Monday, May 15, 2006

Gay Summer Camp (Part 1)

First of all I want to say this is all Greek Boy’s fault. He twisted my arm to go on this Club Atlantis vacation, and I have to admit it was fun. Very different from a cruise, much more like gay summer camp!

We fly down Saturday AM (early!) and get to the resort in Playa Del Carmen a little before noon. The resort is nice. There had been some damage after Wilma, but they’ve cleaned it up nicely. It’s got a main lodge/building and then all of these two story “bungalows” that have 8 rooms a piece. The rooms are nice and air conditioned which is a necessity as it is just insanely hot and humid. A very short stroll from our bungalow is the very large pool. Just beyond the pool the beach starts. There are easily 20 or 30 little thatch roofed canopies with lounge chairs and then there is the water. So after doing a quick recon of the facilities, we quickly changed into our bathing suits and hit the pool to tan and drink. Later that evening, they have a little welcoming ceremony where the “cruise director” lays out all of the events for the week. So it’s definitely like summer camp. And then he goes into this hilarious explanation of why you are going to get sick, and why it’s not the water:

“You wake up in the morning and you head to breakfast. There´s nothing like a bloody mary before breakfast (since all alcohol is included) so you have one or two. Then it’s time for breakfast. It’s a big buffet (yes all food is included) so you pile on the food. After breakfast you head down the pool, sure it’s only 10AM, but doesn´t a nice cold margarita or two, or three sound nice. Lay out in the sun and begin the baking process. Bake, cocktail, bake, cocktail, jump in the pool, cocktail, bake, cocktail, and then before you know it it’s lunch time. Yumm, another big buffet. And what to have to drink? Maybe some cold cervesas? Or two, or three. Then it’s back to the pool. Bake, cocktail, pool, cocktail, bake, cocktail, cocktail, cocktail. Then maybe a little mid afternoon snack. Oh, sangria sounds good doesn’t it? Then some cold cervesas as you watch the sun go down. Then it´s time for pre dinner cocktails, then dinner. Another great buffet. Then post dinner drinks. Maybe some dancing. Wow, working up a real thirst, so maybe some more cocktails. The next thing you know its 2 or 3 AM and it’s time to go to sleep. You wake up the next morning and you’re sick. IT´S NOT THE WATER!!”

Sunday was pool day. After breakfast, we hit the pool and I slathered on the SPF 30. So I’m surrounded by 300 plus gay men. Do I socialize or do I tan. Hmm, I tan. Sure, I did jump into the pool once or twice to cool off, but didn’t really hang out much. I did hang out long enough to meet this one guy from NJ. Talk about a label queen. He says to some guy, “Nice sunglasses, those are Ray Bans, right?” And the guy says yes. And then D&G turns to us and say, “Yeah, I thought so. They’re last season Ray Bans.” Please forgive me as I slip into gay-bonics: “Gurl! Puh-lease!” I was just waiting for judgement on my $8 fake oakleys I got from a street vendor in Dupont. Oh, for the rest of the trip we refered to him as Dolce and Gabana (D&G). I hate to stereotype, but so NJ. The Dog Tag Tea dance was in the afternoon. Green for single, Yellow for maybe, and then Red for coupled. And then all sorts of fun combinations. I personally liked the double green and red from a bear couple. Just think about it for a second. So another choice for me. Dance, or socialize. I dance. And I wonder why I never really meet anyone at these things. Anyways, the music just rocks and a good time is had by all.

Monday is beach day. So I walk the extra 20 feet to the beach and lay out. Greek Boy is sick. And not from the alcohol, but from the sun. He’s not as Greek as he used to be and he got a lot of sun on Sunday. I spend the day relaxing and chilling out. They’ve got these huge women doing massages by the side of the pool and it’s really cheap, so I get one. Good, but I was starting to get a little red/tender myself. I skip the water aerobics. And the beach volleyball. And the water volleyball. I mean, where would I put my drink? Oh, the alcohol. At the all inclusive resorts, the alcohol is what I would call Mexican rail. I’ve never even heard of these brands before. And you’re getting more fruit juice/mixer than alcohol unless you constantly order doubles. For $20/day, you can get the good name brand liquors, but I’m not planning on drinking that much. Plus, someone finally broke the code and started ordering Long Island Ice Teas. They pretty much don’t have any mixers. So it got ugly. That night part of the entertainment was Atlantis’ version of the dating game. So they have one guy to the side and then up on stage they have Bachelor #1, Bachelor #2, and Bachelor #3. So of course they have some of the usual questions: Who did you last kiss? Mother, trick, or you don’t remember. How would your first date be rated? G, PG-13, PG, R, X, or XXX. But my favorite question was: How do you spell relief after sex? Bachelor #1 said: “Aahh!” And then had to be coached to spell it to answer the question correctly. But Bachelor #2 didn’t miss a beat. His answer? “S-A-F-E-T-Y W-O-R-D.” Half the audience didn’t get it, and the other half just gasped, and then laughed. Malcom asked the audience who has a safety word and I raised my hand. Oh yes, when I’m in a hard core S&M scene and I want it to stop, I just say the word “Cher”. That much pretty kills the mood cold. (BTW, I’m totally kidding) Anyways, the whole thing was just fun. Later that evening was the Mardi Gras party. Another night of good dancing, but not out too late as we were getting up early that morning.

Tuesday we opted to go on a snorkeling trip off of Puerto Morales. It was a quick van ride down to the beach at Puerto Morales. We get out of the van, and then we get conned. Because where we are going is a national park, you must have bio-degradable sun lotion on. If you have regular lotion on, the park rangers will not let you in the water. But luckily, they do sell bio-degradable lotion at their little store. For $20 a bottle. Are you kidding me? I managed to borrow some from a family and then walked down to the beach. Not only didn’t I see anyone checking for the little wrist bands they had made us wear, but I certainly didn’t see anyone checking on lotion. “I’m sorry Senor, but your Banana Boat lotion is not bio-degradable, so no snorkeling for you!” Puh-lease. But despite this little haze, the snorkeling was excellent. Was saw all types of fish and even ran into some huge barracudas. They are not friendly looking fish. After the snorkeling, we went back to the resort, did a quick costume change, and then headed to Playa Del Carmen to walk around. Despite being right on the water, it was just deathly hot. We wandered the town a bit and it’s sad to see some of the awful, tacky, and just sad tourist t-shirts down here. “Eat My Burrito” or the one showing the international sign for giving head. Nice. That’s the American culture that we should be exporting. I did buy a nice plain, white shirt that looked good on me. I’m think it will work well in DC in August. We did manage to find this very hip hotel on the main drag and went up to their roof top lounge to enjoy a nice cold beverage. It had the most amazing views of the town and the water. You could see all the way to Cozumel. Back at camp, the entertainment for the evening was a gay hypnotist. He was just amazing. He brings all of these guys up to the stage and then hypnotizes them. Some go under, some don’t, some fake it. The ones that were under, we’re hilarious. At one point, he tells them to think of their “energy color”. “It’s oozing up from the ground and encasing your feet and your legs and it feels great. It moves up your legs to you stomach and you’re pulsing with energy. It keeps moving up your chest to you arms and you just feel alive. Now, at the top of your lungs, scream out your energy color!” And one sad little queeny boy yells out “TEAL!!! I almost choked on my cocktail. At the end, he kept several of them under and told them to strip down to their underwear. They would think they were fully clothed and after the show, they would walk out to the lobby, to the center where the fountain was, and then bow to the fountain. Once they did that, they would realize they were only in their underwear. Some of the guys came out of it a bit some, but a couple of them walked up the fountain, bowed, and then freaked out that they were only in their skivvies. It was just hilarious.

(to be continued)


At 9:01 AM, Blogger Vig said...

yay! glad you're back.


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