Monday, May 7, 2012

Sand in Places . . . Just Trying to Get There

It all happened really fast.

It was my husband's birthday.  A big one.  He was turning 40.  His father took the week off from his job as a General in the Air Force and a commercial pilot.  He made the time and we knew we needed to do something special for such a special birthday.

So, with a week to go to the birthday . . . we booked a trip to Mexico.  South of Cancun . . . North of Playa del Carmen - we are at a private home.

We love this place . . .

The morning started out rough . . . our driver didn't show up in a Suburban, he showed up in a sedan.  No way 2 adults - 2 kids - 6 bags - 4 carry ones . . . can be carried in a sedan.

My husband asked me to get my car and pull around front.  In the time it took me to get the car and get back around front . . . the driver was still sitting in the drive way . . . dazed and confused!

We are off . . . I didn't want to personally drive us to the airport but we were now pressed for time.  We arrive, get processed and now we wait to board.  All 7 of us, my mother, the four of us and two inlaws . . . flying together.  What a production!

Our flight was uneventful . . . I start taking the usual pictures . . . to build "The Book" of this trip.  My in-laws in their seats, my husband and our oldest son in their seats, Jake is my partner, so him in his seat and my mother in her seat.  This time no Air Marshall next to her . . . but why the empty seat?

2 short hours later we are in Cancun!  We all process through immigration, we gather our collective 16 bags and head off to be cleared by customs.  What totally gets me is this . . . (MEXICO) is the country of swine flu, of ecoli break outs, or a drug war that has been taken to the street.  And here I am . . . filling out a form . . . saying I haven't been sick, not bringing in meat, fruits or veggies or any large sums of money . . . Note to self . . . if you must bring in large sums of money to Mexico . . . make it $1. less than $10,000.  THAT is the amount they ask you to declare on the form!!!

As we head through customs . . . and push ALL 16 bags through the machine . . . they flag my trunk.  This was the first trunk my son had used to go to camp - until I knew this sleep away camp thing worked I was willing to spend $50 on a plastic trunk from Container Store and not buy one of the $260 trunks from  PLEASE NOTE . . . my trunk had already been opened . . . twice!  1 - by the American Airlines curbside guy - would needed to inspect it . . . 2 - by some TSA luggage inspector . . . WHY?!?!?!  do I know this - they taped the damn thing shut again - it had TSA Transportation Security Administration white tape with blue letters all over it.  They had taped it closed since they broke the seal  . . . that American Airline placed on it once they had inspected it.

So, why would Mr. Power Hungry Mexican dude . . . need to open my trunk when it was clear . . . it had passed the TSA regulations . . . again I go back to the fact Mexico's greatest contribution to the U.S. is . . . swine flu, ecoli outbreaks and a drug war.  YES . . . the clearly anglo . . . blonde . . . mother of two . . . traveling with 6 other people ranging in age from 63 to 4 . . . plump . . . WOMAN is bringing something into Mexico that could harm people.  Great racial profiling dude!  He clearly needs a class. 

He opened my trunk . . . AFTER making my husband unload the three bags sitting on top of it on the luggage cart and place it on his table.  He asked us . . . in Spanish . . ."do you have any food in there?"  We replied with "we have no fruit or meat in there."  Did that stop him from opening it?  No, so why ask the damn question?  He was such an idiot . . . he didn't even know where to open the trunk or to start unwinding the TSA tape.  He was trying to open it from the back.  I whip it around in my no-nonsense, you are wasting my time, clearly the US didn't have a problem why should you . . . and tell him in Spanish "start here, this is the front."  The dumb ass inspection guy FINALLY pops it open only to expose all the surprises I had packed for my husband's birthday . . . I had all sorts of decorations to put up around the house as a surprise for when he wakes up on his birthday.  I am surprised it is all sitting on top in the trunk and my husband sees it all.  I loudly spoke . . . NOT yelled, at the guy . . . "Look you ruined my surprise"  my husband shot me a look like - what the hell Jen,  my mother-in-law - said "be careful, you don't want to go to jail."  I was furious and the sad example of an inspection agent closed the trunk back up, locked it back down and sent us on our way.  I hope someone ruins one of his surprises . . . then he will know!

Our driver is there, he loads all our bags and we are off to the house.  We arrive about 40 minutes later . . . greeted with pina coladas and fresh cold wash cloths scented with mint.  We stop in the Palapa while the workers unload the luggage from the van and move the bags to the house.  This is the first of many drinks . . . the first of everyone sitting back to enjoy the scenery and the first of many toasts to a great guy on his birthday trip.

Our bags are placed in our rooms.  My father-in-law heads off to jog, my mother has our youngest and they are in the pool, my husband, mother-in-law, our oldest and myself head off to the grocery to get the snacks and stuff to make sangria and pina coladas . . .daily!!!

We get back unload the groceries, load the car and are off again to Pelican's Ocean Grill in Puerto Morelos.  Puerto Morelos is a small ocean side city, people walk everywhere.  Everyone local knows everyone else, so it is easy to spot an outsider.  Pelican's is beautiful.  We arrives as the sun was setting.  We could see the sun shining across the water, the boats rocking, the waves crashing onto the sand and here we were enjoying fresh fish, pasta de marinas, maricos de tocino and dos hamburguesas for the boys.

We were all relieved to be able to sit back and just enjoy ourselves for a minute.  No where we had to be . . . not getting ready for school . . . not dealing with clients.

It was a great ending to a great day!

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