Today I managed a unique accomplishment for a man on vacation: I stubbed my toe on the beach. You think: an expanse of smooth sand? What can provide stubbing? And you’d be right to ask. But we’ll get to that.

It is the late afternoon, and Valentin has just drawn my Americano. It is so good.

Last night we ended up at Aqua, the bar on the canal. It was time to find a conversation, and that I did. Friendly Canadians are frequently found at Aqua, but these guys were very outgoing and VERY Canadian. I’m talking take-off-hoser Canadian, complete with "eh"s. Here for a wedding. Working-class guys, and hence practical and accustomed to doing things that need to be done or made.

One of the benefits of reading stuff about everything or just keeping your eyes and ears open means you can probably prime the conversational pump no matter what the subject might be. One guy’s a plumber, so, what’s more of your business, residential or commercial? Residential, so what, mostly new builds or old houses? And you can go from there about codes and opening up walls to find nightmare jobs from 20 years ago. His friend was also in plumbing and did mostly new high-efficiency on-demand boiler replacement, and I had one of those and actually had a picture of it because I loved the pipes so much, so now we’re boon companions.


Girlfriend, more of a challenge. Runs two dance studios. I’m coming up dry. Also works for a tech company that has an app that connects snow removal companies. B2B? I say, shot-in-dark, and yes, it was! Second girlfriend did job placement for a community college. Two guys at the end were floor managers for a steel works. Really! (Quick scan banks for steel - ah) “How much of your output comes from recycled?”

Guy lights up. “Just about all of it!” So we’re off on that subject. I am now considered something of a steel-knowing guy since I knew that recycling steel in North America seems to have exceeded production of new stuff, or at least that’s what I read somewhere, someplace.

One of the guys is a Vikings fan. We have a little cry. Bartender is coming by and pouring shots directly into the girlfriend’s mouths, upraised like birds in a nest. Grand time had by all. Bed by midnight.

(ADDENDUM: None of them remembered us the next day)









This the staircase down from the Gravity Bar. It's consistent with the equally ill-advised Skybar staircase, which invites tippler-toppling.

TUESDAY MORNING is bright, but the forecast is wind. Which is how I stubbed my toe. Breakfast at the new place; very good. Wife goes to tennis, I go to the pool and do not read, but listen to an excellent podcast about Martin Luther. (Episode 3.) After a while I pack up the gym stuff and go to the beach. I should note that this is the adults only part of the resort, so it’s apparently top-optional. More listening, reading - say, is that rain?

Of a sort. The skies had darkened:

A big rainy front was approaching. But the computers that calculated the location for Cancun did a great job, because the rain is usually brief, and the winds push one weather state after another over you with great speed. I watched as the storm was shouldered aside by winds blowing from inland, and push it out to the ocean. Then sun with fast-moving occasional clouds. Headed into the ocean again and had that moment of being carried and buffeted and pushed and pulled.


Much wind.

Lots of wind. As in, someone who put on some suntan lotion would be encrusted like the Thing in a minute. Into the eyes and the drinks when it gusted. At one point I took off my hat - a complimentary white TRS cap, very nice - and set it on the chair. A gust came up and blew it away, two chairs, three. I bolted up to give chase, lurched into the sand, couldn't find even purchase because it's sand, and drove my foot with full force into the buried metal leg of a beach chair.

This was instantly painful in a surprisingly bright way.

Well. When I was done at the beach I went to return my towel, and since I’d left my beach shoes on the rack and did not want to get them full of sand, I went up the boardwalk barefoot. This was a big mistake and I realized that this was a real hot-coal type situation here, eh, so I went back down, got my shoes, went back to the resort, returned the towel, and headed back across the beach to Poseidon for lunch with wife at 1 PM, as ever.

She texted me at 1:02 asking if I was coming, and I was so proud: one, that she had come over the course these decades to know I was always on time, and two, she had absorbed a bit of my own punctuality to wonder why I was late. (Turns out it’s because she’d sent an I am here message and my reply did not go through, due to the wifi not reaching my position on the beach. Can you IMAGINE. Strongly worded letter to follow)

Lunch gave me a slight stomach ache, although it was good. The safe bet is always the Large Vat of Meat, which are piled on tortillas warmed to your order. There are hot sauces. I follow this with a salad and a small dessert and a coffee. Every time. ALWAYS. I think it's hiliarious that me, Mr. Day-on-Rails, has a different parallel set of rails on which I can run while on vacation,

Went to work out, thinking that if I’d broken my toe I would not be able to do half an hour on the treadmill. Fought with the machine, which had some stupid instruction set that required me to grip the heart monitor or it would say “no body detected on belt,” as if I wasn’t there, and then it would shut down in ten seconds unless countermanded. It also downshifted periodically to 3.7 miles. So lots of button punching and bar-grabbing and sweating and cursing and tapping at the phone to get the right song and then the second ep of the Johnny Dollar series, because I always listen to a full five-ep story when I’m at the gym in Cancun after lunch.


Did not see the lone man.

By the time I got off and set to the weights I was aware of a large throbbing pain balloon at the end of my foot, but it wasn’t broken. I can move it without shrieking. It’s just swollen and unhappy. I can walk, but let’s put it this way: for the next few days I will be well aware that my toe is always there.

The coffee is done and my dollar slid under the cup and now it’s back to the room to read and eventually prepare for dinner. We’ll probably go up to Gravity, the sky bar here in TRS.

Why, you ask?

Because it's heaven.