But friendship is the breathing rose, with sweets in every fold. -Oliver Wendell Holmes
By: Stacey Purcell
I’m a lucky girl.
My birthday was back in September, but I got to celebrate it last week…in Mexico. My two best friends from high school and I took a girls’ trip for five days in paradise. Good friends, blue waters, cool breezes and enough sangria to quench anyone’s thirst made for quite a trip.
I left Texas raining and cold to arrive in Cancun with warm sunshine. What a great break from winter weather and a chance to be with friends that I’ve known for 35 years.
We arrived at the hotel to discover they had upgraded us to a villa reserved for the owner of the resort. Wow! It was fabulous and made our trip so special, but there is a fatal flaw in accepting an upgrade like that- it completely ruins any other room you could possibly afford on your personal budget for the rest of your life! The villa even came with its own pool that was heated for us. Ahhhhh, life is good.
The next few days were spent sipping cold drinks and baking in the sun. The most strenuous thing we did was shower and dress for dinner each evening. Even getting cleaned up was a luxurious act with the private outdoor shower connected to our bathroom suite. I wonder if I can get my husband to build one of those off the side of the house…hmmmm.
One of my friends wanted to go on a sunset cruise and have a lobster dinner out on the beach. Sounds like a terrific idea, right? The concierge desk for adventure even had a special evening planned that included both items on her wish list. It couldn’t get any better. So off we go. The warning bells clanged in my head when we walked into the beach bar where we to begin our evening with champagne and there was a large heart made out of balloons about 9ft high.
We knew it was Valentines, but hadn’t really thought about it. That was our first mistake.
The three of us sipped our drinks as loving couples and honeymooners strolled in with their arms wrapped around each other. Needless to say, curious glances darted our way.
“Well, this is awkward,” I whispered.
We giggled and took another long swig on our drinks. Many more couples moved into the bar intent on making Cupid’s day a memorable one for 2012. The erected heart tower served as a back drop for amorous clinches that could be memorialized on film as souvenirs. The photographers didn’t know what to offer us so they ushered us up to do a threesome under the latex canopy. More curious glances and open stares pointed in our direction.
Now, I know no harm was meant by booking us on the Love Boat, but it would have been nice if we had been informed that it was really meant for couples and a group of three women would look like a flopping, gasping fish out of water. I could hear the mental dialogue swirling around us.
“Losers. They have to celebrate Valentines together because none of them could get a man.”
“Look how cute. They are spending the day together. It sure beats being alone.”
“Hey, hey. Three girls together- bet they’re party animals. I wonder…” (This is where the girlfriend or wife would stop this train of thought. HA!)
We finally got out on the water. The sunset on clear,aqua water was spectacular. We had a great time. Soon the cruise was over and it was time for our lobster dinner under the moonlight and palm trees. All was great until one fellow came up to the disembarquing group, cupped his hands around his mouth, and yelled, “Who’s the only group of three?” Instantly, all eyes turn back to us. We sheepishly raised our hands and they escorted us to a table off to the side. Wine does wonders to diminish embarrassment- that’s all I’m saying…
Despite the evening where we made people wonder if we were lovers or losers, the trip was definitely one of the best we’ve had through the years. In the end, it wouldn’t matter if we were in Podunk, U.S.A. or in an exotic local, the company is what really matters. I’m one lucky girl, not because I got to go to Mexico, but because these women are so integral to my life that I can barely remember when they weren’t by my side.