About me

I grew up in a tiny town in Illinois, left home at 18 after graduating from Zion Benton Township High School (Go ZeeBees!), joined the Army and moved to Missouri and South Korea, got out of the Army and moved to Chicago, went to college and became a grademonger, had two long term relationships, one bad and one good, broke my heart into 81,206 pieces and moved to Ireland, hated it and moved back to Chicago 4 months later. In my life so far I have been, among other things, a responsible oldest child, big sister, cheerleader, pissed-off nanny, housecleaner, lifeguard, depressed whiner, Girl Scout, third baseman, swim instructor, frustrated writer, heavy drinker, sometime liar, remorseful cheat, burger-flipper, college student, bartender, crappy friend, disgruntled soldier, property manager, and cocktail waitress. Oh, and I cry at the drop of a hat these days, even at commercials.

Now I live in a tourist beach town in Mexico and wish I could break myself of my 200 grams of gummy bears per day habit.  Email me at: heatherinparadise@hotmail.com



  1. Heather – I know where Zion is, my mom was raised there. My family lived in Winthrop Harbor for something like 10 generations. My grandfather was run out of Zion for burning down a religious billboard! They kicked him out of the church and out of town.

    You write really well and I enjoy your blog.

  2. Hey, I just discovered your blog.. I LOVE IT. I am an ex-pat from Los Angeles who has been living in Playa Del Carmen for about 3 years. Just wanted to say hi.

  3. hi heatherinparadise,

    my, but your quite the renaissance woman.

    my complements on your blog. i’m not a big blogging fan and hardly ever find one that holds my interest.

    i do empathize with your problems in the shoe department. i wear talle 31 and in ten years here i’ve never found a pair. it gets expensive traveling to the states just for shoes!

    here’s to your unpretentiousness. =)

  4. Hi Mike, I’m surprised I haven’t already met you, I’ve been here in Playa for about 3.5 years and it’s not THAT big of a town. Especially when you’re talking about expatriates! I just found your comment in the Spam filter section, I NEVER go in there, so not sure what compelled me to this time. Glad I did, thanks for reading my blog!

    Hi Edward, thanks for the compliments! Where are you from, do you live here in Playa?

    • hi heather,
      OMG!, can’t believe it’s been a year and a half since i found your blog. and i just now ran across it again.

      i’m glad to see you’re still hanging in there.

      i guess i never expected you to reply!

      i’m from memphis (home of rock & blues).

      been living in cuernavaca since 1997.

      use to visit playa regularly working the cruise ships; and have thought many times about living there, but for the mosquitoes.

      do you know this blog? you girls write and even look alike.

      dig them gummy bears, too!


  5. Hi Heather

    need you personal e-mail adress, its Gabi – the German one, who went to your x-mas party. We saw each other on Sunday at Kool

  6. Since you don’t seem to have an email posted I will try this. If you send me an email from my blog (not a comment) I can tell you how I set up my camera for night photos. It’s not that hard.

  7. Hello Heather,

    I have a blog with nice pictures from all over the world that people take when they are on holiday or just when they want to share the beauty of the place they are living in.

    I saw some nice pictures that you took on whatatop, would you be ok to send me a few so I could add them on my blog?

    I also offer you to put a link to your blog or any personal space before adding your photos !

    My email is Yourbestworldspots@yahoo.com and the blog adress is http://yourbestworldspot.blogspot.com/, don’t hesitate to come and have a look!!

    Hope to receive some news from you !


  8. Heatherrrrr I have been wondering if/where you blogged. ugh. A comment you left me a while ago made me laugh so hard but the link didnt work. So glad to have found your blog!

  9. Heather,
    Hi I don’t know if you remember me or not but I am Danny’s cousin Tonia. Pleaes contact me talked with your mom and she said you were a travel agent and our family would like to book a trip to mexico and we heard you were the one to talk too…Please contact me tsawertailo at coilcraft dot com

    Thanks Tonia

  10. I just wanted to say hello and if you ever want to chat just email me and I wil let you know how to contact me.
    thank you

  11. Holy crap Heather this is the first time I’m reading your “about me” section. Way coolio you are super special and shit! lol

  12. Hedder….are you there? I am still here! Blog me a blog once in a while I worry about you. Gram

  13. Hi Heather,

    I would like to stay at Zafiro in Tulum but I cannot find any contact info at all! Can you help me out on this? Nice blog and beautiful eyes!

    Thanks so much,

  14. Hey, Katie, I had Yuri’s card for Playa Zafiro, but I can’t find it ANYWHERE. I put it in some “safe place” and now I’m toast.

    I will keep looking and get back to you ASAP.

  15. The wedding pictures are wonderful, and so is the picture of you and michael (a good looking couple)! I also enjoy reading your blog. My son’s girlfriend has a blog (frecklednest) and so that is two that I try and read every day!!!.

  16. Heather, Isn’t the blood rushing to your head?

  17. well, you know who i`am…


    and i hope to see you whe you get back from

    te mando mucho abrazos y besos…


  18. Hi there,

    I actually stumbled across your blog, and glad I did. Very fun! Me and my wife had toyed with the idea (okay me mainly) of moving down to Mexico and after visiting Playa a few years back loved it. Anyways we too are avid VW fans (we have a 82 Diesel Westy). Take care, we really enjoyed the site!

    Corey & Courtney (I know cute huh)

  19. Hi Corey And Courtney: That is cute, but I have married friends who are both named Dana, so it’s tough to top that! Are you a member of any Westy forums? I just joined one but haven’t spent too much time on it yet.

  20. That is tuff to top both witht he same name!! :)
    I tried a Northwest based Westy club (wetwesties) since we live in Oregon, but mainly for the older group… Not that we have anything against that just not our style! Anyways, keep up the writing we have a good time looking through your site!

    C & C

  21. Hey there great blog I am comming down 10/23 till 11/02 staying in cancun whats the weather like? Glad I saw your halloween stuff wasn’t sure about bringing costumes. I am feaking about the place I am staying (oasis cancun)read bad reviews but the stay is free won a contest. Can you give me any insight on this palce?

  22. Hi Al,

    Thanks for checking in! Sorry, I’m not sure about Cancun, never stayed there in my life! You should be able to find some information on some of the Cancun message boards, I know there are some popular ones! Good luck and have a great trip.

  23. Hi! I love your blog. I have been following it for a couple of months and even my husband (who always thinks he’s too busy to read blogs LOL!)enjoys your writing and finds it very entertaining. I’m so happy I finally read your all about you so I know why I relate so well to your sense of humor…..we have alot in common. Keep up the great writing. I enjoy reading about your fun adventures and maybe one day I will get the courage to make a big move too or at least the mental ability to convince my husband. ;-) CHEERS!

  24. Hi Brandlynn! Thanks for taking time to comment and for the kind words about my blog.

    Since we have so much in common, I can only imagine that you’re hilarious, stunningly beautiful, and staggeringly talented, too.

    (wow, I kept a straight face while typing that!!)


  25. Hi Heather!

    Its Nancy Kyd, from Playa (La Santanera – DJ). I am home in Vancouver since early november…and my mom had returned a week or two ago and mentioned she had a nice dinner party at my brother Dave’s house with lots of nice people but one girl in particular she thought was special…that was you! Apparently you perhaps wanted to adopt my mother…well she has room for another daughter! Beware though…you will GAIN MANY POUNDS in her presence…her cooking is amazing…I’ve gained around 8 lbs…hahahha Small World….I guess you never knew my brother is Dave (with Claudette) from Royal Palms.

    I am returning to Playa for NYE – and to play for a while longer + Dr. Jorge will do some dentistry work on my teeth. Come by Santanera anytime…or call me on my cell 984 134 4303!

    Cheers…i added my moms email as well (smdjoric@hotmail.com) Her name is Marijana she would love to stay in touch with you …Im sure she’ll visit soon again!

    Merry Christmas to you and yours!
    Nancy Kyd

  26. Hey there! I saw a comment you posted on Char Marie’s blog, thought you might be a Playa gal. I think Josef and I met you (he’s Mastequilapf on playa.info) two summers ago. Thanks for blogging! You’re very entertaining!

  27. A quote from Heather’s Blog: ” started playing with one of them, saying, “What the hell are you doing here, little guy?” and hugging him.

    All of a sudden, he turned into Dustin Hoffman in a penguin suit and explained that as a method actor, he was simply researching a role.”

    LOL!!!!!! That made me laugh out loud.
    Thank you for your very strange dream. I needed that laugh.

  28. Hi Heather,
    I’m not even sure how I ended up at your site, but I’m glad I did.
    I’m trying to convince my wife that it IS possible to pack it all up and head to Mexico… her powers of resistance are huge however.
    We’ve got a little house south of PDC (Chemuyil) and we’re looking to rent it out ~ possibly long term. If you know anyone working down that way (10 minutes north of Tulum) who needs a place send ’em my info.
    We’ll look you up in June!

  29. I love, love, love, this blog, and your writing style!

  30. Heather I just found your blog…better late then never. or am I showing my age?
    I am second generation mexican (don’t call me Mexican American) and was raised with the traditional foods customs etc. Even through I love me country and like you I have served in both the Marine Corps and the Army, I have over the years dreampt of returning to where my heart leads me, Mexico. I am at the stage in life where I can afford to live in Mexico with no problem, except I have one of those things called a wife. Who is now afraid to travel any distance greater than 100 miles away from home. Why am I telling you this you ask? Well, I’m glad that you asked. Because you have a life that 99.9% of the rest of humanity envies.
    Yes, it gets lonley at times. At times you experience the lonliness and get home sick during holiday, when all the memories of the happy moments in the past and that is to be expected. Like standing guard duty at an ammo dump in South Korea on Christmas Eve. So, my advice to you is “Suck it up Soldier”. You could be here in the good old USA putting up with the “fucking traffic”, lying politicians, paying taxes on everything except the fucking air that you breath and that air is so full of smog and shit, that you don’t want to breath it half the time, brainless people that salivate at the thought of buying some new piece of electronic junk that will make give them better lives, prestige or make them smarter (take your pick). So, my dear as Rhett would say, Frankly, I love your blog but I don’t give a damn how lousey you life is to you, it sounds pretty fucking good in comparison to the shit the rest of us have to tolerate when your stuck in the Good Old USA.
    How’s that for a fucking pep talk?
    In closing I will only wish you the best and I hope you realize how jealous I am of your life style.

  31. Hello from Canada

    Hope you are having a fantastic day down there in Parasdise.
    I am living on Vancouver Island and the Olympics are on here,Great people everyone is in sucha patriotic mood.We went to see the CAN vs SUI mens hockey game what a GAME!
    ususally when you go to the city noone even looks you in the eye.Not now downtown Vancouver is like one big PARTY every one high fiving….smiling and happy what a great place to be!I love the the positive surroundings!

  32. Well, well.

    Here you are. How’s the 3rd largest contingent of anti-American sentiment treating you these days? It must assuredly be “paradise.”

    I see you’re still globe-trotting in your quest for life’s answers. You needn’t look very far; yet some people seem to thrive on the search while forgetting the original motivation behind it.

    Have a margarita on me.

    • Well now, there’s a blast from the past. I sense a sort of meanness toward me–am I misreading this? I’m sorry it took me so long to reply, but I haven’t checked in here since last July. In the last year and a half I’ve been too–something–to blog. Just not feeling it, but I think I’m ready to return to it.

      My life has been and continues to be an adventure. I’ve made mistakes, but don’t think my mistakes have harmed anyone but myself.

      I do think of you from time to time, all good things, and hope you are well.
      You should e-mail me so we can catch up properly. Or don’t.

  33. Hi Heather;
    spilling non edited thoughts on paper/blog is therapy for me. Gets me past the cluttered mind, to a stillness and ability to put many thoughts on “the shelf”

    thanx for your blog

  34. Hi Heather,

    Awesome blog. Am I the only person who thinks you belong with this guy Russell? I’ve never met either one of you, but after reading the saga of Margie anther puppies…I have a strong feeling you two are soul mates!

    • Thank you for commenting, Brianna. I don’t think you’re the only person who thinks that…and in some ways, I too think Russell is a soulmate of a sort. We always have each other’s backs, that’s for sure. :)

  35. LOVE to Heather from Chicago!! You are much missed and well appreciated for turning us all on to Coco’s and the work you do!



  36. Heather,
    Hello! I came across your site after a call looking for people to adopt some puppies on FB. Unfortunately I can not adopt a puppy at this time but really want to know how easy or difficult is was to end up living in Playa…possibly my favorite place in the world! Do tell! Inquiring mind wants to know…and move there!
    Be well and have a great day!
    Patrick in Chicago

  37. ¡feliz cumpleaños mi amiga!

  38. Heather,
    You weren’t just a bartender, you were a fantastic bartender! Seriously, one of the best in the city. I hope all is well.
    Jimmy Jones
    Wrigleyville Tap

    • Holy CRAP! Hi, Jimmy! Thanks for the kinds words! I do think of you and the Tap fondly, always. xoxo I miss it all.

  39. Heather, The reunion as fantastic! Wish you could have made it to Chi-town.You could feel the love in the room. Great night. Happy New

  40. cool reading ur blog. are u still in the Yucatan? im in chicago right now, born in Mexico,but my whole life in Chicago , I go to cancun quite a bit,,, goodluck

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