Adios, Mexico

Our last days in Cozumel were relaxing and low-key with nothing but resort activities planned. Each day still had its highlights though!

Thursday, September 22, 2016
French toast for breakfast! Sue and I got massages in the morning, followed by some resort-sponsored "arts & crafts" time where we learned how to make the easiest and coolest string bracelets! In the afternoon, we went to the ceviche cooking lesson again. Now that we knew how good it was we weren't about to miss free food! The rest of the afternoon was pretty "typical" with some pool and hammock time. While eating supper in our room, we noticed the stunning sunset, so we left our plates and ran outside for pictures.

The evening was spent in the resort restaurant enjoying Karaoke Night! If you know me at all, you know I am not one to willingly put myself out there, especially singing karaoke. "When in Mexico" though I guess because toward the end of the night, I mustered the courage, got up, and sang some classic Shania Twain. Yet another experience where something I would never normally do, or was very nervous about, turned out to be a lot of fun!

Friday, September 23, 2016
After a rainy morning spent in the lobby, Sue and I tried our hand at snorkeling again. The ocean was rougher, and some water still got in my mask, but the overall experience was significantly better than Wednesday. We saw the Lion Fish on the sunken pier again, but also saw a spotted eel and a Blowfish! A dip in the pool to rinse the salt off, and we were ready for BINGO! I won the first round, and part of my prize was a certificate for a pair of tanzanite studs from Diamonds International, a jewelry store across the street from our resort. We walked over after BINGO, got my earrings, and briefly perused expensive jewelry we could never afford.

You can probably guess what was in store after lunch...hammock time! Honestly though, I never understood the hype about hammocks until I experienced the calming sway and overall relaxing quality of them during these two weeks. The sunset happily interrupted our supper, so we again abandoned our plates to soak in our last Mexican sunset.

Saturday, September, 24, 2016
One last swing in the hammock
Following breakfast and packing, I found a hammock under the pool deck one last time. Sue joined me shortly after, and we enjoyed our last hours before making ourselves get up and make lunch. We checked out and waited in the lobby until it was time to catch a taxi. We arrived and checked in with plenty of time at the Cozumel airport.

We arrived in Dallas earlier than scheduled, but there were no gates open, so we waited for 10+ minutes on the runway. Jayme had warned us that customs took a long time, so we (mostly Sue, I was trying to stay calm and positive) were nervous about making our connecting flight. We got off in Terminal D and our next flight left Terminal A in under an hour! We speed walked to customs, which is now all electronic, if you were not aware. You scan your passport, the machine takes your picture, and it prints out a sheet essentially saying you're legal. The machine took forever to take my picture (now I'm the one getting stressed out and nervous), but it didn't matter because I ended up waiting for the others because one of their passports didn't clear right away.

Goodbye, Cozumel!
Finally, we were off again: down an escalator to collect our checked bags and through another security/customs checkpoint. Luckily, the agent only asked two questions and on we went. We dropped off our checked bags again and through more security! It seemed to take forever as I kept looking at my watch - it was the time they were supposed to start boarding, and we were still in the wrong terminal! Up an escalator to get to the Skyrail. Our Skyrail ride went outside and we noticed it was now raining. We got off the Skyrail nearly running, with me in the lead. I rounded the corner to find our gate, but no one was there. Over the loudspeaker sounded the final boarding call for our flight! I ran, now seeing three workers at the desk of the otherwise deserted gate. We got on the flight - whew!

A couple minutes later, the pilot announced that storms had forced the ramp people away and we'd be there about 10 minutes. A few minutes after that, the pilot announced that storms had closed the airport, and he didn't know how long we'd be grounded! The next time the pilot came on, he started to tell us there were still storms in the area, but while he was talking, he got the call that the airport had reopened. We were off!

A crazy ending to a once-in-a-lifetime vacation. It was only two weeks, and we stayed at a resort. No semester full of classes and host families like my study abroad in Scotland, but I still learned so much, and will forever be changed because of the people, location, and experience. Gracias, Mexico.


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