A few seeks ago Rena and I decided to waste a nice some of money on a trip to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.  I would say it was hard earned money.  But, in fact, we used money my father left for me after his passing in March.  And for that, I say, thanks Dad!  We spent a great week in Cancun, Mexico on his dime.  I wish I knew how to repay him.  Perhaps this thanks and post puts a smile on his face as he looks down on me.

We decided to cut no corners.  We flew business/first class on Delta between Atlanta and Cancun.  We hired private transportation in Cancun for travel between the airport and the hotel.  And we stayed at the Ritz Carlton, the best hotel there.  We ate poolside and in a cabana on the beach.  We visited downtown Cancun to shop at a typical tourist market.  And we took a tour bus to Chichen Itza.  On the ride we were served wine, beer and tequila.  Lunch was included.  And we were taken to the markets where we could blow a small sum on sombreros, clay pyramids and Mexican blankets.  Once we arrived at Chichen Itza, our tour guides were not only knowledgable, there were also funny.  And they expressed great love of their home and took great pride in calling themselves Mayan.

Needless to say, we had a great time.  But, I have to say, the best part of the trip may have just been the greetings and smiles we received.  Sure, Cancun has no other industry than tourism.  No people, no economy.  But, so many places that rely on tourism aren’t always that friendly.  I’m a native Floridian.  and I do love my home state.  However, many people there forget who pays their bills.  Or perhaps they aren’t really that nice.  In Cancun, we constantly received “Hola” from everyone.  “Buenos dios”, “buenas tardes”, “buenas noches” and “gracias”.  Sure, these are Spanish words and sound nice to my ear as I usually only hear English.  But, I’m not used to people at, say,  the Ritz Carlton Amelia Island, saying to me, “good day”, “good afternoon” or “good evening”.  Yes, I do get “hello” and “thanks”.  But, not with a big smile that says “thanks for choosing our hotel and staying with us, please let us know what you would like and we’ll go out of our way to help you”.   We didn’t just receive a hello, we received a heartfelt “hola”.  I think I’ll try and practice this.  You get more flies with honey than with vinegar.

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