We are back safe and sound from our Mexican wedding shenanigans, and I apologize for not dishing about it sooner, but y'all. It's been real hot. What am I saying? It IS real hot. Anyway.
Trip down was basically uneventful, although sitting in the bulkhead for the Phoenix-Cancun leg meant that we couldn't raise the armrests, thus disallowing Bean from stretching out across our laps and taking a much needed nap. There was much faintly desperate parental attempts at entertainment, but to tell the truth, she managed quite well. We were all ready for a margarita at the end of it, probably, but of course, only Gene could have one. And so he had three. Fie!
Funniest part was getting settled, looking at the seat behind Gene and thinking..."Wait...is that Shant?" Shant is my sister's husband's best friend from Fresno, who is now an ER doctor in Fontana; he was also best man at the wedding, so my parallel in terms of duties. Lo and behold, it was. Quite fun to catch up and feel better about other key participants travelling on the Sunday.
Land on time (whoo, America West), stumble off the plane into...HU..MI..DI..TY. Now, yeah, it's been a bit muggy here as of late, but this was honest to god Caribbean fug, and whoo boy, was it thick. Get herded off the tarmac onto a bus that shuttles us over to baggage claim and immigration, and we wait. And wait. And wait. I find a bathroom and discover that the toilets don't flush and the hand dryers don't dry. Welcome to Mexico! Get our bags after another two weeks, at which point we realize the acres long immigration line has dissipated quite a bit...huzzah. Justin (Erin's husband) had come to pick up Shant, which we felt a bit badly about, since we could have easily taken him in our rental car, but such is life. We hadn't known we were on the same flight, what can you do? Getting the car took rather a while, but hey, welcome to Mexico! People may do things a bit on the leisurely side, but they are a TON nicer than they are stateside, I have to admit. Got a cute Jetta much like the one we used to have, mas nostalgia, etc.
The hotel is only about 25 minutes away on the main highway, so is dead easy to find...or should have been. I was all set to look for the entrance to "Bahia Petempich" and I SAW it...about thirty seconds after we needed to make the left turn off the highway. Fark. More scenic route until we can rattle the car across a possibly illegal crossover, back we go, to the gates of Bahia Petempich. And this is the difference between gated areas in the US and gated areas in Mexico...there was a nice guy standing there who bid us "hola" and MANUALLY lifted the gate. I saw this everywhere. It was faintly crazy and yet, a sort of more human touch. Hard to explain. Down the road through the mangroves, making sure to abide by the "26 km" speed limit. Yeah right. But in passing, why 26 km? Why not 25, or 30? Inquiring minds wish to know. Pass "Desires" resort on the right, notice that it is *very* well gated and hidden and the parking lot is *very* far from anything remotely resembling a hotel. Why? Well. It's adults only. It's clothing optional. It's partner...optional? You get the idea.
Azul is quite the opposite, a lovely small very much wear your clothing boutique hotel with thatched roofs on the public buildings and open sided walkways and such. Gorgeous. And there is the Caribbean. Right there. Gorgeous. We stagger back into the tropical swelter and see my sister, Justin, Mom, Dad, and my parents' friend Margie, who had also come down from Toronto for the wedding (she is basically "Auntie" Margie to me and Erin). Check in takes rather a while (welcome to Mexico!) but who cares when Eddie is bringing champagne for the adults, a pineapple froth for me, a tiny strawberry "daiquiri" for Bean and cold towels for your face and neck? Eventually we get taken to our room, which is right by the action...that is, the water. Not much action at Azul, which was GREAT. There is no cruise ship atmosphere that I understand is the norm at other Cancun area resorts--just swimming, lounging, drinking, eating, swimming, lounging...you get the idea. Bean passed out once in the air conditioned comfort, which was good; Gene and I changed and went to find some food before the "welcome party" hosted by Philomon the Donkey. Seriously.
by at July 25, 2006 5:28 PM
Okay, he was actually the "drinks cart" but I wanted to take him home with me. He was so awesomely nonplussed about the whole thing, but allowed Bean to sit on his back, as well as Erin (there was a picture); ate carrots and apples, occasionally nipped a guest...it was great. Good hors d'oeuvres passed around, much drinkage, etc. We were talked into opening THE ENVELOPE to find out Peabo's gender...and I'll leave that for another post :)
A pinata was brought out for Erin and Justin to exorcise wedding planning stress upon, and much hilarity ensued, as well as a rather impressive gash on Justin's arm after he broke the whacking stick and then mistakenly applied it to himself. But hey! We had a doctor on call. All was well.
Next few days were just piddling around, rehearsal dinner on Monday night (at which juncture we all convinced Erin to do her patented lemur impression for the assorted guests and other restaurant patrons--it was well received), spa visit (a 45 minute drive down to a hotel near Playa del Carmen, but well worth it, for pedicures and massages; I got the prenatal one and it was the first time in nearly 5 months my back didn't hurt. Lara rocked.) at which Erin's "bridesman" Joe got his first ever pedicure experience (we couldn't talk him into colors), complete with overflowing foot soak tub. The bubbles were a...tad...out of hand. But it made for excellent pictures. Back to the hotel to take naps before wedding hoopla begins at 6 pm; Bean and I haul frothy dresses and other accoutrements over to the room designated as Wedding Central, much more hilarity ensues as we try to wrangle Bean into her adorable but admittedly complicated flower girl dress (this thing had at least 17 different petticoats, I swear), try to calm Erin down and MAKE HER EAT, avoid removing selves from the air conditioning as much as possible (let me assure you, silk bridesmaids' dresses do not "breathe"), and generally doing all the Chicken Little pre-wedding activities. Weather threatens. Erin says, "whatever, we're getting married on the beach". Weather holds. Wedding itself, on the beach, is gorgeous. All cry. Much photoage. On to reception (after changing into breatheable clothing), much roasting and reminiscing, which, while charming, went on waaaay too long and we had no time for dancing. Poop. "Kids" repair to the tequila bar at 11:30 to attempt to dance. Not much dancing, although Gene and I were able to show off our newly learned mad salsa skillz, sort of. All tired out at 1:30. Next day is mass exodus, and after a bit of a hassle trying to find A) a gas station open and B) a gas station that takes plastic and not just paper, we gave up and ate the fuel surcharge. Welcome to Mexico! Check in and security took about 30 seconds, which was totally unprecedented, so we had a great deal of time to enjoy duty free. Yay, duty free. I did my typical perfume purchase, Gene his booze purchase, all were happy. Phoenix flight delayed. Delayed. Worries start abounding about connecting flights home. Realize, what the hell can you do? Welcome to Mexico! Actually, that was more an America West problem, to be scrupulously fair. Plane finally shows up, we are luxuriating in first class this end of the trip, which means Bean has enough room to essentially stretch out and she GOES TO SLEEP FOR AN HOUR AND A HALF. It pretty much made my day. About 45 minutes into the flight, the "ding ding, is there a doctor on board?" call pops up. Much excitement, but of course, we HAD a doctor on board. Huzzah. Fortunately nothing beyond bad vertigo and vomiting, but definitely added a certain piquancy to the trip.
Get to Phoenix only about 15 minutes behind schedule, which was rather impressive; we did have to wait for our dumb bags and go through customs before going BACK through domestic security for our connecting flights, but everyone made it, which was a bonus. Awfully nice to be back in California airspace and know when we got off the plane, it would be balmy. And not humid. And no more wedding stresses.
Actually, for all my bitching, we had a good time. The hotel was lovely, the staff was wonderfully kind, Mexico seems to actually LIKE children and you're never made to feel like a drain on society for travelling with your kid(s), and the wedding itself was awfully pretty. All in all, a huzzah. Though I am glad there are no more destination weddings going on this summer...driving to Santa Cruz in August is about the farthest I'm willing to go.