Tag Archives: Travel

Road Trip to Sacramento

Every year, for the past three or four years, my wife and her mother travel to Sacramento to visit family over Memorial Day weekend. It’s a trip they enjoy, and one that I typically don’t join them for. We spent some time in the past week lamenting the fact that because Logan is only 8 months old, traveling by airplane wasn’t something we likely wanted to do with him if it could be avoided.

Cameron and Logan

My wife was lamenting the loss of the annual trip and the opportunity to share our son with her family. I was lamenting my now traditional Memorial Day weekend of Drunken Debauchery and Not Wearing Pants. It was a painful decision for both of us.

Nearly at the last minute, sometime on Wednesday, my wife IMs me and asks how I would feel about her driving to Sacramento with the baby and her mother.

Cameron, Logan and Grandma Cora

I had a chance. I had to play it cool. Come on too strong and she’d ask why I wanted her away (drunk, no pants, video games all day), come on too soft, and she might decide not to go. This was a situation that required delicacy and diplomacy, neither of which are skills frequently attributed to me.

Sacramento is a 9.5 hour drive from Vegas. It’s a trip that I wouldn’t personally want to make. After about 5 hours in a car, my crippled knees start to painfully cramp.

I played it cool.

“It’s a long drive. If you’re going to do it, I’d rather you take my car.”

“That makes sense,” was her reply. It did make sense. My Tdi Jetta Sport Wagon has far superior fuel efficiency to her Mazda 3s, as well as more storage room and more torque for climbing mountain passes. The conversation quickly and naturally turned to one of logistics, and I knew I was home free.

Cameorn, Logan, and a Flamingo

I loosened my belt in preparation for taking my pants off.

[Not Pictured]

Cameron left Friday morning, and after visiting every rest stop on the way, arrived in Sacramento that evening. They had picnics, went to the zoo, and Logan spent a good amount of time crawling around in an entirely different and new house. Which must be something like the experience I would have if I went to the moon for a weekend.

Crawling

From what I understand, Logan was very good on the trip, his first long car ride, and spent most of the time alternating between sleeping and keeping up a runny commentary on what he could see out the back window of the car in a language that no one can understand.

Sleepy road trip nap

While they were gone, I started painting my Bronco. I wore pants for that.

Bronco step 4

The Mayan Riviera

The second week of July found Cameron and I waiting in line at immigrations and customs in Cancun Mexico. Cameron, nearly 27 weeks pregnant had spent some time lecturing about the inadequate restroom facilities near the immigration facilities of the airport. Her concerns were justified as there appeared to be only one set of restrooms and it took us nearly 2  hours to clear customs.

Cameron laughs while waiting.

Our friends Kat and Jason were getting married on a Yucatan beach in three days. We were staying at an all inclusive resort on the white sands of the Mayan Riviera. I had been promised six days and nights of open bar. My mind was elsewhere.

Mayan ruins at Xcaret

We didn’t make it to our hotel room until nearly nine that evening. There were several long lines, some idle waiting, and a shuttle ride that seemed like it would never end. The van sped south out of Cancun, slowing to a crawl for the frequent and aggressive speed bumps and traffic stops. To our left were the palatial entrances of numerous resorts catering to the wealthy tourists. These high security gate areas were dominated by picturesque fountains and pleasing architecture designed to catch the eye and promising luxury all while being shrouded in foliage significant enough to shelter those inside from the right side of the road.

Beach huts at the beach at Xcaret.

The right side of the road was miles and miles of jungle, broken by frequent glimpses of abject poverty. Patrolled by numerous stray dogs, these pockets of rural Mexican life were dusty and depressing in contrast to the splendor on the other side of the street. Part of me was repulsed by the exploitation of this country and its people by the resort industry, and by the people, like me, who would indulge in it. The other part of me just wanted to lay in a hammock and get drunk before lunch.

I don't have anything clever to say about this.

I’d like to talk about the beauty and magnificence of Quintana Roo, the Mexican state that we were in, and the rugged nobility of the rural lifestyle enjoyed by it’s inhabitants. The startling natural beauty of Mexico. The impressive legacy of the cultural heritage left behind by the Mayans. I can’t though. I only left the resort a single time the entire week, and that was to visit Xcaret, an eco park largely populated with other tourists. The remainder of the time I spent swinging in a hammock or floating in the ocean.

This was harder to take than it looks.

We had a great time. It was a lovely wedding. The resort was beautiful. The food was good. The drinks were free. I think I’d like to go back sometime. I’d like to think that if we did, we could spend some time actually exploring the country. On the other hand, laying in a hammock that swings to an ocean breeze is pretty compelling.