September 15, 2014

Lonnie, you may now kiss your bride

I checked in at the Now Jade Resort under the name of Mrs. Stacy Martinez.  I checked out of the resort eight days later under the name of Mr. Brook Martinez.  The resort had difficulty distinguishing between my first and middle names; they were not able to spell either correctly; they were confused with my marital status; and they were unable to identify my gender.  However, they had absolutely no problems with my last name.  And that is how I knew I was in Mexico.

Around 35 friends, new and old, gathered in Cancun last week to celebrate the wedding of our friends Lonnie and Nicole.  Nothing could make me happier than a week on the beach with so many of my closest friends (ok, I lie, a UK basketball championship would make me happier).

Checking in at the hotel seemed to take an entire day.  It took me forever to convince the desk clerk that I really didn’t speak Spanish even though my last my last name was Martinez.  He then could not understand why Mr. Brett Clem did not arrive with me.  It was a foreign concept to him that we were not traveling together.  He was even more confused when I told him Mr. Clem was actually Ms. Clem.  But once he comprehended that Brett was a misses, he had to reassign our room from a king bed to two queens.  Apparently single females do not vacation together often.  Ms. Clem said it best after she spent a morning at the pool, "I'm not wearing makeup for the rest of the trip because I have found the only two single people on this resort:  me and you."

Mr. Brett Clem and Mrs. Stacy Martinez
You are not an official couple until you have a couples massage: mission accomplished.

I then complicated matters even more by asking to be upgraded to their “preferred club.”  On paper, upgrading to preferred status meant a large two room suite with a slew of extra amenities.  In real life, some of these extra amenities weren’t so amenical (that’s not a word, but it sounds good).

*access to private lounge and other private areas = access to private lounge (what other areas?)
*jacuzzi on balcony = the water in the jacuzzi was brown (however, this was not noticeable at 3am)
*upgraded mini bar = expired Pringles and stale peanut M&Ms
*pillow menu = ?????
*two 32” LCD televisions = pointless without American ESPN
*complimentary Wi-Fi access in suite = Wi-Fi did not reach our suite
*complimentary bottle of champagne = free bottle of champagne!!!

The Now Jade Resort was an all inclusive resort and sometimes that means smaller portion sizes of food and weak drinks.  Our first meal was at their hibachi restaurant and I was super excited to get edamame… because I can eat edamame like a fat boy eats cake.  Now, I understand that Americans do not understand the concept of portion control, but this was slightly ridiculous.

These four edamame filled up my left toe

Rumor was that the portion sizes were consistently small throughout all the restaurants at the resort… specifically at Capers, which was the Italian restaurant.  Our friends told us, “the food is sooooo good at the Italian restaurant, but you get such small portions, so just order two of everything.”  Unfortunately, I believed them just like I believed twitter that morning when it told me that Betty White had died.  Expecting to get portion sizes similar to my four edamame, myself and three friends proceeded to order the entire menu.  We all ordered a salad (Britt ordered two).  We all ordered a soup.  We all ordered a pasta (Justin ordered two).  We all ordered a main entree.  However, the portion sizes ended up being pretty close to normal.  After inhaling the salad, soup, and pasta, I was uncomfortably full and I was struggling to take normal breaths.

But it wasn’t over.  When our waiter brought out our main entrée of veal ossobuco, our eyes became saucers. It was the largest piece of meat I have ever seen delivered on a plate.  I think God was punishing us… I asked for forgiveness for ordering this much food when there are starving children in Biafra… there was no way I could let this massive hunk of ossobucco go to waste.  It was delizioso and I forced as much as I could into my expanding tummy, but I could no longer breathe.  I needed to be rolled out of the restaurant and put straight to bed.  As for the girls who told us to order two of everything, I now trust them as much as I do a politician.

Veal Ossobuco:  small portions my ass

Day drinking at the pool was just what you would expect from day drinking at the pool.  Britt discovered the #1 margarita (that was perfected by our favorite bartender Calixto).  I fell in love with the Iceberg (poured Corona topped with frozen margarita).  Justin’s role was to order shots of tequila and Jim Beam all week.  Emily and Catherine couldn't drink because they were pregnant (which was a stupid excuse).  Leslie just drank straight from the liquor bottles behind the bar.  And of course there were the tropical fruity drinks garnished with umbrellas and flowers that were consumed by the guys more than the girls (#notmanly).  

Being friends with Justin can be dangerous

Leslie had the right idea.  She is my hero.

I couldn't take a picture without my new best friend: the Iceberg

The two non-drinkers due to their baby bumps

Now day drinking can lead to many memorable events.  For instance, you can get kicked out of the ocean when there is a red flag warning.  Now granted the red flags are there for your safety to prevent this thing called death, but I find it humorous that you can be kicked out of a body of water that occupies two-thirds of our planet’s surface (I had to google that).  Day drinking can also lead to Marcello, the pool guy, pick someone up (not me!) after wiping out down a staircase.  It can lead to serious negotiation with the bartender to go on a wild goose chase throughout the resort to find us Bud Light when the bar ran out.  It even led to a large tip for Marcello when he convinced one of the restaurants to seat us at 4pm for dinner despite their no swimwear and no wet clothes policy… even though our clothes were soaked from our bathing suits and we were still wrapped in beach towels.  But most commonly, day drinking led to late afternoon naps. 

You get kicked out of the ocean when you can't even stand up.

But David Hasselhoff, I mean Justin, was always there to save the day.

After epic days poolside, we would rally.  Well, some nights we rallied.  Other nights, I was in bed by 9pm.  Not to sleep, but to read my book that was absolutely enthralling.  I never said I was a cool kid.  (But if you want a great non-fiction read:  “Five Days at Memorial” documents the life and death decisions made at a hospital in NOLA during Hurricane Katrina.)  

The nights that we did venture out past 9pm didn’t disappoint.  The resort had karaoke one night, and it was as disastrous as karaoke always is.  Nicole, the bride, was in heaven since she is a karaoke junkie… I really wish I had sent her a karaoke machine as her wedding present instead of silverware because she would definitely use the karaoke machine more than forks.  A large group of us took to the stage to serenade the crowd with the University of Kentucky fight song (because of course we did).  Olivia’s surprise lap dance from the DJ was a huge highlight… but Justin won the night with his REO Speedwagon debacle.

Nicole is the karaoke queen

We may not sound good, but at least we look good.

Justin stole the night
(not certain, but this video may not play on mobile devices
so you may have to find a computer to see this piece of gold)

The reason for the season (vacation didn’t rhyme) was to watch our good friends join in holy matrimony.  Despite the scorching hot and humid weather conditions, it was as beautiful as expected.  Thank you Lonnie and Nicole for your friendship.  I was honored to be a part of your special day and am so happy for the two of you.

Girl just wanna have fun... cheesy, but appropriate.

I'm so fancy... you already know

It was such a memorable week, despite the undiagnosed rash that I developed that hasn't changed in two weeks.  So who's volunteering to get married next year for another destination wedding??

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