Our trip to sun-drenched Tulum, Mexico is complete. The trip was a blast, Josh and Crystal’s beach wedding was beautiful and no one stepped on a jellyfish. Success. Even the flights were smooth.
Fact: if Rick Bayless’ O’Hare restaurant has a breakfast menu, it should open before 11:00am. If your restaurant opens the minute McDonald’s takes down their breakfast menu, you’ve got a problem. I’m sure Jimmy Buffet’s AirMargaritaville in Cancun is slinging branded booze and paradisiacal cheeseburgers as soon as the sun comes up. Get with it, Chicago.
Jimmy Buffet – this guy is killing it. Jimmy Buffet is the Warren Buffet of People-Not-Named-Warren-Buffet. Jimmy Buffet is worth more than Sting, more than Mick Jagger, more than Elton John. $400 million dollars (Don’t even do the pesos conversion. It may kill you. Okay, it’s 4.8B. Are you dead? If so, I’m sorry.) What exactly is he doing? He’s just yelling the idea of Margaritaville into your head. It would be different if he, say, invented the margarita. He didn’t. He’s just pointing at a margarita. That’s all. He’s like a waiter onstage with a guitar. “Hey, can I sing you the specials?” It’s not ‘drinks before the show,’ it’s drinks as the show.
I’d really love it if, like the Batmen of All Nations, there were different, wildly successful versions of Margaritaville based on different drinks, like Russia’s Vodkaville, Mexico’s TequilaTowne and Japan’s SakiCity. Crap, now I have a fictional Justin Timberlake singing, “Bring it on down to Vodkaville” in my head…
On the way back home, we decided to categorize the food at the resort as unreliably delicious. The steak was heavenly, the buffalo wing sauce was turkey gravy, the sushi was great, the veal was… not veal. The great thing about an all inclusive resort is that you can just call it quits on a plate and give something else a try anytime you want to. It’s like It’s Just Lunch, but actually for lunch.
Fortunately for us, we were able to dispel the ‘they water down your drinks’ rumor from the very first glass of front lobby champagne.
Drinks of choice:
The Iceberg – a scoop of blended margarita on top of a glass of Corona. Does it make a Corona better? No, but it certainly doesn’t make it worse. We didn’t try the same trick with a Heineken, but that would really be the true test.
Caipirinha – a tumblerful of Brazilian liquor; sugar, lime. (it’s pronounced “headache.”)
Rum Punch – color, flavor, gone in the blink of an eye. The magic trick of mixed drinks.
Saturday, I played a round of golf at the Riviera Maya Golf Club. As a dude who’s played maybe 2 rounds in the last 10 years, I had exceedingly low expectations for myself, but it turned out to be a blast. Also, I may be addicted to golf now. Two standout stories from the afternoon:
One: On the forth or fifth hole, after hitting a decently long tee shot that bounced near the rough, two dogs appeared on the course (regular old dogs, not, like chupacabras or anything…). They fought over the ball for a bit, then ran it 20 or 30 yards further down the course and dropped it back onto the fairway. Sweet. After my second shot, they chased my ball and hauled it off into the woods. The dogs giveth and the dogs taketh away.
There are a few possible explanations, but the most likely one is that their owner sets an empty bucket on the back porch of his golf course condo, the dogs get treats once they fill it up and this genius never pays for golf balls again in his life. (other animals on the course: white-tailed deer, crazy birds, huge iguanas, and a few coati that were waaaay to happy to eat the snacks we had in the cart)
Two: this round of golf contained One Of The Two Best Athletic Moments Of My Life. The first occurred while played softball in high school. After seeing my woefully bad swing, the 4 ft 1in gym teacher, Ms. LaPorte barked out a series of orders “bend your knees, lift your arms, tilt your head, lift the bat, throw him the ball” and I hit a high, arcing double into center field. On the golf course last weekend, Josh gave me a series of pointers “bend your knees, change your stance, choke up, lean in, swing it easy” and I crushed that drive. Long story short: I’m hiring a life coach for everything I do from here on out.
Josh and Crystal’s wedding ceremony was right on the beach. Because he’s a class act, Josh didn’t make the groomsmen wear ties or coats in the heat. Because I’m a class act, I wore both. The tagline for Alien was “In space, no one can hear you scream.” That afternoon, my tagline was, “in a jacket, no one can see you sweat.” And it really wasn’t too bad. Until I discovered that I had sunburned my flip-flopped feet. Basically the only exposed skin I had going at that time. More than anything, it’s a tribute to the power of equatorial sunshine. Most summers, I make a valiant effort to move my foot color from undead to recently deceased. Mexico compressed that 3-month effort into about 8 minutes. Oh, well. That’s what the booze is for, I guess. !Caipirinhas para siempre!
Note: there are many, many more stories from the trip which elude me right now. If they come back to me, I’ll share them next week.