Whoops, I missed Mexico

By Mir
June 11, 2010

Today I didn’t get off the ship. Somehow today was the day when all of the GOING and DOING and EATING caught up with me, and I could’ve happily spent the entire day sleeping. Chickadee was due to meet up with her aunt and uncle for ziplining early this morning, though, so I dragged my butt out of bed and took her to breakfast while Otto and Monkey got ready at a more leisurely pace.

Chickadee had eggs and a bagel and some fruit and juice and milk. I gulped at a cup of coffee and barely resisted the urge to put my head down on the table and fall asleep.

After Chickadee was packed off for her adventure, I went back to breakfast with Otto and Monkey. I had more coffee. And an omelet. And thought to myself that I was really, really tired of eating. And this was how I figured out that I was either 1) completely exhausted or 2) dying, because since when am I too tired to EAT?

I think that maybe yesterday’s adventure took a lot out of me. We went cave tubing in Belize. When we booked that excursion, I remember thinking that it sounded very relaxing. I mean, yes, I noticed that it listed a “hike through the jungle” to get to the tubing location, but then… floating in a tube! How hard could that be?

[Slight digression: This is me and Otto, looking at the excursion listings:
Otto: Did you see how strenuous this is?
Me: What? The tubing? It’s not strenuous.
Otto: It’s got three little people next to it. The only thing harder is FOUR little people. I think it’s pretty strenuous.
Me: It’s FLOATING. In a TUBE. How strenuous could it be?
Otto: IT HAS THREE PEOPLE. You have to hike through the jungle!
Me: Whatever. The minimum age is only eight. How strenuous could it possibly be? I’m sure it’s a walk along a path.
Otto: It’s a 45 minute hike.
Me: On a path. It’ll be fine.
Me: We already bought the tickets. It’s fine.]

So here’s the thing about Belize: It’s a tiny little country, filled with friendly people who know a lot of really groan-worthy applications of the word Belize. You need to know all of those to fill the time it takes to get from where you disembark to where the tubing actually happens, because ninety minutes on a bus is long time if no one is telling you that your day is going to be UNBELIZEABLE and YOU HAVE TO SEE IT TO BELIZE IT. (Um. Wow.) Then after ninety minutes on an air-conditioned bus you get off that bus and get on an ancient school bus to ride down a tiny twisty mountain, and then you walk a little ways into the jungle and get outfitted with a lifevest, helmet, and a giant inflatable tube, and THEN you go on your jungle hike to the mouth of the cave.

The hike isn’t too difficult, but it turns out that taking a long walk with a giant tube is kind of challenging, particularly when the path is filled with multiple groups of tourists all doing the same thing.

The tubing itself is a lot less relaxing than I’d imagined; for one thing, they link the group together by making you stick your feet into the armpits of the person ahead of you. So Chickadee had her feet in my pits, which was fine, but I had to put my feet into the pits of some old guy from Florida. And then endure Chickadee loudly asking me if I was getting his armpit hair stuck between my toes. (Answer: I’m wearing water shoes, so no, and KEEP YOUR VOICE DOWN.) For another thing, you don’t really get to lay back and relax, because in order to sit upright enough to kind of steer the tube, you have to use a lot of stomach muscle power to stay balanced. And then—insult to injury—I couldn’t even whine about it to Otto because then he would’ve been all THREE PEOPLE, I TOLD YOU. This is all aside from the fact that the water running through the caves is “refreshing” (as the guides kept saying) and your ass is being frozen as you drift along.

The caves were very cool, though. Monkey had a fabulous time—I think it was just enough activity/stimulation to make for a great day for him—and Otto and I agreed that it was a fun experience. By the end of it Steroid Girl was kind of losing her crap, a la My Blood Sugar Is Low And Also My Butt Is Cold And You Guys Keep Floating Away, but after a snack she agreed it was pretty… unBelizeable!

And then it was a long trip back to the ship, of course.

For the first time, last night, Otto and I went out to the nightly show. After dinner everyone was so tired that we were able to get the kids to sleep before it started, so we did that, and then headed to the theater, and the show was all based on 80s music, which meant that at one point all of the dancers were dressed up as Madonna in various stages of her career. This caused me to lean over to Otto and whisper, “It’s a good thing I’m not drinking, because if I was I would probably think I was hallucinating right now.” (Seriously, 8 different stages of Madonna all at once is a little freaky. I’m just saying.)

After the show, we met up with the rest of the adults in the family for a drink, and it was a long day, is my point, and maybe that’s why I was so tired, today.

Regardless of what it was, after lunch today we came back to the room for a brief rest, and what happened was that the kids and I all immediately fell asleep. I guess Otto went and walked around Cozumel, some, but we were all very busy drooling on our pillows. I’m sure Cozumel is beautiful, though. I mean, it’s probably not unBelizeable or anything, but I’m sure it’s lovely.

Tomorrow we sail all day, and Sunday we get back. I have no idea where the week went, and at the same time I’m looking forward to getting back to my own bed and routine and days centered around something other than eating. I suppose that means this vacation was exactly the right length.


  1. elz

    You missed Mexico?! Shame, woman. Kidding. I’ve been caving before and yeah, seriously strenous. Though, I didn’t have to put my feet in some random guy’s armpits. If I were there, I would have said “You’re not going to Belize this, but there is no fracking way I’m linking up with the most unhygenic portion of a stranger.” Ok, maybe it is totally Belizeable that I would say that.

  2. Rebecca

    I know exactly what you mean about the cave tubing. We weren’t linked together, and our guide made sure to tell us not to hit the side of the cave. So what do I do, but end up careening toward the side of the cave panicking that my tube was going to pop. My hubby rescued me. But, yes, it was cold, and a little unnerving for me. That said I do love Belize (on a different cruise we did the Mayan Ruins and that was spectacular!) But me and cave tubing are not friends. My husband LOVED it though, and I’m glad Monkey did too. :)

  3. Cathy

    If it makes you feel better, you are not alone in thinking an excursion’s description sounded easier than its reality. My husband and I were in Jamaica last week and I scheduled a waterfall tour because it sounded interesting. I pictured a nice hike uphill, maybe some splashing in the run off. Instead, we were given those uncomfortable water shoes, instructed to make a human chain with the others in the group, were forced to climb INTO THE WATERFALL and climb up 1,000 feet of slippery rocks. I am a fairly adventurous person, but was the closest I’ve ever come to a panic attack.

    Our friends bought the cheesy DVD the guides made and when we watched it back at the hotel we nearly fell off the couch laughing. They must have given us video footage from the wrong camera because the video consists entirely of amateurish shots where the cameraman zooms in to focus on cleavage of women from our group.

    At least it was memorable! And did not necessitate sticking my feet into someone else’s armpits. Yuck.

  4. Mamma-M

    that does sound unbeliezable. And actually I went to Mexico once and was actually thinking about that today…I miss it.

  5. alicia

    I was in Cozumel on Tuesday on another Carnival Ship- and honestly you aren’t missing much. That was my second time in that port of call. The ruins there are smaller, the beachs (well, the good ones) are all a good distance cab ride or ferry ride away. However, the frugal shopper in you might have had a ball – you can score some great deals, although it does get tiring to haggle with the locals. (Make me a deal! For you pretty Senora – I will give it to you for $20 dolla!)

    I loved Belize – hope you did too, but I haven’t been there since my 1st cruise in 2007.

    Enjoy your restful day at sea!

  6. Megan

    Um. I guess I’m the only one then going Go Otto! yeah. Shutting up.

  7. Karen

    OMG, the armpit thing!!! But..to see the caves in Belize, that’s very cool, three people and all. No pictures? Surely there are some un-person-exposing landscape beauty revealing shots? …

  8. Brigitte

    Eeeew, armpits! Sounds pretty amazing, but I think I would be too exhausted from all the eating to ever leave the ship on any tours. ;-)

  9. Nelson's Mama

    Maybe it’s best that you missed Cozumel!!

    We were there during the height of our Slug Blug (aka Punch Buggy) Wars, literally had to call the game OFF!! I’ve never seen so many vintage Bugs in all my days!!

    Glad you’re enjoying your cruise…keep eating!

  10. Laura

    I can remember being so tired of eating on a cruise…I told my husband in the elaborate lunch buffet line that all I wanted was a tuna sandwich and bowl of tomato soup when we got home, and everyone around us said “oooohhhhh.” We were ALL tired of eating.

  11. Bob

    We were on vacation for two weeks – the longest we’ve ever had. The last 4 days were in Cairo and we were ready to come home. It was time. (Although, had we gone to Santorini last instead of Cairo, we might not have been quite so ready to come home.)

    That said – I know how you feel. It’s great to travel, but it’s nice to get home in the end.

    Sounds like you’re having fun, though. Building memories.

  12. kathy

    I waved at you! DId you see me? :) We regularly see both San Miguel and PUnta Sur lighthouses from our beach (that’s on Cozumel). Hope you have a relaxing trip back home. It was uncharacteristically overcast today. Kept threatening rain but it must have been nice for you guys – rather cool for us.

  13. Half Assed Kitchen

    Oh, it sounds so fun. But no way could I do that stuff with my 7 and 5 year old yet.

  14. Maggie May

    new here, hello. that sounds FUN.

  15. Mum Dee

    Wow, the tubing sounds like it was a lot of fun except for the stranger’s armpit bit. EWwww! I get why you needed a day to rest. Sometimes vacations can be exhausting.

  16. Sharon

    I am so glad you have written about your experiences here. Not only have your stories been fun to read but you have totally validated what I have always thought about going on a cruise: I just want to stay on the boat. I think the perfect cruise for me would be to sail across the Atlantic, no stops and no sightseeing. I would have been exhausted after the first excursion. All of you have done well to stay so busy all week. Safe travels home.

  17. Katie in MA

    Well, I, for one, am enjoying every minute of your vacation vicariously. Including your nap.

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