December 30, 2014

White

We had a lovely white Thanksgiving, and are about to have a white New Year's Eve. Too bad the Christmas in between was snow-free.

Interestingly enough, my winter beard has some white hairs in it. That's new this year. I came to terms with my receding hairline years ago, but the salt-and-pepper was a surprise.

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December 24, 2014

Honeymoon!

I guess I should blog about our honeymoon.

We gave ourselves a few days after the wedding to relax before leaving; that also meant we didn't have to add "pack for a week-long trip" to the long list of things we had to do in the run-up to said wedding. I recommend this plan to future couples.

We flew out of our fine local airport to Cancún, with a layover in Charlotte. We only spend about six hours total in the air, because Cancún is not as far away as one might think, being on the very tip of the Yucatan Peninsula. When we arrived, we got "help" from the local tourist agency who wanted to upsell us on a lot of local attractions. I'm a veteran of coastal tourist traps throughout the Pacific, and the principle remains the same in the Caribbean, so we escaped without further financial damage.

As soon as we waled outside the air-conditioned airport, I was struck my a strong sense of deja-vu. The climate was very much like Okinawa, with the smell of salt air, the heat and humidity, and the tropical plants everywhere. The specific natural life was of course different, but the climate was nearly identical. The climate also encouraged some similar construction styles, with buildings painted in durable off-white, with flat roofs and walls constructed of storm-resistant cinder block. Only the older buildings betrayed different cultural styles. Also, Okinawa is wealthier, so the cars were fancier and the buildings often in better repair.

We hopped on a shuttle van to take us to our resort. We were staying at an all-inclusive resort called the Excellence Playa Mujares, which is actually located in the next municipality north of Cancún proper. As we rode along we chatted with the two other couples in the van: one pair was from Texas and were celebrating their thirtieth wedding anniversary, and the other couple was from either China or Taiwan, judging from the language they were speaking to each other.

After our 45-minute ride we arrived and were whisked inside by the uniformed bellhop. We registered at the front, and the same bellhop took us to our room, explaining the many amenities as he went. Sadly, Hil wasn't paying much attention, so throughout the week I had to tell her stuff again.

We sprang for a "Rooftop Terrace Suite" which means we had a room with a balcony, and then stairs up to a private rooftop terrace with a mini-pool. It was too small to swim in, but too big to count as a hot tub, so I'm going to call it a mini-pool. With my pale north-european complexion I didn't spend much time up there during the sunlit hours, so I'm not sure we got full value of it, but we did hang out in that pool for sunsets, of which we had a great view. I'd forgotten how fast the sun sets in the subtropics.

There were bunches of restaurants, each with a culinary style. The French place was quite good, the pan-Asian was mediocre, and the Mexican cuisine was unsurprisingly excellent.

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