#2: Mexico!

(Hint to improve your reading experience: Click on this link for this entry’s soundtrack and then come back and read on!) On the cruise, I knocked out a second Fab First: my first trip to Mexico.

Carol, Lynn, and I left the ship around 10 a.m. on Monday, January 28, for a stroll through Cozumel on a bright, sunny day. First impression: Charming from the ship; too touristy on land. We stopped at a little mini-mall where Lynn succeeded in bartering (a first for her!) a good price on a wooden Jesus. We then diverted off the turista trek (there was no Senor Frog’s for this group!) and popped into a small Americanized coffee shop for water, latte, and cookies. It was also our first shot at using cell phones; Carol’s worked. Mine did, sort of –– I couldn’t call out or check voicemail, but I kept getting calls, which I didn’t answer, because none of them showed as any of my contacts (Note to self: Check with Verizon before next international trip!).

We mostly wandered around, enjoying the day. After stopping at a few more shops and dodging barkers at the flea market and a small mall (“Hey, Lady! Our prices almost free!”). I didn’t have a burning desire to make any purchases. As we walked farther in, we found a yellow-stucco little church. My personal travel rule: Always stop in a church, say a prayer, and light a candle — although this time I couldn’t find a free candle one or any matches. A block or two later, we stopped at the Sonora Grill for guacamole, queso fundido, and beverages. The dining room’s perch on the second story and open windows allowed us to watch the local passersby and enjoy the lovely day. Even better, while we were there, Carol received a text message from her boss announcing that Carol’s book had gone up to 14.2! A reason to celebrate! Whoo whoo! A couple of strolling musicians serananded us with “La Bamba.” Even when translated into English, that song doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, although one could argue that “I am not a sailor, I am a captain” was somewhat relevant for the three of us cruiser chicas!

As we wended our way back to the ship, we stopped to wade into the surf, which really is that glorious aquamarine blue. My wading was unintentional; as I was digging around for sea glass, I miscalculated an incoming wave and ended up with one drenched tennis shoe!

Back on Ecstasy (ha ha ha!), we had lunch and then took up some deck chairs on the Lido Deck, which was relatively quiet until a couple of Carol’s cruisers stopped by to tell Carol that one of the guests had been taken to a local hospital after tripping and cutting his face. So Carol went off to deal with that. Strangely enough, that was the second KFDIer who fell and had to go to the hospital; before the buses left Wichita, someone else had to have stitches (she and her friend couldn’t make the trip). But that was the last of the accidents, thank goodness!

We had a busy, busy evening from then on –– well, Carol did, anyway. Trent Tomlinson performed his first KFDI party. A very cool set that showed off his songwriting chops and put the “rock” back in “country.” He previewed a brand-new song he had just written for his baby girl. I loved “One Wing in the Fire” and “Hey Batter Batter” (of course I would like that baseball tune, even if it’s actually about a bar fight!). Afterward, we went up to the Lido Deck for the late-night Mexican buffet and dance party. With all the line dancing going on, it was painfully evident that I had been too busy chasing after Stevie Ray Vaughan and Neil Young and others in the 1980s; I somehow missed out on line dancing. Carol’s KFDI colleague Scott, however, was the king of line dancing –– he had it DOWN! I think we have pix to prove it (coming soon!)!

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