Breakfast finished. Next –the beach! This is why we come to Mexico. I will admit to thoughts before this trip that perhaps I was “done” with Mexico. It was the 9th time I had been there in only 4 years. I thought, maybe it’s time to find a new paradise. However, when I first laid my eyes on that ocean the day before I thought to myself, “I loooove Mexico.” By the end of the trip I swore I would never vacation in Mexico again.
But right now, as I settled into my chair, with my book, I was happy to be there. Before we arrived at the beach we of course stopped at the room to participate in the ancient ritual of coating our bodies in SPF 50 sunscreen. Do not skimp on sunscreen. Even if you think you are one of those people who never burn. I have been on a vacation where I got a nasty burn on day 1. It is no fun. Plenty of sunscreen! We also got some water because that’s another thing you should not skimp on. We stopped at the towel hut. This is another ritual. When you check in they will give you one towel card per person. You must return this towel card when you check out or be charged $20 per card not returned. You take your towel card to the towel hut to get a……(drum roll please)…you guessed it, a towel. If your towel gets wet, you can exchange it for another one. I recommend the method of exchanging your used towel at the end of the day for a new towel so you don’t have to get your towel card back at the end of the day and then trade it for another towel in the morning.
Towels procured, we made our trek to the beach. There is a boardwalk that takes you through a jungly area from the pool to the beach. It gets quite hot so I have nicknamed it the road to hell. There are often cute wild animals called coatis hanging around. There are also signs warning you not to feed them because they are wild animals. They look so cute and lots of people do feed them. Occasionally someone gets bitten or scratched by these very cute, but still wild, animals. Then of course they complain.
First thing we did was take my picture, proclaiming this was Day 1 of vacation. I know I said it was Day 2, and that always confuses me, because what do you call those half days of arrival and departure?
Day of departure should be called the sad day.
My plan was to take a picture like this every day. Due to the unforseen circumstances that were to occur, this plan was not carried out.
I parked myself in the sun and settled in for some reading and tanning.
The kids joined us a little later. Tony is not in any of these pictures, but he was there.
One of the ladies that gives massages, Edith came by and gave me a sample massage. Susie and I usually get massages on vacation and I like to wait until the end of the vacation to do it. Edith’s sample massage was so awesome I decided to book right then and there for that afternoon. Good thing too. As things fell apart I certainly would not have time for a massage.
We got some food from the grill area. There is a beach bar at the end of the road to hell, right as you enter the beach, just to the left of the boardwalk. The boardwalk path continues behind the bar and leads you up to the grill where they have hamburgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken, chips and guac, french fries and fruit. There are also some picnic tables there if you want to eat there, or you can take your food back to your chairs. The bar has an area on the left side where you can serve yourself sodas and water.
Zung went for a run. This is one of his favorite things to do. He loves to run on the beach. He runs down past the Grand down to Maroma beach. I didn’t find out until after the drama that he started feeling symptoms on the run. He thought it was indigestion from too big a breakfast.
Susie and I got our absolutely awesome massages. We were now ready for more lunch. Zung, Susie, Tony and I went to the buffet by the pool. This buffet is not air-conditioned. They have tacos here as well as pizza burgers and some grilled items, salad and fruit. Our waiter remembered us from last year. He said to me, referring to Susie, “She is beautiful.” Zung said another waiter came up to him and said he remembered us from last year as well. We were pleasantly surprised by this.
Zung ate a big lunch. This man has an appetite like no one else I know.
We returned to the beach and did what you do at the beach. We read and got drinks from the bar and went in the water. There was a lot of seaweed that day. It was a really, really nice day. I’m pretty sure Tony played beach soccer. There are Star Friends at the Lindo who run all kinds of different activities all day long. I can’t tell you anything about them because I never participate. Reading and going in the water is enough activity for me.
When we were done at the beach we exchanged our towels, went to our rooms and got ready for dinner. There was another cute towel animal left by the maid.
They had vodka and cranberry welcome drinks. We ordered a bottle of red wine. The first year we stayed at the Lindo at our first dinner they came around with a bottle of Vino Blanco (white wine) or Vino Tinto (red wine). We drink lots of red and I tried the Tinto. It was pretty awful. The next dinner I asked if they had anything else and they said they had a Cabernet Sauvignon. I learned to always ask for that from then on.
Zung had shrimp and drank a couple of glasses of wine. We all enjoyed our food and all had dessert.
After dinner we went to the Lindo Lobby bar and sat outside.
I ordered a glass of Havana rum, neat.
Zung ordered water. He is not a big drinker, but he usually does have a drink after dinner when we go to the Lobby bar. This was the first sign that something was not right. I thought it was odd, but didn’t think too much of it. He still looks healthy and normal in this picture, which in view of what would transpire in a few hours is nothing short of astonishing.
Zung soon said he was tired and going back to the room. I made a joke about him being old. But this too was odd. He left. I had another Havana rum and then headed back to the room. I would later be very glad I had stopped drinking when I did. Although I was definitely feeling mellow I was not in the drunk zone by any means. I would need to be able to think clearly.
Zung was asleep when I got back to the room. I went to sleep, thinking it had been a really good first full day of vacation.
At 4 am Zung woke me up. “I don’t feel good.”
The vacation was over.