Monday, March 23, 2009

Southerners Invade Mexico

We left a cold and rainy day here in Birmingham to make the trek to a much warmer location in this world. The kids were beside themselves with the knowledge that they were going to get to ride on a plane. For those of us that were more experienced travellers, we were more worried about the kids melting down towards the end of the day. The kids didn't realize how tiring and frustrating airports coupled with standing in queues coupled with customs coupled with security coupled with...sigh...

To our pleasant surprise, the kids were wonderful, and it was really nice to have the eternal worst case scenario that plays out in my head proven very very wrong. It usually is wrong...which tells me I should somehow try to modify that mind set. We landed in Atlanta and met our group while the rest of our forces were flying to the "theater of operations" from our Texas Command Post via Mexico City!

We landed in Cancun amidst the throngs of college age spring breakers. I must say that these youthful faces looked younger than I remember looking in college.

Then the real fun began. Would we stay in the drunken meat market of Cancun? NO!

We rented a car and a the ultimate Mexican Assault Vehicle, a 5 speed van! That boxy thing was so sweet, I want one here in the states. We drove that thing like the F1 race car that it wasn't. We pushed the limits of it's suspension and the top end speed. I was waiting for the 4 foul tempered hamsters that powered it to scurry out from under the hood at a stop light leaving us hitch hiking all the way to Tulum...


After a pit stop in Playa del Carmen to grab some authentic fish tacos at a randomly selected restaurant we went to the oddly American oasis of Sam's Club to buy food for the week. When the parade of shopping carts rolled out to the cars, which were already loaded with 2.5 tons of luggage and people, that van turned out to be a very valuable asset. Once we loaded our provisions, we headed further south to Hacienda Kass at speeds a small plane would have been proud of.

Speaking of low flying aircraft, the Mexicans put some ingenious speed control devices across the road called Topes. We had been bumping around on these regularly during our journey south to the house, but now we were flying along with a fully loaded van in the dark. And there it was looming like an asphalt mountain in front of us. BUMP! I yelled as the van was launched into the air. Eric, who had the unenviable task of carrying 36 eggs in his lap to keep them "safe", actually had time to pick them one by one out of the air in front of him and place them back in the package as the van began re-entry into the atmosphere. It was an amazing feat that we only had one escape the package upon landing.

It was lucky I had the camera out to snap this shot while the van was in microgravity...

The rest of the trip to the dirt road where Hacienda Kass was located was uneventful...relative to the low earth orbit, re-entry, and landing we experienced earlier that is. When we arrived at the house, Eric opened his door egg fell to the pavement as our only casualty of the trip. I felt it was a worthy sacrifice to the Mayan Egg God, and I'm sure it helped with our luck for the rest of the trip.

A successful invasion by any standards!

Next Post: Sunrises, Hammocks, and Kayaks.

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