Sunday, March 15, 2015

Alligators and Cinderella in Mexico

We had yet another really good lunch at a restaurant called Labna's which upped the Mayan street cred ante by having a building shaped like a pyramid. We were the only people in there so the waiter was especially nice. I guess the custom in Mexico is that it is rude to bring the bill without the guest first requesting it, even if they are clearly finished eating.

Labna's earned us additional legit tourist points because the food was not only Mexican but specifically from the Yucatan Peninsula.

Lydia's sangria seemed suspiciously like someone just poured some wine on top of some lemonade in a glass.

To start with we had papadzules: "corn tortillas stuffed with boiled eggs bathed in pumpkin seed sauce". We just shared one entree after that: poc chuc, "grilled strip of pork with local condiments and served with sour Yucatecan orange, chili/tomato sauce and steamed beans." I had an interesting sweet/tart drink made from the spinach-like chaya leaf with a shot of anise flavored xtabentĂșn to top it off. 

Outside they were already readying the mini cars for another night of festivities.

Well this was the day that our zero planning finally caught up with us. We went to the bus station to book passage to the famous Chichen Itza but were told the trip was like four hours long. The pyramid would be closed by the time we arrived.

Inside the bus station.

We attempted to salvage the remainder of the day by booking a trip to Puerto Morelos, where the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System almost touches the shore. The idea being to get some snorkeling done even though our SCUBA dreams had been scuttled. Well we got all the way to the beach and found that the rental shops had recently closed.

We caught a bit of a baseball game while walking towards the beach.

When you see a "Caution! Alligators" sign that has clearly been bitten in half it is time for you to move your ass. 

I did what I could for this little boy fishing nearby by yelling "every man for themselves!" as I jogged past. Poor little bugger. I'm a hero though.

At this point we were road weary and needed to stop for an emergency margarita and regroup.

Cutting our losses, we went back to Cancun city for another great meal. This time it was much closer to the style of Mexican restaurant that Americans are accustomed to, with lots of colorful things hanging from the ceiling and a roving mariachi band.

To finish the day we decided to risk our souls by entering the tourist trap hell called Cancun Island. It was sort of Vegas feeling with just a long straight strip of road completely flanked on either side with gigantic resorts.

We went to a mall to see Cinderella and I almost threw up in my mouth when I saw the chains. So many chains. Hooters, Hard Rock, Harley Davidson, Senor Frogs, Chili's, and the largest Bubba Gump Shrimp I've ever laid eyes on. I thought back to the lady with the sparkly cowboy boots who'd vacationed at the same place 20 times in a row. I thought to myself: this is what happens when you never grow up. This is an adult ordering from the kid's menu of life. What a horrible place this is.

Whew, things got real there for a second. Anyway I enjoyed Cinderella a lot more than I expected with the help of two actors from Game of Thrones and two more from Downton Abbey.

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