Some of you may have noticed I was quieter than usual last week. Some of you may have been relieved that I was quieter than usual last week. Regardless, I was quiet. It's true. I left on a jet plane with Charles and Zoe and my dad and headed to the Great Internet Black Hole known as Cozumel. It's a little island off the coast of Mexico, and it was to be the location of my brother's wedding.
So yeah. It was a fun week. We left on a Wednesday, with three flights on United Air staring us in the face. Honestly, I didn't expect to make it to Mexico at all, let alone on time and with both of our checked bags in tow. Amazingly enough, though, all the stars aligned and we landed in the tiny little Cozumel airport exactly when we were supposed to. It was unreal.
We had to turn off all cellular service to our phones in order to avoid Mega Roaming Charges, and at Charles's request I'd left my computer at home (it was VACATION DARNIT, or so he pointed out a half-dozen times before we left), so we'd be relying on our hotel's wifi in order to stay connected to the world.
Which would have been fine...except apparently the hotel's router was being powered by a cucaracha on a hamster wheel, and we each only had service in a little 5x5 square in the lobby. Weird thing, though? Some of us had internet by one door; my father had internet on a particular couch. These little sweet spots of internet were often heavily populated by People With Phones, and I maybe got to check email once a day. I rarely responded. Sorry to anyone I ignored.
But it was VACATION DARNIT.
And speaking of sweet spots...here's a funny thing about our hotel room: the shower had separate hot and cold knobs. They spun in both directions. In order to turn on the shower, you had to wiggle the knob back and forth, hoping to find the sweet spot of Water Being On for both hot AND cold. This wasn't the real problem, though. The REAL problem was doing it in reverse, and finding the sweet spot to turn OFF the shower. No lie: one morning I spent about 5 minutes trying to turn off the shower.
But, you know, it wasn't all bad. Most of it was pretty fantastic, in fact. There was a little cove of ocean in which we could snorkel, and though Zoe turned out to be surprisingly afraid of big fish, we all had a great time feeding the smaller ones with bits of stale bread. Zoe and my new step-niece (that sounds funny...in the future she can just be my niece) hit it off despite a 4 year age difference (Zoe's six, my new niece is 10), and they spent much of the week together in the pools. They also shared a love of chess (who knew??) and played with the life-size chess board almost daily. In short, they wore each other out, and by dinnertime we usually had two very tired girls on our hands.
I also got to spend time with my nephew and original niece, which was great. Except for that time my niece stepped on a bee...for the SECOND TIME IN FOUR DAYS! And I had to get the stinger out because OHMIGOSH THE PEOPLE AT THE FIRST AID STATION WERE GONNA USE TWEEZERS AND SQUEEZE ALL THAT BEE-VENOM BACK INTO HER FOOT and so that wasn't so great.
The food was less than stellar - it's the first time I've ever seen my Southern husband (think: manners) spit out food into his napkin at a dinner table. But that's what mealy shrimp will do to you.
But again! Fun! It was VACATION DARNIT!
We drove in a Jeep that had no seat belts, nor any other safety feature. I drank coconut water directly from a coconut (YUM!) and ate a mango sprinkled with paprika and shoved onto a stick so it looked like a popsicle (DOUBLE YUM!!!). We walked around town and were heckled by all the hawkers (Tip: don't wear a Batman t-shirt in a Mexican tourist spot as all the shop workers will call you Batman to try to entice you into their shops. My brother learned this the hard way.). We had a late night marine biology lesson, learning about sea cucarachas, urchins, starfish, and hermit crabs. We laughed a lot. We drank even more. I did a tequila shot on the last day, and it made me make ugly faces, but whatever, it was VACATION DARNIT!
And, most importantly, we had family time. I got to see both my brothers at the same time, got to spend a lot of time with my brand-new sister-in-law, and Zoe got to be a co-flower-girl-ring-bearer in the wedding. I did the hair of the bridal party (minus the bride, who had her hair done by a woman who put more mousse in it than I ever considered possible - no worries, though, the bride looked AMAZING), and the wedding itself was perfect. See? Even Charles's iPhone agrees.
It was an amazing time but I was glad to get home on Sunday night. Zoe started school yesterday and is off and running in the First Grade (GAH!!!) And so, for now, I'll leave you with these, my official impressions of Mexico:
- Gorgeous beaches and water;
- No internet;
- Great location for kids and weddings; and, most importantly
- Don't eat the shrimp