Thursday, 31 January 2019

Ien and Linda's Excellent Maya Riviera Adventure-part 1 The Plan

It all started on Facebook. 

Some time in late November Melanie in Ontario posted a tip for people who had time freedom and bit of extra cash: Cruises were on special. For less than a thousand bucks one could spend ten days in total luxury going from San  Francisco to Mexico and back. 

I am blessed with time freedom these days, and there was even some extra cash, thanks to some trees that had needed cutting down. Yeah, so much for green cred.
I am not into cruises but this post got me looking at other options.We have always preferred to be travelers rather than tourists. I have also resisted going into a third world country. I imagined it as feeling constantly guilty while also worrying about being ripped off. 

Well, guess what.  After a few challenging years and a lousy summer  I was feeling tired, old, and in need of an infusion of blue warmth. The idea of just plonking my fat body down on a beach and being looked after at an all inclusive resort was suddenly quite appealing.

I will spare the reader the boring details of decision making. Agony! Days were spent going back and forth between Sunwing and Trip Advisor. As usual some of the process was being shared on Facebook. Life opens up when you
live out loud. 

First an old acquaintance who is becoming more of a friend thanks to Facebook came into the picture. 
We were talking about going together. We may still partner some other time. But then came this surprise message, from the daughter of my dear old friend Linda. 
A picture of the lovely Larissa when she was visiting here in October.

"Good evening Ien, I noticed you are looking at going on a relaxing sunshine vavation. Great on you! You definitely deserve that dose of vitamin D. Are you looking for a traveling partner? I was thinking Mom...I would happily pay for her to tag along on a relaxing holiday with you."

Talk about an offer we could not refuse! Linda is the one person in the world I can imagine sharing a home with. 
We go back 43 years. Sometimes we don't communicate for months, but the connection is bone deep and always there.
She is the friend featured in the post "Linda does the laundry." 

She is the amazing woman about who I wrote: "Linda is 13 years my junior but has been my guru in matters of  homesteading and food preservation. This woman is a master gardener, cook and canner and has passed the gift on to all her children. She is a fantastic mother, competent at everything she does, an incredibly generous, energetic survivor and one of the people I love and admire most on this planet."

By this time the research had been narrowed down to the Riviera Maya rather than Cuba, and to the resorts South of Playa del Carmen, because the best beaches were there. 

Two years ago Linda's son had his wedding in that region, in the resort Sandos Caracol. They had had a great time.There  was also a  Sandos beach resort, just South of town. I liked the picture right away. I did some more agonising but finally decided to jump. It turned out to be a good decision.