Thursday, July 22, 2010

Where the Boys Aren't: Girls' Beach Getaway

Mission: ESCAPE to the beach in Tulum

Work, kid, house, work, kid, house, work, kid, house. Everybody knows that story and everybody needs a getaway sometimes. I had the chance to get outta Dodge last weekend with my dear friend Lisa to visit Heather down in Tulum at the Casa de las Olas and I jumped at the opportunity. Don't get me wrong, I love my kid and my life, but sometimes a girl just needs some girl time and the chances don't come along very often.

My first boogie board attempt. Wave got me goooood.

Lisa and I hit the road on Friday night in her multi-coloured convertible bocho (Volkswagen bug) and toodled down the highway screaming over the wind and the ole car's engine. I started to lose my voice as we approached Tulum, cold chelas were definitely in order! We stopped at the supermarket, stocked up on some noms and beverages and got in line to check out. The people in front of us seemed to take forever, no biggie, we're on vacation. Until it became a BIGGIE. As we got our goods in front of the cashier, something beeped on her terminal and she said "It's 9:00, you can't buy alcohol anymore". But but but....we were in line! It's only 9! Lisa argued for a while and got nowhere until a young bagger told us there was still one place open where we could get some beer. We scooted off, found the one and only store that sells booze after 9, stocked up on beer and tequila and made our way down to the house of the waves.

We settled in for a few drinks, a few laughs and caught up with Heather. She told us that there were 6 turtle nests on the property so we set out in the dark to see what we could see. We brought Vinnie the super beach dog with us but as soon as we were on the beach she took off barking. Heather ran to grab her and behold!!!! A gigantic mama turtle was RIGHT THERE laying her eggs!! Super awe, jaw on the sandy floor, ga ga girls, we oohed and aaahed and watched her do her thing (Vinnie safely back in the house by now). Turtle patrol came along and took her measurements and clamped a tracking device on her flipper. Her shell was 106 cms by 96 cms, big girl! We got hit by some flying sand when she started to try to get out of her hole, her powerful flippers making loud THWACK sounds as she dug her way out. We left her in peace to make her way back to sea.

Turtle tracks

"Our" turtle's nest in the morning

The next morning we made our way back to the beach and saw not only her nest, but another new one too! The tracks in the sand look like ATV tracks, quite incredible to see the journey up the beach and the journey back down. We went for a walk and saw tonnes of nests, a joy to say the least, particularly if you've been watching the depressing news from the oil spill. Eight beautiful nests on the property alone and we lost count of the rest we saw on the beach going south through Sian Kaan.

Cancun Canuck catching a wave

Kiteboarder catching some air

We spent the rest of the weekend relaxing, reading, walking on the beach, marveling at the kiteboarders, drinking, eating and boogie boarding. I kicked some Scrabble butt, I don't think I'll be invited to the next tournament (sorry girls!). We slept like babies with the sounds of the crashing waves, napped when we felt like it and we didn't take a shower all weekend! Saving water, you know, environmentally friendly (and no boys to make that "you stink" face). The tension of life ebbed away and Lisa and I returned to the city refreshed and ready to take on the daily grind again, leaving Heather alone in paradise. Can't wait to do it again, thanks so much ladies!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Odds and Ends

Summertime and the living is easy. Easy-ish. I like the longer days and the heat (yeah, call me crazy) and seeing friends in Canada and the US wearing shorts and having BBQs in their Facebook albums. School for Max finished on Friday, now it's strictly play time for him. I was tempted to teach him the "No more teachers, no more books" rhyme, but after the "Punch buggy" debacle (broken record chatter from the back seat!), I'll just keep it to myself. While we've been having some behaviour issues with Max, he ACED his final exams, receiving "excelente" in Spanish, Math, French and English (well, "excelente plus" in English). His grade in culture was only "bien" as he decided that Christopher Robin discovered America along with Pooh and Tigger. Smart kid, too smart, he knows what he can get away with and he pushes all our buttons. He's lucky he's cute. He started in gymnastics about a month ago and is rocking the gym, learning some discipline and burning off some energy. I'm thrilled with the gymnastics thing, great facility, great coaches, makes me wish I were young and lithe again, sigh....

Last weekend the weather was lousy as Hurricane Alex passed over the peninsula, the rain has been spoiling all my lovely plans. I really hope to get away this weekend, we need some cenotes and snorkeling action, summer is my favourite time to slip down to the Riviera Maya. The word "Holbox" has been tossed around the house a lot, maybe it's time for a trip to my lovely island paradise to catch up with the whale sharks. Our last trip out was the weekend in Tulum which was fantastic, I wouldn't mind a repeat of that adventure. I'm also itching to check out Xplor, but it's really a "grown ups" place, Max is too young, finding someone to babysit Max while we zip line and drive amphibious vehicles is going to be a toughy.

Mostly we've just been working, going to school, staying cool and trying not to think about military school options for my little monster. Last week I had some freelance work that got me excited, I was working for "Us Magazine" investigating the celebrities that were in Cancun for a promotional tour. Hit a bunch of road blocks, security was insane so didn't get much, but the ride was fun while it lasted. I'll take a bit more freelance work like that please! It got me thinking about all the interesting jobs I've had in my life, I think there is a post brewing in the ole brain about that, stay tuned!

So, hanging in, hanging out, laying low and keeping on keeping on. Such is life in Cancun. Happy belated Canada Day, Independence Day and Gay Pride Day everyone, hope all is good wherever you may be!

P.S., This is the last week for votes in the Riviera Maya photo contest, PLEASE, give me a click and spread the word to your friends! Thanks thanks thanks!

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