A few days in Mérida and the Showcase of Homes
We arrived on Saturday night and Angie learned a new lesson. She always likes to book us near the back of the plane. She has a little anxiety, and being in the back makes her feel a little better. I hate being in the back. I have long legs and being in the back just guarantees me extra time stuck in that cramped seat. But for most flights I just sit where I'm told.
But more importantly, when coming to Mérida, if you are on the back of the plane, you are in the back of the line when going through passport control, which means you'll be in the back of the line for customs.
When I originally started flying direct into Mérida, going through customs seemed like a pretty breezy affair. You push the little button to determine if you are going to be searched or not, and then go on out. But over the years it seems they have started spending a lot more time with each person, really slowing things down. Or maybe I was just always near the front of the plane and never noticed.
When we fly, we each just have a small backpack. We never have checked baggage and we never have roller bags or anything else. We can fit whatever clothes we need and if we need extra or anything special, we'll buy it when we're there. So, if we can get off the plane, breeze through passport checks, we don't need to wait for any luggage and then we can breeze through customs. One of the main reasons we pack so light is for this very reason. Speed through an airport and customs.
Being on the back of the plane? Not so much.
By the time we got through the passport section, everyone had their luggage from the carousel and was lined up (if what had formed could pass for a line) and we were right smack dab in the rear third of it.
About an hour later and we finally made it through everything and Angie learned that maybe when coming into another country, we shouldn't be on the back of the plane if we don't like waiting in lines, and she doesn't like waiting in lines.
Sunday morning, Angie wanted to go walk to our land. I thought it might be a bit too much walking on the same day we were going to the Showcase of Homes, but I was excited to take her by the property, so I agreed.
Then we walked back to our rental house in a roundabout way, looking for a store nearby to stock up on some snacks and refreshments. But with no luck. Most of the small corner shops were closed on Sunday morning.
We stopped in at a small shop for breakfast on Paseo Montejo and I ordered a strawberry smoothie. I even ordered it in Spanish, I was so proud of myself. What I ended up getting was a mango smoothie, and I know I ordered correctly in Spanish and the waiter repeated it back to me. But somewhere it got mixed up. It wasn't worth making a deal out of it so I just drank my now mango smoothie and it was fine.
Back at the rental we cooled off and then Angie wanted to try again to find a small store for some groceries. We walked for a while, but all we found was a corner shop near Santa Lucia where we bought some Cokes and waters. Back at the house I was getting hot, so I drank an entire bottle of Coke. This was another mistake for me on this Sunday. This was going to be my lesson to learn.
We rested for a bit before heading out for the Showcase of Homes. I didn't quite have all the details. I was told we were supposed to pick up our tickets between 11 and noon at Hennessey's. I assumed the walk started at noon. We quickly made our way up there and picked up our tickets around 11:30. Unfortunately, we learned the actual showcase doesn't start until 1. Hennessey's doesn't open until noon, so we weren't sure what to do with our spare time.
Not sure if we should sit on a bench or go back to the house, we decided to walk around until noon, at which point we'd eat lunch.
This... was another mistake. We walked all the way up to the Monumento a la Patria on a humid, 93 degree day. Not inconsequential considering we came down to Mérida from freezing weather and the fact that I have been colossally out of shape recently.
Add in that I wasn't sure if I should dress "nice" for the showcase and I had on jeans. My lord, what a dunce.
When we finally drug ourselves back into Hennessey's I was exhausted and sweaty. Nothing an ice cold beer can't fix! Yeah, I know, another mistake. They're really adding up here and you won't be shocked by the results, I'm sure. Though I did order a water with it, for whatever that's worth.
At 1 p.m., after our lunch, we left Hennessey's and started out on the Showcase of Homes tour. Angie bought a giant bottle of water on the way, I had a tiny bottle. Angie told me to drink more water but I was "fine." I wouldn't rectify this situation until much too late.
I had planned to enjoy the showcase and take photos and have such a good time. But I was exhausted from the start. I took zero photos. And from the third of the six houses on I was merely on a mission to finish. There was no more enjoyment, only a completionists urge.
After the sixth house we made it back to our rental and the prickly heat overtook me. I tried stripping down and jumping in the pool to cool off, but it was no use. In fact it was somehow worse, I was violently itchy all over my body. I climbed out of the pool and ran into the shower to scrub away the sweat that was clinging to my body and making me miserable.
My feet felt like they had been pulverized with a meat tenderizer. According to my iPhone, we had walked 13 miles that day.
So I laid down for a bit in the bed and turned on the TV.
Then my mom messaged me.
My dad collapsed and had to be rushed to the ER. Possibly another seizure, possibly a stroke or worse.
Everything was beginning to spiral into miserable chaos. I checked to see if there was any way to get home on flights the next day, but they were all $3,000.
There was nothing to do. We made plans with a friend to come over and watch our dog for the next few days. Give her shots and pills, since my mom wouldn't be able to do it, not now.
Not much else to do besides message my mom and check on dad's condition, so we went to eat at the place we had planned to eat that night. Catrin, where I had eaten my last time down.
I wasn't particularly hungry, though Angie was and wanted to try new things.
We sat on the patio and shared a couple appetizers and dessert, me still sweating the last few spurts of moisture my body had in me. Texting with my mom constantly.
Angie doesn't eat much, so it was up to me to finish things off. I hate wasting food and certainly didn't want it to appear like we didn't like the food. Also, I can mention I had a beer, instead of water. But at this point I felt like I needed something, anything to take the edge off the situation with my dad. But, again, this was a compounding mistake.
We walked home and I laid down, more stuffed than I wanted to be. It wasn't long before I went to bed, I had a headache and was incredibly tired.
I slept in the other bedroom, since I had been stuffy for a few days and didn't want my potential snoring to keep Angie up. It proved to be fortuitous.
I slept pretty hard until 1 in the morning when I woke up with a terrible stomach ache. Just overeating? Or was something else happening. I spent some time in the bathroom thinking I might vomit, but nothing happened. I went back to bed.
But after a little while laying there it all became inevitable. I spent the rest of the night on the bathroom floor, a towel draped over my head to try and suppress the sounds and not wake Angie.
Was it food poisoning, I wondered. If it was, Angie would have to be sick, too. Since we shared everything we ate except the smoothie and the beers. But come morning, she was fine. So, the only rational explanation, given the amount of walking, heat, sweat and general lack of water that I was drinking, was heat exhaustion and dehydration. Possibly even heat stroke.
Monday I spent the whole day in bed. Drinking water and in and out of sleep. Angie, who is generally not good with directions, braved the streets of Mérida alone and found the supermarket and made her way back. Not without a few texts back to me to verify she was still heading the right direction, of course.
She came back with Gatorade and some food. But there was no eating for me on Monday.
Results came back on my dad that it was a seizure and he would fully recover. So, that was some good news. Also good I didn't buy those $3,000 tickets home, since I never could have traveled on Monday.
I was in bed by 6 and wouldn't wake up again until Tuesday morning.
Tuesday I was feeling better, eating a little bit and we ventured out a few times, though it rained throughout most of the day, which kept us confined to the rental. But even that was enjoyable and relaxing for a moment. Isaac met with us and gave us the paperwork and the keys to the land.
We didn't go visit the land with him because I was still feeling a little weak and when we peered over the wall on Sunday we could see the lot was all overgrown with weeds. There wouldn't be much use trudging into it.
Isaac told us to call him when we come back in January and we'll go out and have a drink together to celebrate when I'm feeling more human.
Let me pause here to say just how much I appreciate Isaac and all the help he provided with making my silly dream come closer to a reality. If you are ever looking to purchase a property and are looking for a friendly, honest, sincere, patient person to work with, and someone who is going to respond to your inquiries promptly, give him a shout at Real Estate Yucatan!
Tuesday night we made our way over to Mercado 60, where Angie has decided she always has to get a pizza every time we come to Mérida. We walked back to the rental, the last couple blocks in a light, refreshing rain.
Wednesday we were up early and to the airport. Angie had found out we could upgrade to first class for $50 a piece and after the few days we had and the long day of travel home that was ahead of us, I was all for it.
I am always sad to leave Mérida, but this one time I was happy to be home. To see my dad again, to be able to take care of our dog and just relax.
We both learned some lessons this trip. Mine a little harder learned. But we still love Mérida.
Only 7 weeks until January! Let's make it a good one!