A little bit ago I was perusing some sun vacation brochures. As I passed the section on Cancun, Mexico I saw a page for a beach front hotel called the Intercontinental Presidente Cancun Resort. Set upon the white sand beach facing the Caribbean Sea it towers above the hotels beside it. This 4-star hotel is where I resided for a wonderful week-long vactation many, many years. However, it is forever known to me as “The Red Beacon In The Sky.” An odd reference for a resort hotel is what you’re thinking! Let me fill you in on how the red light on top of the tower of this resort was a beacon for me and my friend on a night that we have a good chuckle over now and again.
I don’t have a photo of the hotel so this was taken from the Intercontinental Presidente Cancun Resort’s website. Notice the tower section of the resort.
Ah, the excitement of going on vacation! My first trip to Cancun was going to be great! We had been bumped up from a 3-star resort to this 4-star one. I was anticipated relaxing on the beach, playing in the crystal blue waters of the sea and to shaking my booty on the dance floor at all the popular clubs. Trina, my BFF and partner in crime was joining me on this adventure! The great part was that Trina had been to Cancun the year before and knew all the places to go as she had met a local who had shown her and her friend which places were “happening”.
Once we arrived and settled into our hotel we thought we’d look around the area as it was late afternoon and the beach was emptying. We left the hotel to wander around and Trina pointed out a few places of interest. We opted to head to a section on the strip that has several bars and restaurants to have a cooling drink. We had changed some of our money before we left into the local currency to have on hand, the rest we would change the next day, to get the best rate of course. So a drink and then unwinding at the hotel was the plan. Ah…this is the life. Hot balmy weather, a cool refreshing drink and nothing to worry about except how I was going to pass the time on the beach in the upcoming week. A well deserved vacation for the both of us! As we were were taking in the sounds, smells and sites of Cancun I was handed a flyer about a pub crawl happening the next night. I look over at Trina who is laughing and engaged in a conversation with the young man who is handing out the flyers. She introduces me to Macco…the local she met the year before. What are the chances??? She never had any contact with him since she was last in Cancun (this was before Facebook or Twitter). It ends up that Macco was in the employ of the company organizing the pub crawl. He asks us if we want to attend and we bought our tickets right then and there. After a bit more conversation and meeting a couple of Macco’s co-workers we decide to join them later on in the evening to go to La Boom Night Club – he tells us that he can get us in for free. Wohoo!!
Since nothing really happens until about 11pm we head back to the hotel and get ready. I decided to wear my new sundress and fun new sandals. A great start to a great vacation. Dancing tonight, beach and pub crawl tomorrow and then a day at Xel-Ha after that. This vacation was off to a great start!
We meet Macco and his 2 friends and they hire a cab. The five of us pile into a the small taxi and head over to the club. As we are zipping along Kukulcan Boulevard, Macco turns to Trina with a cheeky smile, “Trina would you be able to pay for the taxi? We can pay you back once we are inside. One of our friends there will give you the money.” Trina looks to me and says “I only have a few pesos. You?” I do have a few left so we pool our resources to just cover the fare. No biggie. As promised, Macco gets us into La Boom for free but disappears after that. We didn’t see him or his friends again all night. Somewhat odd but whatever – we were there to have fun so we headed to the dancefloor.
About 2am we were both tired with aching feet. Heading outside we quickly learn that the buses stopped running at 1pm. We were stranded!! What were a couple of young girls to do? No buses, no cab fare and only our feet to get us anywhere. So that what we did – we hoofed it. “It can’t be that far right?” I wonder aloud. Never ask that question when you’re wearing new shoes!! Trina looks in the direction of our hotel and points out a red light high atop a building. “There it is!”, she exclaims. “That red beacon in the sky is our hotel.” ” The red beacon in the sky!” I repeat, “Okay, let’s go.”
Tired, hot & with blistery feet, our conversations went something along these lines:
Me: “Ugh, my feet hurt. I think my blister’s have blisters. Are we there yet?”
Trina: “Well take your sandals off and walk on the grass. Keep looking to the red beacon in the sky!”
Me: “Ooohh…good idea. Ah…that grass feels so good.”
Trina: “Watch out for dog pooh.”
Me: “Oh ya had to say that didn’t cha?! Ugh…I want to be sleeping in my comfy bed. Are we there yet? Onward to the red beacon in the sky.” (Well maybe I wasn’t so cheery but I don’t think I should be using colourful language here. Though we did have a giggle or two on the way about our predicament.)
As we walk along the sidewalk (the grass in my case), numerous taxi’s would slow down and ask us if we need a ride. Our standard reply was “No tengo dinero” (translated: “We have no money”). Cabbie after cabbie asks us and over and over we rattle off our reply. Then one cabbie tried a bit harder:
Trina: “No tengo dinero.”
Cabbie: “Oh no problemo. You can pay me in your room.”
Trina & Eeva: “WHAT?? NOOOOOO!! GO AWAY!” and we stood there for a few moments, rather shocked as the cabbie drove away.
Eeva: “Can you believe that?? So do you think he actually meant “in our rooms” or that we pay him at the hotel, ya know run up to the room to get money?”
Trina: “Hmmm…well even if he did, we wouldn’t of been able to anyways…no tengo dinero at the hotel either. Let’s keep walking. The red beacon in the sky is getting closer.”
Eeva: “The red beacon in the sky.”
I have no recollection of what time we arrived at our hotel or how long it took. It might of been 45 minutes later or 2 hours. All I know is my feet hurt and we were propositioned by a cabbie (well maybe not?? Ya know the language barrier and all). But looking back Trina and I shared some good giggles over it all. Now, that’s the best way to remember those minor travel mishaps. OH! And I have also learned to NEVER wear new shoes out dancing. Or to walk back to your hotel in them cause you didn’t change enough money to the local currency. Here’s to The Red Beacon In The Sky!!
Trina in Cancun! Heading out to the pub crawl, which we did have fun at the next night. And we never did get the cab fare back from Macco.
The crowd from “The Ultimate Pub Crawl”. We’re somewhere in the back.