We’re back. We’re very glad to be back, too – it was an excellent trip, but you know, it’s always nice to get home, sleep in your own bed, walk around in your own house, drink recklessly from the tap, flush toilet paper without fear of destroying the plumbing of an entire region, and shop without awkwardness at your own Publix.
I have two deadlines over the next four days, but after that, I think I’m going to pull together a separate mini-blog about the trip. It was that good, and it’s that close and it’s that relatively inexpensive (I couldn’t have done Florida theme parks for a week for what I did Mexico for ten days. If I wanted to do Florida theme parks, that is. Which I don’t. Sorry, not sorry.) I want to have a website out there with all the details on our trip that might just serve the purpose of encouraging folks – individuals, friends, couples and families – to go to Mexico. Plenty of you do, and I met and saw plenty of Americans every where we traveled, but I just want to do my part to encourage more.
And we’re not done, either. It won’t happen in the next few weeks or even months, but this trip did not exactly satiate the Maya-Mad One, so I see Palenque and related sites in our future, definitely. And Costa Rica or bust, Colleen !!!
(We flew in and out of Cancun and spent very little time there, but I’ll say that it held no interest for me. I found the run of huge resorts on the coast between Tulum and Cancun so weird. Be brave. Go beyond the all-inclusive and cruise ship excursion!)
Because it’s interesting, fun and safe. Safe, people. I – a single woman with two children – drove all around the Yucatan, walked in cities at night, and never felt anything but perfectly safe and comfortable (Except when I was about to run out of gas, that is.) There are parts of Mexico I wouldn’t venture into alone, certainly. Border areas, other places known for conflict. There are parts of the US I wouldn’t wander about alone, either. But the Yucatan isn’t one of them, and it’s very accessible to the US, and very educational and culturally rich.
There are, indeed, as you hear, frequent police checkpoints on the roads – mostly at the borders of states and in and out of towns. I probably encountered fifteen of them. I always met the law’s eye with a direct look, a smile and a nod, was glanced at and waved through.
(I also always stuck slavishly to the speed limit. Never, ever went over.)
They were also doing selective breathalyzer tests on the road out of Progreso (beach town) last Saturday but, oddly enough, I was not targeted.
I stayed in some great places. Specific shout-outs to the Pickled Onion B & B and the Cascadas de Merida B & B. Both were excellent, and the latter, in particular, is a model for a small hotel/Bed and Breakfast. As an introvert, I may not seem like the natural constituency for the relatively close quarters of a B & B, but honestly, when I am traveling to an unfamiliar place where I don’t speak the language, I value the intimacy of a B & B – I need the assistance and advice that the owner can give, and I also appreciate the opportunity to bounce my observations of the day’s touring off of another adult over a glass of wine.
By the way….if you’re a watcher of House Hunters International, you’ve heard of Merida. It’s where I first heard of it and became aware of the amazing way in which those relatively plain facades can conceal surprising interior spaces.
Speaking of pickled onions…I didn’t know they were one of the National Condiments of the Yucatan. I loved them – I’ll be making them myself soon!
Oh, and speaking of food – everyone stayed healthy throughout the trip. We were super careful about the water, of course. Bottled, purified water the whole way, including during teeth-brushing. We ate plenty of just normal low-end restaurant, street and market food, and did just fine.
Some of the best food of the trip? Here. In Progreso. Three big plates – 1 fish and 2 chicken - small plate appetizers set out the way they do (ceviche, pumpkin seed spread, octopus, pico de gallo and something else, along with fried tortillas), four soft drinks, all for 190 pesos, which is about 14 bucks, and crazy.
Now to those deadlines…..
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