Not all heroes wear capes. It’s TRUE. Sometimes their names are Allehandra and they wear red T-shirts and black skirts. I’m writing this from a sun lounger on a beach in Cancun. Never in a million years did I think I’d put those words together in a sentence.
About six months ago I decided to be proactive and try to avoid the seasonal depression that whacked me last year. We needed a holiday in sunshine to fuel us through the winter. I decided on Cancun and booked ‘an all inclusive holiday’.
It sounded fantastic! Flights, accommodation, food, drinks… all paid for. Child care! Four restaurants to choose from! Six bars! They had me at child care and six (6) bars. I already knew how I’d spend my days. I could just about taste the margaritas with good tequila!
It began with a 7 am flight, which meant a 3 am wake up. That’s not even a legal hour. By the time we managed to board as Zone 3 priority (HOW? WE’RE ZONE 3! We’re not anyone’s priority!), Eli was half asleep on the airport floor where the bacteria of a million filthy shoes lurched onto his tiny body. Holly was dead on her feet, in tears of exhaustion.
We boarded the plane, found our seats, and discovered there were no screens to entertain the kids FOR FIVE HOURS! I definitely didn’t pack enough snacks (or medication) to mitigate that disaster.
I’ll skip through customs; we all know that story. At least no one asked me if I was pregnant this time. As we left the airport to find our shuttle, we were greeted by an outside bar, next to the car rentals. They’re obviously familiar with parents travelling with kids. We were soon to learn that in Mexico, safety comes fourth!
Our ride to our hotel made me nostalgic for the deadly driving also enjoyed by the majority of South African road users. I’m not being sarcastic at all. There were lots of similarities between Cancun and South Africa.
Our hotel was perfect. Or thereabouts. It wasn’t a Holiday Inn. It wasn’t a US or Canadian hotel transplanted into Mexico. It was well-used, but clean, and our room was on the beach.
The six (6) bars. Four of us spent quite some time trying to account for that number. If we counted the two sides of the pool bar as two bars (one in the pool and one out of the pool), the pop-up restaurant in the water-park across the street, and the bar at the private marina that wasn’t part of the hotel, that was still only four.
But the beer was free and so was the horrible tequila. We spent our days lying on sun loungers, occasionally rolling ourselves into the sea to cool off, and stockpiling vitamin D. We would soon be back in the Great White North with limited sun sightings.
Remember how I said they had me at six (6) bars and child care? Well, the child care wasn’t so much child care as it was a hot little room where you could sit with your annoying child and draw. We did manage to procure the services of Allehandra, who spoke very limited English, for an evening of babysitting. While much drinking and laughter ensued with the child-free adults, a magic show kept the kids from breaking the spirit of our young Allehandra.
The sunshine and warm water was a glorious respite from the layers and layers of snow clothes, but it was just magic getting back home to Canada.