3. Oh Crap, Riviera Maya 2004
Updated: Jul 24, 2018
Riviera Maya in Mexico is known for it's amazing seaside resorts and relaxing vacation retreats. Back in 2004, we chose Riviera Maya as our vacation destination. As co-workers, my friend Alice was young, single and ready for adventure. She had asked me if I could travel with her somewhere. Alice had never had a passport and was eager to have her first experience outside of the United States. Alice and I booked our package resort vacation for a weeks stay and off we went.
Alice did well on the short flight from Atlanta to Cancun airport. Coming in for landing in to Cancun, Alice in her window seat was all eyes on the beautiful turquoise ocean water and the beauty of all the different shades of blue as the ocean floor got deeper and deeper.
The fresh salt air greeted us as we stepped outside of the customs area and immediately we were feeling the vacation in the air. We followed the guide who had greeted us to our resort van. The ride along the desolate highway was about an hour. No sign of ocean. Just vast green desert. I started to wonder if I had made the right choice for our vacation. We soon turned left along another long stretch of road. The silence in the van made me realize I was not the only one with such thoughts. Another couple of minutes and we make yet another turn. No sign of life still. We follow the bend in the road and all of a sudden, like the garden of Eden appearing magically before us, there was a palatial entrance with the Puerto Aventuras Resort. Once past the guarded entrance, it was a Shangri La experience. There, the blue ocean became a vast background of color with beautifully bright adobe orange buildings, Mexican flags and gorgeous fountains surrounding the open air entrance to the resort.
Stepping out of the van, the fresh warm salty air greeted us. Everyone arriving had a relaxed smile on their face. The staff were jubilant, eager to take our luggage and show us towards the check in counter. With our room key in had, off we went, mesmerized by the décor of color and smell of the ocean. We opened our room door with much excitement. From our balcony, we were able to overlook the lagoon pool with palm tree islands and waterfalls. Just beyond this view, the Gulf of Mexico. A rich bowl of water in all different shades of blue. Waves gently came in, crashing over the rocks on either side of the crescent sandy beach. There was so much to see and explore. In our haste, we didn't even bother to unpack our bags. Beach time.
We prepared for an afternoon at the beach and then some time at the open menu bar beach side. Off we went. We did not realize how large the lagoon pool was and crossing over small bridges here and there, we came to the beach. There was a large outcropping of rocks that was very intriguing. There we waded into the water from the beach and swam out to the rocky area. Loads of fish swam around and the birds seemed to be flying all around us. We must have lost all notion of the resort behind us as we were startled to hear splashing and laughter from behind us at the beach area. There in the water, a water aerobics class was being enjoyed. We just had to join the circle of fun. We stretched, splashed, kicked and laughed a whole hour away.
Now our bodies were ready for some energy intake. We dried off a bit and made our way over to the open air food bar. The food choices were amazing. No way would we go hungry this week. At this more European style Resort with food choices were more eclectic. We feasted on just about everything. Delightfully full and ready for some more water fun, we returned to the beach and swam till sunset.
The next couple of days, we toured and explored the pyramid at Tulum, swam in some hidden caves at Kantun Chi Eco Park and enjoyed a brilliant day at Xel-Ha.
The open food bar at our Puerto Aventuras Resort was spectacular everyday with so many amazing choices for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. No need for reservations. Just walk in, pick a table then proceed to the different large set ups for a variety of wonderful delicious food to choose from. Eat all you want. Come and go and you please. This was heaven but for two skinny girls, I am sure people were thinking we should eat more. Have more than two or three helpings. Get your moneys worth. Not us. Full and content, we would leave knowing we would be back again in a few short hours.
Three days into our trip, we had kept ourselves busy and we were starting to feel the energy being zapped from our system. We chose to have a quiet day. A nap and some time out of the sun was in order.
Nature called. Off Alice went while I relaxed in bed, watching some movie on tv and feeling the warm sea breeze rush through our room. I must have dozed off as I was startled awake by my Alice calling me from the restroom. It took a minute for me to take in my surroundings and realize that I was in a resort room in Mexico and that my Alice was calling out for help. I quickly jumped out of bed, rushed to the door and asked what was wrong.
"Well, I am not sure how to explain this," replied Alice. "I seem to have a bit of a problem."
"Are you ok?" I asked, now getting a little more worried.
Her voice seemed calm, but there was a bit of trepidation in her voice that caused me to worry.
"Yeah, I'm ok, but I'm not sure what to do," she replied from behind the closed door.
"Can I come in?" I asked.
"I'm embarrassed," she said
Young adult years can be complicated. Everyone has their own experience and there is no book or self help guide that can help prepare one for that first experience, no matter what it is.
"It's just me your mother. What can be so embarrassing?" I ask.
"Please don't laugh. It's so embarrassing." she says.
Now I know for sure I am going to laugh. I cannot even fathom what could be behind door number one. Adulthood and puberty had already happened a few years back. The thoughts started flying through my mind and now I was getting worried.
"Ok, what would you like for me to do?" I ask.
"Can you get me a toothpick or something like that?" she asks.
"What?" I reply. I can hardly contain my shocked reply.
"Yeah, are there any toothpicks around?" she asks again.
"Of course there aren't any toothpicks. What in the world would you need toothpicks for. You're in the bathroom." My imagination is going wild. "Will you please let me come in?"
"Well, Ok. But promise me you won't laugh." she says again.
I slowly open the door and there is Alice, looking like a little teenage girl with a very shy concerned look upon her face. I quickly eye her up and down and nothing. What could be so wrong? Nothing broken in the bathroom, no overflow of water. Nothing.
"Hey there." I say.
"Hi." she replies.
"Are you feeling ok?" I ask.
"Yes. I just have a small problem." she says.
"Ok, what is it?" I ask.
"I can't flush that down," she says pointing at the commode.
I look down and the burst of laughter that comes uncontrollably out even shocks me.
"You said you wouldn't laugh," she says a little annoyed.
I couldn't help myself. I blurt out "How can something that big come out of someone so small?"
In the white porcelane bowl there was a log stretching from one edge of the bowl to the other, barely immersed in the water.
Alice says "I tried several times to flush it but it won't move."
My first response came flying out of my mouth, "And why do you think toothpicks would do the trick? What were you intending on doing with them?" I ask.
"I don't know. Cut it in half?" she replies.
Now the laughter from both of us brings tears to our eyes and our sides are now feeling the pain.
The log, acting like a bridge to no where, was still there, the subject of our laughter.
I flushed thinking it would bring a different result. No movement. I now realized that Alice was truly embarrassed and eager to have this beast be flushed away and out of our minds.
"Ok. Let's see what we have in the room to cut it into pieces. I don't think cutting it in half is going to work," I say. And with that, the uncontrollable laughter ensues.
Nothing in the room was found. Our coffee cups, spoons, plastic swirly sticks and water glasses were of no use. Once the log was touched, nothing was going to survive. We turned to our luggage. Inside my computer bag, I dug around trying to find anything I was willing to part with that would be the saviour of this crappy problem. I did manage to find a plastic knife from some takeaway meal hidden at the bottom of a section in my bag.
I handed her the knife and said "Good luck cutting the log."
"No way. I'm not going to cut it. You do it," Alice replied with a look of fear in her eyes.
"Really, you're going to make me do all the dirty work?" I ask.
The puppy dog eyes appear along with those words, "Please?"
How could I refuse? I now felt like her mother.
Off I go with white plastic knife in hand and tackle the log. I take a deep breath, go in for first cut. No movement. The two sections now just clung the sides of the bowl. Now I knew I was dealing with a sticky matter. I take a step back. Another deep breath, second cut. Nothing. Another step back, another deep breath, third cut. That does it. Like a bridge loosing it's engineering structure, it collapses slightly, but now I could see the end to this beast. I quickly flush and there it goes down, down, down. Just when I thought all was done, here comes one piece making its way back to the surface. What in the world? I step back trying to find some fresh air in the room. A quick deep breath, back to the bowl and another flush. This should do it. Slowly the last piece of turd dissapears from my view. I open the door and smell the fresh ocean air fill my nostrils.
Alice looks at me. "Well, is it gone?"
"Yes, but I will need to flush one more time. I think it will need a little more help getting around the bend as it went down pretty slow. I just hope in the coming days the toilet doesn't back up." I can barely contain my laughter again.
The white plastic knife quickly gets rolled up in toilet paper and into the trash. A thorough wash of the hands and back out to breath some fresh ocean air. I come out and notice that Alice is still sitting on the edge of the bed.
As she sees me come into the room, Alice jumps off the edge of the bed and gives me a huge bear hug. "I was worried we were going to have to call housekeeping. I didn't want anyone to see that thing," she says.
"Not a problem," I respond with a smile on my face. "That’s what friends are for. Helping you get rid of crap!"