For my 22nd birthday, like many others throughout my life, I was away on a trip. This time with my dad to Mexico!
Me and my dad had been talking about going to Mexico for years and years. He had spent a lot of time there before me and my brother were born, and then he took my bro when he was about 16. So I had always felt like Mexico was kind of part of him and one day he needed to show it to me.
Anyway, for my 22nd birthday, we went! We didn’t have the first week booked – just a flight and a car hire, and once we got there – we drove around finding places we wanted to go and stay.
We stayed in some beautiful places, some strange places, some comfy places, and then… we went to the one place that we HAD booked in advance, the place we wanted to stay over my birthday, and for the rest of our trip. An Echo, tree house, resort.
We got to the “resort”, after a few day’s of beautiful beach time, and a day of city life, the day before my birthday. When we first pulled up, my stomach sunk a little. It wasn’t quite how it looked in the pictures! I saw all these bugs flying around, I saw the tree house cabin type things that didn’t seem to have doors, so I knew, just knew, that there would be crazy spiders inside.There was also No one else staying in the place, and a bunch of work being done on one side – so construction workers roamed around.
Now, look, I am not at all one of those girls that has to stay in 5 star hotels… I’m pretty good with Nature. I grew up camping, I have slept on beaches, I go to festivals and not wash my hair for 2 weeks (OK, maybe that’s not true, I do hate my hair being dirty, if there wasn’t a shower I would always just wash my hair under the tap in cold water if I had to) but you get the point, I’m not scared to rough it a bit. And I knew the place we were going in advance, I knew it was cabins, I knew it wasn’t a hotel… But when we pulled up, I just had a feeling.. a feeling like this wasn’t the place to spend my birthday (plus, the pictures on their website looked NOTHING like the actual place)
So me and my dad went in, we checked in. At check in, when we had to pay for whatever nights we were staying, the girl gave us an option, she said do you want to just pay for one night and then tomorrow let us know about the rest of the week, or do you want to just pay it all now. I looked at my dad, I knew I wanted to just test it out, I had this gut feeling that we needed to see how it went, and I said
“Why don’t we do that? Lets see tomorrow”
He didn’t think so though! So he paid, and we went to our cabin/tree house/hut, thing, not sure what to call it……..
During that night, I got bitten 10 times. I had some how, miraculously, managed our entire week so far without getting any mosquito bites (which for me is a HUGE accomplishment as I get bitten all the time) So when I woke up on my birthday, with bites on my face, arms, and legs, I wasn’t too happy. But decided to not let it bother me. My dad was achy from the bed – which was a wooden bunk bed made in the hut, with an extremely thing mattress on, and over all, it just wasn’t the best way to wake up.
We started the day with a walk up a Mayan pyramid. At the top I called my mum, and husband, had my birthday chats, and then me and my dad sat, looking out over the amazing Mexican landscape.
We talked about what we wanted to do that day, and what we should do about where we were staying.
Before we had gone to tree house village, we had been staying in this lovely little room in the town center in Valladolid. It was a really basic motel, type place, and only cost about $10 a night for the both of us, but, after one night in the hut, looking back on it, felt like it had been a palace. And it felt like home. We both decided we would like to go back and stay there for another few nights. We talked about the fact that my dad had already paid for the rest of the week, and how we may not be able to get all the money back.
We came to the decision, that whatever money they would let us have back, that would be when we’d leave. So we may have to stay there another night or 2, but if they wouldn’t give us Any money back at all, we would just leave right away and just have to lose the money – that’s how much we wanted to move. It wasn’t just that we were getting bitten, and that it wasn’t comfy beds. It was also just nothing like we had expected it to be. It was empty. There was no food places close by – It was quite a drive into town, and over all, just wasn’t what we wanted for our trip together.
So, after a nice morning of looking out off the top of an amazing pyramid, and walking through this tiny, village meeting an amazing, loving family, who made hammocks (and even the little daughters who must have only been 8 or 9 were making mini hammock for fruit, or, like I thought at first, for dolls!) and being shown around their house, learning how they make corn tortilla’s, and ordering a hammock off them that we could pick up later in the week. We headed back to our hut.
Before going to the front desk to speak with them about when we could leave, we decided to go back and get the things we needed to go into town for the afternoon.
As we walked up to the door of the hut, everything happened extremely quickly, I remember walking to the door, feeling something fly into my face, then my arm, then my hand, quick stabbing sharp pains, then an ache. Then flew around as my dad let out a scream grabbing his eye.
I had no idea what it was but something huge had just stung us both..
I grabbed my face, he grabbed his face. I think we were both in shock, and we ran to the bathroom. We looked in the mirror at the stings, my dad’s eye began to redden, my cheek began to swell.
We checked out our stings, splashed water on them, my dad checking my swollen face, as his eye puffed up, and we headed to reception. Everything was kind of happening in a blur (For him,a literal blur as he couldn’t see out one eye – for me, a shocked, in pain, kind of blur!)
We told the girl working what happened and she sent out some of the workers to look at what was around our hut.
My dad got out his remedy kit and creams, we took some rescue remedy, put some sting cream on my face and arm, and sat at a table in the reception. They brought us a cup of tea, and… basically we just sat in shock, and pain for a while, waiting to hear what had just attacked our faces!
There was a nest of hornets just above the door to our tree house hut. Angry, mean hornets!
We were asked if we wanted to move to a different hut. We said no, we wanted to leave.
We got all our money back for the rest of the week, managed to get into the hut to pack up all our stuff, wrote a note in the visitors book, and headed on our way.
Those hornet stings were painful, we both had pain the rest of the day, we were swollen, red and sore. But we got out of there with all our money, and headed back to our little home in Vallodolid, and got our room back, and then it was real birthday time!
We went to our favourite restaurant for dinner, where we stayed all evening listening to music, and talking with the locals, having a drink with a guy who sells stones and jewelry in the town center, getting a free birthday cake from the restaurant, had the Mexican band sing me happy birthday, and talked with the owner of the restaurant who had (somehow, I still don’t know how) found out I act and asked me to send him a poster of one of my movies! (Actually – never did that! Oops) and had a really nice night.
We decided to thank those hornets for answering our questions about if we should stay or leave. They knew the answer and maybe we needed to get a sting to kick us into gear!
The rest of our week was great, we were more settled in being in Mexico after that experience, we stayed in Vallodolid a few day’s, got my hammock from the lovely Mayan family, then headed back down to the coast where we stayed for our last few nights right on the beach. There, we met a Brazilian family, watched a huge sea turtle give birth, and teach its baby’s to walk into the water in the full moon,light. And then, on our final day, we packed up, ready to leave, and as we went to say goodbye to our new friends,…. I fainted! (which led on to a journey home of deathly high fevers and months of being sick and fainting – never really found out why, but was definitely an interesting end to our Mexican adventure – maybe something to do with those hornet stings – who knows!)
Even with bad huts, Bites, Stings and fainting – Mexico Birthday trip, was a Great trip with my daddy – and I’ll always have the memory of, the sting of turning 22!