Wednesday, January 28, 2009

When in CANCUN

Bright blue seas reflecting the azure sky divided only by a strip of fine white sand on a shore dotted with plush resorts . . . sounds like the perfect backdrop for a flawless family vacation; right? Maybe, maybe not.

It all started with a somewhat stilted beginning. Halfway to Cancun -- Number 70 on my Bucket List -- Mexicana Airlines ran out of food halfway down the aisle. Perhaps that was a portent of things to come? You be the judge.

Once we arrived at our resort -- which shall remain nameless as a preemptive strike against litigation -- our valet led us to our two-story, two-bedroom villa. The surrounding grounds were lush, green and rich, accentuated by a deep blue lagoon. The bedroom designated for Sarge and I overlooked a fish pond with a waterfall. Lovely; right?

We walked across the hall to check out our kids' room, and found our son (18) glued to the window which overlooks the pool, and our daughter (12) curled up in a fetal position on her twin bed. Sarge and I made a beeline to the window to see what my son was looking at, and what we saw shocked and amazed us. And when I say "us" I mean me, because Sarge and his son were not shocked, but pleasantly surprised (like when one hits the Lotto) because the pool was surrounded by a bevy of bare-breasted women.

I marched right down to complain to management about advertising Kids Klub at a topless resort. It was all to no avail. The hotel manager said it was common knowledge that toplessness was not frowned upon in Cancun, and that I should have known about it. He suggested "When in Rome, do as the Romans." I immediately pictured orgies, togas, and his head on a platter.

With no other choice, we regrouped and adjusted. We peeled our daughter from her position of anguish and confusion -- I guess they don't teach about toplessness at Valley Christian School -- and we roamed the rest of the grounds. We stumbled upon a pool just for kids where nudity was shunned. Thank God!

Overall, I'd have to say it made for an interesting trip. For the rest of the week, each time we left the resort, we avoided walking past the "crazy naked party pool" and found things to do off site.

No need for a rental car in Cancun as there is only one main street with a bus that runs the length of it day and night. My children went parasailing while Sarge and I watched. We took a day-cruise over to Isla de Mujeres where we went snorkeling. Sarge got attacked by some coral reef, which gave us something to laugh about for days. A seven-foot eel swam right past me! Another day, we rented speed boats -- I drove one! -- and went on a jungle tour skimming over the waves of the lagoon. The kids went on a scuba diving excursion by themselves, but brought back a videotape of it.

I guess you could say we took our lemons and made lemonade. Mine's was spiked with tequila, of course. All in all, we had a, shall we say, memorable vacation, one for the books AND the blog.

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