Larry and I flew out from Dallas Fort Worth at 5:15 pm Friday, Jan 21. Super Shuttle picked us up right from our door. The driver was from Ethiopia. He had been in the army under Haile Selasse and escaped 19 years ago to the Dallas area. He had to leave his wife and boys. He has not seen them since. He can't go back and they can't get out. His sons are 30 and 28 now. Kind of sad but he says they are all doing very well. The flight was uneventful and when we landed we met up with a representatives from Best Day, who took us to our hotel, the RIU Caribe.
We checked in and started exploring. First stop something to eat. That never ended for eight whole days!
About 2 am Saturday the boys arrived from Vancouver. We didn't see them until morning. Everyone was up early for a great reunion. This was our Christmas present to them. The day continued with eating, drinking and visiting the beach and the pool. It was so nice to be warm and in the sun.
Sunday Larry, Kelly and Maureen went into Cancun by bus to see if they could find any Green Bay Packers jersies. No luck - checked out Wal-Mart and a few stores in a mall. We arrived back to the hotel just before noon. We all thought the game started at 1 pm but didn't actually start until 2 so we got good seats around the Sports Bar at the Riu Caribe! There were about 50/50 Packers and Bears fans and we met a lot of nice people who we would spend more time with through the trip. On the flight from Vancouver Kelly and Aaron met a family from Nanaimo who we all got to know. There were also some really nice women from Wisconsin - Jean and Heidi, and Bernie and her two sisters. It was a great game with the correct team winning!
Monday was a pool day. The pool was quite cold but when the sun came out and warmed you enough, it was very refreshing. We also booked a bus trip for Wednesday to Chichen Itza. We booked this through Jorge at Best Day. He was very helpful. He gave us coupons for free pendants from a jewellery store called Lapis. He arranged for free transportation there and back. So on Tuesday we went. While we were waiting for our pendants, we went through the Fiesta Market next door. Vendors are quite aggressive but if you say no they leave you alone. Aaron was approached by three different people to buy drugs. Maureen was looking at jewellery in a store and didn't have enough money on hand to buy what she wanted so she promised to go back - which she didn't. So we couldn't go back into that mall!! When our pendants were ready, the driver dropped us at Coral Negro, a quite large market with local artisans. We had fun in there with Larry trying to drive a hard bargain on some shirts. We finally got some, as well as a beach bag. We think we got a fairly good deal but who really knows. Then we went to a bar called Slices at the end of the market. The waitress, Lilliana and her co-worker were really funny and took our picture. Lilliana told us she makes 50 pesos a day (about $5 US) plus more in tips and averages about $30 US per day. She pays $200 US Dollars a month for rent plus water and electricity. She has no car and lives an hour away. Her son is away at college and her daughter lives with her. The driver came and brought us back to the hotel (no charge, just a tip).
Wednesday we had to be at the front door at 7:50 am. Too early! The bus was air conditioned and had a bathroom (for emergencies, #1 only). Our guide was Isidro and the driver was Antonio. Most people took the first hour to have a little nap. We had a little break at the bathroom at the Yucatan state line. We stopped at a Cenote (sinkhole) for an hour. The boys did some jumping off the platform into the sinkhole. Then we went on to lunch. It appeared to be a hotel we stopped at in Piste, the last little town before Chichen Itza. They had a buffet set up for us and about 6 buses arrived all at once. But no problem! They served everyone quickly and the food was good and hot. Then on to Chichen Itza. Unbelievably half the bus could speak Spanish only so another guide took them for their tour. Isidro took the rest of us around. The tour took about an hour and then we had a couple of hours on our own. Larry couldn't walk all of it so Maureen, Kelly and Aaron went to a lot more of the area. The grounds are huge and there are ruins and vendors everywhere. Then back on the bus to the hotel. We arrived about 7:30 pm. A long day!
Thursday was another lazy pool day. The resort was quite nice. The beds were comfortable and it was quiet at our end of the hallway. The food was not the greatest - buffet of course and most things were not very hot. The juice bar in Albatros was excellent and we went there everyday for breakfast. We tried the Steakhouse twice and the meat left a lot to be desired, especially since Larry and Maureen had had the best steak of their lives at Saltgrass in Dallas. The Japanese Restaurant was good - excellent sushi. The Mexican Restaurant was probably the best (as it should be). The Pizza was good. The staff everywhere were great and the service was very good.
Friday afternoon the boys left at 2:20 in a van to the airport. Larry and Maureen left the following day in the afternoon. Best Day picked us up right on time. This is a good local service used by Expedia. Good flights but Aaron and Maureen are coming down with a cold. Super Shuttle was at the airport to take Maureen and Larry back to the RV. It was warm when we arrived but we've heard there is a cold spell a-brewing.