Cozumel, Mexico. Home of amazing food, great people, severe rain storms and three completely lost America citizens, with that winning combination, what could possibly go wrong? I’ve never been a huge fan of boats. I’ve always believed anything you can learn on water, you can learn much better on land. However the summer before I went into my junior year of high school my travel loving mother convinced me otherwise. The two of us embarked on an adventure of sorts to Cozumel, Mexico with two of our friends Rachel Cole and Candace Watkins.
The day of our trip I lugged my ridiculously heavy bag to the car at an ungodly hour of the morning. My mother was cheery while I mumbled about how nothing in the world should start before the sun comes up. We went to pick up Rachel and Candace and started our adventure. The plane ride to Florida wasn’t bad, however the turbulence and drunken sounding pilot wasn’t a highlight. As soon as we stepped foot onto the Carnival Cruise Ship that was sailing us to our wonderful paradise, I found out exactly how interesting these five days and four nights were going to be.
Being on a cruise with five hundred other people was an amazing experience. From enjoying the teen club O2 to laughing at those that decided to do things that would warrant an America’s Funniest Video episode, fun was wherever I went. The real adventure started when the boat finally arrived in Cozumel. Unfortunately, for our happy party of four only three of us actually were able to voyage onto land. Rachel Cole picked up a virus and was quarantined to the boat! So we had to leave her behind. We thought about sneaking her out but when the cruise line doctor told her that if she tried to leave the boat they’d arrest her, well, we thought better of it.
When we sauntered off the boat we were surrounded by the sights and sounds of Mexican culture. We tried to walk with the throng of other tourists but with so many stands and people, yelling at us to buy their items, it wasn’t what we expected. Our trio headed down a side alley and promptly became lost in the twists and turns of the little streets. Finally we wandered down an alley only to discover an array of little shops and restaurants where we enjoyed the hottest burritos we had ever tasted, and cups of lemonade bigger than our faces. In the middle of our amazing tirade of food it started to pour down raining which drove us to eat faster and stalled our sightseeing. Once the rain stopped we continued on our excursion and stumbled across a quaint store filled with everything from clay pots to wooden fans. My mother bought a rain stick, which she would later have to sneak through customs. I bought fans and trinkets for my friends, while Candace bought a series of plates and decorated mugs. Our challenge was hauling all our gifts back to the boat.
As we approached the boat from our twenty four block journey we took pictures of the setting sun over the beautiful ocean. The last day on the boat, heading back to Florida, was filled with buffets, dance competitions and sad goodbyes to the friends made on my sea- faring adventure. The truth is I’ll always remember that traveling isn’t about how far you go or how long you’re gone, but about how much fun you had and the memories that last forever.
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