You Gonna Eat All That?

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Location: Virginia, United States

(Biscuit Girl)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Mexico – Conclusion

(By Jim)

So should I do something trite and end this series with quotes from the lyrics of James Taylor's song Mexico? Nah. But I did think about it, and I've got Jimmy Buffett's version on my MP3 player right now.

The rest of the trip was uneventful as we steamed the 1,100 miles back up to San Diego. We already talked about the cruise part of the trip, so no more really needs to be said of that. No one had to be medevac-ed off the ship (unlike this week). I spent a lot of time reading on the sofa or on our balcony, having a cigar and a drink on the deck, or just watching TV.

As the guide José said, Mexico is a country of contrasts. You have million-dollar homes just south of Puerto Vallarta, the envy of any US city, not far from tin-roof shacks with dirt floors. You have your time-share salesmen, your folks hustling to put an iguana on your neck for pictures and tips (sometimes uninvited – fortunately, Barbara isn't squeamish about reptiles.) But then get out of the tourist zones, into the central market, or a couple of blocks off of the main drag and you'll see things change.

If you're only coming for the climate and don't care about connecting with where you are, then take the cruise. But if you want to do things differently than you do them at home, then skip the ship and instead look into flying in and renting an apartment for a week. Preferably in the Centro, with the cultural attractions, but even in the tourist zones, as long as you go outside these areas to the market to see what local people eat and how they live.

We're going back sometime, and hopefully sooner than later. I'd like to give Cabo another try, because I don't think we had figured out the get the hell away from the tourist areas strategy completely there. Maybe next time we'd stay in San Jose del Cabo. Or go further up Baja California to Loreto or La Paz, and do some sea kayaking in the Sea of Cortez. But before that we'll go back to Mazatlán or Puerto Vallarta, rent a place in downtown, and see what new things we can find when we have an entire week to explore.

Mexico is still there, peeking around the corner, smiling at you. All you have to do is go around the corner and find it.

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