Welcome to WeeklyWilson.com, where author/film critic Connie (Corcoran) Wilson avoids totally losing her marbles in semi-retirement by writing about film (see the Chicago Film Festival reviews and SXSW), politics and books—-her own books and those of other people. You'll also find her diverging frequently to share humorous (or not-so-humorous) anecdotes and concerns. Try it! You'll like it!
We’re coming to the end of Easter week in Cancun at the Royal Sands. The weather has been lovely and the water warm.
Tomorrow, the men will play golf. Tonight was prime rib night at the Veranda restaurant and it was just as good as prime rib at Short Hills, which is a high standard to meet.
We also dined on traditional Mexican cuisine at Sisal and have taken in the Seafood Surprise (lobster, shrimp, grouper, calamari, scallops) at Captain’s Cove, where we watched both an alligator and a sting ray swim beneath the deck where eleven of us were eating.
Daughter Stacey left today and had to fly back to Chicago with tornadoes and 70 mph winds hammering places like Rochelle, IL, near DeKalb. There were also tornadoes in Iowa, Michigan and other parts of the Midwest.
As soon as we arrived in Cabo San Lucas at the Sunset Beach Resort, we were told to be sure to take in sunset from the hot tub near the Sky Bar Pool.
To get to the Sky Bar Pool—-or anywhere, for that matter, at Sunset Beach—-you take a small golf cart driven by the staff.
No one warned us that the Sky Bar Pool was crowded at all times of day, and, given the crowd there in early afternoon, the entire idea of room in the hot tub at sunset was soon discarded and a plan was formulated to try to film the sun going down.
“It goes down fast!” said the experienced tourists who had witnessed the phenomenon in the past.
So, I set up on a railing of the pool area and waited, and the video above is the result.
Finished two books this week: “Dr. Sleep” (Stephen King) and “Cuckoo’s Calling” (Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rawlings).
Most of the video I took of gray humpback whales and spinner dolphins on Monday looks like it was shot by an 8-year-old. It was so sunny out that I couldn’t tell whether I was getting the dolphins and whales or not.
Even those with eye views said it was hard to tell in the bright sunlight off the Caborey (boat) and, so, you will have to watch through a large amount of shakey footage to see a whale’s tail disappearing. I may post it, but it is going to take over 35 minutes to do so.
Therefore, for the moment, here is the short piece of spinner dolphin footage, running directly in front of the ship. Truly an amazing sight. Because we sat through a “presentation” (which consisted mainly of a tour of the properties at Sunset Beach—see pictures on the Pinterest page for Connie Corcoran Wilson)—we got our tickets for half price, and it included all you can drink and breakfast.
I’m going to do my best to post some pictures, although the Internet is very slow here. First, some shots of the amazing Sky Bar Pool that overlooks the ocean and has a bird’s eye view of a gorgeous sunset.
Sunset in Cabo San Lucas.
The view from the hot tub at sunset is truly amazing!
View from our room.
I have so many beautiful shots, but the Internet here is as amazingly slow as that sunset is beautiful
Sunset Beach Resort, Cabo San Lucas, Sky Bar.
Still, a picture IS worth 1,000 words. (Even if it takes a lot longer to load).
We flew out of O’Hare at 8 a.m. on January 3rd, just ahead of a blizzard that was moving in. The drive up was uneventful, although the I55N portion witnessed the hours of snowing that son Scott had described to us on the phone. Since he will soon get to experience the weather from our corner of the world and our house, let’s hope that is as bad as it gets, because weathermen were predicting -17 back in the Quad Cities.
Our plane was to leave at 8 a.m. Surprisingly, the plane, itself, would have left on time, but the DOOR FROZE CLOSED! I’m not kidding! We were to leave from Gate H9, but there was a change to K5 when airport personnel could not open the door through which we were to board! We listened to a poor woman from San Francisco, who had traveled to Disneyworld in Florida, describe the night they had just spent on the floor at the airport, since Southwest Airlines told them the soonest they could get out of Florida to fly home to San Francisco was going to be Monday night! (This was Thursday morning!) She said, “It’s a good thing I’m a Chicago Bears fan, because I had to outfit my entire family in Bears hooded sweatshirts. We had no winter clothing with us at all and had to transfer to other airlines and fly through Chicago to get home.” She added that she was expecting to leave at 10 a.m. and arrive in San Francisco at 5 p.m.
We waited around an hour and then boarded, having survived the taxi ride out. Our driver never put on his seat belt, was weaving all over the road, and took a weird route. People were literally honking at him as he nearly sideswiped the wall at one point.
Now, it is Saturday and we have been poolside for 2 days. The weather is very much like Mazatlan’s, with cool nights, but warm enough to lay in the sun by day.
We’ve been here now since Saturday, and I have learned that it is not a good idea to mix wine, Bloody Marys, octopus, squid, pina coladas and Mexican coffee, which is set on fire tableside and contains tequila, in the same day. I learned this the hard way. (And I don’t even LIKE octopus!)
We finally got on a bus and took it to the OLD Pueblo Bonito location in the town. Where we are, the grounds are beautiful and there are at least 4 places one can dine, so going in to town doesn’t seem essential. Add to that the reports from the locals, who say the cruise ships no longer stop in the port and the Gold Zone, as it is known is “dead.” We were told that on Friday it might have more life, as there might be musicians, so we will go into the marketplace tomorrow, but tonight we will stay here and enjoy Italian night at the restaurant that is the fanciest one.
Of course, Kelly’s Bar is quite interesting, with all of its mounted heads on the wall and its feeling of Early Hemingway.
Sunset in Mazatlan.
There are quite a few ex-government employees here and quite a few retired college professors and quite a few retirees, in general. Yesterday, we met a gentleman (last name: Wee) who taught music at St. Olaf College, but was here with his family to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. He said he was 74. There is also a woman named Mary who taught at Auburn and also a young couple, who left on Wednesday.
We’re watching the New Hampshire primary fall-out on CNN and Fox here and I, in particular, am watching the South Carolina primary with interest.
A lion-skin within Kelly’s Bar, beneath the piano.
The Kelly family owns the land on which Emerald Bay sits, courtesy of Irish ancestor John Kelly. All family members have contributed their stuffed heads, some dating back to the fifties, some as recent as 2008.
One of 5 pools.
Kelly’s Bar within Emerald Bay in Mazatlan, Mexico.
The old saying is: “Let sleeping babies lie,” and we don’t mess with that when on vacation here in sunny Mexico. Ava Wilson…surely a dead ringer for the Gerber’s baby…is dead to the world, with finger strategically placed on left cheek. And that’s exactly the way we left her until she woke up, poolside.
Elise Wilson, (Ava’s 14-month old twin), has that clasped corpse-hand thing going on as she sleeps on her side of the double stroller. All that fresh air will do a girl in, especially if she’s as fair as Elise, who is the blonde to Ava’s dark-haired beauty. (Check out the “Dora the Explorer” hats!)
This blonde is a slightly older model, wearing bunny ears on Easter. I read somewhere that it was “all the rage” on Easter for cute girls like this one to post such pics on Facebook and elsewhere. This one’s just to say, “Come on in! The water’s fine!”
Thirteen of us descended on Cancun for the (annual) trip to the Royal Sands and Royal Islander properties. Some went to Coba (pyramid site in the jungle) today, but I contented myself with falling down on my way into the pool and watching “American Idol” in Mexico, courtesy of a Michigan station. Here are some pictures of the trip. The first one shows the drop off to the water from the beach, caused by the resort’s putting in $40 million of new sand after the beach was severely damaged, both by weather events and by erosion. This was done after the Hurricane in 2005, but it has become necessary, again, and the drop-off to get to the water is about 5 feet.
Ava (in hat) is 14 months old and was completely fascinated by the parrot that was being “posed” with various tourists (here, another little girl). She could not quite figure out what was going on with that bird on that little Asian girl’s head. The men with the bird did not want anyone else to take a picture of their bird without paying pesos for the privilege, but we “papparazzi” have to get pictures of the small fry in our party when and where we can.
Cousin Hannah Nelson takes Ava for a swim in her “floatie.” Ava’s twin, Elise did not take to the floating toy quite as readily, but Ava was up for birds or water or sand or whatever you threw at her.
Dad Scott holds Ava…who gives the camera a winning smile…at dinner at La Dolce Vita on Easter Sunday.
What’s a little sand among friends when you’re only 14 months old?
Elise laughs out loud, while Ava plays with her foot on the beach at the Royal Sands, Cancun, Mexico.
Polly want a cracker….and $6 dollars US for a picture with the blue bird perched on one’s head or shoulder or other portions of one’s anatomy.
Parrot Entrepreneur holds parrot preparatory to collecting cash for the purpose of posing with the blue bird.
Elise makes some adjustments to the sand on Ava’s shoulder, while they share the beach outside the Royal Sands on Easter break.
When you’re outside all day and you have duties with parrots and sand and keeping your sister out of trouble, it takes it out of a kid. The girls are totally flaked out poolside in their stroller.
Sister-in-law Wendy (Wilson) from St. Louis and I share a smile as we
debark from the van, where Wendy was loaded in like luggage. (That’s
what happens when you are trying to transport 13 people at a time!)