"I feel about airplanes the way I feel about diets. It seems to me that they are wonderful things for other people to go on". J. Kerr
Well "Murphy" was at it again. (Murphy's Law for those of you that didn't read my previous blog :) We got up at the crack of dawn yesterday to do our "pre-check in and book our flights, but the system kept bouncing us out. After 1.5 hours straight on the phone with a WestJet cstomer rep, she realized there was some glitch preventing us from "checking in". So being left on the phone that long with little time to spare to get the girls to school, I was left cradling the phone on my shoulder while hopping around like I was on a pogo stick just to get my pants on. So we were advised to get to the airport early to check us all in. One big hassle being a group of 7 of us traveling. What one (ie mom) will endure for tropical vacations.
But we are HERE! And you just all know it wouldn't go off without some hitch (read further) Check in this a.m. went smoothly, with a
quick layover in TO. The arrival at Cancun was the quickest I've ever seen. No lineups, right through customs, luggage came quick, and right through security with the exception of being pressed about Kelsey (our 16 year old neighbor & family member after all these years...!). Anyone going through customs with a different address has to fill out their own form. The agent recognized Kels's age and asked if she was traveling alone. I explained she was traveling with us, and after papers were produced we were fine. Then I had to press the button which you either get a red or a green. Red means your bag will be inspected, and green means you go through. They are all very friendly there, and keep the lines moving quickly. I pressed the button and got "green" so the whole grop traveling with us went through at once. YAY off to a good start.
HOWEVER, the flight from TO to Cancun... This young couple boarded and they weren't seated together. One was next to Rory & Ava on the aisle seat and the other one was on the aisle seat next to Lara & Kelsey. SO I kindly moved our
kids around so they could sit together. Bad move. Talk about free "pay per view" adult content. Non stop pawing of each other, kissing, (or neckin' as I'd say in the old days), him rubbing her back, little whispers, it was relentless. In fact I feared we'd have to drop one of those breathing masks they show in the "tutorial" to ensure they were getting air. Clearly they aren't an old married couple like Al & I :) (hee hee). But still, Ava was lodged between us with a bird's eye view of the non-stop jaw fest, till she finally fell asleep. Who'd have thought West Jet should have an "R" rating for flights...ahhhh, young love.
Our driver Johnny boy was waiting for us with an air conditioned van & on the way we stopped at Wal-Mart to get our food and "grown up" juice (wink). Note to anyone traveling to Cancun/Playa. If you are a big group, hire a big van that seats 9. They personally greet you, they load your luggage, and they get you to your destination right away. THe bus system and hotel shuttles work fine, but they can be crowded, and sometimes make many
stops. With a private van, it's just your family, no worrying about luggage being lifted in and out at each stop etc.
So again, we're here! It's sizzling hot just as we expected, but sunny with nary a cloud in the sky and the most beautiful ocean breeze. The UV index is 11+ so we're gettin' out the big hose to spray the kids with the sunblock. I've been told the Carribean sea is phenomal in the summer; almost a colour that I can't describe - an ever changing color of green, blue and turquoise that changes before your very own eyes. It's STRIKING.
The fantastic staff of Luna Encantada, the oceanfront condos we are staying at welcomed us back like old friends. Johnny called ahead to the condo to say we'd be arriving, and when we pulled up, it felt like we were rock stars!! Odin the beach server/attendant met us along with the security guard, and they helped unload our groceries and endless suitcases to get us up to our condo. NOW if Odin has my usual (a cold lime margarita) from the bar next door waiting for me when I get to the beach, there
will be a very generous tip in it for him! (and by a tip I don't mean, "Don't eat yelllow snow"!)
For the first 3 days we will be staying in C3 which has a beautiful big roof penthouse with dining table & chairs, loungers, and hammocks overlooking the ocean. What a view from here; you can see Cozumel and cruise ships in the distance. We have a BBQ if we want to grill up some burgers so that's handy. The condo is spectacular with a walk-out wrap around balcony overlooking the beach, and marble throughout with beautiful king size canopy beds (sheesh I may need a stepstool just to get into these princess beds!). Our littlest one Ava, 7 years old coined it best..."This is the life".
It is sheer luxury all the way, but just like the owner Tonya, this condo is elegant, classy yet very practical, warm, inviting with a very homey feeling! We are in heaven with these surroundings. The balance of our trip we will be in C1 which is first floor and steps to the infinity pool which is handy for a quick dip with mere steps to the ocean. We will
be able to sit on our balcony and hear the music at the bar next door which has a different theme each night (reggae, jazz, blues, Latin), and belly dancing some nights (I will have Al busy polishing his shoes when THAT show is going on!!!). There's a nightly fireshow which is amazing to watch. Fire dancing is traditional art of Samoa and New Zealand, where the indigenous typically dance with props called poi. Poi is a ball of wicking that's suspended on a string or wire, dipped in gas or alcohol, and twirled or even juggled, during dance ceremonies. It is a spectacular show with drumming that gives you goosebumps.
So we've already seen our buddy Luis at Yen Ten the little bar down the beach who we met last year (read my previous trip blog to find out who Luis is!). THey have those toe-curling amazing 2for1 margaritas that I love, and I brought home a take-out grilled garlic shrimp dish with jasmine rice, and a chef salad with freshly made tortilla chips and guacamole all for the whopping price of (drum roll please)...$10 CDN!! Shrimp is out of this world if I do say so myself...and
PS many of these pics are courtesy of Kelsey who got a beautiful new camera for her 16th birthday from her parents. It's AMAZING and takes great shots. Al if you are reading, my birthday is mere days away...LOVE the camera, hint hint. Just sayin'...
Hey don't forget to leave a comment below...just so I know you're out there:)
Here's a clip of a fireshow performed at another well known bar called Blue Parrot. And don't forget the pics below!