30/4/17 – When in Mexico…

Had a bit of a rude awakening when Mom came knocking on the door at seven, as they were going don for breakfast. Turned out my alarm hadn’t gone off because my old BlackBerry had died a death in the night, so we were suddenly up and rushing to get ready, knowing we’d just have to skip breakfast ourselves. Got all sun creamed and since we’d be wearing normal day clothes this time, I got to wear my new pineapple shorts. We didn’t have any drink left in the room, as it was refill day, so I ran down to the breakfast hall to fill up an empty bottle with the fakey pineapple juice, whilst the others went to the pick-up point.

We got on our own private mini bus, heading for Chichen Itza. Turned out the oldies had grabbed us some chocolate and orange muffins to-go from breakfast, aww. We had a quick stop at a shop before joining the highway. I had a giant Red Bull – first I’d had in six days. Not that I was counting or anything. Once we got onto the highway, it was just under a two-hour drive to Chichen Itza. I used the time to drink my Red Bull and attempt to catch up on writing, since it was the last day of Camp NaNoWriMo. This was made a lot harder by how goddamn bumpy the mini bus was (not to mention our driver was a bit of a maniac). I’m not sure my writing will even be legible when I get to typing it all up.

The Chichen Itza site was huge. We saw the giant step pyramid, which is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, the thousands of columns left standing, various ruins, the sacrificial stone mounds, one of the cenotes and hilariously, a huge open ground with stone rings built into the walls on either side, just like in the Road to El Dorado. Between that and the pyramid, we were sure this must be where it was based on. There were merchant stalls everywhere. I quite wanted to get a Day of the Dead skull for Kay, but whenever I found ones that weren’t tacky, the merchants just started haggling ridiculously. I get that’s what they do, but when they try ripping me off from the start, I don’t feel so keen to give them my business. I also don’t like having them bothering you when you’re just trying to look.

Chichen Itza generally takes between two to four hours to cover the whole site. We don’t fanny about and it was sweltering, so we did it in less than two. We went back to our mini bus and were taken to a buffet restaurant. Nachos, rice, spag bol and some lovely chicken on the bone. They had puddings too, so I had fresh watermelon and orange and then a melon jelly. So much more refreshing. It was then back in the mini bus and off to the cenote. As super pretty as the cenote was, the novelty wore off quickly for me. Maybe because it was butterfly central (they even had a butterfly as part of their logo, so I’m not just exaggerating) and I was on edge the whole time. Or maybe because it was still boiling hot, I’d gone down a hundred steps and only got one foot in the cenote before seeing all the catfish and quickly getting back up the ladder. So I couldn’t even cool off. Mom didn’t like it either, so we just had to wait around whilst Kel and Dad had a swim. Give me a proper swimming pool any day.

I felt ready to die by the time we were leaving. It was thirty-nine degrees by this point. I had a gross ice lolly that said it was lemon, but was mostly creamy, so I chucked that. Had a drink too, but it really didn’t seem to help. We returned to our mini bus and headed out to a town called Valladolid. However, we did one quick tour around the little square and were only there for all of five minutes, before we were going back to the mini bus once again. It was just too hot, with nowhere in the shade and nowhere to go inside. This time, we just started back towards the hotel. I desperately continued with my writing, even though it was sprawling across the entire page from all the bumps. Next time, I’m bringing my laptop.

It was gone five by the time we got back, so it was time to shower and try and get those last few pages done in between. Amazingly, I did it with ease and even got carried away and went 440 words over the 50K I needed. Now my only problem will be validating it online. Since I hand write my first drafts, I have to use a random text generator to create enough text to match my word count. That’s a lot of text to copy and paste – I don’t know if my phone will be able to hack it. Once we were ready, we went down to the bar for a quick margarita and then moved onto food. Most of the usual once again. Mash was still lumpy. They did have the beef tostadas from the Mexican restaurant though, as well as some glorious grouper marinated in salsa verdi. I’m very picky with fish, but I knew I could trust Mom’s recommendation on it, because she’s equally as picky when it comes to seafood.

Back to the bar again, so I jumped onto the WiFi to try and validate my novel. Had a few mishaps with the copy and paste not working properly, but eventually managed to do it. Woooo! Best total I’ve had from a NaNoWriMo month yet and this was the one where I really thought I’d fall too far behind to manage. I happily celebrated with some more margaritas and mango daiquiris. The entertainment tonight was a mix of various cultural, more choreographed dances. Pop culture obviously appeals much more to us, but they did manage to successfully catch mine and Kel’s attention when they did one dance to the Circle of Life. We’re always on the ball when we hear that little African introduction.

Came back to the apartment after and flicked through the various talk shows. We were talking about Jimmy Kimmel and I discovered Kel had never seen the “I’m fucking Ben Affleck” skit; only the Matt Damon one. Of course I had to put it on to show her, since I have random shit like that on my iPod. Also finished my Anita Blake book off. God, it feels good to be able to do whatever I want. I love writing, but having to worry constantly about word counts on holiday makes it feel like homework, which nobody wants on holiday.

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Consider me wonderstruck…

26/9/15 – I love all inclusive

Got up earlyish again so that we could get ready and head down for breakfast. This time, we knew to hit the better breakfast stuff first, so I ended up with bacon, two kinds of sausage, scrambled eggs with ham and a churro to try because I was curious. It’s odd. It’s kinda like a deep fried savoury donut. I actually had second breakfast and followed it up with peach slices, half a mango, a seriously crumbly chocolate biscuit and a crepe filled with strawberry jam. Well, people always compared me to a hobbit. Gotta live up to it.

We hung around the pool again and finally got the sun we’d been waiting for, so I actually got to get a good session of sunbathing in. I wrote another short story and did some more reading – still making the most of the all inclusive drinks all the while, of course. I’d had two sangrias and a cocktail before it was even midday. That’s just the way you have to roll when you’re on holiday. Joel came round with another game for us. For this one, you had to throw cards into a magician’s hat. I had a go, but only managed two. It didn’t help that it was super windy. Honestly, I was just surprised that the cards didn’t end up in the pool.

We hit the proper buffet for lunch, rather than just the snack bar this time. We definitely missed out yesterday! I had the yummy rice again, another Mexican style pork rice, more garlic potatoes, chips and a slice of a delicious cheese pizza. I’m really not a fan of pizza at all, but this is another thing that most European holiday-making places do right. If it’s not cooked in a clay oven, then I’m not interested. Forget that frozen nonsense. We were pretty hot after lunch, so decided to have my first dip in the pool. Oh my god. Most freezing cold pool in the world – I think that was the briefest lap I’ve ever done, before I swiftly got back out.

When it started to get later and I was feeling nice and cooked by the sun, I popped to a nearby shop to get some Red Bull. For some reason – made even more oblivious by the fact that I must have looked like a right sweaty tramp after sitting in the sun all day – the shop assistant took a shine to me and gave me a Greek eye style bracelet. I wasn’t really sure what to do about that, other than not be rude and just accept it. I really hope this doesn’t mean we’re married in Spanish or something. Though I do actually have a thing for Hispanic men, I don’t really want to bring this one home with me.

I had my Red Bull and read a little in between showering and getting ready, once I was back in the apartment. I quickly learnt that I’d clearly got very carried away with our first bit of sun and basically burnt everywhere. Joy. I wore my Gothic looking red and black dress that Flick got me for my birthday last year and is still one of my top outfits of choice. It hit the worst of my weird burn lines. We then went down for more food. I really do like this all inclusive deal. A lot of the food suggested today was maybe following more of a Mexican theme, but they also had some little samosas, which were nice but a little out of place. I had my usual rices combo, fries, samosas, a type of bolognese pasta, a lamb chop, chicken in a sweet-ish sauce and some sliced potatoes that were almost as thin as crisps and so tasty! Pudding this time was more mousses and more jelly.

We moved into the entertainment area and really started making the most of the all inclusive drinks. I think we each got two more drinks around every half hour. Because why the hell not? I did regret switching from cocktails and sangria to vodka and lemon on my last round though. The guy asked me if he’d poured out enough vodka, which he already had by far, then kept adding more anyway. I know you know English better than that! I ended up with drinks that were more than three quarters full of vodka. Safe to say, I didn’t finish either of them. I like vodka, but I like having more than just an essence of mixer to go with it.

I was, sadly, very excited about the main entertainment for tonight, which was a movie quiz. If my forte is in anything, it’s in movies. The basis for this one was that we were played part of a song and had to pinpoint what movie it was from. Of course, I had to add silly little drawings like a sinking boat for Titanic, a naff ghost for Ghost and then the same naff ghost with a cross through it for Ghostbusters. Some of the questions were quite easy, but I got super excited when they started playing the Public Domain song from Blade. I think that one stumped most people. I clearly had an unfair advantage because I love the hell out of those movies (yes, even two and Trinity – my rule with them is that the storylines get worse, but the guys get hotter!) and had actually been listening to that song whilst I’d been sunbathing! Patrik was hosting again and he showed us a video afterwards that he’d done to that song for some horror event, where he was shirtless, covered in ‘blood’ and doing a choreographed dance with a ‘victim’. When you look like he does, all you really need is the shirtless part.

We had Let It Go and the Circle of Life for the Disney side of things – both of which me and Kel clearly had to sing along very loudly to. Sadly, we missed out on only one point by a song from Desperados, which is definitely one neither of us had seen. It’s a shame too, as I would have nailed the two tiebreaker questions they had for the winning teams – the name of Danny Zuko’s best friend and then identifying a song from The Mask. I was actually amazed myself that I knew the latter. Haven’t seen that film in years!

After the quiz, Patrik said he was heading out to a bar with some of the other guests if we wanted to join, so we happily agreed. There were two German girls, who I don’t think spoke much English so we didn’t even learn their names, but we got along well with the two pairs of Scots – Brenda and Karen, who were a fair bit older, and then Kymm and Kirstie, who were probably several years older than us. Everyone was very funny and very friendly and happy to chat and take stupid selfies. Patrik said he’d show us his office first, which is a little hut type thing that overlooks part of the pool. He showed us his mascot outfit, which is some kind of dolphin or marlin called Panchi, and asked if any of us wanted to try it on. Nobody volunteered, so I took the bullet. I think he was quite happy about it. I didn’t realised I had to wear the very tight blue leggings and the big shoes too. Very awkward to get into in a very short dress and heels with everyone watching. I had to try not to flash anyone in the process. I was grateful it didn’t smell in there, but it was hot and would probably get claustrophobic quickly, so I was equally as grateful to get out of it!

Say hello to Panchi! Oh no, wait, it's just me...

Say hello to Panchi! Oh no, wait, it’s just me…

He then took us to a little shopping centre type complex of clubs, which was a bit like a less fancy version of the Arcadian. We saw Satan on the way too! Joel met us there and we did several rounds of drinks, champagne that Patrik produced from somewhere and some shots that I think were peach schnapps or similar. He came over to me with the bottle at one point and I wasn’t quite sure what he wanted me to do, then realised he wanted to pour an extra shot into my mouth. He didn’t pour too much so that I ended up looking like a dribbling loon, so I was cool with that game. A bit later on, Brenda and Karen were trying to convince him to lose his shirt (I think everyone appreciated the beauty of his vampire video) and he compromised by unbuttoning half of it and then trying to get us all to lick his chest. I settled for kissing it instead. I’ve licked a hot chest before and it is so not pleasant (though in that case there was mayo involved too).

By this point, Kel was clearly hanging onto composure by a thread, so I decided it was time to walk her back. We both ended up walking back carrying out shoes – the bane of wearing heels – and acquired a companion for a short while, who said he was called Brian but so blatantly wasn’t called Brian. Thankfully, we managed to get rid of not-Brian after a while when he kept asking about boyfriends and other inappropriate things. When you’re on holiday and creepy guys ask if you have a boyfriend back home, just say yes. They’ll never know.

Group shot! (Not sure why I always hunch down in photos when I'm drunk... Am I trying to be invisible or something?)

Group shot! (Not sure why I always hunch down in photos when I’m drunk… Am I trying to be invisible or something?)

It all seemed to hit me when we got back to the apartment. I don’t remember a lot of it now, but I kept getting the whirlies whilst I was trying to lie down and I may or may not have (by that, I mean definitely) thrown up over the balcony. Oops. The only consolation is that I was still in a better state than Kel, who hadn’t even realised how bad I was in the process, so maybe I’ll just have to blame it on her. Sshhh.