The William Lawson tour was just what all our friends in Merida said it would be. We were told again and again about how engaging and warm Ralf is, and it was true. He also knows the peninsula like the back of his hand. If you had an old college friend who had moved to Yucatan 20 years before, the tour would be no different.
We made up our own tour: We really just wanted to see some of the beach communities, and I wasn't ready to take a bus or cab. Ralf gave us a casual drive up to the coast, with impromptu diversions to haciendas and neighborhoods along the way.
When we got to Progreso, we veered right and drove all the way to San Benito and Telchac, and he even had a caretaker show us around a new resort development, a completely spontaneous move, and completely beyond the call of duty. Then, back to Progreso, where we had lunch at Eladio's beachfront bar, and he showed us how to get the most out of the menu, ordering a round of beers and waiting for la botana and ordering a single fried whole fish to share for fresh fish tacos.
He had also arranged with the gods to keep the skies sunny and clear, at no extra charge. It was a good day, and one we'll never forget. We learned tons.