Our trip to Mexico was not without some nervousness for me. It was the first big trip with Jacob, and his first trip outside the country. He has traveled well in the past, and we hoped it would continue, but 8 days at a resort in Mexico is a different beast. My stress level wasn’t super high, but even the first entry in our travel diary would tell you why I was nervous before we even left:
- Awake at 3:30, cab to airport
- 35 minutes from home to gate
- J wide awake
- J likes little plane to Montreal, A likes landing @ Cancun, P likes $9 meal on plane
Yes, you read that right. We had to be up at 3:30, which is about 3 hours earlier than we have ever forced J to be up and ready. He did GREAT! The flights themselves were rather uneventful, quick hop to Montreal and then longer route to Cancun. J liked the little plane that got us to Montreal, while Andrea liked the landing in Cancun the best, with the first views of ocean and beach. Me? I was tickled pink to find out that our booked “package” had included an extra bonus on the plane of $9 each worth of meals, etc. In other words, it was already pre-paid, we didn’t have to shell out again, and we got served first. A nice little surprise.
- Bag search @ customs — no baggage tags, but keys worked!
- semi-chaos exiting airport
- relieved to be on a list
- J fell asleep on way to resort
- by ourselves on shuttle, no ocean — 40 minutes
We arrived in Cancun and had our bags hand-searched going through customs. No big deal, except we had small panic moment when we realized all the bags were locked and we weren’t sure immediately where the keys were stashed in our other bags. We exchanged some money just to give us some walking around cash, but we thought we would handle the rest later at the resort or banks (I’ll come back to this later, as it was an ongoing issue for the week!).
It was a bit chaotic leaving the airport and trying to figure out where we were to go (note: chaotic compared to say Canada, not compared to Pakistan, Bangladesh, Philippines, etc.). We had heard that many of the shuttles stopped at multiple hotels, and I thought we were going to be in a large shuttle bus with 50 other people doing a milk run. We were quite relieved to find out that BD Travel had us on their “list” of arrivals, knew where we should go, put us on a small shuttle (room for about 12, but we were the only 3!), and sent us on our way. J fell asleep on the way, partly I think as there was nothing to see — 40 minutes of almost entirely highway driving.
- 2:15 arrival at resort — slow check-in!
- guest services — gift!
- snack bar (Nest) — mustard, birds
- checked-in, unpacked — ltd space
We arrived at the resort at 2:15 p.m., which seemed about right for time, but they don’t really do check-ins until 3:00 p.m. So we did the basics, s-l-o-w-l-y, and then were pounced upon by Guest Services aka the TimeShare people. Interestingly, previous reviews of the hotel made it sound like you were “confronted” by the mis-named guest services people and you had to “go around a corner” to get to the check-in. I don’t know if they’ve reorganized, or what, but it was perfectly clear who were official “hotel people” and who were not.
The one guy was trying to lead A & J over to the GS area, and I basically said to him flat out, “Let me be candid. Long flight, we’re tired, and if you’re just trying to sell me a time-share, I’m going to be extremely pissed off.” He assured me he wasn’t, although with enough weasel words that I was sure he was, and let him give us the spiel anyway. It was actually a bit helpful, came with a decent map of the resort, killed some time, and while he mentioned the timeshare stuff, he wasn’t obnoxious about it when I showed no interest. But you know what eased my wrath? He gave J a small plastic water-proof box to use to take stuff to the pool, something I had meant to bring and hadn’t been able to find in our basement. So all was good.
We headed over to the Nest, a 24-hour snack bar that is shaped like a bird cage / nest with swings, and birds. Hams and hots suited J just fine, and I had an interesting encounter with a small dollop of mustard that seemed destined to cover me and take me prisoner. It was a SMALL amount of mustard and it went EVERYWHERE. We finished up, checked-in and unpacked. With about the only downsides to the room being that I had hoped for a better bed for J (he had no issues with it) and there was somewhat limited storage space for clothes for three of us. I don’t know what they would do for families of four or more.
- walk — restos, deer, peacocks, donkeys, nest, sports bar, raccoons, beach, ocean, pool
- J&A liked beach, P liked pool
- Italian (Toscanos) — slow, late, long day
- Mexican graffiti art
- read and slept
After unpacking, we took a long walk around the resort, following the map religiously. We saw where the restaurants were; visited an enclosure with white-tailed deer (part of the “eco” label they have for the resort); saw some peacocks and a donkey (they have a small farm area); swung by the Nest again and checked out the Sports bar (complete with pool tables, foosball, and ping pong); and then wandered down to the beach, ocean and pool area. J and A loved the beach, which was cool, but I liked the looks of the pool the best. Somewhere in there we also got to see a small family of spider monkeys going from tree to tree, very cool.
We grabbed dinner at the Italian place — one of the 7 restaurants on the resort, and it was a bit slow for service (I’ll return to this later too). It had been a long day, and we were eating later than we would normally, in part because we had lunch late at the snack bar. When we left the restaurant, there were spray paint artists that we briefly watched (they basically spray paint on cardboard, and use some hand tools and tissues to smear the paint to make it look very much like they painted with a brush, with pics of waterfalls, oceans, beaches, trees, planets, etc. — they called it “Mexican graffiti art”, and I don’t know if it has an official name, but I like the results, having first seen it back in Victoria while I was at law school way back in 1992!).
We wrapped the day up, and A & I read for awhile before falling asleep.