Some of you may be wondering about that last name on the top of the blog–Lazarus. What the heck is that? Who? Well, it’s my new last name. It’s kind of a long story, but allow me tell you how that happened.

In December of 2009, Steve, my steady boyfriend for about a year and a half and I were treated to a trip to Mexico by his father, who owns a time share condo near Cancun. We were so excited! Me especially–I’d never been to Mexico, and I was looking forward to visiting this part of the country, where there are a lot of Mayan ruins and beautiful sandy beaches. It’s seldom that I am able to get away for a vacation to just relax and sight see, as well.

What we didn’t tell anyone is that just a few months before, Steve had proposed to me. It was a low key proposal, more of a “Hey, what do you think? Should we? I would like to, would you?” We decided to move ahead with marriage at that point, but we didn’t make any definite plans, like setting a date. We didn’t even tell our parents. The only thing we decided on for sure was that we wanted something very small and quiet.

About a week before going to Mexico, I casually asked Steve if he thought it would be a good idea to try to get married while we were on vacation. I looked up how to get it done, and it seemed possible. To my pleasant surprise, Steve was into the idea, so we decided to try to get it done.

When we got down to the resort, one of the first things Steve did was ask the concierge how and where we could get married. The concierge responded by giving us a multiple page printout of wedding planners–people who get big bucks for planning fancy destination weddings for rich Gringos. We had to explain that no, we didn’t want anything fancy (especially because we have no dinero). This was something we wanted to do ourselves, at a Justicio del Paz. The concierge looked at us like we were nuts, but gave us an address of where he thought City Hall was in the closest big town, Playa Del Carmen. We got in our Chevy and went to try to find it.

After trying and failing to find parking at City Hall, Steve asked a cop in his broken, pidgin Spanish about where to go to get married. The cop said that there was another place where we had to go, that it was not done at City Hall, but at the Registro Civil, which was a few blocks away. We got in our little Chevy and drove to the exact spot where the cop had told him the place was, but we didn’t find the Registro. We drove further and saw another cop, and Steve got out of the car to ask for more directions. This cop told us some important information: The Registro was above a Domino’s Pizza.

Now that was something us Gringos could understand. We drove there and, after waiting for what seemed like an hour, amidst a very unorganized bureaucratic nightmare straight out of your worst experiences at the DMV, Steve flexed his pidgin Spanish muscles once again and we were introduced to Estela Sanchez, the woman who performs weddings for Mexicans and Gringos alike. Her English was pretty good, and she helped us fill out the paperwork. She had her assistant take us to get a blood test at the clinic across the street, and with enough dinero exchanging hands, to secure four witnesses from among the employees of the Registro (whom of course we had to pay) the deal was sealed: We were to return the next morning at 11 for the happy event.

And that was that! When we came back home, we had the marriage validated in the Catholic Church by my pastor, Fr. Charles McDonald. A very small group of friends came, and we had a lovely little reception afterward at a little restaurant nearby, in our neighborhood.

And…we have lived happily ever after…

If you’d like to see additional photos from the trip, click HERE.

Thanks for readin’!

Love, Michelle (Primeaux) Lazarus

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