That was a much-needed break. I had a good time. Today is my last vacation day. The vacation from the vacation buffer before returning to work. I was totally unplugged for a full week. I didn’t check email. I didn’t glance at the internet. The only chats I participated in were among friends and family on the beach and in the sun.
I managed to get my fair share of lobster-finish in some spots, but for the most part everything is fading to a pretty decently freckled tan. Here’s some highlights from the trip:
- My take on the Club Med experience: Fun and relaxing, but a little bit like summer camp for grown-ups.
- Asian food night was great. Sushi buffet. All you can eat. Oh yes.
- The food in general was great. All you can eat buffet. All you can drink bar. Oh yes.
- Curt and I spotted a small sea turtle missing his front left flipper, swimming around the front of the pier that was sticking out from our beach. We chased him around for a full 15 minutes or so, trying to play tag with him. I came within about a foot a few times before the little guy jetted off like a rocket.
- Clear waters and lots of starfish.
- While Kristin and I were floating around in the ocean on the afternoon of the first full day, she noticed a large metal nut on the ocean floor and said, “I think I see somebody’s wedding band.” I laughed, said, “No, it’s just one of those nuts from the pier…” and then I glanced at my ring finger. No band. This was followed by about 30 minutes of carefully looking around the ocean floor with my goggles on, praying that I would spot the ring. Fortunately, while I was doing this, all the people near the pool were looking as well, as we had played water volleyball earlier. Someone found the ring sitting to the side of the pool. Note to self: putting large amounts of sun tan lotion on and jumping around in the water makes your wedding band much too lose. For the rest of the trip, my band stayed locked in the room safe.
- At the beginning of the second full day, I felt like hell. Sunburnt and developing some slight cold. I think I wasn’t drinking enough water during the first days and had become slightly dehydrated. I took this day off, staying out of the sun, listening to my iPod, and drinking lots of water.
- We went snorkeling several times. I went three. Kristin went two of those three. On the first trip, she spotted a barracuda just as she was getting back to the boat. She didn’t last long on the second trip before deciding to go back, which was probably for the best as I saw a small reef shark during that swim. On the third trip, there were tons of fish and we spotted a lobster in a little cave in the reef. By the third trip, I had purchased an underwater camera, so hopefully I will have some nice shots of some fish and a lobster once the film is developed.
- Some bastards bombed London and I had no means of contacting Jason and Maria Jose for the rest of the trip, so I was worried. When I was in London in ’93, the IRA was still actively bombing, so I immediately thought IRA when I heard about this, but it looks like it’s more A.Q. activity from all the early reports. Bastards. Fortunately, an email from Jason was awaiting me when I returned yesterday and they are both well.
- One thing about the adult day-camp: whoever started that company is a genius. They pay the G.O.s near nothing, but supply them with food and board. The G.O.s have a good amount of fun alongside their work. Lots of young people “working Club Med” for a few years before going live with their lives. A few older people working there taking a break from their life, or working in an exotic retirement they can afford.
If I ever go broke and have to declare bankruptcy, I think Kristin and I will go work at Club Med. It’ll be our last resort… Get it? Last resort.
So, it was fun. It was sun. Today, I am holed up in the air-conditioned shade of my apartment. We may go see The Fantastic Four later. Tomorrow: work. Ugh.
I just got back from vacation to Club Med. If you’ve never been to Club Med, but you’re planning on going, here are some tips for “hacking” the vacation.
1. Use your business card to keep the AC running in the late afternoon. The room’s electricity is run via a card slot that accepts the plastic card to which your room key is attached. Fortunately, there is nothing fancy about this card. All you need is a card of the same size to make the room’s electricity (and if it has it, AC) work. Standard-sized business cards will suffice. Don’t leave it in all day as you don’t want to be wasteful, and you don’t want the maid to catch you in your room hacking. Just come back to the room sometime in the afternoon, post maid visit, and stick the card in the slot. A nicely cooled air-conditioned room will await your return in the late evening.
2. Tip the maid. You’re not supposed to tip anyone at Club Med. Nevertheless, tip the maid. She will turn a blind eye to that business card in the slot if you do.
3. Buy the G.O.s drinks. You’re not supposed to tip anyone at Club Med. You have all inclusive access to the bar. The G.O.s do not (unless they are bartender G.O.s). “Buy” them drinks. They will turn a blind eye to your drinks in the pool if you buy them drinks at night at the bar.
4. Get extra towels by going snorkeling. If you are visiting a Club Med with snorkeling, show up for snorkeling without your towel. When a G.O. comes nearby and it is close to launch time, exclaim, “Crap, I forgot my towel!” Chances are, especially if you followed rule number 3, the G.O. will give you a towel. When you are done snorkeling take the towel to the towel booth and get a replacement towel or a towel card.
I think that’s it. If I think of more later, I’ll add them here.