The Griswald Phlock goes to Mexico
Produced by: Joe and Wanda (hereafter Mother and Dad)
Directed by: Parrotthead Terry AR
Special Arrangements by: Kathryn at TravelFrom.com (Many thanks go out to this lady. She did a hell of a job putting this all together)
Joe (Sire and grand-sire to the PHlock)- Has had 3 surgeries since January 04 (2 of which were on his brain). He was given a life expectancy of about 2 years after the first surgery. 14 months later he is still doing very well but has limited abilities thus a wheelchair was needed for parts of the trip. Getting up and down and walking are not his strong points.
Wanda (Dam and grand dam to the PHlock). Has in the past 2 Ė 3 years had heart surgery and breast cancer surgery. She is in pretty good shape except she has a lot of worries on her shoulders. My brother (who couldnít make the trip nor did he want to) is one of them, my Dad, and yours truly are some others..
Jo Anna -oldest sibling at 57ish, no health problems.
Bill, Jo Annaís husband, also 57ish, no health problems.
Brian and Brent, Bill and Jo Annaís sons (my nephews) who are in their 30ís, fit as a fiddle.
Kim, my brotherís oldest daughter in her 30ís, has had recent bouts w/ lyme disease/tick fever. Has other health problems too but is not mobility impaired in any way.
Tim , Kimís husband, good shape
Josie, Kimís 10 year old half sister, my brotherís daughter from his 2nd marriage.
Josh, my 16 yr old son from my 1st marriage. Tim and Daniel, 12 yrs old also from that marriage.
Tim , 16, A friend of Joshís.
Marlys, my wife, 48 and healthy
Me (aka PH Terry AR), 47, A Jimmy Buffett fan. Has his share of health problems. He had back surgery January 21st, 05 and is still recovering from that and has a pseudo-cyst on his pancreas and has been sentenced to life without alcohol with a possibility of surgery if it doesnít continue to shrink. Doctors have been on his tail to quit smoking as well. Terry has been a Party Animal since about age 18 and quit drinking only a couple of months prior to this trip.
I tell you these health issues to help in understanding the story not for any sympathy. I hope you will look at this in a humorous way rather than a tragic way. I do!
We have 3 Timís on this trip.
I could start this report two years ago, when I asked my Dad to go with me to Cancun/Isla Mujeres on a father-son trip and let me show him the ruins down in the Yucatan while he was still in good health. That trip didnít happen but it almost did two months before we found out about the brain tumor. He was concerned at the time about my Mother and did not want to leave her behind.
Instead Iíll skip to the 1st day of travel when we left south Arkansas to drive to Dallas in order to catch our flight the next day (March 21). We trusted Josh to drive Mother, Dad. and Tim (Joshís friend) in my parents car. I drove Marlys, my twins Tim and Daniel, and myself in my truck. I had purchased some walkie talkies for the trip that supposedly would reach 7 miles (Ha! Not on Isla. 7 blocks would be way overestimating) but they proved to be handy for the car ride. Josh has just turned 16 and thus has just started driving and as far as I know has never driven in any heavy traffic. I was worried but I didnít know of anyone else who could handle Dallas traffic any better than him. Marlys maybe but Josh was the obvious choice. He did great despite the idiot who was driving like a mad man in the mixmaster in Dallas. This guy was weaving his car back and forth across one lane and the shoulder then two lanes and the shoulder and eventually three lanes and the shoulder before he finally got out of our sight. How he didnít cause a massive pile up I donít know. Why some Texan didnít pull out a 6 shooter and let him have it I donít know. We made it to the Drury Inn with no accidents though. Checked in and made sure I could connect to work w/ my laptop as I had to close out the month of March at my business upon the night of our return. All worked fine and Tim and Kim arrived (they live in Irving, TX) to pick up my Mother and Dad. Marlys, the boys, and I walk to the Benniganís next to the hotel for supper then return to our room to open birthday presents for my twins Timmy and Daniel. They got new snorkeling equipment, a card, and fifty dollars. I asked them to let me hold on to their money until we got to Mexico. We call it a night.
We all meet at the airport the next morning.
My son, Tim, had a pocket knife confiscated at security. I had asked them all at the hotel about knives and no one said anything.Uneventful flight for the most part except no one got to sit with one another. The PHlock was scattered all over that airplane. A plane from Minnesota had arrived late or something and they had to merge them all into our flight. We arrive in Cancun and depart onto the tarmac at Terminal 1. Dad makes it down the steps fine and he is whisked away by someone in his wheelchair. Most of the PHlock is following the crowd and Iím standing there wondering which way to go, with my wife and the boys or the Mexican guy pushing my Dad and my Mother who is following him. I follow the guy pushing Dad. We get to the inside of Immigrations where another guy grabs the wheelchair and offers to take me, my Dad and my Mother on thru immigrations. I give the 1st guy 2 bucks for pushing Dad and I tell the other guy to hold on that Iíve got 8 more around here somewhere. He says no way unless you got something bigger than 2 bucks (in so many words). Not to be bribed and thanks to Tim (Joshís friend) not filling out his paperwork and being the last one through the other door, I let him take Dad and Mother on while we wait in line. It was a long wait but Iíve had worse w/ better back conditions. Tim and Kim took Josie and went ahead in line. I had the rest. Finally clear Immigraciones, only to be checked by the same guy that whisked Dad thru 45 minutes ago. Backing upÖTim (Joshís friend) had to go to El Bano while we were waiting in line and was robbed of $5 in order to get past a Mexican blocking his way at the bathroom exit. Ok now weíre to the luggage where they now want $1 for the cart to put luggage on. At this point I donít care just get me outta here!!
Outside at last and we locate the Cancun Valet guy with our name on his sign. They will be to your left as you exit Terminal 1. Nice guy but, I forgot his name. He spoke poquita Ingles and I spoke poquita espanol along the way to GPC. It was fun to begin brushing up on my Southern Spanglish. Tickets purchased for 11 pholks, bags to the end of the dock, tips all around and boy do I wish I could drink a cervesa right about now. No can do. The thought more than crossed my mind, though.
All aboard the ferry and the smiles are all around. The weather is beautiful, a bit windy but great! The kids and I all sit up top. Tim and Kim ride in the rear by the Mexican Flag
While Mother, Dad, and Marlys opt for the A/C on the inside.
Ahhhhhh!!! That turquoise water!! The smells in the air. Onto the dock at Isla we goÖ..Arriba!!!! Tricycle guys (2) get the luggage and off we go down the main drag to Posada del Mar. Tim (Kimís Tim) pushes Dad while Mother and I pull up the rear, the rest are somewhere along the way. Timís trying to keep Dad on the sidewalks. I tell him just go down the edge of the street as best you can. Youíll never navigate these sidewalks with that wheelchair.
We make it to Posada and check in no problemo. He did ask for our confirmation number at first which gave me a start but, it was right there on our paperwork from TravelFrom. We had first floor rooms in the ďnew sectionĒ for everyone including JoAnna, Bill, and their two sons who would arrive the following day (Tuesday). Kids immediately hit the pool. My Tim is wanting his snorkel stuff for the pool while we are trying to get things semiiorganized and unpacked. Fine! Itís in the bag with all the other snorkel gear. Just make sure you get the ones that have your name on it cuz if you lose it then it will be you who is without it.(I had written everyoneís names on their gear w/ a Sharpie since they all looked so much alike). I wonder if I still have time to get a golf cart? A golf cart will be required to get Dad around. Not! Itís 5 oíclock already. I go to Mother and Dadís room and point out the bar to them through their patio door and explain how to get there. Tell them Iím going to walk to a money exchange and get some pesos. I go bsck and fetch Marlys, we go tell the kids and give Josh our room key. (Would be nice if Posada would give you more than one key but, I donít think they do). We walk up Hidalgo and there are now 2 additional cambios since I was here last. They are within someones shop though rather than just being a cambio. I elect to go to the one Iíve always used near the zocalo. Get $300 in pesos. This is the last time I know for sure that I had my wallet but I seem to remember having it the next morning when I rent a cart at Ciroís as well but I canít say for sure.
We return to Posada and find Mother, Dad, Kim, and Tim at the bar. All of the kids are still in the pool. I order a virgin strawberry daiquiri from Romy and we discuss supper. Also, asked Romy about a coffee pot supposedly left here by a message board buddy and he knows nothing about it. Fortunately, I had brought my own but I had envisioned letting my Mother and Dad have one for their own use. We (mostly me) decide on Picus for supper since it isnít very far, we can navigate the wheelchair there, and it WAS one of my favorite places to eat on Isla. Plus the fact that my brother in law, Bill, who doesnít eat any fish or fowl wasnít here yet. We also determine that we have to rename the 3 Tims. From then on, Kimís Tim was to be Tim, Joshís friend Tim was to be Timothy, and my Tim was to be Timmy. Are we confused yet? We arrive at Picus and are outside looking at the menu when Kim announces she doesnít like seafood. Then Timothy announces he is allergic to seafood. OK. Letís see what they have over here at the Mirimar next door. Iíve never eaten here but, it should be ok. Walla they have chicken on the menu. The place is nearly deserted compared to Picus. We all eat and it was very good. Marlys I had a whole fried grouper each-excellent. I think Mother and Dad both had fried filets-they were expecting corn meal on them as we fry them in the south but still good. Timothy had chicken enchiladas- no complaints. I donít recall what everyone else had. Maybe the pictures to follow will tell. Dad tries to get him a bourbon drink which is not to happen. They had Scotch but not bourbon. I talk him into a Margarita. We are in Mexico arenít we?
Tummies happy and we make the walk back to PdM for a good nightís sleep.