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Club Med Aventure

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Club Med Aventure

We just got back from Club Med in Ixtapa, Mexico.  I called it our honeymoon. Justine calls it a vacation. Technically, our "honeymoon" was an overnight trip to Sonoma, which was cut short because we (I) couldn't be away from our son.  This time we took Holden, who fell in love for the first time with a pretty Island girl.

Club Med is pretty fucking goofy.  When you show up they have all the staff (and some dude in a hot sweaty lion costume who must be sweating balls in the Mexican heat) line up for the bus doing this clapping cheer, and they have trays of lemonade and chocolate-covered strawberries.  The bus ride to get to the resort cuts through Zihuatenejo, which I think is the town where Andy Dufresne flees when he busts out of Shawshank, and it's sort of depressing, with tin shacks carved into the dense vegetation teetering on hillsides and hand-painted auto shop signs, but then you climb the mountain and come out clean on the other side, and there's the beach and island and bright blue Pacific.  And a dancing lion.

The big selling point is "kid-friendly."  And there were a lot of families.  They have this thing called Baby Club Med, which is where you drop off your kid for the day (and where Holden met the lovely Carol), and then you go around and do various...activities.

Justine loves activities.  Joe hates activities.  But Justine loves them.  So she got to swing on a trapeze and we played tennis and rowed kayaks, and Holden got to enjoy his first summer fling, and a good time was had by all.

Some of the highlights:

  • Every day at noon, the staff lines up around the pool and the director (I'm assuming she's the director, unless she's just an over enthusiastic guest) leads a line dance.  There's a lot of hopping to the side and pretending to be a train or something.  I, of course, did not partake in said dance, but sometimes Justine did, and it seemed to make her happy. Although not as happy as when the staff came out dressed like various superheroes to get pelted (as they stood on a boat in the pool) with water balloons by little kids.  (One of the "superheroes" was Rocky, which obviously I thought was funny).

  • Baby Club Med.  I love the little guy, but two whole days where we could drop Holden off, check up on him when we missed him (which was invariably on the hour), and spend time with just my wife doing...stuff?  Pretty fucking awesome.  

  • Food.  For eight months I have been on a regimented, strict diet, cutting out virtually all carbs, and eating enough salad to choke a goat.  But my trainer Adam said I had to break up my metabolism, so for three days I got to eat like the rest of you people, with (homemade) tortillas and crepes and ice cream.  Pretty fucking sweet.

The only downside, the trip was short, and soon it was time to drive back.

My friend down in Miami, Sean, he's an author too.  And when I get something published, he'll send out a tweet (because he has a shit load of Twitter followers), and it'll say something like "Check out this short story from my buddy, Joe, the most dangerous writer in America."  Which I like, having a handle and all. 


Driving back through Zihuatenejo on our way to the airport after four days of goofy dancing and pretending to be a choo-choo train, I looked out the window at the wretched poverty of people whose best hope of going to Club Med was to a land a job there, and by the looks of most of them, that wasn't happening anytime soon. Drunkards sat at outside bars and mechanics fixed carburetors, and there was a hotel that no tourist was staying in, the sort of flophouse that only houses Americans on the run.  I knew what the inside looked like, because I used to live in those hotels. Mexico.  Sixth Street.  No difference.  As we road in the bus, a truckload of Federalis, M-16s cocked and at the ready, drove alongside us as we cut through jungle foliage, and for a moment, it was easy to pretend that I was in a hotspot, a Hemingway in a troubled time, a "dangerous" writer.  Then Holden squawked and snapped me out of my fantasy, and I realized I was just another guy with a bloated belly, leaving Club Med and going back to a pretty cushy life.  No revolution.  No safari.  The only lion, a local in a hot, sweaty costume, waving fifteen miles behind me, welcoming a new busload of families for a week of tennis and champagne fountains and silly dance moves.  


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