Okay, My name is Mike, my girlfriend's name is Patti and her daughter's name is Kylie. This will help you understand who we are and where we are from. We are from Kansas. We travel to Mexico in July because it's cooler than Kansas. I know this sounds weird but it's the true. We have been to Cancun, Mexico 5 times, stayed all-inclusive at the Caribbean Village everytime. I would like to tell you about the first time the three of us have went together.
Since Patti and I have been there many times we know the drill, don't take anything that you don't need, travel light check only the amount of money you have. We decided to take Kylie, who by the way, is taking dictation on this since I type with two fingers, very slow. We had booked our flights, booked out hotel, talked to Continental Airlines on several occasions about seating, how many hours prior to get to the airport before our flight. We drive from Manhattan, K.S. 120 miles to M.C.I. Airport and check in to the airport, Ramada Inn, just like every other time. This is the plan so far, Okay, Day 1- We pack, we take only carry-on. We wake up, we're ready to leave, I'm sitting at the computer, checking the last of the Cancun chat boards. I walk from the computer to the front door and notice that we have a mountain of bags. I ask Patti, "Do you know how many carry-on bags you are allowed" her reply is, "Huh?!" my response, " I do not want to go through checked luggage because of 9/11, we do not need to take anything besides shirts, shorts, and sandles anything else we can buy at Wal-Mart. As the discussion continues I become annoyed. We need to leave very soon, I quickly slam on my tennis shoes and tell everyone that we are taking one bag a person, MAKE IT SO. We throw the bags in the car and drive to M.C.I. We get within 3 miles of the hotel at the airport and find out that the state bird of Kansas is an orange traffic barrel, they are roosting in our path. The detour takes us through thick and thin, old and new, residental, and gravel roads. Finally we arrive at our oasis. I proudly walk in the front door, annouce who I am, annonce my comp #, my desire for a smoking room on the ground floor. HA! ain't happenin' today for 5 or above by the way your reservation says non-smoking ground floor. HA! ain't happenin' today. I take the room that we're givin, walk in and quickly turn the A.C. to zero tell everyone you have 4 minutes we're headed to the bar then the pool. I'm a time freak so I set the alarm clock for 3:30 am to catch the shuttle to the airport at 4:30 am. We stow the bags, cold beer in hand, to the elevator we go. First stop, the bar. ain't happin' today. the bar is closed, they didnt pay their liquor license. Persistant we trek on, to the pool. Large sign at the pool, No alcoholic beverages, pool side. ain't happenin' today. We settle down beside the pool have several cold ones by the pool ignore all the rules, Life is good. after getting a little sun, a little fun, and a little beer, we move back up stairs to our room. I call to the desk for our wake-up call, 3:45 am, it's to sleep land we go.
I awake to the sound of a screaming alarm clock. and the very first thought that goes through my head, where am I and why is it 45 degrees in this room? I tell the girls, Okay, we have 25 min. no need to look too beautiful, we just need to move right along. We grab the bags and down the elevator we go. We get to the front desk, and I decide to ask, WHY I DIDN'T GET MY WAKE-UP CALL. and at the same time I look at the clock behind the desk 5 sec. into adjusting the desk clerks attitude about my wake-up call that was not suppose to happen for another 20 min. because the hotel hadn't changed the clock in our room from day-light savings time. Needless to say, feeling quite stupid, having already thrown a fit, I calmly explained that I was on my way to Cancun and wanted everything to be perfect. HA! ain't happenin' today. We take the shuttle to the airport arrive there 1 hr. prior to our departure and the gate is not even open. There is no one at Continental's gate. I go outside calmly, and smoke 16 cigarettes in 20 minutes. They open the gate. We go to the counter, we produce e ticket info, photo I.D.'s, birth certificates and all other necessary documents, a very nice man, with a pleasant smile said, " All you need now is a signed notarized letter from her natural father out of the country" my answer, "WTF are you talkin about" he explains in detail, the rules of Mexico. I am still in shock 15 minutes later as he talks and explains that this can be made to work. He tells me that I need to have this piece of paper notarized by Kylie's natural father. He will fax it to Kylie's dad, I say "Cool, not a problem." Not today! We don't need it notarized and faxed back, we need the original. I ask him, "How in the hell, do you think I can do this and catch a flight in 20 minutes?" He says, "Sir, I am working on it, I have you booked on the next 2 flights if you can't make the first one I have you booked on the next one" by this time I am in shock. Patti calls her ex-husband, explains the problem to him, He says, " NO PROBLEM!" We fax the letter to his job. He signs it, and then we realize where do we get it notarized at 5:30 am? I am out of shock, Dillons has a notary, We decide he signs the letter goes to Dillons gets it notarized, he heads towards M.C.I. we head from M.C.I. towards him. We all have cell phones, sounds like a perfect plan. We will meet somewhere in between. Not today! Somehow in the conversation, he does not understand the timing involved to drive the same 120 miles that I had just done and turn around and drive the same 120 miles back in 3 hours. His job required him to feed the dairy cows before leaving for Dillons. So to make a little shorter, Ha, we met 6 miles from where he started. Transferred paper work, gased up, and did the 120 miles again. Went to the airport, parked the car, 4 bucks a day I think, ran in, same guy at the counter, rushed to our flight, got picked to do the shoe thing, did the wand, not a terrist, went through. Flight took off, everything was cool. Got to Houston, landed at gate A-23 had to be at E-16 in 20 minutes, sounds like alot of time, except for Patti has M.S. they did not transfer our meet and assist on this new flight. So we run the best we can from one end of Houston airport to the other. About half way we got picked up by an electric cart. Finally get to our gate, first thing we heard, flight was delayed 45 minutes, somebody puked on the plane. Gunna take some time to clean it up. I CALMLY settled down in a seat and waited. There is an annocment that unable to prep. plane transferred to gate A-16. Here the hell we go again. We get to the new gate sit down waiting our turn. I put my feet up on my carry-on pull my hat down and wait. I opened my eyes look at my feet, I'm wearing 2 different tennis shoes!! FLASHBACK! when this trip started 19 1/2 hours prior we were discussing carry-on luggage while I'm putting on my shoes. Not today! I chuckled, didn't tell Kylie and on about our trip we went. Have you had enough? It only gets better or worse if you were there or just readin'! Tip of the iceberg. Mike, Patti, and Kylie
Why I go to Isla Mujeres instead of Cancun, Part 2
We finally board the plane. We take off, I'm thinking that there is nothing that can make this go bad. Not today! We arrive at Cancun, since we have missed Patti's meet and assist. We have to do the long trail walk to immagrations. Since Patti's gait is slower than most and the elevator does not work, we are at the end of Helen Line. After 45 minutes, we finally get to the immagration desk, he smiles, stamps our paper work and away we go.
We go through the airport, dodge the time share sharks, out to the street and it finally dawns on me I have hired a limo that was for 3 flights at least ago. What's 100 bucks. Since we now have no ride to our hotel I opt for the fastest way to the hotel. What's 40 bucks? We load in to the van. Away we go. He actually drives slower than most Mexican cab drivers, I'm happy. We get to the hotel, we pull up in front, the doorman and the desk clerk, that we know so very well from 5 years, meet me at the front door. The desk clerk says, " Hola, Senor Michael. We have been worried about you. Was your flight delayed?" I tell him that it has not been good, I do not want to talk about it. His answer, "We have a problem". My answer is, "WTF are you talking about?" He says, "We do not have a room for you tonight or the rest of your trip, BUT we have you a room down the street, it is a very nice hotel." At this moment, I look back on all that has happened in the last 36 hours and tell myself NO, I made it this far, this is where I needed to be, this is where I'm staying. It is now 10:30 pm and he explains that we can stay here all day and party, eat drink be marry, we just can't sleep here. He says, " We can send you to the Tucan Cancun, nice room, same A.I. as you have here, you can come back anytime you want and me A.I. here. We will give you 4 free days, 3 nights if you just sign this paper. My next question is, "WTF you got to be kidding". "I'm sorry Senor" was he's answer. He offered to pay for the cab to our NEW hotel. Realizing that my luck had gone a stray I threw a fit. We took their offer, hopped in to their cab to our new hotel. Away we go. Walk up to the counter, they knew me the instant I walked in. It was like our old comfortable hotel. We had a room, a place to sleep, and everything that we needed. We went to our room, first thing I set the A.C. on zero. It did not work. I called to the desk they said they would have somebody up quickly. Within minutes, two maintance workers showed up, tore the complete air conditioner apart. Said, "Okay, Senor, It's working now." I decided that we if not me needed a beer. Down to the bar we went. Somehow in all mess, we went to the bar I went back to the room and the A.C. still did not work. So I told them just fix it. Back to the bar, it is now 12:30 a.m. Patti and I decide that it can't get any worse. So we have 5 or 6 beers. Kylie is tired, burned out, ready to go to sleep. I give her the key, tell her "Use the key, go in to the room, do not lock the dead bolt. Do not flip the door latch, we will be up soon." Not today! We stay at the bar until I am HAPPY!! We go to the room, stick the key in the door, I can unlock the door, but not the dead bolt. Hello! I knock on the door hoping that Kylie will answer, which at this time seems a shot in the dark. I KNOCK louder. I KNOCK LOUDER. I BEAT on the door. I realize at that time that Kylie has been awake for 26 hours, give or take a little time. I go downstairs, and ask the same deskman that I have talked to 2 about the A.C. if he can get me in that room? He suggested calling the room. We tried that 15 times. I stood in the hallway, yelled, beat on the door. The desk clerk called the room and let it ring, ring, ring, ring. Not today! I went back down to the desk. Told the clerk that when we had walked in the room, I noticed that our room had a enter-connecting door to the room beside it. I thought it would be easy, they could just go to the room next door, open it, unlock the door, we could go in, since Kylie would not wake up. Not today!
This is where I met, where I to this day, hold in my mind, a man I will always think of, Big John. He was the security guard and a mantainace man named, Ralo. We went into the room next door with BIG JOHN'S pass key went straight to the connecting door opened it with BIG JOHN's pass key and guess what?! There was another door locked, from the other side with no place for Big John's pass key. I ask Big John what can we do? He said Senor, we will have to ask the maintance man, who was standing right next to us. I pulled out 50 U.S.D. and said get me in my room, it's yours. Big John muttered something in Spanish, the maintance man, takes a hammer and pounds a screwdriver between the door and the frame and we're in. Big John being the security guard, still unsure of this gringo, goes through first. The maintance man follows, half way into the room, Big John turns looks turns pale white, crosses himself and mumbles something I don't understand. By that time I'm in the room, Kylie is asleep on the bed in perfect funeral form, arms crossed, acrossed her chest, flat on her back. Patti's bottle of pills on the night stand, Big John and the maintance man have assumed that Kylie has killed herself. Not today! I'm saving that for me! Okay, we all figure out Kylie is not dead, "sooned to be" that is time for all to go to bed. Good Night All, we finally get to sleep.
Anytime that you think, it can't get worse, it always does. Mike, Patti, and Kylie.
O.K. Everything that has went bad to this point is history. I wake up early, 7:30 am, I can not believe 3 hours sleep in a day and a half and I'm ready to go. But this is Mexico, I open the curtain and look out apon the pool, it's a fantastic morning. I wander around the room, trying to decide whether everything that has happened was just a bad dream or not. Patti wakes up a little less eager to meet morning. I tell her I'm going down to the pool to do the Cancun hotel reserve your seat, by placing a towel over 3 pool chairs. I hate to do it, but its the only way to get a seat in such a busy place. Back up to the room, Kylie is still asleep, probably won't wake up fully for serveral hours. We slipped out of the room, locked the door from the outside, went down for breakfast. Either I was very hungry or it was very good since I had not eaten for a day and a half. About the time, Patti and I finished breakfast, Kylie showed up and ate also. Back to the room to pick up sunscreen, camera, etc. down to the pool we head. We turn the corner to the lobby, following the signs that lead to the pool, I realize a trip to the pool, is not going to be easy, with Patti's M.S. and with 6 flights of stairs in front of us, we're off. Patti hanging on to the rail, with my assist, it takes more time than you can imagine, we finally arrive at the pool, wouldn't you know, the swim up bar is on the other side. The only thing that I can think that could ruin it now is a hurricane. Not Today! I decide as bad as yesterday went nothing can stop us now. I settle in at the swim up bar and wait for the bartender to stock the bar and tap the beer. After a few minutes, I get my first cold beer, life is good! Several beers later, a volleyball game starts, Kylie goes to the beach, and the crowd grows, being a people watcher it only takes a few minutes to figure out who the best volleyball players are. There's a tall Aussie, very good volleyball player, a shorter but stockier german, a fantastic volleyball player, using his head only. The Aussie and German play on one side vs. half the people in the pool and are still winning. As interest in the game grows, the Aussie and German are being out numbered with every new player. At one point in time the odds are just to great. I decide after several cold beers that I'll help them out. We play the rest of that game and win. I am by no means a great, good, average, volleyball player, I have had just enough beer to try really hard. We stop and take a break, go to the swim up bar and decide to have a cold one. Life is good, I'm on a roll. I am the 3rd member of a volleyball team whipping somewhere between 12 and 15 players on the other team. I tell the bartender we need a STEVEN RAY. (A steven ray is a drink invented in the town I live, by one of the people that work for me, it contains tequela and in Kansas, peach schnapps. In Mexico, it contains tequela and whatever their peach liquor in equal amounts. In Kansas, the amounts are one half shot each. In Mexico, it seems to be 4 oz. of each.)The Aussie already having way too much fun, ask what I'm drinking and I tell the bartender set up the bar, he's the only one that takes me up on my offer. Bartender sets the drink down in front of him. We lift the glass, I smile in toast, "This is to kicking their butt" I chug it down. He follows with a strange look in his eye, halfway through, you could almost see the grin through the glass. When he realizes what this drink is. It's a race to the bottom. He slams his glass down, swallows the last bit and at that moment someone practicing there serve spikes the volleyball, it hits him in the back of the head, driving his forehead to the not so user friendly concrete bar. When he raises his head, a small trickle of blood drips from his nose. He looks at me with an understandable glassy stare and says, "Damn, that's got a kick!" (Bad luck follows me) When he finally returns from la-la land, We head back from the pool to finish what we toasted. We play point after point, some for them, most for us. I dont have to play very hard, because they are both so fantastic. The end of the game is drawing closer a long hard spike back to my side in the corner, I decide to give it my all and launch off of my right foot as hard and as fast as I could. I stretch out my right hand, barely popping the ball up in the air. As my head goes under the water. I am happy, I made a fantastic play, then I feel something in my right foot that I could only relate to Civil War amputation, giving natural birth to twins at the same time, or passing a kidney stone. As my head clears the water, I realize that the bad luck of the past 2 days was not to end. Among cheers, hand slaps and victory, I hobble back to the bar, not smiling. Patti says, " Whats the matter, you guys won?" My answer somewhat short but to the point, "I just broke my foot" The look on her face was the same I had seen at the airport when we had to turn around and start over on this trip. I assured her, everything would be fine, being the old hard nose construction worker I am. I ordered another beer, and another. After 45 minutes, Patti asked me, "How's your foot?" I explained to her that it was painful but I could deal with it. When she wasn't looking, I pulled it up from the bottom of the pool, only to see what I was afraid of, it was already black and blue to my ankle. ( What I know now from talking to my doctor when we returned, is that I spiral broke 3 meta somethin or other bones in my foot.) Knowing that I'm not going to have a good time in Cancun, with a Mexican plaster cast on my foot, I opt for the easy way out, " Bartender, Does Mas Steven Ray" The rest of the afternoon was Steven Ray's and XX Beer well into the night. Having broke a toe before, knowing the only thing you need to do is not move it. So my game plan was sit at the swim up bar, rest my foot on the bar stool next to me, and put myself in la-la land. Work pretty good.
The only flaw in my plan was keeping Kylie from getting sun-burnt to the tune of the color of a prize tomato, excuse me, there was one other flaw. Patti with M.S. 1 bad leg, me with a broken foot and six sets, 3 stories of steps and I'm drunk. Finally after an eternity of steps a thousand stop lets rest. We get to the lobby. In to the elevator, you dont realize how often, elevators serge and bump until you have a broken foot on the floor of one of them. Out of the elevator to the room, into a well deserved drunken dream I go.
As my internal alarm clock goes off at 5:30 am the next morning, so does my realization that even the weight of a sheet on my toe, the pounding in my head are both unbearable. I decide I made it this far what else could possibly happen. I stumble out of bed, head for the shower, finding that that most welcome high water pressure is too much for my foot as well as my head. I turn the water to cold, that works great for my head, suddenly I decide, enough of this, I must be clean I just spent 13 hours floating in a pool its a new day. WE ARE GUNNA HAVE FUN, IF IT KILLS ME!
I fall into the mind set that this vacation will get worse if I try harder my foot has 3 broken bones " I know that now because it's history" it's black and blue, it hurts like hell--o I will not go to a Mexican hospital and be put in a cast and not be able to go to the pool. After quite a few beers and tequila, I figured out, get drunk early, advoid the rush.
Kylie is sun-burnt from one end to the other, Patti has M.S., can't do stairs very well, I have a broken foot and spend most of my time in la-la land. We spend most of our day at the swim-up bar, mainly because Patti with her M.S. and me with my broken foot, we find that we both get around better floating in a pool. Kylie advoids the sunlight like Dracula, we meet several groups of interesting people, from England, Australia, Germany, Argentina. We fall into a rythm that seems to work, we hobble down the stairs all 6 flights, to the pool. I get drunk, Kylie stays in the shade, Patti's happy, no one walks anywhere. Around 9 p.m., we meet up with a couple, from Dallas, TX. that are vacationing without their 2 daughters. They explain to us that their going to the beach to watch the turtles come up to the sand and lay eggs. I continue my trip to la-la land and after several XX Patti turns to me and says, "They want to take Kylie to the beach to watch the turtles." I say ok. They decide to leave. Everything is fine until a moment in my drunken stuper I ask Patti, Did you just give your daughter away to someone we just met for 15 min.? I'm a very good judge of character, even drunk. I tell her people don't talk endlessly about their own daughter and how much they miss them, and at the same time want to help Kylie cause Patti nor I can walk. We stay at the bar until it closes. Patti and I went back to the room. Since I have planted the seed of dout, she was now very nervous. Between the tequila and the XX I finally had no chose but to sleep. She waited and waited for Kylie to come back to the room, when she finally did we all understood their were still great people left in the world. We heard the stories of the turtles coming up on the beach, called it a day and went to sleep.
Patti and I went down for breakfast. Went down the 6 flights of hell--o to the swim up bar. Foot was sore-er that day but, the power of cheese, EXCUSE ME, TEQUILA AND XX. Spent most of the day at the pool just soaking my foot in the pool, seemed to help a little. Got drunk, stumbled back up the steps, went to bed.
Read Day 3!
Read Day 4!
Woke up early, check out time, went down took care of the paper work, headed for the airport. Told the cab driver, to the airport was in no hurry, and away we went. Kinda funny, they don't understand, No Hurry. Part way to the hotel zone, I tell him, "Stop Cercvea." He figures it out, pulls over and gets out and gets us a couple of beers. A beer or two under my belt, I'm ready for the airport. No problems. We get up to our gate. We're there an hour and a half early, they annouce big storm between Cancun and Houston, flights gunna be delayed. We're suppose to fly out at 4:30 p.m. 5:30 p.m. flights still delayed. We take up sleeping position in the Cancun Airport. Another delay. Another delay. 8:00 p.m we finally get to board the plane. All's well. We get to Houston, realize our flight was suppose to leave at 9:15 p.m. it is now 9:45 p.m. the man pushing Patti's wheelchair says, "Let's check to make sure you haven't missed the flight." Who'd of thunk it! We hadn't, it's delayed. Finally arrives at 10:30 p.m., We board the plane, since Patti has M.S. we get to board early. We sit in our assigned seat, 30 or 40 people board the plane, and the next thing I know there are people standing in the aile, telling me we're in their seats. My boarding pass says the exact same seats as theirs. This is where I realize that if something can go wrong it will. (I remember flying years before, when there were stuardess, not flight attendants. A stuardess was always pretty, well-built, and very friendly.) Along comes a flight attendant with an attitude who could play line backer for the Kansas City Chiefs. She looks at the other peoples boarding pass and tells me, YOUR IN THEIR SEATS. I try to explain to her that our boarding pass say the exact same thing, but to know a vale. She promptly tells us to get out of the seats and move down and take another seat. I try to explain to her that this will only cause a problem to re-occur. Since this is after 9-11, I decide not to push the matter. We move down, take another set of seats that just happen to be the exit row. Here comes Ms. Attitude and tells us, there cannot be any children in that row. I ask her where she would like us to go? Her reply was, JUST GO TO THE BACK OF THE PLANE, WE WILL FIGURE IT OUT LATER. We go to the back of the plane, everyone else boards, seats, and then we get what is left over, 1 seat here, 1 seat there. Then I realize Kansas doesn't look that bad. I try to go to sleep, I finally fall asleep and Ms. Attitude makes a point since I'm in an aile seat to suade her big butt every time she walks by, with a glare. She thinks I'm a trouble maker. I'm not. All I want to do is go home and put my foot up. We finally arrive in Kansas City, take the shuttle to the parking lot, pick up the car, it's back to the Airport Ramada Inn, too late to have a beer, to the room and to bed. Wake up the next morning, Kansas City to Manhattan, it's only 120 miles, I've done it several times. 2/3 of the way back, I call my doctor and explain about my foot. He wants me to come in and have it x-rayed, I say ok. He wants to put it in a open fiber glass front cast. I explain to him with my job, I can't work in a cast. I also tell him, not my first broken toe, I have a steel plate that will fit in my boot and I will just keep it laced up tight, he reluctantly agrees and says I'll see you in 3 weeks. I know now that it's better for a broken foot to float in a pool in Mexico than laced up in a boot with a steel plate. Nine weeks after our trip, the foot is better, we await our next trip. I'd like to thank everyone that read my ramblings also my thanks to your board for showing me a more laid back place to go which Patti and I enjoy so much. We will be on Isla June 30-July 9 2004, we're bringing Kylie, sunscreen and no volleyball!!
P.S. and by the way I did get the red light in Cancun!
P.S.S. Critter, I only needed one tennis shoe anyways.
P.S.S.S. No I did not have my foot looked at in Mexico.
P.S.S.S.S. Yes I'm going BACK.
Thanks, Mike, Patti, and Kylie