Superlatives, Numbers, and Thoughts from our trip to Mexico
Most number of my family together in years: 9 (Papa, Mom, Sister, Sister, Brother-in-Law, Wife, Son, Daughter, Me). Great to relax, eat, drink, and play with my family in a luxurious and beautiful place for a week. I am truly blessed.
Visit number 5 to Tikal for me, visit number 1 for my sister Salomé.
Best part of seeing Tikal this time: the birds (toucans, redheaded woodpeckers, wild turkeys, macaws, etc.).
Number of border crossings: 4 (2 there + 2 back).
Cost of these border crossings: 855 pesos + Q40 + $171 Belize = $172 CDN
Worst border crossing ever: Mexico into Belize. A customs officer listening to her iPod while getting her shoes shined tells me that even though I'm only passing through Belize and a resident of Guatemala and citizen of Canada and had been in Mexico for 8 days I would have to unload my entire car of its luggage (16 pieces including food, baby beds, and purchases in Mexico) and carry it all 100 M into the building, get it searched and pay duty, then drive through the customs area then load up the car again. After bringing all the luggage in, the man assessing our purchases, upon learning what I had told the woman, said that there really was no need for us to bring all the luggage in.
Most stressful part of the trip: Finding out at the Guatemala-Belize border that Acadia (traveling on a Guatemalan passport) needs a pre-issued visa for Mexico and that the Mexican embassy in Belize (2 hours away) closes in 30 minutes (Friday noon) and reopens 3 days later (Monday).
Most benevolent person on our trip: Señor Miranda. After talking to a woman at the Mexican embassy on my phone, I talked to this man and he said to come out before 4 PM and he would issue the visa for us. This guy rocks.
Strangest experience in Mexico: watching the timeshare lobby burn to the ground on day 2.
Subsequent funniest sight: watching neurotic tourists running out of their hotel (very far from the fire and very unaffected by the fire) with their suitcases.
Most number of pregnant sisters at one time in our family: 2 (due in July and August) (I'm going to be an uncle!!)
First time my family has met my 9-month old Acadia.
Time spent in water and sun: lots.
Hottest lady on the beach: Amber
Best deal in Mexico: 30 original DVDs with an average price of $5.
Coolest people I met on the trip: Geraldo (hitched a ride with us from Belmopán to Belize City rather than just give us directions), Philip Henry (a traffic cop in Belize City who readily gave us directions to the Mexican Embassy with a heavy Garifuna accent), Señor Miranda (already mentioned him, but by far the coolest), Howard (an oil driller from Wyoming who blessed me with a great conversation after the SuperBowl in Belmopán), Oskar (a Polish Jew who grew up in Kazakhstan, Israel, and NYC - he was staying in the suite above ours in Playa del Carmen), a biker born in Angola who had riden his motocycle from So. Africa to Egypt, around Australia and currently from L.A. to Brazil.
Most annoying piece of luggage: a guitaron my father bought for a friend 2 years ago.
Most disgusting part of the drive: cleaning up Blaise's vomit after the first hour driving.
Distance from Tactic to Playa del Carmen: 1000 kms (600 miles).
Amount of time to drive those 1000 kms: 16 hours