First things first: we made it! After bidding farewell to my parents in Florida, enjoying some margaritas and chips at the Chile’s inside the terminal at TIA (it seemed appropriate) and two easy plane flights, we landed in Mexico safely. Horrah!
My first impression of Mexicans as we exited the Cancun airport was that they are much more polite and well-organized than Dominicans (having just come from the Dominican Republic, it was hard not to compare). It was easy to find the bus that would take us downtown, and although people were definitely soliciting their businesses, no one was quite as in your face as they were on the beaches of the DR.
But although I may prefer the Mexican mode of business over the Dominican, there’s one thing I am missing about the DR: their mosquitoes I know it sounds weird – and I definitely got my fair share of bites while traveling the island – but in my first half-hour waiting for the bus at the Cancun airport I got EATEN ALIVE. And the carnage has only continued. As I returned to our hotel this evening and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror I found myself wondering if it would ever be possible to have a travel adventure that didn’t involve me suffering physical discomfort and disfigurement thanks to biting bugs.
Anyways, by the time we reached downtown Cancun it was dark and we were hungry and exhausted. We set out to find a room to rent and luckily found a clean, decently priced place on our first try.
Then we headed out for dinner to a restaurant Austin had checked out for us when he flew out of Cancun to meet me in the DR (he spent 6 weeks this fall in Mexico doing some solo travel and scouting out places for us to visit). The restaurant was overpriced, flamboyant, and totally charming. As we sat in a courtyard surrounded by replicas of ancient Mayan carvings enjoying our Dos Equis and feasting on seafood, I couldn’t help but think to myself how crazy it is that you can wake up one morning in your childhood bedroom with your cat purring next to you and your parents downstairs, and then go to sleep that very night in a whole other country, worlds away from the previous night’s dreams.
The hotel was decent, the dinner delightful, but that wasn’t enough to earn Cancun any extra hours as far as we were concerned. The downtown area was dirty and loud, and apart from a charming square with street vendors and toy cars for rent (it was fun to watch the toddlers climb into their little convertibles and ride around the square), we found it to be generally bland and a little unnerving (when laser light shows exude from every convenience store on the street, it starts to grade on you). So after a good night’s sleep A and I headed for the pier to make our way out of Cancun and on to our great Mexican adventure.