Sunday, April 3, 2011

E- Cervezas in the sun

Having a week in Mexico at the end of the winter was a great treat to look forward to through all the rainy season and it didn't disappoint.  However, it didn't seem that way at first as we arrived in Cancun almost 24 hours after Les picked me up at work on Monday March 21st.   As we drove the 45 minutes south from the airport to Playa del Carmen, the driver had the air conditioning cranked even though it was pouring rain outside......and Mexico was feeling eerily similar to the Vancouver we just left.

View Yucatan in a larger map

The rain had stopped by the time we got to the Blue Bay Esmeralda and the wave of heat hit us as we slid open the van door.  Now this was better.  We were given our first of many fruity drinks and rides in the limousine of golf carts that constantly shuttle the lazy tourists around the resort.  With absolutely everything taken care of for the guests, a little exercise from walking the resort would probably be a good thing.....and yet we always hopped on the shuttle when we could.

After all the whole experience is about embracing your inner pig.  Eat and drink as much as you can, rest a bit, and then do it again.  Sleep until whenever you want, leave your space as dirty as you want (it's someone else's job to clean up after you), soak up way more sun than could possibly be good for your pasty white off your now pink-tinged skin by rolling around in the pool and then hit the free mini bar in your room to recover.  It's horrible if you stop and think about what the Mexican's who watch this 365 days a year must think of us......but really delightful to indulge oneself like this for a week each year.

Les and I have took a couple of similar vacations while living in Europe.  Once we went for two weeks to an all inclusive place in Turkey at the end of my basketball season, and the other time was for one week in Kenya in the middle of the year.  They were both great trips but on neither one did we feel quite as indulged as this.  I'm not sure if it's because those resorts were catering to Europeans or it was some other reason, but living it up on the Yucatan Peninsula was unlike anything we had experienced before.

Probably part of the reason this trip was different for us was the fact that we had so many friends there are the same time.  There were about 45 people who made the trip to Mexico for Steve and Kathy's wedding, and the majority were friends we have known for many years.  It was a bit like having a small high school reunion at an all inclusive resort....something I am now in favour of for our rapidly approaching 20 year high school graduation date.

The first night Les and I spent by ourselves, eating at the Steak and Seafood restaurant, having some drinks at the ocean side swing bar (cool idea but not comfortable because if you actually swing your knees smack against the bar) and lying in hammocks at the neighbouring resort.  Eventually we met up with the rest of the wedding party and stayed up until 4am....24 hours after we started the day in our Seattle hotel room.

From this point on, the week was pretty much the same every day except for variety thrown in by the wedding planners.  A late wake up was followed by a good buffet breakfast, with make your own omelets and fresh squeezed juice smoothies being the highlights.  Next straight to the beach, where everyone wanted to find a little shade, except for Les who made sure to bring it with her.  The rest of the sunlit hours were spend either at the beach, or as you can see in the picture above, at one of the abundance of poolside lounges.  Waiters would come by all day long serving us Pina Coladas, Blue Hawaii's, Mango Tangos, Margaritas, Cervezas and the occasional aqua, especially after they figured out that most of our group heeded the advice to bring down a fistful of $1 US bills for tips.

At night we would head for either head for the buffet or to one the reservation restaurants for French, Italian, Asian or Mexican food.   We had some really nice meals over our stay, both for the food and the chance to sit down with friends we hadn't seen much of in years.  It's a real treat to be able to sit down in a bigger group and order as much as anyone wants of anything on the menu without having to worry about having to split the bill at the end.

The first wedding event, a mini bash style Olympics, was started in typical Steve fashion with some highly questionable humour.......with the only real question being "how did that ever look funny to Steve as he typed out his 8 pages of script that he read from".   Pete gamely went along for the ride, obviously feeling like his role as groomsman was more important than his reputation as having a pretty good sense of humour.  However, the crowd was understandably kind to Steve and pretty well behaved other than his Mom.

The Olympics featured contestants from preteens to octogenarians.  My team featured two of the latter, which I use to excuse our last place finish in the event.....which was hard to believe featuring our fantastic limerick of a cheer.

Les and I came second in the Newly Wed Game the next night, and most importantly managed to escape without a fight.  The same can probably not be said of the couple who had some of my favorite answers.

What celebrity does your wife most resemble?  His answer "Ting Tong", a large, transvestite....just click the link if you want to see why it was so funny.

What would your wife never win a contest for?  His answer "sobriety".

How would your wife describe your last girlfriend?  Her answer "bitch".  His answer "really hot".

While the game was good for some laughs and hopefully didn't do any long term relationship damage, the wedding itself was fantastic.  With a beautiful back drop of the Caribbean Sea, warm weather mitigated by a breeze and most of their close friends and family by, it was an ideal situation for Steve and Kathy to get married.  From the ceremony at 3pm until Les and I stumbled back to bed around 4am, the evening was just perfect.  For about 90 minutes after the ceremony, all the guest had drinks on the beach and took turns participating in the wedding pictures.  Later Patricia Hall helped me with the MC duties and the speeches and dancing that seemed to go without a hitch.  Nobody had to worry about driving or getting up the next morning (except Jay who had a 24 flight back to Australia) so the party was able to continue on at the beach bar into the early hours of the morning.

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