Extranjera Update: June 2022 (La Paz, Valle de Bravo)

Ally comes to PV

Leaving PV meant moving away from the beach, away from the longest place I’d lived since I was a teenager, and away from some of the closest friends I’ve ever made. Leaving my friends was the hardest part.

Urs Fischer Lovers Exhibit

I feel really fortunate that I still get to see my girlfriend Ally every few months; whether that’s me going to PV, or her coming to CDMX. This time around, Ally and her boyfriend came to celebrate his birthday by going to Pujol (they do birthday experiences instead of birthday gifts – how cool!).

Comedor Jacinta in Polanco

They came a day early, and we went to Urs Fischer exhibit and also a fabulous lunch at Comedor Jacinta (so many vegetarian options!).

A short but SO freaking sweet trip to La Paz

La Paz hotel view

Oh my god, this trip.

I promise to share more later.

All I can say now is that two of the most exciting, incredible moments of my LIFE happened on this trip.

Moments that have changed my life and my future forever.

view from my jacuzzi at La Posada

I 10000% recommend the hotel we stayed at: La Posada Beach Club and Hotel. For $125 a night, we got a two-story penthouse room with a gorgeous view and our own private rooftop ocean-view jacuzzi. You can book it here on Agoda.

Faith’s girls’ weekend birthday in Valle de Bravo

Faith Fest 2022

For Faith’s birthday weekend, our group of girlfriends rented a house with a view of the lake in Valle de Bravo, and settled in for a relaxing few days of snacks and girl time.

33 is a special number in many religions (it’s the year Jesus was crucified, the number of deities in Vedic religion, the second level of heaven in Buddhism means “of the 33 (gods)”, Al-Ghazali said that souls in Heaven will exist eternally in a state of being age 33, 33 is a master number in numerology, etc).

the girls dressed as our deities

And, as this was Faith’s 33rd birthday, she chose a very special and relevant theme – Deity Day. All of us women chose the deity that meant the most to us, and dressed as Her, while providing the others with an explanation on the deity (and its personal meaning).



the best nights always have the most random, blurry photos… when no one is looking at the camera.

The day that… Ally and Spencer came to CDMX and I hosted a going-away for a beloved friend.

As already told, we wandered the Urs Fischer exhibit, and then had a wonderful, fun lunch at Comedor Jacinta, which another friend joined and my partner D as well.

After that awesome start, D and I went home to get ready to host a going-away party for my girlfriend Hadley. I love hosting, and I love Hadley, so it was an event I double-loved.

In a short period of time, Hadley had quickly become one of my favorite people in CDMX and really won my heart. I was SO sad to see her go, but also so excited for her next venture, and very happy to host a party that gathered some of my favorite humans in CDMX (and Ally and Spencer made an unexpected, surprise appearance as well!).

A day of art, good food, lots of walking, and amazing friends = heaven for me.

(one other AMAZING day I will go into more soon… a hint on that at the bottom of the post)



Please, give me an excuse to make a cheeseboard. If there’s a theme, even better!

One of my all-time biggest brags is that a cheeseboard I did for a friend’s birthday got regrammed by THE @ainttooproudtomeg.

I lost my photo of the regram in a mass-photo-purge that occurred a year back, but my friend Natalie captured my creation here.



CDMX (home)

La Paz (La Posada Beach Club & Hotel)

Valle de Bravo (Airbnb)


The worst-value hotel stay of my life

dressed up for our staycation and wearing heels for the first time in literal years aside from weddings

D splurged and got us a last-minute weekend staycation at the W Mexico City, a hotel I’d been very excited to try and share. It looks very vibey, fun, and trendy.

It was none of those things. It SUCKED.

We paid extra to be upgraded to a corner “suite” which was really anything but sweet.

After check-in and upon our to the room, it quickly became apparent that all of the electricity was out aside from the ceiling lights. Even the phone wouldn’t work, so we had to go down to the reception and back up (x2). Finally, a repairman figured out that a fuse was blown.

It didn’t stop there.

The walls were SO thin, we could hear everyone in the hallway and every time a door closed (highly unfortunate considering the kitchen/service room seemed to be located RIGHT next to our room – and it operates 24/7). We could barely sleep and in the middle of the night discussed just calling it and going back to our much-much-quieter apartment.

This is service and a standard I’d expect from a low-cost motel. I have stayed in many dicey places to save a dime or two, and I can’t complain. This is definitely not, though, what I expect from a major “luxury” brand, and definitely not for a $500US/night (ouch it hurts even typing that) room. We didn’t receive any discount for our troubles (not for the excessive noise and not even for the hours without electricity and repetitive disturbances from the electrician and staff).

Seriously. PASS. I wouldn’t stay there for free, let alone pay over $1000 for the weekend “staycation” we submitted to.

BAD Botox

I am the BIGGEST fan of my dermatologist in PV, Dr. Patricia Garcia, and have been seeing her for years. She was my first Botox experience, and someone I always return back to (I tried two other doctors in PV when she was fully booked – not the same – Dr. Garcia is definitely worth the wait).

I went to Skin Project in Polanco, as was recommended by some friends in the IWC. It was a HUGE fail. The cost was more than triple what I pay with Dr. Garcia, and my skin turned red and puffed up with weird red lumps like I have never experienced. Additionally, the doctor seemed incredibly inexperienced with injectables, as she “stuttered” with inserting the needle (exactly as it sounds, starting to insert then pulling back and reinserting) and provided the most painful Botox experience of my entire life.

(more on this soon!)

This post is part of a low-key series, designed to give a behind-the-scenes look into expat life which, honestly, isn’t usually that much different than a “regular” life! I spend time with my friends, work, and still pick up dog poo… 

The Extranjera Update series is laidback and off-the-cuff – quite purposefully the opposite of nearly everything going on in blogging right now. The photos are all taken with my iPhone (or, more likely, my boyfriend’s phone), and mostly unedited (though I do sometimes go a bit collage-crazy).

With this series moving forward, I’ll be talking about the main themes of my life that month, some favorites, at least one “reality check”, and what I’ve discovered here in Mexico City (or, wherever I end up moving forward). It’s not because I’m so self-involved to think my life is so fascinating, but rather because especially when I first moved abroad, I felt incredibly alone. If even one thing you read, you relate to, I’ve done my job.

If you’ve got another idea for a section I should include, a question I can answer, or something you’d like to hear more about – let me know!!

As always, feel free to comment, or connect by sending me an email or DM. I’d love to hear from you and I ALWAYS respond to emails.


A short vacation in Thailand turned into a life abroad with a canceled ticket home. Nearly a decade later and after living in Bangkok, Rio de Janeiro, Puebla, and Puerto Vallarta, Steph is on to her next adventure and living back in beautiful, cosmopolitan Mexico City. She is living, traveling, and working (both as an expat therapist and an international health insurance representative) around the world to find the beautiful, inspirational, and interesting while sharing it with you!

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