Travel Rituals

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I’m superstitious and since I have started every vacation at Chef Jimmy’s since, well, for a long time, I make time for a stop here for breakfast. I also always order a Royal Mimosa, and in the name of being superstitious…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATwo eggs over medium with bacon and because I’m trying to eat healthy, fruit instead of potatoes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI even eat some of the fruit. I won’t be eating again until probably 5 o’clock or later, so I need a breakfast that is going to stand up to the alcohol I am going to have between now and then.

I don’t linger over breakfast, which means I only have one Royal Mimosa instead of my usual two. I have some shopping to do. I pay my check and go in search of Aspen leaf jewelry. I want to buy necklaces for Karen and Janelle. I find them in the second store I check. I might have cheated a little bit by being told in the first store where they were sold. Whatever, let’s not got bogged down in petty details. Next stop was the store where they sell magazines. I had one issue of People, but they had a newer issue and you just can’t get enough of trashy, celebrity gossip. Or at least I can’t. I don’t buy People normally, so it’s my guilty pleasure on vacation.

I also bought a bottle of water and some Junior Mints. Now I was definitely good to go. I went to my Gate and waited to board. They did the priority boarding, which I usually get to do when I’m with Zung (that line jumper status and all). But, surprise, surprise!! They added a new category to the priority boarding…people who were not going to use the overhead bins and could fit their stuff under the seat could board early. Sweet!

I used to take a purse AND a backpack, but Karen shamed me into buying a nicer travel bag. It was huge, so I ditched the purse and the backpack for my stylish travel bag, which was just a big-ass purse, tote style. Spoiler alert – it met with Karen’s approval.

I prefer the aisle seat. I like to be able to see the flight attendant’s expressions if there are any weird bumps or sounds or smells. If they look bored, I know we are okay. I did not have an aisle seat. To get one, I would have had to sit way in the back. I prefer sitting as close to the front as I can, and that won out over my aisle seat preference. I had the window seat. A couple sat next to me. I decided then and there to limit my on board beverage consumption. I did not want to have to crawl over two strangers to get up to pee. I passed on my usual rum and coke. Actually, I just wasn’t feeling like mediocre rum. I was too close to my Havana Siete. I could wait.

One of the bonuses of purchasing the Classic fare was the TV was included (back in the day, it was included anyway). It’s a nice distraction. My ADD comes out at its worst on a plane. I watch TV, read a magazine alternating with playing Angry Birds, and napping (still listening to the TV while napping). I’m not an enthusiastic flyer. I’m actually a recovering fearful flyer (I don’t think we are ever completely cured, although I am doing pretty good, considering where I started. That was when having a conversation about flying made me feel nauseated. I just didn’t fly for 9 years). The multitude of stimulation keeps me from thinking dark, scary thoughts about the unreasonableness of a thin metal tube weighing a lot of pounds defying gravity.

Some kid gets bored and is literally running up and down the aisle. Really? We’re not talking an antsy toddler. He must have been about 8-10. Old enough to behave. As we descend another kids starts crying. I am thinking her ears must be hurting her. Haven’t we found something yet to help a little kid not be in pain when they fly? They need to.

The flight is otherwise uneventful. We land, deplane and I hustle to Immigration chaos. It is crowded and there are three lines. For some unknown reason, there is only one agent taking people from the line I am in. The gentleman (using the term loosely here) in front of and behind me are grumbling about it, saying things like, “Only in Mexico.” Asshole. Chill out. You’re on vacation. I don’t say this out loud, obviously. I just think to myself that probably my luggage will have arrived by the time I get through. I’m on vacation. I’m not going to let something this petty ruin my vacation buzz.

I get through Immigration and Karen is waiting at baggage. My bags are there and we get in the Customs line. It is long, but moves fast. You have to haul your bags up on a conveyor belt so they can go through an x-ray machine. Then you have to push a button that will turn either red (you get you bags searched – choose your sex toys wisely!) or green – you go on your merry way.

We both get green. I am 18 for 19 green. The one time I did get red, the inspection was rather cursory.

I am always hopeful I always have new readers who may be going to Mexico for the first time, so bear with me if you are not in that category. When you leave Customs, you go through an automatic sliding door and then make a left through what is known as the “gauntlet”. There is a sea of people, most of who have darkness in their heart because they do not have your best interests in mind. They want to sign you up for tours, or time share presentations or confuse you about your transportation (which you will have lined up ahead of time – RIGHT?). Ignore them all. You are headed towards another set of automatic sliding doors. Do not stop until you get through them. Talk to no one. Don’t even look at anyone. I mean it, no eye contact. Even if they say they have to look at your papers, they are lying! Just get yourself and your bags through those doors!

The situation outside is pretty chaotic too. There are all the transportation people. Know which one you are looking for. They will be holding signs. Apple has a stand where you have to check in. I book private transportation through Cancun Valet.

This guy has met me several times, but he doesn’t remember me. Really? But I’m so memorable!



Note the sign from Cancun Valet with my name on it. That’s the kind of thing you’ll be looking for (if you have private transportation). I’m sorry, I don’t have information on taking the Ado bus or taking a taxi. I’ve always used Cancun Valet (except for one time when I used private transportation from Apple, and I wished I’d used Cancun Valet). They are $105 round trip to Iberostar Paraiso, for as many people as you can fit in the van. They comfortably fit our family of 5 when we all go.

Our van came and they loaded up our luggage. Karen and I settled in and began talking. We would talk pretty much non-stop for the entire week. It made the ride go by very quickly. Before we knew it, we were turning into the entrance.

It feels like coming home.




This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I just love my Aspen leaf and I think of you everytime I wear it:) It is so unique! Thank you so much again!
    On another note, I can’t believe you didn’t fly for 9 years. I always pictured you as a jet-setter:) Your trip reports always teach me something new!

    1. I had to take a fear of flying course. It helped. It got me back in the air again.

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