they were shouting, but someone said something was said about the woman doing his job. We don't know if they might have been street people (neither looked so) who wandered in, or if there were different greeters whose schedules conflicted or what! I'm just glad it didn't happen while the procession was taking place!
At the prescribed time, the priests, Kylee, her parents (Scott and Connie) and her quinceanera godparents (Connie's sister Teresita and her husband Byron) made their way down the aisle. I was a little surprised at the processional music, Pomp and Circumstance, as it has become the traditional music for graduations here in the US, but a moment's thought gave light to the appropriateness for this occasion, too.
The mass was fairly short, around 30-45 minutes, I think. Then we did some family pictures.
Here is a mixture of photos from the mass and the party. I love that Philip (10 year old) danced with his mother, both his sisters, Kylee and me!!
At the dinner, the head table consisted of Kylee, her parents, godparents and grandparents. since I have no partner, the party planner whisked away the chair and table service next to me. Then Connie came to me and asked if I thought it would be a good idea to ask Phlip to sit with me, in lieu of Papa (my ex-husband and father of my kids) since he could not be there. I though it was a great idea. She went to their table and asked him, and he jumped up and immediately joined me! What a pleasure! It turned out that he still wasn't feeling great, and he barely nibbled at the food, which was wonderful, BTW! But he was a little trooper and stuck the evening out.
After dinner he turned to me and said "I'll be right back." I assumed he was perhaps going to the bathroom, but he walked to his mom, held his hand out and asked her to dance! How cute!! Here's a little video of his first-ever dance!
Philip and TL
Kylee's performance was enchanting. She and her dance partner did three routines. Here is a bit of one of them. Sorry about the dude who pops in front off my camera to move a centerpiece! Kylee did a beautiful job. A couple times she hesitated a moment, and her partner led her into the next move, and she picked up immediately and moved right on. It was beautiful!
I'll tell you, these quinceaneras are a big deal!!
Here are some more videos, very short ones, of Connie and Scott gettin' down with the salsa; Philip and Lexi on the dance floor while a Chinese dragon circles the floor; and another that reflected the general fun going on.
Not only are quinceaneras big deals, but Mexicans know how to par-tay!!!! If you have a chance to attend a TRUE Mexican wedding or big party, don't miss it! Everyone dances!! E.V.E.R.Y.O.N.E!! Yes, I was out there wiggling around, too! I have a video of Kylee dancing with her abuelo (grandfather) that is very sweet, but it's too long to post here. The point is everyone dances, with or without partners. You'll see that there is no stigma to it .... women dance together, and so do the men. I commented to someone that during one of the traditional dances, everyone formed a circle, arms around each other, and I loved that it didn't matter about the "order" of people. In the US, I don't think you'd see as many men confident enough to put their arms around each other and dance. Perhaps is some cultures (the Hora comes to mind and some Greek traditional dances), but not so much in the mainstream WASP population. What great fun it is to just go and dance and have a good time without "boy-girl" limitations!! I have a video of a traditional dance that has men and women separate, doing individual things, but the one I'm talking about (and didn't capture, unfortunately) was more like evryone falling into a line without regard and celebrating! Wonderful fun!!
I have tons more video (line dancing to "Achy-Breaky Heart" sung in Spanish, the Mexican equivalent of our "Chicken Dance," etc.), but I know you've seen enough. All I can say is that it was HUGE fun!!!
Scott came around and told us that the centerpieces were for us to take home. I was psyched, because they were big black pots that are famous from Oaxaca! I had no idea how I was getting it home but I was taking one with me, for sure!! If you look in the background of this photo you can sorta see the big pot on the tables with tall flowers in each. And I'll show you a close up in a later post.
Everyone danced until the wee hours. I went to the room around 2:30, and I was exhausted, but happy! What an amazing night it was!
PS - in a couple days, I will upload several of the videos to Photobucket and post the links so you can see some of the traditional dances and the other fun we were having.