For one thing, I slept last night as soundly as I can ever remember sleeping in my life. I don't even remember closing my eyes and the next thing I knew, it was time to get up.
I decided to drive into town to get August and Levon's Christmas presents. I got Maggie's back in October when we went to Thomasville, Georgia and I ordered Owen and Gibson's online. I had asked August what he wanted for Boppie and Mer to get him for Christmas yesterday and the first thing he said was that he wanted a doctor kit for Levon so that he would stop playing with his.
"Well," I said. "I don't know about that. But what do YOU want?"
And then he proceeded to describe a car he would like and it needed to have a button that made it go and he showed me with his hands how big it should be. Etc.
One would think one could find a car with a button that makes it go, right?
One would be wrong.
I drove my cart up and down the toy aisles at Target but every car was either remote-controlled and/or was emblazoned with some cartoon character on it that he doesn't even know about. I ended up getting him a car you can take apart and put back together. It has no button but it does have a drill. Also, I got him a tractor (also with no button) which comes with a little trailer.
I got Levon a toy that you hammer balls into and they go through some tunnels and stuff.
And that was that.
And then, Lord help me, I went back to the cosmetic store and I bought a ridiculously expensive and expansive eyeshadow palette. I should probably watch some Youtube videos or something on how to use this stuff. Not that it matters.
And let's face it- I'll never have to buy eyeshadow again IN MY LIFE!
Such a first-world comfort.
I feel like a kid who just got the 64-Crayolas box. And you know what? That's fun.
What a concept!
So. I've got my linen dresses. I've got my reef-safe sunscreen. I've got my Mee-Maw bathing suit. I've got my books. I've got two pairs of Croc flip-flops, one with sequined straps. I guess I'm ready to go.
Cozumel has changed so much since we first went there thirty-one years ago. I swear, in those days it was just a very sleepy little diver's secret. There were probably about ten good restaurants, maybe twenty hotels ranging from two big ones on the beach down to a bunch of little in-town places you could stay for eighteen dollars a night, one amazing disco, and Carlos'n'Charlies which was the most rocking bar I ever visited in my life and it was wonderful. The park which is now huge and contains everything from a dolphinaria (UGH!) to a spa to smaller-sized reproductions of famous Mayan artworks and pyramids to a representative Mayan home and garden with a real, true Mayan woman who makes tortillas over a fire, used to be a place to snorkel and get food. Period.
I remember once when we visited, we had rented a jeep and as we were driving in, some Mexican police waved us down.
But no, everything was fine. They just wanted a ride into the park and we said sure and they jumped in the back of the jeep with their weapons and thanked us when they got out.
Those were the days.
Now there must be hundreds of restaurants and there are plenty of hotels and resorts. It's one of the world's most visited cruise destinations. At night in the zocalo, there is so much activity. Lights and music and businesses open, and where once it was mainly the local families who visited the square at night, now there are so many tourists and of course the businesses that cater to them.
But. In many ways it is still the same. The store that sells perfume and high-end cosmetics which was there in 1987 still stands on the corner by the sea walk and leaves its door open so that when you pass by it, the cold air and the scent of every good perfume on earth washes over you. Casa Denis, one of the first restaurants on the island still serves Mayan specialties including the world's best lime soup. On Sundays families still gather on the public beaches with food and drinks and children and grandparents. The west side of the island is still without electricity and the beach bars there have the best fried fish I've ever eaten. If you go a few blocks from the ocean into the neighborhoods, you can still find the same grocery stores we visited thirty years ago, find the same little taquerias. The mercado still sells everything in the world from freshly butchered meat to pretty flouncy dresses for little girls and the lunch counters there are amazing. There is fresh fruit and there are fresh vegetables. There's a little booth where you can buy your spells and candles and others where you can find kitchen ware and basic pottery and cheap toys. There is the altar at the main entrance where a statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe stands, candles surrounding her. And of course there is eternally (for now, at least) the water of eight colors, the incomparable sunsets where it always seems to me that the Mayan gods make appearances in the clouds, the coming-in at night of the dive boats, the clanking of tanks in the mornings as those same boats go out, the sight of mopeds being ridden by four family members and a baby at one time, the smell of lime and of fish, of garlic and of Fabuloso and most of all, there are still the Mayan people although now they carry cell phones. They still call out to my husband, "Hello, Shorty!" and "Hola, Senior Whiskers!" and "Do you want a free jeep?"
And they are so kind and at night the church-without-walls holds mass and the people come and sit and pray and the priest does his priestly magic stuff and the old, old women sit in the pews covered with their rebozos and I can't even imagine what their lives have been like. Are like.
As the time for us to leave grows close, I am drifting back there. I find it harder and harder to concentrate on the here and now of my life in Lloyd. I have always felt as if perhaps I live in a parallel universe in Cozumel and when I visit, those universes come together in a way, bumpy and uneven at times, but always with a feeling of my heart being exactly where it is supposed to be.
I have five days to finish preparing to go and to pack.
It is Friday night. It is pouring rain now. A week from tonight I will be staying in a hotel on the water. It is an older hotel. It is not huge. There is a lovely small pool, there is a dock where the dive boats tie-up and where I often watch the sunset. There is a restaurant where we take our breakfasts which overlooks the water. There is decent snorkeling. There is a cat named Bagheera and a dog named Lahlo who welcome everyone and often visit the rooms. There are birds that whistle and tweet in the palm trees from which the hammocks are strung where one can take a book and read in the shade until, without fail, eyes close and a nap is taken.
But right now, I am here and it's time to go cook our supper.
Happy Friday, y'all.
I feel it! I think that you have saved me a trip to Cozumel you have told it so well. I do hope you have safe and wonderful travels , Ms. Mary! I should be packing for London, but I am not sure about the surprises life throws at us on occasion. Anything can happen, so I am not pushing it. Not putting all of my eggs into my pack yet.ReplyDelete
I haven't started packing either! I did just start making a list of things I MUST NOT FORGET which of course means I'll forget some of them.Delete
Wishing you and Mr. Moon a wonderful time!ReplyDelete
Thank you, e!Delete
I'm so looking forward to reading about your adventures in Cozumel! The cruise industry, when it arrives in a community, changes everything. Key West is the same way -- used to be relatively sleepy and now it's just crazytown. But it's still charming in a way, just as Cozumel is. You just have to know where to go! Glad you got the kids sorted for Christmas. It's such a relief, isn't it?!ReplyDelete
Cruise tourists are just so oblivious to anything beyond what the cruise company tells them they should do on the island. And what they shouldn't do, too! It's ridiculous. That may be a stereotype but I've been witnessing it for years.Delete
that is the most beautiful eyeshadow set! everything else is so damn bland and nude currently. i may need to check out their online store- i get what you mean about places changing. i hope you have a restful week leading up unto your trip.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Mrs. M! These are some pretty wild shades.Delete
I wanna go back!ReplyDelete
You should do it, Ellen!Delete
I haven't been to Cozumel but I have been to Cancun. I'm tallish 5'7" and I was quite slim when I was young. I remember feeling so tall in Cancun. My husband and I were standing in a grocery store in Cancun and there was a Mayan woman and her little boy and he just stared up at me. I felt like a giant. I can't imagine how your husband feels there.ReplyDelete
Your writing has convinced me that I need to visit Cozumel. It sounds lovely.
Oh my god. They LOVE my husband. They laugh about the height difference all of the time. The first time we ever visited, we met and spent most of our time with two Norwegians. He was about 6'4" and she was 6'. Add in Mr. Moon who's about 6'9" and I WAS THE MUNCHKIN and yet, still taller than most of the Maya. Cozumel is very different from Cancun. It was a town long before it became a tourist place and the family life there is very strong.Delete
OOhh those eyeshadows! It's just like the big box of crayons. They're all delicious, make my mouth water. (I haven't worn eyeshadow in 40 years--no Cozumel and a husband who "hates makeup"). Enjoy, enjoy, and don't forget to tell us about it.ReplyDelete
Well, if you were going to try some eyeshadow, this might be a good choice. A playful choice.Delete
Oh, I'll tell you about it. Do not worry!
I hope we are treated to your eye shadow rendering.ReplyDelete
Well. We shall see about that.
You've written so dreamily of your Cozumel that I feel as if I were there. I wish I were there.ReplyDelete
Oh, Elizabeth! I think you would like it very much.Delete
Cozumel sounds like your natural habitat. Oh, to have a place on this earth were everything slips into place, and one feels easy. Lucky you to have found that place.ReplyDelete
I honeymooned on a little island near Cozumel (Isla Mujeres) about 30 years ago - I bet it's also not the sleepy little place it used to be.ReplyDelete
Hope you have a great time!