Yes, it’s August and that can only mean one thing for the wife of a french man. The in-laws (and 5 other family members and friends) are here. I love them all dearly, but because I didn’t want them all in my house for the whole month, it was decided that we would spend a week Playa del Carmen, Mexico. The vacation can only be described in one word – binge.
Our group of ten arrived at the hotel hungry and exhausted after leaving for the airport at 3am. Fabien and I were a little more refreshed after a nap in the first class cabin (a new perk that’s been occurring rather frequently due to the miles we’ve been racking up with Delta). We immediately stormed the all-inclusive buffet. After I ate a few cups of guacamole, I repeated the following process continued for the next two days: beach, bar, buffet, books. I laid under a palm tree and finished Tiny Beautiful Things by one of my new favorite authors, who I got to meet this year, Cheryl Strayed.
“Like if you think you want to have a baby, you probably should. I say this in spite of the fact that children are giant endless suck machines. They don’t give a whit if you need to sleep or eat or pee or get your work done or got out to a party naked and oiled up in a homemade Alice B. Toklas mask. They will take everything. They will bring you to the furthest edge of your personality and abso-fucking-lutely to your knees.
They will also give you everything back. Not just all they take, but many of the things you lost before they came along as well.”
-Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things
Side note: read her book Wild and prepare to fall in love.
One of the highlights of 2013, meeting Cheryl Strayed
After two days, it was time to remove myself from the lounge where eight of us would head to Chichen Itza, a beautiful lagoon and the adorable little Mayan city of Valladolid. I certify all of these places amazing and give props to the Mayans for building a sweet little city, which is no easy feat considering what tiny people they were. For example, our guide, a Mayan named Irvine, stood a generous 4’9. It took every ounce of restraint to not pinch his cheeks and put him in my pocket. We returned from the day, exhausted and satisfied. The tour company, Xperience Xcaret, was so well organized and worth every penny. If you’re considering any visits to Mexico, I’d totally recommend them.
The cathedral in Valladolid
Zaci Cenote was formed from a meteor that dropped 65 million years ago
Enough activity. I returned to my regularly scheduled plans – bingeing on books.
For the next three days, I parallel parked myself between the pool and bar with my Kindle. It was glorious. I started & finished the highly acclaimed Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg and the much loved My Year with Eleanor which was written by friend of a friend of a friend, Noelle Hancock.
“I’m not presumptuous enough to think I’ll ever be as fearless as Eleanor [Roosevelt]. But she taught me that courage is a muscle. It needs to be exercised often or it’ll weaken.”
-Noelle Hancock, My Year With Eleanor
Then rainy season granted us with its presence for two full days, so I justified starting another book. I was on a serious bender and I’m pretty sure Fabien was planning an intervention. Fortunately, there were others to keep him entertained.
On the last full day, me & my nine French crew would spend the morning in a monsoon at the ruins of Tulum. I went in college, but was still awed by the city. Eventually, mother nature gave us a pass and even a little sun when we visited Xel-ha, a natural water park . Another fun, exhausting day courtesy of Xperience Xcaret.
Tulum under a monsoon
For the final hours in Mexico, the Murphy’s Law of vacations was in effect which meant it was the most beautiful. I’m happy to have awaken at 7:30 to spend the last few hours playing in the huge blue waves and finishing my absolute favorite read of the week, Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott. She has officially become my new drug of choice.
“I guess he’ll have to figure out someday that he is supposed to have this dark side, that it is part of what it means to be human, to have the darkness just as much as the light- that in fact the dark parts make the light visible; without them, the light would disappear. But I guess he has to figure other stuff out first, like how to keep his neck from flopping all over the place and how to sit up.”
-Anne Lamott, Operating Instructions
The last bittersweet hours
So, thanks to the inspiration of the beautiful writings from Cheryl Strayed, Sheryl Sandberg, Noelle Hancock and Anne Lamott, I haven gotten my writers groove back. I hereby solemnly swear to update my travel blog without further ado. Stay tuned for stories that include bears in the wilderness, being in close proximity to the latest celebrity death and a complete recap of my weekend on a hippie commune.