The art of skin cancer

Trip Start May 11, 2005
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Flag of Mexico  ,
Monday, February 18, 2008

An all expenses  paid trip to the Mexican Riviera?   Yes Please!  This is exactly what happened for my parents' 40th wedding anniversary.   They paid for the whole family to fly down and stay in a resort about 2 hours south of Cancun.   They had been planning on celebrating like this for a while but when it actually started to happen I could barely believe it.  This is very un-Hildreth like.....traveling?  Spending a lot of money?   Paying for an all-inclusive resort with pool bars, beach bars, indoors bars and free room service?  This is practically unheard of!  I would not have believed it myself if I had not been there. This was Chelise and my chance to finally vacation the way rich people do.   The one thing that sticks out from our previous travels is walking past the people who are staying at nice beachside resorts while we are on the way to some grubby hostel. Normally when I catch a glimpse of  monster blue pools with comfy beach chairs complete with sunbathers and ice cold margaritas, there is small tinge of jealousy that I experience.  Finally it was our turn!

      Having been in this part of the world before I decided we should arrive in Cancun a day early so I could show Chelise around Tulum before the family got there.  We went  to the same hostel I stayed at last year when I was just starting my trip for central America.   I wanted to take her to a cool beach bar that holds a trance party every Friday night complete with stilt walking fire twirlers but when I looked online it said it was canceled. Because of this information we decided to spend the night in Playa del Carmen and hit Tulum the next day.   Upon arrival I found out that they did have the party after all!!!  ODEN'S BEARD!   The rest of the day we spent lying in the sun and wandering around the beach.   We even went to a swanky beach bar that had a terrace overlooking the ocean with bean bags to lounge on while sipping cold drinks.   The backpacker in me told me that I should not be spending money on such frivolities in the middle of the day but the lazy vacationer in me won out and we spent the rest of  the hot day doing what rich westerners do on vacation.  Sunburn and drink!  

      The next day we took off to find the resort.  The original plan was to meet the parents at the airport and all ride together to the place.  However after looking at the map we realized we'd be backtracking. We decided to make our own way to the resort hoping that my mom would remember that if I did not show up on time to the airport to take off without me.  After busing, hitchhiking and walking 2 miles we arrived in a sweaty  mess.   After getting the grand tour of the facilities we decided to sit back, relax with a cold one and wait for the clan to arrive.

      The rest of the week was spent, swimming, working on skin cancer, reading, eating family meals and ordering room service (every day).  Despite my brother-in-law's irrational fear of the sun for himself and his whole family they would occasionally leave their room and let their kids  play in the pool.  Laying in the sun, napping, sipping cocktails and catching up with family was an ideal to spend the week.

      Besides venturing into the local town we did embark on a day trip.   We rented 2 cars and half the family went to some pricey water park while Chelise, me and my Mom headed down to check out the Tulum ruins and  go snorkeling in an underground cave (cenotes).   I had been to the ruins before but never to the underground caves.   We went to Dos Ohos (two eyes - for the shape of the pools). It was awesome to swim here in these fresh water  pools, dodging the stalagtites and peering down upon scuba divers. The Tulum ruins are cool too with lazy lizards lounging in the sun. We really packed our day full of activities.

    Finally it was time to leave our paradise and come home and live like a peasant in the real world.
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