Cozumel – the trip that all other trips are measured against.
The year was 2002. It was the first trip we’d brought mom and dad on. Mind you, it’s not the first trip we’d been on as a family – mom and dad had brought us to Hawaii, Brazil, Canada, and Germany in prior years. Cozumel was the first trip we’d treated them to. It was their first all-inclusive beach resort trip. The ‘all-inclusive’ was a foreign concept to them at the time. It was relaxing – none of that running around from one town to another, one museum to another, one sight to another. This was all about doing absolutely nothing at all for a week. There was no need to worry about the next meal, find the next McDonald’s or whatever the cheapest food option that was available. The food was laid out throughout the day for one to choose as one wished.
There was nothing fancy about the lodging nor the food. The resort was a very modest 2-3 star hotel with your average American fare of hamburgers, hot dogs, and the prerequisite tropical island pina colada. But somehow mom had romanticized it over the years to the point where the place was beautiful, people friendly & welcoming, food delicious & abundant, and the pina colada was the best she’d ever had.
This was mom’s mother of all trips. The one all others were measured up against.
We’ve subsequently brought her to Santorini, Bora Bora, another higher end all-inclusive Mexican Riviera vacation – yet they had all failed to impress her.
Cozumel had become the benchmark trip, the one she’d remember details of (however, distorted), while those of others were blurry and even forgettable.
This must be the power of first experiences. All senses are heightened and encounters cherished and stored in a very special place in the heart & mind. Nothing else can take its place. Looking back, we should have brought her to Bora Bora first, because at least that’s a trip deserving atop a pedestal.