Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Had a Wonderful Time; Wish We Were (still) There!

Yes, we made it and back to Cancun in one piece. However, it took another 18 hours for 3/4 of our luggage to make it home. Ahh, airlines - gotta love them. NOT!!! But, on the flip side, if it weren't for airlines, I'd be stuck in Louisiana forever. Not a good thing when the temps average 100. Degrees. With 100% humidity.

Enough about the bad stuff: here's the good stuff. We had a GREAT time down there! My husband didn't gain a pound; I did - 5 of them. :( Conversely, the food is most excellent (there's a cause and effect thing there, I think) The resort we stayed at, for the second time in a row, was Excellence Playa Mujeres

Playa Mujeres (Beach of Women) is directly opposite Isla Mujeres (Island of Women, though I did see lots of men on it.), reachable by a 20-minute ferry ride across the Caribbean. Lots of people; lots of tourist-y shops; LOTS of sun. The Isla, I mean. The resort is our favorite one of the 4 we've been to. We had our own rooftop terrace with a private (unheated) plunge pool & 2 lounging beds. So we plunged. And lounged. A lot.
Want more? Here's another view, this one looking toward the Sea:

We spent almost all of our free time (when we weren't eating, SCUBA diving, and sun-bathing on the beach) up here. Major relaxation going on.

But, as another perk, we had dinner on the beach one night - very romantic - especially with the saxophone player serenading us....

And we did other things. Like long walks on the beach. Eating. Sailing. Eating. SCUBA diving. Did I mention eating yet? And SCUBA was so cool!

Look closely. That speckled thing at the bottom of the screen is a Moray eel. A LONG one. Hubby kept hanging around trying to get a better picture, & Mr. Eel started snapping at him, which scared me to death! But all was well, & we saw tons of fish.
So, all in all, we had a great time - so great that we both choked up when it was time to leave. We call this our second home - when I'm not calling it Heaven!

Oh - and the airline flights? I called to confirm the day before, just as they recommend you do. Hear me - CALL the day before!!!! Our return flight had gotten changed again - back to the 3:05 departure. Which meant that we could stay at the resort until 1:00, then race to the airport. But, with delays for the flight from DFW, we didn't get home until 12 hours after we left the resort. Yuk - 12 hours in airport mode. I don't know how people from Great Britain do it - it takes them a day & a half to get there. Maybe that's why they stay for 2 - 3 weeks.
I'm a destination person - I don't like the journey. I know, I know, life's the journey. I'm working on it!

Monday, July 13, 2009

July Dreams

As so many of you have asked about my little side bar thingy that's titled "Dreaming of July," and as it is NOW July, it is time to share. In 2 days, or 36 hours or so, my sweet hubby & I will be on a plane, wending our way to our dream home of the Riviera Maya, aka Cancun. It has been SO long in coming, this year, with the economy being what it is. And, it is not without some serious stress coming down to the wire - this morning, we got an email notifying us that our return flight had been changed - again. When we originally booked back in April, we were scheduled to leave Cancun at 4:30 in the afternoon. Well, that changed about a month later, to 3:05 p.m. Today's change? Our flight leaves at 12:30 on our last day. And, thinking about just how early you have to get to the airport now to clear security (thank YOU, Osama), it really cuts into our last day of freedom.

So, I'm a little bummed right now. Yes, we're leaving in 2 days for a week, but now we don't have much of a last day, just a last morning. I will not say what airline did this - everyone has a horror story about every airline out there - but the economy has got to get better, or there won't be any more recreational flights left. I'm just saying.

But, as the Bible study I'm going through right now keeps telling me, "focus not on 'what if,' but on 'what is.' " What is, is Cancun here we come!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day, and Snake Saga, part 2

Update: As my 21-yr. old daughter, PWTH, pointed out in a comment to this post, there is a certain irony to drinking English Breakfast tea on Independence Day. So, yes, I'm out of the closet - I drink tea. From England - I have it shipped directly from London to Louisiana. There you have it.

Original post: When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary.... and the rest of it, brilliantly written by Mr. Jefferson. Here's hoping all of you and yours are having an excellent Independence Day! I've never understood the media's penchant for calling it the "Fourth of July," rather than what the actual holiday is. Our local paper had a banner across the front page wishing us all a happy Fourth of July. Hey, Times, ENGLAND has a Fourth of July! So does FRANCE! What they don't have is an Independence Day that falls on July 4.

I have really seen the actual Declaration of Independence (before Nicholas Cage stole it) in the National Archives - twice. To say that it is awe-inspiring is too mild. The document is humbling. What great minds we have had in our brief history.

And, on a totally different subject, it's time to share the next installment of our ongoing (apparently) saga of Pools versus Snakes. (Daughter, stop reading here) This morning, I opened the back door to go fetch the newspaper (the one proclaiming Happy Fourth of July), and stopped dead in my tracks. Yep. Another snake. A LONG one. He was fairly occupied, as he was in the process of using his mandibles of death to swallow what turned out to be a frog. For those of you who may be tender-hearted, don't worry. No one dies in this post.

I VERY calmly went back into the house to get my son, WD, who is the bravest one of us all. He just needs a big stick & he's ready to rock & roll. He put on some glasses, I got the .410 shotgun, & we went back out to the carport, where said snakie was still using his mandibles as designed. After much discussion, looking (from afar) of the head of said reptile, AND after the dog ran into the carport & scared it into the storage room (which is when the frog escaped), we identified it as a non-poisonous snake. And, as it turns out, it is the same (breed? race?) type of snake that I helped dispatch back in May, a yellow-bellied water snake.

It's like this - if a snake is still, I'm pretty OK (translate: calm). Once that thing starts moving, and they're FAST, that's when I start the dance. You know, the "up on tiptoes, high-C singing, MOVING AWAY" dance So, to complete the story, yon snake tried hiding in the storage room off the carport; WD rooted it out (while I high-tailed it down the driveway for the paper), and the snake scampered off for parts of the yard with more ground cover, presumably to find another frog.

WD came back in the house to tell me that the monster (it truly was at least 3 feet long) had a yellow belly, a very long tapered tail (I saw that part), and its head was in no way that massive arrowhead shape that a moccasin is famous for. Plus, its mouth was pink - not cotton.

So I put away my shotgun (I was ready to save the world), went back to bed, & read my paper while I had my English Breakfast tea.

Happy Independence Day, y'all!