Monday, January 12, 2009

Yucatan Wednesday's...A Day With Ike

Yucatan Wednesday's...A day with Ike.

Ok- I skipped a week. Yucatan Wednesday's is turning into 'Yucatan whenever I get around to it.' But it makes it more interesting if you have to wait for it, I'm sure.

We ended the last post with the hubby and I falling asleep (with worried expressions) to the howling tropical winds and rain beginning to lash at the windows, of which there were many. At first this seemed like a great thing- the view from any room in the apartment was incredible...but when viewed in light of shattered, flying shards of glass, suddenly that beautiful room turned into a cavernous chamber of DEATH.
Alright, it's possible I'm being melodramatic. It was pretty darn windy and the rain had just started up. The edge, we assume, of what would be the rain band heading our way.
When we woke up the next morning, the remnants of blue skies that spanned the horizon the day before were long gone. All that was left were those thunderheads I mentioned, and they were booming and rolling along to the north of us.
Allow me to remind us all that we live in a very windy, very rainy part of the country. We have grown accustomed to gusts of wind that pick up our lawn furniture and Express Mail it over to the neighbors house. Wind and rain don't get much notice as far as we're concerned.
But this, this was not wind and rain. This was monstrous and left us wondering how Cuba could survive if we were only getting a 'rain band'. The palms along the hotel's property leaned sideways, their branches breaking off and blowing down the debris-littered beach. The rain had started the night before and grown stronger while we slept so that in the morning, the patio's and outdoor dining areas were mildly flooded and hotel employee's were quickly and discreetly sweeping water away.
Our hostess asked us if we were enjoying the little 'shower' and assured us the worst was passed and it would be sun and smiles from now on. We had a quick breakfast and headed back to our room, the door to which faced an open air breezeway. The brief 'shower' which was inexplicably disobeying said hostess and continuing to be not-so-brief, was dumping water into the hallways and to our surprise, pushing large quantities of it under all the hotel room doors and into everyone's apartments. Hmmm...
We slosh through the room to the bathroom and grab armfulls of soft, fluffy white towels. We're homeowners after all. And owners of a 70 year old home to boot. We know how to respond in a flood situation. Did I tell you about the pipe that broke last winter?? Oh well, you can imagine, given the context. Anyway- we do the only thing that can be done and pile up towels around the door until the flow is redirected back down the corridor and away from our room.
A look is exchanged. This is what it says;
"Happy Second Honeymoon?"
"Don't get smart with me."
"Don't be mad. Didn't you see that fine example of teamwork? We stopped a flood with our bare hands!"
"I need my chocolate bar. I'm going upstairs."

I know it seems like a lot to be said with a look, but we have very expressive faces, honest.
I head up to the bedroom to change clothes and within moments I am yelling for Ryan to bring up more towels. He sprints up the stairs and we begin the process of piling more towels around the upstairs windows through which the rainwater was pouring. We pull back the curtains and I'm telling you, I'm an Oregonian, and I've never seen anything like that.
Being the kind of person who appreciates a good, unusual experience, and also feeling the need to accept what was happening to me on my 'lovely' vacation'- I marched straight downstairs, threw open the sliding glass doors and walked out onto the balcony and right into a warm shower.
"Honey! What are you doing?!" He has to yell at me to be heard over the wind.
"If I have to be stuck here in a hurricane, I'm at least going to enjoy it!"
I am aware that I've married a kind and tolerant man, so when I heard the sliding door slam behind me, I knew he'd come out rather than go back in.
We stood there for a few minutes, just watching this monster of a storm roll through. Ryan did not enjoy the experience the way I did, perhaps, but it's a good illustration of our marriage. I enjoy the choppy waters and he stands there with me until I'm done enjoying them and am ready to be realistic and sensible. He then dries my hair, makes me cocoa and hands me my book.
We spent the rest of Wednesday either holed up in our room or in the lobby bar, buried in our novels or chatting with drinks in hand. It was a little like being on a cruise. Decent entertainment, nice atmosphere- but still stuck in a hotel with nothing but water outside.
By four o'clock we were bored senseless.
"Ok, I can't go on like this."
Ryan quirks an eyebrow at me. He's probably worried that I'll want to go stand in the rain again.
"We should sign up for a tour at the entertainment desk." I suggest.
He glances outside at the sheets of water still coming down and patiently back at me. "Ok."
"For tomorrow, I mean."
"Oh, Ok. Where to?"
"La Isla. We should go to La Isla. There's a turle farm there, I think."
The very fact that he's agreed and not reminded me that we are here to see how frugal we can be while traveling is a testament to the fact that he was as bored as I was. We make arrangements, figure out where to go and what tickets to buy and soon we're looking forward to a ferry ride over to the Island of Women. Ryan is pretty excited about this trip until I explain that it was so called because explorers discovered multiple ancient statues there, all depicting women in various stages or poses of worship. They surmise that it was either wholly occupied by women of the ancient tribes, perhaps the priestess and her followers- or that it was an island devoted to the worship of the female goddess.
An island devoted to the worship of women...yeah, I could get behind that. Absolutely. I am more content to settle in with a book and a beer knowing that tomorrow will hold adventure and exploration. I am not the type who enjoys sitting around by the pool doing nothing, as we discovered in Cabo. I just can't do it. I want to see things, meet people, get a feel for the local color, etc. Those are the things that stick in my memory.
We spend the rest of the day watching the rain and then dining by the tall windows that looked out over the churning ocean. We have high hopes for tomorrow. I eat my mashed potatoes and Ryan casually mentions that he thinks that I've lost weight. Given the fact that I came here to eat and enjoy myself and instead am literally STARVING, I'm not too flattered by this.
We head to bed later, feeling a bit like we've lost a day. But I am forced to remind myself that a day is what you make of it. I was forced by nature to spend a whole afternoon lounging with my husband, catching up on some reading in a gorgeous and well appointed lounge where drinks flowed and conversation was upbeat, pleasant and peppered with accents from around the world. I stood in the pounding rain of a hurricane and stopped a small flood with my bare hands.
And tomorrow we will take the ferry to the island...
When the lightning begins in the sky to the east, illuminating La Isla briefly with each flash, I choose to see it as a beautiful experience rather than a portent of weather issues to come. Our room lights up like daylight about every fifteen seconds and we laugh and go to the balcony to watch in wonder at this unbelievable display. We feel like children, afraid and delighted. A storm that looks like the hand of God pushes to the North. We turn and go inside. The storm will pass and this time, Cancun is untouched. Tomorrow will soon be here, and we're sure the sun will rise on a bright, clear tropical morning. Knock on wood.

Please stay tuned for next weeks episode of Yucatan Wednesday's,
'A golf cart, a goddess and a Mexican who soaked me for twenty-five bucks'


Anonymous said...

i love this:
"Ryan did not enjoy the experience the way I did, perhaps, but it's a good illustration of our marriage. I enjoy the choppy waters and he stands there with me until I'm done enjoying them and am ready to be realistic and sensible. He then dries my hair, makes me cocoa and hands me my book."

this is exactly what i was looking for in a relationsihp, so i'm glad i'm not the only one.

ryan is really my favorite cousin. don't tell anybody. LOL

meliken said...

he's my favorite of your cousin's also ;)