My 1st all-inclusive Vacation

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Overindulgence!

is the name of the game.

Hundreds of beached whales filling up the blue and white patio chairs, waiting to be pampered. Some playful dolphins splash around in the pools, a game of water polo here, then shots, beach volleyball, more shots, BINGO, cocktails at the swim up bar. Snap snap. “Give me a drink.” Whistle. “Need more beer!” Catcall, “because they like it when you do that.” “Just look at ‘er [the bartender] doesn’t she look just like J-lo?”

Cringe.

Us vs. Them. Everywhere. The binary ablaze, so bright, I get a headache from its neon light, that, and too much sun.

Because first the sun caresses my entire body like a long lost lover, kissing every inch of skin that I expose, pleading with me to show just a little bit more, so I do, obviously. It’s so freaking nice out, and hot!! And it’s March. If I was allowed to be naked I totally would be, but this bikini will have to do. The UV rays suck the colour out, through the straw of each pore, and create streaks of  pink here, and red there, searing, crimson. Ahhh! Feel the burn!

Oh Sleepless Nights to Come!

I try to keep covered up, at least during the hottest part of the day, and I reapply sunscreen like an obsessed first time parent. Rightly so, my skin is as delicate as a newborn’s bottom. New freckles and moles pop up everyday. My body really is a map, little brown spots marking every tropical place I’ve ever visited, outlining my life’s journeys. Hawaii here, see, right on my thigh. Brisbane here, and here. Melbourne this reddish brown gem. A few spots from Wreck beach, definitely the one on my bum. This strange looking feller, I remember the day we met, on Savary Island in 2006, yep this mole was born from the worst sunburn I ever had.

You call them ‘beauty’ marks and I laugh.

Perhaps I belong where my skin will go unmarked by sunshine, unharmed, in the cold lands. I sometimes worry I am doomed for a future with skin cancer, but then again, I also worry I will get liver cancer, and heart disease, and catch every other sickness/condition/disease in the book or more accurately in the television shows I watch like Grey’s Anatomy and ER. I guess I am a bit of a hypochondriac, but who isn’t these days? Well, at least sometimes. The generous doses of vitamin D put me through the roof, and I just don’t care. Happiness, inspiration, freedom, I feel at ease here in Los Cabos, Mexico at the Riu Sante Fe. I have everything at my disposal, delicious food, delicious drinks, sunshine, beaches, people to entertain me, to feed me, to answer to my every need.

I overindulge.

But hey, everyone’s doing it.

Well, everyone here. 

The Tourists, here.

“Us”

***

I found myself thinking a lot about privilege on this vacation, and how it is used, and abused, and also completely ignored or dismissed by those who have it, were born with it.

I felt so extremely grateful and lucky and appreciative to be on this vacation. Especially given that I didn’t have to pay for any of it. This was a birthday present from my dearest. A magnificent birthday present indeed. My boo worked two full-time jobs just to save up for this present for me, for us. (And yes, I am a lucky little shit, I know this!)

I am sure many other guests at the resort were grateful and appreciative too, but much of what I saw was sickening. The disrespect from some of the tourists to the workers. The “I own you” attitude. Exoticism, sexism, racism, classism, and pure ignorant, rich, white, male-bodied privilege.

One guy threw his full beer on the ground, and spat angry words into the female bartenders face. Apparently, he needed a different beer because that one was gross.

Like, dude, seriously?!

One night as we were walking back to our hotel room some guys yelled at us (my girlfriend and I) from their balcony,

“Hey girls, you give good head?”

We were holding hands.

I swear, if I wasn’t so full from dinner I could barely walk I would have gone up there and kicked him in the balls. These were the kind of guys staying at the resort. Saying whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted. Sexualizing and objectifying us and every other woman they saw.

Blaaaah.

I think, the biggest mistake we made was going at the same time as the Americans “spring break.” The resort was flooded by college and university students just there to party. Hundreds of rich, white, twenty-somethings who never slept! SERIOUSLY! They never went to bed! They came to drink as much as they possibly could, hook up, puke, try Mexican cocaine, whatever. We heard fight after fight, domestic dispute, drunken arguments, drunken make up sex, drunken dares, everything loud and clear, at three, four, five, six o’ clock in the morning. People running up and down the corridors, thomp thomp, bang crash!

Oh Sleepless Nights of Cabo!

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It was easier to catch some zzz’s on a patio chair under the sun, then try to get but a wink at night, or if you went to bed really early like 8 or 9 you could get a few solid hours in before the ruckus really got underway. Which is what we started doing after the second night! Call us grannies, but we were in bed by 9 sharp for the rest of the week! Thanks to full days of sunshine, tennis, swimming, snorkelling, climbing rocks, and drinking and eating way too much, sleep started to come easier and easier even with all the noise.

During breakfast on our fifth morning we overheard the news that fifteen of the so called ‘Spring breakers’ had actually got kicked out of the resort that night!

I just wonder what was the last straw.

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On our last day we took a water taxi over to Lover’s beach, which I highly recommend if you are ever in Cabo. It’s beautiful! Here, we set out to build a record-breaking, giant sandcastle (to beat our previous records that is) we succeeded with the help of some locals and two bottles of premium Mexican tequila! This was the only time during the trip I felt like it wasn’t us and them anymore. We were just people meeting on a beach, united by a common cause: build an epic sand castle.

But as our new friend, Sam, gently pointed out, it looked more like an upturned cow, than a castle in the end, or possibly a birthday sandcake, but it was still pretty epic!

All in all, our trip to Cabo was pretty freaking awesome. The Riu Sante Fe in los Cabos is beautiful and luxurious, and I felt like a princess running around her castle. All the employees at the resort treated us like royalty, and we tried our best to treat them equally, with respect, and tip them as generously as we could afford. None of the obnoxious douchey jerks were locals, no, the jerks were the Americans and the Canadians, tourists, just like us.

Until next time,

HJL

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