The concierge arrived with gifts and he turned out to be a huge movie fan. He checked out the films in town for us (in case it rains again) and made reservations for us at El Conquistador, Ruth Chris’ Steak House and Captain’s Cove.
Tag: Cancun (Page 1 of 2)
Quite frankly, with the news that Donald J. Trump has just gone and done yet another dumb thing (i.e., bombed Syria), I’m seriously thinking of claiming to be Canadian while in the sunny land down under.
It sounds like our departure from Austin (TX) will come just before the rain moves in, and the weather in Cancun is projected to be sunny and beautiful, with highs in the eighties. I spent an hour or so packing tonight, and tomorrow I will pack the cosmetic(s) bag, which carries our shampoo, toiletries, et. al.
I’m debating about whether or not to post a review of “Wilson,” the movie that starred Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern, which I recently saw. We went because, after all, when your name IS “Wilson”…..(finish that thought)
If I have time, I may post about it tomorrow. It’s a slight film and unlikely to get wide distribution.
Meanwhile, an interesting anecdote. Because we will need cash while in our neighbor to the South, and they always enjoy the use of U.S. dollars, as opposed to credit cards—and, also, because my credit card numbers were stolen in Mexico one year, which caused someone to run up a $25,000 bill on my card, we went to the Bank of America on Slaughter Lane. I had written my spouse a check for $200 to pay him back for cash he had loaned me when I was in Chicago for a week and forgot to take any cash. (My bad).
He presented the check, written on the Triumph Bank of East Moline, and, of course, they wouldn’t cash it at all.
I was present, doing battle with a machine that was going to give me cash, I hoped, using my debit card from BOA, but I couldn’t figure out how to get more than $80. My husband suggested that I write my check for $400 (rather than the $200 I owed him) and he’d give me half of it for my cash. I would write this check on my Bank of America checkbook.
That seemed a good idea, so, in full view of the 2 cashiers, I wrote this check and he stepped up to cash it.
The cashier demanded that he be fingerprinted before she would cash the relatively small check. They had just watched me (the account holder) write the check in the first place, and we explained why we were writing it (need cash for vacation). Still, some flunky raced out with an inky thing and he had to put his fingerprint on the bottom of this Bank of America check before they would cash it.
Now, what occurs to me is this: what good is my husband’s fingerprint on this check? It isn’t like he has done major time in a correctional institute or anything! He isn’t in any “data banks” of fingerprints. And that is all assuming that the Powers-that-Be thought this 72-year-old man looked like a really guilty character.
The weather here is beautiful and no rain (so far). Forecast does suggest tomorrow might bring showers, but the past 3 days have been great.
On our way to dinner at the Royal Mayan.
We went to the beach today, rather than the pool. However, when it became unbearably hot, we joined a volleyball game in progress and played 3 games, all of which our team lost. (Apparently, I can barely serve overhand).
Another lovely day, with authentic Mexican food this evening at a poolside restaurant.
While lazing away the days here in beautiful Cancun at the Royal Sands with 11 family members, I was notified that RED IS FOR RAGE has been named the winner of a Pinnacle award by NABE (National Association of Book Entrepreneurs). It led all YA entrants for months on the preliminary Stoker balloting, but that’s a story for another day, and the reviews that have come back from the (unpaid) blogger tour are, so far, very good. (Check Amazon or look back at those I’ve reprinted all or part of).
Yesterday I let some kind of Turkish fish eat dead skin from my feet. It took all of my courage to put my feet in the tank, as I HATE people (or fish) messing with my feet. However, the twins have new fish, and I thought they’d get a kick out of this, and it was thrown in for free with some spa services. (later today: facial plus massage).
We had a large “brunch” for all eleven of us at our Royal Sands digs, and tomorrow we move to the Royal Islander and are joined by Dr. John and Pamela Rhodes of Des Moines.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4FHrwTcKQA (Video of fish feeding frenzy)
Cancun, Mexico, April 11, 2011, Royal Sands Resort – As we continue our vacation (for about the 18th year or so, the pool once again beckoned.
The pictures tell the story. Today was the (complimentary) taco party, and those in our party of 12 are making their plans; Xelha for the big girls on Tuesday; massage for 3 of us on Wednesday; golf for the men on Thursday; breakfast with Richard (who sold us our time shares) on Friday.
The pictures below tell the story.
We’re here in Cancun, our first full day.
The pools and beaches are much less crowded than normal during “spring break” but this could be because “spring break” is over. Or, it could be that people are not traveling to Mexico, due to all the bad publicity. Or it could be because they’ve jacked the price(s) up on things like a massage (formerly $75, now, for three of us $297. (Yikes!). I got him to throw in a pass to the exercise/spa/hot tub room ($50 for the week) and one of our party is responsible for 1/3 of that amount. So, if you deduct the $50, I guess the expense (which is a birthday gift to daughter-in-law Jessica) is the same as last year’s amount, but everything seems more expensive.
We have two units in play: one is our “normal” 1st floor digs, with the 23-year-old daughter (Stacey) and her friend Emmie Futrell in residence in the second bedroom with its own bathroom. I love my 2-year-old granddaughters, but it is nice that the people in this unit actually sleep slightly later.
Today was the “Welcome Party,” which means free drinks (rum and cokes). I am so over the hoopla of throwing water balloons at one another and refuse to take part, as I have done for the past 10 years or so. The daughter and her father gamely took part, but the winner…believe it or not…was Elise, age 2, who somehow ended up with the only intact water balloon and “won” a bag from the establishment, which is handy for taking things to the beach. I thought ahead and had the spouse pack the “Chicago” bag I bought at the airport last year on our way here. It makes a perfect beach bag, and he said it wasn’t too difficult to get in on the bottom of his luggage.
The trip here was uneventful. We even had an empty seat between us in the set of 3 on American Airlines, which is unusual. Is this, too, a sign of the economic times?
There was a woman sitting in my aisle seat when we first reached our row, and she seemed very put out to be asked to take her own seat, which turned out to be in the middle. She spent most of her time prior to take-off sulking and turned on her laptop computer and began watching some cartoon or movie that featured dogs barking loudly. Since she had not brought headphones, it appeared that I would have to listen to her dog cartoon for the entire trip, but I was intent on ignoring her obvious pique at being asked to sit in her own assigned seat.
At that point, she summoned the stewardess and began some long involved tale about her husband’s pulled hamstring muscle and how he HAD to be sitting on an aisle. This was odd, because he was never seated on the aisle. He was seated against the exterior of the plane and SHE was seated on the aisle, the seat that was mine, which she really did not want to give up.
The stewardess kindly offered them places behind us so that her husband could have an aisle seat…, which was obviously not the issue, despite the woman’s clever oh-so-sweet explanations to the stewardess.
After their first move, next thing I heard was that they were moving AGAIN.
The first part of the trip was extremely bumpy. Even the stewardesses were told not to get out of their seats. There were storm systems and they buffeted us until we cleared Memphis, which did not seem like that long a time. One small child on the right side of the plane (age approximately 3) knew and shouted only 1 word for the entire trip. “NO!” There was a baby approximately six months old in that aisle, as well. The baby cried upon take-off, but was pretty well behaved, overall.
We arrived at our “home away from home” fairly early (noon) and learned that the shuttle prices from the airport have escalated from $12 per person to $16 per person. You must walk through the airport and outside near the front entrance of the airport to book a shuttle at the information desk. You must not be led astray by the many Time Share sales people standing there ready to pull you aside and book you into a Time Share “pitch.” As owners of 2 time-shares since 1995 or so, with a history of visiting for 3 years before buying (Fiesta Americana Condessa for 2 years and 1 year renting at the Royal Mayan), we know the drill.
This year, our time-share, the Royal Sands, has improved many things. The stove and microwave in our kitchen are new. All villas have wireless. New 32” flat screens have been installed in 3 places inside the units (2 bedrooms and the living room area).
We visited the store within the resort immediately and bought the basics. The “basics” this year cost $300 U.S. dollars. This seemed high, but we were expecting all 10 other members of the family fest to arrive at our unit and expect snacks and drinks. It’s always nice to be warmly greeted with hospitality. We will be here for 2 weeks, so we will definitely use the eggs, bread, margarine, pop, etc.
After the purchase of the groceries, the husband said, “If I have even one beer, I think I’ll fall asleep.” We had to get up at 5 a.m. in order to make our 8 a.m. flight.
As soon as the groceries (pushed to our first floor unit in borrowed grocery carts) were put away, my husband announced that he wanted to go sit outside by the pool. He had already unpacked his clothes. I had not, so I stayed in the room and unpacked my suitcase. At some point, I decided to just lie down for a few minutes.
An hour later when my daughter and her friend arrived from Nashville, I heard discussions about whether to wake me up. I immediately joined the group.
Soon, the 2 family groups with the young children arrived and now the party is in full swing. More on the rest of the week (today is Sunday), as it progresses.
One bit of good news: “Ricardo” (i.e., Richard), the one continuing presence in our close to 20 years of visiting Cancun, has returned to the Royal Resorts fold and we will see him for either lunch or breakfast on Thursday. Today was the Welcome Party. Tomorrow is the traditional Taco Party.
We spent the night watching “The Celebrity Apprentice” on TV from a Florida station. Gary Busey is obviously nuts. Very entertaining, but obviously a liability for the Men’s Team. Mark McGrath was very articulate and got kicked off. I think Donald Trump is doing all this “I’m running for President stuff” to get publicity for his show, among other pursuits.
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!”
And Happy Easter!
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.
Elise laughs out loud, while Ava plays with her foot on the beach at the Royal Sands, Cancun, Mexico.
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!)
We’re here on the beach at the Royal Sands, and Ava and Elise seem to have taken to the native culture.
Our trip will be cut short by about 2 days as a result of my passport going missing at O’Hare on Saturday. (Never was found.) Fortunately, on Monday, we learned all you ever didn’t want to know about what you have to do if you have a passport that is lost or stolen. Thankfully, we were not abandoned in Canada (yes, Canada) with no jackets and only summer-weight clothes, which might have happened, has I not discovered the MIA passport just as we were to board to fly to Ottawa (Canada) from Chicago and then transfer to Air Canada to fly to Cancun. I can hear you saying, “Wh-a-a-a-a-t?” Such is the world of “free” air miles.
As a result of the loss of the passport, we spent 4 days in Chicago sorting everything out and ended up buying the more “direct” route, AND, since I shared the news of the mishap with the daughter (in NYC), she shared the information that she was on “spring break” right then, and I said, “Well, buy yourself a ticket and ‘Come on down!'” She said, “isn’t it too late?” My response: “I bought 2 tickets at 3 p.m. yesterday for Wednesday at 9 a.m., so I don’t think so!” She ended up flying through Philadelphia and the son and wife and twins (not quite 3 months old) and the daughter (just turned 21) are all here with us…through Saturday, anyway.
We’ve not done too many ‘daring’ things, although there was an attempt to rent jet skiis today, which was foiled by the high winds and treacherous waters. The weather, so far, has been perfect: balmy, a bit windy, but warm. Coolest it has gotten is 79.
Take a look at today’s activity for the little girls. First, it was the Obama Inauguration. Then, it was the Super Bowl. Now, it is watching the ocean while enjoying their favorite beverage.
Life doesn’t get any better than this.
A correction to my WTO posting. The group meeting next door (and up and down the Hotel Zone) is actually one dedicated to the same purposes but focusing on Latin American problems.
The information on the WTO provided in my previous post is still accurate and informative and more than I knew about the WTO before researching it for weeklywilson. Therefore, I shall leave it up for you, with the correction that this group is exclusively focusing on such matters in Latin America.