We started our trip at 6:00AM, for our direct flight to Cancun at 8:30AM.
Even though ASU just ended their Spring Break, there were still obvious college kids on their way to get drunk. Although they only represented about 20 people on the entire flight, somehow we managed to sit amongst them. At first, they were all guys, but just before the doors closed, two college women boarded the plane. You could quite literally feel the excitement in the air from the guys as they boarded. Through chance, it was Michelle and I that sat in the same aisle as them.
None of them were too rowdy during the flight, although several had several little bottles of liquor that they were putting in their cranberry juice. Towards the end of the flight, it was beginning to show, although, I think they held back as the turbulence was rather constant and strong the entire flight.
On the ground in Mexico, we learned our first lesson. We got hijacked by people holding up signs (as we expected) for the charter bus we were expecting. When we inquired, we were taken to the first available agent working an official looking area in the airport, and identified himself as a representative of Mexico tourism… or did he?
At first, he gave us a lot of useful information about exchange rates, where to change currency and where not to, the best use of credit card exchange, how to navigate the bus system and the taxis, who to haggle with and not and then came the info on how to avoid our hotel selling us a timeshare.
The long and short of it is that we’d been caught up in a elaborate come-on for a timeshare sales pitch. There is no way in hell that were going to buy, but, Monday, in exchange for some significant perks, we’re going to a timeshare presentation. Out of the deal, we’re getting a very good rate on a day tour of Chichén Itzá and an afternoon snorkeling in the reef. The reef between Cancún and the Honduras being the second largest in the world.
I’ve yet to decide how I’m going to play them. Straight and honest: “No” or string them (and us) along for a bit just to make it look good, ultimately with a “sorry, but no.”
Afterwards, we went straight to the hotel. It’s no exaggeration to say it’s a lovely hotel. The room is comfortable and adequate. There is one minor thing, though… the rooms are all advertised as having an ocean view. (For those not familiar with the hotel district in Cancun, it’s sometimes called “The seven” because it exists on a narrow band of ground shaped like the number 7, with the ocean to the north and east and a lake on the southwest.) This hotel has been built so that all the rooms face the ocean, but the whole thing becomes a giant wind funnel, channeling all the ocean wind against the curved shaped of the building focusing them with what appears to be near-hurricane force through a small section of the lobby.
Our door to the ocean won’t quite seal, and the wind squeals constantly through it. On the first night, we just left it open – there’s less noise that way.
By the time we got to the hotel, it was quite late in the day,and we hadn’t eaten. We hit the included lunch buffet with less than an hour to spare and it was… filling, if not anything like amazing.
We went to the hotel beach (although, unless things have changed since the last time I was in Mexico, all beaches are actually owned by the government) and the kids played in the waves, despite the red, no swim, flag – I’m unclear, does that mean stay of of the water completely? It wasn’t stopping anyone else as far as I could tell.
The waves were bashing us about like crazy. I’m convinced James will never come in out of the ocean voluntarily, though. He’s constantly going further out, trying to get bigger and bigger waves. Gotta keep a close eye on that boy.
The dinner buffet was better, although basically the same. This time we weren’t rushed, everything was running full swing, and we managed to get some of the freshly cooked beef, pork and pasta. It makes a big difference.
As I write this, at around 4:00AM on Monday morning, it appears the weather forecasts are right. It looked like a storm was coming in last night, and it sounds even more so like it now. The sky is rough and the waves are even bigger. I wonder how this will play out for our timeshare/snorkeling trip tomorrow?