Wednesday, May 30, 2007

So Long And Thanks For All The Fish

Us at sunset.

So that was a vacation. No wonder people seem to like them so much!

I'll be 32 years old in about 2 months, and until now I'd never taken a real vacation as an adult. We didn't take many when I was a kid, either, since my mom was spending all her disposable income to put me through private school from age 4 through 21 (that selfish bitch). The last trip I took with my mom, not counting some Thanksgivings with her Midwestern relatives, was Disneyworld when I was 12. But before that our family trips were mostly educational. It was all Boston (Freedom Trail), Washington DC (Smithsonian, monuments), and Mystic Seaport (um, fish, boats).

I got some fantastic opportunities in high school to take a few group trips (two through school, one through my YMCA camp – don't ask about the Jewish kid from Manhattan at the YMCA camp) to cool places I never would have been able to afford to go to on my own (or with my mom). Amazing, but not a vacation in the real sense. I've traveled for work, and to friends' weddings, but those don't count either, even when I hit a museum or two.

So when Boy and I decided it was high time we took what would be the first grown-up vacation for both of me, and our first as a couple (five-and-a-half years in!), we tossed out the long list of cities we'd like to see and friends we want to visit, and found ourselves a tropical paradise.

Actually, K and MAK found it for us. When MAK posted photos of their Mexican vacation on his blog in December, we decided to copy it wholesale. In the end, we wound up at a different resort in the same chain a few miles away, but it was the same basic idea.

There are certainly hipper, younger, and gayer resorts than Iberostar, but we weren't interested in partying or making friends. We were interested in thinking as little as possible, and the Paraiso Del Mar fit the bill beautifully. Food available basically 24 hours a day, alcohol available basically 24 hours a day (though a bit further from the beach after 5), no real need to schedule anything. We did a couple of trips outside of the resort (ack! schedules!), including swimming with dolphins, touring some Mayan ruins, and a tequila tasting, but mostly we lay around the beach, and when we got tired of that, we lay around the pool.

I checked my email once, at a cost of 30 pesos (about 3 dollars) for 15 minutes, and decided it wasn't worth doing again. I used my laptop only to journal and pull photos of my camera. Once off the plane, I didn't use my PSP. I used my iPod occasionally, but only for music; no video, no potentially stress-inducing political podcasts. I actually... read a book. We did turn on the TV in the room at bedtime most nights, since I like some background noise to drift off to. Just like at home, CSI and Law and Order are on pretty much all day long (in English, with subtitles).

My wonderful state of relaxation was pretty much shattered by our cab ride home from the airport, but I guess that's life in New York!

I took over 350 photos (things I don't miss: film cameras). Even whittled down, it's far too many to post, so if you're interested you can click here for the full photoset. Here are some of my most favorite favorites (click to see full size):

Walking through the resort:
walking through the resort

The pool:
...but it was pretty!

A rainbow around the sun. How cool is that?
So cool...


Ruins at Tulum:

Although I never post photos of myself here, here are some self-portraits:
By the pool:
Self-portrait by the pool.

At the beach:
Self-portrait on the beach.

At the swim-up bar:
Self-portrait at the swim-up bar

On a raft:
Self-portrait on a raft.

With a monkey:
That's my head under that monkey!