Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Tulum Trip, Uno

Let's start with the good part which by my account was everything in between arriving at Los Lirios in Tulum, Mexico and getting home to California. We'll leave the airline travel nightmare for another day.

Los Lirios is a slice of paradise if ever there was one. I grew up visiting the beaches of California and have lived by the magnificence of the Pacific for 11 years but never in my life have I felt sand that soft, water that warm, or been blinded by such beauty (ok, the whiteness of sand helped with the blinding). Upon arrival, all the PTSD symptoms from my life in Santa Cruz, from my job turmoil, from the horrors of traveling, from the entire year, really, seemed to melt away in the tropical sun. We were there less than an hour and we were on the beach, stretched out, poised to burn.

I took your recommendations to heart when it came to selecting my reading list for the trip. With three resounding votes, I selected and devoured The Time Traveler's Wife. I wept and laughed and didn't want to put the damn thing down. And when I was through, I was sad. So sad. Great books do that to me. I whipped through My Friend Leonard. I didn't think James Frey could top his first book but this one comes close. It tore my heart out. I finished it while crying behind my sunglasses as I sat at Gate 16 in Houston, Texas. In between, I read my conversational Spanish book and a book of tales from female travelers (thanks Dumpling).

Tangent: Houston is like a foreign country to me. The big hair! Am I wrong in believing that the state of Texas is responsible for hairspray still being in existence? I visited the bathroom facilities and was almost shellacked to death by an onslaught of AquaNet. Woah. Ease up on the spray there sister!

Vacation consisted of a lot of lounging. Lounging is Good (with a capital G). I am notorious for being a horrible relaxer. I am always trying to do two things at once, never sitting still for very long. I have ants in my pants, I guess. Really, I think I am just trying to outrun guilty feelings. Idle hands/mind somehow in my brain, long ago, was equated with laziness and being boring. I learned, after countless siestas, cervezas and romps in the sea, that down time isn't about being lazy or about being boring, it's about just BEing. Nothing to distract me but the lull of the waves, the waiter offering cold beers and the story in my book. I was surprised how quickly I took to being cellphone, computer and television free. I really do believe that I have returned a more mellow person. (Emotional outburst at the San Francisco Airport not withstanding.) Please, peanut gallery, don't cast your stones just yet. ;)

It felt like we were always eating. Laying in the sun, swimming and sweating can really give a girl an appetite. There was a restaurant just steps away from our room where we ate breakfast every day- granola and yogurt, fresh fruit, empanadas with chirizo or cheese or chicken, huevos fritos or reveultos con carne or sin carne, delicious juice, beans, etc., etc., etc. We made friends with our waiter, Victor, or as I like to call him, Dimples. He was my beer pusher. I'd say yes to one beer (not with breakfast, mind you) and then he wouldn't let up. I'd be barely halfway done and he'd be standing there with that dimpled grin asking, "Mas cerveza?" Ok, ok! Mas cerveza!

The weather was perfect up until Thursday when it turned more humid and the wind picked up. The ocean was churning. We'd already gotten our "tans" (ok, mine was definitely a burn and 100 more freckles) the first few days. Friday, our final day, was downright stormy. The trees whipped, the waves crashed and occassionally, fat rain drops fell. It was a good thing we'd gotten our excursions and sea & sand time in before the bad weather hit. With the humidity notched up, I was wilted. I become very Blanche DuBois from Streetcar Named Desire in the heat & humidity. I am such a wimp.

(More trip tales to come. . .)


Anonymous said...

did you buy a mexican sweater? mexican sweaters rock!!!!!1

Sizzle said...

i think you are thinking of irish sweaters...or maybe a mexican poncho?

you sure do like sweaters!

;) sizz

sue said...

At least this part of the vacation sounds wonderful. You've got me scared about the travel, bad huh? Me? No tan. At all. I burn and peel and freckle, then start all over...

Mrs. Ca said...

Sounds like it was wonderful! I'm glad to hear you liked My Friend Leonard. It's next on my reading list (right after I finish The DaVinci Code). It seems like you got the good time you deserved. :)

Amanda said...

Glad you had a great time!! Sounds wonderful!

erin said...

Although I was in in slightly warmer than usual Chicago, I found myself mellowed out by my long break away from work. Just doing what I wanted to do made me so happy.

But I would have been even happier in Mexico!

alissa said...

I don't know what is going on with my computer, but your site wasn't updating on it! I just now caught up on all of your posts.

So glad you're home safe and well rested! It sounds like the trip was so good for your soul.

Happy New Year!

Lizzie said...

Glad you had such a great time (other than the travel woes of course). This is a great ad for Los Lirios! It makes me want to jump on the next plane there.

p.s. totally agree about Texas. "shellacked to death" - hahaha!

Thomas said...

Even babies with little or no hair have big hair in Houston. And people ask me why I left.

Gary said...

Texas really IS the land of big hair. What's that all about?

gorillabuns said...

it looks like you had a wonderful time. loved looking at the pics by the way!

Bill said...

1) Glad you liked The Time Traveler's Wife ... I was going to mention you might need a hankie or two but thought that might turn you off, so I didn't. I think it's one of the best books I've read in the last year or two. (And according to, it's will be a film directed by Gus Van Sant, screenplay by Jeremy Leven, who wrote and directed Don Juan de Marco - one of my favourite movies.)

2) Not sure what PTSD symptoms are.

3) I've ants in my pants too but I think beaches are for walking along, not sitting - I've never been able to just lie in the sun for more than five minutes. But to walk along beaches! I could do that all day!

4) Because I live in such a dry place, it can never be too humid for me. God, how I miss thick, humid air that carries every stink around. Sounds gross, but I miss it. I love the idea of perspiring just by opening your eyes. (You've no idea just how dry the air in Alberta is - it's mind boggling. There's actually a wall of air along the Continental Divide between Alberta and British Columbia in the Rockies. One side, no humidity. The other side ... well, nothing but air you could cut like bread. Well, maybe not bread ... but you get the idea.)

Scott said...

Glad that you enjoyed Mexico. Did you get out and see any of the sight like Tulum or Coba or Xel Ha. I was there over a year ago now and loved every minute of it. The Ocean is magnificent.


Melissa said...

Awww I wish I had known you were laying over in Houston! I'd have taken you for drinks. All those women in the airport with big hair are from Dallas, Houston women are about half as bad as they are.

So, so glad to hear you had a wonderful time in Mexico, you had it coming.

I read The Time Traveler's Wife early last year and made everyone else read it too. You may like The Kite Runner and The Secret Life of Bees.

circe said...

I don't think there is anything quite like to being at the beach and just 'being.' But me being me, it's the Atlantic Ocean I love. :)

Sounds like you had a wonderful time!