Monday, August 22, 2011

Mexico & "The Ring"

My vacation to Mexico with MS was wonderful.  I tried not to worry or take advantage of the fact that he paid for the all-inclusive get away and contributed as much as possible to the extras before and after the trip. 

As I blogged here about whether or not MS would propose and being convinced that he wouldn't, I did find it somewhat awkward the night before we left that when checking-in online to our flight he inadvertently typed his last name as mine.  I brushed it off.  Unfortunately, we weren't able to get seats together on our flight from Detroit to Cancun.  We booked them anyway and I figured we would talk to the gate agent in the morning before our three hour delay to see if we could switch seats. 

We got up at 4:00a.m. and made it to the airport and arrived in Detroit without issue.  We walked the terminal to our gate to inquire about changing seats. Surprisingly a second agent (the first told us to come back an hour before our flight) asked us where we were flying to and offered that if we wanted to fly through Atlanta she would put us in first class and we would only arrive 48 minutes later.  After convincing MS it was a good idea and he would still be able to get breakfast before boarding our flight to Atlanta we made the change and each received a $400 flight credit to use in the future!  BONUS!  See, another contribution I made to the trip! ;)

We arrived in Cancun and did exactly what we were advised not to...we talked with the timeshare people and booked a tour.  For our $40 good faith deposit we were ensured of a 90 minute presentation at a nearby resort, two bottles of tequila, two tickets for a 6 hour party boat of deep sea fishing and discounts of 2-1 passes for attractions (particularly para sailing).  We figured well worth 90 minutes.  Of course when we went to have our hotel concierge staff to call our free taxi, they refused and sent a manager to discuss with us the intricate details of our "tour" proclaiming we would be forced to stay for 4-6 hours. He offered that if we toured our resort for 2 hours he would compensate us with two bottles of tequila, $40 deposit refund and $100 to put toward the fishing expedition.  After three separate negotiations (him going to speak to a supervisor - or himself) he finally agreed to the tequila, the deposit, free internet/telephone calls for the remainder of our stay, and $250 credit (the cost of the deep sea fishing).  Since we had missed the last arrival time for the booked tour, we took the offer of our resort.  Fortunately, our sales person was hung over from the previous night's company party and was starving.  He asked if we were interested in purchasing, we said "no" and he asked if we minded joining him for breakfast.  We did ask to tour the upscale casitas and our sales pitch was over in less than 54 minutes!  What a blessing!  BONUS!

The resort was beautiful.  We didn't spend much time outside in the sun as it was really HOT.  It didn't help matters that the first time out to the pool where we fed an iguana and participated in aqua aerobics, MS got FRIED on his chest and stomach.  See, MS informed me that I needed to remind him about sunblock and that if he got burnt, he would be miserable and want to stay out of the sun.  I was the dutiful girlfriend and reminded him and put the block on his back before we left the room.  MS...well he forgot to put it on his chest and stomach!  So he wore a shirt the rest of the vacation!

MS has a thing for turtles.  So he purchased a couple memento turtles while we were in Playa del Carmen.  In addition, he was excited to participate in a paint-a-pot activity that was near the pool at the resort every day.  The day I learned my father had passed (with our free internet access pass), we had plans to paint.  It was actually a very good diversion that I didn't have to hold it together too much and was able to focus on painting and not have to be "happy".  I wasn't really sure what I wanted to paint, but opted for a plate.  With the help of the guy that sells the plates - he puts back in the clear black lines and added some birds and the small bushes in the desert, the plate looked pretty awesome when it was done! 
Anyone who knows me, should know that I have a slight issue with motion.  Dramamine is my friend.  I knew that I would need dramamine before our deep sea fishing adventure.  MS however, he loves to fish and boat.  Our boat for the fishing expedition had two crew, MS and I and a group of three men.  The fumes from the exhaust were pretty awful and fortunately I was doing well dealing with the uneasiness of the boat along with the smell.  I even managed to do OK after MS asked for dramamine, reeled in a "bait fish" and managed to hurl over the side before he ever got the dramamine open.  He went into the cabin where he laid his head down on the table and remained the rest of the "three hour tour" (oh wait, that was Gilligan's island - but pretty much the same!).  I knew that I had no interest in standing to real in a fish, so I just sat on the back of the boat and watched.  When the youngest of the men, a son in his late teens/early twenties who also rejected reeling in a fish, leaned over board and lost his marbles, that was too much for me.  I, on the other side of the boat, got sick too.  Not only did I get sick once, I managed to get sick a second time simultaneously with the father of the young man.  Yes, four of the five of us on the boat, were sick.  Unfortunately it didn't help the crew and the one healthy passenger - a retired navy person of 27 years - to catch more fish!  We headed in a little early as the fish were few and we weren't feeling well.  Fortunately MS and I didn't pay $250 for the adventure, so we weren't so bothered by our ill fortune. 
On several vacations, I have purchased rings.  Granted the last few have been less than $8 each, but a ring that I fancy no less.  I had full intention of purchasing a "real" ring of sorts this trip.  MS had offered to buy me a ring.  I wasn't sure exactly what the offer entailed - cost or intention - so rather than inquire, I pretty much ignored the offer.  While we looked around Playa del Carmen, I was looking at rings that were rather expensive.  I was considering another ring similar to the ring I purchased in Colorado (which after 18 months a stone fell out during dinner on this vacation.  So lucky!), but decided I wanted different "bling".  I negotiated a fantastic deal and I bought a beautiful ring.  After our trip MS had said he did want to buy me a ring - but seeing that I negotiated a deal for cash, he didn't have that kind of cash on him.  MS wasn't a fan of the ring I picked thinking that it is WAY too big, but I LOVE it and that is all that matters (although he has been gazing at it and inspecting it on several occasions!)!

MS and I went on a kayaking tour the morning after Playa.  We had originally planned on taking the shuttle to Cancun for the day, but opted not to as we had our boating adventure and Playa del Carmen the night before.  Since we had purchased souvenirs - MS his turtles and me my ring - we didn't see a reason to check out Cancun.  So we had fun participating in activities at the resort.  We started off with the kayaking and I managed well without dramamine; however, MS didn't fare as well.  My competitive edge found me near the instructor while MS was way behind the last kayaker.  When we reached an area to look for fish, I asked MS if he was OK, which he replied NO.  He reported that his hips were cramping and he wasn't able to sit in the kayak comfortably.  Fortunately the tour was only an hour and he managed to survive! 

The vacation was a great escape.  I was saddened to learn of my father's passing, but glad to have MS there to comfort me and a good distraction of Mexico.  We enjoyed fabulous dining experiences at the restaurants at the resort.  My favorite was de Italia.  While the resort, El Dorado Royale is voted one of the number one honeymoon resorts in the world, I think I enjoyed Iberostar more as we weren't on a honeymoon.  I never received the same drink twice, despite ordering the same.  The nightly entertainment was also definitely lacking, but MS and I had a great time and a wonderful vacation.  I am definitely looking forward to more vacations and memories with MS. 

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