Our friends Jeff and Carrie planned their wedding in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Scott and I originally declined the invitation, planning to be in Belize by now. After we decided to linger in Mexico, there was discussion of taking the boat down to Playa del Carmen, but we discovered that there are no marinas in the area, or anchorages with good protection.
As the wedding date got closer, we decided to just leave the boat, and make the journey from Isla Mujeres. There wasn’t a weather front predicted to come through, and after being here for almost two months we were comfortable (well, as comfortable as Scott can be) leaving the boat. Our cruiser friends here in the anchorage promised to keep an eye on things for us, so a plan was hatched!
I had hoped to surprise the couple, but logistics proved challenging without letting one of them know. Carrie, the bride, is now a dear friend, but I have known Jeff for 22 years and wanted to keep him in the dark if I could. She was happily on board for the plan! Our budget didn’t allow for us to stay at the resort, as they had a three night minimum stay required. Carrie graciously arranged for us to have “day passes,” so we could come and enjoy the resort and attend the wedding.
Scott and I took our dingy to shore, and hailed a taxi to the ferry terminal. I was trying to avoid as much sweat as possible, and thought that a quick taxi ride instead of a hot walk would help. The taxi that stopped for us had someone in the passenger seat, and also in the back. We assumed that he was dropping off the woman in the back seat, but she just slide over.
Usually, when you are carrying bags or packages, the driver will get out and put them in his trunk. This would have been very helpful, since we were now going to share the back seat with this woman. However, the driver stayed put, and we slid in with our bags and clothes. I was squished into the un-air conditioned car, in between Scott and the woman. With a plastic garment bag pressed up against me and a bag at my feat…. it was instant sweat. So much for trying to stay dry! Thankfully, the ferry terminal wasn’t far, and the suffering was quick.
We boarded the trusty ferry to Cancun, and cooled off on the 20 minute air conditioned ride (Scott didn’t get his usual choice of sitting upstairs). Originally, we’d planned to take a taxi to the bus station, a bus to Playa del Carmen and then another cab to the resort. I was afraid that the taxi and bus combinations would leave me soaked in sweat, so we decided to spend a few extra dollars and take a taxi straight to the resort. The taxis in Mexico are not metered, so you have to agree on price ahead of time. After some back and forth with the driver, he and Scott agreed on a cost (and for him to have the air conditioning on), and we were off.
On our way out of Cancun, we made a quick stop at Refaccionaria Mardam, where Scott had dropped his alternator for repair. They weren’t able to fix it, so he took it back and we carried it along with us.
After a 90 minute ride, the driver dropped us at our destination, the RIU Palace. When I inquired at the front desk about our day passes, I was told that they didn’t have a wedding scheduled that day. The man told me that I was at the RIU Palace Mexico. Well wasn’t that obvious?? Of course we were in Mexico! He went on to say that we probably needed to be at the RIU Palace Riviera Maya, which was ten minutes away. Really?? Two Palaces?? Ten minutes apart?? With our driver gone, we had to call for another taxi. The ride was only two minutes, but was almost a third of what the whole trip down had cost us. But, at least we were now in the right place.
We found our friends who’d traveled down from Baltimore, and spent a few minutes hugging and saying hello before I went off to find the bride. Scott went to go through our mail and packages from home, that friends had stuffed into a large suitcase for us..what a great favor! He also went through our tax papers, so our friends could fly them back to my sister and brother-in-law. Once that was done, it was off to the pool area, where we dodged the groom while enjoying some drinks and sunshine.
I was able to keep our attendance a surprise for Jeff, and we revealed ourselves just before the wedding started. The weather was beautiful, and the couple was beaming with happiness.
I also brought along some friends who couldn’t make it…
At 10pm, we made our exit, to begin the journey home. We changed back into our “traveling clothes” before calling for a taxi. I didn’t want us to get our good clothes dirty or wet, climbing in and out of the dingy. A taxi arrived quickly, and we took turns napping on the way to the ferry terminal.
We just missed the 11:30 ferry, and had to wait an hour for the last one of the night. With our bags of mail, clothes in a bag on a hanger and a backpack with an alternator, we looked like a homeless couple as we slept in a pile on a bench, waiting for the 12:30 ferry. We arrived back to Isla Mujeres, taxied to the dock where we’d left the dingy and climbed back aboard Sea Life at 1:30 am. A long day, but well worth it to see our friends and celebrate their big day! Congratulations Carrie and Jeff!
“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”