Saturday, April 2, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Four thirty-five AM
If I can recall after my slow friendship with my tequila bottle, I crawled into that wonderful shower in Baby Shell and soaked up the last residue of Isla’s love.
My pillow hit me in the face before my eyes could close and I was lost in dreams of snorkeling with a giant tortilla chip and my trolls.
Two hours later…with my waking breathe all I could think to say was:
Sleep washed out of my eyes - can’t cry now – save those tears for that blasted ferry so I began to download yesterdays photos on Kodi’s laptop and made our final pot of coffee as my ladies could be heard packing. We gathered downstairs and hung out by the pool one last time and wondered as we did all week, where the time went and why didn’t we just “hang” by the pool for a few days. A great mystery to me…too much to do on Isla…next trip – we’ll just hang….and we all said “YEAH RIGHT!!”
Couldn’t tell you when we were leaving our island but for the most part we still had the golf cart for a few more hours. And we had to check in at our hotel in EWWW Cancun by 4PM. So that means we had had too many adult beverages last night to remember when Apache was picking up – think dammit, think……………………………………………2PM was it, thanks Tequila Shot! SO we needed to be back to The Shell by 1:30 – knowing Apache and Isla time, he would be there by 2:30 to scoop us up.
Ta Do List
We had clothes at Hortencia’s, I wanted them to see the Square by Morning Light, we needed to eat and of course, there were pesos to be spent. Nady wanted new sunglasses, Jackie and Kodi wanted jewelry and I needed to go to Adrian’s next to the Supermercado in town to download the photos I’d be taking this morning. And I haven’t had my Sandia Agua Fresca in a bag yet!!
We enjoyed seeing the island wake up as we rode into town – taking photos here and there – posing at places we enjoyed, yelling “Hola” to the Navy Soldiers we pass, there’s Beto at La Lomita and arrive downtown without a hitch. I’ve got a tight throat – I know what I am leaving behind and I’m not ready – I am never ready to leave. I DON'T WANNA GO”
Did we go back to Alexis and Giovanni’s – I don’t think so or did we (pissed off at remembering this part) yeah we did. I had the soup I think- the French Onion Soup that was smooth as silk, Nady & Jackie had Chorizo Papas again and I think Kodi ate half a burger. I don’t know – I’m pissed all over again (as of this writing) cuz in less than an hour, I will be on my way to the island jail.
Hortencia items picked up. Lunch consumed. Photos taken. We parked on the side of the road next to the town square – normally there are tons of cars, moped, carts along this curb – guess it’s too early for a crowd. Kodi, Nady & Jackie are on their way to shop for an hour as I go to Adrian’s to download. We’ll meet at the cart in an hour. I always use Adrian’s place – he knows I never take my memory card out and it drives him crazy! Hey – lost a memory card and jacked my camera in Grand Caymans removing my card for downloading – I know that guy traded out my card and jammed his in my camera - $400 to fix – so I don’t take my card out. So, within ten minutes, and I’m still waiting to get a computer to start my download when Kodi is back asking for the keys to the cart – puzzled I hand them over – there’s a policeman ready to haul the cart away if we don’t move it – so Kodi moves it to the La Pena parking lot. Seems you can’t park there anymore. News to me. I get the keys back and she’s off.
Here’s where I get pissy………
Adrian is not at the shop today.
Young Dude who THINKS he knows it all is running the place
He sees my computer not functioning
He asks for my card
Dude: I need your card.
Catz: NO! ! Where’s Adrian?
Dude: Not here – let me try to download for you this way.
STUPID ME hands over my camera and cord THINKING he is going to hook up the camera to the monitor.
Young Dude takes out my card and puts it into the monitor after I told him several times not to do that.
Young Dude tries this and that and takes the memory card to three other computers .
I AM READY TO KNOCK HIS LIGHTS OUT.
Finally, I see my photos of the last sunrise, this morning’s photos of leaving our house posing in front of the Shell House, a photo of Raquel and Robert, our ride into town, breakfast, Hortencia, us walking the Malecon Wall – FRICKIN’ DISAPPEAR BEFORE MY VERY EYES!!! POOF – Gone to oblivion.
Catz: What happened to my pictures – get my pictures back! (Volume turned to decibel 14 out of 20 and folks are looking at the Loco Gringa now)
Dude: No Senora – gone.
Catz: What in the name of all that is holy do you mean, gone. (I am standing over him now – he can probably see the hair growing from my nostrils I am all up in his face.)
Dude: Erased. (Cowering)
Catz: Erased from the computer?
Dude: No Senora, from your memory card.
I saw white. My temper had the best of me. My blood was boiling and I was ready to KILL.
You know in the Color Purple when Sophia (Oprah) closed her fist and knocked the shit out of Squeak at the Juke Joint? Well, my right hand was balling up. One lady on the left side of the space gathered her stuff and left. Two dudes were looking at me and Dude like a tennis game was going on. I asked one more time with my tone getting louder, my eyes starting to bulge and I am seeing beyond white – I am seeing red – murderous red. You don't jack around with a photographers photos.
Catz: Where... the hell... are my pictures and what are you going to do to get them back? Those are my vacation pictures. Do you not understand I can’t retake those shots?
Dude: I cannot get them back. I can’t do anything but say I am sorry.
Catz: You have thirty seconds to call Adrian, get my photos back, get me a new card, or I am going to knock your lights out. Do you understand – LIGHTS OUT? Three – two – o……
Kodi: Catz –CATZ!!! What’s going on.
SAVED BY KODI (dammit)!
I felt something in my mind snap and a hand on my arm. Jesus sent Kodi to save that boy. I truly would have beat the living hell out of him and gladly spend a day in jail. That can of Whoop Ass was cracked.
Dude tried to explain to Kodi in broken English and Spanish; fear and gratefulness in his voice what happened.
I was speechless for fear my words would bring me back into action. It was all I could do to control my fury. I have only been this mad once in my life – went to court, had to pay the “victim’s” medical bill.
I could not be consoled. I snatched my camera, cord and memory card from Dude and walked out. If I would have turned around, I would have knocked his beautiful teeth into the back of his throat - thus I did not turn around. The people in the shop let out a sigh of relief. I swore I would never go to that shop again. And I have kept that promise to this day. I bring my laptop and trust no man, woman or child with my camera. I am so thankful that I downloaded this morning or I would have lost all of Friday’s photos. I am still livid about losing this morning’s photos. LIVID.
I walk over to a bench in the square and sit. And stew. And smoke. And think. And pray. As I look at the statue of The Holy Mother, I forgave the Dude, not that he will ever know it cuz if I return and tell him I forgive him, I will have to repent for knocking his lights out.
And thus began new shots of the rest of our vacation. I’m still pissed...just so ya know...
I need a shot – of love, tequila and more tequila. I opt for the love of my Chica’s who are looking at me like – DAMN – never piss HER off!! Amen my Sista’s, Amen.
Counted to 100. Had three smokes. I’m back on track. Shall we continue ladies?
They looked at me with a renewed interest. I’m fine, what brought ya’ll back so soon? Nady said it must have been divine intervention. To that I laughed til I cried.
I didn’t ruin the rest of the vacation – I just let it go – sa-whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiishhhhhhhhhhhhhh- there it goes. Isla has a way of not letting you stay mad for long.
Let’s get some juice in a baggie and blow this Popsicle.
Amazing what some watermelon juice in a baggie does for the soul. None of the girls wanted one – full from our late breakfast I guess. I wanted a Coconut Ice Cream Bar but I can’t hold a baggie of juice, a white thing on a stick, drive and look cool all at the same time – I’m working my way up to that.
No one wanted to drive – guess they are getting the Leaving Isla Blues, which is called LOVE, so I take us up the coast road one last time, getting passed by golf carts, dogs, people walking, babies crawling. It is agony for me to leave. Kodi is where I am. Nady and Jackie aren’t quite there- they need another trip to fall completely in love like Kodi and I. Which is cool, at least they are coming back…someday.
Our bags are looking forlorn at the front door – we are waiting for Apache. Robert and Raquel come over to say goodbye (for now) and we hug, kiss and promise to stay in touch.
Time is moving way too fast for those of us not wanting to leave and way too slowly for those of us trying to catch a ferry to Ewww Cancun. SCREEEEEEEEECH!! It’s Apache in his black pick-em-up-truck coming to take us away hahaheehee. As I relinquish the golf cart keys, Apache says” I’m so sorry, I was playing “futboll” on the beach and forgot about you”. At least the man is honest. He was covered in sand, hair tossed like it’s been in a hurricane, and musky (oh I love a musky sports man’s o-dwah).Gear tossed into the truck bed, three in back, I’m up front with Apache. Why are tears welling up in my eyes as we pull away from the Shell? If I look back I’m gonna ball like someone stole my last lick of lollipop. Apache has on some soothing Spanish Jazz and I melt into its rhythm. He’s got the AC on, I roll my window down anyway – one last whiff of ocean air.
Apache: Why you cry?
Kodi: Slow your roll – we wanna get one last look!!
Nady & Jackie: Silent- either from sleep deprivation or they might cry out loud because we are leaving. I think they are missing their girls/homesick and not in love with Isla yet (for shame – FOR SHAME!!) or they would be moist around the orbits.
Apache was talkative; I was a bit responsive and let Kodi carry the conversation until we reached the ferry dock. Damn ferry dock. Apache pulled into the parking lot next to the ferry and helped us unload our stuff. We tried to pay him for picking us up – he declined so we gave him hugs and cheek kisses instead. Off he went, me wishing I was heading south along with him. We purchased tickets - just missed the ferry (good!) and would wait at the bar for the next one. Sipping killer ‘Rita on the Rocks’, Kodi a Sol, Nady and Jackie – they are in their own world to which I don’t have a ticket to – they are a bit depressing. I don’t leave Isla depressed, just full of more love for her.
Shit – there’s the ferry and we gotta do that going home walk down the dock. But we’re heading to EWWW Cancun…so vacation technically isn’t over. Once we hit the other side of the bay it will be new territory for me. I’ll be up for the adventure, but until then, I feel my eyes welling up, the tequila bracing me for departure and I am fighting with my limbs to make that first step towards the ferry…“DAMMITALLTOHELLIDONTWANNAGOOOOOOOOO”
Jorge (sweet Jorge who played for Kodi and I earlier in the week) smiled at me, asked if I was going home.
He saw my sadness.
Catz: Do you know Canta Corazon?
Jorge: No but I play you this…
…and I begin to cry…
Have to Say I Love You with a Song, Jim Croce.
Well, I know it's kinda late, I hope I didn't wake you
What I gotta say can't wait, I know you'd understand
'Cause every time I tried to tell you, the words just came out wrong
So I'll have to say I love you, in a song
Yeah, I know it's kinda strange, every time I'm near you
I just run out of things to say, I know you'd understand
'Cause every time I try to tell you, the words just came out wrong
So I have to say I love you, in a song
'Cause every time the time was right all the words just came out wrong
So I'll have to say I love you, in a song
Yeah, I know it's kinda late, I hope I didn't wake you
But there's something that I just gotta say, I know you'd understand
Every time I tried to tell you, the words just came out wrong
So I'll have to say I love you, in a song
Kodi and I are BLUBBERING IDIOTS!! Where’s my snot rag? No shame in our tears, which we toss into the bay – passengers looking at us like we lost our best friend.
Don’t feel sorry for me, its love that I feel
My one place on earth where I always keep it real
Memories that linger and a love that will last
My heart belongs to Isla Mujeres, my future, today and my past….
Nady and Jackie look at us like we’ve fallen from Venus. They are not in love with Isla Mujeres, not yet.
As the ferry slows, I tip Jorge, kiss his cheek and head towards the stairs with one final look at my beloved in the distance.
I HATE seeing that blue and white tower when heading home. It’s like an enemy blowing raspberries at me. But what do you do? You blow raspberries back, get off the ferry, put your big girl panties back on, grab your luggage, head to the bano to get the last tears out of your eyes and the wad of snot out of your nose.
Snapping the elastic in my big girl panties, while Kodi exchanges her pesos to US, then back to pesos cuz the exchange rate sucked, Nady & Jackie were frantically trying to get their phones to work. No luck. I let them use mine – hey it’s still Mexico, 20 minutes of travel won’t make a difference (international phone bill two weeks later - $147).
Now on Isla, I never take the first cab. In Cancun – get what you can. So as we are strolling towards the Taxi guys, I make eye contact with a few, and they couldn’t hold my gaze – all they saw was fast money. Now the older dude who held my gaze approached me cautiously as I walked towards him. Fate.
Nady nudged me and said – I thought you never take the first taxi.
I don’t but I like the looks of this guy and his taxi is spotless.
Catz: ¿El Hotel de Quanto Y maya Justo, la Zona Hotelo, el cuarto Chicas?
I broke his serious look…I hope I said that right.
Driver: Belly laugh and $30.
Thank goodness he spoke English, broken but it was English. Jackie – it’s your turn to speak so she carried the conversation in Spanish. I’m up front the ladies in the back. I gave him the address and we headed off into THE TOURISTA ZONE – EWWW Cancun. Before I left the States, I did a Google Drive up the Main drag of the Hotel Zone and had a general idea where our hotel was. It wasn’t going to be easy to find as the diver never heard of it. But since I had the mile marker, it seemed like forever reaching our destination.
My Chicas didn’t want to make a decision on where to stay in Cancun, like I ever have so they left it up to me to find accommodations. One night. Close to the airport. On the Strip. They would split the cost. Uh-huh.
I found Maya Fair Boutique Hotel. $75 US or $107 Pesos. One Night. Unique atmosphere – a converted shopping mall now a brand new hotel. No wonder our driver couldn’t find it. An hour later, we start circling one particular area and WHAM- there’s a giant Mayan Statue. Must be the place. The driver pulls up and unloads our gear. During our ride to the hotel, our driver asked the usual questions, where ya from, where ya going, when ya leaving, are ya gay (haha), do you need me to pick you up to take you to the airport. YES please – we need to be at the airport by 7AM. He would be there at 5:30AM. See? Fate.
As we are walking towards the entrance: Why is there a woman lugging one hundred pounds of luggage out of a taxi while her husband/boyfriend fiddles with a baby stroller? Where’s the baby is what I’m wondering. Still in the cab…with a serious cough.
There’s a tree growing out of the corner of the building, two giant Mayan statues, an escalator, steps, a sign that says Welcome, four puzzled Chicas and off we go. Acting like I knew what I was doing, I lead the way, got us checked in as the girls took everything in. The woman with all the luggage is checking in as the husband/boyfriend is rocking the baby. They have been on a month long Mayan Riviera trip up the coast and yes, she’s been in charge of everything, including breastfeeding. She looks like she could use a vacation from her vacation.
The Check Out Girl is friendly enough and welcomes us to the hotel which has been open only two month. She whispers a choice of rooms we can choose from – seeing the choices, point at a particular suite and holler “Hell to the yeah”!! This Boutique has a different name/theme per room . The girls ask me what I am so excited about. I just lick the fingers on my left hand and say YUM – follow me.
We are in The David Beckham Suite.
Happy Chicas!!!! We enter into a modern room – shower & toilet are open – hey been together a week, I think I’ve seen your panani ‘s and boobs enough not to be embarrassed at this point. Nady is in heaven as we all drool over Mr. Beckham’s pecks, abs, eyes, etc.
Good choice Cathey!! Two Queen beds, color TV, a liquor store across the street, shopping around the corner, the beach in the opposite direction. Yeah, happy campers!
While they relax and unwind, I take photos and have a smoke – we decide to go out in a few hours to do the EWWW Cancun thang.
Do I see what I think I see in these carvings? Yes!!!
We meander through this end of town, noting our location in case we are too tipsy to remember where we are. Never made it to the beach. We hit the giant tourist shop with nick-knacks and trinkets and stuff you couldn’t and wouldn’t use at home but can’t leave without it. 2 hours later, we have a nice stash of stuff. There are SOLDIERS on every corner, drunks wandering up and down the streets, some asleep on benches (yeah – they are going to miss their flights in the morning). We saw guys asleep on benches when we were trying to find our hotel. If this is Cancun’s Spring Break, leave me on Isla.
We wandered trying to find a place to eat – saw the prices of some of the locations and moved on. Hey, where’s Senor Frogs? We get directions when Kodi is getting a Henna Tattoo. As soon as her tattoo was completed some “bitch” slams into her and smudges her tattoo – too many cops around to kick some serious ass but Kodi was pissed. At least she could have said excuse me!!
And those clubs we saw on the internet? $40 to enter online $65 in reality to be shoved in with 2,000 twenty something’s – no thanks so we wander a half mile on foot to Senor Frogs. NOVELTY GALOR – I just need to pee. We get our names on the list to wait and cruise through their shop. Kodi gets t-shirts and stuff, I don’t want anything, Nady & Jackie wander as well.
Our names get called and we get seated and admire all the cutesy stuff hanging on the walls, ceiling, etc. We get a menu and I can’t believe Kodi just paid $7 for a Sol when she paid $2 on Isla. And they want $14 for a plain hot dog? I’m sorry ladies but I’m ready to bolt. I’m not paying for atmosphere – they checked out the menu and agreed. The Waiter was miffed that we were leaving but I told him the prices are waaaaaaaay too high for what they are offering. He called over the Hostess, acting like she was gonna get all up in my cheese, when I stood up and said, it’s too pricey and we were leaving. Tried to get us to stay with half price watered down margaritas. I’m no fool (that’s another topic) and I lead the way out to nasty looks from the Waiter and Hostess. What? You work for commission?
So, we haul it back to where we started, hungry and hating every bit of this part of Cancun. We had passed earlier a taco stand that served stuff we recognized from Isla Mujeres. Nady, Jackie and I spent a total of $12 for tacos, the elusive and perfect Torta for Jackie, Sandia’s and Horchatas. And if you can believe it, Kodi went to McDonalds!!!Tastes the same all over the world. We even ate our stuff in front of McDonald’s. Kinda funny actually.
Not an Isla meal but a meal. We take our time walking back to the hotel. Kodi needs batteries since hers got taken at the Mexico City Airport (don’t make me re-live it – dreading tomorrow cuz we’re doing it in reverse). We understand why they took her batteries. You pay for them by the PIECE not the pack. $4 for one AA battery – I had to laugh, roll my eyes and laugh some more.
I think we’re all a bit tired of Cancun, tired from our manic week on Isla and just ready to chill until 4:30AM. I get a Starbucks (same price, cute Barista), we window shop and take some photos ON the statues, then head in for the night, tequila, smokes, memories, TV and bedtime.
But as you can see, we love us some Beckham....
But we hate Cancun…EWWWW…