Banks County Opinions...

JUNE 4, 2003


By: Angela Gary
The Banks County News
June 4, 2003

Cancun is for all ages
If you judge Cancun by those wild shows on MTV, it’s a party place where anyone over 25 is considered old. I haven’t actually watched one of those shows, but I’ve seen the advertisements for them. Everyone in Cancun is half-naked on the beach with a drink in their hand.
I recently spent a week in Cancun and I’m here to assure you that it’s not just a place for party people. It is a beautiful paradise with activities for people of all ages. An afternoon exploring Mayan ruins, a day at a park where snorkeling and spending a few hours tubing down a “lazy river” are just a few of the activities offered and many hours shopping at some of the modern malls are just a few of the things I enjoyed during the week.
I’m sure many people have traveled to Florida and marveled at the beauty of the ocean. Well, it’s different in Cancun. The water is this amazing blue green color that is unlike any I’ve seen. It almost doesn’t seem real. In fact, everyone who has looked at my vacation photographs has asked the same question: “Is the water really that blue?” Yes, it is.
Lazing in a hammock or lounge chair with a cool breeze on your face and just looking into the turquoise water and white waves is a wonderful way to spend a few hours or even a day. You can relax and forget about the troubles of the world for a while. I didn’t listen to the news or look at a newspaper the entire week.
A highlight of our week was the day at Xel-Ha (pronounced shell-hah). We took a tour bus to the park, located almost two hours from Cancun. It was a comfortable ride in a air conditioned charter bus. I enjoyed checking out the scenery and reading.
There are so many things at Xel-Ha that it’s hard to decide where to spend your time. You can swim with the dolphins, go snorkeling, grab an inner-tube and float along the gentle waves or find a hammock or lounge chair in a cool spot and soak in the natural beauty of the area.
One word of warning, watch out for those huge lizards Mexico is known for. I saw several scurrying around. They aren’t aggressive and won’t bother you but it’s kind of startling to see a creature the size of an alligator pass you on the sidewalk. I admit that I screamed a few times.
I also enjoyed our time at Tulum, the Mayan ruins located along the ocean front. It is a beautiful area and it’s interesting to hear the history of the Mayans. Our tour guide is a Mayan and he knows lots of background on the area which made the visit even more interesting. He was quite emphatic about a television special he had recently watched that said it’s a mystery as to why the Mayan people disappeared from the area. He quickly told us that they didn’t disappear but that the Spanish conquistadors killed most of them.
Cancun really is a paradise and I hope worries that it’s only for the young doesn’t stop anyone from visiting. Just be sure to get a resort that caters to “older” people or families. I heard that some of the resorts were geared more toward the young and it was loud all hours of the night and day. This is why I use a travel agent. They can find you the kind of resort you are looking for and save you the hassle of making the wrong choice. It doesn’t cost anything extra to use a travel agent as they get their income from commission from the businesses they use.
Another reason Cancun is a great destination for people in North Georgia is that the flight there is less than two hours from Atlanta. You don’t have to worry about the long flight you would have with a trip to Hawaii or another “paradise.”
Angela Gary is editor of The Banks County News and associate editor of The Jackson Herald. When she’s not on the road, she can be reached at
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By: Shar Porier
The Banks County News
June 4, 2003

‘If dogs run free,Why can’t we?’
That’s from one of my favorite Bob Dylan songs.
As I look out over the field in the front yard, I think of that song as my three dogs are running and playing. Jax and Red Dog are in the midst of a tug-of-war over a rather large branch. It’s bigger than Jax. But that doesn’t stop him.
Red is a big, long-legged, long-eared red bone hound. Another stray that happened upon this little valley and found her way into my home and heart.
She looks so goofy when she runs. Ears floppin’ in the wind. Not a care in the world.
She’s quite a character. There has been more than one occasion when I’ve gone downstairs to find the door wide open. Red has learned how to open the door. I try to remember to keep it locked now.
She must have some goat in her because she drags up various containers that end up coming down the creek or the river. She chews them a while, then leaves them out in the field. She couldn’t just leave them up here where it would be nice and easy to pick the junk up and put it in the garbage can.
Her other goat-tendency is climbing on everything. I found her lying atop my van one afternoon. Her foot prints clearly visible on the windshield.
I gave her a scolding and told her to get down, but she seemed to really like the birds-eye view. Later on, she got on my other car’s roof.
She makes me laugh. She is so smart, yet does some really dumb things. Kind of like us two-legged folks, I guess.
Not too long ago, I was cooking some dinner and I saw Red out of the corner of my eye slinking, very quietly around the corner to the cat box. With a raised eyebrow, I sneaked up behind her to see what she was up to. She already knew she wasn’t supposed to stick her head in the opening and get what she considers treats from the cats. She knew she’d get in trouble.
Well, Red had found a way around that angle. She was gingerly lifting the lid off the litter box by the handle. I guess she thought it was okay if she took off the lid. I stood there watching.
All of a sudden, there was a caterwauling scream from inside the box. My Persian, Lyla, was, let’s say, “in the process.”
The lid rising up scared the bejeebers out of Lyla, who burst through the hole in the top that Red was holding. That scared the bejeebers out of Red. She dropped the lid which, of course, fell on the cat’s tail. More screams and poor Red is backing up, practically crawling up my body hind legs first, scared to death.
Lyla has disappeared up the stairs leaving a trail of cat litter in her wake.
Red now realizes she’s backing up on something that isn’t the floor. She freaks and does this 180 in mid air. She lands in the cat box, tipping it over and sending litter everywhere.
If it had been a cartoon, it would have been funny. Well, even though it wasn’t a cartoon it was funny. Even though I was looking at a big mess, it was still funny.
Red froze, she saw me and just froze — half in, half-out of the cat box that was now tipped totally on its side. She’d been caught and she knew it. The look on her face was pathetic, she looked soooo sooorrry! Caught! Nailed!
I just stood there looking at her, trying to look upset. Trying real hard not to laugh, but that was impossible. I laughed and just shook my head at her. She slowly rose to her feet, head hanging low. She was dusty from the litter.
I grabbed the leash and put it around her neck. Uh-oh, she knew what that meant. A bath! On no, not a bath! She really hates baths.
We went outside and I turned the water on to hose her down and gave her a nice shampoo.
But, her skullduggery taught her a lesson. She has not gone near that cat box since.
As for Lyla, she now checks all around for Red before she goes in to do her duty and keeps a sharp eye out, just in case.
Hmmm… maybe if I get the hose the next time Red gets on one of my cars…
Shar Porier is a reporter for The Banks County News.
The Banks County News
Homer, Georgia
Telephone: (706) 367-5233 Fax: (706) 367-8056

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