We head back to our room, the heat bearing down in the late afternoon sun. The noise and commotion produces quite a racket as we traipse through the pool areas, filled with fat Americans browning themselves in the hot sun in their sausage casing swimsuits. They look up with angry stares, half-expecting an unsuspecting staff member whom they can properly chastise. But seeing that we’re fellow vacationers, they harrumph quietly and roll over like disgruntled walrus.
We quickly shower and change to meet our group for dinner. The meal is a complete gamble, as it was selected by other members of our group who have been to this resort and restaurant before. A Mexican restaurant usually spells trouble for my husband the fussy eater. But being the good sport that he is, he luckily finds something to eat on the menu.
Dinner service begins with table-side preparation of guacamole. The presentation is lovely but unfortunately most of our group misses out on it, distracted in side conversations. The server asks me what components we would like, so I choose from a series of small bowls of ingredients. I opt for all but the tomatoes, remembering a friend who lived in Mexico for a time telling me that tomatoes don’t belong in proper guacamole.
By the time he’s finished making one dish, and placed it on the table, the group has begun to take notice. Fortunately, due to the size of our group, he has to make a second bowl, and does so with the full attention of the ten guests. He fills a small ladle with tequila and swirls it gently over a flaming Sterno, the alcohol burning off with an impressive cackling sounds. Of course, the result is absolutely delicious and is nearly totally devoured by the time the appetizers arrive.
The appetizers are platters of fresh tacos, which lack cheese and are therefore palatable to my husband. He eats a few, actually enjoying them. We then proceeded through another five courses until finally they bring out a large chocolate cake for dessert with a single lit candle, scrolled with the word: “Congratulations!”
By then it was nearly 10:00. The long day and the alcohol were starting to catch up to me. The group ignores my suggestion to call it a night, insisting we stay for something called “Mexican Coffee.” While I’m certain it is not the way the actual Mexicans drink it, it is instead a clever way to entertain gringos for a bit, while filling them with yet more alcohol.
The process involves an elaborate floor show where sugar is burn to rims of glasses, then even more alcohol is set on fire, poured from glass to glass and topped with whipped cream. Everyone is given sticky glasses of heavily labored liquid that would be simply rude not to drink considering all the poor guy’s efforts. Fortunately, I waved off my portion at the beginning and wasn’t included in the syrupy endeavor. I instead gulped down as much water and tried not to think about the early tee time the next morning.