Romantic and scenic!

The flight was - oh, who cares. Customs was interesting, as there was a “speedy” line that required an E-Passport. I am quite sure I do not have an E-Passport. It seemed to confound all who entered. While we waited in the line I saw ads for the Tourist Tax, which All Must Pay. It’s been in place since 2020 or so. Never heard of it. Never paid it. Never had a problem leaving the country. We’ll see. Supposedly it’s for the Ecology. Well, the hotel desk charged an Eco-Tax as well, once they -

Well, rewind. After we got through customs and got our bag and strolled SO NONCHALANTLY past the dogs, it was into the hellish scrum.

I regularly use the most generic company possible: Cancun Airport Transportation. There was no dude with the sign or shirt, so I walked to where we met them last time. No. A helpful guy said they were in bays 84 - 85; they were not. Another helpful dude said they were in the 20s. They were not. Also, it was raining. But that’s not a bad start, because it rains and then it doesn’t. The forecast says it’s supposed to be cloudy and rainy all week. I don’t believe it. Anyway, another helpful guy said he was in bay 12, so I went there, even though it was full of big buses. Indeed, there he was. He took our information and told us “five minutes,” Mexican for “probably, eventually.”

The ride gets shorter every time. I recognize these places now. Shall we take a little tour of the vernacular commercial design of a less prosperous part of the town? I'll skip the nice modern stuff and the big resorts.

The Plaza De Toros: At some point they realized it could be completely smothered in ads, and nothing would be missed.

Psycho Clown Supersonico . . . Junior? There's a wikipage for the original.

The other seems to be a junior as well.

I just liked this shot. (These are all from video, so quality varies.)

No one, no matter what size, is gettin' in here:

This I found a bit alarming, because it suggests that the world is not real, and the computer simulation sprayed the color texture at a certain height due to sloppy programming:

Ay y yi, tire rim muy stupido, go in corner and wear the dunce hat:

He's not listening

I know we've seen this before. Color placement is . . . idiosyncratic, but I wish more things here looked like this.

What happened here, you and I will never know:

Always love this landmark:

This will stand for another hundred years!

Around the corner:

Compare this to all the old brick Masonic temples we see. American versions didn't go for poorly scaled columns and boastful gold, but perhaps if they'd come along later, they might have.

But probably not.

Isn't there a Tarot card about a tower that falls down, or something?

Bags on hooks because . . . there were hooks, in want of something to do? Note the rebars, suggesting the intention to build another floor. Some day.

This has to be the old part of town, in place before Cancun was, uh, reimagined as a tourist destination.

I was just reading about Chet Baker in a novel, as it happens. Also, inflatable Feliz!

Day and night, men in white coats peer at beakers, inventing new varieties of Diesel!

An ordinary scene. We're about to leave the town and head into the jungle.

The club might be called El Gato. Possibly.

Wonder if I can find it. (Not yet.)

Wonder if any of these places have google reviews. (Later: Yes)

After 45 minutes, we arrive.

At the gate there was confusion, because they couldn’t find our reservation. Always my fear. I had made and cancelled a reservation, then rebooked, but had been double-checking fortnightly to ensure there wasn’t screw up. And now, they have nothing.

Well. I showed them all my reservations on the phone. They still couldn’t find it, but let us through to deal with the guy at reception. Eventually we found a mangled version under my wife’s name, so I now have an Italian name for the whole trip.

Annnnd we're here.






Up to the room, same as ever. Off to the lobby bar, and . . .

The bartender remembered me! Because I was the guy who came in the afternoon with a laptop and had coffee. That’s a delight. I remembered him, too, but I don’t see a hundred faces a day. He came up with a big smile and said “welcome back, I remember you,” and he grinned and pointed to my face and his, the universal language of recollected visages, I guess.

Hungry, with dinner hours away, we went to the Sports Bar, which has sports-bar food. There would be something out, said Kevin at the front desk. (Kevin tried to sell us memberships the first trip. Nice guy.) Eventually some cold hot dogs were rolled out by a four-foot tall stout old woman who is inevitably described as “stolid.” She laid out a variety of nacho toppings and we fell to it. All was well.

Dinner in the Thai restaurant that had been such a disaster our first trip. It was very good this time. I reminded Wife that we are on cruise ship rules: order as many appetizers as we wish, and we don’t wish to finish them, we need not. It’s all free!

Piacere for an underwhelming dessert and good coffee, then to Aqua for the nightcap. AS EVER. AS ALWAYS. Ordered my usual tequila, and within a few minutes we fell into conversation with a voluable fellow and his daughters and taciturn wife. Great people. He was in many things, but real estate; she had been a Lumber Broker. Well, they were from Canada. Daughter was a website and graphic designer, so we started chatting about that, and eventually I’m calling up and showing her things, and when we get to Motels she said that her dad used to own one.

And here it is:

I got talking with the Dad about other things, and as these things usually go, a statement is made to sense the boundaries of the conversation, until we realize we’re on the same page and then it’s a festival of ideological agreement. Bed at a decent hour . . .

AND UP early, because there was a good breakfast to have! But there, as ever, may troubles began. That’s tomorrow.






There are a few places to have breakfast. Wife goes to Piacere, the bakery, because it’s en route to tennis, and she has to get to tennis. Sometimes she comes to Isla Blanca with me. Yes, Isla Blanca, home of Show Cooking.

I don’t know that means, exactly, other than “there’s a few guys sweating like the damned working a grill for an unending stream of hungry blank-faced people who have plates in their hands.” I could eat the prepped eggs or French toast or any of a hundred things, but as I noted before, the hotel was sold a thousand red bulbs that had been billed as heat lamps, and either they haven’t figured it out yet, or they’re just going to use up the bulbs before they get proper ones.

Everything is lukewarm. I learned long ago to head for the omelette station and endure the weight. So I’m heading for the first one, and I see a party of four vectoring in towards the same destination. I double my step but fail. But then I see that the other grill has no customers. I head over. The cook says “Five minutes.” Sigh. Back to the other line, which now has three more people. Despair.

Eventually I get it, and try the French toast. It’s . . . it’s fresh! This is the best breakfast I’ve had in a long time. The day is off to an exceptional start. Thus refueled, I take to the pool, and read and splash for an hour. Eventually I wander down to the beach, and head into the ocean.

That’s when it all clicked. That’s when the same-old-done-this feeling evaporated and zen bliss flooded into the day. Just bobbing in the swell.

Lunch at Poseidon with post-tennis Wife.

This place is better than Isla Blanca, and it often has lizards and birds who dart from the margins to get some grub. Let’s take a look.

They have a guy working a huge pot of meats for tacos, and some hot salsas. So it’s that and a crisp salad, then the parade of inscrutable desserts.

Not as good as cruise ships, really - more congealed, not as much in the cake factor. A few bites suffice. Take three! Have one bite of each. Be a profligate Westerner!

After a while, the gym. Here I really pounded it - twice the length of the treadmill; as is the custom, one song, then one episode of Johnny Dollar 5-part serial, then a few more songs. This time I’m listening to a group I just discovered called Cafe De Belugas.

Hip hip! Chin chin!

Then machines, all of which are slightly different than the ones I use, so different muscles are complaining about this pointless effort. The results are good, though; the young fellow running the gym said I must do this a lot because I’m in really good shape, really cut. Underestimated my age by a decade and a half, but what do young people know. I have received exactly two (2) compliments in my life on gym work and they’ve both been in this gym. It is hence a special place, because it fills the unslakeable void hollowed out by being a fat kid.

I just wish the compliments hadn't been immediately followed by a timeshare pitch. Kinda tainted the sentiment, I guess.

Last order of the afternoon: go write at the lobby bar. That’s where the waiter remembered me. A good full first day. The usual beauty.

But hardly over. Tonight is special! Tonight is . . . SEX BINGO!


The resort has the obligatory caberet, where good dancers wearing a minimum of clothing prance around for an ungodly amount of time - three hours is the usual show, and let’s just say they could have cut the “salute to the 20th century, decade by decade” third act or whatever that was. CHIC BINGO was a new addition, and it cost much less than regular CHIC, because there was no special food. (The food was not special.) We signed up because it was something to do in the evening.

First, though, the steakhouse, joined by a tennis partner of Sara’s. he difficulty of adding one more to the reservation that was amusing - they just couldn’t. Mind you, the place is half empty. It had something to do with kitchen logistics - utterly impossible to slap one more hunk of cow on the grill. It was eight and he hadn’t arrived, which, to me, the punctual North Dakotan, meant “too bad, let’s eat.” But there might be a cancellation! A no-show! Can you wait until 8:20? Well, we have SEX BINGO at nine, so we’ll have to rush.

We ordered the exact same thing so they wouldn’t take time deciding which plate went where; that would shave off ten seconds. It was delicious.

Off to big theater, off the main drag of the Village. Once admitted behind the velvet rope, we were given one (1) Bingo card, and a fruity drink in a champagne glass.

The show took 15 minutes to start. Fifteen minutes of music, loud, while two dancers stood near the stage and moved in a most desultory fashion. Again with the bondage gear. The guy in the booth in front was snapping pictures of the male dancer, who looked like Chris Elliott. I recognized two of the dancers from our last trip - a haughty Teutonic Ilsa She-Wolf, and a Jennifer-Beals type. Eventually the MC bounds out, and he’s obviously auditioning for a TV game show job or something bigger than this. I mean, not bad, high energy, good patter. He announced that the point of this was to win money, yes, but primarily to get good and drunk, and that the more drunk we got, the more fun we would have.

He was partly correct. It’s diminishing returns after a while.

So he’d read five numbers then stop for a “Guess that Tune” segment that hauled up audience members, who would sing the song and get coins as payment. The person or group with the most cards would win a bottle of tequila. So we basically paid to see karaoke.

There was also SEXY DANCING and then more numbers and then hip-hip-hooray, a round of shots for everyone in the theater. (Tequila watered down with fruity juice.) Canapes made two appearances. More numbers. Guess that tune. Some hams got up and really played the crowd; the guy who had been taking snaps of Chris Elliot;s glutes was part of a party of singles, and they were here to get NAUGHTY and HAMMERED, so they ended up on stage a lot. Then more numbers -

BINGO, shouts my wife, and runs for the stage to claim her prize. You had to grab a ceremonial hat and shout something in Spanish, probably filthy. So you’ve filled the crowd full of booze and then you make them run up the stairs. I’m sure we signed waivers somewhere. Anyway, she tripped a little, but Chris Elliot caught her and she made it to the main stage and threw back her arms in victory and triumph. This, of course, I text to Daughter, who has this semi-annual “oh my folks are humans too” moment when I send her something from the vacation. Last time it was video from a midnight rave, with her Mother dancing with elegance and abandon. These pictures or videos - like the one I sent at the start of the show, with the proclamation of SEX BINGO - invariably get a WHAT in reply.

It went on for fargin’ ever, and culminated in a dance-off between some audience faves, one of whom was a grinning nerd and the other was a stout woman strategically underdressed in tight reds fabric. The audience had firmly rejected the compatriot of the guy who was taking the picture of Chris Elliot, because he had interpreted one of the dance instructions as a license to hump the stage, and no one wanted to see that. He reminded me of Bubbles from Big Brother, the UK version, which I never saw, but he appeared on an Office UK Reunion show and I always remembered him, a hapless grinning bloke who had a moment of unexpected fame, possibly because he fell over a chair.

The crowd liked the Asian nerd guy, who had an endearing grin and made that stupid peace - heart gestures, but another flight of shots had circulated through the theater and people seemed more likely to endorse the short undressed woman, who responded to her victory by getting on her hands and knees and twerking her gelatinous fundament at everyone, then walking off with a sultry expression that suggested we had been tremendously lucky to behold this spectacular moment of cultural enrichment.

There were also flashing glasses. Balloons. Confetti, which got tracked into the room.

It was different. It was, for a while, fun, on both an ironic and non-ironic moment. I was one number away from winning the grand prize, and before it was announced I stood and mapped out my route to the stage, and crouched as if ready to bolt. This earned me an imitation and a smile from Jennifer Beals, who I’m sure loves me and thinks me fascinating and sexy.

A good day! Something different. Tomorrow: no idea.

But I have my suspicions. Maybe we will reenact Norse rituals around a dark and powerful tree.







WARNING: Dull day. No Sex Bingo. Fogg Falsehoods, that's tomorrow.

There’s this guy in New Zealand I see every day around 2:10 PM, and I wonder what his story is. He looks ominous. Dressed in black, black coat, black hair, and he seems to avoid eye contact, drawn into himself in a way that is not furtive, but dangerous. He is alone. Everyone else is groups of two or three. There’s a story there.

I should mention that he is on the screen of the treadmill at the gym. And I should mention that there's something new at the gym: a rather ominous maxim.


I hop on the treadmill right away, and start the thumping music to drown out the gym's thumping music. The screen takes me to some other land, and I’m pretty sure it’s New Zealand. It starts out in a rather barren area, grand mountains draped in fog, with the camera moving steadily along a path. The path is barely distinguishable from the stony landscape, but it’s smoother, and marked at intervals by a pole with a yellow stripe. You wonder if the poles will be there in a thousand years. A plague takes out humans, the space explorers land here, and see that once this was a civilized place. Of course, why would they land in New Zealand? Lord of the Rings fans, maybe. Anyway, the man appears about two minutes into it. There is another solitary female five minutes later, but she gives off no vibe other than “couldn’t get my husband to come.”

The scene switches to a forest, with a bridge across a ravine, and eventually a town. Mountains and water, everything’s in English. Ah: KIWI TOURS. So it’s probably New Zealand.

The machines are different, as I may have noticed, and I think you need an engineering degree to operate this one.

When the gym was over I went to find Sara at the Fizz Pool. It's tucked away nicely.

The view here is acceptable, I guess.

It's supposed to be the quiet pool. It was not the quiet pool. It was full of people jabbering away. (In a foreign tongue, of course; people talking in languages we do not understand are always jabbering.) There were also children, which ensures you do not have a quiet pool. She was not there. She was back at the room, then. Before I went up, though, I went to Poseidon and collected an array of cheeses and meats for the inevitable hunger that hits around 5. Dinner is at 8, so something in between is nice, and you do not, DO NOT want to go to the buffet place and spoon some liquefied beef on some nachos.

By the way, breakfast this morning was stress-free: only one person in line at the omelette bar. New chef, though. Skimpy with the ingredients. The French Toast was almost fresh. Sat next to an old Indian couple, the grandparents for the wedding, I presume. An unceasing procession of women came by towing reluctant or slightly abashed young men, and they had to pay their respects to the old man. He said nothing and nodded, and the young men would retreat, obligation fufilled.

When I got back to the room, Sara was sitting on the bed in an expectant posture, and I was surprised: yes? She laughed and said she thought I was the room supply guy, who’d called a few minutes before when she was in the shower. He had said he would be back in five minutes, which of course means ten or never. (The answer would turn out to be never.) SURE, YOU WERE EXPECTING THE ROOM SUPPLY GUY.

I know what goes on at these tennis camps.

We napped a bit, but you know how it goes when you’re trying to get some sleep in the late afternoon at a place like this: there will be a stream of loud children being tired and peevish, or people coming back from the pool, full of margaritas, loose and liquoreds.

Don’t get the whole daylight intoxication thing. At the airport there was a woman who had a T-shirt that said “You Had Me at Day Drinking.” Her vacation shirt! Everyone laughed! Karen has a problem, but everyone laughed.

The culture here is all indulgence, of course, but it’s not a rude or raucous place. I suspect the resorts that cater to young people are full of boisterous bros and gals being loud and hammered, Because Mexico. And then there’s the reddit posts about being detained by the corrupt police and fined for something bogus, like using wifi on private property. As I understand the advice, you’re supposed to demand to be taken to the police station for a formal charging. This calls their bluff and they move along or make do with less.

I don’t know. The idea of “demanding to be taken to the Mexican police station” does not seem like the best possible option. I mean, what if absolutely everyone on duty is corrupt? It’s possible. I’m sure there’s one lone cop who steadfastly refuses the opportunity for extra money because he is dedicated to the law, and joined the force to do good, and this might be the night he speaks out and shouts NO MAS with such commanding force that everyone is shamed into silence and lets you go. But it might go the other way.

Well. It was windy today, my friends. The sea was like a hangover, pounding away with brute stupid energy, and no, I didn’t have one. I know my way around this thing. Although I did fall off the walkway in the Northwest Passage the other night - not because I was tottering home legless with a skinful, but because there was a dogleg turn in the path, and I was looking at a building illuminated in a way I had not previously noticed . . . and I fell off, one leg banging the boards, the other over the side. Of course my watch tapped me on the wrist and said “Looks as if you’ve given the Crazy Uke a hearty clap on the back,” with the options of YES and NO, I FELL IN MEXICO.

Anyway. Windy. The wind ensured that sand got into everything. I had a diet Pepsi, and after a few minutes it was like drinking grit. The wind makes a tortured theatrical howling in the hall, like the damned soul of a dead Supply Man. It’s brought the temps way down, and I pity anyone who heads into the Village tonight in shorts, as most do.

Speaking of which: when we first came here, there seemed to be more of an expectation that one would dress for dinner. Now it’s quite casual. And by that I mean sandals, shorts, shirts with no collars. I’m not saying everyone has to put on the Ritz and paradade around like Rockefellers with diamond-tipped walking sticks, but it’s dispiriting to see the codes slide. Wouldn’t you want to look sharp?

Or are we past the very idea of looking sharp, in general? Because it’s more comfortable to look dull?

I’m perfectly comfortable in my reasonably not-sloppy clothes. And I comport myself better, stand straighter, have a bit more confidence.

Ach, I’m becoming such a scold.

BECOMING? You say.

All in all, an ordinary day. Perhaps the best. The newness is gone. The departure seems far away. You're just . . . here.

Tomorrow: as promised, Phineas Fogg Falsehoods.






The strange man wasn’t on the path today.

Granted, I didn’t see the same video, so that’s why. It played more scenes of New Zealand, I think. The city could have been some Northern European downtown, though; had that crisp Nordic reserve and cleanliness. I am drawn to these places more than messy romantic winding streets, to be honest - love to visit the latter, but the former speaks of a culture that works and is resolute and sober and represses itself on behalf of some common civic standard that keeps things orderly.

Last night was some other entertainment, and it was . . . an International Salute! But was it Sexy Salute? Sort of; the dancers are not overly dressed. If you’re wondering whether there was an overriding theme, a framing device, there was: Around the World in 80 Days. So we saw film of old London - the colorized and upscaled film you may have seen - and then David Niven was standing up and looking resolute in a room, which led to a series of dances that followed his route.

Or did they.

First stop, Paris: Offenbach Can-Can, of course. A rather desultory performance.


After all these years it’s still a popular tune; how can you not love it? Imagine when it was new, and all the rage . . . but then I’ll bet people got sick of it. It was probably the Hut-Sut Song of its day.

Then Italy, where they danced to a number from La Traviata. Hey, this is good! The music, I mean.

Hold on -

The music then switched to Mambo Italiano, because what’s more Italian than the MAMBO

Bob Merrill reportedly wrote it under a recording deadline, scribbling hastily on a paper napkin in an Italian restaurant in New York City, and then using the wall pay-phone to dictate the melody, rhythm and lyrics to the studio pianist, under the aegis of the conductor Mitch Miller, who produced the original record.

Merrill's song provides an obvious parody of genuine mambo music, cashing in on the 1954 mambo craze in New York. It is also a late example of an American novelty song in a tradition started during World War II by the Italian-American jazz singer Louis Prima, in which nonsense lyrics with an Italian-American sound are used in such a way as to present a stereotyped caricature of Italian-American people (who had been classed with "enemy alien" status and discouraged from speaking Italian) as likable, slightly brash, pleasure-loving folk.

Well, it worked!

Although Clooney's own family background was Irish-American,

This song is the most American thing ever, then.

Next the screen showed . . .

If it’s windmills, it must be Spain! I mean, windmills and two guys on horses, one shorter than the other. Isn’t this backtracking? I get out my phone and start googling. HE DIDN’T DO SPAIN AT ALL.


Next was Africa. Generic continental Africa, no particular nation. The utmost in cultural sensitivity:

India was cool, because it had some mad Indian techno. Then Japan, a generic US sequence, which was kinda bluesy but uptempo. The best was last:

CANADA. At one point there’s a woman held in the air and twirled around the stage, and behind her is an enormous picture of a beaver. There were, of course, Mounties.

And then two hockey players came out.

It was fun. We both enjoyed it, as before, ironically and non. Any semi-cringey entertainment experience can made tolerable by a shot of tequila, and that may have helped here.


Previously we ate at the Italian restaurant.

We had no great expectations. Good thing, too. I had the veal, which was made of some rubbery substance. Wife said her risotto had a pound of butter, but she said that like it was a bad thing. She also had the sea bass, which presumably had been in the sea at some point, but gave little indication of a familiarity with moisture. No one will probably order the Land Bass, to be honest.

So it was salads and meats to fill up the gap, and those are in profusion and are quite good.

Earlier in the day I was chatting with some Brits we’d met at Aqua the previous night, discussing the food, and Stuart sensibly asked why we kept returning if the food was so underwhelming, that being a big part of the resort experience.

Well, it frequently rises to the completely acceptable, but mostly, it’s the tennis and the sense of remoteness.

For me, personally, lots of food is not what it’s all about. Some food, yes; body and soul, kept together, and all that.

I dine alone tonight, because Sara signed up for Black-out tennis, which plays in the dark with glow-in-the-dark tennis balls. So I’ll bring my laptop and work on the podcast. I will look like an international businessman muy importante, perhaps.


As usual, the decor is interesting.

I was seated back in the Funhouse Mirror section:

Upon learning that I was dining wifeless, the hostess took my arm to take me to the table. Very sweet. "My wife shall know nothing of this," I said. I was keen to have the Bucket of Mexican Meat, but it was no longer on the menu. I had the flank steak, which was made of flubber. Good chips and appetizers, though.

When I left I saw they'd put up the tree. Like all Christmas decorations that carry the implication of winter, it seems out of place.







Oh, am I still here? Apparently so. Well, let’s do something about that. But first, a recap of Friday:


Breakfast / beach / lunch / Poseidon / afternoon misc / coffee / drinks in the Village / Aqua bar

You know, the usual. Except there were crucial variations: I worked out BEFORE lunch, for wifely scheduling considerations, and did not go to the lobby for coffee. So there. I am open to all sorts of new experiences.

Tired, though. Made it through a curtailed workout, which had a very strange character - until I realized that the music system was not thumping away. Huh. Made the place seem a bit downbeat and unhappy.

But the man showed up.

Our last night of entertainment: Pirate Night. There was a piratical dance show set to Hans Zimmer music, so lots of thumping and swelling and crafty jigs and such. I like it - how can you not? - but I think pirate admiration is idiocy. At least they wrapped it all around the Captain Jack Sparrow tale, so we had that lovable resourceful drunken strange-o guy who wags his finger and arches his eyebrows instead of slavering admiration over some amoral criminals.

They really did make too many of those movies, but they always do.

The choreography was better, inasmuch as it wasn’t the usual incessant flailing-of-limbs or other peculiar simulacra of passion and joy. The pas de deus went on for a long time, and you didn’t know if she was dying or falling in love, but in the end everyone was happy and the theme played.



Our last meal was at the Japanese restaurant, where we were treated to hibachi. Much theatrical chopping and clanging of implements.


Drinks at the Aqua, then back to the room to pack. No regrets; it wasn’t a day too short or a day too long. Just enough so you’re actually glad to be going home, because it’s nice to get back to the old familiar ways, and you tell yourself that all the way up until you step into the jetway at MSP and you’re hit with a ten-degree breeze.

I am getting ahead of the non-existent story. There remains the ride to the airport. The driver took a different route. There that's it, the story to the airport.

It’s not an old town. I mean, officially. It was a town before - well, this:

Anyway, to think that people would come to this new untested incomplete resorts, when they could go to . . .

On the way to the airport, a text: flight delayed.

This happened before. The first time. Delayed meant that the crew timed out, although that was because they had to land in Atlanta while the whole “gunfire at the airport” situation sorted itself out. Remember that? What fun. This time I figured it was weather, since it was snowing in Minneapolis. So it’s all doubly bad: flight late, and snow upon arrival.

But! There was an earlier flight with seats still available, and since our flight was late, we could switch for free. And so we did. I was curious if we’d be stopped at the passport check, since there was no indication we had paid the VISITAX.

You MUST PAY the VISITAX. The signs at the airport arrival area say so. Here’s the QR code, please pay up. The money goes to the Environment! Well. It’s been in place since 2020. Never heard of it before, and consequently, never paid it.

There’s just something about “use your credit card on this site on public unsecured Mexican wifi” that makes a bit hesitant.

There was an EcoTax at the hotel in the same amount, a double-sawbuck per person. Maybe that’s the VisiTax. Except that the hotel clerk said they weren’t.

Had an hour or so to kill in the airport, which means you get the opportunity to dine and drink at the most ridiculously expensive place on earth. My. Gawd. There’s but one good place to eat, and we ate there, then wife had her traditional Leaving Cancun Airport Margarita. Ended up talking with a solo traveling Aussie of a certain age, who reminded me of a very low-key Joanna Lumley-as-Patsy in AbFab, if a low-key version is possible. I bought my usual new bottle of Mexican hot sauce, and to complete my self-advertised reputation as a plan-ahead guy, I consulted a picture I'd taken before I left, showing all the bottles I'd bought previously.

In the end, though, it's all just hot sauce.

On the plane. Three hours. The world was glazed with fresh ice when we returned, just to drive home the fact that we were - well, driving home, I guess. It was miserable, but all was well when we got home. Birch was ecstatic. Almost snapped his spine wagging his back so hard. Total dog joy, tinged with anger: barking! Stern barking! Because you did that thing where you vanished! I had no idea! I worried all the time! I’ve been ALONE!

(The Housesitter had left 30 minutes earlier)

And that was that. That was good! And it’s already a distant memory.

We’ll be back. I wonder what the devil I’ll end up writing then.