Sunday, September 18, 2011


Sam, Betsy and Kris in high school
If it seems like I have disappeared for most of the month, it's because one of my best friends from high school has spent the past two weeks hanging out here.  Sam and I have known each other since junior high and became good friends in high school when he started working at my Dad's restaurant.  He had a pool table in a detachable garage and many of my high school memories take place in that garage.  Despite the fact that almost all of my friends from high school live in different places, we have remained close. So, a few months back, I started talking to Sam about visiting me here in Belize and he managed to get two weeks off work and a cheap flight to Cancun.

My original plan was to drive to Chetumal on Friday, stay overnight, and then drive the rest of the way to Cancun on Saturday.  On Thursday, however, I got a call from my sister Shelley.  She had been scheduled for her first ever overnight trip to Cancun (she is flight attendant) for Friday.  So, I decided to drive all the way up on Friday and stay with Shelley.  It was great to see Shelley, even though she got in late at night and had to leave early the next morning.

View from Shelley's hotel.
Cancun is awesome.  Really, really, awesome.  The beach is utterly fantastic.  The hotels are gorgeous, the food was fabulous.  The clubs were rocking.  I loved Cancun.  The main tourist area is called the hotel zone and it is a long thin stretch of land, shaped like a 7, that juts off the mainland.  The Caribbean is open on one side and a lagoon is enclosed on the other side.  Luxury resorts line the Caribbean side for miles.  The lagoon side tends to feature restaurants, malls, shops, clubs, etc.

People kept asking me how Cancun compares to Belize.  The simple answer is that it doesn't.  Some of the resorts in San Pedro are nice, but nothing compares to the luxury of Cancun.  The beaches are nicer in Cancun, the ocean is nicer (I like having some waves).  The food is better.  The shopping is way better (although I didn't buy much).

Sam and Yiselle (she had just changed after shift)
After spending Saturday morning at the beach, I drove to the airport to pick up Sam.  Given that it was the first day of college football, we then went to lunch at Hooters.  This way, I could watch the Nebraska game and Sam could watch the Hooters girls.  We sat by the kitchen so we I could watch the game we I wanted.  This had the added bonus of being where the waitresses hung out when they weren't serving their tables.  One of the waitresses, Yiselle (pronounced Giselle) decided to hang out and flirt with us.  Her English was limited to the Hooters menu and our Spanish was limited to four years of high school Spanish over a decade ago (officially, I am 0+).  But, we Sam made do.  The hardest part was that she asked us to translate the Hooters slogan on the back of every t-shirt, "Delightfully tacky, yet unrefined."  We were not successful.

We made our way back to the hotel to enjoy the beach and pool before it got dark.  Unfortunately, Sam decided to leave his glasses on when he went into the sea.  The Caribbean did not like his decision and decided to take them off for him.  So, surrounded by beautiful scenery and beautiful women, Sam can't see anything more than three feet in front of his face.  He spent the rest of the weekend surreptitiously asking me if a nearby girl was as hot as her blurry figure made him think she was.

We had a fantastic night out on Saturday.  We started at Senor Frogs, a restaurant bar, where the food is okay, the drinks are overpriced, but the atmosphere is fantastic.  This place is what Margaritaville would like to be, if it weren't a corporate chain worried about of offending customers.  They even have a water slide that goes into the lagoon.
Sam, the Vegas inspired club area

After dinner, we headed to the club area.  We ended up getting free cover to this one club.  We hadn't planned to stay too long, but two girls were seated by us and we ended up spending the evening talking to them.  As the night wore on, the place filled up pretty quickly.  The people watching opportunities were fantastic.  The people watching was fantastic and the music was great (over the last two years, I have noticed that I have started to like club music.  Not sure if this is due to a change in club music or a change in my tastes).

Me, Sam (no glasses) and Elyce
At one point in the night, I had mentioned that every time I stayed in Mexico, I had gone to a Mexican Strip Club.  Moreover, Sam and I had talked about finding a club until he lost his glasses.  The girls we were talking with thought going to a club was a fantastic idea.  So, around 2 am, we hopped into a cab and he took us to the shady part of town.  This club was much nicer than either of the ones I had gone to in Chetumal.  It was very much an American-style strip club.  A lot more dancers, better looking dancers, but a lot more expensive too.  We eventually made our way back to our hotels around 530 in the morning.

Obligatory shot of my feet at the pool
On Sunday, we woke up late, ate some lunch and then spent the afternoon at the beach and pool.  I got a bit burnt by the pool.  Sam halfheartedly combed the beach for his lost glasses.  It was a beautiful and relaxed afternoon.  This is why Cancun exists.  We ate delicious tacos at a relaxed Mexican restaurant off the main strip.  There was a mariachi band.  We made it an early night as we were getting up early to drive back to Belize.

I had so much fun in Cancun, that I have decided to celebrate my 30th birthday there next spring.  I've invited friends and family from Belize and the US to join me for a long weekend there.  Should be fun.

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