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Old 01-08-2005   #1 (permalink)
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Topless by the pool, a photo essay.

Playa is as many of you already know, my favorite vacation location. It is not just because you can “waste” your entire vacation being topless by the pool; or use the time fruitfully by checking out what you can see, topless by the pool. I love the location because, if you dare to venture beyond the barbwire fence of your favorite AI, there is an amazing world out there just waiting for you to immerse yourself in it. In this photo essay I will show you a small sample of what you could see, if only you could manage to tear yourself away from that poolside vantage point.

For those of you that want to, and for those of you that never will. Here is a photo essay of a journey across Yucatan with some Playa fun thrown in for good measure.

Topless by the pool, a photo essay (our journey across the Yucatan).


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Old 01-08-2005   #2 (permalink)
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And so it begins!

YES!
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Old 01-08-2005   #3 (permalink)
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After a full year of anticipation and a few weeks of packing and preparation (including one recon visit two weeks earlier). I finally arrange a few thousand dollars of electronics into a carry-on, along with some clothes. And we are ready to leave. (The checked bags are full with even more computer equipment, presents for friends and relatives, and stuff for the house including a webcam and remote weather station).

It takes about 6 hours flying time to get to Playa from CA. We are booked on the overnight flight, which for me is the best way to make this journey.

Talisa brings her favorite flamingo pillow from home, and I use one of those inflatable neck brace type pillows. Ear plugs and eye-shades block out the world and I sleep well.

After sleeping from SFO to Miami, we finally get to see the departure sign we where looking for.

(For those of you that were curious to know what an unretouched photo from a Treo 600 cell phone looks like. Now you know.)

We arrive in Cancun. As usual, and as the customs people who read my posts already know, I manage the light. And I am pretty confident that I will usually get a green.

After the green light we cruise out of the customs hall with our six check-in bags and our three oversize carry-ons. We are on our way to Playa.

Not so fast…………..

just as we step through the sliding glass doors and exit the customs hall, we are surrounded by a dozen customs agents. BUSTED!!!!!
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Old 01-08-2005   #4 (permalink)
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Aanndd?????
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Old 01-08-2005   #5 (permalink)
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Here we go!!

I guess we'll be in for the long haul on this one!

Michael - if you don't finish your tome this weekend, I'll never get any work done next week as I'll be constantly checking for the next installment. Ah well - however you do it, I know it will be worthwhile reading and I am looking forward to ALL of it.
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Old 01-08-2005   #6 (permalink)
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Aanndd?????
Michael sometimes encounters attention difficulties
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Old 01-08-2005   #7 (permalink)
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Michael sometimes encounters attention difficulties

That's pretty good!
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Old 01-08-2005   #8 (permalink)
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Here we go again...reportus interruptus. It's a damned good thing I like you, Michael, or I'd have you killed. As a matter of fact, I may anyway, I think Rosa would look great in black.
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Old 01-09-2005   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by sctx
Michael sometimes encounters attention difficulties
Not on his trip reports: he gets all the attention!
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Old 01-09-2005   #10 (permalink)
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( insert drumroll please...... )
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Old 01-09-2005   #11 (permalink)
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Too Much Underwear!!!!

“Excuse me sir we have to check your luggage for customs purposes.” Very politely we were escorted to a special inspection area outside of the baggage claim area and the inspection process was started. Rose used the “in your face” tactic of pronouncing clearly to everyone, that we have nothing to hide and that customs was simply wasting our time. I also complained in English about the loss of our vacation time and found the best place to sleep standing up (against a pile of confiscated tires).

I have pointed out to others that have asked, customs agents in Mexico get hung up on multiple items. We know the rules. 5 DVDs, 12 rolls of film etc etc. $300 US in goods per person. Three people is $900 US that is duty free. Rose kept bombarding the customs agents with how can we be over the $900 USD limit? She pushed hard, I tried to manage a snore. I had a weather station ($150 from Fry’s). I had a PC. In fact I had three PCs. But we are allowed one per passenger. If you bring a laptop that is not included as part of your $300. Customs did not even take a close look at the web cam. I thought the weather station was going to be hard to explain; no interest from customs.

Finally the customs agents found something they did not like. We had too much underwear!!!! As I’ve told other travelers that have inquired with me about pushing the limits. It is multiple items that get the customs people excited. They are on the look out for people bringing in items for resale. And despite the vigilance over multiple items, there is not official limit for the amount of underwear that you bring with you. At this point I wanted to chime in with a few choice comments about how much clean underwear the customs agents travel with. But Rose shut me down, and of-course any lip from me was not going to help us.

Admittedly we had more underwear than we needed, Rose freely admitted some of it was for Christmas gifts. I’m not talking about a case full of underwear, just two or three of twelve packs for brothers and sisters.

Finally Rose brow beat the customs agents and they decided to let us go, without even opening all of our luggage.

As I dashed over to the parking lot to get our truck, another group of people with ID and clip boards surrounded Rose………………..
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Old 01-09-2005   #12 (permalink)
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Is ther any chance that we are going to get out of the airport today Michael?? Ill have to remember that underwear tip.
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Old 01-09-2005   #13 (permalink)
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Get ready for the first batch of pics.

Apparently the hotel owners association (or some such organization) has their own group; ready to file complaints against customs. They asked Rose was she mistreated in any way. They pointed out to her, that as we got a green light, customs was not allowed to search your luggage. Do you want to file a complaint? they asked.

We don’t like the litigious side of living in the US, Rose decided a complaint was not warranted. The customs agents only took about 20 minutes of our time, and gave up easily. Rose gave them a break, perhaps next time we’ll go head to head and file a complaint against customs; but not this day.

I have not forgotten that I had promised a photo essay. I’ll get back to the story after I upload the first group of pictures (and Maps).

I’ll try to get you all the way to Merida before Monday morning.
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Old 01-09-2005   #14 (permalink)
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Oh Lordy

I planned to finnish getting all our stuff ready for packing for PdC today,before the work week-hah-won't get a damned thing done now!:p Thanks Michael.
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Old 01-09-2005   #15 (permalink)
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Michael, you make me smile and laugh one moment and curse you after you just drop off!!!! and you are not even out of the parking lot!
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