Viva Mexico!

I'll be honest, Mexico has never enticed me as a travel destination. However, when you have the opportunity to tag along to beaches, and get another stamp on your passport, you don't pass it up! We didn't exactly choose Mexico either, it was chosen for us. When my cousin qualified for the 2016 World Triathlon Championships in Cozumel, Mexico, my aunt started making plans to attend as well, and I wasn't going to miss it! When I boarded the plane, I was excited to be traveling again, but not necessarily for the country and culture that would meet me. When my two weeks in Mexico were over, however, my attitude had certainly changed! Traveling has a way of doing that, turning what you were skeptical or judgemental about into something you appreciate and maybe understand just a tiny bit better. My short time was filled with new experiences and people. I learned new things and was challenged in new ways. It may have only been two weeks, but there is certainly much to tell!

Saturday, September 10, 2016
We were literally the only people in the MSP airport at 1:30am!
My aunt Sue, uncle Dave, and I arrived at the Minneapolis airport at 1:30am. We didn't need to check in until 3:00am, but we knew we'd be too excited to sleep, so might as well stay up in the airport! In case you were wondering, airports are dead at that time of night! We were the only ones there, aside from a couple of janitors, for the first hour. They opened check-in shortly after Jayme and Andy joined us, with Jayme's large bike bag in tow. Even though we had checked in online and printed our tickets, we still had to check in at the new kiosks and print new boarding passes, so that was rather annoying. Other than that, check-in and security went smoothly and we started boarding our flight a little after 5:00am!

We landed in Miami a little earlier than scheduled, which was nice because we didn't wait long before our connecting flight began boarding. At this point, we could already start picking out the people who were going to be competing in Cozumel. You shouldn't judge by appearances, but it's hard not to assume who's a triathlete when they are all wearing Garmin sport watches and tech shirts advertising they had competed in this or that race.

We arrived safely in Cozumel, and at least 80-90% of the people in the customs line were triathletes. When it was finally my turn to go through, the customs agent didn't ask a single question. Simply looked at my paperwork and stamped it all. After a dog sniffed our carry-ons, and my checked bag was randomly selected to be searched, we were free to enter Mexico!

I stared out the taxi window, trying to take in everything. Narrow, often cracked or broken sidewalks. Small houses and buildings built right next to each other, their painted exteriors faded. We drove alongside the ocean, and got our first look at the clear, bright blue water. We arrived at our resort, and met with our concierge, David, while waiting for our room to be ready. Our room was perfectly located on the first floor. The "hallway" to get to our room from the lobby was open to palm trees, shrubs, and the tennis court. Once in our room, there were sliding glass doors to a small patio which was steps away from the hammocks and volleyball court on the resort's beach.

After unpacking we walked out of our resort in what we thought was the direction to the supermarket. On the sidewalks around our resort, the invitations from store owners to come into their stores were never-ending. We got past all of those and started walking out of town. Approximately two miles later, we concluded the supermarket must be in the opposite direction, and turned around. We checked out a small convenience store across from our resort, and bought water. They didn't have groceries though, so it was supper at Hard Rock Cafe!

 Views of our resort:

Hammocks

View from our patio
The "hallway" to our room



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