While I had a wonderful vacation in Mazatlan, there's no place like home. Everytime I embark on vacation I always have some wonderful adventure, but I've never found a place I would rather call home.
Other than a brief encounter with mosquitoes and jelly fish our trip was perfect. There's nothing like Mexico for gorgeous beaches with warm water at an affordable price. While the price to vacation in Mexico keeps going up, it's still doable for middle income families.
The view from our room at El Cid Marina was breathtaking. It made us feel like we were in paradise. The food was delicious and our boys couldn't get enough of the resort's pools. They must of jumped off the manmade cliffs a thousand times over the seven days we spent at the resort. I jumped twice just to prove that I could and that I'm still a hip mom. None of us could get enough of boogie boarding in the warm water.
Off the resort, it took us only a few minutes to figure out that we weren't in paradise. Our first night there we hopped on to one of their open-air taxis. They look like golf carts and have volkswagon engines. The trip started out something like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride at Disneyland, fun and yet a bit scary. After a few minutes, we realized there were no seatbelts and we weren't sure there were any traffic laws. While there were lanes clearly marked on the narrow streets, our driver often drove smack down the middle of them. But it was okay because once we had inhaled enough of the smoke from the emissions that we didn't seem to mind as much.
Our trip to the Mega, which is a giant grocery store for me was a completely out of body experience. I'm not sure if it was because of all the fumes I had inhaled, the cultural shock or both. While the bakery was phenomenal, all of the goods were out in the open where anyone could sneeze on them. The same was true for the meat department. I just found myself wandering around with my mouth open..sorry that I hadn't brought my camera along. Plus, I couldn't figure out why all the food handlers were wearing nets and gloves when all the food was out in the open. But even the Mega, didn't compare with the open air market where whole pig heads were also on display.
The other thing that caught me off guard were security officers with big automatic weapons attached to their sides. I ran into one on an early morning walk and the thought did flash across my mind what if he stops me and asked me questions? I can only speak about a dozen words in Spanish none of them would've helped me in that situation.
While I've been to Mexico a couple of other times, the other thing that still catches me off guard is the fluid price for everything. I've found that not only am I uncomfortable negotiating a price, I'm just downright bad at it. Even though the vendors say everything on the beach is "almost free," it's only "almost free" if you're a good negotiator. The good news is that you never have to look for a salesperson to help you. There's always one nearby. Plus, the Mexicans can't be beat for customer service. We always had two baggers at the grocery store and two waiters helping us at the restaurants. We could learn a lot from them about customer service.