The Last Dance (aka Mexico)

The Last Dance (aka Mexico)

There is a pair of shoes that made it around the entire world with me, then hated the idea of our trip ending so much that they walked out before I could bring them back home.




I bought them years before our round-the-world adventure but had never worn them. At the last minute I decided to rescue them from their box and take them along. I wore them for the first time in the Amazon, Brazil, the very first stop on our journey back in February 2015, and then again and again throughout the next 18 months, 26 countries, 6 continents. I traveled with three other pairs of shoes, which I wrote about here, but those were changed out along the way, replaced with newer versions. This particular pair of sandals stayed the same and became my go-to. So it’s only fitting that, after getting me safely and successfully around the globe, they disappeared on the final stop of our adventure: Mexico.

We went to Riviera Maya, in the southeast corner of Mexico, for a wedding. Anthony’s cousin was marrying his long-time love and the entire family was going. It was hot, humid and fantastic. The place was all-inclusive, which is Spanish for nada to plan, nowhere to be, nothing to DO for a week except laze by the pool, order room service and decide whether to watch everyone play beach volleyball or just stay under the umbrella with a book. After months of constantly planning our next move and learning new ways to say thank you and worrying that we might be missing something, like a plane, we were beyond excited to have everything taken care of for us. We also knew this was most likely the last stop of our seemingly never-ending trip. We had been interviewing for jobs for a few months and there were offers on the table, but nothing felt right, so we’d continued to travel. We wanted to make the most of our remaining free time until we had somewhere we wanted to be. And then, it happened. Right before leaving for Mexico, Anthony got a great job and agreed to start work when we returned. I found out while *in* Mexico, on my way to the breakfast buffet, that I’d landed my dream gig. Which of course is a blessing. And also a curse. Because the very real prospect of a job means that Our Full Stop really is coming to an end. So I enjoyed every minute of this final spot. Sleeping late in the mornings, swinging on a beach daybed after lunch, turning into a prune in the pool til late afternoon, and ahhh the unbelievably warm weather… I just savored it all. But in the back of my mind was the constant thought that THIS. IS. IT. And I’m convinced that my shoes, my faithful companions for the last year and a half, that carried me to so many new places and tirelessly supported me every step of the way, sensed this, sensed my reluctance to return to the real world, and decided that they could not support my decision to end the journey, to perhaps be left sitting in the closet gathering dust while I tried to wear shoes more suitable for cold television studios and the hard pavement of the city. So when I kicked them off on our last night in Mexico and went to dance, and came back later to find that they were missing, I didn’t really question it. I searched for them, the family looked everywhere, and it became a joke that someone with midget feet had run off with my size 5 sandals. But I knew I wasn’t meant to find them. They had done their very specific job, getting me from the beginning to the end of our trip. From Brazil around the world to Mexico and so many places in between. And they had decided they could do no more for me in this other life I’d chosen to lead for now. To wear them in different circumstances wasn’t in the cards. They’d done as much as they could, then moved on.
As excited as I am about this next chapter of my life, part of me wishes I had moved on with them. Walking with no other purpose than just to see what’s out there.
Maybe we’ll meet again down the road.
I hope wherever they are now, they’re taking someone on a journey as tremendous as mine.
I’m off to find some new shoes.





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Someone is always eating the sand.

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The women of the hour: the bride, her sister and mother-of-the-groom.



Still with the volleyball.








I love the cousins. 7 pools, 90 lounges and an entire seashore. Yet 6 of them will sit on the same chair.

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My father-in-law loves me.



The Spino men folk.






We can fit a few more on this chair? Perfect.
























12 Responses

  1. Katie McDermott

    I love your ending to your 18month journey… but I’m sorry about your shoes. xo

  2. Marie Sears

    Anticipating many new adventures. Good luck in your new jobs.

  3. Cheryl Mingrone

    Excellent as always! I know you hate to see your travels end. So do I because I will miss your blogs. Best of luck to both of you on your new jobs!

  4. Ang Cindrich

    What a beautiful end to THIS journey. I’m sure there’ll be more to come. I can’t wait for the next “pair of shoes” you find! Good luck to both of you. Love you guys!!!

  5. Judy Serrone

    Congratulations to the Bride & Groom, & especially to Anthony & Denise, & there new job’s, We have been with U 2 since the beginning, & loved every minute of it. Denise I give it to U for cracking the hard exterior of your father-N-Law, I know as Butch, U have made him a kinder & gentle man since U entered the Family. Your husband & my oldest son Peter Serrone have been the best of friends since grade school. Really Denise & Anthony, wishing you more happiness then U could ever imagine, success with your new jobs, & want U to know thru your travels I got to see places I would have never seen & never will see, wishing you the happiness & good health & good fortune in your lives ahead & maybe a baby or 2. Yes U are my Success story, Keep it going, & stay in touch, love U both so much, & always in my prayers. Thank You for even acknowledging me throughout all your past travels. So enjoy your new job’s, be safe & stay in touch all of my love Judy Serrone, (mother of the 4 boys). Success to u both.

  6. ❤️

  7. Denise, as always, love this one. I felt happy and nostalgic at the same time. The pictures were the most entertaining of your entire full stop. I laughed out loud at some of them.
    The sandals were certainly auspicious of the end of one beautiful journey and the start of another equally, if not more, special than the other.
    Best of everything to you both in your new careers. Love you!!!!!!

  8. All i can say is “i’ve been blessed not only with my beautiful family but now with the Spino family,,,i couldn’t ever ask for more…what a beautiful life…Denise and Anthony, we love you both …

  9. It was so wonderful being with you two and all the family!!!!! Your blog was amazing and soooooooooo funny as usual!!!!! I love both of you and wish you all the very best that LIfe has to offer!!!! So sorry about your darling pair of shoes!!! May God bless and watch over both of you always!!!

  10. Sister!!! Finally reading this (I think I also, like the sandals, may be in denial of the end of your Full Stop!). LOVE it all so much (I may have cried while reading). I remember when you first told me about your plans, and I remember not batting an eye, but just being so incredibly happy because I knew it would be an adventure of a lifetime. Kudos to you both for dropping everything and just doing what so many people talk/ dream about. I love you both to the moon and and proud of you guys!!! xxxooo

  11. Shay Idel

    What an ending! So enjoyed the fun and informative travels….loved to be along for the journey. Wishing both of you the best in your new chapter.

  12. Angela Gravino

    One chapter ends and another begins… What a beautiful chapter!

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