Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Mexico Trip: Parte Uno
So I've been all about collages lately on the blog since it's such a great way to get more pictures into less space... and yet the story of our Mexico trip will be posted in three parts...
It's been YEARS since we've taken a vacation together. Our trip to Maui was before Brendan was born (almost 5 years ago!) I figured my 30th birthday was a perfect excuse to head for the beach, leaving the kids behind. We took the plunge, leaving our kids in great care and planning everything down to the last detail (including a typed and notarized Medical Consent Form and a three page "handbook" on everything involved in the daily lives of my children...) And yet I still felt a nagging sense of guilt for being the least bit excited to leave. I chose Cancun, never having been to Mexico, after consulting with several people about the "best" Mexican travel spots. Close to the Mayan Ruins, I figured my adventuresome husband could be persuaded.
We flew from Redmond to Seattle then Seattle to Cancun in a LONG 9 hours of total travel time. Fought through the crowds of Timeshare pushing salespeople to the shuttle that took us to our resort. Our expectations diminished as we checked in and unloaded our things. Even more so when we picked up our forks at one of the 5 "restaurants" that would be serving our "all-inclusive" meals. So it wasn't the best food ever and the room left a little to be desired (our "mini bar" was a semi-cold mini fridge stocked with canned beer, soda and two small bottles of water...) but the sun and the beach were a welcome retreat from the 20 degree weather we were enduring at home (we RAN from the truck into the airport that morning, hoping not to freeze!) It did not mean, however, that we weren't pining for a room at the Hilton as we explored the white sand beaches.
We spent the first day getting out. Joe decided a kayak adventure was in order so we shuttled to the adventure spot and hopped ourselves aboard a tandem two-seater (kayak rentals were one of the obvious benefits of "all-inclusive.") I eventually let go of the worry that we were floating "too far" from shore and rested my paddle on my thighs (Joe is much more efficient at rowing when I'm not attempting to "help" by splashing with my oar...) So after about an hour on the water, soaking in the sun, we waited for our ride back to the hotel. But with 20 minutes to spare, we opted for a quick walk down the street that resulted in an indulgent McDonald's ice cream cone. After all, who could pass up a $7.00 ice cream cone (pesos that is... it took some getting used to, seeing some crazy prices... the cones were approximately 55 cents!)
Day 2 involved a bus ride down the hotel strip to the local Wal-Mart. With dismal resort food, we at least needed some snacks to tide us over. And so began our adventure with the Cancun city bus system. Fortunately for us, our hotel consierge informed us of the $7.50 bus fair (again... only about 60 cents in US dollars.) So with our converted money, it was easy to shell out an exact $15 pesos to get on the bus. It was the unfortunate people who didn't know exactly how much to give who ended up getting robbed as the busdriver pocketed the change. Knowing which bus to get on was the second challenge. I envisioned a bus much like the city of Portland (lighted displays clearly stating the route.) But I was in for a shock when I realized the destinations were PAINTED on the front windows of the buses. So it seemed obvious... if we wanted to go to Wal-Mart, we looked for a bus with "Wal-Mart" painted on the front (among various other points at which the bust would stop.) And on the way back? "Zona Hotelera" So after our Wal-Mart adventure we longed for a good cup of coffee and spotted the Starbucks like water in a desert, the addicts that we are. And after some much needed coffee and lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe, it was back to the hotel for sun and relaxation. Stay tuned for parte dos...