The Time By the Sea

In a way, I hate vacations, because when I come home everybody wants to hear all about it, and I never know what to say. Yes, I had a great time. I went to the beach, got a sunburn and a tan that you wouldn’t know is a tan if you couldn’t see the line around my neck from my bikini top, and I snorkeled for the first time and had my hair braided into cornrows, that looked frizzily awesome when I finally took them out. I drank two piña coladas in coconuts, and became pleasantly tipsy. We swam in the pool at our house, and drank mimosas and wine and beer. We visited Parque Garrafón, where Halen and I zip-lined, and drank strawberry daiquiris in and out of their pool, and Dylan and I sat on swings at the bar and I finally had a cup of beer that tasted like water to me but at least it was cold. I was hot and sweaty almost all the time when we were out, but I was on an island, and everyone else was, too, so it didn’t matter the way it matters when I’m home in the U.S. These are all the things I should have said when my parents asked about my trip, but I don’t know, I just didn’t. So now I’ve written it all down.

Do you know what a seashell wind chime sounds like? It’s not like the cheery, jangly tinkle of normal wind chimes that evokes Christmas bells. It’s softer, more muted than that, and carries more the tone of wood, with tiny tinkles to it. It’s very pretty, and, as Dylan’s mother suggested when I texted her the picture of the one I’d purchased earlier this week, will remind me of the time by the sea. She bought one, too, from the same lady who spoke mostly Spanish on the side of the road where I bought mine. It feels, and is, more authentic than the ones for sale at the tourist trap shops in town, and I paid 120 pesos—currently the equivalent of six or seven dollars. I can’t explain how, but that whole experience just feels as authentic as the chime itself. Think about it, and I hope you’ll understand.

At the airport yesterday, there was a Harley-Davidson shop, and I bought T-shirts for my parents, because that’s their tradition whenever they travel. The shirts say “Cancún” but I didn’t really spend any time at all in Cancún, because my vacation was on Isla Mujeres. I think it’s probably best that way: a more authentic experience of Mexico. Not a resort, less of a purely tourist experience.

I didn’t send postcards, but I took lots of pictures, and walking into the tiny, abandoned airport for a couple of shots was scary, but I’d do it again.


Thank you to Jeff and Kim and Dylan for the trip. Thank you to Mexico, and to Isla Mujeres.


Now that you know about mine, I want to know about your exotic vacation. What stories do you have to tell?

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