— 1:12 p.m.
Amigos Viejos Y un Viaje a Mexico!
Mexico or Bust!
Way back in February, I found myself in Florida preparing to deal with a court date for a child support hearing. Stop right there. No, I’m not a deadbeat dad, I’ve always paid my child support, and I’ve always been available to send a little extra when my ex-wife, Alena, was in a fix. She knows that she’s always been able to count on me. The hearing resulted from the father of her other two kids splitting town and paying nothing. She sicked the state on him and I was pulled in automatically by the system. She didn’t want me involved. Anyway, it’s a long story but suffice it to say that:
1) I was the good guy
2) He got what he deserved
3) Nothing changed for me, the judge was pleased to find someone like me!
4) Florida sucks at child support enforcement.
I digress. While I was there, I went to Sarasota to visit my friend, Mike. Mike and I spent nearly 3 years stationed together in Sardinia, Italy while we were in the Navy. It’s funny because our first meeting wasn’t very good. We mutually disliked each other. That didn’t last long though, and we quickly became very good friends. Anyway, I was out with Mike and his wife, Carla, for brunch and asked if they wanted to go to Mexico this autumn. They did. So that’s how the plan started. Afterwards, it got a lot more complicated…
The resort is about 60 or so miles south of Cancun, and even about 20 miles south of Playa del Carmen. It’s a very nice 18+ resort, and it’s far, far, away from all of the spring break assholes, who really only want to stay in Cancun.
When hurricane Emily came through this summer, the south eye wall went straight over the resort. Between the storm surge, broken glass, vanished landscaping, and general damage, the resort was closed for several months. When it was just getting ready to reopen, we made our travel plans. Initially the trip was going to be from 12/02 through 12/10, which would have put my birthday (12/07) in the trip, but Carla couldn’t get the time off. The day after Thanksgiving became the departure date, and everything was set. Until…
Holy shit! Hurricane Wilma came along right after most things reopened. After laying waste to Cozumel, Wilma sat with violent serenity right on Cancun for 2 full days. Bitch.
We weren’t even sure if we’d be able to go, but the Mexican people are not to be underestimated. The Hotel Zone in Cancun and, of course, Cozumel, were and still are in bad shape, but the resort we were going to reopened after only 2 weeks. The south portion of the resort was still closed, but the majority of it was open and fully functional. After a while, all you really noticed was that it was sunnier than usual. Why? The leaves wee blown off of all the trees! Why! It’s funny in a sad sort of way to see these sizable palm trees with only a tiny nub of new fronds at the top, and the jungle isn’t nearly as intimidating with more than half of its leaves gone.
With most of the hotels closed, you can imagine that there were thousands of trips cancelled or postponed since there was nothing open. It’s not a stretch of logic to realize that many, many flights were cancelled to, since no one is going to fly an empty plane to Mexico and back.
The arrangements from Denver were intact, but flights were cancelled on both the day before and the day after. The flight from Tampa was cancelled and it would have been a considerable chuck of dough to change the arrangements. The compromise was to fly the next day, 12/03, out of Fort Lauderdale. For those who aren’t too familiar with Florida geography, Sarasota is west coast, central Florida, whereas Ft. L. is east coast, south Florida. I believe it’s about a 6 to 7 hour drive. Not close by. Plus, they had to pay for an extra day and move into a regular room on the last day. Boo!
Once everyone was there though…it was fantastic. Great service, great company. Mike and I started drinking promptly after he arrived and we got him and Carla settled in to the room and shown around. The room we were in was pretty fantastic, since it was a suite. There are some photos of the room on my gallery.
This link may or may not work. I suppose I should just upload the photos right into this journal entry. *sigh* It’s hard to be this lazy. While we’re on the subject, in Mexico, the service at this chain of resorts, the Palace Resorts, is really outstanding. I could spend a long time there, it’s like seeing how the other-half lives. I just want the chance to prove that money can’t make me happy.
The days were spent at the pool, at the beach, or in the spa. Sometimes it was a combination of all 3. Mike and I spent most of the time seeking shade and reading, and the girls spent most of their time in the sun getting tan.
Evenings we dressed up and went out to dinner. There was an oriental restaurant, which wasn’t that great, an excellent Mexican restaurant, an equally exquisite Italian restaurant, a Mediterranean restaurant, and a couple of buffets. Normally I eat a lot in Mexico, and while I still ate more than usual, we skipped lunch most days, just having a snack, and didn’t overdo it that way.
One night at the bar while Mike and I were talking, we were approached by a Southern boy named: “Dusty”. Dusty had outtalked at least 3 other people while Mike and I were talking, and used them all up. The bar was closed by this time, so we were on our last round. Jose and Minerva had set us up with a spare drink each though, they’re good people.
Anyways, Dusty professed to be in the music business. He said he was a “producer”. So we inquired what exactly it was that a producer did. Well, he helped them set up gigs, hung out with them in the studio, and did other assorted “stuff”. Mike and I observed that those were things that a manager did, or a booking agent. He agreed that he was these things as well. Groupies are often welcome, but not when they look like this guy. He had a beard that wouldn’t quit. I’m serious, you could lose a can of chaw in that thing.
We tried everything to scare him into leaving, including pretending we were gay, but he didn’t seem to mind. I think I know where the term “bump-kin” comes from now. I’m not sure who was bumping whom in his family tree, but after 2 hours describing music, homosexuality, business, and a long line of backhanded comments, insulting Dusty was no fun anymore. I mean really, how many ants can you step on if they don’t care? So we were out of booze and bored with our grizzly Adams. I was reminded of a Happy Bunny slogan: “It’s cute how stupid you are”.
Before we were ‘joined’ by our mostly-shave sasquatch, Mike and I were talking business. I’ve always respected his business sense and savvy, but I had no idea just how brilliant my friend actually is. He owns (among other things) his own business, www.123registration.com, and runs it with the practiced hand of an artisan. The things he’s got going, and more importantly what he does behind the scenes is…well…it’s…amazing. No words. Register your domain name with him! Even the Academy Awards do, so you’d be in good company! Besides, I registered Lickin’ Lolli there, so you’d be in good company! Oh.
Thursday Mike and Carla took an all-day trip to one of the Mayan ruins, a place called Coba. It’s got the highest pyramid on the Yucatan peninsula. It’s in the heart of the jungle too. Hot and sticky.
I got sick on Wednesday, so the last two days I was snuffing and miserable from my sinus infection, but I still had fun. All in all it was a good trip, but it sure ended up being a pain in the ass with all of the goddamned hurricanes.