When planning vacations, I do not take into consideration the possibility of torrential rain or unforeseeable weather conditions that would stop regular activities for more than an hour or two. While most of my tropical vacations have been during the “rainy” season, I usually have had pretty good luck from Mother Nature. A few times I have experienced the afternoon thundershowers and random short downpours. I view those as perfect for an afternoon nap, some quiet downtime, or even a swim in the rain. A couple of years back, while visiting the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, that all changed. My family and I experienced some crazy weather and received a quick education on what a Tropical Depression really means.
The afternoon before the “storm” began with dark skies and scattered showers. That was nothing we couldn’t handle. We went to bed naive of the storm warnings and awoke totally shocked to a flooded bedroom, over flowing pool, and unimaginable amounts of water falling from the sky. After a couple of hours of board games, eating, and jumping on furniture, it was time for the family to make an escape. We needed to get out. I searched the web and came up with a few ideas of what to do with 4 kids, in a foreign county, in torrential downpour. We came across the ideas of shopping, museums (not in the right place for that), and bar hopping. We decided on shopping…
We took one of the scariest taxi rides of our life. We were literally racing through what seemed like rushing rivers of water to finally arrive at the mall of Playa del Carmen. Let’s just say that calling it a mall was a bit of a stretch. It was an experience that lasted all of about 30 minutes. The “mall” was somewhat of a flea market. It was filled with pharmacies, souvenier shops, portable carts, and anchored by a store that remided me of the childhood memory of FEDCO (a 1970′s California discount store). Oh, there was a movie theater, but watching a movie in Spanish wasn’t going to fly with the kids (or grownups). Needless to say, things were decling rapidly and I needed to act quickly. I remembered one thing that stood out during my searching the web of things to do…bar hopping. Surely, not what I had envisioned during a family trip, but at that point we were game for anything.
Off we set to 5th Avenue for a search for the best margaritas and chicken wings in town. We had the kids in tow and were thankful for the fact that World Cup Soccer was on at every bar in town. The crowds were huge and loud. At least no one would take notice of our obnoxious and under stimulated children. We spent the next several hours and the better part of the next day bar hopping. The kids drank more sugar than they have ever possibly ingested in a 2 day window, made new friends, ate some fabulous chicken wings, and rode out the storm. It was a great time had by all. Salud!