After seven months of being grounded by the pandemic, Jeri Clausing’s first trip out
of the country was a fast reminder of her two favorite parts of travel:
unexpected adventures and the people you meet along the way.

I flew to Mexico last week, for a little work and then vacation. 

After two fabulous days of sunshine and top-notch food and service El Dorado Moroma in the Riviera Maya, I headed off to the lesser-traveled, fantastically funky island of Holbox on the north end of Quintana Roo, completely unaware that a tropical storm was brewing.

I leaned about it while checking the weather forecast Friday night in advance of my planned Saturday departure. And come Saturday morning, it was clear the region was about to take a direct hit from Tropical Storm Gamma, which was threatening to hit hurricane status.

Initially I scurried to pack up and get to the mainland before ferry service shut down. But I was too late, so I had no choice but to extend my stay and sit back and enjoy it.

In my younger days as a wire service reporter, I intentionally chased hurricanes. For this one, I was more than happy to be comfortably cocooned at the 18-room luxury boutique hotel, Ser Casasandra.

Some might consider the irony of taking their first resort vacation since the pandemic began, and then running into high winds and pouring rain as soon as they get there. It’s just one more bad turn in a year we all hope to soon forget, right? But the day turned out to be surprisingly relaxing as I moved around the hotel, first watching the blustery rain from the front porch and through the floor-to-ceiling windows in the lobby and dining area.

Back in my room, I enjoyed the show from my couch, the bed and finally from through the windows above my huge soaking tub. As the driving rains subsided a bit, I moved back to the front porch, getting to know the friendly staff a bit better over margaritas and lobster tacos. 

The storm moved through overnight, and next morning the sun was out, but the winds were still too strong for the ferry to resume. And while I had nice condo waiting in Cancun, I secretly hoped for one more day of soggy paradise in this hotel that always feels like home.

My luxury cocoon came to an abrupt halt about 1 p.m. , when the ferries resumed. I arrived at the dock to find more people than I thought were even on the island queued up through the muddy streets to make the trip.

Fortunately, I didn’t have to worry about how this would impact transportation on the other end as throughout the storm I received periodic texts from the great folks at Lomas Travel, checking in and assuring me my driver would be waiting to take me back to Cancun whenever, no worries.

Two hours later, after getting to know a nice young couple from Mexico City who had made a long weekend escape from their children and home schooling, we made it onto a ferry.

And as we sat in the sunshine  masks on, of course — watching a group of partiers and laughing about the unfortunate weather timing, one of my new friends summed it up as he looked out over the water with his arms outstretched and declared, “at least we are free.”

Then we walked off the ferry, where I found my friendly driver patiently waiting with an ice chest full of cold cerveza.