Posted by: heatherinparadise | May 19, 2008

Road trip: Cancun

My Mexican insurance company’s nearest office is in Cancun (grrr…), so I’d been struggling to find time to turn in all of the medical receipts for my leg/cast so I could get reimbursed. Finally, I was able to borrow a car to make the trip. I enticed my BFF Sara to come as navigator with lurid tales of taking her to visit the Blue Store, an unnamed furniture/tzotchke/crap store of mythic proportions. There are those who believe the Blue Store exists in a parallel dimension, able to be found through a magic portal that can be entered only by those who are purest of heart and consumer intentions.

We got the awful insurance stuff out of the way fairly quickly, although I had to drag Sara away from the People magazines in English they miraculously had in the reception area. A single tear rolled down her face as she lovingly relinquished the issue with J.Lo’s twins on the cover.

By this time we were starving, and I knew just the place. I haven’t been to Cancun very often and the streets are a confusing maze of diagonals, glorietas (traffic circles), and cah-rayzee drivers, so I tend to go only to areas I’ve visited before. Well, I’d seen a mall once before and knew there was a restaurant there we’d have to visit, a place I’d NEVER eaten at before, either here or in the US.

Wait for it:

Yes, that’s right: we got our groove on at Hooters!! It might sound strange that we were so excited to eat there, but chains can be a real treat living in the land of inconsistent restaurants, something familiar and comfortably, horribly US American. Plus, they have buffalo sauce. I immediately began planning how I could get them to put buffalo sauce on everything I ordered, even my dessert.

Sara and I both had the same thing, grilled chicken breast sandwiches with spicy buffalo sauce and blue cheese dressing on the side, served with chipotle mashed potatoes. With REAL PICKLE slices, people!! I enjoyed mine with a nice tall glass of buffalo sauce, which I drank through a straw. Sara just had a beer, how boring.

No pictures of the food, sorry. My camera was too afraid to come between me and my sandwich.

We did get some pics of the girls for you, however. Tiny, cute little flat-butted ladies. Too bad about the orange pantyhose.

It was a fun experience, and we enjoyed ourselves, but it’s probably not something we’ll need to do again, and I don’t think either of us will ever visit a US location.

After lunch, we headed a bit north to the famed Blue Store. We found the portal without too much trouble and were grateful that we were both admitted without incident. When we walked through the door and saw the two levels crammed full of crap we don’t need and can’t afford, the sky broke open, rays of sunlight caressed our faces, and a choir of heavenly angels sang the sweetest music we’d ever heard. We were so dazzled, we failed to take any photographs.

Every inch of space in this store is filled with SOMETHING. Aisles are navigated treacherously as you step over cardboard boxes of new stock imported from China. Picture frames, dishware, utensils, candles, artwork, stools, couches, chairs, tables, chandeliers, a whirlpool tub, hideous jewelry, hundreds of spools of ribbon, Buddhas as far as the eye can see…we wept. We keened and beat our breasts. We were so overwhelmed we got the hell out of there as fast as we could.

Sara bought a few things, but it was only on the way home that I realized with shock that I had failed to buy anything. Oh no! This refusal to appease the consumer gods will most likely result in my inability to ever again enter the Blue Store. Shite.

A quick stop at the overpriced Pier One store inside the Sears at Las Americas Mall (where we groaned and touched the multitude of things we want, but can’t afford) and we were all shopped out. It takes stamina and a rigid training program to shop the way we used to, and we’re both horribly out of shape.

I have to go back to pick up my reimbursement check soon. Sara, start flexing those spending muscles again; once more unto the breach, dear friend.


  1. Hola heatherinparadise, I really liked the pics of the Hooters and getting to see paradise that I miss so much. I’m just wondering, the Hooters location was at Plaza Las Americas in Centro (Downtown)?

    PEOPLE’S CHOICE GUIDE CANCUN Travel Guide & Survey Book and

  2. Ok, so you were two blocks away and you didn’t call?? Waaaaaaaah.

    I love Triunfo too (the Blue Store), too bad I can’t afford anything in there, lol. It was one of the places that was DESTROYED by Wilma, that whole top floor was gone, gone, gone and I just kept thinking “I wonder if that beautiful Italian leather living room set survived somewhere…..”.

    And oh Hooters, fabulous Hooters. Yes, the buffalo sauce is good, but even better is that those lovely orange clad legs will whisk Max away to play and allow us to eat our chicken sandwiches in peace for ten minutes. God Bless Hoooters.

  3. I like to call it “Big Blue”. The other day I was looking at pics of Hurricane Wilma (don’t ask) on Flickr and there was a pic of Big Blue, there but not.

    I went shopping there after Wilma cuz they had a sale (major retail therapy needed) and bought a couple of items….

  4. Mmmmmmmmm buffalo sauce! With Blue Cheese! No more jealous could I be!!! Man, I would have totally met up with you for a buff sauce chuggin’ contest! *drools at the idea*

    I also worship at the blue store altar- I mostly almost cry over the bathtubs- I used to take a bath after a hard night of bartending, with candles and wine, and even a movie on my little crappy tv- way back in my former life with a bathtub… *sniff*

  5. Eric: It was at another mall, I think it’s called Paseo Cancun. I don’t know the name of anything in Cancun.

    CancunCanuck: If I’d have known you were so close, I would definitely have called! I’m LOST in Cancun. And I refuse to accept that the Blue Store has a real name. There’s no sign, so there’s no name. Thanks, though! I did hear that it was destroyed in Wilma…you guys got hit so hard. We were so lucky in Playa.

    Elizabeth: Next time there is a sale at Big Blue, give me a call and I’ll meet you.

    Lisa: Yeah, that whirlpool tub with two lounge seats facing each other really caught my eye. Now if I only had a spare 12,000 pesos lying around.

  6. Love the rollor skates on the hooters girls. I’m going to have to look for “the blue store” next time I’m in Cancun. (Thursday)

  7. Eric, Heather is correct, it’s Paseo Cancun, no Hooters at Plaza Las Americas. At least not yet. :)

    Heather, The Blue Store it is and forevuh shall be! I am super close to both Paseo Cancun and the Blue Store, 10 minutes walking (15 in the heat if I am dragging my ass and Max).

  8. You best be giving me a shout out next time you intend to head to the Blue Store. I have no idea of how to find it. But I know where Paseo Cancun and Plaza las Americas is.

  9. We have one in Merida! (not the Hooters, but a Galaria Triumfo). They sometimes have a 30% off the entire store sale, but never when I need (okay, want) something from there.I buy earrings there, when they are marked down. Don’t ever buy anything with internal parts there, like a coffee grinder or clock. It’s guaranteed not to work.Across the street is a genuine Italian import Cooking and Restaurant Supply store. They have stuff that I salivate after.

  10. Up here in the land of I-can-pretty-much-get-whatever-I-want-whenever-I-want-provided-I-have-the-right-motivation, I STILL kind of miss Big Blue. I lived a block away, and purchased many a birthday present there. I also have lots of pictures of the devestation that Wilma wrought on BB, and will always remember those chairs, sort of dangling from what was left of the rafters…

  11. I was coming on here to tell you we have a Blue Store in Merida too but Theresa beat me to it. & yes the Italian kitchen store across the street is heavenly. But, back to the Blue Store, it reminded me of the first Cost Plus in San Francisco back when it was funky or any of dozens of unnamed stores in Chinatown. Funny how all that stuff I thought of as cheap sh-t back in the US costs so much here and I like it a lot better.

  12. I wanna go to Blue Store! Heather, will you take me? Or let me take you?

    I will pass on the Hooters visit though.

  13. Wayne: Count on it!

    Teresa: Yes, I’ve heard the Merida Blue Store is 3X bigger and better than the one in Cancun. I dunno if I can take it…I was so overwhelmed. I felt all panicky like I get at Ikea. Sara got a headache.

    Joyce: See, and now I’d kill just to go to Target, so you’ve got that going for you.

    Jonna: Yeah, I know, right? What was once crap when we were spoiled is now like treasure.

    Susie: Ok…anytime. When do you want to go? We have to let Wayne know so he can meet us. No need to eat at Hooters…does anyone know if there’s a Chili’s restaurant?

  14. I’ve had pretty much this day exactly. I never thought the sentence “I love the blank at TGIF’s” would ever come out of my mouth. strange things happen when you live in Mexico.

  15. just curious – where is big blue? i wanna check it out . . . and see all the things i can’t afford!

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