All of this was transcribed from my journal. I wrote it last week while we were in Mexico. I kept getting distracted by tequila and pretty sparkling water, so these transcriptions don’t paint much of a complete picture.

(May 1, on the plane on the way to Mexico)

I quit my job and I’m on my way to Mexico.

Well, technically both things are true, but I guess it’s not as dramatic as all that. The job thing involved a two-week notice and a new job and a lot of soul searching about work and career and life but I’m pushing all that aside right now, because mostly I’m thinking about how I’m on my way to Mexico.

P. is looking very cute, sleeping next to me, with a blanket all the way up to his chin. The flight attendant just came by with freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies and milk. And I’m feeling only slightly freaked out to be 30,000 feet in the air with no visible means of support other than this supposed “physics”, mostly due to the magic of Xanax.

Sometimes, you want a completely relaxing vacation, with as little hassle as possible, even if it costs a little more. So, we’re flying first class, staying at the Ritz Carlton, and I’m not going to worry about my weight the entire trip.

(Present day aside: Sometimes the best laid plans of buying relaxation are thwarted by incompetent airline employees and being stranded overnight and ending up in coach on the return flight after all on an entirely different and later day. But that came much later, after much relaxation was had.)

Just days before we left, my knee just about entirely stopped working. I couldn’t walk on it, put weight on it, extend it. I cried. How would I hike through the jungle while hopping? Doctors think I need an MRI; something might be torn. They’re not sure. But I’ll worry about all that after the trip. For now, I have a massive brace, pain medicine, and instructions to ice a lot and take a lot of Advil. It’s helping.

I can now mostly walk on it OK as long as I’m careful not to extend my leg all the way or put a bunch of weight on my knee. The brace helps with both of these things. I didn’t anticipate the other pains though: my throbbing right hip, unhappy about taking on all the weight of walking, my knotted left calf, which has been taking up the slack for the knee. But I can walk so I’ll take what I can get, even if it’s a little painful.

(Present day aside: My knee continued to get better throughout the trip. We scheduled the most strenuous activities for the second half of the week. I somehow left my brace behind on a tour van, but I could walk OK by then. Never underestimate the power of ice. Hopefully I’ll have time to go back to the doctor next week.)

(Sometime Monday, sitting on the balcony)

We got in Sunday night and looked for someone holding a sign with my name on it. A very official-looking woman asked us to step over to booth #5 to check out travel voucher and contact our driver. Ah, the airport with its cute time share people.

The hotel is, of course, very relaxing. The driver (who was indeed holding a sign just outside) took us right to the door, someone else took our luggage, and someone else gave us a tour of the hotel and showed us to our room where yet another staff member had our check-in paperwork.

Our room overlooks the ocean, with a wide balcony that spans both our living room and bedroom. We have two bathrooms. But the best part is the view of the light green ocean.

We went down to the casual restaurant for dinner. They were doing a special barbeque, so we got margaritas and feasted on ribs, chicken, sausage, and fish. I asked for flour tortillas and they brought us some warm, homemade. We also had baked potatoes and corn and bread and four different sauces. We don’t even remember falling asleep.

(Written sometime Thursday, May 5.)

Things that scare me: heights, closed in spaces, monkeys. Things I did on Wednesday: flew through the air across a ravine on a zip line, rapelled into a cavern, crawled into a cave, down into a cenote — an underground frew water pool, surrounded by stalactites and stalagmites, watched spider monkeys swing in the trees over my head as I hiked through the jungle.

And that was all before lunch.

Friday, May 6, relaxing on the beach.)

We rented a sort-of beach chair/cabana hybrid with an adjustable canopy. The water is light turquoise and is so clear you can see all the way to the white sand at the bottom. We floated in the waves, although we had to dodge the legions of tiny jellyfish amassing armies around us.

It’s hot. The pelicans fly over the water and then dive head first to land. Every so often we see a parasailer go by. Yesterday, as we were getting on the boat to go scuba diving, two girls bobbled their way into a parasailing boat, carefully making sure they didn’t spill their huge mugs of beer. One of our scuba instructors said that they must not have heard about the guy who parasailed into a building the week before.

The vendors walk along the beach selling jewelry, huge conch shells (that are available in huge piles on the beaches of Isla Mujeres, just a short ferry ride away), sunglasses. The large hotel sign at the entrance to the beach says: It is not recommended to swim after consuming alcoholic beverages. It is not recommended to purchase merchandise from beach vendors. Prices on everything, even the beach vendors, are very expensive, much more expensive than you’ll find on the Pacific side of Mexico. Vendors set up shot on the side of the road, beside ruins, likely tourist places. You can’t bargain a t-shirt down below $15. Margaritas start at $10. It is not a cheap place to visit.

But it’s very peaceful to lay here on the beach.

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