Our flight from Denver to Cancun felt more like a party bus than any flight I’ve ever been on. Everyone cheered upon take off and landing. People were standing in the aisles of our tiny plane throughout the flight, no doubt drinking something alcoholic from their little plastic cups. The flight attendants came on the PA system and step by painstaking step talked everyone through filling out customs and immigrations forms (“Now, where it says Name, put your name. Where it says date of birth, put your date of birth.” Etc. I kid you not. I have never had more hand holding to fill out government paperwork.) And upon landing the speakers began blaring Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville – to which more than one person was singing along.
John and I sat in our seats and rolled our eyes. This was the tourist bubble at it’s extreme, and we were not having any of it. This did not seem like a kick ass way to start world tour.
After exiting our party bus, we weaved our way through immigration and customs, took a bus ride, a short cab, and finally a ferry over to Isla Mujeres, a small island off the coast of Cancun where friends of ours are currently housesitting. They allowed us to crash on their futon for two lovely nights while we awaited our flight to Cuba. They showed us a great time of lounging at the North Beach (with its pristine white sand and swimming pool like waters), drinking cheap Mexican beer, and allowing us to bathe in the rooftop shower under the stars. It was a lovely 36 hours of which I have no photographic evidence. Sometimes I get so busy enjoying myself that I just don’t take photos. What a lovely problem to have.
I’ll fast forward through Cuba (you can read about it here), and bring us to one week later as we once again made our way through Mexican immigration and customs, dealt with the serious hassle of renting a car, and headed south on Highway 307.
Early this year, a friend notified us she would be getting married in August at a resort in Akumal, Mexico, about 90 minutes south of Cancun. Since the dates worked out with the other things we had going on for the summer, we decided to make it an early stop on our world tour. So back in March I booked us at a studio apartment just down the beach from their resort. This seemed like an elegant solution for our travel budget conscious selves to enjoy the beach without paying high fees at an all inclusive resort – which, for two people who don’t drink much and one who is a vegetarian, is usually a pretty raw deal (even at all inclusive places I have a hard time finding anything to eat. Absurd, but true.)
Here’s a photo of John officiating the wedding this last Saturday. This was his first time officiating, and I think he did a stellar job.
Fast forward to a week before our departure from the states, when the woman who rented us her apartment called me to discuss our reservation. I immediately jumped to panic mode, certain she was canceling on us, and that we’d have to find another place to stay last minute. Instead, she informed me that the building we were due to stay in was having some repairs done (it is off season after all) – repairs that would likely be very loud and disruptive. While she hated to muck with our plans, would we mind terribly if she moved us instead to another condo down the beach? A two bedroom, two bathroom unit with two private balconies, a terrace overlooking the ocean, and an oceanfront view from the living and bedrooms? At the same price, of course.
Um, no. We would not mind terribly at all, if that would be more convenient. You know. For her.
At the time, I took it to be a good sign for our upcoming travels that we were already getting an upgrade to a more swank condo at less than half the price. Now, I think it was the universe laying out for us a lovely place of solace to seek after our somewhat stressful week in Cuba. After days spent in a country with no stores, zero internet access, and staying at a family’s house (read: stuck in the bedroom), I must say I am enjoying the boon of our fortunate off-season timing. As I write this, I am sitting on our terrace, listening to the sound of crashing waves, taking full advantage of our WIFI connection and sipping a smoothie I just made with fresh fruit purchased at the grocery store down the street.
Turns out the Mexican tourist bubble isn’t so bad after all.