Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Anatomy of a Sunburn

Officially back from vacation and settled into the usual groove of life here folks.  We had a great time.

This photo should serve as proof that I survived, that we indeed did visit Margaritaville, and that I am ever so slightly embarrassed by the wicked sunburn lines I got by frying my face whilst also wearing giant sunglasses.

I think, sometimes, it is easy to push off the idea of a vacation in your head because you've got so much else on your plate.  It isn't until you're actually there and recouping from your everyday life that you realize just how much you really needed it.

We.  Really.  Needed. It.
And truly, when you live no more than a two hour plane ride from every spring-breaker's paradise, what in the world is stopping you from GOING, at least once?  We've already got plans brewing to go back at the end of the year if we can swing it.

Of course, I brought my sketch book, and I thought you all might like to get a glimpse into the exotic lands of Cancun.  Or at least the parts of it we saw anyhow.  Which is mostly just the other patrons of the clearly-not-for-Americans resort we stayed at.*

The first day we were there, Fiance made friends with the activities directors of the resort.  Because that's what he does.  Which is good, since they kept Fiance entertained while I did nothing but drink, float, and lay out.  Of course, the first activity they roped him into was a HORSE contest, and on his first shot he threw the ball on top of the roof of the building the hoop was mounted to.  Game over.  I was so proud.

This kid amused the snot out of both of us.  He was a little Mexican kiddo, maybe 5?  And he was just chubby enough that the shorts his parents put him in to go swimming gave him perma-plumber's crack.  Also he was just a super ham.  Kept us laughing all weekend.

I almost got caught by this couple.  I noticed the gal on day one pretty early on because she's the Perfect 10 that every other lady on the beach is bound to loathe.  Blonde, skinny, curves like woah.  Fiance tried to calm my under-my-breath digs by telling me her face wasn't so pretty.  Nice try.  I'm pretty sure if I had a body like that no one would ever notice my face because I'd totally wear the same itty-bitty crap she strutted all over the beach.

But then.  Then there was her boyfriend.  I think Fiance started getting the same type of envy I was having about his body type.  Folks, I have to go on record here:  He may have been muscular, but whatever he did to work out his pecks was NOT working for me.  He looked like he was smuggling oranges under his skin.  I couldn't stand it.  And thus, I referred to him as the orange smuggler for the duration of our stay.

The second day we were there, we noticed they weren't hanging off of each other in the lovey-dovey way they had the day before.  Our activities director informed us that this lack of affection may have had something to do with the Perfect 10 sleeping with someone else at the resort. 

I instantly felt cool to be included in the resort gossip.  And then I had to sketch them.  Toward the end of this sketch the Perfect 10 shot me a REALLY evil glare.  So either she figured out I was drawing them, or she thought I was making eyes at her orange-smuggling man.  I found the latter option funny considering her alleged lack of loyalty a mere 12 hours earlier.

What do you think about the Perfect 10 when you're at the beach?  

This man's name is Pinocchio.  Or at least that's what he told us.  He was a fairly grizzled old dude with a fantastic mustache and skin so tan it was truly leather.  He tended to join most of the same activities Fiance did, and so through their short interactions we gathered that he vacations in Cancun every year for a few weeks, and that he does such under a pseudonym every time.  This year's name was Pinocchio.  We don't know why.  We weren't sure we wanted to know.

This is a really good diagram demonstrating why Fiance will never, ever be allowed to spray paint anything in our home.  Let me 'splain.  We arrived in Cancun with a bottle of the spray-on sunscreen in a can.  I sprayed him down, he sprayed me.  Above is about what I looked like after day one in the sun.  You will note the patch on my forehead, completely missed my nose, stopped short of where my swimsuit hit on my front (I would have thought he'd pay much more attention to that area), a small spot on one side of my hip, and somehow managed to miss a two inch strip going down the front of both of my arms.  I don't even... he is perfectly tanned, thank you.
 I have come to the sad conclusion that I just don't tan.  
I am doomed to be a pasty white girl.  
Have you ever had a really ridiculous sunburn?  
Leave a comment, I need some commiseration here.

I saw this little girl on the last day of our trip.  She was playing in the sand on the beach with her grandpa.  The beaches of Cancun swarm each day with men wearing backpacks full to the brim with merchandise.  They approach the beach patrons and show off their wares; anything from necklaces to cigars to dresses, candies, and I'm pretty sure that one guy was selling fake IDs.  Anyway.  One of these men, selling beachy necklaces, approached the little girl and her gramps, and asked if she'd like a really cool  necklace made of shark teeth

Without missing a beat, this little one bared he teeth at him and explained that she didn't need one because she already had shark teeth, grr!  So the salesman turned to her grandpa, and before he could speak, gramps pulled out a set of dentures and said thanks, but so do I.  It was a great way to shut the salesman up, and I was amused.

Here are a few of the seagulls.  There was some interesting bird watching at the beach.  For me at least, I think maybe Fiance didn't care one bit, but at least he indulged me when I was pointing at them all.  There were of course, seagulls, who were more than happy to do reenactments of scenes from The Birds if you dropped a chip on the beach, but there were also some grackles that sang really lovely little tunes, pelicans, and my favorites were the Greater Frigatebirds.   The Frigatebirds (which, if you say it fast enough sounds like "friggin' birds!"  and thus amused me), can soar on wind gusts tirelessly for hours upon hours.  They feed by stealing from other birds.  But not must swooping in and taking something.  No.  They wait until the poor unsuspecting seagulls actually eat the food, and then somehow pin the bird and make it puke, stealing food straight from their victim's stomachs!  This made them not just friggin birds, but friggin Pirate birds, and I was amazed all weekend at the sight of them.

Actual pictures?  Yes please.  On the left, you'll note Fiance and I having a "discussion" about why he insists on holding my hand in every photo we take together in a manner that suggests we're about to go to prom.  On the right, you'll see that I won.  You'll also see the smug smile that denotes the five minutes prior to the picture being taken where Fiance noted "You know I can tell you really have lost weight.  You look good."  Hurrah.

  And this is a very drunk quick sequel to the basketball sketch, made while out that same night at Senor Frogs.  Fiance tried to make a toast.  He succeeded in breaking the beer stein he was holding.  And from that point on the waiters served us in plastic cups.  True story.

 Here we are outside of Carlos 'n Charlie's.  You... if you ever go to Cancun, you should go there for dinner one night.  It was a blast, and more reasonably priced than either Margaritaville or Senor Frogs.  My favorite part?
The tables are all covered in brown wrapping paper, which the wait staff use to write their names upon and introduce themselves. Of course I loved it because I could draw right on the table.

Our waiter's name was Angel.  So I wrote out a "thank you for the awesome service" note to him that gave us wings and halos.  (The words are hard to read, but in Spanish, it said:  Thank you Angel!  The food was delicious and the people were fun!  ...and you dance very smoothly.)
  I added the second bit about dancing right before we left because once Angel saw what I was drawing, he immediately grabbed me, and we danced.

This really unflattering photo is brought to you by my immense surprise at being pulled out to join the dancing, and the fact that about .3 nanoseconds later Angel sat me in a chair, blindfolded me, and gave me a lap-dance for all the patrons of the restaurant to see.  Except Fiance.  Fiance somehow managed to completely miss that moment with the camera.  I'm torn between being thankful and disappointed.

If you ever end up in Carlos 'n Charlie's, take a second to take a peek at their wall of customer compliments next to the bathrooms.  Because that sketch is definitely hanging up there now.

And that was Cancun in a nutshell (except the part where we went para-sailing.  Pictures aren't back from that camera yet... or that part where Fiance drove a really fancy car, but I didn't want to talk about it here because I know basically nothing about cars and he was too geeked about it for me to muck up the explanation here).  Can't wait for where ever our next adventure takes us!

Where was your last adventure?  Where's your next one?

*Our resort was a nice one (the Aquamarina Beach) but it is clearly set up for non-American use.  The resorts for Americans are all set up to play into the classic spring break paradigm that we all see on MTV, super fancy and everyone speaks perfect English and it's just a whole bunch of drunken debauchery.  There wasn't anything within walking distance like restaurants or shopping or attractions.  And besides one other group of four guys, we were the only Americans there.  But that worked for us, we had a good time, and we got to relax, and the resort staff seemed to really enjoy that we would speak Spanish with them.  All in all a super win.


Rob Oh said...

We stayed at a similar not-as-touristy place when I went there in 5th grade. (I think it was to avoid those crowds on purpose seeing as I was in 5th and my sister was in 9th grade).

I definitely have a sunburn story!
In 7th grade, after the last exam of the year, my class took a trip to a water park. In my brilliant planning (and rush to not miss my math exam that morning...) I grabbed the not so waterproof sunscreen... for a waterpark.

Luckily it didn't come off that easily in pools, just kinda got greasy. Unfortunately... waterslides were a different story, the sunscreen was washed completely off of my back so my front was just a tad pink but my back was tomato red. I couldnt sleep on my back for at least 2 weeks, and used up over a bottle of aloe gel. I tan after an initial pinking... but this time i just shed into even paler white...

Kp said...

Oh gosh I can relate to your slide story. The last day we were there I sat out on the beach while Fiance was out and about. I am not the kind of girl that knows how to properly tan and thus I never turned over. My backside is pretty pale, but my whole front is RED red. Like, match a crayon red. Oi.

Jamie said...

Ok, I dilligently sunscreened up almost everyday last summer when Mike and I went on our trip out east. Except the last day before we drove home. When we decided, on the spur of the moment, to take a Boston Harbor cruise at noon on a sunny day in August. The aftermath was painfully hilarious. Made worse by the fact that I had to wear a formal dress 1 week later for Jaycees convention. High neck and short sleeves. Super sexy.

I can't figure out how to insert the picture, so here's a link to the photobucket pic.


Kp said...

HAHAHAHA. Jamie I am so sorry to be laughing at your pain but... that picture is pretty awesome. Thanks for sharing!

Jamie said...

Can you tell I had a super cute 3 strand necklace w/odd shaped stones/beads? Also, the sunburn made me so cranky that I had to rock my skull tshirt for 2 days straight.