Zoë in Cabo 1988, pastel on paper, 22 x 30 inches
Why do preparations for a journey make home so appealing? As excited as I was to spend two weeks on a Mexican beach, I felt reluctant to leave our hillside bathed in bright winter sunlight. I suddenly had ideas for writing and painting and cooking. But we had tickets and reservations, we were going. I ordered a slew of books, emptied the fridge and packed.
I roasted the peppers I had bought before remembering our imminent trip and stored the peeled strips in the freezer.
I used other bits and pieces I was reluctant to throw out for our lunch salad ─ a small piece of goat cheese, an unopened package of smoked salmon, the remains of a jar of Marcona almonds, a ripe avocado, the end of a cucumber. The fridge was empty.
We flew to Cancun where we picked up a rental car and drove south. Our destination was Nah Uxibal on Bahia Soliman, just north of Tulum, where we rented a studio casita. Enrique and Kara had recommended the place, a quiet spot on a beautiful, shallow bay. We made few plans other than to read and walk and swim. And to eat in restaurants. I wanted a true holiday, one that freed me from the responsibilities of my kitchen.
I resisted the temptations of the market and only prepared simple breakfasts and lunches. We ate dinners at a fancy hotel just down the beach that served delicious grilled fish, ceviche, and pasta. We had mole enchiladas at nearby Oscar y Lalo’s and drove into Tulum to eat a roasted habañero salsa and fish tacos at La Barracuda. We had tasty ceviche with apples (!) at Tábano and in Akumal ate Mexi-California style dishes at Turtle Bay. And lots of guacamole and totopos. Lots.
Of course, the plan was to relax and so I did not take any photos. Sorry!
We left our little paradise to visit several archaeological sites ─ Cobá, Chichen Itza, and our favorites, Tulum and Muyil. Here is Bud after descending the grand pyramid at Cobá.
We returned home to cold and snow, the memory of our morning walk along the sunny shoreline hard to recall. It was late and we were weary so I prepared a supper of grilled almond butter sandwiches ─ one with jalapeño and banana, the other with McNish’s raspberry jam. And then, happy to be home, we were off to our own bed and dreams of stone pyramids, palm trees and the ever-changing cobalt/emerald/turquoise Caribbean.