After drinking far too much on days uno and dos I decided to sleep in and skip beach volleyball. My knees are starting to look like mashed up grapefruits from all those digs. You’d think the sand would be soft? Not so much.
Got up just in time to catch some breakfast down at the buffet and am continually impressed by the selection. Ironically, I keep eating relatively the same few items. Hash browns, bacon, two fried eggs, toast and fresh fruit. I rarely ever eat breakfast at home but I’m fairly certain that’s only due to laziness and nothing else. I finished up the meal and gave the waiter a few dollars and went to ‘lube up’. After a bit of a scare on day 1 I am taking no chances and slathering myself in SPF30. After playing beach volleyball for about an hour, i felt a little dizzy and went back to the room only to discover my face looked like a cherry tomato that exploded. Thankfully, it wasn’t burned, just flush from running around in 90 degree weather but it was enough to sober me up.
Sufficiently oiled I headed down to the pool and ran into Darwin, Logan and Matt again now also accompanied by their other friend TJ (or T-Pres, or T, or…you get the idea). I had a drink and floated around for a bit with them, giving them some recommendations on things to do from last years trip. They seemed hell-bent on the ‘booze cruise’ – I didn’t challenge them. They eventually took off to go get ready and I pulled up a chair and took a nap. The rest of the day consisted of swim to pool, get drink, swim to chair, repeat. There are worse ways to spend a day, for sure.
At about 5 I headed in to get ready for the Japanese Steakhouse I booked a reservation for. The hotel has four complimentary restaurants on the grounds and I’m trying to make it a point to try each. Tonight’s was hibachi and I wasn’t disappointed. It was also where I met what I believe to be the 72 year old version of me, John from Nova Scotia.
John is not an intimidating man. Barely 5’7″ if I had to guess and he very much resembled my paternal grandfather; tan, whispy grair hair, glasses, and an indistinguishable aura of ‘old Italian guy’. John has been to the four corners of the world and back and had a story for just about every one. From the rolling hills of Estonia to the Sushi he had in Japan to the ‘Tatu’ festival (week-long song and dance festival held once every five years) in his home town, John’s seen it all. When I asked how many times he’d been to Mexico he guessed at about 30. John was alone and I can only imagine his wife had passed away earlier. I didn’t bring it up but he kept referring to his daughter but never his wife. Who knows, a story for another day. John was also a GM retiree and living comfortably on any number of pensions, programs, and checks that kept this lifestyle going. I chatted with John about life, travel, and wine (which he can, as an aside, throw back like no one I’ve ever met) and I listened intently as if hearing a village elder speak from some long forgotten people, huddled around a smoldering fire in the night.
In between the shooting flames of the hibachi grill he gave me some advice which I most certainly took to heart. “Do everything you can before you can’t.”, he told me rather ‘matter of factly’. I almost expected him to say it. Like I mentioned, I immediately felt like a ‘this could be me’ feeling and bonded over that connection. Perhaps he really is me, traveled back in time using technology that will be invented 40 years from now to smack me in the face and tell me to live it up. In either case, John was a pleasure to meet. We finished our fried plantains and creme and I wished him the best of luck on his travels, shook his hand, and we parted for the evening.
Oh, and the food and was really great too.