We own a TS in Playa Del Carmen and the Resort owns several properties, so there is an owners site where they do trip reports. Sort of like a blog without a lot of pic's, however there are plenty of pics they post on the site.
I hope you enjoyed my RS Week 1 Trip Report. What the heck, I’ll do another report this week as long as you will add a reply to tell me someone is reading.
Still taking it easy in paradise. Woke up this morning to blue skies. The temp is definitely up a few degrees. There is a bit more humidity hanging in the air. YES! I like it. This is what Januaries are supposed to be like in Cancun. I’ve got a feeling this is going to be a great week!
Today is moving day for those of us lucky enough to be staying another week but not lucky enough to have the same villa. Finished packing and called the bellhop station at 10am but was told that people had not yet checked out of my next villa. I called again at 10:30 and received better news: a bellman would be coming right up with a cart and my new keys. We were all pretty compact with our carry-on bags but lots of leftover groceries, beer, and liquor. Earlier this morning Amigo Glen (returning to MN today) added to the load by giving me a styrofoam chest full of his beer and liquor- almond flavored tequila, vodka, and Bacardi lemon flavored rum. We only had to travel 8 doors over, and now we have the straight-out-to-the-sea view that I really love. Check out the picture attached below and note this is the same L5336 that I own for Weeks 18 & 19 also.
I had chased down Wilma (our maid for this week) yesterday and given her a tip. She was thrilled to see me and gave me a hug. When she saw us coming today she ran for our room and started cleaning like crazy. My guests headed to the beach and I made it to aqua aerobics just in time (11am on Saturdays); my 6th day in a row of perfect attendance. I hurried back up in time to shower and go to LaVeranda for lunch with my guests. The turkey soup was awesome; I also made several tacos out of the seasoned chicken. I picked up the tab as a going away celebration for my guests. Diane ran directly to the lobby for her T.More shared van to CUN at 1:20, and an hour later I waved goodbye to Christina and Avery.
Then the bad news- my brother Randy FaceTimed from Fresno saying their flight was delayed and they would miss their connecting flight today in PHX. They were planning to take it anyway and spend the night in Phoenix, to fly out on an early flight Sunday from there to CUN. The good news: they will hopefully arrive in time for Sunday happy hour. I am here alone for the rest of the day so figured I’d sit and start this new blog. Then maybe a nap, until happy hour.
Enjoyed some sunshine while sipping my Terry’s Mojito in the pool, but this time of year the sun dips behind the B building by 4pm so you have to catch it while you can. Yes, I’m taking a day off from tequila. These mojitos are pretty tasty also- Bacardi rum plus sparkling water and orange juice instead of the sugar syrup. Quietest day of the week at happy hour because so many people have left and others are yet to arrive. Left after two drinks and ordered room service for dinner by myself: roast chicken, rice, and cole slaw. Did some hand laundry in the bathroom sink while I was waiting for dinner to arrive; not enough dirty to bother making the trip to the laundry. Enjoyed a quiet meal while watching a movie on TV.
Made a bunch of calls back home. Confirmed my brother did arrive in Phoenix for the night. Then called it a good day and turned in.
Woke up early enough to catch the sunrise; see my picture of it posted below. No aqua aerobics today so I dressed and headed to the gym. Lots of enthusiasts doing their exercise thing. The RS gym is always clean and fresh and their equipment is up to date. Best of all... it’s free. My workout felt good, particularly the stretching. I added in some stationary bike and stair climbing, then some of the equipment and a little light weight work. Not bad for a 72 year-old! Chris, who leads the aerobics guessed I am 56, but he may have been trying to be polite.
Breakfast in the room: a couple of hard-boiled eggs with leftover guac and chicken, plus almond milk with my daily pile of vitamins and CBD oil. Then some reading of interesting magazine articles I had cut out over the last year to bring with me for reading here between novels. Texted and sent pictures to more friends back in the U.S. I got back a picture of snow on the ground in Utah. Twenty degrees, yikes! Took a nap, now it’s almost happy hour.
What the heck, I went to the Welcome Party (as an observer only) at 2:00. I was surprised that some paella was still available so I placed an order for a late lunch as I continued swigging my gatorade+water jug to maintain hydration levels. The paella was disappointing, but that did not surprise me. It has been years since the paella here has impressed me with chunks of sausage and larger pieces of chicken. At least it had some small chunks of chicken and a few pieces of shellfish plus larger shrimp in addition to the tiny shrimp. The flavor was weak and there was enough rice to feed a family of six. It was not as bad as some past years when it was too salty and they sliced in tiny wieners instead of real chicken. The welcome party created huge amounts of noise but long lines persisted at the free (cheap) drink stands. No one got hurt as slippery water abounded on the deck after the balloon toss.
At 3:00 sharp I arrived for happy hour at the far pool bar and climbed into the water. Water temp is a little cool though quite pleasant. David Vasquez, founder of this blog site, showed up seconds later and we introduced ourselves. I ordered two Terry’s Margaritas from Giovanni and I had a wonderful conversation with David. I headed to the Phase 2 pool bar in hopes of meeting an old friend (Miguel Manzaniero, a bartender who used to work at the RS), but he never made it. I heard he is bartending at a new resort and it’s tough for him to get a day off. Manuel mad me a Terry’s Margarita and I started a conversation with Bob from Chicago. He is here with family, who he claims are breaking the bank with endless orders of chicken fingers. He works in the financial industry (CBOT) and we had a very interesting conversation; we have a lot in common on investment strategies.
Back to the room by 4:45 for a shower and fresh clothes because I am hoping my brother Randy and his wife Judy arrive today at about 5:00. At exactly that time they walked into the villa. Tired from yesterday’s long day due to flight delays, at least their hotel in Phoenix was nice and today everything went smoothly including a very quick transit through the CUN airport. They unpacked and we decided to have a simple meal in the room: chips, guac and salsa, with leftover chicken, rice, and cole slaw. He had some beers while I had a Kahlua in Almond Milk. Judy went to bed early.
Randy suggested we watch the Packers-Seahawks play-off game. It was a good game between two good teams, though this was the first NFL game I have seen in many years. When Joe Montana retired in 1994 I lost interest in NFL football. Then in 2015 when I saw the Will Smith movie Concussion I began my active boycott of the NFL. I hate to think that my dollars are paying these marvelous athletes to cause injuries to themselves and others. The league is very rough. Watch the movie Concussion! I won’t be watching any more NFL. This was it for me.
I had a long video-chat with my wife. She made comments about my growing facial hair; I haven’t shaved in the last week. Everything is good her way. I also chatted with my daughter Tracy who is looking forward to using my tickets for tomorrow night’s Charlotte at Portland NBA game.
Asleep by 10:30.
Slept until 8:00am. The sun is already partway up its morning climb, fighting to break through some cloud banks on the horizon. Overhead blue, blue skies. The winds are a little gentler today. It’s another gorgeous day!
Six people lazing in the pool. A few blue towels on the pool lounges; not many. Some white flags blowing at lounges without the towels. I’m not sure if they are forgotten relics from yesterday or a new strategy for saving lounges without blue towels? I received flags when I was moved this week but have not yet thought to use them. I just take an available lounge whenever I want one; many seem to be available.
Back home the temps are in the low 30’s F and snow is reaching further down the hillsides, though nothing yet for this year on Portland streets. I’m happy to be in Cancun. Lots of activities on my agenda for today. Reminds me of the famous line from the movie The Big Labowski- “The Dude abides.” I’ll work on that today most of all.
Aqua aerobics at 10am was a huge success. Record turnout- about 76 people, but hard to count accurately with so many. Mostly seniors, plus some 40-something moms and the two always smiling (with white-white teeth) 30–something blondes in tiny bikinis. Hope you caught us on the webcam. I lingered in the pool afterward for awhile, enjoying the sunshine.
Showered and changed in my room, then strolled next door to Soriana with Randy and Judy. They wanted to stock some snacks and a bit of wine. My favorite granola was sold out; I’ll have to bring my own next time and give up something else in my luggage to make room for it. Back in the room I enjoyed some light snacks while saving lots of room for today’s taco party.
At 1:00 Mondays every week I pause for meditation and attunement. Some friends join with me wherever we each might be in the world. If you have read my book Sunseed’s Quest I devoted a chapter to this practice. Lots of reasons. In addition to cultivating an atmosphere of calm for myself, I feel that this calmness can reach out and touch many others through our energetic connections. Perhaps the entire world can be moved in this simple way one step closer to an experience of worldwide peace and kindness as we each play our part. I like to ask, “What would happen if everyone on the planet expressed kindness simultaneously?” I think it could unleash a transformative wave of energy that changes everything.
2:00- taco party. Same yummy little tacos. My bother agrees. 3:00- happy hour in the big pool with Patricio. Met new friends from MN; some of them are married now but have been coming here since they were tiny children. Their grandfather came first to Cancun in the early days, now two more generations are carrying on the tradition. We ordered a round of seven Terry’s Margaritas and had a wonderful time. Randy and I of course had several more. By the way, you should only order a Terry’s special from Manuel, Patricio, or Pedro. Giovanni is alright also. Randy ordered a couple for us from one of the younger bartenders while I wasn’t looking and it was horrible! We sent them back. The big pool was loaded but it will thin out this week as usual. Different ones told me of their plans to adventure out to Isla Mujeres and other points over the next few days.
After cleanup, I headed across the street, with Randy & Judy in tow, to take the bus down to the Blue Gecko. I have never before seen it so busy. All the stools occupied and a line out the door. Well they don’t really have a door. More accurate to say the line formed in the parking lot. Once seated it took time to snag one of the running-like-crazy waiters to put in our orders, and it took even longer for the food to be delivered. They were all working as hard as they could, including the owner. We didn’t mind. We were having a fabulous time chatting with the folks around us, including the sales manager from the Royal Islander. I found him to be quite candid and full of information. We received our guacamole and chips and dove in; Judy claimed this to be the best guac she had ever tasted. Randy sipped his beer, Judy savored a martini, and I had a Coke Light. The rock and roll music through their sound system was thankfully turned down a bit more than usual since the crowd noise was pretty pervasive. The tacos finally arrived and they were all awesome. Randy had the beef brisket, Judy had the vegetarian (deep fried avocado), and I tried the Bang Bang Shrimp. We gave up our seats eventually as others still waiting in line eagerly took them. Crossed the street and hopped the next red bus toward the RS.
We stopped for one drink and popcorn in the Sidelines Bar. Gerardo, our longtime favorite waiter greeted us with hugs. A smallish crowd was watching the NCAA Football championship game. I heard the place had been packed and was thoroughly raucous the previous night for the NFL game. Back in our room we played a game of cards and sipped another small glass of Xtabentune, then said our goodnights. I called home of course, then fired up my iPad to check the final score of the Portland Trailblazers game (knowing my daughters were sitting in my seats). It was close, but we won.
Big day in paradise! Closed my eyes but It took me some time to settle... and eventually to sleep.
Up at 7:30. The sun is working to break through clouds on the horizon. The weather app predicts possibility of rain this morning, but it is often wrong. I updated this report to add yesterday’s activities, then Randy and I are headed to the beach for a long walk. I hope you enjoy your day. Peace!
We walked down the beach past the 18-story Secrets, the Hard Rock, and the JW to the Marriott. Turned around and headed back. Water temp in the sea is exquisite. participated in aqua aerobics, again. I still have perfect attendance. The turnout was huge again today. Not quite the size of yesterday, but at least 60 people. The always-smiling blondes were among the missing. I wasn’t really looking for them. Well, maybe.
After changing clothes I hustled to LaVeranda for a late breakfast buffet. Ate so much yummy food it served as both breakfast and lunch. A super value. While I hear many people lamenting that the quality of the food at LaVeranda has gone downhill over the years, at least for the breakfast and lunch buffets I disagree. The variety, quality, taste, presentation, and attention to detail are top notch in my opinion. Also the $14 price is a great value. The hard working waiters are well-trained veterans who genuinely care about our dining experience. The entire restaurant is clean and their food safety standards are excellent. I thanked Willie, the manager of all the RS waiters, for his good work and gave him one of my Terry’s Tunes music CDs. He has been collecting them for years and reminded me that his stack at home is growing.
I lazed away the early afternoon as usual: cards, FaceTime, catching up on the news, and a nap. As I headed out the door for happy hour a tropical downpour began. I could see everyone around the pool running for cover. I chuckled, thinking to myself that it would probably end by the time I arrived at pool number one. In fact it did end just as I arrived. I eased into the waters and ordered a couple of Terry’s Margaritas from Patricio, while I turned to face the sun soon enough shining once again through the clouds above the B Building. I bought Terry’s Margaritas for several others I met this afternoon. Haven't found anyone yet who doesn’t like my TMs. Heard from one woman who is moving tomorrow to the Moon Palace that Dead and Company with John Mayer will be playing Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday at a beach venue on the Moon Palace grounds. Don’t know how I missed knowing about this! My research indicates all of the shows are sold out and tickets were only available as part of a package for those willing to stay at the MP, according to playinginthesand.com. If anyone knows otherwise please let me know.
Enjoyed leftovers for dinner again at my room. Fell asleep watching the Democratic Candidates Debate. Then woke up and turned it off. The once huge field is down to 4-5 contenders it seems. Quickly FaceTimed to my wife and quickly went to sleep for the night.
Up at 7:30 again. Dark clouds on the horizon again, but hopeful it will clear. Happy to be in Cancun, again.
Got sucked into watching dramatics in the Capitol (D.C.) on CNN several times today. Made it to aqua aerobics. Ate lunch buffet with Randy and Judy at LaVeranda. We all enjoyed it very much, even though sometimes you choose something which ends up not tasting as you expected it to be. Judy had a mini-corn dog but the coating dough was sweet like a donut. I savored my custom made chicken fajitas and again the chicken soup was wonderful. Took a bit of a nap back in the room afterward. Happy hour again at you know where. Leftovers again for dinner. Not much in the way of details here in my report. Sorry. As I am writing this on Thursday, while trying to recall details of 24 hours ago, everything seems a big blurr. Too many margaritas? There may have been some shots, even though I told you I don’t do shots anymore.
Randy went to bed early. I went to bed and watched Jason Bourne #2 & 3 again, for the umpteenth time. Called Kathryn and then went to sleep.
Woke at 8:00, refreshed. Long walk with Randy up the beach to the resort beyond Live Aqua, then back again. Started some breakfast prep, then to aqua aerobics. Cloudy and a bit windy. Good turn-out—about 60 participants again. Returned to the room, showered, and finished cooking. Great breakfast of eggs, potatoes, bacon, and fruit, while chatting and watching the waves. Love this villa, which allows a view straight out to sea from the living and dining areas. By late morning the clouds have cleared and it is a glorious day.
As a team we finished a challenging crossword puzzle. Randy and Judy brought a bunch of them from home. FaceTimed with family back home and emailed some pictures. Then turned to catching up my writing on this report, with CNN in the background. Promise to be better at keeping up over the last remaining days of this week. Meanwhile, I have to get ready for happy hour.
Lots of familiar faces in pool #1 at 3pm. Met Amy and David from Chicago; they loved my Terry’s Margarita. She had been drinking a cranberry margarita and switched to the TM. Such wonderful sunshine and blue-blue skies. I’m still wearing my SPF shirt, trunks, and hat for skin protection, but it felt so wonderful soaking up sunshine as much as possible. It’s raining cats and dogs back in No.Cal and snow flurries in Portland. I know that I am a lucky man to be here.
Had been thinking about hot wings for hours (but couldn’t have them in the pool), so ordered some up through room service along with french fries and cole slaw. They always say it will take about 45 minutes. Today it only took about 20 minutes for delivery to our room. Randy and I had a feast, though I couldn’t eat the last two wings. All of a sudden it was 8:00pm and we were all ready for bed. Said my goodnights. Called Kathryn. Asleep.... until midnight.
Woke up at midnight with a Beatles concert in my head:
She’s got a ticket to ride,
She’s got a ticket to ri-hi-hide,
She’s got a ticket to ride,
But she don’t care.
Beep, beep, beep, beep, Yah.
I couldn’t remember what album it was from and it was driving me crazy, so I woke up, got out of bed, went to the patio and watched John Lennon and friends play it for me through the magic of the internet and YouTube. Help!, that was the album. And the beep, beep, beep, beep part? That was from a different song: Baby You Can Drive My Car. Don’t blame me for mixing it up. I was only sleeping.
Did some hydrating. Peacefully listened to the waves serenade me; they don’t seem to care that it is the middle of the night. The palm trees, continuing their rhythmic dance, didn’t care one bit either. The coolness of the air with its hint of tropical humidity was gently caressing my skin. Looked upward to look for stars, but could only see a few, so I closed my eyes and imagined the countless billions above and beyond...
Eventually the moon rose above the seemingly ever present cloud layer on the horizon. I watched her climb the night sky for an hour or so. 2AM; I’m still not sleepy, but it’s time to try again for sleep. Good night, Moon. Good night stars.
Woke up at 7:30, just in time to see the sun begin his daily climb through the cloud bank on the horizon. The winds are really rocking the palm trees today. A couple of folks are lazing in the pool. The pirates (AKA Scott and Julia) are at their table and probably have been there for an hour. Not much else happening yet. Think I’ll take it easy for the next couple of hours. Maybe a couple of hard boiled eggs for breakfast.
Almost 60 people at aqua aerobics again today. The wind is really strong, but blue skies are overhead with only a smattering of white clouds. I stayed after class in the pool, relaxing in the sunshine. As I departed I noticed that the wind had taken my blue towel. Ouch. Hope I can talk my way out of a charge. Switched into a dry shirt in the room and then went looking for my roommates on the beach. Found them, and just after noon I ordered some of the Friday grilled chicken and a virgin mary drink. The chicken was REALLY tasty, even better than last week. I ate it all. Then just quietly enjoyed watching the waves. The wind has died down a bit but the waves are even stronger today. Not many people venturing into the sea. The only annoying thing was that the beach vendors are coming right up to every row of the palappas and aggressively working to engage all of us who are trying to relax.
Back in the room I chatted with my wife in No.Cal for a long time. They had a big day yesterday working hard to clear out the garage of our son’s old house so escrow could close today. In pouring rain he made several trips to a new storage unit (hopefully short term only) with things he didn’t want to bring to the new house yet had no time to sort through. Sigh! That was a big job and I wasn’t there to help. Feeling a bit guilty. I’ll feel better after a margarita. Don’t feel up to packing for tomorrow’s move yet. It’s only a half hour until happy hour.
Happy hour was fun. Many people leaving tomorrow didn’t want their week to end and a lot of them were still in the pool when I left. Had leftovers for dinner. Started packing. I’m here one more week. Moving to the P Building in the morning. I’m taking the day off from writing tomorrow. Maybe I’ll take off the whole of next week. It’s been great spending the last two weeks with you. Thanks for your replies. I’ll be back for Weeks 17, 18, and 19- Cinco de Mayo! Until then keep your count down going for your next visit. Adios.
Attached is a picture from this week’s deck and a picture of my new t-shirt that reminds me to “Take It Easy.”