Book on the Beach

For three years now, my family has been celebrating Christmas morning not in gifts but in a week long vacation. As my brother and I have reached our early twenties, and our parents have become more of “friends” rather than “parents, we enjoy time spend together overseas more than destroying wrapping paper and cardboard boxes to reveal a cleverly picked gift.

This year our family traveled to Cancun, Mexico. The destination selection was quite the process. My  mother and I battled; I was for Punta Cana and she for Cancun. It’s clear who won. However, I don’t think this battle was exactly one to mourn over losing. So Sunday afternoon after a grueling finals week, our family made the drive to Denver so we could fly out early Monday morning. The morning of our flight, we were met by my best friend, Arielle “Air” Boone . Everything was going according to plan, until Air’s stomach began growling. About 30 minutes before our boarding time we decided to grab something to eat for the plane. We casually made our way to the delectable and diabetes filled food court to satisfy our hunger pains. The next thing I recall is hearing “Arielle Boone and Mariah Busch please report to gate A48, your flight is ready for departure.” Instant panic. I check the time on my phone and see that I have 8 missed calls and 4 text messages, all from my family. Panic increasing. I look at “Air” and immediately take off into a dead sprint through the food court, past the escalators, and down the gate runway. Side by side we sprinted in desperation-WE CAN’T MISS THIS FLIGHT!!! Breathless but with food in hand, we arrived at the gate just in time to gather our belongings and take our seats on the plane. Cancun here we come….barely.

We arrived to Cancun around 3:00 in the afternoon. We made our way through baggage claim, where I discovered the “pull handle” on my luggage was now jammed (if you’ve ever carried a  35 lb bag without a “pull handle” you must know the struggle I endured), and finally to the zoo-like transportation station. With the morning I had, I was flustered to say the least….and thirsty. My father, being the innovator that he is, used his “booze” radar to find the “Welcome Bar” right outside the airport. An order of margaritas later we climbed into a seat belt-less van and headed to our resort.

The resort was gorgeous; modern decor, winding pools, silky beaches, pool bars, unlimited buffet and drinks (I know some of what I listed has nothing to do with appearance, just go with it.) Unfortunately, Mother Nature poured on us that night and the next day. With no sun-bathing option, we took a trip into downtown Cancun to barter with the locals. As angry as I was with Mother Nature, I am very grateful for the opportunity she gave us to experience the culture and environment of downtown Cancun. To top off our day at the market, we decided to book a night at Coco Bongo. I won’t say much about this place, besides: AMAZING.

I also will keep most the details of my vacation to a minimum as I feel I have dragged on enough. Basically there were large amounts of eating, partaking in adult beverages, meeting new faces, and sun-bathing.

The purpose of this blog, which has turned into a documentary of a “vaca,” was to promote a “tradition” that I began last year. I got the idea from a review of a fellow vacationer. Basically, when I travel, I choose one book that I can muster up the ability to depart with (or buy a copy) and leave it on the beach for someone else to read. I also leave a small note inside the book asking the next reader to “return the favor of imagination.” My hope in this is that they will leave a book somewhere on their travel for someone else to read and that someone will leave a book somewhere for yet another person…and so on…and so on.

This year was a little unique. The book that I came to terms of choosing, “The Great Gatsby,” found its way back to me, not once,  but twice. I had “accidentally” left the book on a recliner near the pool and deserted the area. Not twenty minutes later, a small Canadian boy approached me in the lobby. In his hand, “The Great Gatsby.” He told me he saw me “accidentally” leave it and wanted to return it. My heart literally had butterflies from this child’s thoughtfulness. I told him I wanted him to keep the book but he denied me. He said “I’ve seen the movie, I didn’t understand it so I won’t understand the words.” My heart broke. I couldn’t do anything but smile and say “Maybe one day you’ll change your mind, but thank you sweetie” and he ran off.

I was determined that my second attempt would be successful. I chose a desolate spot on the beach. I found an empty end table, laid the book down, and walked off (or rather stumbled through the sand). Immediately I heard a “Miss, Miss! Miss, you left this book!” It was a resort entertainment member. I thankfully took the book and proceeded my awkward trek down the beach. Now what. Discouraged, I hung my head. I thought of “Gatsby” and how I was failing in delivering its story. Then it hit me. The pier.

Our resort had a lovely pier that stretched out into the ocean. It reminded me of that in the novel, only there was no green light to be seen, only endless blue waves that stretched until they met the sky. I walked down the pier, taking in the smell of the ocean, the touch of the breeze. When I reached the edge, I took a moment to say goodbye to “Gatsby,” made sure no one was watching, and left the book.

My “Book on the Beach” ended up being a “Book on the Pier,” but the tradition (at least for me) lives on….beating ceaselessly with the current into the future.

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