Tag Archives: Mexico

Adios Mexico!

20 Oct

So after six beautiful days in sunny Cozumel, and after six days of amazing scuba diving, it’s back to the mainland for me. Luckily, no one got sick, we saw lots of fish, and our plane leaves at an appropriate time for an in-flight cocktail. Yeah, luckily…

After a week at the bottom of the sea, I feel like I should have some big life lessons or deep insights to share. But…this is me we’re talking about…so here goes.

  • Traveling with my dad and his BFF, aka “the dads,” is best described as an adventure. A really, really, really funny adventure.
  • I really, really enjoy the limitless supply of tap water that exists in the States. It’s one of those little luxuries that I never think about until I don’t have access to it. Not to mention my Prius-driving inner environmentalist finds bottled water quite wasteful.
  • There is always that one guy who gives American tourists a bad name. This trip, it was “big bob.” The guy smoked like a chimney, drank like a fish, and was some of the worst dive boat company ever. He was too lazy to figure out how to say “Jorge” and insisted on calling the dive guide “George.” Did I mention his personal hygiene was also lacking? GROSS.
  • I’m addicted to technology. This should come as no surprise.
  • College humor is never-ending…and I still find most of it funny. The ridiculous scuba diving t-shirts, with slogans like “divers do it deeper,” still make me laugh.
  • Everyone should get off the beaten path once in a while. Here, in Mexico, away from the tourist traps, you meet the most amazing people and find the most amazing things. You might be the only gringo there, but it’s how you experience real life.
  • I will miss this place, and diving, and getting to unwind a bit in the anonymity of being a tourist. It has been wonderful.

    But what I’ll really miss? The fact that life is much, much simpler when lived at the bottom of the sea.

    The next time someone says I am high maintenance…

    18 Oct

    They should remember that I scuba dive.

    Scuba diving is not glamorous. And you cannot be high maintenance if you dive.

    Right now, I’m on day five of the great father-daughter adventure. Which means I’ve spent half of the last four days either at sea or in the sea. With two more to go.

    Sure, scuba diving sounds glamorous and I get to go to exotic places like Belize and Papua New Guinea…but there is NOTHING exotic about neoprene bodysuits. Or marine toilets.

    Let me tell you what life is like.

    We wake up, and schlep our dive gear down to the “marina.” We board the large bathtub boat, and take the roller coaster boat ride to the dive site. This is after hauling air tanks, repairing the boat engine, and fixing whatever else broke overnight. And don’t even think about bringing anything that needs to stay dry onto the boat. There is no such thing as “dry” on a dive boat.

    Once you get to the reef, after getting pelted in the face with salt spray for thirty minutes to an hour, it’s time to shove yourself into five millimeters of neoprene so you’re not freezing once you hit the ocean floor. And no one, no matter how good looking you are, looks good in a wetsuit. It’s just…not a good look.

    And after four days of diving, it doesn’t matter how much you try to wash things…they just smell like ocean. And not the good salt smell that reminds you of the spa.

    Did I mention the part where you spit inside your mask so it doesn’t fog up? Because that’s really sexy.

    After spending a few hours in the ocean, you come back from the boat covered in a mix of salt, sweat, and sunscreen. And get ready to do it all again the next day. Why? Because divers are just crazy like that. And the ocean is full of cool stuff to look at.

    Right now, my hair feels like straw from being continually submerged in salt water. I have water in my ears so I’m half deaf and off balance. My feet have a few raw spots from my fins, which won’t heal up due to continually being wet. I’m starting to break out from wearing layers of grease sunscreen. I haven’t worn makeup in days. My blood is full of nitrogen and my throat is scratchy from inhaling compressed air. And don’t bother trying to look pretty. It’s so hot here you start sweating even with air conditioning on.

    But this is the scuba life. And it’s worth it.

    So no, I am not high maintenance.

    And besides, high maintenance is just another word for high quality.

    Yes, I’m with THOSE Dads.

    14 Oct

    So day one of the great Father-Daughter Adventure is finished. And “adventure” is putting it lightly…

    First, there was the 3:45 a.m. wake-up call. I’ll admit that getting home the night before was entirely my fault…BUT STILL. No one is that cheerful before 4, Dad.

    Then there was plane nĂºmero uno. Everything was going quite well, minus the Asian couples who each had millions of carry on bags and didn’t understand that they all had to be in an overhead bin or under a seat…And let’s not forget the guy in the hazmat suit who came rushing down the aisle with a bucket of blue goo because the bathroom wasn’t working. Awesome.

    I give major props to the woman sitting behind me who tried to order a mimosa at 5:30 a.m. It was five o’clock, right?

    Now for plane number two. We had the most super cheerful flight attendant, who came around with champagne and mimosas as soon as we boarded the plane. Me, being smart, happily accepted.

    But not those dads. They, turned down champagne, asking for the hard stuff. “Not until we are in the air” was the response. “In the air” turned out to be 30-plus minutes later. Jealous of my champagne? Rookie mistake, Dad.

    But let’s get to the “in the air” part. My dad, being efficient playing catch-up, asks our other cheery flight attendant for doubles. The attendant happily brings over multiple airplane bottles and extra tonic…at this point, the daughters just look at the two dads…yes, we’re with those two. This pattern continued throughout the flight. It also involved moments of my dad getting up to fetch his own ice from the kitchen…and so on.

    Did I mention this was all before noon?

    Also, since when are passengers from steerage coach allowed to use the first-class bathroom? Flight attendants were falling down on the job. (Probably too busy herding cats who were in the galley trying to get their own ice…)

    Now to when we land. We get off the plane, get through immigration, and bienvenidos a Mexico! As soon as we get our bags and get through customs, that is. At customs, my dad tries to tag along on my form, claiming that I “never gave his back.” Erroneous, it was in his passport. That is, until I got the dreaded red light and my bags had to be searched. THEN he wanted nothing to do with me.

    When I got outside to the death trap cab, I was sent to fetch beers from the outdoor airport bar. And, due to my very important beverage mission, I was the last person to the cab, which was stuffed full of twelve people and their bags. My “seat” was on top of a suitcase, balanced against the door.

    After arriving at the hotel (which is quite lovely), we went to a bar called the Thirsty Cougar. After the most delicious fresh chips and guac ever (and possibly a few beers), I was forced to commandeer a glass from the bar.

    We then went to “go see our Italian friends” down the block…where I had to explain that a spumante was not, in fact, the type of Italian white they were looking for…a bottle of wine later, we were back at the hotel.

    And, because I was running on three hours sleep, I went to bed and skipped any potential dinner adventures.

    All in all, it was a great day. The dads are hysterical and crack the daughters up. It’s going to be a good trip.

    I promise to post photos, as soon as I figure this whole blogging from my iPad thing out.