The Best Meal I Ever Had

I’ve only been out of the country twice, and I’m not including Canada. Both times I traveled, I went to Mexico. Most recently (2006), I went to Oaxaca and Hautulco. Josh lived in Oaxaca as a young boy, and it was a fabulous trip for the family to see a bit of his boyhood. Let no one ever tell you that traveling with kids or in-laws can’t be fantastic. Josh’s dad is fluent in Spanish and knew the area, which made the trip great! On one particular outing, we’d rented a taxi bus to take about 10 of us into the mountains to an aquarium. On the way back, Bob asked the driver to find us a great place to eat.

The driver pulled over to a cliff-side shack where a few tables and hammocks were under a canopy. There were (I think) five choices for a meal. No menu. We were the only customers. And that’s where I had the most delicious meal I’ve ever eaten in my life. It included a fish cooked whole on my plate. And oh so much deliciousness. The only thing wrong was that Josh had stayed behind with a sick kiddo and missed sharing it with me.

Have you ever seen the movie (1998) After Life? I linked the trailer there, if you want to see the preview. Anyway, it’s a touching movie. The premise revolves around choosing one memory to live in for all your eternity. It really fascinated me, and occasionally I’ll get lost in thinking about which memory of mine I would choose to stay in forever. The memory of pulling up to this shack and eating such a simple meal with such a grand view, is definitely a front-runner. It’s imperfect, like I said. And the truth is, I haven’t found the memory yet that I’d want to stay in forever. Could you pick one?

So, what got me thinking about all this was a Guatemalan restaurant GUATELINDA that Josh and I recently found. I ordered the fish, and it came to the table looking exactly like the one I ate in Mexico. Not as good as in my memory, but a reeeeeeeeally good restaurant. I can’t wait to go back, actually.

Published by jody sparks

Jody Sparks Mugele spent her first career in marketing writing and leading teams of writers and editors. After her son came out as transgender in 2015, she dedicated herself to advocating for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. For two years, she led the Indianapolis regional chapter of PFLAG, a nationally renowned LGBTQ+ advocacy group. She has given many conference talks about parenting trans kids, healthcare in the trans community, and suicidality among LGBTQ+ youth. And with GenderNexus, an Indianapolis-based advocacy organization, she created programming and led support groups to work with parents to help their children through all aspects of gender transition. She recently moved to Northeast Georgia where she is excited to develop opportunities to continue to strongly and proudly advocate for LGBTQ+ members of our society. She also LOVES kitschy Christmas crafting!

4 thoughts on “The Best Meal I Ever Had

  1. O Jody!
    what a precious memory!
    I’m so glad i was there to share it with you!
    so glad you found a place to kinda remind you of the little shack we discovered on that memorable day!!!
    i’m loving you and can’t wait for you guys to take me to your new find!

  2. Rudy and I met in India. Our dates were at a “restaurant”–a mud shack with a dirt floor that had the best Indian tea and snack. We went there everyday and loved it.

    1. I love finding that place that you can go back to, over and over. This will be a regular place, I’m sure. But we’re still on the lookout for our special place.

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