Published On: Tue, Jan 6th, 2015

The Romance of a City

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There is an untold love story from the city of Merida, located in the Yucatan, Mexico. One, few have experienced, and many yearn for their entire lives. Felt not heard, the passion and intrigue are breathing new life into the pages untold…
Greeted cheek to cheek, she was welcomed with pride and honor. Exploring the city rooted with architectural wonder, Grace stumbled upon a feeling of something more. The sights, sounds, and tastes encapsulated her. The first day in Merida, was much like a first date. Not knowing what to expect, and if a second date would be worthy of her time, she lay her head on the pillow, replaying the moments of the day. 

Paseo de Montejo was love at first sight, while Centro stimulated her thirst to discover more. The buildings, magnificent. The pastries and coffee reminding her of Europe and the hustle and bustle reminding her of the excitement of life.Still unsure of what she felt, Grace ventured out on a new day. “Good morning Ms. Stone, Buenos Diaz.” The smiles in the hotel lobby contagious. Enjoying the local Sunday tradition of Tacos de Lechon, she embraced the flavors complimented with a Coca-Cola. Describing how she felt was almost impossible – safe, happy, comforted, and calm.

Sorbetería Colón (Photo: Mandy Allfrey)

Sorbetería Colón (Photo: Mandy Allfrey)

The stresses of home had gone away. Relaxed, she toured the city, and quietly sipped an early afternoon tea. It was here, where he appeared with a dimpled smile and said, “Buenos Tardes.” Friendly conversation lasted for hours, followed by an invite for dinner and salsa dancing with his friends. She gladly accepted and met them at Panchos.

The flicker of the candle light against the starlit sky coupled with laughter made her feel warm. Immediately accepted by the group she joined, she felt more at home here, than Chicago. Her new friends spoke of Merida with pride and inspiring dialogue and commitment to preserving its history.

Stories, drinks, and cheek to cheek greetings continued through the night. The salsa club providing new insight to the culture where men respectfully danced with their partners, maintaining a soft elegance in the movements. There seemed to be a touch of class in everything she discovered.Grace’s smile beamed. A newfound desire to feel the depth of these emotions in her everyday life. She craved positive conversation and respect. With her weekend trip coming to an end, he grabbed her hand and led her down to the marble stairs with a foolish grin and bright eyes, “have a safe flight Ms. Stone.”

Favoring the last moments of Merida’s tropical air with the breeze flowing through the car window, she closed her eyes and said a prayer in her heart, as tears flowed down her cheeks.

She had fallen in love. The embrace of a city had forever changed who she was. With a renewed spirit, she swallowed the lump in her throat as she boarded the airplane and stared out the window, until we meet again Merida.The generosity, touch, and conversation had given Grace something lacking in her own life. The smiling people in Merida were real. There was no animosity, only love here. This was not a love story between two people, this was a romance of a city.

A city validating human connection and practicing the art of love, allowing all to always live in their best moment. Grace was lucky she was one of few who had found this hidden charm.

The dance of romance is in the heart of Merida. The pages filled daily with happiness and giving, this love story will be written over and over again.

Calle 59 (Photo: Allmandy)

Calle 59 (Photo: Allmandy)

by Mandy Allfrey
mandy_berger
Mandy Allfrey is an avid writer and world traveler. Mandy has been has been discovering charming destinations for more than a decade and recently made a visit to Merida/Sisal in Yucatan, Mexico where she simply fell in love with the culture. Her creativity and passion for travel and writing, has allowed her the opportunity to work with corporations and professionals across the nation and globally, including the 2002 Salt Lake Olympic Winter Games where she ran the Olympic torch.

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