The Only People Dancing and Eating Dessert in the Moonlight


The whole point of going to Live Aqua in Cancun was to have a vacation where my wife and I didn’t have to think. That’s why we left the kids with my in-laws and chose an all-inclusive resort. We didn’t even rent a car. We hired a service to pick us up from the airport and deliver us to the resort and then pick us up at the resort and take us to the airport.

On our last day at the Live Aqua resort, my wife and I spent the morning and early part of the afternoon (to paraphrase the words of a wise man) “doing nothing, and it was everything we thought it could be.” Oh, I suppose it wasn’t quite “nothing.” We sat under an umbrella on the beach, caught a bit of sun, read a little, listened to the waves, dozed, and had drinks brought to us by the waitstaff.

(My wife, an immigration scholar, did a little work. Instead of some mindlessly entertaining novel, she read The Politics of Belonging by Nira Yuval-Davis. I have a picture of her in her red bikini reading that on the beach.)

We ate a late lunch at the Sea Corner, the same place where we had been joined by the iguana the other day.


Poor Stephanie, with her fair skin, managed to get a small bit of sunburn on her shoulder and chest, despite having stayed in the shade of the umbrella.

For dinner we chose Azur, the restaurant overlooking the gorgeous white-sand beach. Here’s what it looks like early in the evening, after everyone has finished camping out at the pool.


Reviewers on TripAdvisor will tell you that you have to be there early in the morning to snag a spot by the pool, and they are not kidding. This is just as well because we preferred to be on the beach. Even with the occasional plane flying by with a banner ad for Coco Bongo.


You can not escape the ads for the disco extravaganza known as Coco Bongo. Somehow we managed to resist the allure.

Here’s the infinity pool.


We sat inside the restaurant. Apparently, it was too windy for anyone to eat a meal at any of the tables on the restaurant terrace.

After we ordered our food, I excused myself to use the restroom. I had diarrhea. Not bad. But diarrhea nonetheless. I did not tell my wife, thinking it would pass soon. (It wouldn’t finish with me until the following morning.)

I headed to the nearest restroom, which was by the pool, but there was no toilet paper in the men’s stall. I would have told the staff, but my immediate needs were far more urgent than alerting the staff to the lack of toilet paper in the stall of the men’s room.

I walked quickly into the hotel and used one of the restrooms on the lower level. Then I quickly walked back out and into the restaurant, where my meal was waiting for me (seared white tuna).

As we were eating, a pair of musicians began to set up their equipment right next to our table. There was going to be a performance by Ramon and Roxanne. This was fine except it would mean my wife and I would not be able to speak to each other during our dessert.

I suggested that we ask for a to-go box and some plastic utensils so that we could eat our dessert down on the beach. My wife thought that was a great idea. We asked our waiter if we could get the dessert to-go but he said they didn’t have any to-go boxes at that restaurant. He said he could bring us the plates and utensils but we had to promise to bring them back. We said that would not be a problem.

Ramon and Roxanne began to perform. Roxanne had a nice voice as the duo performed classic and contemporary pop tunes.

“Would you dance with me?” asked Stephanie.

As a general rule, I am dance-averse because I am not good dancer. But that’s not why the look on my face probably registered horror. It was the diarrhea.

The next song they performed was Etta James’ “At Last,” one of the songs that was played at our wedding, and one of my wife’s favorites. I stood up, tightened my sphincter, and said, “let’s dance.”

While I was dancing with Stephanie, one of the waiters gave me the thumbs up. I smiled. We slow danced until the song was over. The restaurant was about 2/3 to 3/4 full yet no one else joined us in dancing. We were the only ones.

We sat back down and our waiter brought us the crème brûlée and some spoons. We picked up the dessert, promising to return the dishes and utensils. On our way out, the waiter who had given me the thumbs up shook my hand and said, “That was great!” I thanked him and we talked about how we were surprised that no one else had danced. Little did he know it hadn’t been my idea and that I had diarrhea. (After we had returned the empty plate and the used utensils, and were walking toward the hotel, I broke the news to my wife about the discomfort in my bowels. I didn’t want to spoil the mood during the meal on our last night at the resort.)

We walked down the stairs to the beach and sat on some chairs. There was no one else on the beach. We set the dessert on the table in-between us. The salty, humid wind coming from the sea was steady and firm but far from overpowering.

The sky was clear with a half-moon. Between the moon and stars and the soft glow of the lights from the resort there was just enough light to illuminate my wife, me, and the dessert.

My wife cracked the surface of the crème brûlée with her spoon. To the sound of the waves in the moonlight we took turns spooning the sweet custard into our mouths.


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