Thursday, February 24, 2005

Where I Went On Holiday - Playa Del Carmen, Part 3

[Originally posted on]

Day 2
OK, then. THIS is more like it. Nancy is awakened, fully refreshed, by the sound of me sneezing like a bomb going off sixteen times in a row. I think there's pieces of brain mixed in there by now. More pills.

Lying there in bed waiting for my skull to stop richocheting, I can't help but notice that it's a beautiful day outside. HEN-ry! had demonstrated the functioning of the impossibly complex A/C remote-control the night before, but he was operating under the mistaken impression that because I was standing in front of him, nodding and saying "yes, OK" that was absorbing even a tiny fraction of the information. I was not. But you know what? We didn't need A/C. I wanted to hear the birds outside, and it wasn't that hot; just very pleasant.

I couldn't really hear the birds all the well, though, because one drawback to the "junior suite with rooftop jacuzzi" at Hotel La Tortuga is that it backs onto 10th Avenue. I had been terrified booking the room that the noise from 5th would keep us awake -- but the noise from 10th was of a whole 'nuther caliber. Trucks, scooters, cars, banging cans, people yelling, whistles, honks, all kinds of things. It was a lovely day, all right, but a loud one. However, I was actually kind of glad, because I'm a terrible late sleeper and I HATE wasting the beautiful days on vacation gurgling up slowly out of sleep. Let's get out and have a look!

So we went to breakfast downstairs. Hotel restaurant, quite pleasant. A great deal of papaya was consumed by us both, in both solid and liquid form, as we both crave the stuff and the ones we get at home are three bucks and have been only partially ripened, apparently by exposure to nuclear waste. Not the same. These were yummy. The Agora restaurant attached to La Tortuga does a very nice breakfast if you're looking for something simple in a lovely garden setting.

Then: the beach. I read somewhere that there's a beach around here, and I meant to find it. We got our towels and membership paper for Mamita's at the desk, and strolled up through the town. Avenida Quinta (see, my Spanish is improving rapidly) even at this hour is a riot of color and sounds. Very pleasant. Mamita's is quite far, up beyond where the good street peters out, and Nancy is as usual convinced that I am leading her in the wrong direction into some kind of abandoned worksite, probably with a huge pit of chemicals to fall into, but I drag her onward and we find instead a bit of nice beach.

Nice, did I say nice? We've been to Hawai'i a few times, and we have fantastic beaches here in Washington (as long as you keep a sharp eye out for huge SUVs barrelling across them at 50 MPH), but not like this. What is this, this, STUFF on the ground? It can't be sand -- it's light and fluffy like powdered sugar, and it's cool to the touch, and when you snuggle your toes down in it, it's even cooler. Amazing. I've never seen sand like it. I'm starting to like this place. ATCHOO.

The bandana is gone; I think it was carted away by the hazardous waste people at the airport. But Nancy, being a woman, has secreted about her person at least a dozen little packets of tissues. Being a man, I of course habitually make fun of this ladylike behavior; I don't need no steenking tissues! Except of course I do. Once again I am forced to grovel and admit that I am a base creature and wrong as always, and get my own supply. ATCHOO.

The scenery is so beautiful; luscious glistening mounds of -- er, OK, I'm not supposed to be staring at the Italian women. Right. Seven shades of blue in the sea, four more in the sky, a few puffy clouds scudding across in the light breeze; and what's this? Oh hello. Why, yes, I WOULD like a nice cold cerveza, por favor.

We spend the entire day just lying there on our lounges. I got up a couple of times to shift mine a few inches to keep up with the moving shade, and at the previously arranged hour we did stroll up to the webcam and pose for our friends. But other than that, it was just pure decompression time. I could get used to this. I AM used to this already.

Ah yes, she turned over. Thank you, benevolent universe. It's a good thing Nancy can't see where my eyes are pointing through these new sunglass -- OW! What'd you hit me for?

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