Nov 27, 2011

Things I learned in Cancun

Thanksgiving day hot tub. :)

 I'm back to a 100-degree temperature difference between Cancun and home sweet home. Brrr! My extended family had a fabulous time getting reacquainted on the beach, eating too much and fending off second-degree burns on our lily white skin. :) This was our second time having a family reunion in Mexico and, while I can't recommend it as a getaway enough, there are a few things I learned this time around. Interestingly, all of these relate to writing.

1 Check your passport expiration date a month or so before leaving the country. Discovering it has expired four days before leaving costs a lot of $$ and lost sleep.
Writing tip: make your MC stupid at times. Stupid mistakes = tension.
American tourist in Cancun

2 The Cancun tourist industry delights in fleecing foreigners. A ten-minute cab ride from our resort to Tulum is $56. Each way. In American dollars. Going to the Cozumel ferry terminal costs $86 each way, or around $4 a mile. Compared to Puerto Vallarta, where cab rides cost around $2, this was a shocker. Note to self: reserve a car online before leaving.
Writing tip: Put your MC at a disadvantage. Fighting against a culture or expectation = tension.

3 Do not get so caught up in staring at the gorgeous fish swimming around the coral reef that you lose track of the current and find yourself stuck among rocks studded with sharp coral.
Writing tip = Distract your MC so he/she doesn't notice something important. Then have it bite them later.

4 Spiny sea urchin spines hurt. Especially when they're embedded in your fingers and you must swim a while to get back to the beach before yanking them out with tweezers.
Writing tip: Prolong pain for your MC. Lots of pain for even a short amount of time =  tension.

5.It is possible to have too many mixed drinks in a day. *burp*
Writing tip: Um...see no. 1.

6. Evidently the term 'medium-well' when referring to steak means 'raw' to a Mexican chef. As do the terms, well-done, medium-rare and medium.
Writing tip = See 1 and 4.

ugly gnome
7. It is too much to expect Husband and Son to spend money wisely while shopping for keepsakes. The ugly naked gnome Son wanted as a joke for his locker cost $20. *unhappy face*
Writing tip: Surround your MC with those who don't agree with his/her agenda. This builds conflict.

8. Even though the scale says you've lost weight, the camera shows otherwise. Note to self: delete all photos of woman-with-a-figure-like-a-fire-hydrant off Husband's Blackberry.
Writing tip: Slap your MC in the face with reality occasionally. This also builds conflict.

9. Also, that weight you lost? It's back. See #5.
Writing tip: Disappointment is part of life. Make sure your MC experiences that.

10. It IS worth it to scrimp and save toward a big family trip. The memories we have will last a lot longer than the wood floor I could've gotten in our living room. Okay, maybe not. But the memories are a lot more fun!
Writing tip: Achieving a worthwhile goal is also part of life. Balance out that disappointment with a satisfactory ending.

Me, just before diving into the Chichen Itza cenote


Freya Morris said...

Sounds like you had some memorable adventures- and a great time despite the stressy parts. : )

Did you do any writing on hols? Or is it a writing-free type of hol?

Carrie Butler said...

$56 dollars each way?! That makes me light headed. Twenty minutes of driving, and they get more than I did on my last (six hour) freelance job. Wow.

Anyway, I love how you turned all of these into writing tips, and I'm glad you had fun! We missed you around here! :)

Nancy Thompson said...

All interesting bits to know. I hope I get to Cancun someday. And my post today was all about tension, too.

Jolene Perry said...

WOW. Looks like a FAB trip!


E.R. King said...

Ha! Sounds like it was a fun time had by all. BTW the naked gnome is hilarious. : )

Sarah Pearson said...

Glad you had such a great trip - and yeah, I love the naked gnome too :-)

Lisa L. Regan said...

Awesome post. I love the way you brought everything back to writing. Brilliant! Glad your travels were safe.

~JollyRoger~ said...

That Gnome is AWESOME...and you know it. We had a great time and made great memories getting there and being there.