Things I saw in Mexico that I’d never seen before:
– At the hotels, the maids folded the edge of the toilet paper into little fans, as rendered in this blurry image, which I took while tipsy:
– This was my first experience with calling hotels and finding they didn’t accept guests who had kids. I didn’t realize that was a thing.
– Roving candy shops — vendors package up bags of bright penny candies and hang them from a sandwich board, which they wear on their shoulders.
– A waiter swung the tab of my Coke can around so it hovered over the mouth of the can, and then stuck the straw through it and into the can. The top hole of the tab acts as a sort of straw-stabilizer.
All right, I’m feeling less murderous now. For those of you who mentioned that you’re never going to Mexico after hearing about our trip, consider that most of this could have happened anywhere. Mexico is gorgeous, and I don’t want you to skip it just because we had a run of bad luck. Plus, the water in Cabo produced no ill effects, despite many a blended drink. We only had problems when we were drinking spring/well water in a non-populous area. Seriously guys, they serve bowls of melted cheese in Mexico. You don’t want to miss that shit.
Though we didn’t have camera battery chargers, which meant I couldn’t use my fancy camera, my iPhone camera worked great. Also, the point-and-shoot battery kept chugging for almost the entire trip (nice!). The photos look like we had an entirely different vacation, which means that I can now begin to lie about our time in Mexico until I’ve effectively blocked out reality. Excellent.
Every place we stayed was amazing (water issues and double bookings notwithstanding). The hotel where we stayed for a single night due to the double booking was so good that I would consider going back.
What? I would!
Every single interaction we had was friendly. The woman at the Mexican Inn even called the airport and argued vehemently with them about our “lost” luggage.
Bryan and Libby are not complainers, so no one talked about the disaster unfolding until we were on the way home. This made everything oddly bearable.
The weather was balmy and perfect, and I got to wear sundresses and hunt for seashells in January. Dreamy.
Mexico did not run out of tequila while we were there.
Hank had a blast. He got to play in water every day, watched more movies than he’s usually allowed (due to the midnight wakeups), and had our undivided attention for a week, as he was the most entertaining thing for miles. Plus! There were roosters! Hank loves him some chickens.
We had guacamole every single day.
The night when we had to stay at a hotel because of the house booking issues, we had dinner by the water while Hank slept in his stroller. We woke to a sweeping view of the sea. Hank spent the next day floating his rubber duckie in the pool, while Libby and I gossiped over Margaritas with chips and salsa, and Bryan rented an ATV.
When Bryan collapsed in Cabo on New Year’s Eve, Libby and I abandoned him and hit the town. We eventually landed at a nearly empty Karaoke bar with a loyal clientele of serious singers. We drunkenly screeched our way through “Like a Virgin” as the other patrons studiously avoided eye contact. The DJ fell in lust with Libby (surprise), poured his drink into a plastic cup and tried to drag us back out on the town. When Libby demurred, he told us where the good “Mexican Parties” were, i.e., places where you didn’t have to pay a $60 cover. We took his advice and Salsa danced into the early morning hours wearing feathered party hats.
The next day we had a bowl of melted cheese for lunch.
For example, someone removed most of the awesomeness from Mexico and put it somewhere else for a week. Was it with you? I hope so, because if so, it must have been raining glitter and cocaine where you live.
Mmm. Delicious glitter cocaine.
What happened, you ask? Well, have a seat.
Two days before our trip, Bryan left for Illinois to help our family bury his very sweet grandmother. We tried to postpone our trip so all of us could go, but tickets to Illinois were one jillion dollars each, and our cheapo tickets to Mexico were of the non-refundable, non-transferable variety. So Bryan flew out and arranged to meet us on our layover in Phoenix.
After this inauspicious start, the trip unfolded in such profuse layers of inconvenience and stress that I’m resorting to bullet points in the interest of time:
Two hours of sleep before leaving for the airport at 4 a.m. with our friend Libby and a sleepy baby.
Two hours of struggle when our US Air tickets somehow turn out to be with United, and United almost refuses to let us on the plane, because they are giant dicks.
Hank’s luggage is suspiciously absent from the conveyor belt.
Bryan and I go out for New Year’s Eve around 8 p.m. Bryan feels ill. Two hours later, he has trouble walking home.
Bryan sleeps for two days with a vicious flu/cold combo.
On New Year’s Day, Hank wakes at 4 a.m. He continues this charming habit for the duration of our trip.
Our friend Libby wakes with the non-alcohol-related urge to boot. Happy New Year!
Hank’s bag arrives at the hotel, sans both our camera battery chargers, which I’d groggily (read, stupidly) tucked into the suitcase in a 2 a.m. daze.
Hank gets Bryan’s vicious flu/cold. He is screamier about it.
Due to fruitless charger hunt, we leave too late for the house we’ve rented up North. We are driving in the dark, on isolated dirt roads, in the Mexican desert, with a toddler.
We arrive at the house to find another couple there. The house has been double-booked for the night. I briefly consider offing the nice couple from Rhode Island, as we are in the Mexican desert, and I’m not even sure that’s illegal here.
Instead we drive to a hotel in the dark, on isolated dirt roads, in the Mexican desert, with a toddler.
We return to the house the next day. After our first meal, we discover that the dishwasher runs but doesn’t clean the dishes no matter how thoroughly we rinse. This is irritating, as the water isn’t safe for dishwashing at tap temperatures. Hmm.
The bathtub tap doesn’t work.
I unwittingly take a swig of contaminated tap water. I immediately take two Immodiums.
Bryan rigs a bath by heating water on the stove. The next day the nice neighbor tells us it’s not safe to bathe in the water, because we have “other orifices” besides our mouths.
My intestines begin to roil.
When the nice neighbor showers, he keeps a dry towel nearby to wipe his eyes and mouth, in case any spray gets on his face. Do go on.
The nice neighbor says if you happen to drink the water, whatever you do, don’t take an Immodium. It blocks you up, and then the bacteria just breeds in your gut. Good to know.
Hank’s left eye begins to weep suspiciously. I first notice this when he wakes at 3 a.m.
I come down with Bryan’s vicious flu/cold.
Hank’s left eye becomes crusty, and his right eye begins to weep in a foreshadowing manner.
We head to the clinic in the closest town, about an hour away. Hank has a double bacterial eye infection and an upper respiratory infection. Hurrah!
Every two hours, we pin our child down as he screams and pry his eyes open so we can administer mystery medicine drops.
On our last night, the house runs out of propane, which means we can’t cook because the stove doesn’t work, and there’s no more hot water for showers. After all the neighbor’s advice, I suspect the lack of showers is a blessing in disguise.
Is that it? I think that’s it. Oh, wait. When I got home, I also contracted a mystery eye ailment. So that’s been fun.
Tomorrow, we’ll talk about the good parts, because there are always good parts, right? Right.
For some reason, Christmas laid me out this year. Maybe it was because I was shopping for thousands of people. That could be it.
Anyway, by Christmas Eve, I was vibrating with the stress of all the fun things we didn’t get to, and right now I’m all achy and hunched just thinking about it. The smell of peppermint makes me feel violent.
Fortunately, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day turned out to be lovely and surprisingly laid back.
Also, a few weeks ago, I told Jordan that I had wanderlust, but a trip didn’t fit in our budget. She poked around online and found some ludicrously cheap tickets to Mexico, so we’re going there to visit the tequila.
We’ll sit around doing nothing, and then make a Margarita, and then do nothing some more. I can already tell 2009 and I are going to get along great.