On the beach: Doing almost nothing (and loving it) | AspenTimes.com

On the beach: Doing almost nothing (and loving it)

CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico – My offseason trip to the beach is starting to fade into the recesses of my mind after a return to the unreal world. Nevertheless, when work hits a fever pitch, I like to conjure up images of doing nothing but sitting under a palapa and drinking a few beers and an occasional pina colada.

My family went to Cabo San Lucas the third week of May to celebrate my daughter’s graduation from Basalt High School and the 25th wedding anniversary for my wife and me.

It was a stretch going to Mexico on vacation. We are painting our house this spring and hoarding our dollars for college. Fortunately, we bought our airline tickets in January, so I didn’t have a chance to back out. I did, however, depart with buyer’s remorse. My wife ordered me to knock it off and enjoy myself. Besides, we had a sweet deal on a condo.

In an effort to control our spending, we took advantage of our full kitchen. We wanted to buy local, so we visited the only full grocery store nearby. It was a thriving market last time we visited, 10 years ago. Now it’s withering on the vine. The produce was beyond pathetic. We yielded to everyone’s advice and took the short bus trip to Wal-Mart, where we discovered an unbelievable produce section and an incredibly friendly staff.

In an effort to help the small merchants prosper, I decided to buy all my beer from convenience stores rather than Wal-Mart. That alone probably boosted the sales tax revenues for May by half of a percentage point.

As for vacation activities, I’ll admit it: I was a slug. Well, a partial slug. I got up every morning at 6, staked a claim to a palapa, then took a long walk on the beach before the vendors descended like flies on a hog-confinement building and the motorcraft prowling the water of the Sea of Cortez.

I once considered renting a sea kayak and paddling to Land’s End, but a mammoth cruise ship came and blocked the way. The shuttle boats caused too much commotion, I told myself while staring out from my beach chair.

I tried not to overeat or overindulge. I remembered returning from Playa del Carmen five years ago and spending a month trying to catch up to my cycling buddies. This dry spring has given everyone more time in the saddle, so I didn’t want to lose that advantage.

All in all, it was one of our most relaxing vacations ever.


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