Beating Montezuma at His Own Game

Did your mom ever tell you that the best revenge is living well?  Mine did. I mention this because we were in Mexico over spring break, living very well…

…and then you-know-what happened.  Not to me, but to my husband Thom.


I was so wary of getting sick that I rinsed my toothbrush with bottled water, and kept my mouth shut in the shower, even when I forgot my towel and wanted to holler for a towelgram.  When the water quality is in question, I don’t drink anything that doesn’t come out of a bottle or a can.  Well, for the most part.

After snorkeling by the second largest coral reef in the world, we came ashore and the boat crew opened up the bar.  Thom brought me a Diet Coke on ice.  Horrified, I immediately scooped out the ice cubes, dashed them to the sand, and sanitized my hands.  (Just kidding, but I DID remove the ice from the cup.)  Not wanting to waste all that Diet Coke, I asked the barkeeper to add two shots of tequila to the concoction to kill any microscopic critters in the cola.  Thom obviously didn’t have enough to drink, because I felt fine afterwards (A childhood diet of hot dogs and Franco-American Spaghetti left me with an iron stomach), while his intestines were definitely unhappy.  Of course, it might’ve been The Lemonade of Unknown Origin Thom had consumed the previous day, which, ironically, is the opposite of making lemonade out of lemons.  In any case, we were not going to be redeeming our coupons that night for free margaritas at the mariachi party.


Thom rested and read, while I ran to the store for sick person food.  If you’re a traveler or a parent, you probably know about the BRAT diet.  In the aftermath of intestinal upheaval, Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast are easy on the system.

The hotel store didn’t stock applesauce.   I bought four Granny Smith apples, bread for toast, bananas, and a bottle of vino.  Back in our room, I had a glass of wine, just in case.  I peeled the apples, threw them into a pan on the stove, and Holy Montezuma, Batman!  It’s homemade applesauce!

Thom didn’t feel up to eating that night, but applesauce is what the dear lad broke his fast on the next morning.

He was in no condition to hop on the ferry to Isla Mujeres to go snorkeling.  But we had a lovely walk on the beach just outside our hotel.

Watching the pelicans diving for fish…

…was almost as good as doing it ourselves.

And the People Watching was even better.


When you’re traveling, smooth sailing is a bonus, not the rule.

We followed the example of the iguana outside our hotel.  After an obvious run of bad luck, his could’ve been a very sad tail indeed.   But he is giving himself the gift of a happy ending.

Besides, my mom also used to say, “Leave something for the next time, so you have a reason to come back.”

All words and images c2013 Naomi Baltuck.

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