Monday, November 28, 2011

Hasta Luego, Mexico

Sometimes you spend months and months planning and anticipating an event, fantasizing about it, clinging to it during crappy times like a life preserver, only to be sadly disappointed by the reality when it finally arrives.

But every once in a blue moon, something turns out far better than you could have possibly imagined.

Enter Cancun.

I can't think of a more relaxing or indulgent time in my entire life.  Four days of eating, drinking, sleeping, shopping, and flopping on the beach?  Yes please!  I was worried Cancun couldn't possibly live up to me expectations, but it did me one better: it exceeded them.  Sitting here at my computer in the basement, it's hard to believe that it wasn't all a dream...

En route to Mexico, before the sh*t hit the fan.
Sarah, Lauren, and I were pumped.  By 7:30 am on Tuesday morning we were heading out to board our plane to Charlotte.  Sure, it was raining, but nothing could spoil our day!  We were going to Cancun, baby!  We settled down in our seats, took out our fashion magazines, and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  To make a long story short, our plane broke.  We watched in horror as the minutes ticked by, our two hour layover slowly dwindling before our eyes.  Pretty soon, it became clear we weren't going to make our next flight.  Our only hope was to find another flight that would get us to Cancun TODAY.  The hotel was already paid for, Kimmy was flying solo, and I would be damned if I was losing an entire day of freedom.

Sarah eventually managed to get us all booked on a flight to Chicago, followed by a four-hour layover, and finally on a flight to Cancun that landed at 9:00 pm.  We lost almost an entire day of fun, but we made it to Mexico, and that was all that mattered.  We found Kim at the hotel, walked across the street to the mall, and looked for a restaurant.  Our options were endless, as long as we didn't want actual Mexican food.  Johnny Rockets didn't seem appropriate and we weren't in the mood for Italian, so we found the closest thing we could to the real deal: Chili's.  Let me tell you, those chips and salsa never tasted so good.  The margaritas helped immensely.

You know what also helped immensely?  Waking up to this:

The view from our balcony.
After gorging ourselves on the breakfast buffet, we headed down to the beach.  We pretty much didn't do a damn thing that first day, other than eat, shop, and play in the ocean.  It was phenomenal.  Later that night we had an AMAZING authentic Mexican dinner at La Distilleria.  If you go to Cancun, go there.  They have fried cheese covered in potato chips.  That's pretty much all you need to know.

The water really is that blue.
The next day we decided to do something semi-cultural (I use that word loosely) and took a ferry out to Isla Mujeres, for more shopping and eating.  We had over four hours to kill, so we did the only sensible thing: ate, drank, and took tons of pictures of ourselves.

Note the coaster stuck to my drink.  I was too happy to notice.

We had a lot of fun with this here doorway. 

You say, "Jump!" I say, "How high?"
 Eventually we found a lovely little cafe and had a cold Coca Lite before getting back on the ferry.



When we hit the mainland, we walked past a bungee jumping center.  "Come on ladies!" the vendor  yelled.  "It's gonna happen!"

Of course, it absolutely wasn't gonna happen: we're talking a fifty-foot tall rickety wooden tower over about five feet of water.  But I admired his tenacity.  Until he asked if we were from Louisiana.  Seriously?  He finally guessed California and I forgave him.  But bungee jumping still wasn't gonna happen.

That night we decided to go to a club.  We just had no idea which one.  Fortunately, our towel boy came up with the perfect solution.  "Go to Coco Bongo," he said.  He seemed pretty serious about it.  So we went.

Coco Bongo was the single most bizarre experience of my life.  It's one part night club, one part Vegas show, one part Cirque de Soleil, and eight parts insane.  I know that's a lot of parts.  You just have to take my word for it.  We somehow ended up in some kind of VIP section, which was great in that it separated us from the riffraff.  Unfortunately, it meant we showed up on the big screen at least a dozen times.  Dancing in public is not my favorite.  Seeing my ass on a giant screen in front of a thousand people is right up there in "worst nightmare" territory.  Fortunately, I was distracted by the spectacle of a Mexican Freddie Mercury, a pervy Beetle Juice, and a loincloth-clad Jesus on a cross made of curtains.

There are no words.
The next morning Lauren and I went for a walk on the beach.  It was sublime.  I seriously didn't want our vacation to end.  Yes, I missed my boys terribly, but I would have been happy to have them fly down to Cancun and live with me in the Westin.  You'd think refried beans, fresh tortillas, queso, and giant tubs of guacamole would get old after a while, but they didn't.  Neither did being called "your highness," "beauty," and "princess" by the hotel staff.

Ah, memories.  I shall always look back on this photo and smile.  Or weep.
I can still feel the warm breeze, the cool ocean, the guacamole in my belly and the saltwater in my hair.  It's going to be hard to readjust to reality, but I'm looking forward to seeing my boys again tonight, to getting back into my writing, and to gazing fondly at the photos we took this week for years to come. 

And so I say to Mexico: "Hasta luego, amigo."  Until later, my friend.  Because I will be back.  Oh yes, I will be back.


Sarah said...

Can we please go back? Whaaaaaaaaaa!!

Jenny S. Morris said...

Wow, it looks like you had a ton of fun. And Jesus in a curtain loin cloth, I'm there baby!

Peggy Eddleman said...

WOW! This looks like SO MUCH FUN! And yeah. Waking up to that scene would totally erase traveling woes. That beach is amazing! I'm glad you had such a great time!

E.R. King said...

Fun! Beautiful pics. I wouldn't want to come back either. It rained all weekend here.

Connie Barnett Dowell said...

What an amazing place. It looks beautiful.

Shauna said...

I'm so glad you guys had so much fun, it looks amazing!! Love the photos :)