I look good in a Sombrero - written by Davy Rasmussen
In February we took a little trip for Valentines day to the Riviera Maya region in Mexico and stayed in one of those fancy resorts that make you feel like you may have entered the pearly gates. This isn't our typical mode of travel, but somehow the stars seemed to line up and a couple friends of ours were also going to meet us there. We were both ready for a little rest and relaxation, the sounds of the sea, delicious fish and time together, but when we landed I felt like I was in hell and somehow missed the bus to heaven.
I had been battling one of those winter colds the month before and just about had it all dried up and then had a set back the week before. "No worries" I reaffirm myself as we board the plane, " Mexico sunshine is sure to be the cure." At 3000 feet above the Nashville airport on our way to Miami and then on to Cancun my ears clogged up. By the time we reached cruising altitude I couldn't hear a thing. I tried the yawns, opening my mouth, leaning my head back and the only thing that happened was that I received a few odd looks from the other passengers near by. As we began the decent down into Miami it felt like someone had put a large vice grip on both of my ears and slowly cranked it tight. "How long is this landing going to take". Finally I heard the landing gear come down and we soon taxied in, but my hearing never made it to Florida.
As we walked to our new gate to board the plane to Mexico we stopped at a little airport pub to have our first Dos Equis Cerveza. Ok, it wasn't even 9:00 in the morning, but it still felt right. I thought perhaps the beer would loosen me up enough for my sinuses to clear, my ears to pop and wait.... I can't even taste the beer. Apparently when your ears are clogged your taste buds crap out too. Now this just sucks, though I did finish the cerveza.
I felt a tear form in my eye socket as we began up again and the pressure resumed. Though this time it felt even deeper in my sinus cavity. I laid my head against the glass and tried over and over to pop my ears but with no luck. When we landed I was almost 100% without hearing. It's always an adventure to land in another country, but this time I find myself walking outside of an airport into Mexico, with hundreds of street vendors, taxi drivers and tour guides trying to get our attention, no one speaking in our native language and my ears are so clogged that I felt like a deaf, vulnerable, mute. I felt more like a pinata just hanging by a string. Thankfully mi esposa (my wife) remembered just enough Spanish that we found our way to our guide and within an hour the two of us, our luggage and plenty of sunshine arrived at our all adult, beach resort.
The sunshine and sea did do wonders to every part of me. The day we were walking on the beach and my ears suddenly popped open for the first time was amazing. What a gift I was given to be able to hear the sounds of the waves and people laughing. That evening when I slipped a bite of freshly caught seared grouper in my mouth and followed it with a sip of champagne, my taste buds broke into a happy dance.